It’s been a long time coming but finally we are starting to see more innovations coming about with pinball. It’s something I’ve harped on for years now, here on the blog and in Replay Magazine. I’ve understood for a while that much can be done with pinball to take them out of the 90sand into today’s world – LCDs, multi-color LED targets, new types of targets/flippers/control schemes, etc. There is no reason to believe that all good ideas and innovations have been exhausted when it comes to pinball (the same could be said for video arcades as well). Fortunately I am not alone in this regard and some new ideas are coming to fruition as has been reported recently on Pinballnews.com.
First off there is a new outfit in Spain called Quetzal Pinball that is producing a limited run (30 machines) of a game they have designed called Captain Nemo. It has an LCD screen integrated into the playfield itself, steel ramps, wire tunnels, multiball, LED lighting, WiFi and more. It’s sort of based upon a license although not really – more of a famous character but there isn’t any specific movie or show out right now that I know that this is based on. As I mentioned a little while back in a post, while licenses are nice, they aren’t absolutely necessary when it comes to the formula of making a fun pinball game. It will still be some months before it will be available but there will be a coin-mech option too. That would make for a very interesting piece in any arcade and there won’t be many of them around. More here at Pinballnews.com.
After that Pinballnews has run another exclusive article about an absolutely great development from Pinballcontrollers.com called the P3. This does much more than you might expect with an LCD in a pinball game – it makes it essential to the experience as it serves up targets in the game and it takes up a good chunk of the playfield. The screen can track the pinball, making it more versatile than Pinball 2000, and on top of that the P3 works with multi-color LED-lit targets, multiple ramps with different outcomes, active ball scoops and more. As a prototype concept, it’s something that one of the couple pinball manufacturers that are out there should certainly consider – something like this would be a game changer, giving arcades something unique and modern looking in pinball. That of course has been the argument for dumping monochromatic DMD screens all along – the game does not look modern to a passerby no matter what the license is and when you’re at an arcade spending your quarters, appearances of this nature matter. Making the LCD more than just a display however is clever and refreshing in an industry that has been stale for far too many years, but is on the cusp of a total revolution. I’m sure we’ll be seeing and hearing more of P3 in the near future.
Hit up Pinballnews for much more detail, pictures and video.