I don’t usually read Pinside but was linked to an interesting discussion about flipper delay on the AFM and MM remakes. Someone discovered that there is a variable 1-5 ms delay between flipper button activation and the coil firing where the originals have no such delay.
Some people in the thread said they could tell there was a difference and that it was detrimental to their accuracy. Other people were adamant that 5ms is undetectable by humans and should have no effect on accuracy.
Personally I think all of the people talking about human reaction time being much slower than 5ms are missing the point. Raw reaction time isn’t what’s being discussed. If you have an interest in speedrunning or competitive video games in general, you might be aware of the idea of “frame perfect” moves that have to be executed precisely on the correct frame of a 30 frame per second game to work. That works out to be about a 33ms window, which people who are extremely good can do on a semi-consistent basis. You dont have to react in 33ms, you have to perform a simple predetermined action (press a button) within a 33ms interval. All that to say that it wouldn’t surprise me at all that people who play pinball at a high level would feel a difference in their play with a variable 1-5ms flipper delay.
Just seeing what other tournament players thought about this. Should these games be dropped from serious competitive play? Or is the delay too minor? At what point would a variable flipper delay like this become enough to warrant considering not using the game in major competitons?