Stern’s pinball machines get game console features


Movie cinemas endured financial hardship during the pandemic confinements, but imagine which arcades, which were already on the verge of extinction due to home consoles, had to endure. TO encourage pinball players to return to their local haunts, Stern deploys a pinball upgrade for to acknowledge individual players, follow-up their game, and rewarding their achievements.

The new Insider Connected feature will not be available for all Stern pinball machines that have never been released, because some of the company’s machines are decades old and lack the modern hardware needed to facilitate stats tracking and player interactivity. As a result, Insider Connected will only be available on Stern’s more modern Spike 2 LCD games, which already have a large color screen that can be used to display player profiles and other information.

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Picture: Stern pinball machine

Starting this month, seven pinball machines in the Spike 2 LCD line will begin shipping with Insider Connected hardware upgrades already installed, while existing machines can be upgraded using an upgrade kit. level including QR scanner and wireless internet dongle. By the end of the year, all 17 tables in the Spike 2 LCD line will be ready for new online features. Through a web application that should work on almost any mobile device connected with a web browser, gamers will be able to create a free profile that generates a QR code that can be physically scanned by an upgraded pinball machine so it knows who exactly is currently. playing. With the added internet connectivity, the specific player’s new stats can then be assigned to their account through the cloud.

The The Insider Connected service will allow a truly dedicated pinball players to keep tabs on the machines they’ve played, their best scores on each table, and even how much of their life has been spent hitting a metal ball around an interactive obstacle course.

Of course, convince pinball fans are coming back arcades is relatively easy. It’s developing the pinball fandom and gaining new players, that’s the biggest challenge, especially given the many pinball arcades. always require players to wear masks and physically distance themselves from others in a responsible manner. To that end, the Insider Connected service will feature unlockable achievements, badges, and challenges that test a player’s skills by requiring them to achieve certain scores, play for a set amount of time, or trigger a series of events. specific to the obstacles of a given table. . And depending on where a game is played—at home where the glass of a pinball machine can be removed to facilitate cheating, or in a public place where this is not possible—some achievements will be verified and will carry more weight than others.

TThe Insider Connected service will also introduce reward currencies into the game: Stern’s gold coins, which can be redeemed for merchandise, in-game discounts or in-game bonuses directly from the company, and tokens that local operators can choose and set in value, allowing players to redeem them for rewards like free games or even free food from the arcade concessions. This is a loyalty program that operators with a large collection of Stern pinball machines do not have to set up and operate themselves, but can still take advantage of to attract new players and customers.

Given the challenges that even large electronics manufacturers face in getting their products to consumers, it may take a few months for the Insider Connected service to be available at your local pinball machine, but it’s another smart move from Stern this will help to keep Relevant and popular pinball machines, Even like video game arcades continue to disappear.

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