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32 Comments

Here's A Totally Sweet Digital Pinball Setup I Would Like To Own

Future Pinball turned flat as a guy takes his TV and turns it into a virtual pinball jukebox.

In case you haven't seen it, Future Pinball is a set of software tools that let people build their own pinball tables, from modeling the table itself to setting the rules of play. It's pretty intense, and way out of my league. I caught this video over on Offworld, and it's a super-awesome implementation of Future Pinball using a big HDTV and a second monitor, used to emulate the backglass.

  


Wicked. Considering how hard it is to find parts for my aging Earthshaker machine, stuff like this can make for a reasonable substitute... but then, I've always had a soft spot for digital pinball when it's done right.
Jeff Gerstmann on Google+
32 Comments
Posted by Jeff
In case you haven't seen it, Future Pinball is a set of software tools that let people build their own pinball tables, from modeling the table itself to setting the rules of play. It's pretty intense, and way out of my league. I caught this video over on Offworld, and it's a super-awesome implementation of Future Pinball using a big HDTV and a second monitor, used to emulate the backglass.

  


Wicked. Considering how hard it is to find parts for my aging Earthshaker machine, stuff like this can make for a reasonable substitute... but then, I've always had a soft spot for digital pinball when it's done right.
Staff
Posted by keyhunter

Needs more moving parts.

Posted by tromboneshinobi

DO WANT!

Posted by Rinkalicous

If this had a decent control scheme, that's a pretty damn awesome pinball table subsitute. However, can't you just buy a real table for less then the price of that huge-ass tv? Or am I totally underestimating the price of pinball tables?

Posted by Verge

What a great idea, it actually looks pretty good. You could get some “cheap” parts and have one set up the whole time. Lacks the soul of a real machine but at least you can get it up stairs without killing yourself.

Posted by LaszloKovacs

This looks completely awesome. Probably a really expensive setup, but then physical machines are pretty expensive anyway.

Posted by McQuinn

A Real virtually real pinball machine. Sexy.

Posted by TripMasterMunky

How do they control it?

Posted by Media_Master

Someone has some spare time

Posted by MeatSim

It's real cool and all but it seems like a waste of a good HDTV.

Posted by Vigorousjammer

DUDE!!!! thats sooo cool.
Emulating REAL pinball machines like this is awesome!
and with today's technologies, they can make it look just as good as the real thing.

Posted by pirate_republic

That's actually really cool.

Posted by zityz

That looks cool, I enjoy the Real deal myself.
What WOULD be cool is if people made Actual Vurual arcade machines like this, instead of a tv and monitor its an actual machine but with screens instead of moving parts, would lack some authenticity, but it would last longer and still serve its purpose.

Posted by erinfizz

That is really neat. I have been digging pinball lately, but mostly play simulations at home on the PS2. The conditions of the 6 or 7 machines at Gameworks is just sad. Several of them are programmed oddly, spitting out extra balls randomly. The South Park table is just flat out missing some parts, etc. A setup like this would be so awesome.

Posted by Bucketdeth

Wow, thats really neat.
I would love to have something set up like that.

Posted by c1337us

Thats looks amazingly wicked. But like Meatsim says, seems like a bit of a waste of a perfectly good TV to use it like that. But if you have a spare one laying around, why not.

Posted by Elk

I've never been one for digital pinball, nothing seems to emulate the feel of a real system.

That said, Pinball dreams and Pinball fantasies both rocked so hard. It's a crime that they aren't listed in the Giant Bomb database.
Posted by pinsanon

They actually produced something like this commercially called Ultrapin, with 'realistic' nudging etc.

That never took off either!

Nick
The Pinball Blog

Posted by JediAutobot

I can see this taking off because you could have multiple tables on one machine, that way, one machine can have a broad appeal.  Also, good for the few places that do have pinball machines, because all's you need to get a new table is update the software.

Posted by logson

I dunno. Is their force feedback? There's something about feeling the ball slamming into shit in the machine that I think would be missing here.

Posted by TehFro

Real pinball machines are relatively expensive, depending on rarity and a host of external factors. $2000 is a pretty reasonable price for an average machine. My father has one (a.k.a, the Medieval Madness one that Tina Fey is in) that he could probably sell for somewhere around $8000 and up.

Posted by Linkyshinks

That's awesome, I want that too.

Edited by MrKlorox

I had an idea like this a while back, except it used 120hz screen with stereoscopic glasses and infra red head tracking for proper depth perspective.

Would be best to set the screen on a real/replicated pinball cabinet with force feedback, flipper buttons, and a pull spring launcher. I could see pinball making a comeback in bars if it was dynamic like the technology now allows.

Posted by Kohe321

Cool!

Online
Posted by Verge

After reading the post I downloaded the software and got the same kinda setup working, dual monitors with a HDTV and a PC monitor. Not hard to do at all. The worst part was moving my PC and TV and setting it all up, but the software itself is easy enough and theres plenty of tables to download. Thanks for the Heads up Jeff.

Posted by Hector

That's something I would have in my living room.

Posted by Systech

Practical.

Posted by SleepyDoughnut

Jeff your love of pinball and the posts about it are adorably niche, b/c pinball is great, but YOU KNOW its not relevant. but still fun

Posted by strangeling

I'm impressed.

Posted by boatorious

Very, very cool.  I'd really like to try out that table they are playing, "Dead Honkeys".

Posted by brotherxrussia

what about tilt?
its just not pinball without tilt.

Posted by Kyle

his digital pinball setup is sweet, but man, dude sure doesn't know how to make an interesting youtube video. We get it, there's a menu. Play a damn game.