Another month, another podcast. Here is the podcast for June where Kevin and I talk about E3, 3D applications in arcades, Open Day event, arcades opening and closing and more.I had to cut it short a little earlier than normal as towards the end I received a text and had to run off to take care of something. But we still managed to talk for about an hour so I hope you enjoy it
Posted tagged ‘e3’
…but we have to go to the Japanese game media (or here) to find that out(EDIT: Since I initially posted this, a number of sites have picked up on it and covered the arcade game, see below). You may recall that we reported at the beginning of May that Namco was going to hold a special press event at E3 to celebrate Pac-Man’s 30th anniversary. That event took place last night and while I expected to see some coverage of the event along with some talk about Pac-Man Battle Royale, the only sites I have come across so far to show that in detail are some game sites located in Japan. At least one American media site, Joystiq mentioned the event but they only discuss the upcoming release of Pac-Man Championship Edition on the PS3 and PSP. Several other sites don’t mention the event at all at the time of writing (IGN, Gamespot, Edge Online, Kotaku, Destructoid, Siliconera) although who knows, maybe they’ll get around to it eventually or writers from these sites weren’t invited (which seems unlikely). Several sites are discussing the new Pac-Man Championship Edition DX or the new Pac-Man Party game for the Wii (the DX news is exciting at least, Party looks terrible). Japanese sites talking about the event (along with PMBR) already include: Dengeki Online, 4Gamer.net, and Game Watch.
The reason why I point this all out is because I think this serves as a great example to show what we are up against in getting press coverage for the arcade industry, where some sites who claim to be the best in game coverage can’t even bother to cover new arcade releases at a press event they are invited to (perhaps if Namco gave them free PMBR cabinets then they would talk as that’s how things work for console gaming).
UPDATE: Glad to be proven wrong on some level, Sam points to three links in the comments where some other game sites have covered the game. Game Revolution ; TouchGen ; Gamer Limit Kudos to these sites for covering an arcade, TouchGen says that it will be coming to the iPad/iPhone however(which is incorrect as far as I can find out) and Gamer Limit strangely states that they were told that PMBR was “only a prototype with no plans for release.” (at Amusement Expo Namco stated the game was on track for a September release, seems rather odd for them to bring a game like this to an event only to say that it won’t be released so we’ll stick with it still coming in September unless there is an official statement stating otherwise)
Here’s a video from Touch Gen showing the latest software in action, looks like the same thing they had at Amusement Expo
UPDATE #2: shertz from the KLOV forums has posted a photo album frmo the event focusing primarily on the arcade side of it. The marquee they were using there is slightly different than the one above. The cabinet has also lost it’s wood grain design. You can see the pics here. Also it appears from the pics in this album, the Pac-Man iPhone/iPad game is not Battle Royale but something unique in and of itself. He also has a near five minute video of the latest build where they have added some things since Amusement Expo including a colored line that goes from the players stick to their Pac-Man. Losers can also paint the winner at the end of the round, you’ll see what I mean in the video
UPDATE#3: Sam has posted more links that have popped up. Still nothing from those sources I cited above in the beginning but with pages on Ars Technica, Gamer Crave and even Howstuffworks, the game has ended up getting better coverage than we initially saw, which is a very good thing and I am happy to see it. Some on Twitter are even declaring it to be the best game at E3! We also have a number of videos popping up on Youtube from the event. Second look at bringing more arcades to E3 perhaps?
UPDATE #4: Wasn’t sure if I should keep updating this as it unfolds but among the original sites I mentioned who hadn’t covered the game but might, the blog Joystiq has just posted their impressions on the game as has another game blog The Tanooki. One good thing about all this, no matter when the coverage came is that it’s all been positive from what I have seen. There are plenty of lamentations out there in the coverage about the lack of an announced console version from what I have seen but with so many different Pac-Man games out there for every console, is there a good reason why the arcade can’t have an exclusive Pac-Man game of it’s own? There are now two Pac-Man CE versions which this is based on so you would think that console gamers should be satisfied, even though the home versions lack the deathmatch aspect here.
Worth requoting however from The Tanooki: “Regardless of whether or not an at-home version will release, I think Battle Royale could very well be the game to save arcades in America. Quote me, it’s that fun.”
e3 is one of the largest annual expos to feature the latest in video game developments. They have consistently lacked one side of the game industry however and that is arcade games. I personally believe that if arcade titles were at this particular show it could go a long way towards promoting the entire industry, dissolving the idea that arcades are dead among many gamers.
Namco sent out some press invitations yesterday, inviting people who got them to a special post-e3 event on June 15th to celebrate Pac-Man’s 30th anniversary (which is officially on May 22nd). Namco will be “revisiting the rich history” of Pac-Man at the event by offering hands-on time with a plethora of Pac-Man titles on “console, mobile, arcade and more”. Of note in the invitation is that Avi Arad, former CEO of Marvel Studios who now works for Namco Bandai as an executive adviser will be providing “insight into the worldwide premiere of his newest PAC-MAN project, following his legacy of work (X-Men, Spider-Man, Hulk, etc).” Because Pac-Man Battle Royale already made it’s premiere at Amusement Expo in March, and it’s being helmed by Kunito Komori I do not believe that this project is PMBR. I do believe however that PMBR will be at this event, giving some outside of the arcade industry their first chance to try it out. I won’t be able to make it there as I have an international trip coming up in a couple of weeks that will be using up my travel funds for a while but I am sure that there will be plenty of coverage of this event on a number of game blogs out there.
UPDATE: Speaking of Pac-Man’s 30th, GamesetWatch has a post up about official Pac-Man 30th anniversary wineglass set that goes on sale in Japan in two months. Seems to be a little excessive but I guess if you’re going to celebrate something, go all the way right?
If you have seen the documentary “King of Kong” which portrays the ever lasting battle for getting the high score on a classic arcade title like Donkey Kong, then you know of the rivalry that exists between players when it comes to being the world record holder. In this particular case between Steve Wiebe and Billy Mitchell, people even take sides as to who they want to see win and while I have not picked a side in this particular competition (I’m probably the only arcade fan out there who has still missed out on seeing KoK), I figure that it’s become one of the more notable rivalries in recent memory and in case you had not heard, Mr. Wiebe took the stage at E3 earlier today to challenge the current high score that is held by Mr. Mitchell. I have not heard how that has come down and I am not sure how long it takes to reach this particular high score in DK but Wiebe fans are cheering him on and have even created a desktop wallpaper to show their support for his effort. I wonder now if Mitchell fans will do this as well (or take it to another level) but in case you want to cheer Wiebe on via your desktop, you can find the wallpapers at Just One More Game.
It’s nice to see that there is a small arcade presence at e3 this year, thanks to Capcom bringing the arcade version of the game to the show. It’s still frustrating that no announcement has been made in regards to when it will be released however as it keeps showing up at these events yet nothing is said about the actual release. Anyways, the blog arstechnica has a look at the game, which is show in two player cabinet which I I had seen before from a video we posted a while back but it has been otherwise rather reclusive.
In other SFIV news, if I am understanding this correctly, it looks like SFIV begins operation in Japan tomorrow. This makes the fact that there has been no news on the international release all the more frustrating. [SFIV Begins Operation, Game Watch]