VIDEO MAKES SURPRISING COMEBACK AT TOKYO EXPO
TOKYO - The 2003 JAMMA Show, sponsored annually by the Japan Amusement Machine Manufacturers Association, held Sept. 10-12 in Tokyo, featured several intriguing developments and trends , some of which have not yet fully arrived in the U.S. market. According to Kevin Williams of The Stinger Report, the arcade video sector looked healthier than it has in years with new levels of coin-op game development and/or financial strength from Sega, Namco, Konami, and others. Two of the biggest surprises: (1) Sammy Corp. strongly boosted its "AtomisWave" system through third-party title support from Capcom, Taito and IGS, with more manufacturers to come. Sammy also unveiled a countertop that is eventually expected to ship overseas, and revealed plans for an online network that will support both the countertop and "AtomisWave," as well as other planned Sammy platforms. (2) Taito Corp. surprised observers by showing more new arcade video titles at a single show than ever before in its 50-year history. One promising Taito game is "ZOIDS: Infinity," a cockpit-style robot fighter slated for March, 2004 release. For further news from JAMMA, as well as extensive industry coverage, visit http://www.thestingerreport.com.
WEST VIRGINIA SUPREME COURT HEARS POKER ARGUMENT
CHARLESTON, WV , West Virginia's Supreme Court today heard arguments from both sides regarding the legality of video poker. The plaintiff, attorney Jackson Harless, claims the original authorization for a state lottery did not include pokers, according to reports in The Charleston Gazette. Gov. Bob Wise said today that the $400 million annual tax revenues derived from legal pokers -- nearly one-sixth of the state's budget -- are "critical."
HOME VIDEO SALES DOUBLE NAMCO'S PROFIT PICTURE
TOKYO , Strong U.S. sales of the home video software title "Soul Calibur II" prompted Namco Ltd. to announce that it expects to earn double the profits originally forecast for the first half of its fiscal year, ending Sept. 30. According to Reuters, Namco now forecasts net profit of 3.2 billion yen ($29.22 million), which is 113% higher than its May prediction. Namco also says it now expects to top 6.6 billion yen for the entire fiscal year, ending March 31, 2004.
SONY LICENSES MUSIC LIBRARY TO TOUCHTUNES
CHICAGO , TouchTunes Music Corp. has entered into an agreement with Sony Music to include that publisher's recordings in its digital jukeboxes. The news, initially announced at the AMOA Expo in September, was formally confirmed in recent days. Adding the Sony catalog means that TouchTunes' menu now covers all five major music labels. The agreement includes a repertoire from leading Latin music publisher Sony Discos.
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