I debated for many months about spending the money to buy a virtual pinball machine vs a real machine. Having a system with hundreds of machines in one unit, with only computer maintenance required was really the best of both worlds. I narrowed my selection between VPCabs and VirtuaPin. I was fortunate to be able to play both at different times VPCabs (Vegas & Pinfest)/VirtuaPin (Reseller visit & Pinfest) and chose a VirtuaPin confidentially for the following reasons:
VPCab in Vegas exhibited frequent table crashes, nudge calibration issues, flipper delay and grainy low resolution imaging on the playfield. (I will admit that instability issues may be related to operator errors when loading tables but would require troubleshooting in order to prove that. However, the playfield quality and lag I feel was definitely hardware related.)
VPCab at Pinfest did not demonstrate instability issues but however did still present the low grade resolution and flipper lag which was a major deal breaker for me. I also wasn’t too impressed with the craftsmanship of the cabinet design. I wasn’t able to put my finger on it exactly but it just didn’t feel solid like the cabinets I’m used to playing on.
VirtuaPin in both cases was consistent that the playfield was bright and clear, no flipper lag, solid body construction with nice artwork and at a lower cost with comparable hardware give or take. The body is sturdy and solid with thick wood. The craftsmanship of the cabinet design is amazing. You can tell this thing has been built many times improving each time. When I received it at I opened it up and was shocked at how intricately everything was though out in this build. There are latches for things you don’t want to move, the nudge sensor is located in a spot that you can move and calibrate correctly without having to unscrew bolts holding the board to the cab, to hinges on the DMD board to make it easy to service the backbox.
I will admit that the bells and whistles of the VPCab are nice (powder coated trim, flashers, shaker motor) but the VirtuaPin really shines when it comes to visual display, performance and overall immersion of feeling like you’re playing a real pinball machine that may not be available at your local pinball locations.
I purchased the widebody cabinet with the space artwork and would advise others to do the same due to display size and feel of the cabinet (artwork of course is personal taste). Anyone who has come over pinhead and non-pinheads has commented on how awesome the artwork is, how the build design looks/feels just like a pinball machine and were impressed by the performance and immersion while playing hundreds of tables. I would definitely recommend my pin-friends to get one even if they have real tables as a compliment to their collection.
PS. Prepare for the future and go 64bit windows 7 or better OS.
VirtuaPin™ Widebody Virtual Pinball Machine
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