Welcome to Newsbytes, a post where I scour the interwebs for quick news items that are related to the wonderful world of arcades and pinball machines. A bit has accumulated this month in that regard, so lets hop to it:
Taito Continues Celebrating 70 Years With Space Invaders
Taito turns 70 years young in 2023 and they’ve been busy celebrating that fact over in Japan with some big Space Invaders displays. One we’ve seen before that always grabs attention is Space Invaders Gigamax, an up-to-10-player version of the arcade classic that is projected onto the side of a building or wall; The other is something new called Grand Smartball feat. Space Invaders. As you can see from the tweet below, it’s classic flipperless pinball and it’s huge, probably the largest non-flipper pin ever made. Granted, these sorts of things are just made for special events, although I’m sure if Taito did a US tour with both of these games, it’d attract a bit of attention.
feat. SPACE INVADERS」発見✨
— タイトー公式 RE:SET (@TAITO) April 26, 2023
Also worth noting is this new prize that they’ve made for crane machines, specially for the anniversary; They also have a new game experience coming to their their CUBE interactive gaming room.
The AAMA Launches The Amusement Hall Of Fame
There is now a Hall Of Fame for the arcade & amusement industry, aptly titled the Amusement Hall of Fame. This has been organized by the AAMA (American Amusement Machine Association), a trade organization that represents the arcade/amusement business in various capacities. They’re one of the organizations involved in organizing Amusement Expo, but there are various other things that they do, the most famous of which would be designing the arcade games rating system that was big in the 1990s (they still maintain a list, although its rare to see a new game use it). Now they are adding this Hall of Fame to the list, although it does not appear on their website at the moment. Instead, here’s an article on Replay Magazine’s site that lists everyone who was inducted this year – you may recognize a few names on the list such as Eugene Jarvis, Nolan Bushnell and Gary Stern.
The first inductees into the HoF were done at this most recent Amusement Expo, although unfortunately I had to leave to catch my flight shortly before they got started. They also handed out several “…of the year” category & achievement awards, with Eugene Jarvis winning a Lifetime Achievement Award for his work in the business. If there’s someone you want to nominate for 2024, the AAMA is taking said nominations now.
Exa’s Dynamite Bomb!! Goes On Test
ExA-Arcadia and Light-Green have begun testing out their arcade-exclusive 1v1 fighting game in Japan, called Dynamite Bomb. I’ve covered this one a few times previously, it was at Amusement Expo 2023 where I got to spend a little time giving it a spin. As a 2D fighting game, it follows a play formula similar to Arc System games like Guilty Gear. To also assist players in Japan in learning how the game works, exA posted several “How To Play” videos about it to their YouTube channel this week. This should become available for purchase within the next couple of months. If you really want to see how it plays, here’s a six hour stream from the location test:
Polycade’s Stripes Gets A Trailer
I haven’t seen the Polycade platform in a while but along with new cabinets styles, they’ve also been working on expanding their content. While most of the content has been a curated list of games you can find on home distribution networks like Steam (and put on a timer), the company has been working on some exclusive content, the first of which is the puzzle game Stripes. I mentioned this one last year where it sounded like it would eventually come to Steam, but as of this moment, it appears it can only be found on Polycade systems. Here’s a new trailer to show it off:
Pulp Fiction Stream
Yesterday, Dead Flip sat down with the team at Play Mechanix to stream gameplay from their new Pulp Fiction pinball machine. The stream is right here in all its glory but if you are waiting for your machine to ship, you’ll have to wait until later this year as I’ve been told it will ship “Q3 2023.”
Also since we’re on pinball, here’s a tutorial on Scooby-Doo by Spooky Pinball; I also will be doing a post this week about Pinball Adventures’ recent announcements. I’d do it here but there’s enough that it should get its own post (and yes, I missed those and should have covered them earlier in the month).
Arcade Release Dates Update
For those curious about when some certain arcade titles will be launching, here’s an update.
- Halo 4p Tethered (I call it the Assault Model 😉 – May
- House of the Gundead – May
- MotoGP VR – June
- Pulp Fiction pinball – Q3 2023
- QUBE – May?
I’m unsure on Triotech’s QUBE as I originally heard it would ship in April but this past week I’ve seen two distributors still talking about pre-orders. I reached out to the one person I still have contact with at Trio-Tech but haven’t heard back yet. I’d be very interested to hear how the sales/pre-orders for this one are going as it might take the cake as the most expensive arcade machine ever released (everyone I’ve asked says “around $100k). The context behind that however is that it is a compact version of the starts-at-$250kish XD Dark Ride, which is a medium-to-large scale attraction.
An Interview With Christopher Cruz About House of The Gundead – Shipping in May
Looking To Become An Arcade Tech? Betson Is Holding Classes In Nashville & Denver – Not for free though
A Deep Dive Into Left 4 Dead Arcade – Yes, this was a real release, no it was never released outside of Japan
[Console] Friend of the site, professional game dev and professor of game design at Purdue U., Rob Howard, publishes new book, Game Design Essentials. – I’ll grab this once I recover from paying up to Uncle Sam
[Console] Sega Acquires Rovio (Angry Birds) – I wouldn’t be surprised if we see another AG arcade game, but from Sega, in the future.
[Console] After Smashing Through the $1B Mark, The Physical Release Of The Super Mario Bros. Movie Has Been Pushed Back – Might as well let it keep breathing in theaters
[Console] A Wild IGS Console Collection Game Appears – Nobody saw this coming
[Console] TRON: Identity Available Now – I’ve been meaning to check this out but haven’t had a chance to yet
That’s all for this week, have a great weekend!