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Xbox One X incompatible with Epson 5040ub or 5040ube in 4k/60fps/10bit mode

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Xbox One X Scorpio Edition Unopened Box
Xbox One X Scorpio Edition Unopened Box

I bought an Epson 5040ub 4k e-shift projector in June in anticipation of the Xbox One X and for the ps4 pro I bought with it.  The Xbox One X arrived last night but I didn’t have time to open it, so I was waiting until tonight to do it.  While I was at work though, I found out some devastating news, evidently since the Xbox One X outputs 4k at 60 frames per second/10 bit, the Epson 5040ub or 5040ube can’t handle all the data due to it’s chipset not supporting anything higher than 4k60 8 bit.  What happens it appears is the Xbox One X then renders everything at 1080p and then up-scales it to 4k 8-bit rather than rendering at 4k and sending 8 bit data instead of 10 bit (evidently, read more below).  The picture and text below illustrate the issue:

Setup screen for Xbox One X on an Epson 5040ub
Setup screen for Xbox One X on an Epson 5040ub
  • Xbox One X thinks that the Epson 5040ub or 5040ube doesn’t support 4k60 10 bit (which is correct due to the HDMI chipset bandwidth limitation)
  • Xbox One X then decides that it shouldn’t render in 4k then, it will render in 1080p mode and upscale it to compatible 4k60 8 bit mode (as noted in the dashboard picture above at the bottom game section)
  • Hence all the 4k rendering benefits disappear possibly for games (depending on how the Xbox One X is handling things)

The question is, is the Xbox One X display message above correct or misleading?  It says that games will be upscaled (meaning from 1080p to 4k I assume) but is that really what’s happening?  Total bummer for me, had been waiting a long time for this.  We’ll see what the next couple days bring as far as a response from Microsoft but I’m not holding my breath, I’m hoping that someone figures out what is actually happening on this display and other TV’s that are in a similar boat.  I would think that the only way to tell would be is if you had a game that rendered at 1080p at 60fps and 30fps at 4k, if you played it and it was 60fps that you’ve confirmed the upscaling, and if you play it and it’s 30fps, then it appears like Microsoft’s game message above is incorrect.

I was going to return the Xbox One X Scorpio edition to Best Buy but I decided that I’d keep and see how it goes after hearing that some of the games I play like NBA2k18 play a lot smoother and that load times on some games are dramatically reduced.  I was also thinking about selling my Epson projector after finding this out a couple days ago but have decided to keep it for now because after investigating the alternatives there just wasn’t a good secondary option available in this price range yet.  I may try some experiments with my low lag Viewsonic Pro8100 with it to see if that reveals anything.

Hopefully someone will come out with a 4k projector that’s both economical and without bandwidth limitations here pretty soon.  In the meantime, we can hope that Microsoft puts out a patch that allows 8 bit mode or at least clarifies the menu if the menu is actually wrong (but from what I’ve heard, that seems unlikely based upon past issues like this).  There is a workaround for those that want to spend some extra money, there’s a device from HD Fury that can make the Xbox One X think it’s attached to a 4k60/10 bit signal and then downsample it for the projector at 4k60/8 bit.  Not the most optimal solution, but it appears like that is what a large number of Epson owners are going to do.  I spent the day looking for other 4k solutions but unfortunately most other projectors are either a lot more expensive or have other gaming drawbacks like lag.  The HD Fury is available through Amazon affiliate here:

HD Fury – HD Fury 4k Integral from Amazon

A lot of people who have the Epson 5040 or 5040ube already have this device mainly for trying to get HDR with 4k/60 from the PS4 Pro and some streaming devices.  Unfortunately I don’t have one to try out.

Site Monetization

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If any of you have been visiting my website for very long, you’ll notice that recently I put up some ads as an experiment to see if I could make enough to at least pay for the website hosting costs.  I put up a guide to how I made this website along with the earnings so far here:

http://gameroominfo.com/creating-niche-website/

You’ll get a good laugh at the very least.  Thanks for supporting my site, and hopefully I’ll be able to continue giving you good articles in the future.

Guardians of the Galaxy Pinball Released

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Stern today announced that they’re making Guardians of the Galaxy pinball in three models, pro, premium, and LE.  They’ve uploaded a teaser video which I’ve attached to this post.

It looks pretty good, the groot head reminds me of the old Pat Lawlor Funhouse game to a degree.  The Rocket shot looks like it came off of Jurassic Park, and the drop target lock looks like it was lift from Total Nuclear Annihilation which was just released from Spooky pinball.

There are a lot more details and pictures for the game at:

http://www.sternpinball.com/games/guardians-of-the-galaxy/pro

Pictures are having a hard time loading it appears on their website.  There’s a big thread on pinside discussing the game here:

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/guardians-of-the-galaxy-is-here

Looks like the feedback so far is pretty positive (other than the price, lol).  The big feature of the game is the big Groot head in the back which can raise and lower its mouth to swallow or release balls for multiball.

Stern is also trying to acquire the rights to two songs from the first film for the game, though the details haven’t been finalized yet.  I’m hoping that they go the extra mile and get at least one or two more after the two they’re going after, there are so many good songs on that soundtrack that it would be a shame not to have them included.

Price of the Guardians of the Galaxy pinball machine is $6,199 for the pro, $7,899 for the premium, and $8,999 for the LE.  I’ll let you in on a secret though, those prices are like car dealer sticker prices, nobody pays though except for people who don’t like to negotiate.  You can expect to pay significantly less for all three models, I think Aerosmith was about $5200ish through a dealer so Guardians will probably be around $5400ish.

If you’re looking for dealers to get discounted pinball prices from, I would contact Game Exchange in Colorado.  You’ll have to call because Stern has a rule that no lower prices are to be disclosed via email, but call them up and say gameroominfo sent you to get the lowest price.  🙂   There are a bunch of other dealers around that sell too but he’s the one I’ve heard the most good things about lately.  I ordered two new in the box games in the past but they were from other vendors.  They were fine but the comments I’ve heard would lead me to believe that Game Exchange would be your best bet.

Their website is:

https://gameexchange.biz/

Just ignore the prices on their website and call them up for a better price.  This only applies to new Stern machines fyi, games from other manufacturers are more set in stone.  I’ve talked to them once on the phone when I was trying to find a Metallica pinball machine, they were very helpful but didn’t have what I was looking for at the time (I think they were out of stock if I remember).

If you’re new to pinball, I would also caution that you want to make sure that the code on the machine is done first before you buy a new in the box game.  Nothing is more frustrating than buy a new game and then having major code issues all the time (like missing modes, missing wizard modes, etc).  There are multiple examples of games where the code got to about 80% or 90% done and then got abandoned due to poor sales.  Wheel of Forture is the poster child for this, the code that’s there is great but all the wizard modes are missing along with lots of other things.  I owned it for a while and would own it again if they’d ever finish it but that seems highly unlikely at this point.

Guardians of the Galaxy pinball should be shipping by the end of the November, beginning of December.  Pro models will likely be hitting the line first with the LE’s to follow and the premiums after that if recent history is any indicator.  I’m interested to see how it turns out, if they finish the code and has callouts from the movie actors I’d definitely be interested, if it’s just “I am groot” all the time I’d be less interested, lol.  I’m personally trying to find a Walking Dead Pro pinball machine to buy.  I could buy one new but I’d rather save a few hundred and buy used if possibly, but I haven’t had much luck doing that so far.

I’ll try and update this post later with information on the code state and reviews of the game.  The only thing I’ve heard so far is that the code isn’t complete, but how far incomplete it is we don’t know.  Batman 66 was almost unplayable when it was released last year, but then Aerosmith shipped after it and was almost complete on day 1 of shipping.  With that lack of consistency it’s hard to know what you’re getting.  As an FYI, Batman 66 still isn’t finished, so if you buy a game that doesn’t have complete code you could be waiting over a year before it’s done.

Foosball Table electronic sound system

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Tornado Foosball table with sound system added
Foosball table I added the sound system to

I finally got around to a project I’ve been kicking around for a long time, adding a sound system to my tornado foosball table.  I’ll probably have more details in a week or so, but for now I wanted to post up the video and some higher level details about the project.

Basically, the way it works currently is that there’s a sound system that plays a constant crowd noise during the game.  It’s set to loop every minute or so but it could be changed to be longer if needed.  When goals are scored from either goal, a sound gets played.  Right now it’s just the same sound every time but that could be switched out to be different every time.  I programmed the system to only use the two tracks currently just to make it easier, adding more tracks would require some code changes.

Here’s the video:

 

Super Chexx Pro Bubble Hockey released!

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After some teasers were leaked about a month ago, everyone has been waiting in anticipation for the new Super Chexx Pro Bubble Hockey machine to be released.  Everyone was wondering:

How much more will it be?

Will there be an upgrade path for older games?

What are all the upgrades over the previous models?

Pricing Changes

I’ll try and answer those questions now.  It appears like there’s a $200 increase over the previous base model, from $2499 to $2699.  That price is excellent considering the new technology added, a lot of value was added for not much of an increase.  The popular NHL version is now $3199, which is great for NHL fans (I have the retrofit NHL players on mine).  The extra money on the NHL version gets you:

  • custom goal horns for each team you select (so if you select the Chicago Blackhawks as one of your teams, you’ll get their official goal horn when you score).
  • NHL logos on the LCD screen
  • 2 custom painted NHL teams of your choice.  When I was redoing my original Chexx for example, I selected the Chicago Blackhawks and Colorado Avalanche as my teams.
  • Optional team logo at center ice

Upgrades

According to people in the know, there isn’t an upgrade path for older models unfortunately.  The only way to get the new LCD screen is to get a new machine.

As far as the upgrades go, the new model now features:

  • new 5″ lcd screen
  • brand new commentary and sounds
  • new controls for deluxe home version
  • red/green/blue led spotlights
  • video clips shown on the screen
  • lights inside the goals
  • custom goal horns in the NHL version

A pretty substantial upgrade over the older model.  If you liked the game play before you’ll be happy, it is completely unchanged.  All the mechanical parts are still the same so if you’re familiar with working on them the new one won’t be any different.

Super Chexx Pro Ordering

I’m saving my money right now to upgrade my original Chexx.  Every time kids come over they ignore my foosball table and pinball machines and play game after game of bubble hockey.  They did finally release videos (shown below).  If you want pictures or to buy one because they’re so sweet, they’re available at their main website through my affiliate link here:

Super Chexx Pro Bubble Hockey from ICE

Shipping is free on the games as well, which is pretty awesome consider how big the packages are.  The other good thing is the high resale value on Super Chexx tables, unlike other game room equipment they hold their value really well.  My original Chexx is worth $1000 to $1500 still, probably more than it cost originally 35 years ago.

Here are some more videos of it in action:

This video demonstrates the new goal horns and better sound quality.

This video shows off the LCD and new intro.

 

And here’s a video of them setting up a new one out of the box:

I’m pretty excited to see exactly what is all going to be shown on the scoreboard besides what the videos have shown so far.  I’m glad they finally upgraded the electronics.  I know that several people were investigating to see if they could redo the original electronics with a raspberry pi and an LCD screen.  However, I don’t think any of them progressed very far.  I know a lot of people are impressed with what the Super Chexx Pro Bubble Hockey game sounds like so far, it’s a huge upgrade in quality.

For more information on Chexx games and other bubble hockey machines, check out my bubble hockey guide here:

Bubble Hockey Buying Guide