In November of 2010, Konami of China showed off a brand new remake of Contra (titled 魂斗罗：进化革命, which translates something like Contra: Evolution Revolution) in a department store in Guangzhou.
It's almost a year later and there's no official release, with only these pictures from the forums at Chinese site CSYX as evidence of existence. It appears to be a 2.5D remake with 16:9 with HD-quality graphics, set to be released in the arcades. There are four playable characters, including two brand new ones in addition to the usual Bill and Lance. It also features a few of the niceties introduced in Contra III, like the ability to change weapons or fire off screen-clearing explosives. Its levels also seem to be based off the NES version rather than the fairly short (and overall inferior) arcade release.
So what happened to it?
We don't have any actual answers, of course, other than to ponder its existence and postulate. this site proclaims to have a board for sale, I think, but the legitimacy of that is questionable. Konami of China's website only mention of it is in reference to the mobile version, whose darker graphics look similar to the purported arcade version, although obviously in 2D. It features weapon switching and the bombs, though there are only the standard two characters.
It's strange that Konami's Shanghai division would be involved in any of their big international IPs, considering as far as I can tell, their work mostly revolves around mobile stuff and various behind-the-scenes development work. I've no idea if arcades in China are still viable, but it still seems like a strange place to stick a remake, especially with neither hide nor hair of it mentioned in Japan or North America. It would be very appropriate for the XBLA or PSN, which is always possible - Konami flashed a teaser that something new was coming for Contra back at E3, although that also went much of nowhere. Unless there are severe quality issues, it'd certainly be better than the emulated version of the arcade game that we got back in the early days of the service. Then again, with a few exceptions (the Rebirth series, CV: Harmony of Despair and SH: Shattered Memories to debateable extents), modern day Konami has been mishandling their properties with near-embarassing levels, so who knows what's going on, really.
More pictures of both versions: