As I write this column, Global Gaming Expo is firmly on the horizon—three weeks out, to be exact. At this time, in additional to finalizing the details of this issue of Casino Journal, I am penciling-in booth visits for the event. Usually I try to target the vendors who have something interesting and new to present. So far, here are the companies and products I hope to see:

Everi (booth 1116) is going into licensed slot content in a big way this year, and I will be stopping by to take a closer look at Fruit Ninja, which to company describes as follows: Fruit Ninja: Juicy Jackpots is a standalone premium participation game leveraging the company’s High Rise gaming cabinet. The Fruit Ninja Arcade Bonus round offers skill-based gaming entertainment elements as players slice fruit using the game’s unique Swipe Touch technology while operators are given the flexibility to set the skill level. A version of Fruit Ninja will also be available on Everi’s TournEvent slot tournament solution, with the goal of bringing machine tournaments to the next level.

Sticking with the slot tourney theme, I will likely meander over to NOVOMATIC Americas (booth 1259) to examine its World Championship of Slots concept. Marketed in combination with a GSN-based television game show, this new tournament technology allows players that qualify to compete for $1 million on a nationally televised finale, according to press materials. Tournament games have an innovative gamble feature with a “Risk It All” strategy that will revolutionize the way slot tournaments are played.

Nodding to new technology, I will also travel over to IGT (booth 3659) to sample its Cardless Connect system. This mobile technology enables players to connect to an electronic gaming machine (EGM) with their smartphone and seamlessly transfer funds from a mobile gaming wallet to and from the machine, said IGT support material.

Meanwhile, Scientific Games (booth 1126) will display its latest additions to SG Universe, a mobile and desktop solution anchored by compelling content, empowering land-based casino operators to engage players both online and in-casino—all with a 360-degree view of the player. Sci Games says its SG Universe proactively adapts land-based operators to the digital world with award-winning platforms designed to engage players at home and in casino--keeping the property top-of-mind regardless of where the player may be.

There are also a host of new cabinet offerings at G2E. On the must-see list for me are Ainsworth Game Technology (booth 2059), which will be showcasing its recently introduced A600 cabinet. This new cabinet reportedly takes existing Ainsworth technology to the next level with larger screens, dynamic lighting effects and a state-of- the-art LCD touchscreen button deck. AGS (booth 1253) will display its Orion cabinet. The product, which will user AGS into the competitive premium hardware marketplace, features a first-of-its-kind emotive lighting design that captures the attention of players like no other before, according to its press release. Konami Gaming (booth 1054) will also have a few new cabinets on hand at G2E. The ones I’m looking forward to seeing are the curved Concerto Crescent and the Concerto Stack. Press material claims both feature stunning 43-inch, high-definition vertical displays, with signature Concerto highlights such as the unique side-lighting element, sleek black finish and digital topper options.

Of course, there are a lot of new game themes I will also try to experience firsthand. Space constraints keep me from naming them all, but one I do look forward to is Sharknado from Aristocrat Technologies (booth 1141). How can you go wrong with sharks, tornados and stock characters?