Archive for March 20, 2010

Watch an arcade auction live Saturday morning

March 20, 2010

When I went to the Amusement Expo, AH contributor Phil Arrington and I attempted to do a live online broadcast straight from the show floor so you could see the games and anything else going on there, but we were able to do it with mixed results. That was in part due to a nearly dead laptop battery and also partly due to connection problems.

But tomorrow (March 20th) at 9:45AM Pacific Time, Phil is going to be trying out the live online broadcast again with better results, this time at an arcade auction being hosted by “Captain Chis” (perhaps Chris?) in Anaheim, CA. As Phil says: “He told me about his line up of arcade games and it should be better than the last auction he had and hopefully this should give people an idea of how much cabs are worth during these times.” I wish I could be there but where I also have never been to an arcade auction, this should be fun to watch.

Here is the link but keep in mind that there is nothing to see until the specified time above.

Arcade Auction Live Broadcast – Vokle (now over)

UPDATE: The event is now live! There are some hiccups but at the moment I’m writing this (11:41AM my time) it’s on.

Update (11:50AM) The auction is about to start, Phil has been showing us around the warehouse

Update (12:13PM) Auction is finally starting. Click on the link above to watch, the video is working fine now but it’s laggy

Update (12:50PM) Auction is still going, some of these games are going for amazingly low prices

Update (1:15PM) Jukeboxes at the moment. Most of the pins we heard went for under $500 (Playboy for $450, Alien Poker for $275)

Update (1:20PM) They are selling some newer Stern’s, Sopranos, Spiderman, Indiana Jones

Update (2:02PM) Been having a lot of connection problems but Phil is promising that he’ll have a link to this video as well as the Amusement Expo walk-thru up soon. The event is now over

One more update: Here is some footage of the auction and they even show Phil filming with his netbook (goto about the 4 min mark). At about the six minute mark, they talk about the actual show 🙂

[Thanks to Phil Arrington on the forums]

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Reminders for releases this month: Terminator Salvation, Tank! Tank! Tank!, Pump It Up Pro 2 & Fiesta, Sega Racing Classic

March 20, 2010

This post is just a reminder of some new games that have come to arcades this month which you can be on the look-out for. In case you need a little help in finding an arcade near you, beyond looking in the Yellow pages we can also suggest Aurcade.com and ArcadeFly.com.

First, Terminator Salvation by Raw Thrills’/Play Mechanix. We first broke the rumor that this would be coming to arcades about a year ago and the game is finally here. Some might be wondering why the game is coming out now when the movie it’s based upon also came out almost a year ago. The answer according to Raw Thrills’ – game refinement. I’m sure that everyone doesn’t mind having a better game by waiting a little longer and from what I have played, they certainly have fine-tuned the game quite well. The cabinet is very stylish and attention grabbing, the guns are pretty cool too with the clip reloading and the varying force feedback. Graphically it looks really good – I was surprised by the color they threw in there when you expect it to be nothing but drab post-apocalyptic stuff. I have been hearing a lot about how well this game is earning already so we’ll be keeping an eye on how it continues to do. Where it is an arcade exclusive (i.e. much different from the console versions of TS released last May) that helps too. [See the game in action!] [2nd video link, longer footage but older game build]

Another great arcade exclusive that is available now is Namco’s Tank! Tank! Tank! A spiritual successor to Tokyo Wars, this let’s you drive a tank around blasting either your friends in a free-for-all deathmatch or team up against hordes of monsters together. This is one of my personal favorites that is an original game which is a ton of fun to play. It features a vertical screen, graphics that are colorful and fluid, force feedback in the seat and steering wheel and Namco’s picture avatars. The bright yellow cabinet should be noticeable from a good distance. In case you are wondering why we had this listed as a release last year that is because we were under the impression that the game was to be released in December and didn’t find out until afterwards that it had been pushed back, apologies for that. [See the game in action!]

From Andamiro we had two new games that were released at Amusement Expo 2010, Pump It Up Fiesta!, which is an upgrade kit for PIU’s and Pump It Up Pro 2. PIU is a solid dance game series that has a loyal fan following and I heard nothing but praise from fans on the new modes that each game has as well as the song lists. The cabinets are attractive and the game looks like it’s fun to play although I do admit that out of all the games on this post, these two are ones I missed out on playing at the Expo. [See both games in action!]

Next is Sega Racing Classic by Sega. It’s a remake of the original Daytona USA minus the name and primary theme-song. It also features a nice new cabinet with a 720p screen and while we’ve been hearing that they will be offering these for cheap, I still haven’t been able to get a price on it yet. UPDATE: BMI is listing this for $6475. So much for it being priced “well below our other racers” as I was told at a trade show. I’m sorry but this pricing is WAY out of line for what this game is.  I have come to think of this as what a Daytona remake on XBLA or PSN would be like right now but with the price sitting in just a few hundred less than other racers out there, the ball has been dropped here. There may not be any surprises from what to expect on the game itself since it’s the same thing as the original Daytona with an HD resolution and a nicer cabinet to play on but that at least makes the game worth a play if you come across it. [See the game in action!]

I think that should cover it for what has come out this month to the US (I’ll need to double check on European availability) and as such I have moved all these games to the “Already Released” columns on our Arcade Releases 2010 list. It’s a pretty nice selection of new games to pick from this month, there’s something for everyone which I think is a good thing. If your favorite location doesn’t have one of these games and you want them to get it, let them know about it. Get out there and play!

Who is up for some Japanese arcade market numbers?

March 20, 2010

Via

Statistics are fun – they are the perfect way to prove or disprove someone in an argument and stand as the perfect way to fill in small talk. Of course when it comes to the arcade market we don’t have a lot of stats to go off of which can prove to be a challenge when we deal with the ever popular “arcades are dead” thing that we like to dive into every now and then. That and on this Friday, I’m not finding other news to discuss yet so here we go!

So how are arcades doing in Japan, according to JAMMA? Not too shabby from the looks of it. According to the numbers, the market grew through most of the past decade until 2007 when economic conditions caused a slight slide to occur. The same slide wasn’t seen on the console side in the same year although the estimates for 2010 and 2011 show a decrease on that side as well. The lousy economic conditions affect all sides of course and in the graphs you can see a negative change in the number of arcade facilities in Japan (which of course then can reflect lower sales) although if you read into it further they show that with several companies restructuring of their own arcades which they operate produced an increase in operating margins, which were actually across the board except in Sega Sammy’s case. They also break down sales of games by type, from prize winning and card-playing games to video only and music. Here it shows a decrease in some categories but in the case of “Music” and “Others” they are seeing pretty solid growth. They mention a specific effort to target “casual users such as families and couples” which we are starting to see in the US as well as it makes perfect sense to go this route.

What I get out of all this is while there has been some hurt, there also has been some growth depending upon where you look at it. The circumstances, at least in Japan is far from dire. How are things everywhere else? It’s hard to say without solid numbers of course – my own facility is doing great this year so far but I can’t say I’m excited to see gas approaching $3/gallon again here locally and there’s the added pressure of  unemployment continuing to rise locally (well, nationally too last I checked), and a few other local factors. As always the best thing you can do is keep the machines working and get the word out there.

Any thoughts on these Japanese market numbers? You can see them all here.