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Issue Date: Vol. 49, No.7, July 2009, Posted On: 6/29/2009

Megatouch Upgrade Enhances Connectivity Functions, Adds Brand New Games

by Staff Reporter
AMI Entertainment Network, Megatouch, Merit, touchscreen games, videogame, jukebox, pinball, coin-op games, bar games, Brennan McTernan, A.J. Russo, Dou Di Zhu, bar trends, arcade, arcade games, vending news, taverns, coin-op news, amusement news, amusement machine operator, interactive entertainment, place-based advertising, MEI

BRISTOL, PA -- AMI Entertainment Network Inc. has released the spring update for its Megatouch videogame line. The touchscreen videogame product, previously offered by Merit Entertainment, is now designated as a brand of AMI Entertainment Network.

The 2009.5 update adds several enhancements to Megatouch's Ion and Force machines. For operators, it simplifies network configuration and provides new service options. For players, it offers two new games, including an American adaptation of a prevalent Chinese card game, and updates classic Megatouch content.

The new Connection Wizard feature allows operators to link up to MegaNet, the videogame's networking system, through a carefree process, AMI said. It walks operators through a step-by-step connection process, whether a machine connects by wired or wireless broadband, or dialup.

Another new feature bundled in the software release is MegaNet Core, a free service that allows any broadband-connected Megatouch Ion to access exclusive games, automatic updates and credit-card functionality, and supports potential advertising revenue. The new feature, AMI reported, is simple to set up.

The software release was designed to make life easier for operators, according to Brennan McTernan, AMI's vice-president of software. “We simplified the process for operators to maximize the earning potential of their Megatouch machines," he said.

Other new features include local machine registration and the ability to create "operator cards" that allow access to setup modes without opening a machine, along with the Megatouch Player Vault, which allows players who use credit cards to store unused game credits for later use on the same Megatouch. The update also includes a new installation option.

The two games developed for the release continue the Megatouch tradition of creating engaging content that draws new players while also satisfying longtime fans, reported AJ Russo, AMI's creative director.

Photo Hunt Widescreen Edition is described as a modern version of what AMI regards as the No. 1 touchscreen game of all time. Larger photos complement sleeker backgrounds, but the classic gameplay remains intact. The Photo Hunt upgrade is available exclusively for Megatouch's Rx and Aurora widescreen terminals.

Fight the Landlord, the second new title, brings stateside one of China's most popular card games, Dou Di Zhu (literally "fight landlord"). Videogame players compete by discarding singles, pairs and trios of cards, attempting to be the first to discard all 17 cards in their hand. According to Russo, the game is easy to learn but difficult to master.

"This enormously popular card game is ready for a whole new audience," the creative director said. “We strive for diversity in our game portfolio and Fight the Landlord, a card game phenomenon in China, is the latest example. This unique game, along with Photo Hunt Widescreen, draws players in and gives them a reason to keep playing, which in turn creates more coin-drop for operators.”

The new software also provides refreshed trivia programming and photos on 10 classic Megatouch games, from Trivia Whiz to Photo Pop.

AMI Awards Default Status To MEI For Megatouch

AMI Entertainment Network Inc. has designated MEI validators as standard payment equipment for its new Megatouch touchscreen entertainment systems. AMI said it selected MEI's payment systems based on their excellent reliability and superior acceptance rates.

"MEI makes a great bill validator," said Steve Jarema, AMI's vice-president of hardware engineering. "We will continue to offer customers choices in bill validators on Megatouch, but specifying MEI as the default allows us to provide a consistent value and reliability for our operators and the best gaming experience for patrons."

For amusement devices, MEI Group offers the Series AE2400, which validates and accepts $1, $2 and $5 bills, and the Series AE2600 for the handling of $1s, $2s, $5s, $10s and $20s. Both are available in upstacker and downstacker configurations. Megatouch terminals primarily use the AE2400, while AMI's Rowe jukeboxes are equipped with the AE2600.

Topic: Music and Games Features

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