Video pinball is the most practical way to experience a good selection of games in one’s own home. Finding space for even a single table, much less a nice selection, ranges from “very difficult” to “we’re getting a divorce” for most people, and that doesn’t take into account spending thousands of dollars and learning maintenance. Arcooda announced a dedicated pinball-like machine a few weeks back, using real pinball parts for the buttons and plunger, plus video monitors for the backglass, scoreboard, and pinball table. It’s a nice looking piece of hardware, and to top it off the company has joined with Farsight Studios for a special version of The Pinball Arcade. Arcooda Pinball Arcade includes “over 70” tables (full list and more details here) from the regular game, and only seems to be missing Ripley’s Believe it or Not, Harley Davidson, High Roller Casino, Starship Troopers, Frankenstein, Phantom of the Opera, and Last Action Hero from the full lineup. Oddly enough, those are all part of Stern Pinball Arcade.
While Arcooda Pinball Arcade is designed specifically with Arcooda’s Video Pinball machine in mind, the full unit is a shell you can plug whatever hardware you’d like into. PS4, Xbox One, or an NES with HDMI adaptor if you’re feeling adventurous. The hardware isn’t tied to any specific piece of software, and its video even shows the excellent Zaccaria Pinball running on it. It helps if the software is designed with the specific viewpoint in mind, though, because if you’ve got a giant pinball-sized machine do you really want the screen to show anything but the pinball field? It’s a simple change in the camera configuration to switch to cabinet mode in Zaccaria, but Pinball Arcade has always required manual configuration. Even so, there’s also the trouble of setting up a cabinet and wiring up the parts, so Arcooda’s Video Pinball could be a very nice way to get a quality machine with minimal hassle. Pricing and the release date for both the Video Pinball unit and Arcooda Pinball Arcade are forthcoming, though, so if you’re halfway into building your own unit there’s no reason to put down the drill quite yet.