Pinball 2000: Party Like It’s 1999

There is no doubt that pinball is currently going through a great resurgence and is the ‘in’ thing right now, but the silverball game was struggling to stay relevant in the 21stcentury and was subsequently killed off in October 1999 before it could showcase the future of pinball with the Pinball 2000 platform. Wow, that was 20 years ago!

To observe the anniversary of pinball’s downfall, let’s turn the clock back two decades. It was the last year of the nineties and the last for the 20th century, so just like Prince sang many moons ago, “I’m gonna party like it’s nineteen ninety-nine”! Ah 1999, we were all panicking about the inevitable doom that the Y2K bug was going to befall on all of us, but at least the year started well for pinball.

The story goes back a few years to 1997, the then President and CEO of Williams (WMS), Neil Nicastro, challenged the pinball division to come up with something new or risk being closed down. Williams’ designers worked hard throughout 1998 to come up with something innovative, a brand new kind of pinball machine, which became Pinball 2000. Pinball 2000 (P2K) fused video with classic pinball gameplay, almost like an early augmented reality (AR), it aimed to preserve what was great about pinball yet opening up new possibilities for a product that was on its last legs.

One of the most successful pinball designers of the decade, George Gomez and Pat Lawlor had shown their new modular creation and future of pinball, with the official unveiling of the Pinball 2000 architecture and the first game on the platform, Revenge From Mars, in January 1999. Even though Pinball 2000 was a success with Revenge From Mars selling 6800+ units, Williams’ President did not see that his pinball division had innovated enough to reinvigorate pinball. Once the last Pinball 2000 machine, John Popadiuk’s Star Wars: Episode 1, was released, Neil Dicastro and his executive team dropped a bombshell by jettisoning pinball in favour of gaming (gambling) slot machines, which was very lucrative for Williams. This meant that the next two Pinball 2000 machines, Wizard Blocks and Playboy, would never see the light of day – which is a darn shame. Closing down the Williams pinball division seemed like, at the time, the death of pinball.

As history would have it, the story of Pinball 2000 came to be, and its inevitable death, at the hands of Williams’ executives, but there was one company that survived and kept the pinball light flickering, Stern Pinball. A lot has transpired in pinball since 1999, with a new golden age that is currently in full swing, so the rest, as they say, is history. Long live PINBALL!

PS: There is a great in-depth documentary on Pinball 2000, TILT: The Battle To Save Pinball, which you can watch on Amazon Prime right now!

 

image sources: pinball2000.de & The Arcade Flyer Archive

 

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Complete Amiga Sales History from Commodore in Germany

On the back of having world-breaking sales records with their Commodore 64, looks like Commodore didn’t do too shabbily with their Amiga line of computers.

Thanks to the folks at distrita, we can now check out the complete Amiga units sold history for Commodore in Germany!

Amiga 500: 1,160,500 (Includes Amiga 500+ sales of 79,500)
Amiga 600: 193,000
Amiga 2000: 124,500
Amiga 1200: 95,500
Amiga 1000: 30,500
Amiga CD32: 25,000
Amiga CDTV: 25,800
Amiga 3000: 14,380 (Includes Amiga 3000T sales)
Amiga 4000: 11,300 (Includes Amiga 4000 030 sales)

Going by these units sold numbers, the total Amiga computers sold in Germany was 1,759,980 – not bad at all.

Some interesting nuggets in these numbers include the fact that the shortest lived Amiga line, the Commodore (Amiga) CDTV sold more units than the Amiga CD32! Having both the CDTV and CD32, let’s just say that the CDTV still looks gorgeous on our desk. Oh yeah, the CDTV is also the only Amiga to have MIDI – sorry our beloved Atari STe 😉

story source: distrita

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Relics Unearthed From The Codemasters Vault

When we saw Codemasters’ thread on Twitter of all the relics they found in their vault, our knees buckled due to all of the nostalgia. Check out the classic games, consoles and peripherals they unearthed from their storage, some being over three decades old! We are well and truly intoxicated with nostalgia.

The gobsmackingly gorgeous Sega Saturn Development Unit. It’s MASSIVE!


source: Codemasters via Twitter

 

 

Join the PAC: Celebrate PAC-MAN’s 40th Anniversary in 2020

BANDAI NAMCO ENTERTAINMENT INC. GETS SET TO CELEBRATE PAC-MAN’S 40th ANNIVERSARY WITH A MYRIAD OF PARTNERSHIPS AND EVENTS!

The Year-Long Celebration Kicks Off in 2020 as the Famous 80’s Icon Celebrates 40 Years of Entertaining Millions of Fans Around the World

BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Inc. is inviting all PAC-MAN fans around the world to “Join the PAC” and start getting ready for a year-long celebration in 2020 to commemorate PAC-MAN’s 40th Anniversary as a pop culture and video game icon. To get a sneak peek at the activities, partnerships, and surprises to come, visit https://www.pacman.com/en-us/.

Born on May 22, 1980, PAC-MAN immediately rose to meteoric popularity, first in video game arcades, then on the pop culture stage with hit song “PAC-MAN Fever” and through an array of branding and entertainment appearances. With a brand recognition rate of 90% around the world, PAC-MAN’s image and brand is one of the most recognised on the planet and is as strong as ever as he enters his 40th year of entertaining fans of all ages.

PAC-MAN’s 40th Anniversary celebration in 2020 will include the debut of a new PAC-MAN 40th Anniversary theme song, composed by world-renowned Japanese Techno artist Ken Ishii. It will be accompanied by a music video directed by Yuichi Kodama, who has won awards at the Cannes International Advertising Festival, the Clio Awards, and the One Show Interactive. He was also the chief video director for the flag handover ceremony at the Rio Olympics Closing Ceremony. Multiple branding crossovers with Kipling®, Champion®, TIMEX®, and BAIT® will become available throughout the year. Fans will also be able to “Join the PAC” at celebratory events taking place throughout the year around the world.

To learn more and stay tuned with everything about PAC-MAN’S 40th Anniversary celebrations, bookmark this site now.


source: Bandai Namco Entertainment America

The Complete History of Sega World

Ah, Sega World Sydney – wish we had visited! Image source: Sega World Sydney Memoriam

If there is one regret we have, it’s that we didn’t get to visit Sega World in Darling Harbour (Sydney) before it was closed down.

The next best thing was to find Badnik Mechanic’s awesome video on the history of Sega World. Sega had planned to revolutionise arcades forever with their new arcade / theme park concept. Unfortunately Sega failed, but the story of Sega World’s creation needed to be told.

Sit back for the next quarter of an hour and take in some 1990s Sega goodness – you may learn something new too!


source: Badnik Mechanic

 

Wild Chicago visits Williams Electronics

This is a cool video from the early 1990s which has the TV show, Wild Chicago visiting the Williams factory. The video shows the making of The Addams Family pinball machine, which also includes a brief chat with Roger Sharpe and Steve Kordek amongst other pinball peeps at Williams. Ed Boon also makes an appearance where they show the making of Mortal Kombat!


source: Arcade Hunters

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