SEN. CLINTON CALLS FOR FEDERAL CRIME STATUTE AGAINST VIOLENT VIDEO GAMES
WASHINGTON, D.C. -Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) says she will introduce legislation to impose a $5,000 fine on retailers who sells pornographic or outrageously violent material to minors. Clinton also called yesterday for the Federal Trade Commission to investigate the video game industry's latest scandal. News surfaced last week that the sequel to 2004's bestselling home video game, "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas," includes hidden X-rated pornographic sex scenes that players can unlock with a downloadable key, provided by a third party. The game's creator, Rockstar Games, claims the controversial material was not originally in the game program. The Entertainment Software Ratings Board has launched its own investigation. In "GTA" and "GTA: San Andreas," players take the role of criminals who win points for murdering cops, prostitutes, and bystanders. "The ability of our children to access pornographic and outrageously violent material on video games rated for adults is spiraling out of control," Senator Clinton charged.
ROWE LAUNCHES SUMMER PRICE INCENTIVE PROGRAM THROUGH SEPT. 14
GRAND RAPIDS, MI , Now available from Rowe International Corp. is a price incentive offer that allows operators to purchase brand newAMI Entertainment-powered, digital downloading jukeboxes at reduced cost. The offer runs between July 1 and Sept. 14. Prices are as low as $4,299 for the "Solara" and $5,199 for the "NiteStar" (floor models), and $4,699 for the "StarBrite" wall unit. "StarBrite" and "NiteStar" feature LED lighting rated for an 11-year lifespan, plus the Rowe's patented "Studio Sound" package with four-channel preamp. Operators enjoy volume revenue discounts beginning with the first box they install on the AMI network. The discounts derive from Rowe's enhancing its "Free Months of Music" program and making the savings "instant." Operators will receive the savings applied directly to equipment invoices when digital jukeboxes are purchased during the company's summer promotion. The offer cannot be combined with Rowe's previous "Free Months of Music" offer, and it is only available through an authorized, participating distributor. The AMI-powered line launched last fall and president Jeff Martin described sales as "brisk" and "amazing," saying demand has grown each month since. The promotion is designed to keep that sales curve high, Martin added.
TOUCHTUNES REPORTS STRONG SALES AS COMPANY CONTINUES TO CUTS PRICES
BUFFALO GROVE, IL , TouchTunes Music Corp. said it has shipped more than 2,400 jukeboxes during the first half of 2005, according to sales and marketing vice-president Dan McAllister. He said the digital jukebox company's "Race to 1500" summer rebate promotion on 1,500 units, which launched June 15, directly resulted in 700 sales in two weeks. This week, TouchTunes announced further price cuts. The MSRP of both the "Maestro" and "Rhapsody" has been cut $300 to $5,995. Combined with established volume discounts, the reduction means unit costs may be as low as $4,695. TouchTunes also is offering 0% financing over a 12-month term and 5.9% over a 24-month term, both with first payment due in 90 days. As of July 14, the company said 798 discounted jukeboxes were left.
ROWE, OK MANUFACTURING, AMOA ANNOUNCE NEW TEAM MEMBERS
U.S.A. , Rowe has appointed 29-year industry veteran Jack Silverest as Midwest regional sales manager and Ron Richards as the new director of software engineering of AMI Entertainment' OK Manufacturing has named James Nelson its CEO. Nelson, an MBA from Brigham Young University, graduated Summa cum Laude and was named the Outstanding Master of Business Administration Graduate; he has played key roles in marketing and growing several strong companies, said OK officials' The Amusement and Music Operators Association has hired Patricia Childers as the asociation's communications coordinator. She's a book author, trade and association writer, PR professional and website developer.
JVL OFFERS SUITE OF FREE SERVICES AND GUARANTEES FOR TOUCHSCREEN GAMES
CONCORD, ON, Canada , JVL Corp. is rolling out two Web-based products for its "iTouchNET"-powered touchscreen video games that will provide operators with free reporting and remote management tools, along with tournament enhancements. "iTouchNet Office," which provides online route management and remote access to terminals in the field at http://www.ITouchNET.com. (Remote administration capabilities include pricing and volume adjustments; enabling and disabling of games; changes to erotic settings; and high score resets.) The new tool also monitors a machine's door status, and provides a report on entry times. Also new is "iTouchNET Tournament," which allows operators to participate in JVL's national sweepstakes tournament called "Touch & Win," and/or set up their own "Net Challenge" tournaments. For a flat monthly fee of $25 per month per machine, JVL said operator can access "iTouchNET" tournaments. If fewer than 50 tournament games are played in one month on a machine, JVL will waive the monthly fee for that machine.
ROXOR GAMES AND ANDAMIRO PARTNER FOR NEW GAMES
TORRANCE, CA , Andamiro Co. Ltd. and Roxor Games Inc. are partnering to create a new generation of arcade dance games. The first in a series of planned games under the alliance is now available. "Pump It Up: In The Groove 2" blends Roxor's gameplay, music and graphics with Andamiro's development and cabinet construction. The unit features a 33-in. flat screen monitor, acoustically tuned stereo system and more than 130 interactive dance songs for a total of 1,100 dance routines.
DVD WILL INSTALL FUTURE MERIT 'FORCE' UPDATES
BENSALEM, PA , Merit Industries said it will replace its CD-ROM technology with DVD starting with the game maker's "Force 2006" platform, which launches this fall. Officials said the engineering upgrade, which was inspired by suggestions from operators, will enable faster and simpler updates to cut service time and costs. Since DVDs hold more data (6.5 times the storage of a compact disc), the entire "Force 2006" update can be fit on one DVD. The operator will no longer need to insert multiple disks during an install, eliminating handling and delays. Merit said DVD drives are readily available at retail consumer electronic stores and online. DVD drives also read CDs, so whoever services the game will only need to bring one reader to update both "Force" and "Maxx" platforms, as "Maxx" will remain on CDs. In addition, software kits for both platforms will be offered with or without hard drives. Additional information, including brands of DVD readers Merit recommends, will be available at http://www.meritind.com.
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