(Topic ID: 258085)

Pinball in the 2020s - What do you see?


By benbethel

3 months ago



Topic Stats

  • 14 posts
  • 14 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 months ago by Jackontherocks
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    #1 3 months ago

    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!

    -Ben

    #2 3 months ago

    Pinball in the 2020s - What do you see?

    Higher prices.

    #3 3 months ago

    More of the same. Don’t see why anybody would expect anything to change.

    #4 3 months ago

    Fan layouts and higher prices!

    #5 3 months ago

    WiFi updating games. One major new title. And a smattering of other new pins.

    LTG : )

    #6 3 months ago

    My secret invention of a pinball machine on wheels to use as my walker.....oh wait,...drats, where's the edit button?

    #7 3 months ago

    I don't know. Prices keep going up and that trend will happen until the next economic snap which is due to the insanity of free money out there now. I'm not interested in lighter weight machines and don't want to jack with ballast. To be honest, the number of titles coming out makes my head spin. I just picked up a really nice BM66 catwoman for $6k that is essentially new. I really don't see how they sell a super LE for $15k when it is the same machine. I don't know how Stern will sell it's newest machine based off of a Netflix show, but I guess people will line up for it?

    I like pins with good movie or show themes like Star Trek (especially the LE which was Stern's last real LE in my opinion). My TZ is my all time favorite pin just due to the excellent integration of the original series events. I don't think the Sopranos or shows like that will be remembered in 30 years and neither will the pins that have the title.

    WIFI update is great as long as the WIFI is supported in the future. I can still burn a chip and put it in a machine and a USB dongle still works. I suppose a WIFI unit could be replaced if it becomes outdated.

    Theme and how it plays is my biggest draw. After buying a GBLE I cooled off real fast on the pre-order craze and just wait for a used machine to come available letting the first owner deal with all the code updates, warranty issues, and paying more than necessary.

    I still enjoy the hobby, but am finding just as much fun in buying and trading 70s-90s video games. Less money and a lot of fun remembering the simpler days.

    #8 3 months ago

    I do think it'll be a nice buyers market for used in the 2020s. In the 2010s pinball made a huge comeback, but at this point I wonder if supply is going to start outpacing demand.

    This sounds very stock markety, though. I don't really give a shit as long as I have good stuff to play both at home and within a 60 minute drive.

    #9 3 months ago

    I picture less pins in my future, just because I’m starting to get older and these things take up a bunch of space. So I’ll cut down, but because I’m stupid, I’ll also add. There is always room for a special game.

    So whatever the industry does, it had better be good. Because that’s the only way you’re getting my money. It better be fun, and it better be durable. Give me crappy playfields with pooling, ghosting, and chipping, and I’ll pass. So that’s what the industry should do, build a durable playfield!!!! That would be nice so it isn’t playing a frigging lottery when you buy a game.

    #10 3 months ago

    I'd like to believe, I'll buy a cool pinball machine in 2020 from this list https://recroompick.com/best-pinball-machines/
    And I think, that in the nearest future it will be the best purchaise for me. That would be so nice, I'm waiting for this moment for a long time.

    #11 3 months ago
    Quoted from benbethel:

    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!
    -Ben

    Your list is very insightful!! Having even a few of the things that you mentioned come to fruition would be neat indeed!
    Many express their displeasure with higher game prices. One way to deal with that is to not buy them and wait for them to become avail on the secondary market. The tier pricing you slide to is also a Novel approach. Time will tell. One thing I can say is that I am glad that the economy is doing well enough that many folks can continue to pump their monies into this avocation to keep neat titles coming down the pike. Thank you!

    #12 3 months ago

    I do think pins could be 'smaller' to take some of the weight down. When I say that, there is generally a ton of open space under a pf. You could eliminate all that space and bring the weight down considerably. You would have to redesign how you connect the legs slightly, but keep them the same length as they are currently, and re-arrange some other items that sit on the bottom, so really the only thing you are losing is cabinet footage top to bottom. We don't work on pins with the pf down, so it would not impact very much on most pins.

    Sure it might look cheap and awkward at first, but that would be because we are so used to seeing the huge things that they are currently.

    #13 3 months ago

    I see more and more people getting into Pinball and it growing even further in the coming years.
    Out on location It seems like there are a lot of younger people playing pinball.
    Themes like Stranger Things, Rick and Morty and other hip/current subjects are going to help fuel this and do incredibly well on location.
    More locations are opening up all the time. A lot of tradition video arcades are putting pins in them or are expanding the number of pins they have.
    Pinball is alive and well and I see it continuing to do so.

    #14 3 months ago

    NEw ideas and much in games, JJP does a good job of that but can’t find the flow of a Stern, want the best of both worlds as Sammy Hagar would say in Van Halen

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