Date: 7th April 2010
We've used this headline before when the initial promise ultimately failed to deliver, but this time we're more confident as the company concerned is already making their new games.
The company is MarsaPlay of Almería, Spain who manufacture and distribute a range of coin-op equipment from darts games to jukeboxes. Now though, they have started to build pinball machines and their first is a remake of the 1986 Inder game Canasta '86', using modern technology to bring it into the 21st century.
Called New Canasta (basket), the new game retains the basketball theme and the same basic layout from Inder's original, but includes a number of significant new innovations.
For starters, underneath the playfield you won't find the usual bird's nest of cables to be seen on nearly all electro-mechanical and solid state pinballs. Instead, a number of large printed circuit boards (PCBs) with short ribbon cable interconnects provide all the switch, illumination and solenoid connections.
Incandescent lamps are replaced by LEDs to prolong their life and reduce both the heat and the power consumption, while solenoids have their own protection system to prevent damage to other components in the case of a short circuit.
The playfield features magnetic sensors instead of rollover switches to sense both the ball's position and its speed, thus reducing playfield wear and dirt build-up while hopefully increasing the reliability further.
But the new features are not exclusively found on the playfield because the backbox incorporates a flat panel LCD display to show the scores, high scores and also advertising images during attract mode.
Finally, just below the monitor is a player-facing camera to allow players' images to be recorded alongside their high scores.
The new game is clearly designed to be easy to maintain by non-pinball specialists, with a simple playfield layout, contactless switches and LED lighting. It also incorporates a new menu system for testing or setting the game's features and pricing.
Although built in Spain ostensibly for the home market, the playfield artwork is all in English which would suggest MarsaPlay has export sales in mind as well.
We'll have more about MarsaPlay's New Canasta game soon here at Pinball News.