“GameCenter CX”–also known as “Retro Game Master” in the West– has captured the hearts and minds of literally millions of video game fans across the globe since first airing in 2003. The premise of the show is simple: middle-aged, self-confessed game otaku and part-time comedian Shinya Arino pits himself against a series of treasured but often fiendishly difficult old-school video games, playing through them with the help of his cheeky “assistant directors”, a pile of snacks and stack of cooling towelettes to stick to his forehead.

The show has already spawned nine DVD boxsets in its native Japan, with English translations of many of the shows made available to Western audiences both in DVD format and online. But now, the show’s parent company has announced that a special 10th anniversary project is underway that will purportedly take an entire year to complete.

Fans of the show revel in its fondness of all things old-school, giving audiences a chance to relive past memories with games like Ghouls’n Ghosts, Final Fight and the punishing Mega Man series among others. As well as presenter Arino’s often hilarious game challenges, the also show features trips to Japan’s biggest retro game stores and arcades, as well as occasional interview segments where big names from the video game industry stop by for a chat.

In a news story featured on Japan’s Inside Games yesterday, Fuji TV–the show’s broadcaster in Japan–announced that, in celebration of the show’s continued success and to mark its 10th anniversary, a special project is already underway.

Although the specifics of the project are not yet clear, Fuji TV has announced that all will be revealed at a special press event held on Friday, June 14, with the mint-suited retro game master himself putting in an appearance.

We’ll be sure to bring you more news about this special event as it breaks. In the meantime, here’s a little snippet of the show, which this time sees Arino struggling to get through 16-bit RPG classic Earthbound. Ah, such happy, nerdy memories…

Source: Inside Games via Hachima Kikou