If you are a wrestling fan this might be exciting for you. However, if you are not 8 years old or addicted to this machismo soap opera universe, then you may be underwhelmed by Stern’s new machine.
Stern Pinball Inc. unveiled and is showcasing WWE Wrestlemania Pinball at CES 2015 this week in Vegas. First reactions in the pinball community were leaning towards disappointment in the theme, BUT it’s a new pinball machine none-the-less. The main feature is a wrestling ring in the upper portion of the playfield, where the “ropes” on the bottom left and right are controlled by the flipper buttons. This is accessed by a plunge shot or a ramp shot from either side. The Pro model will showcase some more contemporary wrestlers: John Cena, Daniel Bryan, The Rock, and Triple H. With an MSRP of just under 6k, I hope you kids have a big piggy bank. Or maybe you can find one coming soon to your local arcade, where the machine will play great, except for the one flipper that will feel like hitting a bowling ball with a blade of grass.
For a couple grand more, the LE Model might entice some older folks. As it will feature classic wrestlers like Hulk Hogan (whom is also signing the LE’s. That alone is worth like…. Two whole dollars!), Macho Man, Roddy Piper, and Andre the Giant. LE will also have a 5.7 inch LCD above the ring that will show wrestling footage. There is also mention of a spinning disc that will fling your ball(s) around, and a “third “Wham! Arm” flipper allows players to knock the ball off a wire ramp.” … sounds exciting, and testosterony.
(Pictures of PRO model are shown)
Here is also some live action game play from Stern:
Along with the reveal they are also showcasing their new hardware system, SPIKE. Stern machines will be using this Linux based controller on WWE and future machines. The sound system also gets a boost with a 3 channel mix, which means the sub will be on it’s own channel. If you want to play late at night and can’t turn the volume up in fear of waking the kids or disturbing the neighbors, there will be a headphone jack at the front of the machine.
Here’s some highlighted features of SPIKE from Stern’s Facebook post:
• All LED lighting enables enhanced lighting effects, increases reliability and attracts new players. Included is the florescent light replacement by LED’s, which last longer, run cooler and draw less electricity.
• A new modern CPU and expanded memory allow the designers greater freedom to create new compelling game scenarios to attract more players and lengthen their engagement.
• A more powerful high definition digital sound system enhances the game experience.
• New built-in automotive-grade circuit protection for LEDs, switches and solenoids reduces circuit failures from accidental shorts and environmental faults.
• Lower game heat reduces stress on components increasing longevity.
• Low-cost game modules are easy for any technician to replace and costly circuit board repair is eliminated.
• Reduced wiring complexity eases troubleshooting and worn component replacement.
• Improved system diagnostics make the system easy to learn.
• Reduced chances of failure from environmental conditions with robust solenoid, switch and lighting protection circuitry.
• SPIKETM system games use less energy than older models and generate less heat during operation.
• New controllable LED artwork backlighting reduces fade, saves energy and lasts longer.
I’m excited for SPIKE, I’m hoping we can update older Whitestar or SAM system games in the future with it (and by hoping I mean dreaming). As for WWE Wrestlemania, well I’ll play it and probably like it, but I won’t admit it aloud.