Again link to the images here.
In addition to the world's largest functional arcade cabinet, we got to check out the new cabinets unveiled at CES earlier this year including Frogger, Pac Man 40th Anniversary, NBA Jam, and Golden Axe. Also there were the new digital pinball machines for Star Wars and Mars Attacks, however these were not playable. Regarding the Wifi on NBA Jam, there is a menu to save favorites regarding other players you interact with, block those you don't want to play with, and make other adjustments as necessary.
We spoke with some folks from Tastemakers to ask a few questions on what to expect this year. As you already saw, preorder went up for NBA Jam, Frogger, and Pacman 40th. These should be hitting stores in the third to fourth quarter of this year. There is still no time frame for the Golden Axe cabinet but the hope is the tail end of this year. Regarding the Star Wars cabinet with the bench, reps think that we may still see that on shelves around June.
Regarding the pinball, expect them to contain three titles each and price similar to the cocktail cabinets, although nothing is decided yet. One interesting tidbit we had not heard before is that the units are Wifi enabled. Before you get too excited, the intent of this functionality is to provided software updates for functionality, not to allow more titles. At this point the titles are not set in stone and are still being sorted out. We noticed that the Star Wars pinball machine was demoing The Last Jedi though.
So what's next?
The indication we received was that the titles from the '80's were well represented at this point and Arcade1Up is looking elsewhere, NFI. Sales will be the driving factor for future titles and formats. So if we have hope of a Sega Star Wars Arcade machine, Star Wars cabinet and pinball needs to sell well. Also of course the cabinets will be constrained by the ability to keep the hardware costs in check. So things like driving controls, flight sticks, and light guns all depend on how they can scale it to the $300 to $500 price range.
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