Aristocrat has just announced that they will no longer be supporting their Mk6 platform at the end of the year so this is a timely reminder that in gaming, we have to balance the need to replace our worst performing machines, with the machines that just need to be replaced due to age as they become obsolete.
It’s not just Aristocrat machines that need to be traded out with several of the major manufacturers such as IGT and Scientific Games having launched new gaming machines recently. This time of year is a good time to have a fresh look at what needs to be replaced as we generally slow down our replacement program until the early part of next year.
- You can trade out and replace with a new machine from any manufacturer
- You can complete a conversion quickly (before Christmas) to some of the better games
- You can leave them on your floor until they die a natural death by dropping to the bottom of the rankings.
- You can change the old screen to an LCD screen to improve the potential life of the machine but only do this if it is a really valuable machine on you gaming floor. There is no point spending money on a 10 year old machine when you could buy a new replacement.
But you must remember….
- Even though some of these old games are still working quite well, such as ‘5 Dragons’, they are probably not as good as a new machine if you can afford to replace it.
- If you include the numbers of these games on your floor that are in multigames you may have too many so adding more may not feasible
- The best games in this platform are probably available in a multigame pack so you can replace the old machines without losing the games completely and the graphics and player comfort on the newer machines are significantly improved
Aristocrat’s “Mk6 platform” includes the Mk6, Mk6 Upgrades and Xcite machines so that is a sizable percentage of many gaming floors. Realistically, there are only a handful of games left that would be worth keeping on the gaming floor such as ‘5 Dragons’, ‘More Chilli’, ‘Lucky 88’, ‘5 Koi’, ‘King of the Nile’ and ‘Where’s the Gold’ and even a few of these are fading now.
IGT and Scientific games have launched new machines recently so we have to look at options for their older machines that have been obsoleted by the new product lines. For IGT the new Crystal Dual-i games have been great and while there are still a number of game conversions available for their Neo and NeoN machines the older Bluechip games have limited conversion options these days. Trading out any of these against a new machine is good option, and you can also convert a couple of your Neo games to many of their fantastic mid and high denomination games. IGT, SHFL and AGT own this part of the market so there are many good games to choose from to improve your older machines.
Scientific Games is not supporting the WMS machine anymore either and to extend the life of those games there are some conversion options but replacing these games will eventually become a priority. For their other SHFL Equinox and Bally machines they are making available some games to support these machines with the SHFL Multi Deluxe and mid denomination games the best choice.
The upside for very small clubs that can’t afford new machines is that there will probably be lots of machines available in the second hand market with many coming out of the larger clubs. If your second-hand supplier can assist, it would be worth paying a little extra to get an LCD screen installed instead of the old original screen. This will not only improve the comfort for a player but save you plenty of headaches as the parts to fix them aren’t available and they are prone to problems due to their age.