For the next 40 years or so, the designs and the engineering behind them got more and more sophisticated – with one hole able to payout multiple balls, and ‘autoloaders’ enabling the rapid firing of balls – but the Pachinko game itself remained largely unchanged until the 1980s – when video games came along.
In order to compete with these increasingly popular video games, Pachinko manufacturers added flashing lights and sounds to their own machines. This quickly evolved into LCD screens, and it wasn’t long before video games themselves had been worked seamlessly into the standard Pachinko set-up.
These days there are Pachinko tie-ins for a staggering number of big-name brands and movies – everything from Jaws to Transformers. Even the original video game – Space Invaders – had it’s own Pachinko version.
It’s not hard to see why Pachinko has become the most popular pastime in Japan – who’d go to a casino, or even play in an online casino, when there’s a Pachinko parlour right on your door step.