CES 2013: Stern Pinball Tilts Arcade Experience Into Your Living Room

At CES 2013, legion exhibitors and companies all vie for the attention of an overstimulated base of attendees, and rare is the company that finds themselves in the opposite spot — but Stern Pinball was consistently mobbed throughout the event thus far, and it’s easy to see why.

CES 2013 and Stern Pinball’s presence therein was a great illustration of the still vital appreciation for all things retro gaming, and their booths at both Pepcom and on the CES floor were inundated with gamers young and old attracted by what is a perfect redux of the pinball experience — but this time, for the home market.

The Inquisitr sat down with Mike and Blair of Stern Pinball’s CES 2013 team, in a conversation that consisted of “that’s fascinating, is it time to play yet?”

Well, not really — despite the CES 2013 bustle, we got to chat a bit about what is really an exciting new area for home gaming before we played a few rounds of The Avengers on the test machines, and here is what we learned.

Firstly, Stern Pinball has brought the price to own a pinball machine down by half — with new models for the home market far more affordable than their commercial counterparts.

Think pinball is dead? Stern reports that since 2009, sales for their machines have tripled. And while arcade games in the home have been less than ideal due to the fact they’re not optimized, Stern Pinball machines have features such as a coin-free play experience, which not only leads to a smoother pinball session, but also no coin slot jamming.

But really, blah blah blah PINBALL! Playing Stern Pinball’s The Avengers at CES 2013 was an awesome experience — at the far more reasonable cost relative to commercial versions, you’d never know you were playing anything different than what you’d find (far less often now) in a bar or arcade in the pinball realm.

Scalewise, Stern Pinball’s models seemed to match up exactly to commercial ones, and the quality was on par with arcade versions.

Important update: An earlier version of this post misstated the price of Stern Pinball’s offerings, for which we apologize and blame the CES 2013 craziness. They retail for a very reasonable $2,500 per machine, which seems like a reasonably affordable investment piece for a rec room or (wo)man cave.

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