pinball in 2020 makes the peaks of the 1990s machines seem so old and limited in comparison.
RGB lighting, LCD screens, and a focus on deep rulesets has sparked a lot of pinball joy.
I don't really know where pinball will go forward from here. The current wave of excellent machines will probably start feeling stale after 5 more years of releases like JP, DP, Met, JJPPotC, and TMNT. (I'm assuming)
P3 is definitely the most notable innovation and is brimming with future potential, Heist being their first truly killer game.
But thinking of more traditional platforms like Stern, I'm not sure what might be the next gamechangers there.
I guess embedded internet connectivity and the innovations that can spur?
I really like the first post's mention of slot machines, where yeah it's basically the same thing over and over with just themes swapped in and a few aspects changed around.
You see this in Japan with the pachinko and pachislo industry as well.
With the gambling industry, if it's not broke you don't fix it, so those mainstays will just keep getting churned out.
(Japan has lots of innovation when it comes to gambling though, like check out there immersive horse track machines! https://kotaku.com/awkward-adventures-in-segas-digital-horse-racing-game-1798615738 )
Will pinball get to a point where the inherent layouts are absolutely exhausted? That feels like a question they were also asking back in the 1960s.
It feels like a question that Pinball 2000 and P3 took the most seriously.
But I'm not sure if it's an existential threat to the hobby itself, at least for the next decade.