CES 2016

Road to CES 2016: Stern Pinball Impressed at CES 2015

Nowadays most gamers obsess over which video game console produces the best graphics or has the hottest titles. It seems easy to assume that new, top of the line technology must equal the most fun.

But that assumption is so wrong. Just ask Stern Pinball.

Stern Pinball, the oldest and largest producer of arcade-quality pinball games in the world, has always shown the world that graphics and algorithms cannot replace the random nature of an old-fashion pinball slamming around a pinball machine. CEO and Chairman Gary Stern was on hand this week at CES 2015 to reveal Stern Pinball’s newest machines and licenses that will delight avid pinball and arcade game players while drawing the interest of casual players and fans of the themed machines.

A zombie from the Walking Dead finds itself on the game board.
A zombie from the Walking Dead finds itself on the game board.
The Walking Dead pinball game art
The Walking Dead pinball game art

Fans of AMC’s television series The Walking Dead have probably already heard about Stern Pinball’s homage to the hit cable series by seeing its debut on the companion series Talking Dead. The machine features everything fans would want in a flesh-eating pinball world and includes multiple zombie toys for adrenalin-filled zombie battles at familiar locations from the show such as the Prison and Cell Block C. A brilliant, high-definition zombie-filled art package heightens the player’s excitement. And a Limited Edition version of the game offers unique special effects such as a fish tank with illuminated sculpted zombie heads and a motorized crossbow assembly that allows players to launch the ball anywhere in the game. The Limited Edition mirrored back glass with exclusive art adds to the dynamic pinball experience.

Another machine that Stern Pinball introduced at CES 2015 was their new WWE Wrestlemania Pinball machine. The machine features an innovative upper pinball playfield wrestling ring. With the flipper buttons, players control two “Slammer” slingshot-style kickers in the ropes of the ring. Completing the three drop target bank starts a wrestling match. Players rack up points and pin opponents in the ring by shooting into a kick out hole. Keeping the ball in the ring and hitting as many targets as possible will advance players through the match. Multiple ramps guide the ball throughout gameplay, while brilliant lightshows highlight the all LED playfield. Ten licensed songs include intro music for wrestlers that players choose. WWE announcers Jerry “the King” Lawlor and Michael Cole add play by play excitement to the pinball experience.

WWE Wreslemania pinball game art
WWE Wreslemania pinball game art
WWE Wrestlemania game board
WWE Wrestlemania game board

Wrestling legend Hulk Hogan will individually autograph specially numbered WWE Legends of Wrestlemania Limited Edition machines on a bottom arch mounted gold plaque. Only 400 autographs available, making this collectible must be limited to that number of games. The Limited Edition game art features classic WWE stars including Hulk Hogan. Actual WWE wrestling action is projected on the Limited Edition’s replica “Titantron” playfield level 5.7 inch LCD directly above the ring. The ball is always wild when it comes into contact with the LE’s exclusive “Chaos” spinning DISC while a third “Wham! Arm” flipper allows players to knock the ball off a wire ramp.

Of course, CES 2015 is an electronics’ show that is all about revealing the newest technology in a vast array of industries. Stern Pinball was no exception as they showcased their new SPIKE system for Stern Pinball machines. “The modular nature of the system will allow game designers to embrace new technologies to evolve the game of pinball while also improving earnings, reliability, serviceability and efficiency,” said George Gomez, Executive Vice President of Product Development at Stern Pinball.

The new SPIKETM system incorporates technologies that reduce product complexity and simplify the manufacturing of the game. This results in a more efficient, reliable and easier-to-service game. The system is designed to facilitate integration of various display technologies and the scalable nature of the system allows for the integration of Wi-Fi and numerous new game specific features and technologies. Experienced players will recognize a more engaging overall game experience and quickly appreciate the enhanced illumination effects and higher quality sound.

“SPIKE is the latest step in our ongoing program to leverage technological advancements to improve the game for all segments of our customer base,” said Gary Stern, Chairman and CEO of Stern Pinball. “Commercial customers such as operators and location owners will be particularly well served by SPIKE.”

The new machines from Stern Pinball will be rolling out this year. Check a local arcade or where you usually play arcade games for your chance to play the new Walking Dead or WWE Wrestlemania pinball machines. For more information about Stern Pinball and their products, you can visit their website here.

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Aaron Zamora

Aaron grew up in Whittier, California and is currently finishing his master's degree in Human Communication studies from California State University, Fullerton. His interest in journalism began in high school where he served as the Editor-in-Chief for his school’s newspaper and participated in their inaugural broadcast journalism program. An avid world traveler, Aaron has a wide array of interest that include a passion for cinema and television. He is also a sports fanatic.

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