Archive for January 27, 2009

ATEI 2009 Initial Round Up

January 27, 2009

atei

Now I know round ups are usually reserved for after the  shows, but I only have time to do a quick little in depth round up this evening. All my videos and photos plus further impressions will be coming at the weekend when I have the chance to put it all together. Also Heavy Electricity will be attending the show tomorrow so you should be getting some impressions from him as well.

In the short time that I had at the show I managed to play quite a lot of the games I wanted to. The layout of the show has changed some what since last year. All of the amusements has moved upstairs, leaving downstairs to be filled with fruit machines and a like.

Sega

So lets break it down by developers; Sega, now on a bigger stand than last year, had a lot to entertain me with. With regards to new games they had thier new special attraction; Hummer which makes much better use of the motion base than Outrun did. Mainly because of  all the crazy jumps and the off road nature of the game. Also on the driver front was R Tuned. Obviously we have had our fair share of street racers in the last few years but I really like this one. It’s a fast paced racer with unlimited boosts (I think) and the force feedback is insane but can be a bit brutal a times. The latest Harley game from Sega has taken a more extreme take on the biker genre. Using a boost mechanic that is built up by collecting coins(?) and overtaking other bikers. Track wise the game is typical Sega. My favourite being an airport where you have to dodge planes taking off and landing! Also I saw Brick People which we’ve seen at other shows.

Konami

Definitely a better showing this year from the kings of rhythm games. Thier were plenty of Guitar Hero Arcades to play. For anyone that’s played any of the console versions before there’s not much to report. But I can’t knock it! I play this game & Rock Band all the time at home but it won’t stop me slipping a few nuggets in to it when I see it at the arcades. Staying with rhythm based games, Konami also had Ubeat. For a game that is just essential tapping buttons to the beat of the music, it is pleasantly satisfying. You really have to be play to appreciate how cool it is. Castlevania was also present, which I had a chance to play a few months ago when I caught it on locatin test.  But by far my favourite game on thier stand was the new GTI Club. What won me over were the game modes available. There was the classic traffic dodging street races, car football (Top Gear fans will now how fun this is!) and a great pass the bomb mode. Which is absolute manic, crazy arcade perfection! I highly recommend it.

Namco

New games on show were Razing Storm which is the perfect next step in Namco’s great line of  pedal ducking shoot em ups (just made that genre up myself). The game looks fantastic and really makes good use of that PS3 based hardware. The game is non stop action. If your not taking out multiple grunts coming at you from all angles, you are taking out massive walking tanks. Be warned; this game is relentless! Nirin was on show also and although I’m not particularly good at bike games, I did enjoy this one, great cab, great graphics and flat out game play.

Global VR

Along with the the latest NFS, which has a fantastic cab, was the Justice League brawl em up. Loving the graphics but I found it all a little bit repetitive. I guess that’s how brawl em ups have always played and maybe I’ve played a few to many in my time but this didn’t really do anything for me.

Raw Thrills

The new games from the ever impressive US developer was the newly announced H2 Overdrive which was great fun and is a nice change from the usual racers out there. Bring on more aquatic racers I say. Also there was Guitar Hero Arcade which I’ve already mentioned. There was also a sweet BBH Safari special attraction. This was basically a purpose built room with projector displaying what had to be a about a 100 inch version of Raw Thrills’ popular shooter.

Capcom

Wasn’t expecting to see this at ATEI! But low and behold it was thier on Highway’s stand. Suffice to say there was a massive crowd around it and I got my arse kicked when it was finally my turn.  But it was great to finally play this highly regarded beat em up. Lets hope we see more of these sexy cabs over here!

Nanotech

The second newly announced title was Xtreme Rally from Nanotech. I liked the different approach this game took, with a free roaming style point to point racing, along with traditional style rally driving. I also got the impression this game had a few kinks to iron out before release. So I will look forward to any future improvements this game gets.

Blimey! There it is. Wasn’t expecting to get that much info out there. Hope you enjoyed it. Apologies if I missed anything, but it was some what of a flying visit but stayed tuned to Arcade Heroes for Heavy’s ATEI report, picture and videos from myself, as well as the opinions of the Stinger and any other ATEI news we can get our sweaty palms on 🙂

[ATEI 2009 Discussion]

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Sega releases R-Tuned: Ultimate Street Racing in the US

January 27, 2009

rtunedcabinet

Sega’s new drift racing game is now available for purchase in the US, according to several different distributor websites. I know that several readers here have been anticipating this one but in case you have missed out on info concerning Sega’s latest racer, you can click here for the post where we found out about this game back in June; here for a November update; and here for the appearance of the game at IAAPA. As a side note, Sega has changed the color of the cabinet from a mostly green color scheme to blue but we do not know if they have changed much on the game since there weren’t many reports on how this played before hand. The game does employ an IC card system, even here in the US so one can save their progress to a card. I wonder how many more games will be using Sega’s Lindbergh hardware and if they will start giving Europa some more love throughout the rest of this year.

From the looks of it, most distributors are charging about $7400 for the game but it always pays to shop around, even as an operator.

We have moved R-Tuned up to “Already Released” from “Upcoming” on our Master Release Game List for 2009.

[R-Tuned @ Segaarcade.com] [Discuss on the Forums]

Play Meter Magazine's 2008 State of the Industry report

January 27, 2009

playcoverEvery year since 1976, the amusement trade industry magazine Play Meter gathers information from operators and others in the industry to put together a State of the Industry Report. When I was researching every aspect I could about arcades when I was putting together my business plan, these came in handy. Play Meter has released their report for 2008 and along with it a bunch of interesting and useful stats on the industry such as the fact that they have 5,000 arcades on record for the US, which is up from 2007. That flies in the face of the constant “arcades are totally dead in the US” talk I see fairly often. That doesn’t include the 3,000 FECs or 168,000 street locations. Thet average weekly gross for dedicated arcade games is up quite a bit too – from $88 avg. per week to $213 – the highest in the past five years. Although even with the higher stats in certain areas, it looks like some of the operators quoted in the margins are pretty pessimistic (but 91% of them think they’ll still be in business in the next five years) but I have noticed that they almost always seem to be. Not all of us are morbidly pessimitic though, there certainly are challenges we have to face but I think that 2009 is a prime year for all of us to turn any bad situations around or at least make the most out of what we have got.

Hit the link below to check the report out

[Play Meter Magazine’s State of the Industry Report 2008] [Discuss on the Forum]

Play Meter Magazine’s 2008 State of the Industry report

January 27, 2009

playcoverEvery year since 1976, the amusement trade industry magazine Play Meter gathers information from operators and others in the industry to put together a State of the Industry Report. When I was researching every aspect I could about arcades when I was putting together my business plan, these came in handy. Play Meter has released their report for 2008 and along with it a bunch of interesting and useful stats on the industry such as the fact that they have 5,000 arcades on record for the US, which is up from 2007. That flies in the face of the constant “arcades are totally dead in the US” talk I see fairly often. That doesn’t include the 3,000 FECs or 168,000 street locations. Thet average weekly gross for dedicated arcade games is up quite a bit too – from $88 avg. per week to $213 – the highest in the past five years. Although even with the higher stats in certain areas, it looks like some of the operators quoted in the margins are pretty pessimistic (but 91% of them think they’ll still be in business in the next five years) but I have noticed that they almost always seem to be. Not all of us are morbidly pessimitic though, there certainly are challenges we have to face but I think that 2009 is a prime year for all of us to turn any bad situations around or at least make the most out of what we have got.

Hit the link below to check the report out

[Play Meter Magazine’s State of the Industry Report 2008] [Discuss on the Forum]

Decorate with these DIY Arcades, pinball and vending machines

January 27, 2009

arcadediykits

stinger11

Many moons ago we posted about some DIY paper arcade cabinets where someone created a template for you to print out and assuming you had a nice printer, you could then create your own little arcade. Well J & C studios has taken it a step further in creating some kits that anyone can use to make their own tiny arcade machines. Laser-cut out of styrene, they are tabbed to fit together easily and come with stickers for the artwork. They can even be illuminated internally and they aren’t expensive either. In addition to the arcades, they also have pinball machines and even vending machines that you can use to build your own mini mock-arcade for fun.

[J&C Studios DIY kits] [Discuss on the Forum]