Taito, Square Enix’s subsidiary behind arcade classic Space Invaders, jumps on the mini-hardware trend in a big way. The Japanese company has unveiled a desktop replica of its sitting arcade machine, Egret II. The so-called candy cabinet was originally released in the mid to late nineties, and thanks to a rotation mechanism that made it possible to configure the screen vertically for tate-mode games such as shoot-em-ups.
Fittingly, the micro-version retains that feature with a 5-inch 4: 3 LCD screen that you can jump out and twist to fit in both directions. The main controls include six primary buttons and a stick that can be adjusted from four to eight directions based on the game. In addition to the copy cabinet, the Taito also releases a separate controller with a paddle wheel and trackball for compatible titles such as Kameltri, which originally saw players guide a marble through a maze by rotating the screen. If it sounds familiar, it̵
In all, Taito promises a library of 40 pre-loaded titles. Although it has not revealed the full lineup yet, the current list includes Space Invaders, Lunar Rescue, Qix, Lift action, Chack’n Pop, Bubble Bobble, among others. One of the newer titles on the list is Global Champion (Kaiser Knuckle in Japan), who jumped on the beat-em-up bandwagon in the wake of Street Fighter II.
The expansion controller, meanwhile, comes with an SD card pre-installed with ten games that use the trackball or paddle. They include confirmed titles such as Strike Bowling, the aforesaid Kameltri, Plump Pop, and Syvalion. Another notable addition is Arkanoid, an arcade game with block switches released by Taito in 1986. Apart from the rotating screen, the Egret II Mini has a USB-C port for power, two USB-A ports for controllers, an HDMI port for TV output and a headphone jack . .
Including the actual copy and peripherals, the cabinet will not be cheap. On its own, it costs 18,678 yen ($ 170) and the expansion controller is 12,078 yen ($ 110). Taito also offers an additional arcade stick for 8,778 yen ($ 80) and a gamepad for $ 3,278 yen ($ 30). If you want a lot, you can grab a limited package of 49,478 yen ($ 450) that throws in accessories like audio track CDs, and a 32,978 yen ($ 300) package of sans arcade stick and game control.
But it’s still a while to go before it lands: the Egret II Mini will ship on March 2, 2020. Fortunately, you can still get your arcade fix from other cheaper copies like My Arcades Micro Player machines. And maybe, Sega will release a new limited series of the Astro CIty Mini arcade.
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