Pinball continues to roll at CES 2018

An attendee plays Stern Pinball's Guardians of the Galaxy machine during CES 2018. An attendee plays Stern Pinball's Guardians of the Galaxy machine during CES 2018. GEEKNIFTY / BARRY WHITE

CES is typically a place where the latest and greatest in consumer technology gets shown and debuted.  In terms of gaming, virtual reality, high-end gaming computers, and mobile-focused peripherals have been the main focus in recent years.  Despite all that, Stern Pinball -- a company that traces its history back to the 1930s -- is showing off its latest in arcade pinball machines.  And when you think about it, it's really not all that surprising.  After all, the company is up 40% year-to-year each of the last two years.

"Business is growing because the interest is growing," says company CEO Greg Stern.  "We're making better and better games."

Stern also credits the rise in popularity of establishments such as barcades (bar-arcade hybrids) and the rec room crowd who want a pinball machine or two for the home.  There's also a large contingent of people who compete in pinball on an international level called the International Flipper Pinball Association which ranks some 50,000 players in 30 countries worldwide.

With Stern Pinball, however, it doesn't stop with the physical ball-and-bat stand-up game that people are so familiar with.

"Our games are also available digitally," Stern explains.  "It's the exact same game as our terrestrial game.  Same rules, same art, same ball flow.  Everything the same."

The digital versions of Stern Pinball's games (known as Stern Pinball Arcade) can be found on "almost all the platforms," including smartphones and Nintendo Switch.

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