(Topic ID: 356196)

Stripped Down Stern Pros

By CoachBacca

64 days ago


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There are 86 posts in this topic. You are on page 2 of 2.
#51 64 days ago
Quoted from Pinball-Wiz:

I honestly can't remember the last time I looked at a Stern release and said to myself "WOW that's a full featured, loaded out game". Perhaps Godzilla. and you know what? GZ is one of the best games released in the last decade. This is what happens when careful consideration and effort goes into a fully featured game IMO. But we all know that fully featured doesn't mean it will be a good game.. and hence, that's where most people that defend fully featured games hang their hat on to defend stripped out games. And of course, because pinball is fun, then stripped out can be fun too. Yep, it's all good to overpay for a stripped out game now to some.
Unfortunately, there's a comfortable sales level that Stern is willing to go with that includes not putting much into the games. Think of it this way- the massive price hikes over the past 2 years were to pump more profit into the company because it could. Well, stripped out games are cheaper to produce and also create more money, which is the ONLY objective at this point.. just look at the threads, no matter what pinball enthusiasts don't like, there's a steady bunch of defenders, people calling them whiners, etc., that displace any potential for those concerns to be more visible and/or valid. I've often wondered, to what benefit is there for someone to defend stripped out games instead of wanting more in a game? Are these fake accounts or people that are gaslighting those that think these games are stripped (especially when they are paying $10,000 for one). I'm not sure.. but if you look at the comment section of anything that's open to the public (youtube, news articles to mention a few), you will indeed see extremely disturbing opinions, posts, whacky support for things that make no sense. This is what the internet is.
I now vote with my wallet, but I know that will never be enough.... The reason these pinball companies are the way they are is they don't need my money anymore, they have new buyers that are willing to snap everything up and as we see here, defend EVERYTHING they do. We are not allowed to be critical or talk about what any of the pinball companies (mostly Stern) didn't do, because, again, pinball is fun and how dare you not like something Stern did!!

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#52 64 days ago

I wish they would go back to the days of tspp, lotr and sopranos. Packed games, great code and a substantial amount of assets. I realize, of course, they make a ton of money on the LEs and to a lesser extent the premiums.

A tspp or lotr with the video screen and better light shows would sell a ton of games. Charge a premium price and be done with these tiers. Sell the bling like powder coating, speaker lights and shooter rods separately like they do the toppers.

#53 64 days ago
Quoted from Lermods:

I wish they would go back to the days of tspp, lotr and sopranos. Packed games, great code and a substantial amount of assets. I realize, of course, they make a ton of money on the LEs and to a lesser extent the premiums.
A tspp or lotr with the video screen and better light shows would sell a ton of games. Charge a premium price and be done with these tiers. Sell the bling like powder coating, speaker lights and shooter rods separately like they do the toppers.

Why would Stern cede the pro market?

They are the only company selling massive amounts of $7K games, it would make zero sense for them to decide to completely change their business model.

I'm sure AP and Ninja would be thrilled if they just decided to give it up, but this is a business and Stern is the king of it.

And hey, if you want to bring up the glory days of "no tier Stern pinball" of the early 2000s, you also have to acknowledge the horror show that was the CSI, NBA, 24, NASCAR, BBH etc. etc. era. That's what you want to go back to?

#54 64 days ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

The gameplay experiences tend to be similar, and I really don't understand the griping. In general, a premium is way cooler, but a pro will do. Look at the recent games!
Bond - pro is as good as prem
Foo - pro plays as good as prem. Prem is just way cooler
Venom - game blows either way
Jaws - they both play the same
This is pinball in 2024. You want to spend $7k? Great, a pro is the best you are going to find in pinball. If you want more crap, you can pay more.
You want to stick it to Stern? Buy a BBQ or Ninja, that'll show 'em!

I am the exact opposite on Jaws, I find the game play much better on the premium.

I finally played a Backyard BBQ, wow, what a complete waste of time and resources on a sinking ship. Sort of like having maid service on the Titanic after it hit the iceberg.

#55 64 days ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

Why would Stern cede the pro market?
They are the only company selling massive amounts of $7K games, it would make zero sense for them to decide to completely change their business model.
I'm sure AP and Ninja would be thrilled if they just decided to give it up, but this is a business and Stern is the kind of it.

I agree with this ball shitter. Market positioning matters and I love that the Pro price point exists and that it rarely is attached to a game that’s “worse” than the premium.

And I guess we found the lower limits of the price tiers with home editions.

#56 64 days ago
Quoted from John-Floyd:

Everything gets old after a bit. But in all seriousness, I went and played a foo pro for example, and the plastic pieces for the overlord and van just make the game look cheap to me and I also missed the upper playfield and pop up ball saver post tremendously. Add in the plastic apron and the overall package just didn’t suit my taste after owning a premium.
Now is it worth the extra cash? that’s 100% personal preference and completely up to the buyer. Different tiers to suit different tastes and I’m all OK with that.
Most importantly, pinball is just too damn expensive these days regardless of which tier one chooses!

Well?? If you think about even premiums are 20% plastic anyways LMFAO I see your point though; but seriously is the van & alien really worth almost a couple of grand? Personally I'd get a pro & mod it out then spend the extra money on a weekend trip.

#57 64 days ago

Premium owners watching people buying Pro's

#58 64 days ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

Why would Stern cede the pro market?
They are the only company selling massive amounts of $7K games, it would make zero sense for them to decide to completely change their business model.
I'm sure AP and Ninja would be thrilled if they just decided to give it up, but this is a business and Stern is the kind of it.
And hey, if you want to bring up the glory days of "no tier Stern pinball" of the early 2000s, you also have to acknowledge the horror show that was the CSI, NBA, 24, NASCAR etc. etc. era. That's what you want to go back to?

I don’t disagree, the pro market has been good for stern. But what if the pro version didn’t exist, would people pay up knowing there was only one model and it was on par with tspp and lotr? The margins are better on premiums than pros, but would the volume still be there? In a rising market, it’s easy to sell just about any version, but with things getting weaker, they might be a little more discerning, less willing to shell out $7k for a stripped down game. At the same time, LE buyers may balk at the $13k price tag. A packed premium at $8-9k or so could be a sweet spot.

CSI is a pretty cool game, btw.

#59 64 days ago

It's rare I prefer the Pro over the Premium, but some Pro's are "good enough"

#60 64 days ago

This debate was fun several years ago but at todays prices and stripped or not, letting locations buy up pros and premiums to enjoy. Would rather they take my money, rarely see the value opening wallet wider for NIB.
Bond pro and both versions of jaws are excellent

#61 64 days ago
Quoted from Lermods:

I don’t disagree, the pro market has been good for stern. But what if the pro version didn’t exist, would people pay up knowing there was only one model and it was on par with tspp and lotr? The margins are better on premiums than pros, but would the volume still be there? In a rising market, it’s easy to sell just about any version, but with things getting weaker, they might be a little more discerning, less willing to shell out $7k for a stripped down game. At the same time, LE buyers may balk at the $13k price tag. A packed premium at $8-9k or so could be a sweet spot.
CSI is a pretty cool game, btw.

If a Stern premium pinball is in the woods and it goes into attract mode and nobody is around does it still make a sound?? Mmmm...?

#62 64 days ago

Stripped down Pro's will be the norm from now on, it's just the way it's going to be. Me personally, i would rather have a pro.

I can get them for a much better deal, and i don't have to worry about the nightmares that Rush and AIQ Premium/LE owners are facing with mechs that Stern just cannot figure out how to fix.

They don't make money fixing issues on pins people have already purchased, so they have zero reason to do so. They know this hobby is filled with people willing to spend $10-15K on a game without even playing it, so why even try?

#63 64 days ago

I know I look at it the other way: what does an extra $2500 get me in the premium? In most cases it seems that it gets me about $200 worth of mechs and extra down time watching the mechs do their thing. Still, I’m a sucker cause I want a couple premiums due all you pinsiders’ darn peer pressure.

I enjoy all the pros just fine. Stripped down by couple $100’s in mechs…so what.

#64 64 days ago
Quoted from DaveH:

I'm a "Pro" guy. I tend to find more value in the Pro models

Quoted from shelby1000:

I can see why operators have them if they want to save money and maximize profits but in a home environment. No way.

And this is exactly why Stern makes both, and also one of the reasons I love pinball! Two people have exactly opposite opinions. In fact we own different versions of 3 different games (AS, GZ, MET). I don't know him, but I bet if we were at either of our houses we would both have a blast on any of the games.

Stripped down games or not, pinball as a hobby kicks ass.

#65 64 days ago
Quoted from acedanger:

Well?? If you think about even premiums are 20% plastic anyways LMFAO I see your point though; but seriously is the van & alien really worth almost a couple of grand? Personally I'd get a pro & mod it out then spend the extra money on a weekend trip.

Van and alien hell no - but the upper playfield adds a lot of fun to the game for me and that was the main driving force. Also fair to mention Stern was shitty and decided Pro owners could not add expression lights.
TBH, I don’t think any pinball pricing these days is justifiable to a rational thinking person. My coworkers think Im fucking nuts to have spent $7,600- 10,500 on a single machine. I don’t blame em.

#66 64 days ago

Plenty of pros better than premiums. Yada yada, mentioned a ton before.

#67 64 days ago

I don’t think you can go wrong pro vs premium. Either is better than alternative of not having at all.

I think part of the equation in evaluating toys/features vs value is how much you like the theme, do the additional features of premium integrate into theme if your a theme person and do they come into play with coding etc…

Just my 2 cents

#68 64 days ago
Quoted from John-Floyd:

. My coworkers think Im fucking nuts to have spent $7,600- 10,500 on a single machine. I don’t blame em.

I get the same thing from non pinhead friends, but yet they will go out and buy a $70k Tesla that will be worth half its value in a couple of years and not blink an eye. Pins have held their value pretty well over time so it’s not money lost.

#69 64 days ago
Quoted from acedanger:

Premium owners watching people buying Pro's

I love that video

#70 64 days ago
Quoted from AMartin56:

There's a simple rule regarding Pros and pretty much all the comments above back it up...
The older the Pro the better the Pro. The newer the Pro the more stripped down is the Pro.
It basically follows the same pattern of Stern generally reducing BoM across the board.
From Godzilla backwards it seems like they designed the Pro then ADDED stuff. Now it seems like they design the Premium then completely neuter the Pro by REMOVING stuff. It seems like a completely different philosophy.
All the Pros people love or tolerate are from GZ back. All the newer ones people mostly hate.

It seems this is determined by whoever the Senior Designer is. Godzilla was the last game in development when Steve Ritchie left, while everything now is helmed by George Gomez.

#71 64 days ago

I do think Stern is missing out on part of the market. I know they think most home buyers just go premium and operators go pro. I have wanted to go NIB from Stern for a long time but in the end I never do it. The premium is just to much and the pro not enough. In the end I went NIB with Pulp Fiction and it hit my point in the market perfectly. I don't care about the topper and I don't think I miss out on anything under the glass. I think its also priced right in the middle. If John Wick at the fully functional car on the Pro they probably would have gotten my money. I would happily trade the car for the side lit plastic.

#72 64 days ago
Quoted from Steveboos:

Stripped down Pro's will be the norm from now on, it's just the way it's going to be. Me personally, i would rather have a pro.
I can get them for a much better deal, and i don't have to worry about the nightmares that Rush and AIQ Premium/LE owners are facing with mechs that Stern just cannot figure out how to fix.
They don't make money fixing issues on pins people have already purchased, so they have zero reason to do so. They know this hobby is filled with people willing to spend $10-15K on a game without even playing it, so why even try?

Sold my Rush Prem and got a Pro because of Stern not fixing the Node 10 board issues. I feel like the most stripped Stern Pro is Zeppelin. That pro is the most barren snoozfest they ever released. And Venom isn’t far behind.

#73 64 days ago

Finally we dive deep into the pro vs premium debate
Long time coming and never discussed before.

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#74 64 days ago
Quoted from Jamesays:

Finally we dive deep into the pro vs premium debate
Long time coming and never discussed before.
[quoted image]

That wasn’t actually the original intent for this thread though.

#75 64 days ago

Stranger Things Pro is the only Pro that feels like a premium. it's 100% the game without the broken gimmicks

#76 64 days ago

Ghostbusters. Damn is it a nice Pro. No matter what model of GB you buy, you have to mod the crap out of it, starting with the gap between the flippers but once you do? It looks great, it's super fast, great mechs, slimer goes up & down so you can nail to start modes, I don't miss any of the gimmick features like the magnets that throw the ball sdtm or seeing slimer go all the way off the playfield, I've got a small tv where the glasses thing went and it plays all the video clips from the movies, the sub kicks with Ray Parker Jr. and the assets are awesome on a ColorDMD, I highly recommend it.
I doubt you'll find one with a Topper unless you pay up for it but it's great. Can't go wrong with, seriously.

#77 64 days ago
Quoted from CoachBacca:

That wasn’t actually the original intent for this thread though.

We have stripped down premiums now too

#78 64 days ago

We also have stripped down humans, but most of them I do not want to see

#79 64 days ago

John Wick 4 pin reminds me of when Iron Man, when was that released ?

Stern started making Stripped down pins around that time.

Even Iron Man said “Iron Man” on the translite but displayed “Iron Man 2” at bootup.
Wick seems similar, we have John Wick 4 pin, translite says “John Wick” and it’s a pretty Barren, lacking and plastic-y game
Same for Venom.

Wonder if it displays “John Woke 4” at startup.

#80 64 days ago

the phrase "stripped down" and a "pinball machine produced in 2024" should not even be a thing. But here we are.

#81 64 days ago

What has happened to Pinside? No pictures of strippers with this thread title?

#82 63 days ago
Quoted from Shogun00:

It seems this is determined by whoever the Senior Designer is. Godzilla was the last game in development when Steve Ritchie left, while everything now is helmed by George Gomez.

Interesting. I wasn't aware of that.

#83 63 days ago
Quoted from RyanStl:

What has happened to Pinside? No pictures of strippers with this thread title?

Good point.

#84 63 days ago
Quoted from Only_Pinball:

Good point. [quoted image]

There we go.

#85 63 days ago

Sterns attempt with John Wick.

#86 63 days ago

I aim to please

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