Archive for February 2010

“3D Group” ramping up the stereoscopic 3D game scene with a flood of new titles

February 23, 2010

A few days ago we talked about a new arcade title out of China that Disney was involved with called Disney 3D Ping Pong.  Since then we have heard of other games in Asia that are jumping on the stereoscopic 3D bandwagon – we knew of Metal Gear Arcade already and there was Star Predator. Kevin Williams of The Stinger Report told me of more developments happening in this area and it looks like they were revealed today.  I came across some interesting news on Coinopexpress today which involves the same company who developed Disney 3D Ping Pong called 3D Group. Today the company revealed eight new video arcade products, all of which employ a 3D stereoscopic TV as well as touch screen play. The games are fitted for ticket play and there are several genres that the series covers which you’ll see below. There is no price on these yet but Coinopexpress does state that all of these games are available for sale.

The list of games includes: Balonga – a dance style controller but you fight monsters instead of just hit dance steps. (coinopexpress link)

Chicken War -some sort of space game involving chickens.

Star Cube / Galaxy Puzzle – a puzzle game that sounds like a Rubik’s cube, but it employs the touch screen to move it around. I’d really like to see how that works out in practice with the 3D pop effect. (coinopexpress link)

Go Fishing/ Shark – this one is a 4 player game where players try to catch fish. It’s probably like Butterfly Garden which UNIS was showing off at IAAPA. (coinopexpress link)

Hit The Rats – whack-a-mole style game with the touch screen (uh oh).

Pachinko – As the name says, it’s video pachinko.

Space Zuma – it’s the popular Zuma puzzle game, set in space and with a 3D screen. (coinopexpress link)

Tricky Rabbits – some sort of game involving rabbits and treasure, the description isn’t entirely clear. (coinopexpress link)

So there you have it. 3D Group is really throwing down the proverbial 3D gauntlet but we’ll have to wait and see how well the trend catches on with other manufacturers in the industry. I’m in a wait and see mood about it – it’s hard to shake the feeling that the whole pop-out 3D thing is a gimmick as it has been in the past but technology in this area has improved quite a bit and sales of 3D movies like Avatar are nothing to sneeze at. The arcade sector does stand as a great place to introduce such technology to the masses as home consoles are really not in that position right now and even if they were, they would need the customer base to go out and buy 3D TVs which is a big ‘if’ for them to bank on. Of course it can be a big if for arcades to but where a couple of companies are trying it out, I am sure that everyone is going to take a hard look at how games like this perform. If the effect is cool and doesn’t require glasses (as some 3D TVs are supposed to do, I’ve never seen that effect in person) then it could be a great way to bring people into the arcade.

[Discuss on the forums]

More Metal Gear Arcade action

February 23, 2010

Via

Here’s another in-depth video of how Metal Gear Arcade works via Diginfo.tv(perhaps the last one we’ll link to for a while unless something drastic and different comes along). I can see where this will take some getting used to with the head controls working the way that they do but with some extra tuning to go into the game, it’s best to withhold judgement on how that will work out in practice. Still, it’s great to see the attention that MGA is bringing to arcades, I just hope it spills over to some other games that are out there too, but my hopes are probably too high there.

Thief makes off with 5 million yen at a Japanese arcade

February 23, 2010

It’s a slow news day – I’ve been scouring the net for a little while now and couldn’t find anything else. It fits into the story we had about a week ago where an arcade in Germany was robbed by a guy using a cup of coffee but no strange objects were used here – just a knife. The thief nabbed 5 million yen (which sounds like a lot more than it really is if you don’t follow exchange rates – it comes to $55,000USD so it’s still a sizable amount) early in the morning right after the arcade closed at 5:15AM. It sounds like quite an arcade – they obviously make quite a bit of money and they are open all night, which isn’t uncommon in Japan. Fortunately no one was hurt in the robbery but at the time this was on the wire, the suspect hadn’t been caught yet.

Here’s the link for your reading pleasure.

A few more AOU videos – Gaia Attack 4, Jigsaw World Arena, Puzzle of Ocha, Speed Rider

February 21, 2010

Just a few more videos from AOU I’ve found featuring things to round-up the weekend.

Taito’s Gaia Attack 4. It’s good to see it in action – they used video of real world environments and have overlaid them with 3D  graphics. There’s an interesting Ghostbusters style mini-game at the beginning of this video.

Jigsaw World Arena. This is another new puzzle game that uses the PGM2 hardware for solid 2D performance. This is a four player title that looks like it could be a lot of fun.

Puzzle of Ocha, the other PGM2 powered puzzle game that we had spoke of recently. Nice to see it in action.

Speed Rider by IGS.

An arcade-themed art gallery "The Faile Bast Deluxx Fluxx Arcade 2010"

February 21, 2010

Via

One thing I like about arcade cabinets is the artwork some games have plastered all over. Great artwork can be an effective way to draw attention to an otherwise bland cabinet.  If you want a cabinet to stand out even more and you are an artist, then you might just do something similar to what these guys have done in London. Known as Faile and BAST, they have opened an arcade-themed art gallery which features their own “pop-comic-advertising style” over the cabinets. The exhibit is located at the Lazarides Rathbone Place Gallery in London and runs through March 19th. You can find out more as well as watch of video of them putting the exhibit together here.

An arcade-themed art gallery “The Faile Bast Deluxx Fluxx Arcade 2010″

February 21, 2010

Via

One thing I like about arcade cabinets is the artwork some games have plastered all over. Great artwork can be an effective way to draw attention to an otherwise bland cabinet.  If you want a cabinet to stand out even more and you are an artist, then you might just do something similar to what these guys have done in London. Known as Faile and BAST, they have opened an arcade-themed art gallery which features their own “pop-comic-advertising style” over the cabinets. The exhibit is located at the Lazarides Rathbone Place Gallery in London and runs through March 19th. You can find out more as well as watch of video of them putting the exhibit together here.

Atari wants to turn some of their old games into movies, starting with Missile Command

February 20, 2010

Ah Hollywood. Will you ever give up on making movies based upon video games? Probably not, even though I wonder why since they aren’t generally huge money makers and are severely critiqued. The latest game-to-movie translation news comes from MTV, who is reporting that Atari is looking to take some of their classic titles to the big screen starting with Missile Command. I suppose that if you look at their classic line-up MC is easier to do something with than Pong, Sprint, Centipede, Tempest or Yars’ Revenge. I guess games that wouldn’t be too difficult to do would include Adventure, Haunted House, Star Raiders or Major Havoc. Crystal Castles could perhaps be done as an animated 3D flick. Not that I would really want them to do any of these as a movie but my opinion won’t stop them. If Missile Command does remotely well then we’ll have to brace ourselves for more of these but are there any classic games from any company you’d like to see made into a movie?

I would rather see the current Atari look into bringing some of their arcade classics back to the arcade. They can start with Warlords and go from there.

[Via MTV Movies] [Discuss on the forums]

More AOU stuff – Robo Catcher, more Metal Gear, Gaia Attack 4, Stomper DLX, Sega

February 20, 2010

Here’s a few more things out of AOU in Japan (links via various sources, including AM Net) and The Stinger Report

Robo Catcher – showing other applications our future robot overlords can have in amusement devices :P

Also Metal Gear Arcade received “the most attention” at the show. Here is a test report of how the game plays by Andria Sang (thanks ECM). Game Watch has an in-depth description of how the game works as well, and they reveal that it could be played without the stereoscopic 3D effect if the player chooses. The Game Watch article above also has a look into Konami’s line-up of bemani games at the show.

Here’s another pic of Gaia Attack 4 by Taito/Gamewax. They mention that an idea behind this game is to get women and children involved into a shooter, which has been mentioned by Gamewax before when they were discussing the idea behind Go Go Grand Prix.  As the cabinet design is based off of Panic Museum as I had thought, I wonder if this game could get some distribution outside of Japan like PM did. Gaia Attack certainly has more appeal to it than Panic Museum did.

Trio-Tech’s Mini Stomper DLX was at the show too.

Sega demonstrated the promo video for Let’s Go Island at their press event where they also showed off the new Virtua Fighter 5 update and a couple of other things.

Question for fans of music games – was Project Diva popular on the PSP outside of Japan? Was it even released elsewhere? I noticed that the arcade version has attracted a bit of attention at AOU but could the popularity of the PSP game translate into this arcade unit getting international attention?

Namco holding a show in Singapore March 2nd & 3rd

February 20, 2010

(Thanks to Kieranmay for the tip)

Namco has announced a private show in Singapore where they will be showing off their latest product lines for overseas customers. This will include titles we know about already, such as Dead Storm Pirates, Tank! Tank! Tank!, Maximum Tune 3 DX Plus and their crane line-up. It also was announced that they will be showing off three new, never before seen products at this particular show, which makes it all the more interesting. The show takes place on March 2nd and 3rd – we will have to see if we can learn what those new products will be and if they will also be at the upcoming Amusement Expo 2010 in Vegas next month as well. Of course, I do wonder if one of those “never-before-seen” products which has actually been seen might include Razing Storm SD as that seems like it would be a good fit for overseas markets, especially as the light-gun arena is heating up at the moment.

[Via Highway Games] [Discuss on the forums]

Oh boy: Woman sues Chuck E. Cheese for getting hit by a stray air hockey puck

February 20, 2010

Via

The other day I came across an article about some people who got into a fight at Chuck E. Cheese again, this time over a dispute at a vending machine. I decided not to post it because it isn’t anything new – we have covered the stupidity that some people display when they are at CEC before and it’s usually the same story.

But thanks to this news today, I had a reason to discuss the story above. At least the news today is something different, something that involves a lawsuit instead of a brawl. A woman who was hit on the head by a stray air hockey puck is suing Chuck E. Cheese’s – not the person who hit the puck too hard but the company who hosted the air hockey table. According to the news report, she is suing because she got hit in the head which then caused “a head injury and memory loss.” She claims that CEC is at fault because they didn’t setup adequate protection between the booth and the air hockey table. The puck in use was also claimed to be larger than the standard puck seen on air hockey tables, which would be unusual for a place like CEC to use on their tables – unless of course the person playing was using their own puck for some reason. Who knows if we will hear how this case turns out but what are your thoughts? CEC doesn’t have a comment yet so the news story only covers the woman’s side of it; Puck’s will only fly off a table when hit in a certain way – usually with too much force and at a certain angle. If the puck in this case was indeed a professional puck that is heavier than a standard puck then it would require even more effort to send flying off the table. I certainly don’t appreciate it when players get too violent with the game but my own air hockey table isn’t anywhere near where a person would be sitting down to eat. At least a lot of newer air hockey tables have barriers on the side to help prevent some pucks from flying off but those won’t stop all stray pucks either. I’d love to know how the tables are setup there and how close they are to the booths.

More info here.


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