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Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Namco Taiko Blog (June 2nd, 2020) - Nijiiro Version's Update of Songs and Stability

At long last, a new official blog post after such a long time! This three-months-in-the-making entry is about the features included in the next Nijiiro Version update, slated for a June 9th release.

Nijiro Ver. New Songs: June 9th, 2020

PPKamisama no Iutoori ni LATU LATU (Takeyaki-sho x Maiki)
PPNeko Thank You Yuuyami ni Izanaishi Shikkoku no Angel
ANGod knows... The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
ANGingira Ginga Yokai Gakuen Y ~N to no Sogu~
ギンギラ銀河/「妖怪学園Y ~Nとの遭遇~」より
KDHealin' Good♥PreCure Touch!!
ヒーリングっど♥プリキュア Touch!!
KDHimitsuki-tuber Ninja Box
Key: red = series debutblue = arcade debut

No.11 is back with some more song delivery news, starring a Nintendo Switch song port and 5 new songs across the Pops/Anime/Kids genre trifecta, with a notable postcard from the 2000s. The Taiko Team intern also advices arcade goers in such cautious times to sanitize yourselves before going out and playing at the arcades, but NOT to do such to arcade peripherals in general. Let the shopkeepers do their cleaning in order to prevent breaking the most fragile of their components, folks!

We also got a short message of gratitude for the massive amount of replies to the 4-parts Twitter song poll, ultimately luring more than 62.000 song suggestions across the whole surveying period! While useful to hear for direct song inclusions, the replies will also aid the series' crew in their song-selecting direction for all the polled-about genres in the coming years.

Input Stability Improvement
The other major element being brought up in the next firmware update is a series of adjustments aimed at improving the input stability on Nijiiro Version's drums. Further discussing about this topic would also require a short digression on how the images are displayed in the current arcade and how this is related to hit registration, so Taiko Team leader Etou stepped in to fill a great deal out of today's blog entry to better assess the topics on hand.

Starting from the time metric's basics, we know about the time measurement known as 'second' and its submultiples, with the 'millisecond' being the 1000th portion of a second (1 ms = 1/1000 s), just as a millimiter is nothing but the 1000th portion of a meter. When talking about one of Nijiiro arcades' key features, the 120 Frames Per Second (FPS) phrase is a descriptor of the unit's processing capabilities when it comes to animating pictures in motion. Every still image processed in a game is considered a 'frame', while pictures in motion are the result of single frames being reproduced in quick succession, one after another, giving the sense of movement as refined as the amount of pictures used in said motion under that time span. In other words, the higher the Frames Per Second ratio, the more images are elaborated at any time and the more fluid the visual outcome will look.

To put things on a finer perspective, Etou compares the Nijiro arcade build FPS value to the one of the 2011 arcade model that has been used up until Green Version, which could elaborate up to 60 FPS. The time occuring between one frame to the next one, displayable as 1/60, is equal to roughly 16 frames per millisecond (fms), or 16/1000 fms. In comparison to Nijiiro's 120 FPS, the time between frames is instead around 8 frames per millisecond, or 8/1000 fms, resulting in roughly half the time interval between frames.

For a clearer visual cue, Etou describes how many pictures between the two arcade family models are processed with the table up here, with Nijiiro's halved time interval between frames resulting into double the amount of pictures being processed at the same time when in comparison to the 2011 arcade family, resulting in motion transitioning as twice as smooth at any time with frames that could have never existed before due to hardware capabilities.

This boost in graphical fidelity, however, also affects the player's inputs to the game, as the addition of newly-existing frames ingame would also concur the addition of a newly-existing judgement area to take in account, requiring the player in turn to adapt to the processing capabilites that such a hardware jump has brought to the table. After hearing feedback from arcade goers in the past few months, the next Nijiiro Version is aiming to improve the input stability by following these three general principles:
  • Very precise and fine adjustments to the playing field;
  • Securing a sense of 'stability' of note judgement;
  • Aiming for an 'equivalent experience' from the former arcades as much as pòossible.
The Greater Asia Update Comeback
With the blog updating schedule coming back, so is the right-aligned paragraphs for General Asia people reading the Taiko Team's blog, this time reassuring that updates for overseas cabinets, while being long-postponed due to the global pandemic situation, it's still in the works. Look forward to it!

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