I’ve been playing Zen Pinball since its PlayStation Network debut in 2009, and I’d been playing its Xbox Live Arcade counterpart, Pinball FX, for two years before that. Pinball FX2 followed in 2010, bringing a unified platform for all past, current, and future content to XBLA pinball wizards, including full integration with the Marvel Pinball tables. This made Zen’s PSN offerings feel a little disconnected by comparison, with Zen Pinball and Marvel Pinball treated as individual entities.
Since PFX2‘s release, I’ve been waiting for the news of a similar Zen Pinball PlayStation Network unification to finally come to fruition, and today if has at long last.
Similarly to PFX2, Zen Pinball 2, scheduled for digital download release this spring on both PS3 and PlayStation Vita in conjunction with the Marvel Pinball: Avengers Chronicles table pack, will be a free upgrade for existing owners of Zen Pinball and Marvel Pinball, featuring updated ball physics, stereoscopic 3D graphics, new trophies, expanded community features, and more.
Any Zen Pinball/Marvel Pinball tables you own will be updated to the new Zen Pinball 2 platform for free via an update. Additionally, all previously purchased tables on PS3 will be immediately available to download on your PS Vita at no extra cost, and all future DLC table purchases will include versions for both platforms at the same low price. Buy it once, play it at home and on the go.
Speaking with Zen Studios’ PR today via email, I’m told they’re still experimenting with the possibility of cloud transferring, but no confirmation has been made on that front yet. The game will, however, have shared leaderboards.
“We are so excited about the future of videogame pinball, and Zen Pinball 2 is the most advanced pinball platform available on any digital network. We are happy to upgrade physics, provide new trophies and introduce compelling new social features and more to all of our existing players at no charge,” said Mel Kirk, Zen Studios Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations. “We have really focused on keeping the community intact, offering compelling new features and connecting the cross-platform experience between the PlayStation®3 and the PlayStation®Vita.”
Also like PFX2, all new players to Zen Pinball 2 will be able to download the base platform and play trial versions of every available table for free before deciding which ones to purchase. A whopping 26 tables will be available at the time of Zen Pinball 2‘s launch so newcomers will certainly have plenty to choose from.
Oh, and one final note. In Zen’s announcement post on the PlayStation blog, an upcoming table themed after a popular PopCap franchise is teased. PopCap has plenty of popular franchises so it could be anything, but the safe money has to be on Plants vs. Zombies. I’d certainly be happy with Bookworm or Peggle tables, too. We’ll find out which one it is soon, I hope.
Zen Pinball 2 list of features:
– PlayStation®3 system and PlayStation®Vita system cross-platform entitlement including shared global leaderboards, online friend challenges and tournaments
– The most advanced ball physics simulation to date
– Compete against other players to achieve the highest ProScore™, and team up with your friends to increase your TeamScore™
– Exceptional visuals in full 3D on 3D compatible TV sets
– Free, fully playable demos for all available tables
– Exciting multiplayer modes, including local split-screen and hotseat multiplayer, online, and worldwide tournaments
– New tables released regularly through the PlayStation®Store
– Share your scores on Facebook
– New rule sheets to help you achieve higher scores
– New trophies for each table