There are many ways to make a racing simulator and that is perhaps the reason why we see so many variations on the idea. This one by BestSim is certainly interesting in that it doesn’t have a lot of bars that get in the way, making for a simulator that takes up little space compared to other sims. It essentially provides a sleek and stylish frame for the seat, controls and monitor(s) to sit on, along with extras like bodyshakers to provide the kind of racing experience you expect to find in an out-of-home entertainment environment. Check it out via the link below.
Posted tagged ‘simulator’
Arcades have always been great at presenting simulators to the public and when it comes to racing simulators, they really hit the spot. Even at IAAPA this year we saw several simulation style games with movement, multiple or huge screens and more. I used to be able to enjoy these kinds of games to a degree but after developing Meniere’s disease a little while ago, I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to try one out again, which stinks but such is life.
Here is a look at a new racing simulator called the Apex SC830 which promises full pitch, yaw and rolling capabilities in a relatively small package. Like many other racing sim setups like this it features three screens (which is another one of those things arcades started doing a long time ago with games like Atari’s TX-1 or the more recent Ferrari F355 Challenge Deluxe by Sega). It appears to work with any PC/console although it doesn’t say it outright but where this was made to train professional racers I imagine that it would have those sort of hookups. If it worked with any console then the first thing I would like to see someone try is Enduro on the Atari 2600 but my hopes aren’t very high that it would work with that. SimCraft, the creators of this machine, will be at CES in January so I imagine that if anyone in the amusement sector is interested in one of these that that is a good place to check it out.
We’re happy to report new of yet another new arcade facility opening it’s doors to the public, although this one is a little different as they don’t appear to have any coin-operated arcades (except for the LightSpace floor, a device we talked about a while back but that is on freeplay) and instead are focusing on ‘virtual reality’ and ‘simulation’ type games. That also includes a number of game consoles that are lined up along the walls that play from a variety of games they can switch out (which I imagine have to be attended constantly to avoid theft or the changing out of a game). It looks like a couple of those also have a motion seat for the player to get comfy in. I also think they have one of Trio-Tech’s 3D theaters although they do not mention it by name or show any pictures of the unit, they just say that it’s a 4 person virtual theater.
They also have some exerbikes with a game installed called Game Bike Pro. We’ve discussed something similar to these where an exercise bike is essentially the game controller. I hadn’t seen any amusment facilities pick them up until now so it will be interesting to see how they do outside of a gym.
Finally they have a game called Makoto – you stand in this area with up to two friends and there are these polls that have sensors which will light up and you’re supposed to hit it with a soft bat, competing for the high score. It’s an interesting game that I hadn’t seen before but in the brief appearance this game makes in the video below it looks like the sensors weren’t lighting up very fast.
With a refreshment area, golf simulator leagues, GLO Wii Bowling and a pretty cool environment at night they will easily reach their target market of college age kids. It would be cool if they got a couple of proper arcade machines in there too but for now it certainly looks like they have enough to keep people quite entertained.
BTW – VirtualKade is located in Murray Kentucky.
Here at Arcade Heroes we like to focus on the positive of the arcade scene but I feel this needs to be announced. Funland arcade in Toronto, Ontario (Canada) will be closing sometime next week so if you want to play something there, take pictures or relive fond memories of the place, better hurry because it will be gone soon. The arcade is located on Yonge Street. To my knowledge this arcade has been in business since at least the 1980’s so it will be very sad to see it go. Last I heard a very rare, F-Zero Super Deluxe cabinet with motion resides in this arcade. I cannot confirm if its still there but if you want a shot at playing one of these in the full deluxe motion cabinet and live near Toronto, you better hurry. I have wanted to visit this arcade but I was never able to get there.
I know a lot of people get the Nintendo Wii simply because of it’s pack-in game and maybe a few other titles. That can be good and bad for Nintendo as it gets the foot in the door but so far attach rates on the system are fairly dismal as a lot of people just focus on Wii Sports or Wii Play. I don’t personally and I have several other games and Wii Sports is fun and has also proven that simple and innovative is an excellent way to get into the market (and dominate it in terms of monthly sales). But there is a step up above what you can do with Wii Sports in the arcade thanks to technology from a company called Visual Sports. Now they can actually get you setup with one of their systems at home but where the price isn’t listed on the page, expect sticker shock. But for a larger experience, they do offer these systems for entertainment venues such as arcades, FECs, fitness centers, sports clubs and shops, sporting events and more.
There are two coin-op systems currently available from Visual Sports – RealSports MAX and RealSoccer Junior. RealSports MAX is an upgrade from a previous RealSports system labelled classic where the player can choose from 6 different sports games and face off against virtual opponents. The games include Golf, Soccer, Hockey, Baseball, Football, and Basketball and it also allows for future software upgrades. This one is certainly an attraction game in part because of it’s size but also because of the interactivity it offers – no handheld remotes to play with and pretend that you’re throwing a ball or swinging a club – you actually can throw a ball and the tracking system will translate it onto the screen. You might recall our story some time ago on Sega’s Go Go Golf which is very similar although Visual Sports has been around for a while and has been pioneering the technology for sometime now.
RealSports Junior looks like Kick It! Junior but with an HD screen and much improved graphics. I imagine that the motion detection has been improved over Kick It as well. The cabinet looks nice and although it’s pretty large it’s another piece that will attract a lot of attention.
The nice thing about both systems is that they don’t require an attendant and they can be modified to run redemption. I don’t know the pricing structure on these yet so I’ll try not to speculate further on that but every time a system like this is put in at a location it becomes an instant earning tool. There is a video of the system in action but when I play it, it locks up quickly.
The headline basically says it all – in Long Island New York at an FEC called Fun Zone Amusements(link to a video of the arcade on youtube) a father and daughter were trapped in a flight simulator game for about 20 minutes when the ride failed. They were apparently stuck in either an upside-down or reclining position before being rescued by the local fire department. The name of the simulator wasn’t mentioned and fortunately no one was hurt.
This is the disadvantage of large simulators of course – if they decide to stop failing during operation it can lead to inconvenience or something worse depending on the ride, which goes on to stress maintanence.
While Mario Kart GP marked the arrival of Nintendo’s popular franchise game to the arcade, I honestly have only seen a cabinet once – which was at ASI and it was a GP2 cab. It seems to receive mixed reviews from players and operators would probably be more willing to carry the game if it didn’t cost them $9000 per cabinet and for that price the game doesn’t do much to stand out from Double Dash on the GameCube, much less the newest installment of MK on the Wii.
But maybe if they added this new motion-base system from Force Dynamics they would have a winner. At least it looks like putting the original Mario Kart onto this system is fun. The Force Dynamics 301 has been made for a variety of venues but according to their website, it could be used in an arcade as well. The platform is open-source so it looks like anything can go into it, they can also customize the platform for you. They say it’s low cost but from briefly investigating their website I didn’t see pricing or an ordering page. Of course motion simulation is gaining steam in arcades with one developer (IMOtion) already dedicated to nothing but those kind of games and both Sega and GlobalVR have created motion based systems for some of their more popular games.