Sega Sammy Group published its results for the past fiscal year. Profit is down 47.5% with 21.8 billion yen (211.1 million euros). Sales of pachinkos and pachislots represent 50% of the turnover through the Sammy, Rodeo and Taiyo Elec brands. 177,000 Hokuto no Ken pachislots (Sammy) and 56,000 Monster Hunter pachislots (Rodeo) were sold, which contributed to a profit of 71 billion yen (€ 687.7 million) (10.6%). The sale of arcade games is doing well (+5.7%), the three major titles being StarHorse Season I, World Club Champion Football Intercontinental Clubs 2010-2011, Sega Network Taisen Mahjong MJ5, Border Break Air Burst and Sengoku Taisen. Although it is slowing down in Japan (+2.8%), the foreign sales climbed 33.3% (one imagines that most orders are from Asia). Profit: 7.4 billion yen (71.7 million €). What worries some is the reduction of 10.8% of expenses planned for this year in research and arcade content development. Sega operates 241 game centers in Japan (8 locations less than last year) whose profits are constant. The firm maintains three facilities abroad (the 7 remaining arcades of the "Gameworks" chain having been sold to Steve Dooner). The problem comes from the consumer division; despite the 17 million of console games sold, a loss of 15.1 billion yen (146.2 million €) is recorded. The best selling title is Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games on Wii and 3DS (3,280,000 units). For the future, Sega Sammy expects a strong increase in sales of pachinkos (35%) and pachislots (57%). But they predict a decline in arcade games sales of 20% in Japan and 10% abroad which would lead to a loss of 82% of the income. 4 arcades will close down. On the console side, a drop of 48% in games sales is expected, the currently allocated budget for research and development will be reduced by 42%.
Hatsune Miku Project DIVA Arcade Version A Revision 4 is available since today. In this fourth revision, there are not much changes except some new features to the interface: the volume button can be adjusted, six new "sounds" buttons were added (like in Hatsune Miku Project DIVA-2nd), the songs are sorted by release date,... A new cloths module was added for Miku and the twins Len and Rin Kagamine. Furthermore, three new songs will available on May 15.
SNK releases The King of Fighters XIII Climax today. It's the update of KOF XIII released in July 2010. SNK has worked on balancing characters to reflect more home versions of the game. The major new feature in this Climax version is the new characters included: NESTS Kyo, Flame Iori, Mr. Karate, Billy and Saiki who were present as DLC characters in console versions of KOF XIII. Moreover, KOF XIII Climax offers a new stage, some extra character costumes and new features for the training mode (also coming from the home versions).
Mobile Suit Gundam Extreme VS. Full Boost first update will be out tomorrow. Some minor changes will be implemented and a new mecha will be added: the RX-0 Unicorn Gundam 02 "Banshee" appeared in the Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn series and operated by Marida Cruz. It's equipped with 6 different types of weapons. Like its predecessor Mobile Suit Gundam Extreme VS., Full Boost will be regularly updated with the addition of new Gundam.
GunLord Version 1.1 is available since yesterday. This update makes the game more difficult, fixes several bugs and gives access to the worldwide online ranking. Here are all the changes: menu speed is reduced, auto centring is removed and the beam is now limited in use, its power recharges slowly but can also be replenished with violet orb items. A violet energy bar was added to the bottom of the HUD. All bosses are more difficult and got additional attack patterns. Stage 2 (Air Stride - shoot'em up stage) was reworked: the stage is harder, enemies now have bullets patterns and suicide bullets and some enemy death effects were added. Bosses now have visible energy bars, Stage 1 mountain colour palette was reworked and big enemies were added to elevator fight in stage 4. Consumer mode only: Pause button handling is improved and a level skip cheat is now available (not usable in coin-op mode and no high score save). Fixed bugs include the stage 3 boss scrolling glitch and the stage 9 mcu bug. All owners of the MVS cartridge can download the update for free through the link sent to them by NG:DEV.TEAM and update their game through the cart's USB port. If you don't have the game yet, GunLord Version 1.1 MVS cart is available at NG:DEV.DIRECT for €319.
DoDonPachi Saidaioujou is out in Japanese arcades today. Cave offers a more stylish game than the previous DoDonPachi episodes while keeping the gameplay that made its success. But new features are added such as the "Dress System". The player chooses an "elemental doll" among the three available, each having her own ship; Shuri (Type A) has a fast red ship with a narrow shot, Hikari (Type B) has a medium-speed green helicopter with a shot angling with player's movement and Maria (Type C) has a blue ship, slower and shooting wide. The "Dress System" consists of three different styles of clothing for dolls: the "shot" style (combat clothes), the "laser" style (casual clothes) and the "expert" style (swimsuit). Ships have a "shot" attack and an "laser" attack. Each style has different characteristics: with the "shot" style, the shot attack is more powerful, the player begins with three bombs and can carry up to six. With the "laser" style, the laser attack is more powerful and the player starts with two bombs and can carry up to four. With the "expert" style, the two types of attacks are powerful but the ennemies bullets patterns are more difficult, the player starts with a bomb and can carry two maximum. DoDonPachi Saidaioujou uses three buttons: A button to fire, while holding it down the player uses the laser, B button for bombs and C button is auto-fire. An auto-bomb mode can be selected at the game start but it uses all the bombs in stock, if it's turned off, an extra bomb is offered to the player when he returns after death. By defeating enemies, players can get bonus lives and "hypers" bonuses that allow canceling all enemy fire when triggered. Regarding the staff, Manabu Namiki (DoDonpachi and Death Smiles) composed the music and character design is signed by Ryo Nagi (Steel Chronicle).
The famous Taito's train driving simulation game series celebrates its 15th anniversary this year. To highlight the event, Taito delights train simulator fans by releasing a new episode with a new concept dedicated to children: Card de Renketsu! Densha de GO!. For the first time, the game uses cards, there are three types: locomotives, intermediate cars and tail cars. The player can choose up to 6 cars. Train models shown in game actually exist and the lines are also real lines of the Japanese railway network. The gameplay has been simplified compared to previous versions to be suitable for children. The control lever has four positions represented by four colors (blue, green, yellow, red), the player must keep the lever in the position indicated by the color bars that scroll across the screen (a bit like a rhythm game).
Mobile Suit Gundam - Senjo no Kizuna is out today. It will add 2 new mechas : RAG-79-G1 and MSM-04G, the first can be bought with 6500 points and the second with 6000 points. The RAG-79-G1 Waterproof Gundam is equipped with 5 differents weapons and comes from the manga Mobile Suit Gundam UC0096 â€œThe Sleevesâ€ Crew Chief Recites a Poem released in 2010. The MSM-04G Juaggu is equipped with 3 different weapons and comes from the anime series Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn released in 2010.
Next weekend, the best Belgian pinball players will meet at Bingovit's Gameroom for BFK (Belgisch FlipperKampioenschap / Belgium Pinball Championship) 2012 - Double Trouble. As usual, the championship is divided in several categories: Men, Women and Junior. The traditional "Winner who takes it all" challenge is organized beside. BFK 2012 will take place on Saturday April 21. Qualify rounds will begin at 9:00. Final rounds will be held at 18:30 (Junior), 21:00 (Women) and 21:30 (Men). Prizes will be awarded during a ceremony at 22:00. Every Belgian player aged 16 or older can enter. People can register at Bingovit website. The participation fee is €20. Several Arcade Belgium Forums members join the competition including Glenn Pellis and Peter Smets (who finished 4th last year). Good luck to them! Bingovit's Gameroom is located on Eigenlostraat in Sint-Niklaas (between Gent and Antwerpen).
Our report on our participation to the Made in Asia 4 show has just been published. This year the show attracted about 21,500 visitors and our stand has encountered a great success. The two tournaments we held were also full of participants: 50 people registered to Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition tournament. After several hours of fighting, it's finally Ka 'Loan who won against Almeh, Dash Prof completed the podium. Thirty players entered The King of Fighters XIII and Omar was the winner, Esash ranked second and ASS-Kujiro finished third. All of them received video games, T-shirts and goodies. We wish to thank all participants for their good mood and patience and all the people (they will recognize themself) who helped us during the show but also during the preparation phase... We hope to see you even more numerous for the next Made in Asia to be held on March 8, 9 and 10, 2013. You can read it on this page.
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