Archive for June 2, 2009

Discuss: What effect/influence could Microsoft's Project Natal and Sony's new motion controller have on arcades? (UPDATED)

June 2, 2009

ms12-003

UPDATE: Sony has also announced another motion control scheme for the PS3 today, which combines a camera with handheld controllers, which brings the motion craze to all three consoles. So I could probably change the subject to “How might motion controls in the console industry influence or affect the arcade industry?”

In case you follow news of what is going on in the game console world then you know that this week is E3, when all sorts of announcements for console and PC games come along and give us a general idea of what to expect on that front later in the year. Arcades don’t get any love at E3 but that is due to the fact that we have several trade shows throughout the year (which sadly are ignored by most game media which begs the question – could arcade makers showing up at E3 improve coverage?)

If you are following the E3 news today then you also know that Microsoft has thrown the gauntlet down in the motion controller arena against the Wii with their Project Natal device, which seems to be a jump forward in what Sony has done with their Eye Toy device. So the question I pose here is if successful, could Natal have an effect on arcades down the line and will that be a good or a bad effect or do you think that it will be too negligible to notice?

The reason I bring this up is because we have seen Japanese arcade companies blame the Nintendo Wii for suffering sales in arcades there and I have heard the same thing before here in the US. I have also heard that services like Playstation Network/WiiWare/Xbox Live Arcade also hurt us too but it is difficult to prove what effect all this has had on arcades and some say that what goes on in the console world has little effect as to what sales are like in the arcade industry.

Motion sensing is not new to arcades of course – it’s been around in one form or another since at least 1991 with the SU1000 Virtuality rings which included some motion sensing via a vest that the player wore. Konami has released a number of motion controlled games with their MoCap series (including the recently announced Mocap Sports) and titles like Police Trainer 911. But AFAIK we have not seen anything like Natal in arcades since that uses a camera and so this has me wondering – will anyone jump in with Microsoft to incorporate this new device into a coin-op game or will it be ignored? Is there a potential here for it to further decrease the novelty gap that arcades can hold over consoles due to controls? Of course, this all remains to be seen as it could be another gimmick that few people care about in the long run, especially if it doesn’t live up to the hype that Microsoft has so far created for it.

What are your thoughts?

Advertisements

Discuss: What effect/influence could Microsoft’s Project Natal and Sony’s new motion controller have on arcades? (UPDATED)

June 2, 2009

ms12-003

UPDATE: Sony has also announced another motion control scheme for the PS3 today, which combines a camera with handheld controllers, which brings the motion craze to all three consoles. So I could probably change the subject to “How might motion controls in the console industry influence or affect the arcade industry?”

In case you follow news of what is going on in the game console world then you know that this week is E3, when all sorts of announcements for console and PC games come along and give us a general idea of what to expect on that front later in the year. Arcades don’t get any love at E3 but that is due to the fact that we have several trade shows throughout the year (which sadly are ignored by most game media which begs the question – could arcade makers showing up at E3 improve coverage?)

If you are following the E3 news today then you also know that Microsoft has thrown the gauntlet down in the motion controller arena against the Wii with their Project Natal device, which seems to be a jump forward in what Sony has done with their Eye Toy device. So the question I pose here is if successful, could Natal have an effect on arcades down the line and will that be a good or a bad effect or do you think that it will be too negligible to notice?

The reason I bring this up is because we have seen Japanese arcade companies blame the Nintendo Wii for suffering sales in arcades there and I have heard the same thing before here in the US. I have also heard that services like Playstation Network/WiiWare/Xbox Live Arcade also hurt us too but it is difficult to prove what effect all this has had on arcades and some say that what goes on in the console world has little effect as to what sales are like in the arcade industry.

Motion sensing is not new to arcades of course – it’s been around in one form or another since at least 1991 with the SU1000 Virtuality rings which included some motion sensing via a vest that the player wore. Konami has released a number of motion controlled games with their MoCap series (including the recently announced Mocap Sports) and titles like Police Trainer 911. But AFAIK we have not seen anything like Natal in arcades since that uses a camera and so this has me wondering – will anyone jump in with Microsoft to incorporate this new device into a coin-op game or will it be ignored? Is there a potential here for it to further decrease the novelty gap that arcades can hold over consoles due to controls? Of course, this all remains to be seen as it could be another gimmick that few people care about in the long run, especially if it doesn’t live up to the hype that Microsoft has so far created for it.

What are your thoughts?

Followups – Some H2Overdrive news and media coverage on the Funspot tourney

June 2, 2009

A couple of brief updates on a couple of stories that we have covered in the past little while.

First off, that Funspot World Championship event that I mentioned a few days ago has received some media coverage and with that you can find some video that accompanies the story that I cannot embed here. Via NECN. Thanks to The Stinger Report for that link

Second, H2Overdrive should begin shipping to arcades this month and with this big release, check back this week for an interview I have done with Steve Ranck of Specular Interactive. Hopefully that should whet your appetites for this upcoming release and for a teaser you can check my video preview of H2Overdrive that I did at ASI where I have added a couple of annotations that reveal a couple of new details on additions to the game that have been put in there since ASI.

Capcom and Bandai Namco collborating on a Mario Party redemption game

June 2, 2009

newstingerlogo

When economic circumstances around the world become tough, one thing you can generally expect to see are more companies partnering up for different efforts, combining their capital to make things go by a little more smoothly in troubled times. And sometimes those collaborations are somewhat unusual, as is the case with Capcom’s and Bandai Namco’s announcement today that they are going to be working together in the amusement business. Both companies are hoping that the partnership will lead to wider amusement game sales and as part of this new joint effort, they are  to create a Mario Party “medal game” (redemption) for Japan. Both companies have previously dabbled with bringing mario-party8-9-lNintendo properties to the amusement sector, Namco in bringing games like Mario Kart to arcades and Capcom creating arcade hardware based upon the Wii for use in games like Tatsunoko VS Capcom.

I am a little surprised that there is no word of a video title for this Mario game as it’s not like party style games are difficult to do in arcades – Namco knows this from games like Panic Park which featured a number of mini-games that players could get into.  The appeal of party games should be pretty obvious for arcades, especially in the wake of what we have seen with the Wii and honestly I am surprised that pretty much no one in the arcade sector has jumped on that bandwagon so far but if this medal game does well in Japan, who knows what the Capcom/Namco amusement partnership will do from there.

[Via Dengeki News]