Archive for the ‘Arcade Hardware’ category

Raw Thrills'/Play Mechanix unveil Big Buck Hunter: Open Season

September 17, 2009

Final OS 42 Rendering2-final_WhtBckSmall

While a vast majority of news about new arcade titles has been coming out of Japan lately, AMOA is almost here and that means some game news from outside Japan for a change. This is regarding a software upgrade for one of the biggest arcade hits in recent memory, Big Buck Hunter that will be subtitled “Open Season”. According to the press release by Betson, “…[Big Buck Hunter: Open Season] delivers an astounding 60% more content over the original video shooter. The upgrade includes a wide variety of enhancements and additions Open Season 27 Render_smallover the original version.  Three new animals with 9 new treks giving hunters a total of 8 animals and 24 trek options to choose from. With 45 new picturesque sites to hunt new animals such as Mountain Goat, Mule Deer, and Bison, the total number of hunting sites in Big Buck Hunter Pro Open Season clocks in at a staggering 120. Nine new bonus rounds were also added to this upgrade for a grand total of 24. Play Mechanix even added another 24 new critters to Big Buck Hunter Pro Open Season to enhance the hunting challenge. Last and certainly not least, 2 new full motion big buck girls have been added to this newest edition.”

With all of that the game will be offered in a total of four configurations: a 27″ standard and a 42″ LCD deluxe cabinet and then there will be two different kit options. The game is online enabled to take advantage of RT’s CoinUp network and the game will be shown off at AMOA. For more info on BBH: Open Season, click the link below for the full press release. [Raw Thrills website] [Play Mechanix website] [Discuss on the Forums]

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Raw Thrills’/Play Mechanix unveil Big Buck Hunter: Open Season

September 17, 2009

Final OS 42 Rendering2-final_WhtBckSmall

While a vast majority of news about new arcade titles has been coming out of Japan lately, AMOA is almost here and that means some game news from outside Japan for a change. This is regarding a software upgrade for one of the biggest arcade hits in recent memory, Big Buck Hunter that will be subtitled “Open Season”. According to the press release by Betson, “…[Big Buck Hunter: Open Season] delivers an astounding 60% more content over the original video shooter. The upgrade includes a wide variety of enhancements and additions Open Season 27 Render_smallover the original version.  Three new animals with 9 new treks giving hunters a total of 8 animals and 24 trek options to choose from. With 45 new picturesque sites to hunt new animals such as Mountain Goat, Mule Deer, and Bison, the total number of hunting sites in Big Buck Hunter Pro Open Season clocks in at a staggering 120. Nine new bonus rounds were also added to this upgrade for a grand total of 24. Play Mechanix even added another 24 new critters to Big Buck Hunter Pro Open Season to enhance the hunting challenge. Last and certainly not least, 2 new full motion big buck girls have been added to this newest edition.”

With all of that the game will be offered in a total of four configurations: a 27″ standard and a 42″ LCD deluxe cabinet and then there will be two different kit options. The game is online enabled to take advantage of RT’s CoinUp network and the game will be shown off at AMOA. For more info on BBH: Open Season, click the link below for the full press release. [Raw Thrills website] [Play Mechanix website] [Discuss on the Forums]

(more…)

My interview with Steve Ranck of Specular Interactive on H2Overdrive and more

June 4, 2009

A few months back Arcade Heroes was privileged to reveal H2Overdrive to the world and now I have done an interview with the man whose company is behind the game’s development, Steve Ranck of Specular Interactive. We go into more, never-before-revealed details on Raw Thrills’/Specular Interactive upcoming boat racer and a few other arcade related things. So without further adieu, let’s get started and remember to click on the link at the bottom to read the full thing.

First, about Steve:

Steve Ranck is the President and founder of Specular Interactive, Inc.  He’s been developing games since age 12, and professionally since 1994.  Prior to Specular, Steve cofounded Swingin’ Ape Studios, Inc. which developed the critically acclaimed Metal Arms: Glitch in the System before the company was purchased by Blizzard Entertainment in 2005.

Q: Tell us a little bit about your company and history in the arcade sector.

Specular Interactive was formed in 2007 to develop great arcade games.  Most of our employees have worked together before at former companies, and a good number of us worked on the original Hydro Thunder arcade game back in 1997-1999.  Collectively, we have a lot of seasoned arcade developers here.  But at the same time, our team members have also worked on a number of console games and so we have a lot of experience with modern engine architecture and graphics hardware.  Our goal is to develop a series of high quality arcade games by combining our arcade design experience with modern graphics technology and hardware, and do it all at a price point that’s affordable for today’s Stingrayoperators.  Our first game which we feel delivers just that is H2Overdrive, a high-action, addictive power boat racing game.

Q: How did the idea for H2Overdrive come about?

In early 2007, Eugene Jarvis, developer of arcade megahits such as Defender, Robotron: 2084, and the Cruis’n series, was receiving feedback from arcade operators that wanted a boat racing game that would succeed Hydro Thunder.  Eugene’s company, Raw Thrills, had already developed a number of very successful arcade games before getting requests for a boat racing game.  Eugene called and proposed the idea of me forming a team to develop the game.  The idea of developing a high-action boat racing game on modern graphics hardware for the arcade sounded like an incredible opportunity.  I formed Specular Interactive shortly after and we began the ground-up development of H2Overdrive.

Q: How long has the game been in development and how large of a team has worked on it?

H2Overdrive’s been in development for 2 years, starting with a team of 3 and growing to 14 developers during the peak of development.

Q: There are several aspects that H2Overdrive shares with Hydro Thunder, what makes H2Overdrive not only different from HT, but better?

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New Cyberdiver website also reveals new Taito arcade hardware

May 24, 2009

genesys

Taito has updated the website for their upcoming FPS arcade game Cyber Diver and along with a few more details on the game itself they also mention some new hardware that the game will be running on that they are called Genesys. The original announcement for the game did make a mention about “new hardware” although at the time it was not given a name. Even with this revelation there are no details on what Taito will pack into the hardware although the website does include a couple of pictures from the new game which uses the hardware, which you can see in better detail by clicking on the thumbnails below. Note that the pics below are semi-transparent and show some stuff from the website background which is why you’ll see some extra blue stuff in there. So far the game seems to have a little bit of a “Portal” edge to it with the blue-white devices but other than that it seems to be in a place all by itself with the design. Cyberdiver kits will be released later this year and will be used to update Half-Life 2 Survivor arcade cabinets in Japan. It was rare to find HL2 in arcades outside of Japan so we might not see Cyberdiver but we certainly should start seeing the Genesys if Taito decides to replace the Type X2 with it.

cyberdivergfx1 cyberdivergfx2 cyberdivergirl

[Cyberdiver website]

Indie arcade game Get Outta My Face at SXSW

March 21, 2009

gomf-sxsw1

We reported about the new indie arcade game Get Outta My Face making an appearance at the tech show known as SXSW in Texas a couple of weeks ago and now we have some pictures of how it went, thanks to the game’s creator, Will Brierly. The game even got a very brief mention on an NPR news show that was discussing SXSW. Will reports that “The games had a crowd around them for the whole weekend. I was truly amazed by the response!” A few pictures of those crowds are below, just click on the thumbnails to enlarge.

gomf-sxsw-2 gomf-sxsw sxsw-booth-crowd-2 sxsw-booth-crowd-3

Even Master Chief was seen with the game:

halo-arcade

Thanks to Will for sending us these pics, and we are eagerly looking forward to the upcoming release of this game for arcades everywhere to enjoy!

[Snow Runner Productions] [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]