Quoted from SunKing:
Your definition of pre-order is a lot more loose than mine. If I pay for something, I expect to get it NOW - a fair exchange of $$ for a product. If I pay now, but don't get my product until later - that's pre-ordering. In your example, if I pay now and it goes into production in May - I may not get it 'till June...maybe July.....maybe even August. I most certainly consider that pre-ordering.
You can't just walk into a Best Buy, buy a pinball machine, and walk out. There's always going to be a slight delay in purchase and delivery with pinball.
IMO situations like these = Pre-order:
-Jpop showing NOTHING, taking money
-JJP announcing their company and WOZ without a game to show yet, taking money
-Heighway announcing aAien, showing a wireframe playfield CAD drawing, taking money
-Dutch announcing Lebowski, bringing protos to shows, taking money
-Homepin announcing Thunderbirds, showing nothing, taking money
-Multimorphic showing the P3 protos, taking money
-PPS announcing MMr in 2013, taking money
Basically...people taking money for something that's at the very baby stages of development = pre-order. I think this model is pretty dead in 2017
IMO, the following are not really pre-orders:
-Stern announcing game, taking money as it is going into production soon
-PPS revealing AFMr, taking money as it's going into production soon
Sure, there are situations that could be on either side of the fence, like Spooky...but at least they have a trusted reputation. I don't think anyone without a trusted reputation will ever get enough money to "kickstart" a project ever again. If Dutch is expecting pre-order money for game 2 to bail them out of game 1...I don't see it happening.