Posted by KL Tech Muse at 7:59 PM on January 24, 2013
I am old enough to remember a time when if you said you were going to an arcade you were going to be playing pinball. I played occasionally. I wasn’t very good, but I loved the watching the balls fly and the sound of a pinball machine. If you are a fan like me you now can have a professional made pinball machine at home.
Stern Pinball the worlds only current maker of traditional pinball machines is now making pinball machines for the consumer market. They have two models the Transformers and the Avengers. They are made of quality Stern parts including flippers, tilts and multi ball capability. The top can be lifted up to get to a stuck ball or do some cleaning. It has LED lighting for the scoreboard with Hi Def cabinet artwork and decals. Both weight 125 lb. and use home current. There is technical service from Stern Pinball and a network of repair shops.
Both models were released at Christmas time and run $2500. They are available through the Stern Pinball website and selected merchants.
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Rovio made an announcement today regarding the company’s holiday season success. We knew that the 2012 holiday shopping season was going to be a big one for mobile devices — smartphones and tablets were the IT thing to have under your tree on December 25th and Rovio perhaps has lended some credence to that perception.
The Finnish game maker started off by tooting its own horn, as companies tend to do — and should do. In this case though, we do know a bit of the history of how well Rovio’s games did this year, with both Angry Birds Space and Angry Birds Star Wars quickly rising up the download charts for both Android and iOS.
“Wow, what a year! We released four critically-acclaimed bestselling mobile games, developed two top-rated Facebook games, and reached more than a billion downloads – all before our 3rd “Birdday”! Angry Birds Star Wars and Bad Piggies in particular have dominated the app charts, with Angry Birds Star Wars holding the #1 position on the US iPhone chart ever since its release!”
The company went on to lay out its numbers.
“To top it all off, we had 30 million downloads during Christmas week (December 22-29) and, on Christmas Day, over 8 million downloads in 24 hours alone!”
Those are certainly eye-popping figures and definitely point to the number of new devices. According to a different post from ad network Chitika, those devices may have been topped by Amazon’s Kindle Fire. Of course, Google had a lot of problems keeping its Nexus 7 in stock, which may have helped Amazon out. Chitika reports a drop for the iPad, but an ad network is only one small sub-set of the picture.
Recently a number of older games have been making their way to mobile devices via the Android platform. Earlier this year we saw Activision launch a suite of 80′s games, but now the company has struck again with a stand-alone version of the iconic Atari game Pitfall, albeit four months after debuting on iOS devices.
Activision chose to release the game due to it being the 30th anniversary, but the company could not have waited much longer to get it ported over to the Android platform.
“On his 30th Anniversary, take control of Pitfall Harry once again in PITFALL!, inspired by the 1982 Classic that started it all, now re-envisioned and re-booted on Android!”
Well, as the old saying goes, better late than never. Take solace in the fact that the game is free and head over to the Google Play store to grab it and start reliving your Pitfall Harry days.
Nostalgia is big business these days and perhaps there is no bigger tech nostalgia field than old games and gaming systems. If you were smarter than me and didn’t give away your original Atari and all of the games then you may be able make some money off of these devices. There is no better example than a current Ebay auction.
The auction consists of what the seller calls a “Complete US Super Nintendo (SNES) collection with all boxes and most manuals”. The sale claims that the collection consists of “all 721 games sold at retail in the United States, Canada and Mexico”. The games are mostly in good condition and man even contain the original manuals, inserts and boxes.
Now for the tough part, the price. The auction is set for a “Buy it now” price of a mere $24,999. An entire list of every single game included and even what each contains and the conditions can be found on the auction site. Do you have your wallet out yet?
Classic games have been making a comeback lately. Just last week Microsoft announced a partnership with Atari to make eight of their classics available for play in Internet Explorer 9 and 10. Atari also has an app available for Android which brings many of their old games to mobile devices. Now, Activision is getting in on the deal with a new app called “Activision Anthology”
The app comes with KABOOM! for free, but there are 45 other games, including PITFALL!, RIVER RAID, THE ACTIVISION DECATHLON, BARNSTORMING, STAMPEDE, PITFALL II, ENDURO, DEMON ATTACK and others available. They are available in packs of 11 games each for $2.99, or you can get the whole package for $6.99.
Activision Anthology has Game Center and Facebook integration, including leaderboards and achievements, to share and compete with friends. The pack is available for both iOS and Android devices.
Depending on what time zone you live in you may or may not have been ready to grab a copy of Angry Birds Star Wars when it blasted onto mobile platforms and computers at 11pm PST last night, complete with an online launch event. Rovio even held a live-streaming event for those who were awake at that hour, which I suppose was morning in Finland where Rovio is based.
From that Scandinavian country the company has reached out and dominated the mobile markets on Android and iOS devices and even is available now on Windows Phone and OSX and Windows computers.
The last big release from the Finnish game studio, Bad Piggies rocketed to number one on the download charts in under three hours, making it the most successful release in history, surpassing Angry Birds Space. At the same time, the original Angry Birds game remains in the most popular download list in the Google Play Store.
You can grab a copy now. There are both free and paid versions. You will find some very different birds here thanks to the Star Wars branding. The game play, while similar to Angry Birds Space, is also a bit different thanks to the George Lucas (recently purchased by Disney) influence.
There’s a pretty good chance that if you are a 40+ British geek, the mere mention of “Elite” will roll back the years to hours of gameplay in front of a BBC Model B, flying a wireframe starship around an almost limitless universe. Trading, fighting, arms-dealing, slavery, whatever it took to get respect and the coveted Elite status. Even now, I still feel a small hint of pride in my own Elite achievement, over 20 years later.
Created by David Braben and Ian Bell, Elite was the first 3D game and eeked every last ounce of performance from 8 bit processors and 32 KB of RAM, even less once the OS had taken its share. There were tricks such as making all the objects in the universe concave, which significantly reduced several calculations in techniques such as hidden line removal and despite being largely only in monochrome, it was totally amazing for its day.
The successor to Elite, “Frontier”, never gained the same traction as the original Elite. In some ways it was too big and just wasn’t as immediate as the original Elite.
Returning to the original ethos of Elite, David Braben has launched a Kickstarter campaign for “Elite: Dangerous“ to raise £1.25 million ($2 million) for the development of a new game in the canon, aiming for delivery in March 2014. Elite: Dangerous will be a multi-player game in a massive universe and initially the game will be for the PC, but other platforms will be looked at.
As usual, there are various funding levels, but £20 gets you a copy of the game plus the opportunity to reserve your commander’s name. But if you were looking to get lunch with David Braben at £5000, I’m afraid that all five slots have already been taken.
In just a few days, on November 8th, Rovio will launch what will perhaps be their most ambitious game so far – a mashup of Angry Birds and Star Wars, the Lucas Films franchise recently purchased by Disney. They have been relentlessly teasing the new game over the past month, starting with simple video clips of the original 1977 movie and then moving on to reveal bits and pieces of the gameplay and characters.
Today, the Finnish game maker revealed the most detailed trailer yet, showing more of the actual characters and gameplay. The company also announced a live launch event scheduled for 11pm PST on November 7th, which will be broadcast live at http://rov.io/abswlive. A few lucky fans will even get to join Rovio live on camera for the big launch. The game will be available on iOS and Android, with Windows Phone coming shortly.
“Join Rovio and Lucasfilm executives, game developers and artists for a special Angry Birds Star Wars game-launch Hangout live this Wednesday, November 7, at 11pm PST. Rovio and Lucasfilm teams will take you behind-the-scenes of the new collaboration, including an inside look on how the game was developed.”
Rovio began talking about their latest Angry Birds game several weeks ago. Since then they have slowly teased the game out, first with a video that provided little clue of what was in store, then with one that finally displayed some game play and featured Luke and Leia. Today the Finnish game studio has pushed out their latest offering and this one shows off more game play, but features C-3PO and R2-D2 birds.
We are exactly one week from launch and we can probably expect a few more trailers to pop up during those coming days. The game, to probably nobody’s surprise, will greatly resemble Angry Birds Space, but only have themed birds and planets. The game will initially launch on iOS and Android, but a version will be coming shortly for Windows Phone and also Windows 8.
The Star Wars franchise is certainly in need of a boost these days, especially when a site like Tech Crunch labels it as “falling apart”. Perhaps it’s recent purchase by Disney and the Angry Birds juggernaut will be able to save it.
Ouya was the darling of the tech news cycle not long ago as they rocketed up the KickStarter charts to (likely) record donations (no real records seem to exist). If you aren’t familiar, Ouya is a proposed gaming console that will be based on the Android operating system, and is expected to launch in early 2013. The box has been highly anticipated and netted $8.5 million in donations after looking to solicit only $950,000.
After the KickStarter funding round closed, the console became available for pre-order to those who didn’t donate, but wanted to receive an early edition of the product. This is where I bought in. I ordered a device, expected to ship sometime around next April, and threw in a second controller because, after all, what fun would it be if I couldn’t play against my wife, daughter or son? The price was reasonable – only $139. I was also assured that I wouldn’t be charged until the thing actually shipped, which is generally standard practice.
Ouya, as it turns out, claims they were misled by PayPal and customers placing a pre-order were actually charged immediately for the console. While they are issuing apologies, and offers for refunds (which will cancel your order), there really isn’t much else they can do. An inquiry sent to the company was met with following prompt reply:
Unfortunately, we were misled by our PayPal representative (the main reason we’re no longer working with PayPal).
We understand it’s not cool and, believe us, that’s not how we wanted it to go either.
If you’re not comfortable, we can process a cancelation for you. Just let us know.
If you are interested in pre-ordering (even after knowing this) or simply want more information about the new gaming console, then head over to ouya.tv.