(Topic ID: 232957)

Node Boards- Update- Stern tech fixes issue via email

By shacklersrevenge

10 months ago

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  • Latest reply 5 months ago by russdx
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#331 9 months ago
Quoted from ForceFlow:

I know an arcade owner who has 80+ games, and 2 WPC-era pins. Pretty much all the games in the arcade need some form of repair or maintenance from time to time, however, the pins need attention on just about a weekly basis. Luckily, they have good documentation, and repairs are usually fairly inexpensive. But, because of the amount of maintenance they do need, and the potential expense of the unrepairable node boards, the owner does not want to take the risk even though he is interested in having newer pins. The pins don't earn a whole lot, they need constant attention, and new ones are fairly expensive compared to what they actually earn. Most other new games that he buys tend to pay for themselves in about a year or less. That wouldn't be the case with a new pin. So, he keeps chugging along with the older pins that have been long since paid for.

Same with the Family Entertainment Center on the east side of Tucson. Probably 100 games (and 2 mini golf courses, batting cages, bumperboats, go karts) and 4 pins. They get one new pin a year and get rid of the old one. Games are rarely worked on because only one person (manager) knows how. The rest are "kids" who just staff the counter and refill the ticket dispensers. Pins make less than probably everything, and require the most maintenance. If locations owners don't love pinball, it doesn't happen. I can tell you trying to keep 16-20 machines running in the wild is no easy task and I'd be better of getting a part time job if it was about the money.

1 week later
#671 9 months ago
Quoted from jawjaw:

Don't think suing Stern is very constructive unless you can prove some negligence. No pin runs forever without faults and not exactly uncommon to have an issue or two out of box. Nothing is going to change unless sales drop. People often complain about prices going up and features down but Stern sales are better than over. $9000+ for an LE? Sold out in minutes. $25k for Beatles pin based on old 80s pin with spinning disk? Gone. If the operators and heavy hitters that buy lots of nib complain to distributors and stop buying, I bet that message would get to Stern. Even if people started dumping older Spike games and used prices dropped, I bet Stern would notice that.

Spike games are often listing for the same or less than a lot of SAM games. At least the ones I'm watching. Iron Man original and vault are typically 5-5.4k and POTC is 4500-5200 where Maiden is ~5, AS is 4500, DP is ~5100. That's a pretty steep dive considering what those SAM games were going for NIB compared to Spike games NIB. I know SAM games are being helped a little with increased NIB prices, but that doesn't change the fact that used Spike games are not holding value very well going to the used market.

This whole thing has me leaning more towards the SAM games I'm looking for instead of the Iron Maiden I have at the top of my list. I route these games. I don't want to eat several hundred dollars if a board goes bad. At present, they can't be easily fixed. If that changes, I'm sure my perspective will as well.

#710 9 months ago
Quoted from goingincirclez:

So SPIKE is now going into 5 years' production for standard machines, and might be considered 7-8 years if you count "The Pins". Both timeframes have historic precedent as a complete run for a pinball platform. SAM was approx. 8 years. Whitestar about the same. B/W platforms generally went roughly 5 years or so from System 6/7 to System9 /11 to WPC to WPC 95 and so on.
When SPIKE was developed, LED bulbs were the "new" thing and since then we've seen widespread adoption of LCD/HD video, better sound, more complex light shows and feature integration... How much more overhead is available in SPIKE to drive now-common (or future) enhancements and innovations? After all, someone pointed out that PC_based platforms are driving most of Stern's most compelling competition. There must be a reason.
Anyone think Stern is readying the successor to SPIKE, and the long-delayed release of schematics signals its end of life ("We're done here so here you go, have fun...")? Perhaps Stern has something larger in the works. I mean they'd have to, right... but maybe it's more imminent than we think...?

Maybe the next system will have the protections and brick-avoiding features that the pinheads in this thread are seeing as missing.

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