(Topic ID: 167624)

Where will the pinball hobby be in 10 years?


By Rondogg

2 years ago



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  • 491 posts
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  • Latest reply 1 year ago by RandomGuyOffCL
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    There are 485 posts in this topic. You are on page 10 of 10.
    #451 2 years ago

    I have 15+ nieces and nephews above 18yo. None of them are into pinball. When I was a kid in the late 80's-early 90's machines were easily found and I played them a lot. It was a lifelong goal to eventually have machines in my home. If I didn't grow up playing them I can't say I get into the hobby as an adult. This younger generation didn't grow up with pinball and it shows as they have zero interest. Social media is where it's at these days.

    #452 2 years ago
    Quoted from Rondogg:

    This weekend is a pivotal moment in pinball history and may be looked at as the beginning of trends that we will point to ten years from now.
    Tighten your seat belts.

    What is happening this weekend?

    #453 2 years ago
    Quoted from Sticky:

    What is happening this weekend?

    Wrote that a week ago prior to expo2016. I have a feeling that was a pivotal weekend for our hobby.

    #454 2 years ago

    After expo, I'm further convinced " pinball will need to be pinball" to survive, even in niche market. Our youth simply expect incredible immersion and technology in their gaming experience. I'm all for innovation, new ways to modernize the gameplay, but if the wheelhouse get too close to video gaming......game over.

    Even cell phones won't be ( aren't) what they were just 5 years ago.....how many people do you see even talking on them vs texting, tweeting, whatnot.....crazy times, tech-wise.....

    #455 2 years ago

    Pinball today is a very niche market. Although machines could be found anywhere in the '90 and before, today just a handful of people are into this hobby. In the '80 and '90 videogames were way more popular, but also quite a few young people were not into videogaming at all. I see that lots of people into this hobby today comes from a purely videogaming background (like myself). Yes, we had the chance to see pinball machines when young, but we did not pay much attention at all to them. But now it looks like for some people there is a kind of progression in "gaming" tastes: from videogames to pinball. Let's say that this happened for 0.1% (not a proper estimate, just to write a number) of the old average and hardcore videogamers.

    Today youth do not know pinball, but basically all young people are into videogaming (way more than in the past). Especially the number of hardcore players increased enormously compared to 30 years ago. Let's say that after 20 years only 0.01% (not a proper estimate, just meaning it's a tenth compared to the previous estimate) will discover how amazing and fun pinball is. And how much better it is - for an adult, sophisticated "gamer" - compared to videogaming. If this 0.01% will get into the hobby of pinball, I think the future will be bright.

    #456 2 years ago

    I wonder what would happen if Stern (or someone) managed to crack the Chinese economy like the film and other entertainment industries have been trying to do. Could be a radically different hobby 10 years from now.

    #457 2 years ago

    Yes, Asian and eventually African market would be big. No pinball tradition at all, but again: even tiny bit percentages in such huge markets would benefit the already tiny existing pinball market.

    -1
    #458 2 years ago
    Quoted from Homepin:

    Your comments only apply to a small percentage of pinball "collectors". The vast majority prefer pinball to be just that - PINBALL! Not glorified video games (using large LCD screens etc).
    The entire appeal of pinball is the clunky mechanical action (mixed with the unique art). This can't be, and isn't, replicated with video or any video emulation like virtual pinball. WiFi and other technology "might" pacify some but won't make pinball any better. Cloud - don't make me laugh, look at how that is working out, security issues, storage qty issues - forget that.
    Heighway and Dutch Pinball are essentially making conventional pinball machines in the traditional sense. Some new innovations for sure but MAINLY they are conventional pinball machines as we have known them for years - good on them both!
    We have market research, as does Stern, that breaks down pinball collectors/enthusiasts/casual players and our results match. People who crave technological advances in pinball are very much in the minority. This might change as people age/die/interest wanes etc but that isn't what MOST people currently want or expect from pinball.
    If the above wasn't true, current machines would be selling for $500 because "nobody would want them" and we all know that isn't the case at all.
    Pinball companies using TV screens to replace backglasses/playfields etc will find the above out the hard way. It is NOT what the majority want. You can count on Homepin to be making REAL pinball machines with REAL clunking mechanical action including a REAL knocker and NOT a large TV screen with video running on it.

    Are you still planning to refuse to sell to the US?

    #459 2 years ago

    If location play doesn't return in a big way, then it will be over once all of us start dying off. The Pokemon Go generation will not be buying pinball machines for their homes.

    #460 2 years ago

    At some point the current group of game designers need to start mentoring new talent. Eventually the big names will start retiring and everyone will continue to expect the same high level product.

    #461 2 years ago
    Quoted from Rondogg:

    10-15 years ago only the most optimistic fluffer would have predicted the explosion of this hobby, especially during the recession. Where is it going. Will drag this thread out of mothballs in 2026. Promise.

    10 - 15 yr's ago people were collecting 80's 90's games on the cheep. Now it is all about NIB I think as long as prices stay high there will be new games build no mater how small the hobby gets

    #462 2 years ago
    Quoted from JY64:

    Now it is all about NIB

    When routed B/W games sell for more than a brand new Stern, it's certainly not "all about NIB". The NIB happen to be more readily available, but any 90's B/W game that's priced fairly will move in no more than a few days.

    #463 2 years ago
    Quoted from Russell:

    Are you still planning to refuse to sell to the US?

    You are way behind it seems? My original comments were simply to clarify that Thunderbirds was NOT targeted at the USA market but rather a different area altogether. Some posters blew that out of proportion and twisted my comments to suit their own purposes and trolling.

    We have been in discussions with USA and Canadian distributors for some time now and, when the time is appropriate, we will make suitable arrangements for distribution into most markets.

    This is all a LOT trickier than some may imagine with existing pinball distribution agreements in place by others as well as dozens of legal and compliance requirements for different markets but we are working through all of that.

    3 weeks later
    #464 2 years ago

    This caught my attention today. I love it! Might be the first new pinball machine I'll buy. Hope unique machines like Whoa Nellie are the future.

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    #465 2 years ago

    Dying, I mean why is there this resurgence? because the 40 to 60 years old's who grew up in arcades have money to spend on this hobby, the kids of today will not buy and collect pins, maybe some will but not enough to warrant multiple manufacturers if even only 1, I love that its happening but it won't last, I live in TO which is the 4th largest city in NAmerica and 20 years ago arcades were abundant and now almost non-existent, OK barcades are springing up but again those are catering to that same demographic, if anything good should come from this its that the developers realize whos buying these pins and continue with more classic titles, I'll tell you if Stern did a Tron VE based on the 80's film they would sell 80 SLE's, if they did ST VE based on the OG movies again 80 SLE's and the LE's would gone as well, so Stern get to work on those would ya.

    1 week later
    #466 2 years ago

    electrocute

    Yup, I got to put a lot of games on Whoa Nellie as well at Free Play Florida, and I'm starting to warm up to it. If the melon theme doesn't do it for you, Stern is also making Pabst Can Crusher for Pabst which is the same pin, only themed with Dirty Donnie artwork and a different sound package. You can buy those directly from the Pabst store.

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    6 months later
    #467 1 year ago

    I never thought there would be such a large group of $6k to $8k owners. With all the new expensive games hitting the market it will be very interesting to see if the support holds.

    #468 1 year ago

    10 years from now, the pinball hobby will still be in my basement.

    1 week later
    #469 1 year ago
    Quoted from KozMckPinball:

    10 years from now the pinball hobby will be in my basement.

    Are you sure the whole thing will fit in there?

    10 months later
    #470 1 year ago

    I will say that I do see a lot more competition now than when this thread was started. That's a good sign. And yes, there are more vendors, but they all seem to be trying to outdo the others in quality and creativity. Stern even seems to be reversing their cheapness trend with Iron Maiden. Looks like the next few years at least are going to produce some incredible games.

    Also, the influx of new younger designers appears to be a good thing!

    #471 1 year ago
    Quoted from Rondogg:

    Also, the influx of new younger designers appears to be a good thing!

    This so much! TNA and JJP are bringing back things that were more or less eliminated at Stern through a combination of cost controls and echo chamber design rules - widebodies, lower pops, outlane save posts, individually controlled drop banks.

    #472 1 year ago

    I am surprised to see very little confidence here in VR becoming huge.

    Compare the Nintendo Virtual Boy to the Oculus Rift. Now imagine a similar advancement in 10 years or whatever.

    None of this "choose a viewing angle" nonsense, it'll be full motion and hard to distinguish from reality.

    Add in a full size pinball controller, weighted and with nudge sensors and haptic feedback.

    Absolutely stunning emulation of old games. Crazy, physically impossible new games.

    Actual physical pins will seem silly (and their demand and prices will drop). The VR versions will never break down, need parts or even get dirty, not to mention they will cost orders of magnitude less.

    Online tournaments will finally be feasible as everyone will play the same game, set up the same.

    And unlike so many shooter video games, you simply stand in front of a pinball so there won't be the problem of your physical body wanting to ambulate in VR.

    Pooh pooh it now all you like, it's coming!

    #473 1 year ago
    Quoted from DanQverymuch:

    Compare the Nintendo Virtual Boy to the Oculus Rift. Now imagine a similar advancement in 10 years or whatever.

    I don't know that the virtual boy is a good example since it wasn't immersive. It was just trying to take basic vector graphics and make them appear 3d. The first real VR I'm aware of is Dactyl nightmare from 1992. Granted these systems were not for consumers and were prohibitively expensive ($75k back then which would be $135k in today's dollars). However that was an immersive experience. graphics were blocky, choppy, but the system did a reasonable job of tracking movement:

    So really the comparison should be more like a 25 year span. The amazing thing is that today you can have a nearly realistic VR experience for less than $1k (including computer, headset, and controllers). They say CPU processing power doubles every 18 months, and really if you look at how much the video gaming experience has jumped in the last 10 years it shows. Not just more polygons, but higher resolutions and better effects to add to realism (mist, light refraction, etc). If anyone hasn't seen videos of "GTA ultra realistic mod", it's pretty amazing (you must watch at full HD to truly appreciate the extra details)

    I can imagine a time not far into the future where you might have a dumb wood box with flipper buttons, maybe even side rails so you feel that smooth texture. The box might have a shaker motor that is software controlled, maybe some solenoids that fire when you hit the flippers. The dummy box is simply there for feel, maybe even has accelerators so as you nudge it, the virtual ball reacts, or detects a tilt. Someone comes up with a system like that for say $5k, and it feels 95% real, and they can obtain licenses of existing titles.. it could really kill off a lot of titles.

    For those that saw (or read the book) ready player one, these 2 videos show what's coming soon as far as tactile feedback:


    #474 1 year ago

    I love VR pinball, even though we are a few years away from getting the graphics to be as sharp as I'd like, still I don't think it's going to kill off the hobby anymore than The Pinball Arcade has. There's something about controlling a real ball with flippers that is just not easy to duplicate digitally, imo, even with sophisticated haptics.

    I also don't buy the logic that we need to draw kids into the hobby or worry that they prefer video games to pinball. I never played pinball as a kid in the arcade, it was video games all day long and it was the same with almost everyone I knew. It didn't stop me from getting addicted as an adult in my 40's. Ironically, thanks to a video game (The Pinball Arcade). I believe that as long as there are VR/video game versions of pinball out there that enough people will want the different experience of an actual physical machine to keep the industry going. It's not like it needs a ton of people to keep it going, owning machines will always be a very niche hobby.

    I have 16% confidence in everything i have just written.

    #475 1 year ago
    Quoted from Rondogg:

    I will say that I do see a lot more competition now than when this thread was started.

    Yes, and my early rage in this thread about outdated licensed themes and nothing else has been answered with TNA.

    Now I'm a happy camper!

    #476 1 year ago
    Quoted from toyotaboy:

    The first real VR I'm aware of is Dactyl nightmare from 1992 ...

    I worked at Virtuality at Randhurst Mall back in the 90's. I bet I was one of the best Dactyl Nightmare players on the planet!

    #477 1 year ago
    Quoted from DanQverymuch:

    I am surprised to see very little confidence here in VR becoming huge.
    Compare the Nintendo Virtual Boy to the Oculus Rift. Now imagine a similar advancement in 10 years or whatever.

    You can throw a VR rig together cheap right now, yet none of my friends actually own or use one on the reg.

    I'm calling it - this is just a novelty. I don't care how cheap or "good" it gets. It's a "wow show mom and watch her think it's funny one time" thing.

    Poo poo it all you want, but it's not coming!

    #478 1 year ago
    Quoted from gweempose:

    I worked at Virtuality at Randhurst Mall back in the 90's. I bet I was one of the best Dactyl Nightmare players on the planet!

    i only played it at baja beach club in north pier downtown. you walked right by when you went to play battletech. good spot too, your target audience was there.

    #479 1 year ago

    This is funny and somewhat related. I was at a car show and there was a Bugatti Veyron on display. I was commenting to my wife that I’d love to drive one and the guy standing next to me says something to the effect of it’s okay but you can do a lot better at a fraction of the cost. I asked him if he had driven one and he said yes, multiple times, and he had it up to 200 mph. I asked him where he was driving it at that speed. He said he could’nt remember. What, how could you not remember?? He said it was one of the tracks in the Forza video game. WTF??? I asked him if he’d ever driven a real one and he said no, but that it handles in the video game just like it does in real life. I asked him how in the hell he would know that. Dumbass.

    #480 1 year ago
    Quoted from iloveplywood:

    I love VR pinball, even though we are a few years away from getting the graphics to be as sharp as I'd like, still I don't think it's going to kill off the hobby anymore than The Pinball Arcade has.

    I think the Pinball Arcade has done much to grow the hobby exponentially. At league play I continually run into new people that say I got into this because of Pinball Arcade. That's really cool.

    #481 1 year ago
    Quoted from DanQverymuch:

    I am surprised to see very little confidence here in VR becoming huge.
    Compare the Nintendo Virtual Boy to the Oculus Rift. Now imagine a similar advancement in 10 years or whatever.
    None of this "choose a viewing angle" nonsense, it'll be full motion and hard to distinguish from reality.
    Add in a full size pinball controller, weighted and with nudge sensors and haptic feedback.
    Absolutely stunning emulation of old games. Crazy, physically impossible new games.
    Actual physical pins will seem silly (and their demand and prices will drop). The VR versions will never break down, need parts or even get dirty, not to mention they will cost orders of magnitude less.
    Online tournaments will finally be feasible as everyone will play the same game, set up the same.
    And unlike so many shooter video games, you simply stand in front of a pinball so there won't be the problem of your physical body wanting to ambulate in VR.
    Pooh pooh it now all you like, it's coming!

    I suspect that your predictions are accurate. Nevertheless, I choose the blue pill.

    #482 1 year ago
    Quoted from TechnicalSteam:

    I think the Pinball Arcade has done much to grow the hobby exponentially. At league play I continually run into new people that say I got into this because of Pinball Arcade. That's really cool.

    bizarre but I've run into the exact same thing.

    #483 1 year ago
    Quoted from BudManPinFan:

    This is funny and somewhat related. I was at a car show and there was a Bugatti Veyron on display. I was commenting to my wife that I’d love to drive one and the guy standing next to me says something to the effect of it’s okay but you can do a lot better at a fraction of the cost. I asked him if he had driven one and he said yes, multiple times, and he had it up to 200 mph. I asked him where he was driving it at that speed. He said he could’nt remember. What, how could you not remember?? He said it was one of the tracks in the Forza video game. WTF??? I asked him if he’d ever driven a real one and he said no, but that it handles in the video game just like it does in real life. I asked him how in the hell he would know that. Dumbass.

    there was a more detailed story on jay leno's garage, but basically there was a contest for gran turismo where the highest scoring kids got a chance to race the real thing. Well one of those kids is now racing for real. When they showed it on Jay leno, the kid said he had practiced the virtual track so much that when he raced the real thing he knew exactly how much to slow down, which turn was coming up next, and his first trial went really smoothly

    #484 1 year ago

    After the last expo out my way I'm pretty sure pinball will survive. I had never seen so many people and families. I know someone who started an arcade recently and I'm always surprised at how many people are playing.

    #485 1 year ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    I'm calling it - this is just a novelty.

    Nonsense...it will take the world by storm just as these did...

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