Quoted from islandpinball:
EM tables have not gone up in price in recent years..
Solid State games are starting to get into this category as well, they just remain at a certain price point with little movement. ...
Alphanumerics are still going up and DMD pins are going as high as the sky...Once the pinball companies start incorporating the newest technologies especially LCD i dont think we will see the DMD titles doubling or tripling again. The DMDs will hold their own for a long time, but i highly doubt they will double and triple like they did in their latest run up to these levels.
Yes, I agree that a significant technical innovation will cause dollars to start flowing to new games. The primary reasons I'm interested in a predator are for its relatively budget price and built-in scarcity.
Quoted from aeneas:
My opinion is totally different: why would I pay 5K for a Stern that has not proven itself yet, is unknown if it'll be a great, good or not even average game, that may drop significant in price once it's not NIB anymore..
Buy for the same money a proven A-title (in good/restored condition) which is for years on top of everyones wish list, you know what to expect (rules/depth/.. are known), and it will hold its value probably better (as it hasn't dropped over the last years in value) ?
For the same basic reason people still go to movie theaters to watch an "unproven" movie instead of re-watching the Godfather. There is something in human nature that wants to be part of the social experience that goes with things that are new, exciting and maybe, just maybe, epic.
Quoted from Dewey68:
I'd agree with this. I don't think the fact that the display has changed means much to most pinheads. If it adds something to the gameplay then it will further the evolution of pinball. The addition of DMD's coincided with deeper rules and more features in pinball. For example, the fact that Funhouse is an alphanumeric pin doesn't detract from it for me, as it's got the features of a WPC and that is what counts. Do nice graphics on a DMD help a game, sure, but the gameplay is what really matters.
The LCD has the potential to be a game changer. It totally comes down to what they do with it.
The DMD allows for more effective communication with the player which in turn enables the design of deeper games. However, the depth of some games exceeded the limits of the DMD a long time ago. Games like LoTR and TSPP are still incomprehensible to 90% of the players.
With a LCD, the display could now do essentially what Bowen is doing in his tutorial videos. Imagine you complete an objective that locks the ball. That "unlocks" a 15 second strategy video that shows you that you could have also stacked a mode with the objective for bigger points, which in turn encourages you to put more money in and try to replay the mode using the new strategy. Or you could unlock flipper technique videos that show you how to do a drop a catch, nudge, etc.
The storylines could get a lot deeper and engage the player more and in interesting ways: moral choices that affect the storyline and scoring, for example.
On the other hand, they could use it to just show the score and some crap 3D animations and video clips, in which case we'll have the equivalent of the interactive movie games of the 3DO and Sega CD.
Quoted from JDub1006:
I look at how few pins are on location where I live and I think the LCD will not have a lot to do with the value of older pins. There are not many new pins for people to play on locations any more but a lot of local collectors have them in their homes. I dont think pinball is more popular, I think that more people who played pinball growing up are in different stages of thier lives where they can afford to buy these games.
I guess I would like to see the math on how many NIB games Stern or JJ sell that are for collectors (HUO).
In many urban areas there is still decent location pinball. We have 450 games, 250 venues, 2 pinball museums, and 3 pinball leagues in the bay area.
Quoted from Miguel351:
Did anybody see the screenshot of the WOZ that markmon posted earlier? All that information available on one screen instantly versus trapping the ball for a "Status Report"? How is that not a major improvement to overall game play? To instantly know what you have to hit and what it will accomplish is huge in pinball. How many of you knew what to do with MM when you first played? If you had someone explain the overall goal of the game before you played your first game, maybe then you would've had more fun instead of just bouncing the ball off everything you could see. Let's face it, the quicker you understand the rules, layout, and depth of a game, the more fun it is. The LCD screen, used to it fullest, can convey this information faster and with more accuracy than any other pin before it. That, my friends, is game changing.
Learning the rules to pinball has traditionally been a matter of "bumping around in the dark". It's an extremely old school and frustrating approach. Some games included tutorials and novice modes, but a combination of the limited tech and poor design limited their usefulness. At best they served to inform, but fun? No.
Besides, if for nothing else than "attract mode" alone, with respect to WOZ, what better way to attract newbies to pinball than with a clip from the most popular movie of all time? Can't you see the game, sitting in the corner of a bar or amusement area, nobody playing it and then a clip comes on the LCD screen of the witch saying "I'll get you my pretty, and your little dog, too!" or some other famous line from the movie? Who in the world who has seen the movie won't at least turn their head and look, let a lone walk over and investigate? If it gets them to drop in some quarters, mission accomplished.
Also spot on. Aesthetically, the DMD is basically a car with roll down windows and no electronic key option. You can argue all day long how those things don't affect the "driving experience", but you cannot tell me that new car shoppers don't insist on purchasing them.
Quoted from Betelgeuse:
Unfortunately, I think that there may be nothing that can revive pinball on location. From what I have seen, the learning curve for pinball is just too steep. After such a hiatus, Americans as a whole just don't know the first thing about how to play. If they are intrigued, at $.75 a pop they get easily frustrated and move on. When it was a bigger part of our culture, most people had some experience as a starting point to improve their skills. I have had plenty of people come over to check out my machines out of curiosity, only to not even plunge a ball during their visit.
It will never be like it was, but can it evolve and keep going? I think so. The main thing is we have to forget the arcades of yesteryear in any vision of keeping pinball alive.
I used to be hardcore Street Fighter player in the 90s. By 1996, the scene was dying and arcades were closing up left and right. Fighting games were becoming increasingly harder to learn, effectively shutting out new players.
In the late 90s the fan base launched web sites, started putting videos online, started organizing
meet-ups at peoples' houses to play on the consoles and started doing tournaments using consoles. The internet infrastructure finally caught up and online play became a reality. And while many in the scene decry internet play, it's brought tons into the scene. I honestly did not think the scene would survive till now, but it has, and the tournaments are bigger and better than ever.
Pinball can do the same. Not the same way, but it can find a way. As evidence of that, some dedicated players are "working the web" to make it happen. You have sites like pinballmap.com showing players where to find games. You have sites like this one bringing the community together.
Guys like Bowen and orgs like PAPA are creating video tutorials, and Pinball 101 showing how to do the moves - In the last couple years alone I have seen these efforts elevate play at tournaments. Novices tend to have a *much* better grasp of rules, stacking and flipper technique, and more and more people of my generation (gen X) are learning the tech side, to keep games in shape. One the reasons I run as many tournaments as I do is because of the help and amount of "template" information, software and knowledge on the internet that explains how to do it.
Quoted from Betelgeuse:
I agree. I didn't mean to imply that pinball was doomed, just that new bling wasn't going to bring in new players on location. I think the future of pinball is with collectors, tournaments and large facilities. I also think the popularity of video pinball is a great way to break the ice and convey the fundamentals to a new generation of enthusiasts.
I was also a big Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat player back in the day. I miss the arcade era.
Let me get this right, you're in Pittsburgh?
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