Andamiro USA’s Bobblehead Baseball VS. is now available for arcades, and we’re here to provide some details. But first, a quick history.
Baseball In Arcades
In what used to be known as “America’s Favorite Past Time,” it was natural to see the sport adapted to video games early on. While electro-mechanical batting games had brought the sport to venues in the ’50s & ’60s, the first time that a virtual representation of the game was done with Ramtek’s Baseball & Deluxe Baseball.
Created by Howell Ivy, it was licensed out to various companies and it influenced efforts at both Atari and Midway as they made their own interpretations of the sport. It wouldn’t be until 1983 when the sport would finally get some color as Yu Suzuki created Champion Baseball at Sega. This did pretty well at the time and it would establish Japanese dominance in this space for the next two decades. Sega in particular would release many baseball video games, including the last time we saw a video version in Sega Card Gen MLB.
Aside from that though, other baseball games have been mechanical redemption pieces, like LAI’s Hyper Pitch. Yes, there are many more baseball games out there, but this is supposed to be a ‘quick’ history. I can’t say why but the one baseball game I remember the most from the ’80s was RBI Baseball. That is probably because of the NES version, which everyone seemed to have.
Bobblehead Baseball VS.
Andamiro USA ended the video drought for the sport when they released Bobblehead Baseball in 2022. This was initially just made for ticket redemption play (what I call videmption), but they have also launched a version where you could just play for fun. The only problem there was that it was a single player game. That would be fixed with Bobblehead Baseball VS.
This street video and ticket redemption game builds upon the success of Andamiro’s original single-player video game. Bobblehead Baseball VS boasts a compact design with a 43″ LCD display, dual player stations and base-running gameplay. Classic baseball announcing brings every play to life. Patrons can enjoy head-to-head action, playing as pitchers and batters in Major League showdowns, or go solo against the game’s AI. The VS edition features onboard dual programming, easily settable by the operator on the game’s computer, for non-ticket or ticket redemption operation. This officially licensed product of MLB Players Inc. has been thoughtfully priced for street operators, promising to deliver quicker ROI.
More info is forthcoming, where I’ll update this space once available. Quick ROI is certainly possible in this instance as the price for this game is somewhere around $6000~6300. Such a price is almost unheard of anymore, where finding a game for below $10,000 is like finding a Hollywood movie that isn’t a remake/sequel of something that has come before. It also supports ticket or amusement-only play right out of the box. At that price, it’s a great option for route operators.
Here’s the game as seen at IAAPA 2023. It’s a fun game that keeps things simple, so that the game goes by fast, but not too fast. I wonder – would doing a game like this with baseball greats of the past like Babe Ruth or Willie Mays be feasible? You wouldn’t have to license them since they have long passed, I would think…
As a note, this game began shipping a couple of weeks ago. I’ve placed it into that category on our New Releases page.
What are your thoughts about this one?