Welcome to Newsbytes, a post that curates quick news from around the world of arcades, pinball and other location-based entertainment. It’s a busy post, which will hopefully give you plenty to look over in case you have some time this weekend.

Before we get to all that, I wanted to mention a couple of quick things. One, Amusement Source International is joining the group of Arcade Heroes advertisers. Their ad will be up this next week. Then along those lines, Arcade Heroes is joining the LBX Collective. There should be a press release forthcoming, but I figure no harm in a quick mention. I will be doing a podcast with Brandon and Christine every Wednesday to provide updates on what is going on with the arcade space. I imagine it’ll be like a Newsbytes, in podcast form 😉

Anyways, lets get to the news.

John Wick Pinball Teaser

On Tuesday, Stern Pinball plans to unveil their next title, John Wick. Based upon the film series of the same name, I’m not sure yet if it will just focus on the first movie or all four, but the latter would make the most sense. Here’s a teaser for now – which is also appearing on Insider Connected machines (a clever way to use an online system for pins):

This new release does line up with some things I was recently told on the grapevine regarding the next couple pieces from Stern. So, presuming the other property they were said to be basing the next one on is true as well, they are about to go even bigger on a whole other level for pinball… no further giveaways as to what that may be, though.

Omen of Sorrow Arising Chaos Now Available

exA-Arcadia has launched their latest game, a 1v1 title previously released to the PS4 called Omen of Sorrow. This version kicks things up a notch with improved visuals, faster response times, new voice acting, and artwork handled by Tekken artist Junny. This is easily the best looking game to grace the exA to date.

I recently learned that ordering through a distributor is how you get specific art packages, such as those made just for the ARC-1 cabinet. Certain regions, such as Japan and Europe, have exclusive distributor setups too. If ordered straight from the exA website, here’s what you get:

Omen of Sorrow Arising Chaos kit Note that this is not up for pre-order – it’s available now. I’m definitely planning on this one, although it’ll be a few months before I grab it (too many things to catch up on, including a flurry of broken games where each failed component costs $300~$500+ per part).

Location Test Updates

Plenty of location tests seem to be happening out there right now in arcades; following on from our last post on the all-new Jump Racer, here’s some updates on existing games that are on trial again. Bandai Namco Amusement are dominating things in Japan, as they have also placed Bike Dash Delivery back on test, with further minor cabinet design changes:

We briefly touched on this in the last EVO Japan 2024 post as these first debuted there, but BNA are additionally testing their Grigio cabinets running the PC/Steam version of Tekken 8 out on location now. Check out this photo for another reason why it won’t come over here – few operators would be so bold in leaving a PC box lying around out in the open like that…

Meanwhile on our side of the pond, as spotted in this YouTube short, Team Play is testing a new version of their hit videmption game, Fishbowl Frenzy. This one is all digital with no physical elements, which should reduce purchasing and maintenance costs. Also on the US videmption front, here’s footage of the early and not-yet-finished Angry Birds Boom!, via Adventures With Krit.

(While we’re here, do additionally note that the Asteroids Recharged test I mentioned a few weeks ago at my arcade is currently on hold while Alan-1 works on bringing in a cabinet with some  updated software fixes and new features. They will change it out with the 2-player model, and throw in the 2-player version of Avian Knights for testing too. Stay tuned for more information on those…)

Starcade Now On YouTube

For a bit of nostalgia, the classic TV game show Starcade has recently begun officially uploading full episodes to YouTube. On occasion the show could be awkward (especially when kids would compete with an adult and crush said adult), though you could say that was a part of the charm. They don’t allow for site embedding so I can’t share anything here, but we can still discuss: what’s your favorite episode?

The current rights holders were supposed to be resurrecting the show, but so far that hasn’t happened. For something analogous to that nowadays, there is always Arcade Animals on YouTube, which we already covered last Newsbytes. What would you want to see out of a new Starcade?

April Arcade Releases

Curious as to which arcade titles launched last month? Then take a look at this short video on our channel (which also recently celebrated 18k subscribers with a full playthrough of DoDonPachi Exa Label Mode). Note that I received some corrections on a few things, mainly UNIS product:

For the year as a whole so far, don’t forget our Arcade & Pinball Releases 2024 page here on the site itself.

Taito’s The New Zealand Story Is Being Remade

This news popped up on LinkedIn, but who is remaking it is a very unlikely source…Commodore. Yes, Commodore as in the company that gave the world the Commodore 64 and Amiga Computers. Now, to be fair, the current group that owns the brand had no involvement with the company back in the ’80s & ’90s (as far as I am aware). They certainly are working hard to resurrect it both with new games and new hardware though. The latter is only available in Europe at this time, although they are looking at the US market here in the near future.

I don’t expect this remake of TNZS to land in arcades, although never say never, right? I’ve only played this once or twice on a Taito arcade collection from 20 years ago. I’ve never come across it at the arcade. Also note – while filming this, I forgot that the bird in the game is a kiwi, the national bird of NZ. I regret the error as I had heard that at one point in time, although I couldn’t tell you the national birds for pretty much any other country aside from the USA. Even living in Brazil, I never heard anyone say what their national bird is – not even my wife was 100% sure about it when I asked, and she’s from there, lol.

Next Arcade Book Update

It has been a little bit since I mentioned the next book that I am working on, so let’s provide an update.

If this is the first time you are hearing about it, here’s the pitch: an arcade history and trivia book that covers every major company in the video arcade business, from 1971 to today. It started off as just a trivia project, but I realized that a lot of info out there isn’t terribly well known, or its outright incorrect. Thus, it makes sense to back it up with historical sections. Unfortunately for me, that’s a huge undertaking – especially where I am sourcing everything that I can. I’ve already been working on this for the past eight months, and I’m not even 50% done. That’s part of the reason I haven’t talked it up much – I figure it’s better to do so once I’m past 95% and I’m talking to a publisher. We’re still too early for that – but sometimes I need a little kick in the pants to keep going, so that’s what this is 😛

The book will be divided into four sections: The ’70s, ’80s, ’90s and ’00s. Chapters will be mostly by company, so Atari, Bally/Midway, Sega, Nintendo, etc. will be their own chapters. At the end of each chapter is a chart showing which months’ particular games were released for that company. There will be some chapters on other things like tech (vector monitors, laser discs) and major events, e.g. the “Great US Game Crash of ’82~’84”. I’ve essentially finished the chapter on that, and from my research, I think I offer a take which can counter the prevailing narrative (spoiler: E.T. was not the principle reason it happened here, as is commonly claimed).

I have reached out to several industry people who were there and have shared some first/second draft chapters with them and received feedback. But, I’m still a ways off from finished. Thus, ways to find motivation are useful… it gets tough at times to keep going when there is just so much history to cover, and I still have a bunch of other things to do, like working my regular jobs.

Ultimately, I would like to include Creator Profiles too – little sections on the minds behind the games, what their favorite games are, and a few other quick facts. Then of course, there are the trivia questions themselves. I originally had 1,200 of them ready to go, but after the research/writing portion is complete, I’m going to have revamp many of them – and I can probably bump it up to 1,500 or higher.

And no, I am not using AI in crafting this. That would be so errant it would probably take more work to go back and edit it anyways.

Anyways, I hope that once its finished, this will be something that you will find informative, entertaining, and worth buying.


Arcade Heroes Is Now On LinkedIn

Step ManiaX Content Update #50

Crowdfunding Helps Resurrect A Japanese Arcade

The Giant Galloping Ghost Expansion

Footage From PinFest 2024 – H/T To S1ckH4nds, helpful as ever with event and arcade tour videos

The Golden Tee 2024 Missouri Open, Live

Skate Or Die! Homebrew Pinball

A Look At A Former Sega Amusement Theme Park Location

Taito Releases Rastan Saga To Arcade Archives – They’ve also been posting some pretty cool things about it on Twitter

Andamiro Are Making Something Star Wars – Probably a new coin pusher, since they have done those under the Marvel name

Original Pre-Sega Version Of Columns Found

Super Nintendo World is looking like a lot of fun. It just needs a proper Nintendo arcade with real Nintendo arcade games from the past:

[Console Headlines]

Sony Reverses The Positive Trendline On Helldivers 2 By Forcing PSN Account Sign-ups For PC Players – Over 100k negative reviews on Steam and rising. Talk about getting the PC audience completely wrong.

Speaking Of Sony, They’ve Laid Off One Of Their Game Devs Behind The PSVR2

VR Post-Mortem From The Former Head Of Oculus – Does not use some particular considerations that applied to Oculus Go that don’t apply to AVP, but still an interesting read

One Place The Apple Vision Pro Is Getting Some Traction – Enterprise Usage

The Limited Re-release Of Tempest 3000 For NUON DVD Players Is Out A Week Ahead Of Schedule – and it wasn’t pressed on DVD-Rs but sold as real presses, like some bad companies we know.

The Revenge Of Shinobi Is Unofficially Coming To The Sega Saturn

Stranger Is An Upcoming Indie Game That Teaches You Korean Language And Culture

The Mini DDR Console Is Now Available

Dreadnought Assault Is A Fantastic New Shooter Coming To The Atari 7800 – This would’ve turned heads BITD

That’s all for this time – thanks for reading and be sure to go out and support your local arcade (if you have any)!

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