I'd like to open a new discussion to see what everyone would like to see in the 2020s for the industry overall. As we enter the third decade of the 21st century (wow, can you believe that!?), what will we see?
What do you see changing with pins? This could be hardware, software, game play, cabinets, gimmicks, tricks, toppers, lights, screens, power, themes, etc.
What do you see staying the same?
I'll start with some thoughts...
* Pins will have to be marketable to more and more countries, easier to sell everywhere around the world, easier for current owners to sell to other countries. I think that having power supplies like today's laptops and consumer electronics that work in different markets is important. Is this possible, is it easy?
* Pins will have to be easier to ship... plain and simple. One reason I don't buy more pins more often is that they're a pain to ship and receive! Could pins be in three separate 'plug and play' boxes that weigh no more than 50 pounds each? Could we shave some space off dimensions using more creative design? Could the same size playfield fit in a smaller dimension? With LEDs, lower-power computers, more efficient LED monitors/speakers, etc. can this be used to shave weight, size, and achieve this goal? Could weight be added once received - sand, water, etc - for that needed stability? This would vastly increase sales as homes get smaller and smaller... and with populations rapidly shrinking all over the world how do you continue to grow the market besides making it easier to buy, sell, trade, and house these works of 'playable art'?
* Pins will have to continue to be innovative, and in today's world this means that they may have to be less 'static'. Updated on a more frequent basis would be nice, pushing updates via Wi-Fi, using the 'Tesla Approach' would be fantastic. You might want to keep a pin longer or pay more for it if it is being updated more frequently... and you may think twice before selling because the lighting, rule sets, graphics, etc. may change. Perhaps manufacturers can sell theme/rule updates to continue generating revenue. Perhaps a game could be tweaked to improve their ratings on Pinside to keep the values up?
* Will prices continue to rise, or will they fall? If prices related to tech are lower over time, will that be reflected in retail pricing? Different price tiers are fine for me... if there are $5k, $7.5k, $10k, $12.5k, $15k, $17.5k, $20k, and $25k versions of a pin, I'm fine with it. With so much income inequality these days, and so many people who feel $25K is pocket lint, they'll help support the development and sale of pins that can offer lower cost versions.
* Could there be ramps and wires that are movable - not just up and down, but side to side, front to back - to continue to change the game?
* More screens throughout the playfield to change the game? Without the pin becoming a digital pin of course... I think the mechanical parts are vital to preventing a pin from becoming a virtual table.
* I'd prefer to see a pin with the entire backglass being an 8K video monitor, having the total backglass be about 8" shorter, a lot thinner (as thin as the monitor would be fine for me - even having it slide down into the cabinet would be *******fantastic******** so that as soon as I start playing it slides up, when I'm done playing it slides down. That would be ***dreamy***.
* I wouldn't mind seeing *more* flipper buttons - if I could keep my grip on the side and have 3 or 4 buttons on the left and right exactly where I hold my fingers I'd be really challenged. Or have me control switched ramps... or have balls hang from a single magnet rail that the ball slides down before dropping into something... have we seen single hanging magnet rails? Talk about a fun way to replace double wireforms and regain some space!!!! Defy gravity more! Upper, lower playfields!
* For themes, keep them coming. With video being here to stay, and it actually strengthening brands/franchises, I would love to see something that brings me back into the movies I loved from my younger years... do something on all the best John Hughes movies together... or just a Ferris Bueller... a Back to the Future remake... make a Shinkansen bullet train tie in with a bunch of Japanese cultural references... anything that sells of course!
I'm just curious as to what other people see coming in the future... go wild, be crazy, be innovative! Could be glassless 3D screens, scent machines, haptic feedback, whatever... just curious to see how this industry will offer new and exciting ways to surprise and delight the public, and take our hard-earned cash away from us!