Pinball Comes Back to Life With Virtual Reality - VR Life

Man Builds Virtual Reality Pinball Controller

pinball vr

If you’ve ever heard of the video game, Pixel Art, then you may have heard of Jeremy Williams. He’s the guy who created Pixel Art. Now, he developed a virtual reality pinball controller and made it to work with the VR game, Pinball FX 2 VR. You can get the game on the Oculus Rift.


He is calling his invention the PinSim.

Jeremy said that the PinSim is a precise replica of 8 inches mimicking a customary pinball machine. It even includes buttons on each side, a light indicator and a launch button. Oh and you can’t forget the joystick that’s on the top of the controller. It enables you to move around while you play the game. There’s also an accelerometer that enables the user to move the ball in the game by pushing the PinSim – very similar to a real pinball machine.


He’s loved pinball for a long time and considers pinball to be a hobby of his. He actually even collects and creates real pinball machines too. Although, he definitely likes to play pinball video games as well. Some of his favorites are Zen Pinball, the app and Pinball Dreams which is on Commodore 64. He never really liked the view in video games though.

“You can’t move your head to get a better perspective on the ball, of the field of play,” Jeremy says. “Nobody who plays pinball in real life stands in the exact same spot. If they’re playing pinball for real, they’re going to move their head around, hop around on their feet, just to get a better read on the ball so they can get it going where they want it to go.”

That’s one of the reasons Jeremy was shocked when he put on the Oculus Rift, played Pinball FX 2 VR and he thought the game was well done except that it didn’t feel right playing with a game pad. He wanted to be able to use a real type of pinball controller. 

Just a few days of work and Jeremy had developed PinSim. Since he had lots of pinball machine parts at his house, he already had everything he needed to create the PinSim. He’s excited about it and confident in its ability. “It really does feel like you’re playing Pinball.”


Jeremy doesn’t plan on selling the PinSim, but he did say that he’s going to release the code and information on who to build it in the near future, on Tested. While he thinks the PinSim is awesome as well as Pinball FX 2 VR, he doesn’t think anything can truly beat playing pinball in real life.

“A pinball game can play differently day-to-day, location to location. The pitch of the game. The humidity in the air. How long the game has been played. It can be worn down. Poorly maintained. Pinball is a game that has so many variables that set it apart and gives it its longevity.”

That’s something VR can’t really compete against.

Watch the video below



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