Mt. Vernon Register-News

Community News Network

January 11, 2013

Slate: Can this man save pinball?

(Continued)

LAKEWOOD, N.J. —

Regardless of how many games he sells and when he gets them out the door, Guarnieri has already provided a great service for the pinball world. "I don't care what the industry is, you need at least two manufacturers," says pinball designer and writer Roger Sharpe. Sharpe, who worked at Williams during the Pinball 2000 era and whose testimony secured pinball's legality in New York City, says Guarnieri's company serves as a heartening proof of concept to other potential pinball start-ups.

Gary Stern doesn't buy that argument. "We are the only pinball manufacturer in the world," he says. And though he acknowledges that it "will sound arrogant," he tells me that "pinball will survive if Stern Pinball continues to make pinball machines in a meaningful volume."

Despite Stern's protestations, Pinball News editor Martin Ayub believes the reigning pinball king has been forced to step up his game on account of Jersey Jack. After producing a series of simpler, cheaper-to-produce titles in 2010, Ayub says, Stern has now augmented its lineup with "fuller-featured" premium products at a premium price. In addition to the sub-$5,000 "Pro" model of Stern's Avengers machine, you can get various premium versions with extra ramps, LED lighting, and limited-edition designs for around $7,500, more than the cost of the Wizard of Oz. (At this week's Consumer Electronics Show, Stern also showed off smaller machines designed for the home market that will sell for $2,500.)

For his part, Guarnieri believes two pinball companies are better than one: "I hope [Stern sells] a million games and we sell 10 million games," he says. Even so, he intends to keep pressuring his rival: Jersey Jack's next licensed game, The Hobbit, is scheduled for 2014, to coincide with the final movie in Peter Jackson's trilogy. If increased competition breeds superior machines, collectors and nostalgic nerds like me will rejoice.

Text Only
Community News Network
  • How spy agencies keep their 'toys' from law enforcement

    A little over a decade ago, federal prosecutors used keystroke logging software to steal the encryption password of an alleged New Jersey mobster, Nicodemo Scarfo Jr., so they could get evidence from his computer to be used at his trial.

    July 25, 2014

  • Russia's war on McDonald's takes aim at the Filet-o-Fish

    Russia said earlier this week that it had no intention of answering Western sanctions by making it harder for Western companies to conduct business in Russia.
    But all bets are off, apparently, when you threaten the Russian waistline.

    July 25, 2014

  • Facebook continues moneymaking trend

    Facebook seems to have figured out - for now at least - the holy grail for all media right now: how to make money selling mobile ads.

    July 24, 2014

  • 072214 Diamond Llama 1.jpg Llama on the loose corralled in Missouri town

    A llama on the lam cruised Main Street Tuesday before it mistook a resident’s fenced backyard for a place to grab a meal and freshen up.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-22 at 2.00.42 PM.png VIDEO: Train collides with semi truck carrying lighter fluid

    A truck driver from Washington is fortunate to be alive after driving his semi onto a set of tracks near Somerset, Ky., and being struck by a locomotive, which ignited his load of charcoal lighter fluid.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • mama.jpg What we get wrong about millennials living at home

    If the media is to be believed, America is facing a major crisis. "Kids," some age 25, 26, or even 30 years old, are living out of their childhood bedrooms and basements at alarmingly high numbers. The hand-wringing overlooks one problem: It's all overblown.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Malaysians wonder 'Why us?' after second loss of airline jet

    It was all too familiar. Grieving families rushing to airport. The flashing television graphics of a plane's last radar appearance. The uncomfortable officials before a heavy thicket of microphones.
    For many Malaysians, the disappearance of Flight 370 in March has been a long trauma from which the nation has not yet recovered.

    July 18, 2014

  • The terrible history of passenger planes getting shot out of the sky

    What is more clear is that, if initial reports are true, this would be the deadliest incident of a civilian passenger plane being shot down in modern memory. In some instances, the causes of the disaster are still shrouded in mystery. Here are some of the worst events.

    July 17, 2014

  • 130408_NT_BEA_good kids We're raising a generation of timid kids

    A week ago, a woman was charged with leaving her child in the car while she went into a store. Her 11-year-old child. This week, a woman was arrested for allowing her 9-year-old daughter to go to the park alone. Which raises just one question: America, what the heck is wrong with you?

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-16 at 2.12.33 PM.png Gunshots narrowly miss TV reporter

    A reporter for a West Virginia television station narrowly escaped injury or worse Monday while covering a fatal weekend shooting in Beckley.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

Twitter Updates
Facebook
Stocks