Stern at CES
Most of the big news I’ve heard coming out of CES has been famous movie director Michael Bay not handling teleprompter malfunctions very well but there is one company involved in the coin-op industry that has been showing their games off, Stern Pinball. While there is no shot of the upcoming Mustang Pinball that I have seen, they have promoted their other games from 2013 pretty well. They also have the new home edition of Avengers at the booth as you can see above. In this first video, Gary Stern takes a couple of minutes to discuss the company with VentureBeat.
Here George Gomez talks about the latest technology that Stern is focusing on and reveals some hints about where the Mustang pinball and subsequent games will go. Some of what he mentions is the same as what Mr. Stern gets into above but he goes further on what is going on under the hood. Bringing wi-fi and even LAN play is mentioned; new display technology will be coming as well (finally!).
Tour The Arcadia
(Thanks to RJAY63 for this tip!)
I meant to get to this a sooner but it came right after Christmas and there was little rest for me in operating the arcade so I kept forgetting to share it with all of you. Here a member of the JAMMA+ forums gets an interview and guided tour with the operator of the Arcadia, an arcade that has been a family-owned and operated business since the late 1940s. It is located in a tourist destination area, in the city of Ryde on the Isle of Wight, UK. This video gives you an idea of what travails the owner goes through in operating what looks to mostly be a classic video arcade with some other attractions. I will admit that I don’t get what the deal is with “fruit machines”, I assume they are similar to what we call sweepstakes machines in the US.
This doesn’t seem to give a good light to classic arcades in the setting and I can see where he is coming from. I was having a discussion with another arcade operator on Facebook today about the subject, where he just can’t see himself ever upgrading to new games. While I kind of understand the desire to recreate the feel of a 1982 venue, on the flipside arcades at the time often brought in new content and I don’t see the harm in that now. You do have to look harder but there are still some new games that have a classic design to them, such as Pac-Man Battle Royale or Sea Wolf: The Next Mission. In my own experience it has been the new games that have paid the bulk of the bills I have to cover and it is those games that bring in new customers (of all ages, not just kids). I have to wonder if Arcadia wouldn’t benefit from some new blood in the content department and solve that problem of having some games setup as “wallpaper” but that’s just my assumption from seeing this above, I don’t have any insight into their costs and profits.