New year, new trade shows. While the subject show of today’s post does not normally involve arcade games, things are a little different this year. The Consumer Electronics Show, or CES, is generally focused on the latest gadgets, gizmos, and concepts that the world can expect to see in the coming year.
Arcades used to be at the cutting edge of tech, incorporating the first CPUs and graphics cards into a product that the public would use, but it hasn’t been so much like that with the passing of those pioneering days. That said, tech plays a role in our industry and as we see with this year’s CES, it is growing.
Arcades @ CES 2024
One exception to the ‘rule,’ if you want to call it that, mentioned above, is Stern Pinball has been going there in recent years. They showed off their booth on Facebook, which was dedicated to their just-announced game, JAWS. In addition to the game, and a few others from Stern’s catalogue, the company spiced things up with props from 1975 movie.
Joining Stern this time was Raw Thrills and Bandai Namco Amusement America. Raw Thrills could be found at the DPVR booth where they were showcasing Godzilla Kaiju Wars VR. The game uses a DPVR headset, hence the connection. From the pictures I’ve seen, it looks like it was popular and that was certainly a good way for both companies to grab some attention. I did ask Saki A. (center of the pic) of Raw Thrills if there had been any changes to the game since we saw it at IAAPA but she indicated that it wasn’t anything significant. Also note that Eugene Jarvis and a few others from the RT crew were in attendance.
Alongside bringing out their Bowl-O-Rama revival and numerous other existing public or private barcade-oriented products, Bandai Namco Amusement America debuted a new version of Pac-Man’s Pixel Bash, which is now available in the “Class of 1981” style. Namco has long offered compilations like this for both home and commercial users as an official way to get Ms. Pac-Man & Galaga in a full-sized arcade cabinet. As it stands at the moment though, this model is only listed for home use.
Also unveiled at CES 2024 is the "Pac-Man's Pixel Bash edition" of the Ms. Pac-Man / Galaga cabinet, courtesy of Bandai Namco Amusement America.
Boasting Pixel Bash's 32-game lineup, this Class of 1981 home machine is available to buy now from BNAA's website. pic.twitter.com/8AFvAgoBUH
— Daily Pac-Man (@DailyPacMan) January 11, 2024
We also got an announcement of a new Yatagarasu fighting game for Steam… and NesicaXLive. Yes, the original NesicaXLive network, and without the online support that the newer NesicaXLive2 system offers. For those unaware, Nesica is Taito’s digital distribution platform for arcades, primarily focused on Japan. That said, I do believe most Round1USAs have NXL or NXL2 cabinets available so that you can play those games… if you are willing to deal with all of the attendant Japanese text.
— GAME Watch (@game_watch) January 9, 2024
Last but not least is another home arcade machine as My Arcade adds Atari branding to the mix. These are competitively priced although no games list is available yet. As I mention in this video, these will likely have a mix of arcade and console games. It may reflect the Atari 50th Anniversary Collection, hence the controls that cover everything Atari. These aren’t launching until the end of the year, however.
So there we go – nothing as extensive as IAAPA or Amusement Expo, but still better than nothing. I think it is great for arcades & pinball to show up at events that are not focused on these products, so it helps reach a broader audience.
Stay tuned for a preview and news from the next arcade expo which is happening next week, EAG in London!