Archive for February 20, 2009

AOU news: Border Break unveiled

February 20, 2009

bb05

(click on the thumbnails below to enlarge)

Sega has revealed that their new mech game Border Break will be powered by their new Ringedge hardware. They also have stated that the game will begin location testing next week in Japan and it has a release date set for September 2009. The website for that game has been updated since my last AOU post and Game Watch has some screenshots available of the game and it’s cabinet, which also includes a touch screen element to it and a new mouse controller for arcades. It looks pretty cool and I’m happy to see some more mech action coming to arcades as I think that arcades can create a much cooler mech experience with the right cabinet. Whether Sega will reveal a cockpit cabinet for this title remains to be seen but the current configuration with a joystick and mouse is much like what we saw with Outriggers. Will we see it in the States? I have no idea but we can certainly hope so. I didn’t expect to see Brick People brought over here either so you never know.

bb02 bb03 bb06 bb07

UPDATE: Thanks to Editor for the video link and ECM has provided a few more links in the comments to more video action. It certainly looks like Sega’s answer to Namco’s Gundam arcade games.

[Border Break website] [Images via GameWatch] [Discuss on the Forum]

Sega reveals specs on it's new arcade hardware, RingEdge and RingWide

February 20, 2009

ringedge

(image via AM-Net)

The hardware which caused some to erroneously think that Sega was jumping back into the console business has been revealed and we now see that there are actually two configurations, thus the use of the two different names. Not surprisingly, the hardware is PC-based, just like Lindbergh and Europa-R. But how does it stack up? Check it out:

Ringedge:

Intel Pentium E2160 CPU @ 1.8 GHz

1GB of DDR2 PC2-6400 RAM

An “nVidia GPU” w/ 384MB of GDDR3 RAM and supports Shader Model 4.0 and “two 1920×1200″ which probably means it has ports for two monitors and can support up to that resolution. Also as of a note, it says “nVidia GPU 2″ on the document up higher – not sure if that means

5.1 ch HD Audio

Onboard Gigabit LAN

A 32GB SSD drive for storage (finally, flash storage instead of a standard HDD which will likely fail soon)

Microsoft Windows Embedded Standard 2009

ALL.Net

Ringwide:

An Intel Celeron 440 @ 2 GHz

1GB of DDR2 PC5300 RAM

“AMD GPU” with 128MB of GDDR3 RAM, supports Shader Model 4.0 and also has two ports to handle 1920×1200 resolution video

5.1 ch HD Audio

Onboard gigabit LAN

An 8GB Compact Flash for storage

Microsoft Windows Embedded Standard 2009

ALL.Net

So there you have it! Ringwide is obviously not as powerful as Ringedge and thus should cost less – which is the point. Ringedge will be for games that Sega wants to push the envelope, Ringwide for games that won’t be as graphically pleasing but at the very least a little more inexpensive for arcade operators.  It also has been revealed that Border Break is among the first games to use Ring Edge, stay tuned for details on that in a moment.

Once again, I cannot stress enough that  Ringedge and Ringwide are NOT new game consoles. There seems to be a small effort online to convince people that RingWide is for arcades and RingEdge is some mythical new system but that is simply not the case. You can see a list of arcade titles which use both hardware configurations below. The specs, the pictures and the official word from Sega makes it very obvious that this is arcade hardware, as the design of the case looks somewhat similar to their arcade hardware called Lindbergh. The launch of the Lindbergh was similar to RingEdge/RingWide but to this day, Sega has not developed that into a console. The existence of patents for controllers is not an indication that they will turn this into a game console as they can use new control methods in the arcade – case in point, Border Break the first RingEdge game, uses a unique joystick/mouse control method that is seldom seen in arcades.

Sega has also pointed out their plans for RingEdge/RingWide in plans for arcades through 2010 and beyond. Talk of connectivity through ALL.NET is solely for arcades, which still lack many online titles. With Sega’s upcoming Sega Card Gen MLB game, it features online connectivity, the first game to do so by Sega in quite a while in US arcades. Hardware for Sega Card Gen hasn’t been confirmed yet but it fits into the RingEdge/RingWide plan and this is very exclusive to arcades.

I know that won’t stop fans from hoping for a new Sega console but at the moment, and I’m not trying to rain on anyone’s parade but there is an uptick of misinformation being put out there on the internet (which isn’t unusual in and of itself) regarding this hardware. I have talked directly with several reps at Sega about the rumors and they have stated very directly that these are simply arcade boards. I know that there are bloggers out there claiming to talk to Sega reps who supposedly “confirm” that Ringedge will be a console but if that is the case then it’s the first time a game company has decided to reveal a multi-billion dollar investment of their business to anonymous people who run random Sega fan blogs. I highly doubt that such would be their strategy in a business that is as competitive and risky as the console hardware realm, which is being dominated by the Nintendo Wii.

There are several games already available in arcades using the hardware spoken of here, as you can see below.

Current games using the hardware in arcades, some of which are already available in different areas of the world:

RingEdge

Border Break; Shining Force Cross; Project Diva Arcade; Let’s Go Island

Ringwide

Sega Racing Classic; Tetris: The Grandmaster 4; Melty Blood Actress Again Current Code; possibly Tetris Giant.

[Ringedge document via AM-Net] [Discuss on the Forum]

Sega reveals specs on it’s new arcade hardware, RingEdge and RingWide

February 20, 2009

ringedge

(image via AM-Net)

The hardware which caused some to erroneously think that Sega was jumping back into the console business has been revealed and we now see that there are actually two configurations, thus the use of the two different names. Not surprisingly, the hardware is PC-based, just like Lindbergh and Europa-R. But how does it stack up? Check it out:

Ringedge:

Intel Pentium E2160 CPU @ 1.8 GHz

1GB of DDR2 PC2-6400 RAM

An “nVidia GPU” w/ 384MB of GDDR3 RAM and supports Shader Model 4.0 and “two 1920×1200″ which probably means it has ports for two monitors and can support up to that resolution. Also as of a note, it says “nVidia GPU 2″ on the document up higher – not sure if that means

5.1 ch HD Audio

Onboard Gigabit LAN

A 32GB SSD drive for storage (finally, flash storage instead of a standard HDD which will likely fail soon)

Microsoft Windows Embedded Standard 2009

ALL.Net

Ringwide:

An Intel Celeron 440 @ 2 GHz

1GB of DDR2 PC5300 RAM

“AMD GPU” with 128MB of GDDR3 RAM, supports Shader Model 4.0 and also has two ports to handle 1920×1200 resolution video

5.1 ch HD Audio

Onboard gigabit LAN

An 8GB Compact Flash for storage

Microsoft Windows Embedded Standard 2009

ALL.Net

So there you have it! Ringwide is obviously not as powerful as Ringedge and thus should cost less – which is the point. Ringedge will be for games that Sega wants to push the envelope, Ringwide for games that won’t be as graphically pleasing but at the very least a little more inexpensive for arcade operators.  It also has been revealed that Border Break is among the first games to use Ring Edge, stay tuned for details on that in a moment.

Once again, I cannot stress enough that  Ringedge and Ringwide are NOT new game consoles. There seems to be a small effort online to convince people that RingWide is for arcades and RingEdge is some mythical new system but that is simply not the case. You can see a list of arcade titles which use both hardware configurations below. The specs, the pictures and the official word from Sega makes it very obvious that this is arcade hardware, as the design of the case looks somewhat similar to their arcade hardware called Lindbergh. The launch of the Lindbergh was similar to RingEdge/RingWide but to this day, Sega has not developed that into a console. The existence of patents for controllers is not an indication that they will turn this into a game console as they can use new control methods in the arcade – case in point, Border Break the first RingEdge game, uses a unique joystick/mouse control method that is seldom seen in arcades.

Sega has also pointed out their plans for RingEdge/RingWide in plans for arcades through 2010 and beyond. Talk of connectivity through ALL.NET is solely for arcades, which still lack many online titles. With Sega’s upcoming Sega Card Gen MLB game, it features online connectivity, the first game to do so by Sega in quite a while in US arcades. Hardware for Sega Card Gen hasn’t been confirmed yet but it fits into the RingEdge/RingWide plan and this is very exclusive to arcades.

I know that won’t stop fans from hoping for a new Sega console but at the moment, and I’m not trying to rain on anyone’s parade but there is an uptick of misinformation being put out there on the internet (which isn’t unusual in and of itself) regarding this hardware. I have talked directly with several reps at Sega about the rumors and they have stated very directly that these are simply arcade boards. I know that there are bloggers out there claiming to talk to Sega reps who supposedly “confirm” that Ringedge will be a console but if that is the case then it’s the first time a game company has decided to reveal a multi-billion dollar investment of their business to anonymous people who run random Sega fan blogs. I highly doubt that such would be their strategy in a business that is as competitive and risky as the console hardware realm, which is being dominated by the Nintendo Wii.

There are several games already available in arcades using the hardware spoken of here, as you can see below.

Current games using the hardware in arcades, some of which are already available in different areas of the world:

RingEdge

Border Break; Shining Force Cross; Project Diva Arcade; Let’s Go Island

Ringwide

Sega Racing Classic; Tetris: The Grandmaster 4; Melty Blood Actress Again Current Code; possibly Tetris Giant.

[Ringedge document via AM-Net] [Discuss on the Forum]

Justice League: Heroes United now available

February 20, 2009

jl42_cabpic_graytmold_lftAccording to my local distributor, GlobalVR’s Justice League arcade title should now be available at a variety of distributors across the country and that means that it won’t be long before it will start making appearances at different locations. I was also told that they should have one on their show floor today so when I stop by later this afternoon I am going to check it out. Once again, this marks the first brawler we have seen in arcades since Sega released Asian Dynamite a couple of years ago for the Naomi hardware and it will be interesting to witness how players take to seeing the genre again. JL has already received a round of criticism from people seeing the screenshots on the net but according to TwistedSupreme and HeavyElectricty who played the game at ATEI, it looks much better in person on the HD screen than in the screenshots. As far as brawlers themselves go, they really work best in arcades anyways so if we see more here in the near future then I won’t be one to complain.

Justice League: Heroes United is now listed as “Already Released” on our arcade release list for 2009. Also, in case you missed previous coverage of the game, we have video of it in action here by AH owner and writer TwistedSupreme and some more comments on it by AH writer HeavyElectricty here.

As a side note, this now makes 8 games we have listed as released for the US for the year of 2009. No that’s not amazing when compared to console releases but it’s a good trend for arcades to be hitting when we only have a handful of companies out there making games. It’s certainly far overdue for the naysayers out there to stop propigating the whole “arcades are totally dead” myth (which has always been ridiculous from the start as it doesn’t help the business of arcade operators like myself for people to go around chanting that on their news blogs, forums, etc. since there are still thousands of us around and it’s hard enough to get people in the door without them with a notion in their heads that there can’t be anything new at our locations).

/rant

[Discuss on the Forums]


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