Archive for July 17, 2010

Namco patents reveal work on new stereoscopic and motion-sensing technologies

July 17, 2010

Motion sensing dance machine

AM Net this morning has linked to a document discussing some new patents that Namco has won and as always, with new patents comes the speculation as we ponder about new content which they could be working on.

According to the article, 28 patents total have been won in the following fields (bad translation is Google’s fault): “Technical field related to 9 Stereoscopic vision Toyama” (so work on 3D monitors, which Konami Japan has been pushing hard with titles like Metal Gear Arcade and Road Fighters 3D); “6 gaming technology utilizing motion-recognition technology” (motion-recognition doesn’t sound like motion bases but seems to imply technology along the lines of the Wii or Kinect); “3 game-related technology for network communication” (proprietary network setups like e-Amusement, ALL.Net or CoinUp is my guess); “4 technical areas related to how to work with game characters” (augmented reality in some form).

3D prize machine

After some searching around a link provided in the document,I found a page which lists the 28 patents Namco was awarded which you should be able to pull up here. I tried searching for Namco Bandai (using Japanese characters) in the advanced search and it came up with the patents talking about toys interacting with video game characters, toys that sense odors, a music game based upon player movement(pictured to the upper right),  the stereoscopic patents are listed numbers 19-27 on the page I link to above, with several the titles mentioning something about methods for stereoscopic birds-eye views(from one picture I found, it looks like they have developed a way to get the stereoscopic effect on a cocktail style cabinet – imagine that for Pac-Man Battle Royale!) and even a stereoscopic application with a prize machine(also pictured, click to enlarge). When we will see these technologies make their debut

3D screen for a cocktail cabinet

in arcades is anyone’s guess – sometimes patents are issued for a technology that never sees the light of day publicly or they use it for something else completely. Either way it’s safe to say that Namco is looking into stereoscopic 3D for their amusement content. At this rate I am thinking that 2011 will be the year of the stereoscopic game in arcades, with the technology finding it’s footing this year with titles like Disney’s 3D Ping Pong and Metal Gear Arcade. Of course, I think that will only be the case if they can produce screens which don’t require glasses and don’t require the player to stand in a very specific spot to get the effect right.

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Little change in the Twitter feed

July 17, 2010

For those that use Twitter, I have made a minor adjustment to the feed on the right hand side of the front page here. Previously it was a feed I was using for promoting my own arcade, which is why Facebook updates came through it as well(the feed is http://twitter.com/gamegrid in case any are still interested). I actually did not put the feed widget onto the site originally as I didn’t have the permissions to do that until I became the owner of the site, but now that I can change things on the front page I decided that it would be more useful for the site if the feed was dedicated solely to Arcade Heroes stuff. As such, I will use that feed to share links that I don’t have time (or maybe interest) in writing a complete story about it as well as updates to new stories that appear on the site. If you are on our RSS feed than the new stories part should already be taken care of but increased arcade recognition on a site like Twitter should be a positive thing.

Here is the link to the new feed which you can follow here: http://twitter.com/arcadeheroes

CAVE tests new shmup "Red Sword" in Japan

July 17, 2010

CAVE has a new shmup they are testing in Japan, called Red Sword (or Red Katana if you want to make it sound cool).  It’s not surprising news that Cave has a new shooter coming to arcades – it’s all they do really -but strangely this has attracted some attention on some mainstream gaming blogs, despite the fact that Cave shooters stick to the Japanese market (sans console releases to platforms like XBLA) and their games aren’t terribly accessible to many players today. The attention certainly isn’t a bad thing, it’s simply good example of how useful creating a fanbase for a company can be when it comes to promoting new games in the blogosphere.

Here’s a trailer for the game that makes no sense unless you understand Japanese. No footage from the game being played yet; this site has a brief description of how the game works, it will be a horizontal shooter with selectable characters, where each character has their own unique attacks. Red Sword will be released late summer/early fall.

[Red Sword official site] [Via Am.Net.jp]

CAVE tests new shmup “Red Sword” in Japan

July 17, 2010

CAVE has a new shmup they are testing in Japan, called Red Sword (or Red Katana if you want to make it sound cool).  It’s not surprising news that Cave has a new shooter coming to arcades – it’s all they do really -but strangely this has attracted some attention on some mainstream gaming blogs, despite the fact that Cave shooters stick to the Japanese market (sans console releases to platforms like XBLA) and their games aren’t terribly accessible to many players today. The attention certainly isn’t a bad thing, it’s simply good example of how useful creating a fanbase for a company can be when it comes to promoting new games in the blogosphere.

Here’s a trailer for the game that makes no sense unless you understand Japanese. No footage from the game being played yet; this site has a brief description of how the game works, it will be a horizontal shooter with selectable characters, where each character has their own unique attacks. Red Sword will be released late summer/early fall.

[Red Sword official site] [Via Am.Net.jp]

Gamepro does a podcast on California Extreme

July 17, 2010

Some CAX goodness

Newsfeed 860 via

When I was a kid, I enjoyed reading the game magazine Gamepro. In the days before the internet was in everyone’s home, it was the only place I got news on the video game world (I even sent a letter in asking for a tip on Metroid 2 for the Game Boy but by the time they got around to publishing it I had already figured it out), at least until I found GameFan Magazine. Back then Gamepro had a one-page spread on arcades under the title ‘Hot at the Arcades’, but they eventually gave up on that and their current website generally ignores them as well. So it’s a little surprising to see a podcast on arcades on Gamepro.com, although it’s about California Extreme and not so much the current state of arcades.

You can listen to the podcast here, if interested.

Experience a top-of-the-line race simulator at the Weston–Super–Mare Grand Pier, UK

July 17, 2010

Cruden's system as seen at IAAPA 2009

Newsfeed 868 via

If you aren’t happy with the driving experience that a run o’ the mill arcade driver gives you then there are companies which address that, with crazy setups like we see by Cruden. They had one of these at IAAPA, which I only watched from the sidelines, but it was quite impressive. Little did I realize that these setups are used by both professional drivers and engineers for virtual training but where it was being shown at IAAPA, obviously the company had a desire to move the simulator into the amusement sector. Now they have accomplished just that, with at least at one location in the UK known as the Weston–Super–Mare Grand Pier installing two units to play. The units are known as the Hexatech 3CTR interactive race simulator and this is the first installation of such machines for use by the public. The article that Kevin sent us doesn’t mention what the price will be to play one of these (if you are in the area it’s probably best to save up, just in case). It is also mentioned that to keep things fresh, there are a variety of options on the table for the pier to add extras to the simulators, from “fitting car bodywork or mounting actual vehicles to a motion platform”; as well as upgrades to the software for different kinds of cars and tracks.

[Via Highway Games] [Cruden.com]