Straight to the point. I don't like the idea of a big LCD embedded in the play field. Full Throttle or Alien.
This is not a bash at Heighway's new pinballs. On the contrary I can't wait for them! These are constructive, thought out, logical reasons:
1 - It's far too big, and that means it's distracting. The ball will be constantly moving over animated graphics that change all the time.
2 - They will have to compromise on the graphics they display because of this. For example, imagine having full frame animation in front of you when you're trying to follow the ball. It's going to make it hard to see. You could argue that the animation will be over by the time the ball gets to that part of the play field. However, it's impossible to run a 3 second animation and say the ball will be clear of it, unless the ball is captured somewhere.
3 - Over time it's going to get dirty and hard to see unless it's constantly cleaned.
4 - The animations are a secondary part of a game. The ball is the game.
5 - On modern machines with a DMD in the back box you get to see important animations when the ball stops. ie. it's in a hole or held by a magnet. This is the time you look up to get the information.
6 - The score is important but you only glance at it now and then when you're not concentrating on the ball.
7 - A back box *needs* a LCD display so everyone can view it. Importantly it's used to attract people when the machine is not in use, otherwise it's a lifeless box.
8 - Most importantly, this lower area of the play field is where you need to concentrate to set the shot up. It needs to be distraction free.
And finally point 9. A big point:
9 - Heighway has the option to keep your cabinet and swap out the play field. It's a modular design. But, with a LCD in the play field you're going to have to pay for that with new each play field! With a LCD in the back box, you're only ever paying for one LCD. This keeps costs down for everyone.
I think these are 9 good points against the only 1 point that Heighway have with the LCD. That is, it's where your eyes are. I don't agree with this. Your eyes will follow the ball all over the play field.
I also don't think it's an innovation. I don't think it's a unique selling point. I think it goes against what the game actually is without it in the back box the machine is lifeless.
I'd be interested to hear other peoples thoughts.