The June 2024 issue of IEEE Spectrum is here!

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Air Hockey 2.0

Engineering a classic arcade game for the digital generation.

1 min read

Arcades have been struggling to survive ever since the Playstation Nation booted up to higher quailty gaming experiences at home. 

Improving the arcade experience has been hit or miss.

So-called location-based games - those big machines that simulate, say, surfing or motorcycling - charge a premium for the kind of immersive experience you can't get in your living room (even with a Wii).  With the exception of Dance Dance Revolution, a boogie-by-numbers phenomenon that successfully made the precipitous leap from Japan to the U.S., however, we have yet to see an arcade game spark a Pac-Man sensation for a new generation.

Now Sega seems to be taking a more retro approach by re-enginnering one classic arcade experience - air hockey. has a preview and video of one of these new machines.  Yes, you still play with a puck and paddle, but there's a whole lot more happening on the responsive, video playfield.   Here's a look.  Maybe there's no room to improve on some games after all.


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