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Latest News From Japan

Latest News From Japan
Latest News From Japan
New Namco Coin-Op Driver To Use PS2 Board

Namco have announced that they, in conjunction, with Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE), have developed a coin-op system board (System 246)compatible with Playstation 2. The System 246 was developed by integrating a core PC board developed by Sony with an interface board developed by Namco. By basing the new system on the existing PS2 hardware, the development costs of the new system were relatively low.

The new system will not only enable coin-op game manufacturers to easily convert games to PS2 use but will also encourage PS2 game developers to enter the coin-op arena.

Namco's first game using the new system is called "Ridge Racer V Arcade Edition", the coin-op version of the huge PS2 hit "Ridge Racer V". It will be shown at the JAMMA Show in Tokyo at the end of September.

Namco To Bow New Gun Game: "Ninja Assault"

Namco are due to exhibit a new gun game called "Ninja Assault" at the upcoming AMOA and JAMMA Shows. The game uses Sega's Naomi arcade hardware. The game uses a light gun but unlike Time Crisis, it does not have a foot pedal. Release is set for November in the USA and probably a little earlier in Japan.(updated August 30, 2000)

Capcom To Sell Direct

Capcom intends to end consignment sales of its consumer game software titles to game-console makers and instead market its products directly to retailers. This strategy will cut out the margins paid to console makers. Until recently, distribution of game software was controlled by the game hardware manufacturers. Capcom expects the change in policy to boost its operating profit margin by 4-5 percent from the present 18%.

Konami Use Net For Product Ideas

Konami is looking for suggestions for new products through its website, Konami style.com. Any concepts suggested by over 100 people will be considered for development. The first product to be developed under this system is a special dancing pad for the consumer version of Dance Dance Revolution.

Another Konami R&D Sub. to List

The Konami game development subsidiary KCE Tokyo Inc. is to list its shares on the over-the-counter market in Japan from Aug. 29. KCE Tokyo was spun off by Konami in 1995 and all of the games it develops are marketed by the parent company. At present, approximately a quarter of the games Konami sells are developed by KCE Tokyo.

While KCE Osaka, Konami's other development subsidiary that went public last year, concentrates on sports games, KCE Tokyo specialises in simulation and role-playing games.KCE Tokyo's revenue comes from the fees it is paid by Konami for developing game software as well as commission on sales. In the long-run, the company plans to develop game concepts in-house to increase its independence from the parent company.

Over 90% of KCE Tokyo's games are designed for Sony's Playstation 1 & 2. Since its spin-off five years ago, the company has developed over 150 titles, many of them sequels of established game brands.

Special thanks to Manjiro Works for these news stories.

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Manjiro Works Inc. exports top quality coin-operated machines from Japan around the world.


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