CES 2013: Stern Pinball

by: John -
More On: CES 2013
While not console or PC related, I did stop by Stern to check out their line of consumer pinball machines. I love pinball games and I was interested to see what Stern had for the consumer.
The lineup is called Pin and they are smaller, low maintenance pinball machines for the home. At half the price of full sized machines, these consumer versions are more affordable and less of a sticker shock should one be interested in a real pinball machine in their home. They are priced at around $2499.
Weighing at 125 pounds, they are designed to be maintenance free with only some upkeep needed in some of the rubber that’s in the machine. The lights are LED so that consumers won’t have to worry about changing out light bulbs since they last a lot longer and they produce a more accurate color than traditional light bulbs.
I asked about what would happen if there was some mechanical failure and how they would handle repairs. First off, all the machines comes with 60 days parts and labor and 6 months parts warranty. Stern has partnered with over 250 service centers around the US, over 300 in the world, whereby they will send a technician to your house to try and fix any problems. If they can’t fix it, they will send it back for a replacement. 
The two on display were Transformers and Avengers. The board layouts are simpler than arcade level pinball machines, but still features some nice ramps, bumpers, and special effects. If you play a lot of pinball, you can tell its’ a little more simplistic and the rules of the game are more simple as well. This is to help not discourage new players or casual players of pinball games. Even the scoreboard’s has been simplified. 
I played a bit of Transformers and found the action to be fun. It’s a real pinball machine so the flippers, bumpers, lights, etc all look and feel exactly how an arcade pinball machine should. Some of the recreations of characters such as Megatron and the Hulk look great and give the machines a nice visual appeal. The decals on the sides and scoreboard look high quality and while the machine’s size might be smaller than arcade pinball machines, Stern’s craftsmanship makes them look like they belong in a public setting.
I asked how many different types of machines Stern wants to put out in a year. They hope to do 2 or 3 different types of machines and are even looking to branch into other areas such as sports. I won’t lie, I’d pay for an Ohio State pinball machine. 
If you’re looking for a real pinball machine, but don’t want to spend the big bucks to get one, the Pin series looks like a great line to pick up and put in your home.The look and sound just like the real thing because, well, they really are but in a smaller package.

comments powered by Disqus