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SNK Playmore plans support for Sammy's Atomiswave

Arcade system giant Sammy, has announced that SNK Playmore is to bring titles including King of Fighters, Samurai Spirits and Metal Slug to the low-cost Sammy Atomiswave arcade system.

This signals the final death knell for the aging NeoGeo arcade system, which SNK has been supporting for the last 13 years - despite it being an incredibly outdated 16 bit architecture which has more in common with SNES-era hardware than with modern consoles.

"There have been talks in the past about when we'll stop supporting the NeoGeo, but this is going to be the real end," commented SNK Playmore development chief Kazuya Hirata at a presentation in Tokyo. "We hope to continue developing and to evolve the capabilities [of the Atomiswave]. Other titles are also being considered for release on the Atomiswave."

Sammy and the Atomiswave have been in the news recently because of Sammy's purchase of a large stake in Sega before Christmas, and the recent appointment of Sammy boss Hajime Satomi as chairman of Sega. Satomi has expressed his desire to see Sega focusing more on the profitable arcade game side of its business, and moving to supporting the Atomiswave platform as part of that move.

At the moment, most headline Sega arcade titles use on Microsoft's Xbox-based Chihiro arcade hardware, but this hardware is expensive, and Satomi obviously believes that by using the cheaper Atomiswave platform, the company can open up new revenue sources in developing markets as well as maximising profits from existing markets.

SNK's move to supporting Chihiro will be a shot in the arm for Satomi's plans for Sega, since the company is seen as one of the powerhouses of the Japanese arcade industry, and despite still being 2D and archaic in technology terms, titles such as King of Fighters and Samurai Spirits remain incredibly popular in arcades both in Japan and abroad.

Rob Fahey avatar

Rob Fahey

Contributing Editor

Rob Fahey is a former editor of who spent several years living in Japan and probably still has a mint condition Dreamcast Samba de Amigo set.