(Topic ID: 286628)

Vault rumors = LOTR Market ^ ??


By Beez

35 days ago



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  • 83 posts
  • 42 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 days ago by PinballBJB
  • Topic is favorited by 4 Pinsiders

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There are 83 posts in this topic. You are on page 2 of 2.
#51 9 days ago

Any older stern that is selling at a current retail price or higher could definitely be considered for a vault.

A tron premium, tspp and lotr with the new lcd screens would all be amazing. Although with sterns current backlog do they really have time to do this and would they even bother if there’s only potential sales for 500-1000 units of each?

Also no way anyone at stern would ever say they are done with vaults. Hopefully one day they rerun some of the old solid states at say the home version pricing.

#52 8 days ago

On the Whitestar front, people talk about them no longer having the components, which makes sense. But with Chinese manufacturing these days, if they wanted to just run more Whitestar boards instead of converting the game to Spike I don’t expect parts availability would be any kind of hurdle.

That said, if orders on existing titles are already through the roof I could see holding off on Vaults for the time being. It would make sense to save LOTR for a time when it won’t cannibalize other sales, as it would certainly be popular enough to keep the line running for a while.

Of course this all still assumes that the license renewal would be dooable.

#53 8 days ago
Quoted from BoJo:

cause it takes some testicular fortitude to say all these rumors on a podcast

Quoted from BoJo:

testicular fortitude

I think you mean "narcissism."

#54 8 days ago

imagine unironically not knowing the definition of a rumor

#55 8 days ago
Quoted from Haymaker:

imagine unironically not knowing the definition of a rumor

Somebody told me that there aren't going to be anymore rumors. At least, that's what I heard...

#56 8 days ago

Hopefully the software in terms of game logic is reasonably portable to new hardware (assuming it wasn't written in assembly).

#57 8 days ago
Quoted from dr_nybble:

Hopefully the software in terms of game logic is reasonably portable to new hardware (assuming it wasn't written in assembly).

I would think it is probably C++, but it may be something else entirely. I have no idea.

#58 8 days ago

Imagine unironically not realizing that spouting whatever the fuck gets people to listen to you.

#59 8 days ago
Quoted from fosaisu:

But with Chinese manufacturing these days, if they wanted to just run more Whitestar boards instead of converting the game to Spike I don’t expect parts availability would be any kind of hurdle.

Pretty sure the 6809 CPU used in Whitestar is OOP and available only used/pulls.. who knows what other components are also OOP..

#60 8 days ago
Quoted from metallik:

Pretty sure the 6809 CPU used in Whitestar is OOP and available only used/pulls.. who knows what other components are also OOP..

Did Whitestar really use the 6809? That processor was basically out of date in 1980.

#61 8 days ago

Seems like it is a 68B09E. Wow, maybe it was written in assembly!

#62 8 days ago
Quoted from dr_nybble:

Seems like it is a 68B09E. Wow, maybe it was written in assembly!

Keith would know for sure.

#63 8 days ago
Quoted from metallik:

Pretty sure the 6809 CPU used in Whitestar is OOP and available only used/pulls.. who knows what other components are also OOP..

So you’re saying Stern used off-the-shelf CPU and other components from other mfrs that it wouldn’t have the rights to have refabricated now even if it wanted to? That would throw a wrench in my scheme for Stern to just reproduce the Whitestar system instead of porting LOTR to Spike ...

#64 8 days ago
Quoted from fosaisu:

So you’re saying Stern used off-the-shelf CPU and other components from other mfrs that it wouldn’t have the rights to have refabricated now even if it wanted to?

I would expect that is still the case for all pinball machines. AMD or Intel CPUs would likely be the go to chips today - back then Motorola was big for that. I can't image Stern - or any other pinball manufacture - would create their own microprocessors.

Not sure if Spike 2 is using Intel or AMD chips - doesn't look like typical CPU sockets to me (unless it is under that heat sink): https://shop.sternpinball.com/products/spike-2-cpu-board

#65 8 days ago
Quoted from mbeardsley:

Did Whitestar really use the 6809? That processor was basically out of date in 1980.

Maybe outdated by 1990, but not 1980. It was used heavily in the 80s. The Vectrex used it, and that wasn't introduced until late 1982.

#66 8 days ago
Quoted from BoJo:

Nobody at Stern would ever confirm if they had future plans of doing vaults because they want you to buy what is available now. Any time Gary is asked what his favorite machine is and he always responds whatever is on the line right now.

He's old enough to have seen the Osborne effect firsthand and know how devastating it can be.

#67 8 days ago
Quoted from fosaisu:

So you’re saying Stern used off-the-shelf CPU and other components from other mfrs that it wouldn’t have the rights to have refabricated now even if it wanted to? That would throw a wrench in my scheme for Stern to just reproduce the Whitestar system instead of porting LOTR to Spike

They still do. Amtel on SAM/Spike 1, looks like NPX on Spike 2. Stern isn't a CPU designer. Most companies buy their technology from others - no reason for Stern to be designing CPU chips. One notable exception is the WPC FPGA; I think that was designed in-house

#68 8 days ago
Quoted from metallik:

Maybe outdated by 1990, but not 1980. It was used heavily in the 80s. The Vectrex used it, and that wasn't introduced until late 1982.

You're right, I meant 1980's...not 1980. But still it's been outdated for well over 30 years. On the other hand, it still IS available.
https://www.jameco.com/z/6809E-Major-Brands-MPU-M6800-CISC-8-Bit-1MHz-40-Pin-PDIP_43545.html?%20CID=GOOG&gclid=CjwKCAiAyc2BBhAaEiwA44-wWwRDXwTf-zZCH6AYz3oMkA0tJJ5CUsVHuoajnHy616JZM-2oyzqjUhoC9wMQAvD_BwE

#69 8 days ago
Quoted from metallik:

Maybe outdated by 1990, but not 1980. It was used heavily in the 80s. The Vectrex used it, and that wasn't introduced until late 1982.

Always wanted a Vectrex. Would stand in line to play it at Sears.

#70 8 days ago

That's insane! 10 bucks for a 8 bit, 1 MHz microprocessor

Wow have times changed or what!?

#71 8 days ago

CPU isn't an issue.
I bet that opencore.org has a 6809 CPU core sythensizeable on fpga.
If they cared enough. That said, emulation is probably easier.

#72 8 days ago

Those are refurbished (pulls).

Zitt is correct, easiest method would likely be to pull a CGC and emulate the old boardset.

#73 8 days ago
Quoted from Guinnesstime:

Always wanted a Vectrex. Would stand in line to play it at Sears.

I had one with most of the games (except the 3D ones) with original boxes, overlays, and instructions for everything I bought NIB and traded it for a refrigerator in the early 1990s.

Trade regret. It's real.

#74 8 days ago
Quoted from metallik:

Those are refurbished (pulls).
Zitt is correct, easiest method would likely be to pull a CGC and emulate the old boardset.

they have an sam emulator on spike v1. and some said there some test games of the sopranos on SAM? (maybe just driver board?)

But the Whitestar II is likely mostly assembly. Sound not an issue pinmame can trap out the sound calls and you can link them to sound files.

CGC is not fully emulating the sound system.

Unless you want to do the old switch and lamp matrix wireing + big driver board you need to some kind porting or emulator to get it to run with spike boards. Unless they are still useing an faked switch matrix in the spike code.

10
#75 7 days ago

LOTR was indeed written in (heavily macro'd) 6809 assembler, just like the rest of Stern whitestar games. It was only a 2MHz proc, so it's not that hard to emulate. Probably the most annoying part (as 6809 has already been emulated by MAME for decades) would be the banked ROMs, and that's not even that hard to do either.

It could obviously be rewritten in something modern, but that's less than trivial and prone to mistakes.

#76 7 days ago
Quoted from pinball_keefer:

LOTR was indeed written in (heavily macro'd) 6809 assembler, just like the rest of Stern whitestar games. It was only a 2MHz proc, so it's not that hard to emulate. Probably the most annoying part (as 6809 has already been emulated by MAME for decades) would be the banked ROMs, and that's not even that hard to do either.
It could obviously be rewritten in something modern, but that's less than trivial and prone to mistakes.

6809 assembler macros are TIGHT! My son rolls his eyes when I pontificate about how small my 6502 assembly code was back in the day compared to what bloated high level languages put out now. He's also tired of hearing that 6502 was RISC-like before RISC/arm were sexy.

Seems like an emulation layer running the code within a wrapper that handles interface to the new host machine is the fastest way to go and not introduce errors in the code that would affect rules, etc. Super easy, barely an inconvenience.

EDIT: Thinking about this some more, this seems like it's ideal for Tanio's skillset. Maybe that's what he's been tied up with since Deadpool. He's been very quiet. Deadpool=Gomez/Tanio. LotR Spike=Gomez/Tanio redux?

#77 7 days ago
Quoted from pinball_keefer:

LOTR was indeed written in (heavily macro'd) 6809 assembler, just like the rest of Stern whitestar games. It was only a 2MHz proc, so it's not that hard to emulate. Probably the most annoying part (as 6809 has already been emulated by MAME for decades) would be the banked ROMs, and that's not even that hard to do either.
It could obviously be rewritten in something modern, but that's less than trivial and prone to mistakes.

was the DMD cpu code also big assembler or was most of DMD data with very little code?

#78 7 days ago
Quoted from vireland:

6809 assembler macros are TIGHT! My son rolls his eyes when I pontificate about how small my 6502 assembly code was back in the day compared to what bloated high level languages put out now. He's also tired of hearing that 6502 was RISC-like before RISC/arm were sexy.
Seems like an emulation layer running the code within a wrapper that handles interface to the new host machine is the fastest way to go and not introduce errors in the code that would affect rules, etc. Super easy, barely an inconvenience.

I only had 1 class in assembly when I was in college. Most all of my academic development was done in Pascal initially, then C, then C++. As a professional it started with C++ on UNIX systems, then Windows, up to C# and JavaScript/Typescript of today.

Coding assembly language was no joke - glad I missed having to do it professionally

#79 7 days ago

Though it's been quite a while for me, I used to do a lot of 8-bit assembler.

I wrote games for GameBoy, GameGear, and NES in 8-bit ASM (also Genesis and SegaCD, but that was 16 bit). It was a big deal when I moved to doing PS1 games and could code in C.

You haven't suffered until you've written a 3D Star Trek game in 8-bit assembler!

#80 7 days ago
Quoted from mbeardsley:

Though it's been quite a while for me, I used to do a lot of 8-bit assembler.
I wrote games for GameBoy, GameGear, and NES in 8-bit ASM (also Genesis and SegaCD, but that was 16 bit). It was a big deal when I moved to doing PS1 games and could code in C.
You haven't suffered until you've written a 3D Star Trek game in 8-bit assembler!

But remember how small and tight your compiled assembler code was compared to C output and sigh fondly.

#81 7 days ago

On the other hand, I look at the assembly generated by an optimizing C compiler and realize I could never be that smart. godbolt.org is pretty cool.

#82 7 days ago
Quoted from vireland:

But remember how small and tight your compiled assembler code was compared to C output and sigh fondly.

Yes, I remember replacing all my "LD A, 0" instructions with "XOR A" because each one saved both a byte and a cycle!

But it also meant we needed to do some silly (and dangerous) stuff...like having an unrolled loop and jumping into a computed part of it, to avoid the overhead of having to decrement and test a counter.

Definitely glad those days are over for me.

Quoted from dr_nybble:

On the other hand, I look at the assembly generated by an optimizing C compiler and realize I could never be that smart.

Absolutely.

#83 3 days ago

Over in “The next Stern pin” thread, there are posts speculating that the Japanese puzzle added to the Stern shop signals Godzilla as an imminent title.

Extending this logic - if it’s sound - the wizard puzzle could be a hint at a vault or other type of re-do of LOTR.

Personally (selfishly), I hope not, as I added LOTR to my collection not too long ago, so would be a bit frustrated if it gets vaulted. Redone differently would be another story though, depending on how much of it is redone. As we see from themes like Simpsons, Jurassic Park, Black Knight, and Batman, and older generic themes like car racing and card playing, a theme can be “redone” while still being changed tremendously in the later re-do.

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