Pinball Games Contribute to a Revival of Real Tables

A new generation is getting interested

While it's often easy for veteran gamers — some of which are part of the Nintendo Life team — to bemoan the loss of some video game traditions, there are occasions where modern trends are good for those with old-fashioned sensibilities. We see old titles given new life on download platforms, for example, while it's also emerging that the trend for pinball video games is contributing to a revival of the real tables.

Speaking to the BBC, Gary Stern, President of Stern Pinball — a company that's maintained the pinball table industry almost on its own in the past decade — said that the business had seen a 30% jump in sales in the last year. The industry has revived to the point where competitors have started to emerge and Andrew Heighway, managing director of Heighway Pinball, had this to say about the role of popular pinball games in boosting interest.

There's been a huge boom in pinball smartphone and console games over the last few years.

Many of the kids that play them have probably never seen a real pinball machine. A whole generation has missed out - but thanks to these video games, there are plenty of kids that have been primed for the real thing.

Heighway went on to explain some of the innovations that his company hopes to bring with its first table, including a colour LCD display within the play area that will integrate visual effects directly into the experience. Various table producers, including Heighway Pinball, are also planning to imitate video games further with an equivalent of online leaderboards integrating directly into the units.

You'll be able to compete with other people over the internet, record your scores and compare them with other people's at local, national or international levels.

Machines will also be able to post your score on Facebook like online games.

This online functionality will reportedly stretch to purchasing credit online, so you won't need a pocketful of change to play. As suggested at the start of the article, it seems that titles from developers such as Zen Studios and Farsight Studios are playing their part, while Zen Pinball 2 is already confirmed for the Wii U eShop in Europe this week. We still have hope, meanwhile, that The Pinball Arcade will still arrive on the console during the launch window.

If you're interested in this, then we suggest checking out the full article. What do you think? Are you excited by the idea of real pinball tables coming back, do you prefer the virtual kind, or are you a wizard that is keen on both?

[via bbc.co.uk, gamesindustry.biz]