Welcome to Newsbytes, a post that curates quick news from around the world of arcades, pinball, and other out-of-home entertainment spaces. As we crawl towards Summer, some interesting developments are afoot, perhaps more than we might normally expect for this time of year. There will be dedicated posts on a few bigger stories to come soon… but for now, here are the smaller updates to take note of, spanning dance games (e.g. DDR World), trade shows (e.g. SEA Expo), card games (e.g. Dragon Ball), and more:

DDR World VS PIU 2024

First off, for one of the biggest pieces of arcade news to come out of Japan lately, Konami have announced a brand new DDR instalment is in the works. Called Dance Dance Revolution World, they have only released a few screens so far with no release window given out as of yet. But this looks to be the biggest update to the series for some time, given that the last few were revisions of Dance Dance Revolution A (which first came out way back in 2016). What has been revealed suggests quite the overhaul:Konami's latest DDR version, DDR World

This has been said countless times by now, but the “DDR World” name choice is ironic, considering the series’ support in Europe and the US has been what I would call “tepid” compared to what it once was. Electrocoin still handle sales in Europe at least, albeit just of offline-only A20+ cabinets without eAmusement support, and none of the US distributors bother with Konami’s stringent distribution requirements altogether, thus keeping the games limited to Round1USA and Dave & Busters (though even they have cooled on DDR in recent years, and are not looking likely to upgrade their cabinets again).

Meanwhile, Andamiro have also been busy with their flagship dance game that is sold widely overseas. It has been a little spell since we last heard much about Pump It Up Phoenix, that latest iteration of the “PIU” series released last year. Granted, there has been small updates, but now that Konami has announced DDR World, Andamiro are responding with this 2024 refresh. It isn’t as big as DDR World, being merely a 2.0 version of Phoenix, but does give the UI a new lick of blue paint, and of course adds more songs:

May Trade Shows

We’ve been busy of late at AH covering AAA 2024 out of China, thanks to some great reportage sent to us from the show floor by Oga-Shi from Sega. If you missed this, check out our three days of posts here, here and here. But that hasn’t been the only trade show this month, though it was certainly the biggest.

May actually started off with FIJMA, an expo out of Madrid, Spain, which is largely focused on the gambling industry there yet did have some amusement presence. Via KWP, local distros like Cocomatic (Stern Pinball), Games Mule (UNIS, Ace Amusement) and Global Fun (Sega Amusements, Bandai Namco Amusement Europe) were there with the product that those companies make and represent in Europe:

Plus just before AAA, there was the SEA Expo in Riyahd, Saudi Arabia. Yuto Games were there before jetting off quickly to AAA, and so were Epark (also out of China), Warehouse Of Games (distributors of Raw Thrills, Wahlap, and UNIS, and other pieces e.g. Thunder Attack and Big Shot below in the UAE), ASI, and UDC (who showed off a few Ace Amusement products, and StepManiaX). Speaking of UDC, they are also one of six UK companies hosting a small show there soon. That could already have a few things from AAA.

Looking ahead to the end of the month, there is one more arcade expo to mention, IAAPA Asia 2024 in Bangkok, Thailand. This is one of the smaller IAAPA shows, but will have some big name exhibitors, including Sega Amusements. We may also have someone attending the show who will send us media from that event. Then after that, it’s all eyes on Bowl Expo at the very start of July. I can’t speak for other exhibitors or say exactly what it is yet, but Raw Thrills will be debuting something “super” there…

New Card Games

Though we haven’t always covered it here at AH, “kidtainment” – especially its card vending side – seems to be trending even stronger across the world right now. A big place for it has always been Japan, and as part of this, it looks like some of the increased examples from there are even starting to release internationally again, with Bandai Namco’s Animal Kaiser series returning and Marvelous testing out a new Naruto game in the US. Given all that, let’s take a brief look at some movements in the space:

Unsurprisingly, Bandai Namco take a lead here, as their prolific “Data Cardass” line of games continues. A couple new ones are interestingly releasing in China before Japan – they have a new One Piece card battler out there since last month, and another based on Ultraman in testing, which we saw briefly at AAA 2024. For Japan though, they have announced an overhaul of their long-running series based on Dragon Ball. This is still early on in development, but already looks to be a big update, using a brand new three-screen cabinet. I’d say this one has the best chance of doing okay out West, however even if planned I wouldn’t expect it any time soon, with BNA currently focusing their efforts on Animal Kaiser over here:

And for a card vending game series that doesn’t come from Bandai Namco, which I don’t believe we have ever covered previously, Monster Retsuden Oreca Battle is Konami’s original stab at the genre. First released back in 2012, it seemingly did pretty well overall in Japan, lasting a decade in active service and inspiring a few multimedia works along the way. The biggest current proof of its popularity however is the reaction to the announcement of its return this month, garnering 27k likes on Twitter and a big crowd on its location test last week. That and some good new financial results should be making Konami happy right now, but given that this one is not a big licenced IP, it’s hard to see it ever releasing elsewhere.

Behind The Scenes At Barrels Of Fun

For those interested in seeing what is going on at smaller pinball manufacturers than Stern, here’s a great look from industry newcomer Barrels of Fun. I’ve been hearing some pretty good things about their Labyrinth pinball machine, which they revealed as their first ever work last October… although without spoiling much from the below video, what is telling is how things are with the next releases:

Arcade Corner – AAA Expo Recap

At 10:38 below, you can find my latest appearance on the LBX Collective daily show discussing some of the most notable developments out of AAA 2024. Subscribe here if you want to follow them for other arcade-adjacent news. Also note that I will be on there every Wednesday, but apart from that, site friend Kevin Williams is a frequent guest on LBX with his Sound Off show, discussing various trends and topics.


Do We Need A New Term For Arcades? – I contend we don’t (and even if we did, it’s most likely too late to catch on much with the general public), but an interesting discussion nonetheless

Steam Game Towerfall Ascension Is Now An Arcade Cab At Cidercade Dallas

Could This Unique Cocktail Arcade Setup Work For More Table-Style Games?

Konami’s Castlevania Marble Pusher Is Releasing To All Round1US Locations Now

Valo Motion Celebrates Making 100 Installations Around The World In Just 91 Days

How To Setup Your New Pinball Machine – Probably needed due to how many collectors are buying up pins these days

Motion Sphere Is Available In Brasilia For A Limited Time

Neo Geo MVS/AES Indie Shmup Project Neon On Test

Arcade Archives Celebrates 10 Years Of Games

Ahoy There, Bop It Arcade Pirate Mateys!

Laser Tag With A Shock Collar – H/T to the LBX Collective on this one. Certainly adds a more electrifying edge to that old out-of-home entertainment past-time…

[Console Headlines]

[Console] Time To Change The Narrative On The Saturn? – It does have a lot of great arcade ports…

[Console] Minecraft Turns 15

[Console] Taito Milestones 3 Launching This Winter – For Taito arcade aficionados

[Console] Fallout Coming To Fortnite

[Handhelds] Pocket DMG Getting An OLED Screen – For retro emulation enthusiasts

[Technology] Holobike Making Holographic Promises In Place Of VR – We’ve sure heard that siren song for a long time, so we’ll see

That’s all for this Newsbytes. Which piece of arcade news featured here (e.g. DDR World) has interested you most?

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