Retrieved from Google's VPF Cache:
Originally posted by TheManFromPOST
Recreations of new Stern Pinball machines
Modern Stern pinball machines will not be recreated
In 2006 with the release of â€˜World Poker Tourâ€™, Stern upgraded to a new system of operating Hardware called S.A.M.
One of the main features of this new system is the ability for operators and private owners to upgrade the software on their pinball machine using a USB memory stick rather than the old method of burning an EPROM
Stern makes these new versions of the operating software available on their website
The problem for us (in theory) is that a week after Stern releases a new machine, there could be a recreation available for download
This is not good for Stern
Stern needs operators to buy their machines
Operators need venues to place the machines
Venues need people to put money into the machines
If people can download new Stern tables and play them at home for free, then people do not go out and pay to play, venues will then not carry Pinball machines, operators will not buy machines and Stern goes out of business
Nobody wants that.
So until Stern Upgrades to an even newer hardware/software system there will be no new Stern machines added to the VPMame lineup
(Sterns previous hardware system 'Whitestar' was in use for 10 years)
Machines that use S.A.M.:
World Poker Tour
Pirates of the Caribbean
Wheel of Fortune
Indiana Jones 4
Pinball 2000, ( Revenge from Mars, Star Wars, Episode 1) has still not been emulated
Originally posted by sellenoff
FOR THE BENEFIT OF EVERYONE
I will try and explain in really simple terms what the issue of keeping VPM partially closed source was, and why now, we can finally open it and close this issue for good in August 2008.
#1) Stern doesn't want their newest pinball games playable on a pc. I personally spoke with Gary (around the time Monopoly first came out, 2001?) and that's what he said. We agreed a few years wait would be acceptable to allow inclusion.
#2) Since pinmame doesn't allow you to "play" the machine, it was and has always been fully open source and compliant with the mame licenses.
#3) Until 2006, Stern hardware ran on the same hardware as Sega & Data East which was created in the early 90's, dubbed the Whitestar system.
#4) Finally in 2006, Stern created a new hardware system, called SAM and all new pinball macines coming out as of today are running on it.
** Here's the key point that most people don't seem to understand properly **:
#5) When I spoke to Gary Stern, the source code for the Whitestar system was *already released in pinmame and available to the public* in the form of Data East & Sega emulation. THERE WAS NO WAY TO SIMPLY NOT INCLUDE SUPPORT FOR NEW STERN GAMES IN FUTURE RELEASES OF PINMAME/VPM, BECAUSE ANYONE COULD ALREADY COMPILE IT BACK INTO THEIR OWN VERSION AND HARM STERN PINBALL AND GET THE PINMAME TEAM INTO HOT WATER WITH STERN!
#6) The only true choice left at that point was to prevent people from bulding their own VPM versions so that *we* could responsibly abide by Gary Stern's requests and slowly introduce new game support, rather than "hoping" people in the wild would do so.
#7) Historically "hoping people will play by the rules" has shown to *never* happen as there's always someone who just doesn't care how many people get hurt by their desires to have the "newest" games and roll out their own versions. MAMEDEV eventually learned this lesson the hard way and finally stopped including new game support by exclusion from MAME awhile ago iirc.
#8) I made repeated attempts to get permission to have an "exception to the license" from MAMEDEV for VPM for the specific need to control new game releases for hardware code that had already been released to the wild. I was denied every time (iirc by Aaron and Phil S., but it might have been others) with the simple response that we'd have to hope nobody builds their own and hurts Stern Pinball.
#9) Knowing we were in a NO-WIN SITUATION -- either upset a small # of mamedevs who failed to understand or care about our no-win situation, versus upsetting Gary Stern, potentially harming the only Pinball Company in existence, and getting ourselves into potential legal troubles with them, we made the only logical choice we could which was to keep vpm partially closed (only 4 files out of all of them are not publicly available). Some would argue it's not a choice, if there's only 1 option.. but I use that word anyway for clarity.
#10) The day the new SAM hardware was introduced we all knew we finally had a way out of this mess and our VPM open source plan began to take place. We all agreed that we would not include the new SAM hardware support in either source or binary form in Pinmame, thus we could open the VPM source *once the last of the Whitestar system games was 3 years expired *.
#11) The last of the Whitestar games is Nascar and according to Gaston expires in August, thus our plan is to release VPM fully open source on that day.
#12) Despite what will likely upset our end users, we will not include the new SAM hardware support in any version of pinmame until such time as a new hardware system comes out from Stern, so that we can avoid getting into another mess like this in the first place.
#13) We are discussing the possibility of releasing a closed source SAM emulator which is not based on MAME code (other than what we wrote ourselves and contribued to MAME/PINMAME) so our end users can enjoy SAM emulation with Visual Pinball in the future, however, it will take a lot of time to rewrite most of the MAME core, so there's no timetable for it, nor any guarantee we do it at all as it's a lot of wasted time in my opinion to re-invent the wheel, and many of us don't have the free time to devote to it. The possibility still exists though, so I am not saying it will never happen. Also, if anyone is interested in rewriting the needed parts of the MAME core for this project, please let us know and we'll be happy to work with you.