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Issue Date: Vol. 50, No. 11, November 2010, Posted On: 10/26/2010

Dead Heat Unites Arcade Driving And Social Networking

Nick Montano
Namco America Inc., Namco, Namco Arcade, Dead Heat video game, videogame, social networking, driving video game, arcade video game, coin machine, arcade game manufacturer, coin-op news, Namco Bandai Holdings

Namco Dead Head

ELK GROVE VILLAGE, IL -- Namco America Inc. says one of its newest videogame is not the typical driver. It's the only arcade driver, according to the manufacturer, that incorporates social networking.

Dead Heat players that race each other are identified as "friends." The social networking tree expands as more friends race. Namco developed technology that analyzes a player's driving style and saves that information to use as computer opponents in future races against friends. These profiles are stored and accessed using a PIN system.

"With this technology, players get to race friends that aren't even present," Namco reports. The factory explained that its state-of-the-art technology blurs the line between human and artificially intelligent opponents.

"When they use their NOS boosters to propel them to the finish line, it's their friend they just beat not just some anonymous computer car," Namco said. "Players return over and over to race the people they know and quickly establish loyalty to a specific location."

The game itself is described as a head-to-head driver featuring exciting and tight races that encourage players to pursue rematches. Photos are taken of each player before the race and appear above their cars. This feature is intended to help players quickly identify their opponents and amplify competition. "Players will know exactly with who they are battling for first place," Namco explained.

Dead Heat's HD graphics provide highly detailed and accurately represented cityscapes. When players race through Chicago, for instance, they're driving on computer models based on real roads, compared with other driving games that randomly place landmarks.

Dead Heat features eight customizable cars, including popular Japanese and American models.

Elk Grove Village, IL-based Namco America is a subsidiary of Japan's Namco Ltd., which is a unit of Namco Bandai Holdings. Namco America. Email arcadeinfo@namcoamerica.com to request more information about Dead Heat.

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