AR­CADE WATCH

Keep­ing an eye on the coin-op gam­ing scene

EDGE - - KNOWLEDGE TALK/ARCADE -

In Edge 323’s Col­lected Works, Sega’s chief cre­ative of­fi­cer Toshi­hiro Nagoshi told us what it was like to work with Yu Suzuki dur­ing the com­pany’s ar­cade hey­day. Suzuki, Nagoshi ex­plained, worked with­out de­sign doc­u­ments; he was, ef­fec­tively, mak­ing it up as he went along. “He’s the kind of per­son that, if he wants to do more, can­not stop him­self,” Nagoshi said of his work on Shen­mue. “Some­one must be there to do it for him.” Clearly Suzuki has no such calm­ing in­flu­ence these days. With a re­lease date for Shen­mue III now set in stone – stop laugh­ing at the back – you might think Suzuki would be try­ing to avoid dis­trac­tions. In­stead, he’s mak­ing a VR game.

Vr­sus is Suzuki’s first ar­cade project since 2008’s Lind­bergh­pow­ered Sega Race TV, and is be­ing made in part­ner­ship with Vres, an am­bi­tious tech start-up with Sega con­nec­tions (it’s be­ing ad­vised by Toshiya Ta­bata, who used to over­see Sega’s coin-op busi­ness). Vres’ busi­ness model is es­sen­tially a col­lec­tion of buzz­words – its com­pany name a port­man­teau of vir­tual re­al­ity and es­ports, its strat­egy in­volv­ing a cryp­tocur­rency run­ning on the blockchain – and it’s early days, with this one of two projects it took to Tokyo Game Show. As the name im­plies, Vr­sus is a 1v1 VR es­port that com­bines el­e­ments of CCP’s Sparc, Ready At Dawn’s Echo Arena, Switch’s Arms and your pick of bul­lethell shoot­ers. If that mish-mash sounds like an overly hec­tic mess then, yes, well done – but far be it from us to ques­tion Suzuki’s ar­cade nous. If this means a de­lay to Shen­mue III, though, we’re go­ing to need to have words.

Game Vr­sus Man­u­fac­turer Vres

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