Bandai Namco Unveils Star Wars Battle Pod In New York City; Arcade Game Ships To U.S. Operators In January

Posted On: 10/9/2014

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TAGS: Bandai Namco Amusement America Inc., Star Wars Battle Pod, Bandai Namco press event, New York Comic Con, coin-op news, arcade video game, John McKenzie, new Star Wars video game, Bandai Namco Studios, Namco, IAAPA Attractions Expo

NEW YORK CITY -- Bandai Namco Amusement America Inc. held a gala press event on Oct. 8, in conjunction with this week's New York Comic Con, to unveil its latest arcade game. Members of the gaming and technology press corps got a first look at, and ride in, the Star Wars Battle Pod, a high-speed arcade videogame set in the galaxy depicted in the science fiction film series -- or space opera -- created by George Lucas.

Bandai Namco Amusement America Inc. president and chief executive John McKenzie described the new game on stage at the Marquee NY, a tony nightclub in the Chelsea section of Manhattan. Star Wars Battle Pod presents five stages that recreate the fiercest battle scenes from the original Star Wars trilogy, he explained. "Players can experience the impact of the explosions and destruction that will leave them with a sense of actually piloting and taking part in action-packed scenes from the films," he said.

McKenzie chronicled the work done by Bandai Namco's various teams who created the the motion-powered videogame. The eye-catching, high-tech cabinet was developed by Bandai Namco Japan, while the gaming software was created in Singapore at Bandai Namco Studios.

Bandai Namco, Star Wars Battle Pod
PHOTO: Bandai Namco Amusement America Inc. president and chief executive John McKenzie unveils Star Wars Battle Pod arcade game on Oct. 8 in New York City.

The distinguishing feature of Star Wars Battle Pod is a dome projection screen that envelops the player's entire field of vision -- what McKenzie described as "panoramic optimization display technology." The hemispherical screen conveys a 180° horizontal angle of view.

Surrounded by Star Wars images and movie scenes on the dome screen, players take command of the vehicles that appeared in Star Wars films. These include X-wings, Snowspeeders, Speederbikes, Millennium Falcon and TIE Advanced fighters. "Star Wars Battle Pod offers a real sense of flight combat action and delivers an authentic flying experience as if players are actually sitting in the cockpit of a battle pod in the Star Wars universe," McKenzie noted.

Bandai Namco, Star Wars Battle Pod

Inside the enclosed pod, state-of-the-art force-feedback technologies are incorporated into the controllers and seat, allowing players to feel shots, explosions and maneuvers. Additionally, airbursts are directed toward the player to enhance speed and acceleration sensations. Audio churned out by a 5.1ch surround sound system completes the immersive experience.

Star Wars Battle Pod will first be available in the U.S., with shipping scheduled to begin in January, followed by a global rollout. There are currently only four Star Wars videogames in the U.S. One is being demonstrated at Dave & Buster's in New York City's Times Square, and will be there through this weekend. The other three, which were on stage at the Marquee press event, are now on display at Comic Con. All four units are likely to make their way to Orlando, FL, for the IAAPA Attractions Expo in mid-November, where operators can try them out.