NAMCO, NINTENDO BOW TRIFORCE-POWERED 'MARIO' DRIVER
TOKYO - The Amusement Operators Union show was staged here this week and
Internet sources are reporting the big news was the debut of "Mario Kart
Arcade Grand Prix." This linkable driving game, running on TriForce
hardware, will be jointly produced for arcades by Nintendo and Namco. The
game reportedly features 24 courses and 11 characters, including some of the
most famous brand names from both companies: Mario, Luigi, Wario, Donkey
Kong, Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, and others. For linked games, an onboard camera
will photograph players' faces and show them above their cars on opponents'
NEW PRODUCTS PREVIEWED FOR ASI, NC&B
CHICAGO - Some manufacturers have announced new products that will debut at
next month's Amusement Showcase International (March 3-5). DSM Sales &
Manufacturing will release "Psyclone," a self-contained merchandiser game
that requires players to use skillful timing to raise a series of gates that
enable a ball to roll down a coiled track. American Alpha will show a new
slim-line version of "Foto Morph Photo Booth" featuring Instant Makeover,
Magic Morph, Gene Machine and Face Painter modes. Andamiro will highlight a
quick-reaction redemption novelty called "Spray Gun" that invites players to
target dozens of bug characters, plus a new version of "Hammer DX" featuring
ticket redemption or capsule vending. Fun Industries will show "Trigger
Happy," a shooting gallery upright with real ball-shooting gun and moving
targets, with optional prize vending or ticket redemption. Planet Video will
show some of its air and billiard table models (the new "Double Fast Track"
air hockey ships this summer). S&B Candy & Toy Co. will display the
economical "Candy Depot" candy crane with winner-every-time action (it can
be shipped with 5,000 pieces of candy inside).. Valley-Dynamo's ASI lineup
will include the mid-sized air hockey "Blue Streak," featuring small
footprint and "Dyna Blast" blower system. Fun Express will spotlight a
reusable "party in a box" called "The Party Cube," equipped with 40
pull-strings, one of which opens a trap door to release a shower of candy
and prizes. Global VR will show production versions of "Need For Speed
Underground," licensed from Electronic Arts, and featuring a new Players'
Card that allows car customizing, and unlocks additional or advanced game
features (GVR said it will launch a national tournament program with cash
prizes for "NFSU" this spring). At the Nightclub & Bar Show (Feb. 27-March
2, Las Vegas participants will be able to see Incredible Technologies' new
"Big Buck Hunter 2006: Call of the Wild," supported by updates (available
now online for registered games through ITNet; offline games can get updates
in June). The game is also supported by a 12-month 0% financing program if
operators update three or more units.
ROWE EXTENDS FREE MUSIC FOR NEW AMI-POWERED JUKES
GRAND RAPIDS, MI - Rowe International has announced that from now through
May 31, operators who purchase new Rowe Digital jukeboxes for the AMI
Entertainment network will receive free music. The minimum number of free
months is three, and depending upon the number of jukeboxes an operator
purchases, the offer of free music can extend as long as 12 months. There
is no minimum number of jukeboxes required to participate. Operators can
enjoy the savings beginning with box number one. For details contact an
authorized distributor or visit http://www.roweinternational.com.
ECAST OFFERS LOWER-COST, OPERATOR-OWNED DSL SERVICE
SAN FRANCISCO - Reminding operators that the company has always supported
operator-owned broadband connections, Ecast executives have announced new,
lower-cost connectivity service through MegaPath Networks for Ecast
customers who use MegaPath DSL. As a special introductory offer, Ecast will
pay for up to two professional MegaPath ADSL installations, valued at $200
each. Operators taking advantage of these pro installs are required to be
present at the time of the installations. Improved installations will save
money by reducing future service calls, said Ecast. For more information
IALEI CHICAGO WORKSHOP DEADLINE IS FEB. 28
CHICAGO - Monday, Feb. 28, is the last day to register for the FEC
Educational Workshop set for March 1-3 (Best Western, Rosemont) and
sponsored by the International Association for the Leisure and Entertainment
Industry. A mistaken announcement had given Feb. 22 as the final deadline.
For rooms call (847) 296-4471 and mention the IALEI Workshop. For online
workshop sign-up, register at http://www.ialei.com or call (888) 464-6498.
CALIFORNIA LEGISLATOR PROPOSES VIOLENT VIDEO BAN - AGAIN
SACRAMENTO, CA - California Assemblyman Leland Yee (D-San Diego) this week
announced his latest attempt to restrict game sales and rentals to minors.
Retailers would be fined $1,000 for each violation. Earlier versions failed
to pass, partly due to opposition from groups such as the American Civil
Liberties Union. Yee's supporters say this month's bill is drafted more
carefully with language that should not violate the First Amendment.