We’ve been covering the development of the Atari PONG Coffee Table project since it was first unveiled as a Kickstarter project in early 2017. One of the surprises at IAAPA 2017 was the presence of that table at the UNIS booth. UNIS made a deal to manufacturer and distribute the table worldwide, and has been taking it to a wide variety of trade show events. Given their arcade roots, discussed at IAAPA17 that there would be a coin-operated model “down the road.” After almost a year, that time is now.
The official Atari PONG Table Project Twitter revealed the new model on their Twitter account yesterday, along with a list of features. If you’ve seen the coffee table version before, then you know that it is surprisingly small; the Arcade Table is tall enough to stand at. It still has support for 1-2 players, but now supports coin payment operation and optional ticket dispensing. By the picture, it looks like it has a spot for a Dollar Bill Acceptor (called DBA by most distributors, or DBV, ‘V’ for “Validator”) and I also would imagine that it supports card readers that all the big locations use these days.
While the tweet seemed to indicate that the table is available for purchase now, Key Snodgress of Replay Magazine posted a correction on our Facebook page stating that units will begin shipping in “early December.” This still gives you plenty of time to place a pre-order via any authorized UNIS distributor to get pricing (although given that most are closed on weekends, you might not get an answer until Monday).
UPDATE: This is one of two models that support coin-operated EM PONG play. UNIS has also designed this “cocktail” model, which has a coin slot on it, along with cupholders and a water-resistant, sealed top. In looking at this, it has a little bit of a mid-’70s cocktail cabinet vibe to it, back when manufacturers like Atari and others created cocktail models to cater to restaurants and bars. Here are a couple of photos, then back to the original story.
ORIGINAL: This marks quite the circle in gaming – PONG launched the industry as we know it and wrecked EM games which used to be the kings of the biz; now Pong is back but as an EM game. Here are some photos:
I assume that this will be at IAAPA 2018 a month from now, so I’ll get some hands-on time with it then! It would be interesting to hear numbers on this from location tests as well. Here’s a video of the coffee table version from last year: