ORLANDO, FL -- Betson Enterprises put the spotlight on the latest videogames from Raw Thrills and Play Mechanix during IAAPA's 2012 Attractions Expo. It was the largest exhibit of video gaming for arcade and street locations at the fall trade show in Orlando, FL.
Leading off the video roundup, and making its debut, was SnoCross, a snowmobile-racing simulator featuring X Games content licensed from ESPN. Virtual racers can perform the same X Games tricks on the same X Games courses. There are six snowmobile racers and six sleds, along with custom upgrades described by the game designer as "insane." Courses run through Alaska, Antarctica, China, Colorado, France, Moscow and Washington DC.
SnoCross integrates social media into the arcade video experience by allowing players to share high scores on Facebook and Twitter using QR codes.
The new simulator's cabinet is accented with colorful lighting and a high-profile marquee, and is equipped with a 42" LCD panel that delivers true HD graphics. Its motion-enabled seat allows players to feel like they are part of the action. Operators can link up to eight SnoCross cabinets.
Also on display were games featuring 1080p HD gameplay. These include Play Mechanix's Big Buck HD, which began shipping in summer 2012 in a 32" dedicated cabinet, and 42" and 80" Panorama cabinet options. The hot summer tempered Big Buck HD sales, but the manufacturer expects the model, which operates online, to have long-term success. While its Big Buck Hunter predecessors continue to enjoy popularity in barrooms, the new HD version is expected reach FECs, too. Cashless payments on the HD model represent 16% of revenue, officials reported.
Raw Thrills' Dirty Drivin' in 1080p HD made its debut at the IAAPA expo. The same 10 extreme rides and 14 tracks, along with hundreds of vehicle upgrades, now benefit from full HD, which means 1080 horizontal lines of vertical resolution and progressive scan.
Also new is Super Bikes 2, based on the motorcycle driving game developed by Raw Thrills. The new version has a redesigned bright yellow cabinet with a stunning 42" LCD panel for in-your-face hi-def graphics, along with strategically positioned LEDs that enhance the riding experience. Players choose from 11 new and eight original racecourses, 12 new supercharged bikes and nine new riders. New bike moves and shortcuts add depth, the designers said.
Betson brought to IAAPA popular games still in production, including Play Mechanix's Terminator Salvation and Raw Thrills' Fast And Furious Super Cars. An LCD kit is now available to convert older drivers -- Cruis'n World, Cruis'n Exotica, Off Road Challenge and California Speed, among others -- into Fast And Furious Super Cars. It includes game software, electronics, Dell PC, wiring harness, steering wheel with belt, LCD mount, cabinet artwork and marquee; operators source their own LCDs.
In the redemption category, Betson is now offering Wheel of Fortune in a new 42" video version, smaller than the original deluxe wheel. Capitalizing on the popularity of the TV game show of the same name, the Wheel of Fortune arcade piece features a hi-def 42" LCD and over 4,000 puzzles.
Also for amusement redemption, Betson represents Chicago Gaming Co. The two companies are bringing back SpongeBob SquarePants JellyFishing, a skill-stop game featuring three ticket value inserts, 10 difficulty levels and sound clips from the animated TV program.
Headquartered in Carlstadt, NJ, Betson is the nation's largest amusement and vending machines distributor. It has 12 distribution centers nationwide, and is the marketing arm of Raw Thills, Play Mechanix and Chicago Gaming Co., among other manufacturers, selling to other distributors around the world. Visit betson.com for product information.
Play Mechanix has created more than 40 arcade videogames since 1995. It merged with Raw Thrills in 2006. Raw Thrills was founded by former Midway Games designers Eugene Jarvis, Deepak Deo and Andrew Eloff in 2001, and formed an alliance with Betson shortly after. Both companies recently opened an office in Guangzhou, China.
Photo: Caption TK