Although I've definitely been curious about it, my exposure to any virtual pinball has so far been quite limited. It seems like every time I went to PHOF, their 1 (or was it 2 ?) virtual tables were not turned on, or were not working. The last time I was at Banning, they did have around 4 of the same virtual tables there for a demo. This was in that narrow, sometimes-a-bar-area room where I think there were also a couple bowling games ? I don't know or recall offhand whose virtual tables those were. (Possibly from VP-Cabs ? I did happen to see their recent segment on "Shark Tank.") I also don't know if those were supposed to represent the current state of the art -- probably a considerable argument available here on that score ! -- but I did play a few games on them. My reaction was: this is interesting, and may have some potential, but as a veteran player of real, physical pinball, I am not yet really convinced. If I had a collection of around 25 games to work with (** and had enough room for them -- very important **), I might even consider getting one of these. But, short of that, it probably would not be a contender.
In addition to this, in the vendor area at some previous Banning show, I did have an extended conversation with a guy from Farsight / TPA.
I do happen to have an IPAD, but I'm thinking the pinball "experience" on that would be woeful, compared to anything like that full-sized table. One would need some extra hardware for that too, no ? An opportunity to explore rulesets on a bunch of games, without having actual and convenient access to them, could be a different story however.
This thread has mentioned various alternative virtual engines or platforms, which the posters have stated are much superior to TPA.
Here is the crux of what I would like to know, preferably before that looming TPA deadline. ANY virtual pinball game software is worthless to me, unless it could somehow be transferred to something like a VP-Cabs table -- without significant compromise. And what I would tell VP-Cabs (or any competitor of theirs) is that I happen to be **primarily interested** in those 61 (?) B/W games that are being deleted due to those rights issues -- or other notable games of that era that are generally comparable to them. So, even if we were talking about a custom order of your top-of-the-line model, with all desirable options, if I could not obtain those games for it, my answer would definitely be "Forget It, Not Interested !"
I also have no interest in building my own table and populating it. In light of what I said above, does this impending TPA deadline have any relevance for me ? Are / Will other good options for the "classic" B/W games be available, directly applicable to whatever full-size cab offers the best tech and pinball attributes ? If the answer is 'None', or 'Not for the foreseeable future', I'm O.K. with that.