My takeaway when I first saw that video was that it was an understandable opinion from a viewpoint of change and has plenty of parallels in other product markets. Somebody who has decades of experience maintaining pinball technology with discrete components that can they can troubleshoot and replace individually can easily view a networked integrated modular design as harder to troubleshoot or more expensive to maintain since replacing one bad part may require replacing an entire board instead of just the bad part. That's not necessarily wrong, with the changes in technology come some new skill requirements too.
The newer technologies in Spike 2 have better flexibility, scalability, and reliability. Just like the automotive industry it requires additional skills and tools to maintain a modern car, a few wrenches and elbow grease just isn't enough any more. When fixing a pinball machine requires mainly cleaning, basic mechanical skills and soldering and everything has it's own wire to trace that's pretty different from working with SMT PCBs and a CANBUS network. The upside is that a well-designed modern system should have higher reliability, but it's often fixable when something goes wrong if you have the knowledge and skills. Not everybody skilled in the old technology has applicable skill in newer technology. That's just a side effect of progress.
Quoted from bobukcat:
Since you went the cargument route let me counter with a few points:
Warranty: any new vehicle is going to have at least a 2 year warranty on everything and at least a reasonabl if not robust dealer network to service the vehicle.
Service Options: Car shops, dealers, mechanics, etc. are everywhere, you can even get a free diagnostic read-out why your check engine light is on at Autozones, etc. Contrast that with finding someone to work on your machine if it breaks, doesn't really matter what manufacturer or era or game in 99% of the world you are going to have a tough time finding someone to work on your game much less have choices. Yes the skills of the mechanics working on vehicles has had to evolve greatly the last 20 years or so but there's still a lot of options for service.
It's not a car: at it's core Pinball is a commercial machine intended to make money on location somewhere. The harder it is for operators to service them and get them running again the less likely they are to operate them. Of course if the system really is much more reliable this is a great thing but you'll have a hard time convincing me that Whitestar wasn't INCREDBILY reliable while also being rather easy to service, just as an example. Obviously the tech had to change to support new features but there is no doubt that Stern is still not being as user-serviced friendly as they could / should be with regards to Spike and information about repairing Node boards. This wouldn't necessarily stop me from buying one at all based on what information we do have so far though.
All valid points, and I'm not trying to justify anything specific. The only significant difference I see is simply one of scale, if pinball was as common as cars then the support infrastructure would be as available. The difference is that while there are more cars than people within a 60 mile radius of me, there are zero pinball operators or public pins. That's why car shops and mechanics are everywhere, simple scale. The cost and reliability advantages of the newer technology applies to both cars and pinball. It's a perfectly valid preference to prefer older technology because it requires older skills to fix, but the modularity of the newer technology should increase reliability and simplify replacement for people who don't have the skills to fix broken modules.
Anecdotally, nobody in 3 years has been able to turn off the "Service required" message on my 2018 car. Not autozone, not my oil change place, not my dealer. My wife's 2022 car texts me messages with various system errors, and several times has disables certain features due to error. We have the texts and pictures of errors on the dashboard but when a mechanic checks the car computer nobody has been able to determine the causes. At least car warranties are longer than pinball machines, but there haven't been a lot of cases in my life where having a warranty fixed a problem. As Tommy-Boy said, I can crap in a box and slap a warranty on it, I have spare time.
The purpose of cars and pinball machines is the same for the manufacturers, to make sales and profit. If car companies could end their part at the sale I'm sure they would love that, but regulation and competition requires them to support their products on paper for a long time after the sale. Another scale situation, if every family averaged 2 pinball machines I bet we'd see similar scale advantages. But, alas, deeproot's expertise to bring pinball to the masses fell slightly short of pinball for every family<sarcasm.>
I completely agree about the accessibility to information about Spike 2. Having a full schematic to the machine is a big deal. Again though this fits the car analogy well, cars didn't used to have undocumented technology either and now they have proprietary boxes all over that can't be fixed, only replaced. If we had access to schematics of all the Spike 2 nodes and for the entire machine that would be wonderful. It seems to be something sacrificed for progress. I'd love to see Stern open source their systems, or at least publish the information. They wouldn't have to give up any rights they don't want to, but that's not their culture.
I've gone way off topic from GOTG, sorry folks. GOTG is my first pin, and I've modded it heavily and am still running down one issue that I think is a loose connector on a node board somewhere. Intermittent and hard to find but so far I'm pretty impressed and happy with the technology.