Welcome to Newsbytes, a post that curates news from around the wonderful world of video arcade games and pinball machines. Let’s see what’s going on out there…
Dodgeball – Ultimate Arena Pops Up On Distributor Sites
While we’ve known that Dave & Busters has had a new ball toss game from ICE at their locations, it was a timed exclusive, so those interested in the concept just had to wait it out. That wait appears to be over as a couple of distributor websites have listed the game for sale, starting with Betson where I saw it first. PrimeTime has them listed too but in checking several other distros, they don’t have it up yet – which might be because ICE themselves doesn’t list it yet (its strange when manufacturers aren’t the first to list their games, but that’s normal for the industry).
This is the first time we have a clear image of ICE’s new redemption game, based off of the middle-school sport of the same name, but not the comedy film
ICE’s take on this does not pit people against each other wielding giant rubber balls but is instead a ball toss game where you lob balls at two types of targets – pop-out & holes. There are two teams (red & blue) and the targets have different point values, which translates into tickets eventually. There are two versions of this, which as far as I can tell, only differ via the front fixture piece, DX looking more appealing. It’s unknown if this is shipping already or if it’s something that will begin shipping soon but since it is listed that means locations can order it.
IGS Unveils Hyper Cross
I initially caught this in a terrible short video by Yuto Games where I thought it might be a pirated version of Raw Thrills’ Snocross (the video really didn’t make it clear and Yuto’s done some ‘High Seas’ stuff before). But in doing some digging – since the name of this new company Baohui was visible – this new YouTube channel & video popped up to unveil a new game from IGS called Hyper Cross.
IGS is no stranger to the arcade scene, where they almost always develop work as a 3rd party developer to whomever might be interested in what they have to offer. If you look closely enough you’ll see a strong resemblance between this and their Speed Rider 3DX game. Note that SR3DX has been released in the States and it looks like this will find its way here as well, although through which distributor it’s unknown.
Arcadro Develops The Coin Pusher 365
Are you really into coin pushers but want to play it every day of the year while at home? Then newcomer Arcadro has you covered with their new “bar top coin pusher,” Coin Pusher 365. Designed for home use, this is a tabletop unit with three coin slots and a pay out bay. They’ve already shipped 150 units across Europe and will be launching a Kickstarter on August 23rd. If you’re interested, you can learn more here.
Minecraft Updates To Version 2
Raw Thrills’ Minecraft Dungeons Arcade has updated to V2, where I noticed like last time the game uploaded some files that mention new levels such as Hidden Depths and Echoing Void, along with new subjects for the Series 2 cards.
In checking the game afterwards, I couldn’t really find a difference in anything, although I’m sure there were minor tweaks here and there. So where is all the new content? Well, that will unlock at some point in the next few months once Raw Thrills rolls out the Series 2 cards.
You wouldn’t want the software mentioning stuff that isn’t there, but since it likely is a big update, pre-loading content on there means that it should be a relatively quick update when the time comes. I do hope that improvements to the combat come along, as do some better differences in how the crafted weapons and pets work, but I won’t hold my breath on any of that.
In the mean time, here’s a video I did highlighting the pets of Series 1 cards.
Insider Connected Updates
Stern has continued to roll out some software updates to their Insider Connected service, one that is quite welcome for players and operators is the Mobile ID card:
For home users, there is a new teams feature too:
There’s A New Tekken Coming Soonish
I always assume that development is happening on big IP out there in one form or another, so hearing that Bandai Namco recently teased the next installment of Tekken came as no surprise. Will it be Tekken 8? Will it come to arcades? Maybe, maybe not on both of those, although given how Tekken arcade has been handled in the US since 6, this just leaves me shrugging my shoulders again.
Yes, I would love to have a new Tekken in arcades, particularly where my Tekken 5 keeps having issues, but as I’ve mentioned many times before in regards to fighting games, it’s not really a tenable situation. Tekken 7 was briefly given some love here in the States (see below) but at $14k or so (given you had to buy a pair of cabs) and the guaranteed arrival of the superior-in-content console port in a year or less from the AC release, most operators including myself just say “no thanks, I’d rather not lose money.”
Vaulting off on a Namco tangent for a sec, here’s a link to one of their arcade art gallery videos that I missed, one for Valkyrie No Densetsu
Mixed Reality Go-Karting With Battle Kart
This is apparently a few years old but I was made aware of it this week thanks to reader Kieran May for posting it to the AH Facebook group. I’m a little surprised that I’ve not seen this company at IAAPA before; A different company known as Meleap had an Augmented Reality take on go-karting about 5 years ago but they seem to have dropped that and are just focusing on their arenas now.
Anyways, with BattleKart, this certainly makes for a unique karting experience, one that is pretty much Mario Kart without the Mario. I’m not sure how many venues out there might have this installed but it looks rather neat, combining real go-karts with the versatility of what can be done in a video game with different tracks, game modes and so on. Visit their YouTube channel here.
As many readers know, I’ve not been a huge fan of VR as are some of my colleagues in the biz, and part of the reason why is I see a lot more potential in technologies like MXR like this one above than I do with VR. To be fair, nothing MXR-based has made the impact on earnings for the operator like VR has been able to at this point, primarily with VR rides, although we have seen MXR be condensed into arcade form before. Unfortunately that hasn’t been expanded upon much so far but I do believe that the possibilities are stronger & more expansive than what we’ve seen with headsets. /opinionoff
Sega Lists SMARTS Darts On Their Website
With AR & MXR on the mind, it’s worth mentioning that Sega Amusements has now listed the SMARTS Augmented Reality Darts system on their website. There are two flavors of the system available: The projection mapped one & one without. Here’s a description from the projection mapped side:
The SMARTS Augmented Reality Darts system uses a plain white smartboard surrounded by a white high-density foam panel. All the game graphics are projected directly onto the dartboard and surrounding area. The augmented system also features sound for a truly immersive experience.
As per the interactive system, everything is controlled via the touchscreen user interface.
Players play with real, steel tip dartboards and real bristle dartboards from the world’s leading manufacturer, Unicorn.
By what I’ve been told by a distributor, they can be setup for commercial or non-commercial use, however, there is an hourly-use fee in place regardless where it’s being used. They have multiple game styles available, although it isn’t said what they are (I imagine you dart classics are there like 501 and cricket).
The 2022 Asia Amusement & Attractions Expo took place this week but I’ve not heard or seen enough from it yet to share anything about it. I’ll update when/if something interesting comes along.
No Clue What This Chip Does But There’s A Repro Of It Now – For fixing some certain old arcade boards
A Neat Celebration Screen Was Discovered In The Code For Atari’s Crystal Castles – Not sure if anyone has ever unlocked it on a real machine though
There Is A “Live Action” Pac-Man Movie In Development, For Some Reason – allthefacepalms.gif
[Console] Making A Shmup With AI
That’s all for this week, see you on the next story!