WORLD OF SLOTS 2011
by Charles Anderer
September 18, 2011
The 11th annual edition of G2E is in a new venue and on a new calendar spot, October 4-6 at the Sands Expo & Convention Center, Las Vegas. Manufacturers will again do their part to generate excitement and interest, particularly in the core slot category which claims more real estate and mind share than any other on a trade show floor that numbers about 450 exhibitors.
New game content, cabinets, production values and supporting technologies will tempt even the most budget-minded slot operator to turn on the shopping mode switch. There will be a competitive blend of established and up-and-coming suppliers to keep things vibrant and give slot managers more interesting options than ever. To help focus your attention in the run-up to the show and perhaps save you some time navigating once you’re there, here is our annual World of Slots presentation:
AINSWORTH GAME TECHNOLOGY LTD.
Ainsworth’s vision for the future will be showcased beginning with a limited edition of A560 Mega Top Players Paradise Platinum, the dynamic OLED button panel, and “World of Jackpots” featuring a kaleidoscope of unique jackpot brands and games. The company invites you to see “A Galaxy of Options.”
Showcased on the widescreen Super A560 cabinet, Ainsworth calls World of Jackpots the first of its kind in the industry, as it not only offers players different game titles, but also many different overall jackpot themes to choose from, providing a new approach to jackpot marketing. The Super A560 cabinet features three large LCD screens to incorporate the game with multiple progressive levels, a host of themed graphics and game interactive LED lighting.
The extensive World of Jackpots product library provides super-store quantities of linked progressive-centric brands, with seven jackpot themes featuring at G2E; Thunder Bucks, Rapid Strike, Players Paradise, Lights Camera Action, Rio Grande Rapids, Jackpot Zone and Dragon. Many more new progressive World of Jackpots brands due for release in 2012 and beyond.
Ainsworth will also introduce Mega Top, the company’s newest A560 cabinet which stands above all others, with a new 32-inch LCD top box and event driven LED lighting. Standing over seven feet tall with six levels of progressives, the Mega Top range offers an imposing centerpiece for any gaming floor. Most importantly Mega Top launches with two new progressive brands, Tower of Fortune and Players Paradise Platinum, the next extension in Ainsworth’s popular Players Paradise jackpot series.
Ainsworth is also set to expand their successful GamePlus range with 25 new standalone games including two-, three- and four-level stand-alone progressive brands: Double Shot Deluxe, Triple Shot, Double Hit, Super Game, Play 100Lines /Play 50Lines an all-new high-denomination game range and the revolutionary ante-bet product Hot Reel.
AMERICAN GAMING SYSTEMS
American Gaming Systems (AGS) is a designer, manufacturer and operator of gaming machines with more than 8,000 units currently in operation. With roots in the gaming industry dating back to 1996, Las Vegas-based AGS is led by CEO Robert Miodunski, who has assembled a veteran management team over the past year to build on the company’s existing strengths and to provide customers with a new level of service and product options.
This year at G2E, AGS will introduce Roadrunner, its new machine, game and technology initiative designed to take AGS to the next level of innovation and provide a platform for the future. The new Roadrunner platform has a wide variety of features designed to improve the game-play experience, including rendering rates of 300 full frames per second, per screen - the fastest in the industry today, according to the company.
Roadrunner’s first family of games all have the new AGS proprietary feature called “Lock and Bump.” This allows players the simultaneous opportunity for big base game wins and more frequent entry to bonus games. These new game releases include Evening in Paris, an elegantly themed game that portrays a night on the town in Paris with beautiful French imagery and backdrops that accentuate the game; Golden Panda, a game that utilizes Chinese symbolism coupled with a cute 3-D panda character who comes alive during game play and gives players the opportunity to live vicariously through his antics; and Tropical Hideaway, which allows players to escape to a tropical beach rich in natural beauty with a high-energy gecko, diligent hermit crabs and fluttering butterflies accentuating the game.
Along with the new Roadrunner platform, AGS will also introduce a new series of cabinets at G2E, including top-box games that feature wheel bonuses and pachinko-style action. AGS will debut a dozen new games developed in-house. The AGS booth will also include new third-party games such as Johnny and the Black Velvet Quartet along with attractive product extensions of AGS classics Cool Catz and Royal Reels and existing favorites such as Boogie Ball and Diamond Lotto.
AGS will once again emphasize its strong position in the Illinois market by showcasing a complete solution for the successful implementation of the Video Gaming Act. Along with the Illinois Bonus Club loyalty program, AGS will also highlight a variety of game titles designed specifically for locals play in Illinois, including games based on the Cherry Master brand and a variety of poker titles, led by the proprietary Pay It Again Poker game.
ARISTOCRAT TECHNOLOGIES, INC.
At G2E 2011, Aristocrat will show operators how it creates gaming experiences with new game technology, new game categories, entertaining new games, and advances in systems and technologies that, it says, are unlike anything seen before from the company.
Aristocrat’s Viridian Hybrid with Active Reel Technology is a new line of games with the potential to feature a 5-reel stepper base game, a full screen video and a three-reel stepper bonus, all in the same game. This is made possible with Aristocrat’s LCD with Reel Windows and electronic Shutters, providing the capability to block individual reels and symbols.
The first product category in the Viridian Hybrid line is Winning Wishes, launching with three game titles: Persian Prize, Pixie Riches and Tahitian Treasures.
Ultra Spin is a new series of bonus bank games with free games and progressive and/or credit awards bonuses. Ultra Spin will launch with two base game titles: Diamond Destiny and Ruby Saloon. Stormin’ Jackpots are games that contain bonus features and can be configured as either non-progressive or as a standalone progressive.
Based on the original popular Cash Express, Cash Express Gold Glass features new Gold Class and multiplier wheel features, high frequency base games, bonus and jackpot features and a five-level progressive.
Zorro is back in Zorro: The Legend Returns and in Zorro: The Mask & The Rose. The Tarzan Lord of the Jungle line expands with Tarzan the Adventures Return, with all-new features, and a new Tarzan link.
The entertainment-style video slot, Mission: Impossible features a wide area progressive with a $250,000 top award and with three local area progressive jackpots and six pulse-pounding bonus features. The top performing Jaws slot series introduces its fourth title in Jaws Bounty Hunter, with a new chair, which enhances the player’s audio experience.
The Mega Pay category is expanded with More Pearls and Rise of the Incas. The standalone progressives line has added new titles Barbershop, Jackpot Catcher and Wild Romance. The Remix category, with its shuffle feature where all symbols are rearranged randomly, has added new titles of Amazing Dave and Touch of Magic, and Win Your Way, where players select their own volatility level, now offers Miss Kitty.
Imperial House is back with the added excitement of Aristocrat’s exclusive Drag n’ Drop technology, and player-favorites Wicked Winnings III and Samurai’s Honor are back in new six-reel games.
In Reel Tubes, reels also act as tubes that fill to lead players to additional bonus games. This series will launch with two titles in Mad Professor and Pharaoh’s Prize. New in Aristocrat’s Reel Power product offerings are Amazon Temple and Crystal Customs, and Peeking Duck is new to the Xtra Reel Power line up. The Multi-line category has added the titles Bunny’s Rabbits, Cool Shark, Hero’s Fortune, Vegas Baby and Queen of Hearts, and the 50/100 Line category welcomes Timber Jack.
Oasis 360 is updated with the bonusing engine nRich, business intelligence tool nVision, and the content-delivery solution nCompass.
Also showing is Alive, Aristocrat’s live area network, with several downloadable games at G2E, server-based solutions and online casino technology.
ARUZE GAMING AMERICA, INC.
Aruze is a rising supplier of innovative gaming equipment that develops and manufactures gaming devices for the global casino market. The company produces a wide range of slot products, including high-resolution multimedia video and stepper slot machines; communal gaming products; and multi-terminal devices. At this year’s G2E in Las Vegas, Aruze will present an extensive portfolio of products under the banner of “We’ve Got It All.”
“Aruze designs products that focus on the player’s experience while balancing the varying needs for operators around the world,” said Jamal Azzam, Aruze Gaming executive vice president of sales and marketing. “We continue to release products with exciting new game mechanics, strong mathematics, and superior content.”
Aruze fuses traditional gaming concepts with new mechanics with its Innovator product line featuring Radiant Reels, a new spin on stepper technology. Designed with large reels dynamically illuminated by 240 multi-colored LED lights and variable spin speeds which build anticipation for winning combinations, Innovator games capture the players’ attention and provide an engaging and energetic stepper experience. Among the Innovator titles on display are Fu Lu Shou, Four Chinese Beasts, Bamboo Panda, and King of Dragons.
As a follow-up to the award-winning Paradise Fishing, Aruze will introduce Amazon Fishing, another G-LINK title featuring Reel Feel Gaming Technology, which again puts the action of fishing in the palm of the players’ hands. Amazon Fishing takes players to an all-new locale with all new fish, some so large they can’t even fit on just one of the three 60-inch LCD monitors. As a new feature, players can now select their own bait to attract the types of fish they would like to catch according to their own style of play.
Aruze will also debut their latest premium range of G-DELUXE interactive top box products including Rock You Queen III and The Four Heavenly Kings, each featuring a base game with many frequent interactive bonus events and an eye-catching top box.
“Aruze truly shows that ‘We’ve Got It All’ in such a dynamically diverse product line that can meet the needs of any operator,” said Steve Walther, vice president of marketing. “The momentum we have gained from such engaging products has made Aruze Gaming a company to watch and attendees will continue to be impressed with our award-winning line-up this year.”
The biggest news expected from ATRONIC and SPIELO at G2E 2011 will be their new, unified corporate identity – a name, yet to be announced, that will encompass both organizations.
The sister companies, overseen by Italian gaming giant Lottomatica, have been moving toward functional integration for the past few years. However, G2E 2011 will mark the organization’s “coming out” as a fully integrated entity -- one that now possesses a shared, laser-like focus on exceptional content and customer intimacy.
Under their new mission and moniker, ATRONIC and SPIELO will be showing a combination of new games and tested, market-available products that today’s players can enjoy now, and that future players will be lining up to play.
Deal Or No Deal Join’N Play is among the market-ready products to be featured at the show. A fully-themed linked community game, Deal Or No Deal Join’N Play offers a time-based Community Bonus that’s guaranteed for qualified players. Rich with new features, Deal Or No Deal Join’N Play also includes a “multiplier” sixth reel, the max-bet-activated Howie Jackpot, and three base game Mystery Bonuses.
The new Passion 3-Reel King Kong stepper game is designed to attract players with its famous cinematic monster, a new buy-a-feature option and multi-level progressives. This gargantuan game is based on ATRONIC’s proven bonus-within-a-bonus concept, and includes a binding bonus that encourages extended play.
ATRONIC’s and SPIELO’s latest core games mix new developments with simplicity. In Wild Wild Wranglers, the “Extreme Stacks” stacked reels combined with 243 Ways to Win scatter prize can lead to big wins and bigger excitement.
Goldify is a new customizable game where players choose their experience and volatility-- and they don’t have to learn any rules. Players touch any one onscreen symbol, regardless of its value, and it turns to gold, awarding 5X the line wins.
A standalone progressive with high hit frequency, Cash Eruption targets progressive “shoppers” who can increase their chances of winning with bigger bets. A Pick-a-Prize Tiki bonus reveals frequent progressive multipliers from 2X, 3X, or 5X, while “new classic” base game bonuses add entertainment value.
TournaMaster gives operators the flexibility to switch from a main game to a tournament with the push of a button. Available on the prodiGi Vu cabinet, the second screen LCD shows individual player name, ranking, and total points, which are also displayed on a leaderboard. An overhead display shows the current leader board information when the tournament is in play, and allows properties to showcase marketing messages when the games are in regular play mode to maximize the bottom line.
“Experience the Innovation” is the theme at Bally Technologies’ 15,300-square-foot booth at the 2011 Global Gaming Expo. Attendees will see Bally’s latest games, systems, mobile applications, and server-based solutions, including nearly 300 games for every major gaming market in the world.
Highlighting Bally’s G2E exhibit are new games featuring popular, iconic brands, including Grease and Betty Boop Fortune Teller.
Grease is a new game on Bally’s Pro Series Upright V22/22 cabinet with the Pro Hammerhead top box. Inspired by the 1978 American musical film about two love-struck teens in a 1950s high school, this bonus-rich game is Bally’s first double-play game, featuring two, 25-line games – enabling the player to play two games at once. This game features seven bonus events, including T-Bird mystery wilds, a U-Spin Yearbook Bonus, two pick-em features, two styles of free games, and four any-bet progressives. Fully utilizing Bally’s iDeck touch-screen button deck, Grease features “Dance Off” Free Games in which players “dance” on the iDeck to win additional free games or credits.
Betty Boop’s Fortune Teller, the companion game to the hit Betty Boop’s Love Meter, is also featured on the unique Pro Upright Hammerhead cabinet. Based on the iconic cartoon character and featuring her playful dog Pudgy, Betty Boop’s Fortune Teller offers an unprecedented 15 bonuses at any bet. There are two progressive jackpots available at any bet, and a top life-changing wide-area progressive jackpot, available at max bet. This game features the U-Spin Fortune Wheel, where the player is able to touch, slide, and spin the interactive bonus wheel. Betty Boop’s Fortune Teller also features an innovative U-Choose bonus that gives control to the players, letting them pick their preferred bonus, as well as an immersive use of the iDeck, where players place their hands on the iDeck and have their “palms read” to receive credit and multiplier awards.
Other featured new games include:
• Moon Goddess, on Bally’s Pro Curve cabinet, features the U-Spin play mechanic that enables players to touch and spin a virtual wheel; Bally’s new Big Bang play mechanic in which the player collects a certain symbol during the bonus, and the symbols turn Wild on the last spin; and a five-level progressive jackpot.
• Flippin’ Wild, on the Pro V32 cabinet, a four-in-one game with two-level mystery progressives, free games, 243 ways to win, a Wild Bonus feature, and the Big Bang play mechanic during the Free Games feature.
• Temple of Mystery, on Bally’s Pro Stepper cabinet, featuring the Bullseye Bonus play mechanic which provides an exciting free-game bonus when a player receives bullseye symbols, in addition to a new level of excitement with the U-Win bonus feature on the iDeck’s touch-enabled display.
•And Fish’n for Loot, the first game featuring Bally’s U-Shoot multi-touch iDeck feature in which players touch the iDeck with both hands to “create bubbles” and then try to shoot the fish on the main game screen to win bonus credits.
Cadillac Jack’s product portfolio has grown significantly in 2011. The company’s emphasis on new game development has brought feature-rich content and functionality to its products. Attendees at G2E 2011 will view Cadillac Jack’s hottest new stand-alone and server-based products featuring persistent multipliers, natural paylines, ante bet, Class II/III progressives, and multi-level bonus games. These include:
• Xtra Bonus, Cadillac Jack’s new game feature that allows players to place an additional bet prior to spinning. Xtra Bonus has been incorporated into multiple game themes and math models giving players the potential to unlock added bonus features such as re-spins or augmented win amounts. Taking the place of the Max Bet button, Xtra Bonus, once activated, forces max lines plus increases the current bet amount by 50 percent. Titles being showcased at G2E include Treasures in the Attic, Alchemy, Magic Hat, and Cherry Boom Boom.
• Hot Streak. The persistent multipliers found in the Hot Streak series promote player engagement as they watch the multiplier grow with each winning spin. Look for Hot Streak, Sultan’s Dancers, and Fiesta of Souls at G2E. The Hot Streak multiplier is achieved during the base game when any active payline results in a win. The multiplier payout rewards players on a “Hot Streak” with a pay multiplier that increases with each successive winning spin up to 100X.
• Connect to Win, Cadillac Jack’s new series that incorporates natural payline algorithms to make wins more intuitive. This unique feature frees the player from needing to study numerous non-intuitive paylines, thus making the winning experience easier to understand.
• Class II Wide Area & Local Area Progressives. The spy-themed game, Operation Jackpot, is at G2E and can be found alongside other popular Cadillac Cash Wide Area Progressive themes such as Mega Strike. Operation Jackpot is a rich content WAP/LAP combination, with four local area progressives and one top award linked to the Cadillac Cash wide area progressive. This spy-themed game features a three-part multi-level bonus with interactive picks, multipliers and free spins.
• Class III Multi-Level Progressives. Highly anticipated by Cadillac Jack’s Class III operators and being showcased at G2E is the company’s launch of its Progressive series of games for the Class III market. Multi-level progressive titles Mega Strike and Operation Jackpot are the games being highlighted.
• So Hot Bonus Choice, what Cadillac Jack calls its most requested and highly played game, So Hot will showcase new bonus options for players with the new Bonus Choice feature. Upon initiating the Bonus Choice, flames light up the reels as they transition to a set of picks. The player is presented with a choice of several Multiplier/Free Spin combinations – the varying values depend upon the number of Scatters triggered in the base game – and the player must choose an option to determine the pay multiplier and number of free spins.
ELITE CASINO PRODUCTS
Elite Casino Products will unveil a new addition to the Nitro Slot Cabinet Series at the 2011 G2E, as well as introduce several new a product features that immerse players with graphics and sound. The Nitro Series has contemporary aesthetic styling, a space-saving slim profile, and new features which the company says distinguish the products from existing offerings.
“The Nitro was a complete departure from our existing product line,” said Scott Irving, managing director for Elite Casino Products. “We have enhanced the Nitro by adding a variety of optional features that can be mixed-and-matched modularly to achieve a customized look, without incurring the cost of product development. The Nitro has outstanding versatility with interactive lighting, sound, and toppers that bring players into the game to enjoy a more engaging experience.”
Elite Casino Products’ flagship Nitro cabinet features dual 22-inch widescreen LCDs with optimal viewing angles and excellent graphic quality. Single screen and spinning reel options are also available. Players are submerged in the gaming experience with Nitro’s energizing sound system and vibrant edge-lighting that can be programmed to coordinate with game themes.
Irving said the Nitro slot cabinet was also designed with ergonomic comfort in mind. “ECP takes an in-depth look into the ergonomic design of our new products to ensure player comfort and to maximize time on device,” he said. “With the knowledge and information gained directly from the slot players, combined with our expertise in design engineering, ECP develops the products that please both players and game manufacturers.”
Elite Casino Products will also have its well-established Axis and Velocity Series on display, with team members on hand to discuss custom design and engineering services, cabinet product offerings, as well as complimentary stands and toppers.
Founded in 1983, FutureLogic has developed many of the Ticket-in/Ticket-out (TITO) gaming printer’s features and functions that have become today’s industry standards. With more than 1.4 million TITO printers shipped worldwide, FutureLogic offers the industry’s most decorated printers, including the GEN2 Universal printers, and has won 13 gaming technology awards since 2003.
“FutureLogic stands apart in the industry by offering a full line of TITO gaming printers as well innovative promotional couponing solutions,” said Nick Micalizzi, vice president of sales and marketing, North America.
FutureLogic introduced the GEN3 Evolution printer last November at G2E 2010. Following this major product introduction, 2011 marked a year of industry advances for the company, including:
• January- June 2011: The GEN3 Evolution printer and the PromoNet couponing solution are showcased at: ICE 2011, NIGA 2011, Canadian Gaming 2011, G2E Asia 2011 and the 2011 Systems Users Conference.
• April 2011: Introduces South American presence by hiring Emilio Machado for new business development, and in June conducts South American Road Show.
• June 2011: As IGT Strategic Technology Partner, FutureLogic showcases product innovations at 2011 Systems Users Conference.
• June 2011: The PromoNet Solution is given green light by GLI to bring the system to market.
• July 2011: Nevada Gaming Control Board authorizes PromoNet field trial in Las Vegas casino.
At G2E 2011 FutureLogic will showcase the GEN3 Evolution printer and the PromoNet promotional couponing solution.
The GEN3 Evolution was developed specifically with promotional couponing in mind. The printer doubles the print speed and offers more than twice the ticket storage capacity as compared to other gaming printers. It is also the first gaming printer equipped with separate processing environments for TITO and promotional couponing. This peripheral offers the latest printing and communications technologies providing true grey-scale printing for photographic-quality coupons, ticket capacity of up to 450 tickets that can save operators up to 30 refills per printer per year, and a print speed of eight inches-per-second to deliver a ticket in less than one second.
FutureLogic’s PromoNet promotional couponing solution can be integrated with the company’s TITO gaming printers such as the GEN3 Evolution printer and GEN2 Universal printer. The PromoNet solution offers casinos the ability to create campaigns for both carded and non-carded players, and automatically trigger marketing campaigns based on real-time game play metrics, player tracking information, POS systems and redemption terminals, allowing casino marketers to issue a coupon at the game or HBE (hospitality, beverage, entertainment) location to attract and retain customers. For players, these offers provide valued savings and incentives to enhance their casino/resort experience.
FutureLogic will also exhibit several other peripherals at G2E 2011. Highlights will include:
• Introduction of the Onyx TITO printer, which maintains the robustness and reliability of its predecessors.
• The GEN2 Universal server-based printer, which supports a variety of network protocols and can be configured to communicate with multiple hosts simultaneously.
• The CouponXpress printer brings all of the popular GEN2 Universal gaming printer’s features, functions and flexibility from the slot floor to the desktop.
• The Eclipse universal ticket and receipt printer is designed for Video Lottery Terminals (VLTs) and unattended kiosks.
• The TableXchange printer/scanner connects table games to the casino’s existing network by scanning and printing TITO vouchers.
Emerging Class-III gaming manufacturer Incredible Technologies (IT) is planning on making a statement at G2E 2011 that the company’s President and CEO Elaine Hodgson sums up in two simple words, “It’s on.” The tale of IT’s evolvement from leading amusement game manufacturer to contending video slot manufacturer first began in 2005. Now, the Illinois-based company intends on using G2E 2011 as the venue to define precisely how its Magic Touch brand of video slot, poker and keno games is worthy of the attention it has garnered throughout the industry.
“As an organization we’re ready,” said Hodgson. “Not only are we showcasing our big ideas at G2E, we’re backing them up with sales and earnings data that cannot be ignored.”
With their largest exhibit to date, IT is bringing over 50 cabinets to G2E including over a dozen new video slot titles in addition to their catalogue of GLI-approved games. Among the new innovations IT will be showing are new categories in its award-winning Magic Touch Innovation Collection including a symbol-by-symbol line win multiplier feature called Multi-X Symbols in its new Family Vacation and Rollin’ on Route 66 video slot games. A Mini Games bonus feature will be showcased in IT’s new Neon City Casino slot in addition to a category of games featuring Random Awards. A new partnership category will be introduced featuring creative titles developed by acclaimed slot development studio, GC2. Finally, IT will be launching follow up titles in its Sidewinder Reels and popular Angle Pay categories. A new version of Upper Hand Hold ‘Em – the company’s Hold ‘Em based concept – will also be on display.
New titles will also make their debut in IT’s popular Magic Touch Traditional Collection which focuses primarily on reel configurations, simple user interfaces, player anticipation events, free spins and scatter features.
This body of work will join a bolstered collection of video poker and keno games now featuring over forty titles and the company’s patent-pending ProTip perfect play poker functionality.
In addition to this catalogue of diverse software, IT will showcase its proprietary tech-friendly hardware and cabinetry. A final version of the company’s Breeze Slant-75HD cabinet will also be on display and for sale to the industry for the first time.
At this year’s G2E Interblock will be “Fighting for your Revenue” with the Organic generation of gaming products, presenting eight state of-the-art gaming machines including:
• G4 Organic Roulette 08 with Player Information Display (PID): Organic Roulette provides players with every wager available on a live game but with a much faster pace and immediate payouts. This game will be displayed at G2E in three different versions, with six, eight and 10 play stations in Football Shape with PID. This layout gives an imposing look on the floor and enables players on one side of the machine to see what’s happening with the game on the other side, as well as each player screen housing a live video feed of the game in play.
• G4 Organic Virtual 10 with PID Organic Virtual is the most attractive video table product on the market. It allows players to wager on a common, life-like roulette wheel and game layout that is horizontally placed in front of them. Virtual generators are totally independent as they do not require any human assistance when simulating traditional table games. Also to be premiered for the first time at G2E will be the Organic Virtual Blackjack.
• G4 Organic Twins 12 with Roulette and Dice center: Organic Twins is an impressive looking machine, with utilization of available terminals being the key behind its creation. Operators have the option to offer both dice games and roulette at the same time, on the same terminals. This multi-game, multi-denominational offering allows players to flip between games as they desire, with the objective of increasing play on each individual station through giving players what they want, when they want it.
• G4 Organic Card 07: Interblock will show the world’s first electro-mechanical card generator. The G4 Organic Card has been acknowledged as a top technology. It received the most innovative product award at London ICE Show in 2008.
• G4 Organic Dice12 Football Shape: The fully automated G4 Organic Dice generator will be presented. The Organic Dice is designed to randomly generate results for craps, sicbo, fish – shrimp - crab or even craps and sicbo at once. The Organic Dice with 12 playstations is equipped with two large built-in community displays. It also features the Organic Signage, which consists of six LCD displays, offering statistics and live video image for players and by-passers.
Interblock’s presentation will feature an advancement of the 4th generation of products, the ability to allow the visitors to choose almost any G4 Organic play station and to play each game on the stand due to connectivity of almost all gaming machines.
INTERNATIONAL GAME TECHNOLOGY
In IGT’s booth G2E attendees can “Expect More” – from a line-up of casino, online and mobile games to a total systems solution. IGT has built a product portfolio that it says is suited for the unique demands of global markets.
IGT’s line-up of games includes more big brands from pop culture including Breakfast At Tiffany’s, Atari Centipede and Mexico’s Huevocartoon. Also joining the list are sequels to successful IGT games including Sex And The City Fabulous, Twilight Zone in 3D, Elvis the King, The Jokers Heist and Ringling Bros. Riches. The player favorite Wheel of Fortune expands with new games Wheel of Fortune Triple Extreme Spin and Wheel of Fortune Wild Getaway.
The Center Stage series expands with new versions, including Texas Tea. The new Center Stage Duo debuts with Ghostbusters Video Slots, The Dark Knight and Big Buck Hunter Pro, complete with new mechanical gun hardware for an entirely new interactive casino gaming experience.
IGT’s Core Products includes a long list of new games including the industry’s first community play five-reel slot, Fast-Hit Progressives. Also in IGT’s booth will be an extensive line-up of three-reel, single payline games, with the introduction of Haywire Multipliers, Blue Blazes Win Zeros! and Classic Sevens OnCore Progressives. Also debuting at G2E are The Mighty Atlas, Vivaldi’s Seasons, Wolf Run 2 Into the Wild, Voodoo Vixens and Sky Pilot. Adding to IGT’s OnCore Progressives offering of communal three-level, mystery-driven progressives will be Huevocartoon and Mount Fortune. IGT will also showcase region specific games like Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead) Video Slots.
As the market leader of the top-performing video poker themes, IGT will showcase its most recent games at G2E including Build A Wheel Poker. This video poker game is the next generation of video poker wheel games, offering the first-ever dynamic video wheel used in a video poker bonus. IGT launches the Universal Slant cabinet for Video Poker featuring a custom poker button panel.
IGT’s Systems products at G2E include dynamic ways to communicate with players, flexibility and connectivity plus critical tools for casino floor management, promotions and operations. Highlighted products include IGT’s Service Window, sbX server-based experience, IGT Advantage, IGT Casinolink and IGT Analytics. IGT will also showcase its new Universal Game Adaptor – the open standards-based video adaptor that enables any game manufacturer to certify and support IGT Service Window functionality on slot machines.
Also showcased from Systems will be IGT’s new Intelligent Bonusing applications including Point Pursuit, Team Challenge, Message Blast, Auction Action, Game Pulse, Big Game Hunt and Application Concepts.
With more than 10 years of experience in legalized online and mobile gaming markets, IGT is uniquely positioned to take its experience from the land-based casino world and translate it into leading online content. Famous branded online games include Star Trek and Monopoly including the new Monopoly: You’re in the Money. At G2E, online and mobile games derived from IGT’s land-based portfolio will include Cleopatra, Da Vinci Diamonds, Kitty Glitter and Cats.
JCM Global has been a leading innovator of currency solutions for the gaming industry since 1990. Many of its award-winning solutions have become global standards and have helped chart the course for a more profitable industry. Here are six key products JCM Global will show at G2E 2011:
The award-winning iVIZION has won every installation RFP it has competed for, according to JCM, and at G2E, the company will celebrate being exclusively chosen for the new Resorts World Casino New York (Aqueduct) with more than 5,000 gaming devices. iVIZION is a fast, smart solution that offers a foundation for intelligent validation, with a development roadmap that allows for market-generated enhancements to be developed and implemented without changing platforms. It is complete with Contact Image Sensor (CIS) Technology, 99 percent plus acceptance rate, the most diligent counterfeit protection, RFID ICB cashbox with encrypted and web-enabled data, 64 megabit FLASH memory, a self-calibrating sensor package, modular component design, ability to read barcodes horizontally and vertically, two high-speed processors, sealed 85 mm banknote path, patented and proven removable stacker mechanism, “Blind Mate” and “Hot Swap” hardware design and complete compatibility with all gaming protocols.
Compatible with iVIZION is JCM’s Intelligent Cash Box (ICB) version 2.5, which is more advanced than ever because it now allows users to access reports anytime, anywhere, and from any web browser, and to use them to customize data presentation to your specs and streamline the entire drop process, all with a new, more user-friendly interface. ICB 2.5 also gives the user the option for auto report notification via email. It has a language package that includes English, Spanish, simplified Chinese, Italian and German, making the industry’s best cash box even more universal.
The next generation of bezels is the Sentry 2.0 display bezel, available exclusively on iVIZION. Sentry 2.0 has impressive graphic capabilities that come to life in high-resolution, high-contrast, two-color LCD. Operators can easily customize and program messages to display in English, French, Spanish and simple Chinese or any combination of two languages. Attendant messages are clearly displayed at the push of a button for quick dispute resolution.
Next is the new PayCheck 4 thermal printer, which can print a ticket in just 0.6 seconds. In fact, the PayCheck 4 is so lightning fast, there’s no need to rely on a “burst,” like some other, printers do. The PayCheck 4’s 8mb of standard memory enables operators to store more fonts, images, logos and barcodes so they can personalize their players’ gaming experience. Plus, it has a lifespan of approximately 640,000 slot-type tickets.
Rounding out JCM’s key products at G2E are the UBA-RC and Vega-RC. Built on JCM’s robust validation and anti-stringing platforms, the UBA-RC and Vega-RC validators add note recycling technology, making them a solution for every type device. These devices are already extremely popular with gaming route operators across Europe, and the Vega-RC was recently named the “Most Innovative Product of 2010” by the UK Independent Operators Association.
At G2E 2011, Las Vegas-based Konami Gaming, Inc., a leading provider of slot machines and casino management systems for the global gaming market, will introduce a new eight-level linked progressive, Fortune Chaser, and new cabinet, Dynamic 5:
• Fortune Chaser is an eight-level, linked progressive available on Konami’s Podium Chop Top. At G2E there will be two banks with the following KP3 themes China Shores, Queens Shores, Jumpin’ Jalapenos, Treasure Voyage, Full Moon Diamond, and Fairy Blossom. During the game when three or more colored frames, blue, red or green are displayed the player is awarded a pirate token of the color. The collection of the colored token will be displayed on top of the screen. After collecting five Pirate Tokens, a dice is rolled and the player’s ship is moved on the map. The map is displayed on the overhead sign where the player can keep track of the movement of their ship. The progressive game is triggered when a player’s ship lands on one of four islands. The islands names are Volcano Island, Royal Island, Ancient Island and Tropical Island. Each island has a progressive meter of Gold and Silver. During the progressive game, the player is prompted to select one space on the grid. The larger progressive payout has more grids to reveal. If the gold or silver prize is revealed, the corresponding progressive is awarded. Chances to reveal gold or silver progressive increase during each consecutive bonus until one is revealed. Once a gold or silver progressive is revealed, the grid is reset. At the end of the feature, the game will return to the base game.
• Dynamic 5 is a new spin on Konami’s Podium Slant. The dual reel stepper incorporates both an inner and outer mechanical reel providing a variety of base game and bonus game options. Dynamic 5 is a five-reel, 25 or 30-line game on the KP3 platform. At G2E there will be two banks of the following game titles that will be available, Dragon’s Reward, Glamorous Gold, Hot Winning Wilds and Kingdoms of Treasure. When playing Dragon’s Reward and Hot winning Wilds the player has a chance to win up to six free games with the skill stop feature. This feature enables the player to stop the reels to obtain additional free games. This allows the player to engage in the game and observe the dual reels in action. Hot Winning Wilds is a four-level progressive in the Full of Stars Bonus round which is displayed on the top box. Dynamic 5 makes an impression with its dual reel stepper and real time 3D graphics on the KP3 platform. Individual games will have a game feature such as the skill stop, free games or bonus rounds.
MEI’s Cashflow SC has been embraced by the industry since its introduction in 2002, establishing itself as an industry leader. SC Advance, the next generation of the Cashflow SC is evolutionary–applying new technology and market knowledge to make the product even better. SC Advance has performance features that directly impact operator profitability: acceptance, jam rate, security and cost of operation.
SC Advance offers increased value via the following enhancements: an improved recognition system, which provides proactive security by utilizing transmissive sensors to see all the way through notes in multiple wavelengths; faster bill-to-bill speed, which upgrades the player experience and speeds up transactions to expand throughput; expanded memory, which limits part numbers and submissions by allowing more notes to be recognized in a specific release of firmware; comprehensive barcode recognition, which processes barcode coupons in all four directions and improves acceptance on multi-width currencies; upgrade to USB 2.0, which speeds up communications with the host machine and even potentially expands functionality.
Because the enhancements are localized to the acceptor head, SC Advance can work hand-in-hand with legacy Cashflow SC units already in the field. This capability is facilitated by Cashflow STS, intelligent support tools, which are able to sense the product version and provide the appropriate software.
Cashflow STS supports a full range of configuration and software update functions with easy-to-use software and handheld tools, performance management and reporting and modular product repair. Additional benefits include fast and easy updates for currency data, configuration data and software.
SC Advance not only is compatible with previous versions, but also with product extensions that have expanded the reach of bill acceptors from the slot machine to the entire cash management process. EASITRAX Soft Count, as an example, has changed rapidly the expectations for what a bill acceptor can offer – building an installed base over 64,000 games in 18 months by improving efficiencies associated with the cash drop process. The integrated software/hardware solution uses information collected in the bill validator and makes it accessible in a database that can be networked to multiple locations and be accessed to analyze slot performance. RFID technology connects slot machine asset numbers to a specific cashbox to help eliminate “hot boxes” and increase operational efficiencies.
SC Advance, like EASITRAX Soft Count and CASHFLOW SC before it, represents for MEI a progression of developments that will continually expand its value to the gaming industry.
At G2E, Multimedia Games will showcase TournEvent 4.0, a comprehensive tournament solution, and the High Rise Games, featuring One Red Cent Deluxe, White Hot Progressive, the MoneyBall games, and Jackpot Factory.
Player experience is central to TournEvent 4.0 as Multimedia Games debuts more features to the award-winning slot tournament system. The newest release will feature a new tournament game, Crazy Carnival that includes a surprise feature for players. The system will also feature an improved user interface and the ability for players to participate in team tournaments. This tournament system will also include all of the enhancements released in the 3.0 version that was a big hit at last year’s G2E.
Multimedia Games will also premier its High Rise Games, with four innovative game titles. The High Rise cabinet features the largest top box in the industry. With a 37-inch LCD screen placed vertically, there is no need for additional signage when these cabinets are placed on a casino floor. Colored LED lights around the bezel add to the cabinets’ attractiveness as well as highlight the game featured on each one. The bonus features and animations displayed in that large screen are designed to serve as a magnet for players.
One Red Cent Deluxe is the first title available on the High Rise. This new spin on an old classic includes a five-tier progressive displayed in the top box, and players will earn the progressive prizes when five to nine scattered One Red Cent symbols land on the reels.
White Hot Progressive features a flame under each progressive amount that actually grows larger as the progressive gets closer to hitting.
The visually striking MoneyBall bonus is available on two base games is triggered differently on each of two different base games. Players will be awarded three shots on one of four differently themed top box play screens – Pinball, Tree, Hotel and UFO. What sets the MoneyBall bonus apart is its proprietary “skill” element that is actually not skill at all, but an artfully created math model that has the player thinking they truly are controlling their own winnings. This, combined with the bonus-within-a-bonus featured in MoneyBall, adds to its truly unique player experience.
Finally, Jackpot Factory, a five-tier progressive game, has four bonus features and top-box animation. Two mystery features – the Mystery Respins and Mystery Wilds - pop up to reward bonus credits, and the Amazing Bonus Machine enables players to assist in building their own progressive wins.
Slot-Tickets and Nanoptix have completed development of an on-demand pull tab system that uniquely dispenses a concealed information ticket utilizing a standard thermal Nanoptix Kiosk printer and a single supply roll of ticket media. The system will be showcased at G2E 2011.
Susan Mitchell, managing director of worldwide sales, Slot-Tickets Worldwide, stated that this new product concept will allow EGMs a method to dispense pull tabs or promotional prizes that are thermal printed on-demand. This development opens the door to the industry standard restrictive press production that is normally required for a pull tab.
This media can easily be refitted into gaming machines adding to the experience and enjoyment of the gaming patron. The low cost and the fact that over one thousand tabs are on a single roll greatly reduce the cost of dispensing tickets by not requiring any attendant employee involvement. The printed results are completely hidden and are made visible only by removal of an opaque film covering layer.
Jean-Louis Drapeau, vice president of sales for Nanoptix, pointed out that the Nanoptix HS Kiosk, a stock roll fed kiosk workhorse, is ideally suited for fast, quality printing of on-demand pull tabs. The printer can readily be retrofitted in existing machine cabinets or custom designed games. Drapeau sees many additional applications for the blind printing of tickets and tabs for novel promotional use, AWP, and new gaming concepts worldwide. He stated that Slot-Tickets has opened up an entirely new exciting market place offering for the gaming and amusement innovators.
TRANSACT TECHNOLOGIES, INC.
The ability to reward players with personalized offers while at the game can be realized through TransAct’s EPICENTRAL Print System. Currently installed at Foxwoods and with the next North American installation scheduled, EPICENTRAL provides casinos with the ability to reward players with personalized special drawing entries, real-time promotional coupons and marketing messages, and comps for restaurant meals or show tickets. The possibilities are endless, according to company literature. Casinos utilize the system to create multiple promotions and incentives to increase customer time spent on the casino floor and encourage additional visits.
The EPICENTRAL Print System unveiled at G2E 2010, connects directly to TransAct’s ServerPort device inside the slot machine. This easy-to-use, cost-efficient software system enables a casino to develop marketing programs internally and promotional coupons to be distributed to customers on a real-time basis at a slot machine. Importantly, EPICENTRAL will work with all existing slot systems and games as it is separate and distinct from the slot system itself. Thus, casinos can use EPICENTRAL to connect to any existing slot machine equipped with a TransAct Epic 950 printer, regardless of the game’s manufacturer or the casino’s slot system. Casinos that do not currently have the Epic 950 in their slot machines can easily change out their existing printers and add the Epic 950 and ServerPort – giving them the capability to implement EPICENTRAL.
TransAct has long been recognized as a leading innovator of ticket printer products. Building on their success of EPICENTRAL, TransAct will launch new EPICENTRAL modules at this year’s show.
Furthering its commitment to the development of unique gaming products and industry-differentiated technologies, WMS Gaming Inc. will unveil what it considers to be the company’s strongest and most diverse gaming content portfolio ever at the 2011 Global Gaming Expo. Built on a foundation of both player and customer insights, the WMS portfolio is designed to give casino operators solutions that drive game performance, engage existing players, and build a new fan base.
Set to be introduced at the Global Gaming Expo is a robust showcase that highlights the company’s strength in game design and products that deliver results. Highlights include:
• Battleship—Straight from the classic Hasbro game, WMS brings Battleship to life. Teams compete to sink ships in three unique overhead bonuses. Randomly triggered communal bonuses play out on three overhead screens, pitting two Navies against each other in one of three communal battles to sink the most ships for additional bonus rewards. This larger-than-life slot adventure is designed to liven slot floors via a combination of WMS’ award-winning Sensory Immersion, Community Gaming and Experience Design technologies on banks of stunning Bluebird xD cabinets.
• Cascading Reels 5x4—The Cascading Reels 5x4 family builds on the player-popular Cascading Reels series with a fourth row of symbols, Dual Cash Progressives, two Free Play Progressives and Fixed Free Play Awards. Cascading Reels 5x4 games are available in two flavors, the Invaders! Series and Ancient Magicke Series.
• The Wizard of Oz: Journey to Oz — The Wizard of Oz Journey to Oz is WMS’ largest adventure from The Wizard of Oz brand yet. This communal slot is packed with player-favorite technologies, including Collaborative Gaming, Bose 3SPace Surround Sound Gaming Chairs, a Wide Area Progressive and our first 1024-ways base games. The experience is further enhanced when the Bigger Event triggers and Glinda the Good Witch spins the large community wheel on dual 52-inch overhead screens, awarding credits or one of five special character bonuses.
• Monopoly Party Train: Monopoly Party Train takes numerous player-popular mechanics from previous Monopoly slots and enhances them with additional features. Available in mechanical and video base game versions, Party Train introduces the Mooove Feature that can randomly take players around the Monopoly board for free spin enhancements, bonus triggers and more. Enter the Free Spin Bonus to find your bonus enhanced with extra spins, 2 Wild Reels, extra dice rolls or higher available multipliers, depending on your location around the board.
Additional details of the company’s Global Gaming Expo offerings will continue to be unveiled leading up to the show. SM
Charles Anderer is executive editor of Casino Journal and Slot Manager magazines.
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