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Old 12-31-2017, 01:10 PM
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Default P3: IN-DEPTH REVIEW

12-31-2017 02:01 PM

Hello and welcome to this In-Depth Review of Multimorphic’s P3 pinball platform.


This review is going to be slightly different to our usual ones because we are, in effect, reviewing two separate but related products.  First we have the P3 hardware and software itself, and then we have the games which run on it which in this case include Lexy Lightspeed: Escape from Earth and Cannon Lagoon.  These two games are a combination of hardware (an upper playfield module) and game code, so naturally there is some crossover and interconnectivity with the P3 platform’s own hardware and software.  Other P3 games are purely software, but require a specific upper playfield module installed in order to run.  We will highlight which parts of the P3 are game-specific and not necessarily included when purchasing the base P3  as we go along.


The P3 is Multimorphic’s first full game platform.  The company began by selling the ubiquitous P-ROC pinball controller which allowed a game’s owner to break it out of the walled-garden of the manufacturer’s dedicated operating system, game assets and code.  It did this by replacing the CPU board with an open platform where anyone could create sounds, display animations, lighting effects and game rules.  Lots of people did, and we were introduced to the likes of Bride of Pinbot 2.0, Demolition Man on Steroids, Cactus Canyon Continued, The Big Lebowski, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Wrath of Olympus along with many more.


After the P-ROC came the P3-ROC – a more advanced product which didn’t use an existing game’s lamp driver, solenoid driver or switch boards, but came with its own set of input/output and LED driver boards using a new bus connection to link them all together.  You could add as few or as many boards as you needed to drive RGB LEDs, and add large numbers of switches, solenoids and motors to your game.


While the possibilities were huge, what was really needed was a way to demonstrate the potential from combining all this hardware.  A P3-ROC-based pinball which not only used multiple inputs and outputs, but used them in a creatively different way.


From that point on, the quest to reinvent how pinball was designed and built became Multimorphic’s mantra – some might say “obsession” – and thus the P3 Pinball Platform was created.


The core machine would come with starter games, while developers were encouraged to write new games to run on it.  To allow future games to be more than just ‘reskins’ of the starter games, the ability to modify the hardware was added by making the upper part of the playfield into an interchangeable module.  This meant most of the game’s shots, targets and toys could be customised for each game if the designer wanted to go that far.  If not, they could keep the hardware and change the theme, virtual targets, sounds, music, lighting and rules.


We covered the initial development and subsequent changes in some depth, but somehow getting the machine into production was always just over the horizon.  Now though the first run of P3 machines has been made, and we are reviewing one of the first to come out of the contract manufacturer’s factory in Austin and arrive at a buyer’s home.


UNBOXING


The game was well-packed – boxed, strapped to a wooden pallet and plastic-wrapped for the journey from Dallas – Fort Worth Airport.


The boxed game arriveshttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-195x300.jpg 195w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...w-768x1180.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...w-850x1306.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 900w" sizes="(max-width: 666px) 100vw, 666px" />
The boxed game arrives

Inside, the large foam pieces had done their job, keeping the machine inside protected and damage-free.


The P3 inside the boxhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x220.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x564.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x624.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The P3 inside the box

The keys for the game were under a sticker on the coin door.  An envelope containing documentation and a few goodies was also included.


The front of the machinehttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x206.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x526.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-320x220.jpg 320w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x582.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The front of the machine

After removal from the box, the game was set up.  Earlier prototype versions had a custom design of legs, but this production model was far more conventional.


Our review P3 Pinball Platform from Multimorphichttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-185x300.jpg 185w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...w-768x1244.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 800w" sizes="(max-width: 632px) 100vw, 632px" />
Our review P3 Pinball Platform from Multimorphic

Let’s start with the cabinet and backbox builds before we open them up, look inside and then move on to the playfield features.


THE CABINET


The front of the cabinet is pretty plain.  It is devoid of any artwork and so just features the coin door, the start button and the ball launch button.


The front of the cabinethttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x212.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x542.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...iew-104x74.jpg 104w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x600.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The front of the cabinet

This is a standard US-style two-slot 25˘ coin door.  There’s no cut-out for a bill acceptor or card reader device, and no headphone jack or volume control.  It’s worth pointing out here that speaker volume can be controlled using the flipper buttons if that option is enabled in the settings, but a the lack of a headphone jack is surprising unless there are plans to add support for Bluetooth headphones.


On the front right is the ball launch button.  The ball is always served from one or more vertical up-kickers at the back of the game.  So, there is no shooter lane and thus no possibility of a manual plunger or any strength-related skill shots.


The ball launch buttonhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x198.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x506.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x560.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-742x490.jpg 742w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The ball launch button

Over on the opposite side, there is just a single illuminated start button – no separate tournament start button here.  The button extends outwards which makes it easy to accidentally knock and start a game should you happen to be leaning on the machine or brush it when walking past.


The start buttonhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x201.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x515.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x570.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The start button

Because the P3 is a multi-game platform, any physical artwork needs to be able to be either generic-enough not to refer to a specific game title, or easily swappable when the game is changed.


The lock bar is a standard design, painted in black with a semi-gloss smooth finish which matches the side-rails.


The plain black lock barhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x216.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x554.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...iew-104x74.jpg 104w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x613.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The plain black lock bar

There is no ‘action button’ on the lock bar.  That’s because any game-specific extra buttons have been moved to the cabinet sides alongside the flipper buttons.


The left-side button boxhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x206.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x527.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-320x220.jpg 320w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x583.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The left-side button box

This ‘button box’ is swappable if a certain game requires additional controls and could include a track ball, joystick/joypad or even a trackpad or fingerprint reader to identify players.  As supplied though, the P3 comes with three buttons on either side – a red flipper button and two assignable auxiliary buttons in white and yellow.  Despite being raised from the cabinet surface, the flipper button falls naturally under the flipper fingers.  The auxiliary buttons less so, but no doubt we could get used to them.


The right-side button boxhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x191.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x490.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x542.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The right-side button box

We mentioned earlier about game-specific artwork, and here we have the side art for Lexy Lightspeed: Escape from Earth.  There are other artwork packages available for different games as well as a generic P3 package.


The Lexy Lightspeed: Escape from Earth side arthttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x144.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x370.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x409.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The Lexy Lightspeed: Escape from Earth side art

If you change games and no longer want the Lexy Lightspeed artwork, it is easily removable since it is printed on a magnetic sheet which attaches to the cabinet side.


The side art is printed on a magnetic sheet which can be removedhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x199.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x510.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x564.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The side art is printed on a magnetic sheet which can be removed

The magnetic material is pretty weighty and while it’s reassuring from a durability point of view, that weight could be a problem in the future.  The decals were already starting to sag a little around the top edge on our review machine.


If you do want to remove them it’s pretty simple thanks to cut-outs at the back corner where you can get your fingernail under the magnetic material, while the corners are cut off too.


The corners are cut off and there are cut-outs to aid removalhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x200.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x512.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x567.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The corners are cut off and there are cut-outs to aid removal

Although we are examining the P3 in this part rather than Lexy Lightspeed, it’s a convenient time to check out that game’s backbox artwork panels which also sit within a frame with finger cut-outs to aid removal.


THE BACKBOX


The backbox side arthttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-109x300.jpg 109w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...w-768x2119.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 800w" sizes="(max-width: 371px) 100vw, 371px" />
The backbox side art

Of course with removable art panels comes the danger someone will simply peel them off and steal them.  An additional frame is available which sits over the edges of the panels to prevent this.  We didn’t have them on this review machine but have seen them fitted on sample models at pinball shows.  They are a little chunky but nothing too obtrusive.


And so to the front of the backbox which is dominated by the translite.  Again, this is game-specific and a generic version is also available, but here’s the Lexy Lightspeed translite.


The Lexy Lightspeed translitehttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x205.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x524.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x580.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The Lexy Lightspeed translite

As you can see it is pretty well illuminated, although the bottom quarter is slightly darker than the rest.  We will see why that is a little later.  The white layer on the reverse is a little thinner than usual but seems adequate in preventing hot spots from the backlight LEDs.  The translite is held in place by traditional-style black plastic edging pieces.  Although they are reasonably quick to remove and replace, we suspect if you are changing games frequently it would be worth investing in a second piece of glass with edging pieces so you can just swap the whole unit rather than try to swap translites each time.  Maybe a frame could be developed which allowed you to hang unused translites on the wall and just slot them in when needed?


The back of the translitehttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x195.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x498.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x551.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The back of the translite

Below the translite is the speaker panel.


Because the P3 doesn’t have a display in the backbox there is a large illuminated P3 logo sitting between the stereo speakers.


The speaker panelhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x209.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x535.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...iew-104x74.jpg 104w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x592.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The speaker panel

This particular P3 was one of the earliest to come off the production line – a fact marked by a special collector plaque at the base of the speaker panel.



The collector plaquehttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x198.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x507.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x562.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-742x490.jpg 742w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The collector plaque

The speaker grilles are quite plain in appearance without any adornments which might make them game-specific.  The speakers are standard single-cone full-range devices (100Hz -20KHz), while the fixings for the four mounting posts on the rear are visible from the front at certain angles.


The right speakerhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x200.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x511.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x566.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The right speaker

The P3 logo is backlit by RGB LEDs so can change colour both during attract mode and within the game.


The illuminated P3 logohttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x203.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x520.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x575.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The illuminated P3 logo

As this is the famed In-Depth Review, let’s go in-depth into the backbox and see what’s inside.


INSIDE THE BACKBOX


The backbox is opened in the usual way with a key lock at the top which prevents the translite glass being slid up when locked.


The backbox lockhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x199.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x510.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x564.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The backbox lock

Once the translite panel is removed we can lift up and tilt forward the speaker panel.


Opening the speaker panelhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x200.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x512.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x567.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
Opening the speaker panel

The speaker panel pivots around two posts near the bottom at the side, and hooks over another post to lock in place.


The speaker panel hingehttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x201.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x515.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x570.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The speaker panel hinge

The speaker panel hookhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x206.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x527.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-320x220.jpg 320w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x583.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The speaker panel hook

With the speaker panel lowered we can see the white panel behind the P3 logo cut-out.  For some reason only three of the four possible mounting posts for the white panel were present.


The logo diffuser panelhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x200.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x512.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x567.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The logo diffuser panel

There is a P-clip at the top to hold the left speaker cable but it really needs an additional one on the right side too, as the cable would frequently droop and cast a shadow behind the logo.


The speaker cable behind the logo cut-outhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x203.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x520.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x576.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The speaker cable behind the logo cut-out

Illuminating the logo is a PCB mounted at the bottom of the cabinet and fitted with twelve RGB LEDs.  We will see this LED board popping up a few more times as we examine the rest of the machine.


LEDs illuminating the P3 logohttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x200.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x512.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x567.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
LEDs illuminating the P3 logo

Directly above this LED board is the heart of the P3‘s processing power – the Micro-ATX PC mainboard.


The bottom part of the backbox interiorhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x200.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x512.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x567.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The bottom part of the backbox interior

The ASRock PC mainboardhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x212.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x542.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...iew-104x74.jpg 104w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x600.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The ASRock PC mainboard

This is a B250M-HDV mainboard with built-in 7.1 channel audio, triple monitors and Ultra M2 memory, none of which is needed in this application but indicates it is an up-to-date board with capacity to spare.


The PC mainboardhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x204.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x522.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x577.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The PC mainboard

Although the mainboard has reasonable graphics capabilities, for the P3 something with more grunt is needed, so what looks like an MSI GTX 650 board is installed to boost the graphics performance. (To preserve the warranty we didn’t start pulling out cards to check model numbers)


The MSI graphics cardhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x197.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x504.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x557.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The MSI graphics card

Although this too has multiple outputs, only the primary HDMI output is used to drive the large LCD panel below the playfield.  Any other displays on the upper playfield modules are driven by local micro-controllers such as an Arduino or Raspberry Pi.


The single HDMI connectionhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x206.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x527.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-320x220.jpg 320w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x583.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The single HDMI connection

Being driven by a PC means a PC-ATX power supply is needed, so that is mounted on the right side of the backbox.


PC power supplyhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x200.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x512.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x567.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
PC power supply

A PC also needs a boot device and something to hold the operating system, the P3‘s code and all the in-game assets.  The Kingston SSDNow SATA solid-state drive sits above the mainboard on a mounting plate.


The Solid State Drive (SSD) and translite illumination LED boardshttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x199.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x508.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x563.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-742x490.jpg 742w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The Solid State Drive (SSD) and translite illumination LED boards

Three more of those 12-LED PCBs are mounted across the width of the backbox to illuminate the translite.


One of the Translite LED boardshttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-179x300.jpg 179w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...w-768x1289.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 800w" sizes="(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px" />
One of the Translite LED boards

We believe all twelve LEDs on the board get the same RGB colour data, and with the boards daisy-chained together all three produce the same colour.  The board illuminating the P3 logo is driven separately and can produce a different colour.


While a PC is good at driving displays and powering peripherals, it can’t drive any speakers larger than a pair of headphones.  So, in order to give the P3 some decent sound a dose of additional amplification is needed.  A small audio amplifier board at the bottom left of the backbox takes on this role.


The amplifier boardhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-200x300.jpg 200w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...w-768x1152.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 800w" sizes="(max-width: 683px) 100vw, 683px" />
The amplifier board

This is a 2.1 amplifier, providing feeds for left and right speakers plus a subwoofer.  It’s a pretty modest device which is usually set to maximum output with the volume controlled digitally in the P3‘s software.


The speaker connectionhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-200x300.jpg 200w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...w-768x1152.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 800w" sizes="(max-width: 683px) 100vw, 683px" />
The speaker connection

If the amplifier is permanently turned up to 11 you better be sure there’s no interference from all that computing power, or it will produce a constant background buzz.  An in-line filter helps get rid of any digital nasties.


The in-line filterhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x200.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x511.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x566.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The in-line filter

As for the rest of the PC’s inputs and outputs, they all go largely unused.  There’s a gigabit Ethernet connection to any other micro-controllers on the upper playfield module while the rest of the P3-ROC system connects through the USB port.  Another USB port goes to the upper playfield module which has a USB dongle attached to identify itself to the rest of the system so only suitable games can be enabled.


The PC's network connectionhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-200x300.jpg 200w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...w-768x1152.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 800w" sizes="(max-width: 683px) 100vw, 683px" />
The PC’s network connection

The top of the backbox – to where the heat rises – is dominated by two fans which seem to run constantly.


Inside the backboxhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x288.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x736.jpg 768w" sizes="(max-width: 800px) 100vw, 800px" />
Inside the backbox

They are very quiet though and never proved to be obtrusive.  Like many modern games, however, with spinning blades dotted all around the backbox there is a slight whirr of fans when the machine is not being played and the room is otherwise silent.


EXTERIOR BUILD


The whole backbox is held in position in a slightly different way to any other manufacturer’s products.  There is no latch on the back of the machine.  Instead, a bolt is inserted into the hinge mechanism on each side to stop the hinge pivoting, locking the backbox in place.


The backbox hinge and securing bolthttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x201.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x516.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x571.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The backbox hinge and securing bolt

The hinge itself is also a little different, being smaller in size and feeling a little less robust.  The measurements are also slightly off, leaving quite a gap between the hinge and the cabinet body.


The backbox hingehttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x200.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x512.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x567.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The backbox hinge

Without a latch, the back of the machine is nice and clean.


The backbox’s rear only features the two fan cut-outs and a bunch of labels mostly telling you not to do things which will damage the game.


The rear of the backboxhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x258.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x660.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x731.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The rear of the backbox

There is also the serial number label which gives a voltage range of 120V-240V.  That’s a little misleading though as at least one component in the game needs to be switched to either 110V or 220V input.  The label also states the current draw is a maximum of 8A.


The two backbox fans and warning labelhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x200.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x512.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x567.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The two backbox fans and warning label

More warningshttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x215.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x551.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...iew-104x74.jpg 104w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x610.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
More warnings

At the back of the cabinet we find the usual two wooden slide rails with nylon sliders attached.  Between them are two mesh grilles which act as air vents for the more radiant components inside.


Rear cabinet ventshttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x200.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x512.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x567.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
Rear cabinet vents

Power enters the game through the familiar IEC mains connector at the base of the cabinet’s back panel.


Power connectorhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x194.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x497.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x550.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
Power connector

The main power switch for the game is in the traditional place, under the front right corner of the cabinet, while the only other item of note under the cabinet is the speaker grille for the subwoofer.


Under the cabinethttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x194.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x498.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x551.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
Under the cabinet

Now let’s take a look inside that cabinet to see what’s familiar and what’s new with the P3.


INSIDE THE CABINET


Opening the coin door and if you are naturally inquisitive you head straight for the menu buttons.  No such luck here, as there aren’t any.  Neither are there any coin mechs which is perhaps more common.


The coin doorhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x222.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x568.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x628.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The coin door without any menu buttons

All the configuration, audit and troubleshooting options are accessed using the start, launch and the flipper buttons.  There is a switch to sense when the coin door is open, changing the buttons’ functions and enabling the menus.


The backbox keys live behind the coin door on the usual hook.


Inside the cabinethttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x222.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x568.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x628.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
Inside the cabinet

Behind the coin door is the coin box location, although no coin box was provided.  At the back of that is a chart showing the various Multimorphic controller boards used in the game – the P3-ROC, the power driver boards, the LED driver board and the switch boards – their address DIP switch configurations, their locations, and the fuse ratings for the power driver boards (all 4A slow-blow).


The P3's driver and switch boards IDs and fuse informationhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x190.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x485.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x537.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The P3‘s driver, LED and switch boards IDs and fuse information

As high-tech as the P3 is, it still relies on the tried-and-tested mechanical tilt bob mechanism to sense over-enthusiastic play.  This is positioned in the front right corner of the cabinet, next to the power switch box which also houses the main game fuse and an IEC service outlet.  Since nobody ever has any tools with this connection, it is usually only used to power mods or other add-ons.


The power switch box and tilt bob mechanismhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x226.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x578.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x640.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The power switch box and (a rather lenient) tilt bob mechanism

On the left side of the cabinet are switch and driver boards for the cabinet switches and LEDs.


The two switch boards and the driver boardhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x197.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x505.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x559.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The two switch boards and the driver board

You might not think there are all that many switches on the cabinet, but apart from the tilt bob and the start and lunch buttons, there are three flipper button switches on either side plus the possibility of more switches if the button boxes are swapped for ones with more controls.  There are also the coin mech inputs and the possibility of other payment devices.


The two switch boardshttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x201.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x514.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x569.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The two switch boards

The driver boardhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x194.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x497.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x550.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The driver board

The P3 ships with an envelope containing a bunch of paperwork and a small goodie bag of spares.


There is a quick start guide to setting up your machine, a certificate of ownership, a list of the included items and a sheet detailing the known issues with the game software when it was shipped and which will be addressed in upcoming updates.  The list of items shipped with the game varies according to what was ordered, when the order was placed and any deals done in the interim to compensate for delays in production.


The included paperwork and goodie baghttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-235x300.jpg 235w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x980.jpg 768w" sizes="(max-width: 800px) 100vw, 800px" />
The included paperwork and goodie bag

The goodie bag contains a few spares – slingshot plastics for Lexy Lightspeed, rubber bands, a couple of key fobs, two roll pins for the flipper and slingshot linkages, and what we took to be a centre post which can be installed between the flippers if desired.


The goodie bag's contentshttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-227x300.jpg 227w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...w-768x1013.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 800w" sizes="(max-width: 776px) 100vw, 776px" />
The goodie bag’s contents

THE BOTTOM APRON


We said earlier how any artwork needed to be either game-agnostic – so it worked with any title – or removable.  This also extends to the bottom apron button and rules information which is also magnetic and can also be removed and swapped if required.


The P3 with the lock bar removedhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x196.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x501.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x554.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The P3 with the lock bar removed

The bottom arch decal with the cabinet buttons explainedhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x248.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x636.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x703.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The bottom arch decal with the cabinet buttons explained

Lexy Lightspeed instructions on the bottom decalhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x218.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x559.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x618.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
Lexy Lightspeed instructions on the bottom decal

That’s how the backbox and cabinet are built, so now it’s time to look at the fun part – the playfield.


THE PLAYFIELD ENCLOSURE


The playfield is the most innovate part of the game.  While the cabinet and backbox are largely similar to existing games, the playing area is far from traditional.  To find out more we need to lift out the playfield, and that in itself is quite different.


Above the bottom arch is a cut-out in the clear plastic covering the drain area.  We use this to lift the playfield up so it can be slid forward.


The cut-out to lift the playfieldhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x200.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x512.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x567.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The cut-out to lift the playfield

This doesn’t feel entirely robust and our fingers found a loom of cables under the bottom apron, but if you ignore those points you can start lifting the playfield up.  You then realise what a hefty beast it is.


It really does take some effort to raise the playfield and slide it forward.  Once you have though, there is a black metal support frame which sits on the lock bar’s front moulding to give you access to most of the key playfield parts.


The first service pointhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x200.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x512.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x567.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The first service point

The support frame is reassuringly solid and the 90° angle on the foot ensures there is no slippage.   It feels a little unsure the first few times you do it, but pretty soon everything slides into place quite naturally.


The playfield support resting on the lock bar mouldinghttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x227.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x581.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x643.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The playfield support resting on the lock bar moulding

There are a couple of reasons why the playfield feels so heavy.  Apart from housing the 27″ LCD panel and containing ten or more balls (Lexy Lightspeed uses a minimum of twelve), the whole playfield is encased in a metal enclosure.


The playfield enclosurehttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x200.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x512.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x567.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The playfield enclosure

With the playfield slid out to the first service position, there are a couple of wire looms hanging down which need to be handled carefully. One is for the power to the flippers and slingshots along with the switch connections, while the other is for a ball drain sensor.


Hanging flipper and slingshot connector and ball drain switch cablehttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x200.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x512.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x567.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
Hanging flipper and slingshot connector and ball drain switch cable

To find out more we need to start pulling the playfield apart.  So let’s do exactly that.


The playfield enclosure in the first service positionhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x197.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x505.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x559.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The playfield enclosure in the first service position

There are several warning labels on the front of the playfield enclosure explaining the damaging effects of working on the game with the power on.


Warning messageshttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x200.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x512.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x567.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
Warning messages

To get at the good stuff we need to fold down the front panel which hinges along its bottom edge.


The front panelhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x202.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x516.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x572.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The front panel

It is secured in place by two retractable pins – one on either side – which can be pressed in to release the latch.


Front panel latchhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x203.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x519.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x575.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
Front panel latch

Opening the front panelhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x193.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x494.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x547.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
Opening the front panel

Once the panel is open we can see the slide rails built into the playfield enclosure’s sides.  Most playfield components are mounted on these rails and so can be slid in or out for maintenance or cleaning.


With the front panel openhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x222.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x567.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x628.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
With the front panel open

The front panel includes an angled channel through which any drained balls are returned to the ball trough at the back of the playfield.  Balls roll down the channel and are deflected into a white plastic tube which runs down the length of the playfield.  There is an optical switch mounted on the front panel to let the game know when a ball has drained.


The ball drain deflectorhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x200.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x512.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x567.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The ball drain deflector

That other dangling cable loom carries power to the flippers and slingshots, so let’s take a look at those.  To do that we need to slide out the panel on which they are mounted, and to do that we need to disconnect them.


Unplugging the flippers and slingshotshttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x204.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x523.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x579.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
Unplugging the flippers and slingshots

We can then pull the clear panel with the flippers and slingshots along the channel in which it sits, and out of the front of the P3.


Sliding out the flippers and slingshots assemblyhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x200.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x512.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x567.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
Sliding out the flippers and slingshots assembly

One of the key features of the P3 is the way it can track the ball’s movement across the main (non-removable) part of the playfield.  It does this with a grid of infra-red LED beams which shine across and just above the surface of the playfield.  Another major innovation is the use of an LCD monitor below the playfield to show interactive artwork, dynamic targets and reactive effects according to the ball’s movement and position.


While these are crucial to the unique nature of the P3, they do mean that you can’t have devices and mechanisms bolted to the playfield in the area covered by the LCD and the motion-tracking IR LEDs.  As a result, standard mechanisms such as flippers, slingshots, targets and lane guides have to be suspended above the playfield and not actually touching it or passing through it.


That might seem like a showstopper for a physical pinball machine, but Multimorphic has developed versions of all these mechanisms which are suspended from a clear plastic sheet instead of being mounted below the playfield.


The flippers and slingshots we have here are exactly that – mounted on a clear sheet which slides into the rack’s slots and thus sit above the playfield surface.


The flippers and slings shots assemblyhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x199.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x508.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x563.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-742x490.jpg 742w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The flippers and slings shots assembly

With no flipper shaft or slingshot kicker arm passing through the playfield, they need to have a different design.  Both are solenoid-operated as usual, but they work by the solenoid’s plunger being connected to a flat link actuator.  This is actually how the flippers work in a traditional design when mounted below the playfield, except that the flipper link arm is somewhat elongated here and much more visible.


The flipper and slingshot solenoidshttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x200.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x512.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x567.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The flipper and slingshot solenoids

Rather than the flipper mechanism being screwed into the clear plastic sheet which would be liable to cracking and wear, the flippers are mounted in a robust metal bracket and are themselves made of aluminium.


The flipper assemblyhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x203.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x518.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x574.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The flipper assembly

The whole flipper mechanism has a slightly ‘industrial’ feel to it, showing more of its workings than would normally be the case but looking both functional and durable.


The raised flipperhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x200.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x512.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x567.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The raised flipper

Black flipper rubbers on a mid-grey flipper could lead to a lack of definition and hence aiming accuracy, but for the most part the background tones are sufficiently different to not merge together.


The top viewhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x200.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x512.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x567.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The top view

There’s a nice etched P3 logo on the flipper bracket which helps detract from the two rather ugly locking nuts next to it.


There has been criticism of the P3‘s flippers in the past but do these feel durable and accurate enough, even though they do take a couple of games to get use to their unique feel.


The right flipperhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x195.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x499.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x552.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The right flipper

The slingshot is just as unconventional.  Another ‘floating’ mechanism, the black rubber ring is stretched around the bottom of the device, surrounding three fixed posts and held in place by a combination of elasticity, the switch mounting and a couple of metal washers.


The slingshot assemblyhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x193.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x494.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x547.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The slingshot assembly

Instead of the usual two blade switches to detect when the ball strikes the slingshot face, there is a solitary microswitch mounted approximately half way along.  When the ball hits the rubber ring, depresses it and activates the microswitch, the solenoid fires, pulls down on the activating rod which in turn pivots out an arm which kicks the ball away.  The picture above shows the slingshot in its rest position, while the shot below shows it activated.


The slingshot when activatedhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x202.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x517.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x573.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The slingshot when activated

In practice we found the slingshots to be less responsive than you might expect due, we suspect, to the single switch and the extra pressure needed to activate it compared to a leaf switch.  When the ball hits towards either end of the front face it is always going to be less likely to register, but the lone microswitch in the centre exacerbates that effect.


While the concept of firing the slingshot from a remote solenoid using a flat metal rod is the same as the flipper, the slingshot had one further requirement.  While the flipper is a ‘dumb’ device requiring no extra components, the slingshot needs a cable from the switch back to the switch board.  This switch cable is shrink-wrapped and cable-tied so it lies on top of the activation rod.


The slingshot switch cablehttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x196.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x501.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x554.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The slingshot switch cable

It’s not as elegant as it could be if it ran in a small fixed black tube, but it does work.


The slingshot top viewhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x198.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x506.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x560.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-742x490.jpg 742w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The slingshot top view

Down at the other end of the activation rods are the flipper and slingshot solenoids.  These are mounted side-by-side on the clear plastic sheet and sit under the bottom arch when everything is reassembled.  It’s worth noting that there is no end-of-stroke switch on the flipper to help manage power use and thus coil temperature.  Presumably the Multimorphic team has found that not to be an issue.


The flipper and slingshot coilshttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x200.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x512.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x567.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The flipper and slingshot coils

The solenoids are also hidden from view by being surrounded by a metal ball guide which forms the back wall of the outlane.


The solenoid assemblies are mounted in a metal enclosurehttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x200.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x512.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x567.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The solenoid assemblies are mounted in a metal enclosure

The next layer down from the flippers and slingshots is the playfield surface.


Although the LCD monitor provides the playfield artwork, in-game graphics, and the scores and player information, the face of the panel is not something you’d want a steel ball rolling and bouncing over.  So there is a clear plastic sheet covering the monitor for the ball to roll on.  If there are any scratches, dimples or any dirt build-up, they will be on the plastic sheet which can be taken out for cleaning or to be replaced.


Removing the playfield sheethttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x197.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x505.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x559.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
Removing the playfield sheet

To help keep the monitor’s surface clean, there is a fuzzy felt edging strip to prevent dust and dirt getting under the clear playfield sheet.


Felt edging below the playfield sheethttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x194.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x498.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x551.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
Felt edging below the playfield sheet

When it is in place, the playfield sheet sits in the gap just below the two long rows of infra-red LED running down either side of the playfield enclosure.


IR LEDs along the sides of the playfield enclosurehttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x200.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x512.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x567.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
IR LEDs along the sides of the playfield enclosure

Above the IR LEDs are the slide rails where the flippers/slingshots sheet goes, and where most of the main playfield mechanisms attach.  That means they also slide in and out if you need to clean, service or replace them, and gives the possibility of adding extra mods or playfield features for certain games.  It’s not quite as modular as swapping out the upper playfield module, but it’s certainly possible.


All playfield components attack to the slotted railshttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x210.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x537.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...iew-104x74.jpg 104w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x594.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
All playfield components attack to the slotted rails

To see what’s in the base of the cabinet we need to move the playfield into its second service position.  That involves sliding the whole enclosure out further and resting it on the back of the playfield support frame.


The playfield in the second service positionhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x197.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x505.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x559.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The playfield in the second service position


THE CABINET INTERIOR BACK


At the back of the cabinet is where the main power handling is done.


Inside the back part of the cabinethttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x200.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x512.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x567.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
Inside the back part of the cabinet

There is the mains power connector on the back which is hidden inside a metal box with a warning label attached.  We didn’t disassemble it but we suspect there is also a power supply or two in that box given the multitude of cables emerging from the left side.


The power inlet boxhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x193.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x493.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x546.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The power inlet box

There are certainly a couple of power supplies in front of the power box.  The first is a single low-voltage DC switching supply which needs to be set to the appropriate voltage for the region.  The actual voltage is variable but we suspect it is the primary 5V feed.


The low voltage DC power supplyhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x200.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x512.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x567.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The low voltage DC power supply

There’s no protective plastic shield over this supply to stop any small parts falling through the metal case, although it’s worth saying the holes are pretty small and probably fine enough to prevent any of the screws, bolts, nuts, washers or other hardware getting inside.


Next door is the higher-voltage 48V DC supply for the solenoids.


The high voltage DC power supplyhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x199.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x509.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x563.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-742x490.jpg 742w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The high voltage DC power supply

These power supplies are joined in the base of the cabinet by the subwoofer speaker.


Cabinet wiringhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x200.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x512.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x567.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
Cabinet wiring

This is a standard 8-inch bass speaker which is surprisingly powerful for its size, given the grade of cables used and the small amplifier driving it.


The subwooferhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-178x300.jpg 178w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...w-768x1296.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 800w" sizes="(max-width: 607px) 100vw, 607px" />
The subwoofer

In the back-left corner is a run of cables going up to the backbox.


Wiring up to the backboxhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-200x300.jpg 200w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...w-768x1152.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 800w" sizes="(max-width: 683px) 100vw, 683px" />
Wiring up to the backbox

Not all of them are for the backbox though, as there are two more 12-LED lighting boards mounted at the back of the cabinet below the backbox.  These light up the back of the playfield very nicely, and are normally completely hidden from view.



Cabinet lighting under the backboxhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x200.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x512.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x567.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
Cabinet lighting under the backbox

Before we leave the cabinet it’s worth a quick look at the shaped wooden guides on which the playfield slides when it is pulled forward.


Playfield slide guideshttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x193.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x495.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x548.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
Playfield slide guides

Now we return to the playfield and the hardware devices included with the P3.


We’ll do this in two parts starting with the main P3 part of the playfield which doesn’t change between games, followed by the upper playfield module which can be exchanged.


MAIN PLAYFIELD


The P3 playfield with the Lexy Lightspeed upper playfield module installedhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-200x300.jpg 200w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...w-768x1152.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 800w" sizes="(max-width: 683px) 100vw, 683px" />
The P3 playfield with the Lexy Lightspeed upper playfield module installed

With no backbox LCD display, game information is all shown on the 27″ playfield panel.  The area below the flippers is where the standard information about credits, player scores, ball number and so on is displayed.


This also shows you whether the game is level horizontally and the vertical pitch, which is a nice touch.


The score and game info area, along with level indicatorshttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x200.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x512.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x567.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The score and game info area, along with level indicators

We looked at the flippers and slingshots earlier, so let’s just take a quick look at how the slingshot looks in position before jumping over to the inlane/outlane arrangement.


The left slingshothttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x200.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x512.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x567.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The left slingshot

The left slingshothttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x205.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x524.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x580.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The left slingshot

There is one inlane and one outlane on either side, with a clear plastic ball guide dividing them.


The left inlane/outlanehttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x198.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x507.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x561.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-742x490.jpg 742w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The left inlane/outlane

With the monitor below the playfield, the posts at the top of the inlane, just like the slingshot assembly, have to be suspended from the same clear plastic sheet.  That also means there are no physical switches to detect when the ball rolls through either lane.  Instead, all ball detection in this area is done by the IR LED ball tracking system.


The inlane is the drop-off point for the left wireform.  Where this is fed from depends on how the upper playfield module is designed, so it could be from a ramp, an upkicker, an upper playfield exit, or some other toy.


Most games allow you to adjust the width of the outlane to vary the game’s difficulty, and the P3 is no exception.


The left outlane width adjusterhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x204.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x523.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x579.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The left outlane width adjuster

A rubber ring-encased bar can be pivoted to open up or narrow the outlane’s width and to deflect balls towards the inlane.  It’s a practical solution, although the wireform above does make adjustment a little more difficult that it could be.


The left outlane width adjusterhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x194.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x496.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x549.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The left outlane width adjuster

Above the inlane/outlane area is the first of two four-banks of illuminated standup targets.


The four left standup targetshttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x191.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x488.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x540.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The four left standup targets

We call them standup targets but that’s more a description of how they look than how they operate.  These targets are mounted on the slide rails (like everything else) so the IR LED grid can shine below them, and it is this which determines when the targets are hit.


All four are internally illuminated by RGB LEDs to indicate when they are available and when they have been hit, while their function in the game is shown on the LCD screen below.


Standup target labelshttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x201.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x515.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x570.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
Standup target labels

Above the four-bank is a rather odd-looking ball guide with cut-outs which don’t seem to perform any practical function.  It seems like the space could have been used to provide another target or feature.


The left ball guidehttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x200.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x512.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x567.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The left ball guide

Above the ball guide is the metal wireform which returns the ball to the left inlane.


The main and upper playfield wireformshttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x204.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x522.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x578.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The main and upper playfield wireforms

This needs to mate with the equivalent wireform on the removable upper playfield module to ensure the balls roll smoothly back to the flippers, but also needs to stay out of the way when the upper playfield is being removed.


The biggest mechanism (apart from the monitor) on the playfield is the row of six walls and scoops which run across the width of the playfield just above the monitor.


The six walls and scoops above the monitorhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x197.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x504.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x557.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The six walls and scoops above the monitor

The walls and scoopshttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x200.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x512.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x567.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The walls and scoops lit red

The walls are pop-up blockers which prevent a shot being made.  They are all individually controllable and bottom-lit by RGB LEDs.


The wallshttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x200.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x512.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x567.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The walls

In most cases hitting the walls does nothing other than stop the ball, but the ball tracking can be used to react by dropping the target, giving awards or taking things away if you unintentionally hit one.


Behind the walls are six pop-up scoops.


The scoopshttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x199.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x510.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x564.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The scoops

Balls shot into the scoops roll into the ball trough behind, which then ejects them through upkickers onto the upper playfield module.


That’s as far up the playfield as we can go before we hit the upper playfield module, so let’s swing over to the right and see what’s on the main playfield there.


The right ball guidehttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x203.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x520.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x576.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The right ball guide

The right side is a mirror-image of the left side, with the same strange ball guide, the wireform linking with the upper playfield wireform, the illuminated four-bank of targets and a single inlane and outlane.


The right target bankhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x196.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x502.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x555.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The right target bank

The right outlane adjusterhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x197.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x504.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x558.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The right outlane adjuster

The right inlane and outlanehttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x200.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x512.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x567.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The right inlane and outlane

The right wireform drops the ball into the right inlanehttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-200x300.jpg 200w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...w-768x1152.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 800w" sizes="(max-width: 683px) 100vw, 683px" />
The right wireform drops the ball into the right inlane

The inlane and outlanehttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x200.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x512.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x567.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The inlane and outlane

Back to the right flipperhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-207x300.jpg 207w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...w-768x1114.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 800w" sizes="(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px" />
Back to the right flipper

So that’s what’s installed on the main part of the playfield.


Apart from the walls and scoops there’s not a huge amount going on either side of the monitor.  However that is ignoring all the possibilities of virtual targets right across the monitor’s surface area.


The ball-tracking means an almost unlimited number of detection points across the playfield, any of which could be designated a target.  With supporting reactive artwork to match, the number of shots possibilities is also huge.


There remains, though, the underlying problem that for some reason hitting virtual targets always feels less satisfying than hitting physical ones. Pinball is a physical game, of course, so virtuality has never proved all that popular whenever it has been tried, unless it is combined with physical objects to enhance their functionality.


So the P3 also needs plenty of physical shots, targets and toys, and that’s where the upper playfield module comes into play.


UPPER PLAYFIELD MODULE


At the time of writing there are two upper playfield modules available – Lexy Lightspeed and Cannon LagoonLexy was installed with the game, while Cannon Lagoon was shipped in a separate box.


The Cannon Lagoon playfieldhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x236.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x605.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x670.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The Cannon Lagoon playfield

You always need an upper playfield to play any of the games, although titles such as Rocs and Barnyard use the walls and scoops to block shots to the upper part of the playfield, so plugging in any module will do.


The upper playfield modules are secured in place by two latches – one on either side of the playfield next to the walls and scoops.


Upper playfield module latchhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x200.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x512.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x567.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
Upper playfield module latch

The locking mechanism is a little odd.  You pull the metal ring shown above towards the front until the latch drops.  That releases the module but before it can be lifted out there are some connectors to unplug, and – if you remember the warning stickers from earlier in this review – these need to be disconnected with the power off.


The connectors are on the rear of the module on the left side.  There are four connectors – two power cables for high and low power, an Ethernet cable for data communications and a USB cable which plugs into a dongle which identifies the module to the rest of the game.


The back of the upper playfield modulehttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x212.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x543.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...iew-104x74.jpg 104w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x601.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The back of the upper playfield module

Once these are unplugged, the module can be lifted up and out using a handle at the back.


Upper playfield module handlehttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x200.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x512.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x567.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
Upper playfield module handle


The modules are quite delicate with exposed cables and LED PCBs, so care needs to be taken.


Lighting on the back of the Lexy Lightspeed upper playfield modulehttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x200.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x512.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x567.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
Lighting on the back of the Lexy Lightspeed upper playfield module

Once the module is removed it can be stored in its packing box.


The Lexy Lightspeed modulehttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x246.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x630.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x698.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The back of the Lexy Lightspeed module

We’ll come back to removing the module and installing the Cannon Lagoon one a little later, but let’s stay with Lexy Lightspeed for now and explore its shots, targets and toys, working clockwise as usual.


LEXY LIGHTSPEED


The first thing we come to is the left lane.


The left lanehttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-174x300.jpg 174w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...w-768x1321.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 800w" sizes="(max-width: 595px) 100vw, 595px" />
The left lane

We might normally refer to this as an orbit shot, only it doesn’t orbit here.  Instead it always feeds the pop bumpers in the Weapons Testing area.


The left lane passes behind the ball lock and mini-displayhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x213.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x545.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...iew-104x74.jpg 104w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x604.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The left lane passes behind the ball lock

The left lane continueshttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x200.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x512.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x567.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The left lane continues

There is a pair of opto switches at the top of the playfield which detect when the ball passes.  There’s no IR LED grid in the upper playfield area, so switches and targets are the more traditional optos, blade switches and micro-switches.


The left lane sends the ball into the pop bumpers which is called the Weapons Testing area.


The Weapons Testing areahttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x212.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x542.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...iew-104x74.jpg 104w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x600.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The Weapons Testing area

At the top of the Weapons Testing area is a five-bank of standup targets.


The Weapons Testing targetshttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x200.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x512.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x567.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The Weapons Testing targets

These targets can be hit when the ball is kicked by the bumpers.  Each target has a corresponding LED above to show when it has been activated.


The Weapons Testing target lightshttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x224.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x575.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x636.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The Weapons Testing target lights

There are the traditional three pop bumpers below the targets, each with a conventional design.  They sport blue bumper caps and are pretty active when a ball is introduced, allowing some good movement and sending the ball into the standup targets above.  That’s just as well, as the pops are the only way to hit them.


The three pop bumpershttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x200.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x512.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x567.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The three pop bumpers

There are no flashers to add to the action, but there are two possible exits from the area – one to the right which drops into a sink hole before kicked out of a VUK, and one on the left which sends the ball back to the flippers (or between them).


The right exit from the pop bumpershttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-200x300.jpg 200w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...w-768x1152.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 800w" sizes="(max-width: 683px) 100vw, 683px" />
The right exit from the pop bumpers

The left exit from the popshttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x201.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x515.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x570.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The left exit from the pops

The next shot is the left ramp.


The left ramphttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-191x300.jpg 191w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...w-768x1209.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 800w" sizes="(max-width: 651px) 100vw, 651px" />
The left ramp

This is quite a steep clear plastic ramp where inaccurate or weak shots will fall back towards the flippers.  There us an insert under the ramp entrance to indicate when it is lit for the current mode but apart from that there is no artwork or inserts in front to advise you to shoot it or tell you what it is worth.



The left ramp inserthttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-200x300.jpg 200w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...w-768x1152.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 800w" sizes="(max-width: 683px) 100vw, 683px" />
The left ramp insert

The left ramp rises and turns to the right, where it passes behind the ball lock and joins the wireform from the right upkicker.


The left ramp joins the wireformhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-200x300.jpg 200w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...w-768x1152.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 800w" sizes="(max-width: 683px) 100vw, 683px" />
The left ramp joins the wireform

This then feeds down to the right inlane on the main playfield.


The ramp return into the right inlanehttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-200x300.jpg 200w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...w-768x1152.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 800w" sizes="(max-width: 683px) 100vw, 683px" />
The ramp return into the right inlane

On the right of the left ramp entrance is the first of a row of seven standup targets.


The left-most standup targethttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x200.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x512.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x567.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The left-most standup target

Like the other six, this is a white target with a round insert in front.  The RGB LED lights the insert and gives a coloured wash to the target face too.


Next to the standup target is the spaceship lock shot.


The lock shothttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x200.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x512.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x567.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The lock shot

This shot feeds balls into the rotating ball lock via a short metal ramp.


The ball goes up the ramp and drops into the waiting lock hole on the rotating spaceship.


The lock hole behind the ramphttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x200.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x512.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x567.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The lock hole behind the ramp

Once a ball enters the spaceship, the whole mechanism rotates to either the next vacant slot, or turns fully to release the ball.


The feed into the spaceship lockhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x200.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x513.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x567.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The feed into the spaceship lock

The spaceship lockhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x207.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x531.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-320x220.jpg 320w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x588.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The spaceship lock

Balls are released at the top of the spaceship.  A metal plate shops the ball in the top position from falling out, but that plate can be retracted to allow the ball to roll backwards and onto a short ramp which feels the same wireform we saw above.


The lock plate keeping balls inside the spaceshiphttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x200.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x512.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x567.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The lock plate keeping balls inside the spaceship

The lock release ramphttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x200.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x512.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x567.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The lock release ramp

To the right of the spaceship lock is the upper playfield module’s own 5-inch LCD panel.


The Lexy Lightspeed monitorhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x200.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x512.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x567.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The Lexy Lightspeed monitor

The 800 x 480 LCD display has a large black bezel and a plastic shield to cover the front.


You may remember how we said there was only one video output from the PC in the backbox, and that was for the main playfield monitor.  So this upper playfield module contains its own single board computer to drive its monitor – in this case, a Raspberry Pi mounted to the back of the display.


The single board computer behind the monitorhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-173x300.jpg 173w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...w-768x1329.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 800w" sizes="(max-width: 592px) 100vw, 592px" />
The single board computer behind the monitor

The Raspberry Pi board behind the monitorhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x221.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x567.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x627.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The Raspberry Pi board behind the monitor

The Ethernet cable connecting the Pi to the back panel connector is bent very tightly to minimise how much it sticks out the side of the display.  While a good quality shielded cable is a good idea in an electrically-noisy environment like a pinball machine, a black cable or a right-angle plug here might make it less strained and look a little neater.


The 5-inch LCD displayhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x209.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x534.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x591.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The 5-inch LCD display

The Ethernet cablehttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x199.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x509.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x564.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The Ethernet cable

The display is used to provide additional game information to the player and to identify the functions of the standup targets below.


Speaking of which…


The four Detention Center standup targetshttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x196.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x502.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x555.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The four Detention Center standup targets

The four standup targets which form the Detention Center are, like those on either side, plain white with colour added by the RGB LEDs under the circular inserts in front.


In addition, there is a large arrow insert to draw your attention to the Detention Center targets when they are lit for Alien Attack.


The Detention Center insertshttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x206.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x527.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-320x220.jpg 320w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x583.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The Detention Center inserts

Behind the monitor are the upper playfield module’s two vertical upkicker wireforms.


Lexy Lightspeed's two upkickershttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x187.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x480.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x531.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
Lexy Lightspeed’s two upkickers

These form part of the P3‘s ball trough system which sits at the back of the game and features eight upkicker positions across the width of the game.  There are only two wireform returns back to the flippers on the main playfield, but an upper playfield module could kick balls out of the trough into other toys, onto the upper playfield itself or onto extra wireforms as long as they don’t impinge too much on the main playfield.


The left upkickerhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x200.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x512.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x567.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The left upkicker and wireform

The left upkicker is the only feed to the left return wireform, whereas the ukpicker, left ramp, ball lock release and right ramp all feed to the right wireform.


The right upkickerhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x207.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x529.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-320x220.jpg 320w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x586.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The right upkicker and wireform

On the right of the Detention Center is the left exit from the Weapons Testing pop bumpers, and beyond that are the last two of the set of seven circular standup targets.


The last two standup targetshttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x200.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x512.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x567.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The last two standup targets

Then we come to the right ramp.  This is a 180 degrees U-turn housed in a robust-looking mechanism.


The right ramphttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x207.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x530.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-320x220.jpg 320w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x587.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The right ramp

The ramp quickly deposits the ball onto the wireform from the right upkicker, meaning it ends up down at the right inlane.  An opto switch at the top of the curve detects a completed shot, albeit with rather visible cabling.


The right ramphttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x200.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x512.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x567.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The right ramp

The right ramp mechanismhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x196.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x501.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x555.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The right ramp mechanism

The welds look pretty solid, so they should be up to the task of keeping the ball on-track and moving freely up the ramp without breaking apart.


The right ramp feeds onto the wireformhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-189x300.jpg 189w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...w-768x1221.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 800w" sizes="(max-width: 644px) 100vw, 644px" />
The right ramp feeds onto the wireform

The final upper playfield shot is to the scoop on the far right, which is designated the Command Center.


The Command Center scoophttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-163x300.jpg 163w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...w-768x1412.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 800w" sizes="(max-width: 557px) 100vw, 557px" />
The Command Center scoop

Unlike the other sub-playfield mechanisms, this one kicks the ball back out rather than sending it to the upkickers,


The Command Center scoophttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x204.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x521.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x577.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The Command Center scoop

The Command Center scoophttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-190x300.jpg 190w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...w-768x1210.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 800w" sizes="(max-width: 650px) 100vw, 650px" />
The Command Center scoop

The Command Center scoop is mostly used to start modes following a shot to the right ramp to qualify it.


That concludes our look at the Lexy Lightspeed upper playfield module, but if you want to remove this module and replace it with, say, Cannon Lagoon, it’s a fairly simple procedure.


CANNON LAGOON


As we saw earlier, you de-power the machine, disconnect the four connectors, unlatch the playfield module and lift the unit out using the handle at the back.  You then need to remove all the balls from the ball trough at the back of the game so that the upkicker wireforms can sit properly above the solenoids.


Then you just slot in the new module, connect it up, reinstall the balls through the main playfield drain and power up the P3.


The Cannon Lagoon playfieldhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x236.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x605.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x670.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The Cannon Lagoon playfield

The Cannon Lagoon modulehttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-150x150.jpg 150w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x300.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x771.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x853.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The Cannon Lagoon module

The Cannon Lagoon module also has two upkicker wireforms to link to the main playfield’s, but it otherwise pretty sparsely populated with just a series of five lanes each leading to a sinkhole.


The two upkickershttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x227.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x580.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x642.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The two upkickers

This module also differs from the Lexy Lightspeed one by having a large secondary LCD screen mounted at the back.  As with Lexy, the second screen is controlled by a Raspberry Pi board.


The Raspberry Pi controller board behind the LCD screenhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x205.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x525.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-320x220.jpg 320w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x581.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The Raspberry Pi controller board behind the LCD screen

The Cannon Lagoon module comes with some new slingshot plastics and cabinet art to replace the Lexy Lightspeed pieces.  They don’t need to be fitted if you are only swapping playfield modules for a short time, but they are useful if Cannon Lagoon will be staying for a while.


New playfield plastics for Cannon Lagoonhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x202.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x517.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x572.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
New playfield plastics and mounting hardware for Cannon Lagoon fixed to the back panel

When the module is installed and the game re-powered, the dongle tells the core P3 software it now has Cannon Lagoon installed so it can unlock the games which use it and disable those which use the Lexy Lightspeed module.


Connectors and the dongle on the back of the modulehttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x200.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x512.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x567.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
Connectors and the dongle on the back of the module

The P3 running the Cannon Lagoon gamehttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x213.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x545.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...iew-104x74.jpg 104w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x604.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The P3 running the Cannon Lagoon game


The LCD display at the back of the Cannon Lagoon upper playfield modulehttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x175.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x447.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x495.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The LCD display at the back of the Cannon Lagoon upper playfield module

You can swap the playfield module in just a few minutes and have a perfectly playable game.  If you want to change the cabinet art and install the new plastics then it will take five to ten minutes longer.


Cannon Lagoon is a much simpler game than Lexy Lightspeed with fairly basic graphics which might make the $1,499 cost seem somewhat excessive.  However, the Cannon Lagoon module can then be used with other games including the upcoming baseball-themed Grand Slam Rally and the head-to-head title Heads Up!  These cost $499 and $399 respectively which, while not exactly give-aways, are much more affordable prices.


Whichever module you install and game you run, you’re still working with the core P3 hardware and software.  That software provides the underlying operating system, which includes a full set of diagnostic and configuration options.


SYSTEM MENUS


Diagnostics is one of the options on the game selections screen, and it provides you with a good range of tests for the main switches, solenoids and LEDs, as well as audit information.


Let's diagnosehttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x214.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x547.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...iew-104x74.jpg 104w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x605.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
Let’s diagnose

In most of the menus the currently installed upper playfield module is shown in the top left of the screen, although that is sometimes covered by menu backgrounds.


When you enter the Diagnostics menu there are multiple selections to make changes to the way the game plays as well as some more basic controls and a set of debugging utilities.


Change settings or diagnose faultshttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-182x300.jpg 182w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...w-768x1263.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 800w" sizes="(max-width: 622px) 100vw, 622px" />
Change settings or diagnose faults

In all the menus, the flipper buttons and the start & launch buttons being used to make selections and change settings, with the buttons’ functions adapting to the menu chosen.  Maybe it was just our unfamiliarity with the system but we found ourselves stabbing around at various buttons quite a lot to try to find which one did what we wanted.


The flipper and cabinet front button controlshttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x200.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x513.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x568.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The flipper and cabinet front button controls

In the Debug menu you can test the hardware components of the P3.


The switch test shows which switches are open and which are closed.  The first 64 switches are for the P3 – the cabinet and main playfield – while switches 65 and above are for the upper playfield module.


The Switch Test pagehttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x198.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x506.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x560.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-742x490.jpg 742w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The Switch Test page

The coils & flashers test page likewise shows you which board drives each device, while allowing you to pulse them using the cabinet buttons,


The coils and flashers menuhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x203.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x520.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x575.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The coils and flashers menu

With all the playfield LEDs being RGB devices, there’s a comprehensive LED test screen too.


The LED test pagehttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x202.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x517.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x572.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The LED test page

Each LED can be cycled through red, green, blue and white, with the corresponding colour shown on the screen.


There is also a visual representation of the ball trough and upkicker arrangement.


The ball positions in the trough and tests for the upkickershttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x203.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x520.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x575.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The ball positions in the trough and tests for the upkickers

If – as in the example above – the left-most vertical upkicker (VUK) wireform sits above solenoid #3, that’s as far as the balls are allowed to roll.  Similarly, only VUK solenoids #3 and #5 are used when this playfield module is installed, although different upper playfield modules could use other or additional upkicker positions.


We talked earlier about the grid of infra-red LEDs which are used to track the ball’s movement.  You can also check this is functioning correctly in the Ball Tracking test by moving your finger across the playfield and seeing how the IR beams are broken.


Testing the IR LED ball trackinghttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-181x300.jpg 181w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...w-768x1275.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 800w" sizes="(max-width: 617px) 100vw, 617px" />
Testing the IR LED ball tracking

You can also test each of the six walls and six scoops to make sure they pop up and drop down correctly.


The Walls & Scoops testhttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-192x300.jpg 192w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...w-768x1198.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 800w" sizes="(max-width: 656px) 100vw, 656px" />
The Walls & Scoops test

The General menu gives details and settings for the most basic elements of the P3.  Unfortunately, this version of software had a tendency to continue showing parts of the high score tables over the top of some menus.  It was only a display issue, but it could make some of our pictures a little confusing if you didn’t realise what it was showing.


The settings or statistics menu choicehttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x200.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x512.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x567.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The General settings or statistics menu choice

Choosing Statistics gave you a number of non-changeable game details.


The general information pagehttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x200.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x512.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x567.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The general information page

Logging the game mechanismshttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x200.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x512.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x567.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
Logging the game mechanisms

In the Settings menus you can adjust the basics, such as the number of players, number of balls per game, whether you can remove players once the game has begun, whether there is a temporary ball saver or not, and so on.


You can have up to nine players per gamehttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x223.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x570.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x631.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
You can have up to nine players per game

The software can also look for cheaters!https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x200.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x512.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x566.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
The software can also look for cheaters!

More system settingshttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x200.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x512.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x567.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
More system settings

Many of the game’s multiballs and other features can be tweaked to your personal preference.



Alien Attack settingshttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x195.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x499.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x552.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
Alien Attack settings


Tweak your Crittershttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-300x200.jpg 300w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-768x512.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-850x567.jpg 850w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 1600w" sizes="(max-width: 850px) 100vw, 850px" />
Tweak your Critters

Then there are the mode-specific adjustments which control how each of the scene modes started at the Command Center scoop work.


Choose your game settings to adjusthttps://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...ew-164x300.jpg 164w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...w-768x1406.jpg 768w, https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-...pth-review.jpg 800w" sizes="(max-width: 559px) 100vw, 559px" />
Choose your mode settings to adjust

We won’t go into all the options. but each mode has a page of settings including varying the number of shots needed and the time available.


And that brings us to the end of our look at the P3‘s hardware and software.


SUMMARY


The P3 is certainly a different type of pinball game aimed at overcoming a number of specific problems with traditional pinball ownership, namely cost, space and lack of innovation.


Owning half-a-dozen new games is a major investment these days.  Purchasing one P3 with a number of games installed and a few upper playfield modules is much more cost-effective, even if the initial outlay is close to $10,000 for the base system with the Lexy Lightspeed game and module.


Having a single base cabinet and a few upper playfield modules also takes up a lot less space than six full-size machines.


Both these arguments in favour of the P3‘s modular approach work well in certain circumstances where both space and costs are major issues.  Of course, this solution only provides a single playable machine, so it’s not good if you have multiple players all wanting to play games simultaneously.


When it comes to innovation, pinball manufacturers have generally been hugely Luddite in embracing the kind of technology which has become mainstream in other consumer products.  Large and multiple displays have only recently appeared in pinballs, while features such as Bluetooth, AR, in-game playfield cameras, social interaction and game personalisation are still almost nowhere to be found.


The P3 has made strides in this area by using dynamic playfield artwork and virtual targets through its ball-tracking system, but clever as it is, large LCD displays and touch-screen panels in all shapes and sizes are ubiquitous and cheap, so having debuted this technology nearly six years ago it no longer has the same wow-factor it once had. It also feels like the currently-available games have only scratched the surface of what should be possible using the ball tracking and the dynamic artwork.  The game could react a lot more to the ball’s trajectory and movement, both visually on the display and in the audio and lighting cues.


Meanwhile, Multimorphic has had to tread a fine line between the P3 being viewed as just another a video pinball (and an expensive one at that), and falling back into building a safer, more marketable, more conventional design of mechanical game.  They have tried to keep one foot in both camps by changing the design of the P3 significantly in those past six years.


The video part has (literally) grown, with the smaller LCD panel of the original design – which only filled the space between the slingshots – replaced with a full-width, taller display extending into the flipper area.


An early prototype P3
An early prototype P3

But as the video area grew, that original mechanical design enclosing it was seen as too restrictive to potential game designers.  So, the upper part of the playfield was made modular to allow a greater variety of shots and toys to be added to better suit each game’s theme.


Ignoring all the technical bells and whistles, is the mechanical design of the P3‘s more permanent playfield a good one and a fun one to shoot?


It’s not bad, but it does feel lacking in physical shots around the monitor area with just those side targets to hit.  That pushes most of the useful shots up to the top part of the playfield, turning it into a ‘shooter’s game’.  It looks like there could have been space behind those side targets for a curved lane like the Treasure lane on Pirates of the Caribbean (Stern) or the Spider Sense lane on Spider-Man which would create some more interesting shot possibilities without relying on the upper playfield module to have all the fun.  Yes, there are the walls and scoops and the potential of unlimited virtul targets on the screen, but these are generally only available at specific points in the game.


The flippers do feel comfortable and consistent to use, and while the slingshots are a little less sensitive than we would expect, the overall feel of the game is familiar and robust.


For the top section of the playfield it’s a bit of an unknown quantity, as who knows what features and shots future modules will give us?  While it is quite a tight space in which to design, the Lexy Lightspeed playfield – the most populous module available at the time of writing – does manage to provide an impressive thirteen shots or targets, so there are plenty of possibilities.


Getting the P3 into production is a major achievement.  Yes, it has taken much longer than expected, but the path has been transparent with the progress and delays fully-explained to pre-orderers, avoiding all the uncertainty, speculation and heartache experienced by buyers of some other start-up titles.


The resulting machine is a well-built, well-engineered product – possibly over-engineered in a few areas – which retains the heart and soul of mechanical pinball while providing an exciting platform for future games.  The key is to get game developers making compelling P3 titles, and that requires a critical-mass of owners who will buy the games.


It’s a chicken-and-egg situation, and only time will tell whether the existing machines and their owners will be able to sell the concept of a modular pinball platform to the wider audience needed to make the system ownership more widespread.


We hope you have enjoyed this latest Pinball News In-Depth Review.  Thanks for reading it.  With 10,000 words and 211 high-resolution pictures (don’t forget; all the pictures are clickable to see the full-resolution version) it’s certainly one of our longest and most comprehensive.


Finally, huge thanks to John Gilbody for the use of his P3 machine for this In-Depth Review.




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Old 12-31-2017, 03:39 PM
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Wow, very interesting. I had completely forgotten about this project.

Everything seems to have vastly improved, except for the issue of so few physical targets being present on the main PF. I mean, I get that the ball detection matrix and PF video panel can create all the targets one could possibly want, but without physical objects (or electromagnets) for the ball to interact with, it seems like it would be kind of a dry playing experience.

A big part of PB is trying to anticipate and tame all the crazy bounces, after all. But maybe I'm missing something here.
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