equipment for playing pinball on the PC

Software

Most of the Pinball-CD´s, especially those before 1995 are running under DOS. Almost every PC thats not an oldtimer will have a CPU that is running too fast for DOS-games and the operating system can´t go along with DOS. 

There are tools existing that are proposed to slow down the CPU. I once tried some but didn´t get a useful result. Maybe I didn´t use them correctly, but somehow I don´t trust them a lot. 

The DOSBox works similar but takes the converse way, it simulates a DOS-enviroment for the games! It is possible to load the games comfortably from the DOSBox window itself. See next page for an excurse to DOSBox!

Hardware

I got used to play pinball with the keyboard. The only problem I have is the coordination of the fingers that should press the keys to nudge the table. My fingers just won`t move an inch on to the tilt-keys when necessary! The real pinball nudging is different. That leaves some Tastatur to be replaced.

To give you a more realistic pinball feeling, there are two peaces of hardware-equipment I know of.
Nowadays many enthusiasts build their own pinball cabinets for VP with adequate large screens for the playfield (+- horizontal, playfield can be rotated!) and a smaller sreen for the backglass (vertical). Special pinsim editions are made for cabinet-tables.

Equipment for the ultimate pinball-feeling

The Thrustmaster Wizzard-Pinball-Controller

The two blue parts of the Thrustmaster are put at the sides of the keyboard. You press the red buttons for the flippers, the larger part may be for tiltsensitivity?
Can´t say anything about the feeling. I do have the Thrustmaster, but I`ve never installed it. It was the only one I ever saw for sale.



The Philips Virtual-Pinball-Controller

The Philips Virtual-Pinball-ControllerAs you can see it is formed like an original tablefront. The Controller is connected between keyboard and PC. Inside there are three tilt-sensores. They are adjusted for reacting at a weight of 5 kilogramm. Without fastening it will move in the direction of your screen (and further)! I changed the tuning with paper and adhesive tag and some fastening on the table. The ultimate pinball feeling didn`t come because the tuning of the tilt sensors is still inaccurate.
I don`t know if it is working under DOSBox.

On the back there are some dip-switches that allows you to adjust different keys from the software to work with the Virtual-Pinball-Controller. Still exotic keys wont work! An additional key (flip right+left, 3x tilt and start) for example the magnasave with timeshock won´t work! I never used it with Visual or Future Pinball because I got very used on playing with the keyboard.

The Philips Virtual-Pinball-Controller is very rarely offered at ebay, usually for a small price.