The Over-Monetized Pinball FX Reboot is Now on PS5

Remember when digital pinball was good?

Alex Rowe
6 min readMar 12


Pinball FX’s disgusting set of pinball token purchase options.
Be wary of any game that offers a one hundred dollar currency pack. PS5 screenshot taken by the author.

A year ago, Zen Studios rebooted their iconic Pinball FX platform on PC. Wait, they rebooted a platform? That’s right. Although the previous games in the series could carry over your purchases in order to reward the community and build up a fanbase, this new version made everyone start over.

It also added performance intensive ray traced graphics that many fans in the community weren’t happy with, especially those that had built bespoke affordable digital pinball rigs into large standup cabinets. The system requirements got a huge bump upwards, and now Zen wanted you to buy all of your tables again.

Don’t want to spend tons of money getting content you already owned before? Why, then you could simply subscribe to the Pinball Pass. For the absurd price of fifteen dollars a month or a hundred bucks a year, you’d get access to most of the tables — except for a few from Disney that they weren’t able to negotiate as part of the package.

I thought this whole thing was a mess on PC last year and said as much in my original piece about it. Now, it’s a year later and the Pinball FX reboot has come to console platforms. Has anything changed for the better?


Pinball FX’s ridiculous Pinball Pass subscription screen.
Do you want to spend a hundred bucks to get access to nearly all of the Pinball FX content for one year? Hey wait come back! PS5 screenshot taken by the author.

You’ll still need to buy all of your old tables if you want to have them here or subscribe to the expensive pass if you want to get access for less money. The pass still doesn’t include certain Marvel and Indiana Jones tables, which sort of defeats the point of an all-inclusive subscription, doesn’t it? And the game is still packed with tons of other additional monetization options to try and get you to part with your money through a convoluted system of tokens and rewards.

The ray tracing has returned on PS5, but it’s almost a little too realistic and I’d wager that most folks will actually like the look of the “performance” mode better. When you toggle between the two in the opening menu, the standard performance mode reflections actually look more eye-catching because they’re more prominent and obvious…



Alex Rowe

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