Stern Direct Pricing Drop On Boards
Stern Pinball have seemingly dropped pricing of their Spike 2 system boards. Whilst we have no official rationale to this, it is easy to assume this could be in retaliation to recent criticism aimed at them for price gouging on spares. Particularly these boards.
When reviewing recent pricing from Stern Pinball directly, the 48V Node Board can be seen to be available at just (yes I said just, this is comparative to previous pricing) $99. The whole Spike-2 CPU can be purchased directly from Stern for just (again the just, we know) $350! Please note, that these prices are correct at the time of writing, and of course, could be subject to change.
The story in the EU and the Stern distribution here, remains a little different. The 48V node board in Europe remains at €263.70 – which in dollar terms is $318.54 – if you could buy at direct exchange pricing. If you compare the $99 price point, we could be seeing the EU price drop €81.96. The Spike 2 CPU on the EU site remains at €505.08 – which is a dollar equivelant of $610.11. At the USA price, this could see Spike 2 CPU boards drop to €289.75 at the time of writing with exchange rates etc. It is important to note that the EU site includes shipping and taxes, wheras US convention is to not inlcude state tax etc. and probably shipping. Still the variance is clear.
Updating Spike 2 Node Pricing – Well Done Stern…
If this is a new model for Stern whereby the games are priced where they are, but spare parts are reasonable. I have to say a huge congratulations to Stern. It is a positive move for a company I have actively stated have distanced and alienated some customers with their practices. This move will be a welcome change for many who had concerns about spare parts pricing when buying a new game. Or to those have been stung previously by Stern and their high priced replacement parts. Hats off to them, well done.
Please Don’t Mess Up the Spike 2 Board Price Change
What we hope is this is a genuine move to support owners for the long haul. I would hate to see flip-flopping on this and prices shoot back up. What we don’t want to see of course, is a massive jump in new in box pinball machine pricing. Effectively internalising this cost and applying this reduction to every new in box buyer. That would be a big kick in the teeth.
Another point would be to ensure that this is a worldwide update. The cost of games in the EU and especially UK is inflated by Stern’s go to market strategy alongside the distance that product needs to be shipped. People can accept those charges, especially around shipping etc. However the next step is to drop prices in the EU too, to really make it a win. I am confident that Stern are just aligning everything and this is the next step.
Why did Change Stern Spike 2 Board Prices?
Without focussing on the negatives, because this is real positive for Stern and the tone of this update needs to be clear. This is a really positive update from Stern. Recently, a video has been circulating outlining the fact that Stern spares pricing has been gouging in the past. With these new prices, it has to be said, they probably have. The below video was released just three weeks ago and prices have been cut in the weeks that follow by 66%… Coincidence?
Are Stern Paving The Way For Spike 3?
Of course, a purely speculative point is that Stern may be moving all of these boards of in preperation for the launch of a Spike 3 board. We don’t know, that is purely speculaton, but it may be the case. Maybe…
For The Unlucky Who Paid Huge Spike 2 Board Prices
Unfortunately, there are also those that will feel aggrieved for the prices they have previously paid for node boards. When we broke the update on a UK forum, prior to writing this piece. One forum member questioned Stern and their previous approach. Stating “Great news. Now if everyone that got bummed for 300 odd quid for a node board could get a freebie then all is forgiven.” There will, of course, be some ill feeling by everyone who has been gouged previously.
What About Specific Boards
The main Stern website doesn’t list specialised boards for games, such as light boards etc. it is yet to be seen what the policy on these boards will be. We wait and see on that.
What do you think of the Stern Node Board pricing update on the Spike 2 boards? Could this be a drop in price to move stock for an upcoming Spike 3 upgrade?