exA-Arcadia is a PC-based arcade platform released in Japan on November 27, 2019, with an international release on January 2020. It's designed as an affordable modern cartridge-based conversion kit in an era of either large dedicated machines (which are expensive to purchase and maintain) or digital distribution systems (which force operators to share their revenue with the manufacturer, on top of the monthly fees for network infrastructure usage).
Designed for use as plug-&-play conversion kits for multiple types of JVS-compatible arcade cabinets, the platform supports numerous arcade configurations (with support for 16:9 high-definition LCD screens, in either orientation, as well as traditional 4:3 standard-definition CRT monitors) and four cartridge slots (which, similar to the Neo Geo MVS, allows players to choose from multiple games installed on the same machine).
The Japanese version of the system launched with one game: a remake of the mobile shoot-'em-up Aka to Blue, called Aka & Blue Type-R. The overseas version also launched with an enhanced port of the PC fighting game Shaolin vs. Wutang: Eastern Heroes, known as The Kung Fu Vs. Karate Champ. Most of the games released are ports of existing indie and obscure retro games, with the defining genres being shoot-'em-ups and fighting games.
While the system has not launched with any dedicated cabinets, the North American market has received dedicated cabinets based on Funglo V4 pedestal cabinets (with both 2-player and larger 4-player control panels, both of which are six-button).
Development & Technical
All games are published by the exA-Arcadia company themselves, with the development handled both by third-party and by in-house development teams (from TEAM EXA-AM1 to TEAM EXA-AM6). Each game follows the company's essential guidelines, including the use of pre-game tutorial demonstrations (similar to those on the Neo Geo), support for all required resolutions (480p, 720p, 768p, 1080p, and 4K), support for horizontal orientation in vertical-oriented games, and exclusive content for game ports.
As the hardware is PC-based, it is compatible with games developed from a wide variety of game engines and development tools, including those tailored towards indie games. Some of these engines, the Kadokawa engines 2D Fighter Maker 2nd and Pixel Game Maker MV, are exclusively licensed to the platform.
The hardware is also designed for input delay in mind, with some games (such as Dondonpachi True Death EXA Label and Crimson Katana EXA Label) allowing for one-frame delays on most cabinets with LCD screens.
Hawt Pink Club
In 2022, the exa-Arcadia platform received an officially-licensed adult-focused variant known as Hawt Pink Club. This pink-themed variant, as well as all games for it, are published by the Dutch-based company Hawt Pink Club and are focused on eroge for adult entertainment establishments (such as strip clubs).
All games are cross-compatible with exa-Arcadia units, with some games allowing operators to disable all erotic elements for use in a normal arcade setting.
- Shakuga: The Excommunication / Shakuga AC (ISAmu)