TOKYO--At the 43rd Amusement machine show today, Sega announced it has started mass production of its new Lindbergh arcade board and showed trailers of games for the platform. The Lindbergh is based on PC architecture and uses top-of-the-line hardware components, including an Intel Pentium 4 that runs at 3GHz, an Nvidia GPU with dual-screen output, and a 64-channel Digital Signal Processor for its audio.
While it is expected that the Lindbergh will be considerably more costly in comparison to other current arcade platforms, such as Sammy's Atomiswave, Sega did not reveal a price for the board. Even more surprising was that a playable version of House of the Dead 4 was not on display at the AM Show, even though it had been beta-tested in Tokyo two months ago. Also, Sega was not taking orders for the game, even though it is slated for release this winter.
Trailers for five Lindbergh games were shown at the AM Show: Virtua Fighter 5, House of the Dead 4, After Burner 4, Power Smash 3, and Psy-Phi. While House of the Dead 4 and After Burner's trailers were nearly identical to trailers shown at E3 2005, the Virtua Fighter 5 trailer had new footage. The one-minute trailer confirmed that all the characters from Virtua Fighter 4 will be returning to the game, including VF4 Evolution's Brad and Goh, while VF3's sumo wrestler, Taka-Arashi, was absent. The end of the trailer showed two new characters: a young female fighter with short hair, and a Lucha Libre-style masked wrestler. Virtua Fighter 5 is being produced by Sega AM2's Hiroshi Kataoka.
Sega's trailer of Power Smash 3--which will be called Virtua Tennis 3 in the US--probably showed the most potential of all five Lindbergh titles at the show. While only 30 seconds long, it was enough to showcase the next-generation board's realistic graphics and natural lighting effects, high resolution, and quality textures. Power Smash 3's trailer showed close-up shots of tennis players in real-time rendering, including detailed facial expressions and wrinkling skin. Similar to the previous installment, Power Smash 3 features real top tennis pros as playable characters. No release date has been set for the game yet.
Psy-Phi is a new "shooting fighting game" produced by Yu Suzuki, who is best known as the father of Virtua Fighter and Shenmue. While the game was announced only yesterday, it was playable at the show. Psy-Phi features a third-person view, just over the main character's rear shoulder. The game sports a one-on-one battle format, where the objective is to beat one's opponents by launching various attacks at them. In a novel move for an action game, Psy-Phi has no joystick or buttons, using a touch-sensitive screen for all of its controls. The game system is simple; a player touches enemies to attack them and avoids attacks by touching a corner of the screen corresponding to the direction in which he or she wants to dodge. The game features various attacks and skills that can be utilized by advanced players. An IC memory card can be used for recording play data and character customization, although the feature was disabled at the AM Show. Psy-Phi is slated for release in spring 2006.
GameSpot will bring more details on Psy-Phi as they are available. In the meantime, check out its gameplay footage and the other Lindbergh trailers below.