This is interesting:
QUOTE (From Harry's review)Tactical Racing
Carrera is also releasing a PIT LANE feature to this system and that added effect is what they have dubbed "Tactical Racing". The pit lane feature will add another element to the racing by forcing you to stop for "fuel". If you don't get to pit lane on time your car will begin to slow down. Since the pit lane will only accept one car at a time, it forces you to time your pit stop correctly against other racers.
A few points:
It is an interesting article. I'm sure that Carrera will sell plenty of oval sets to our American friends, but the format will not be too popular here. I don't see the tactical point of changing lanes half way down the main straight.
If the future is digital, this is an indication of the divide between brands to come. Right now Carrera cars work on my track. In a year or two... I'm not sure if they will.
Something I remember from the test layout at the Toy Fair: Every time I took a photo, the LC mechanism would activate. I wonder if taking photos at a race would create some upsets?
The comments by Kurt Moser are informing too. It seems that it can still give allot of fun and ends up being slightly addictive. He affirms that there is a great deal of carnage and that for people who like to keep their cars in good shape, analogue racing is not quite dead yet.
Good point about staying away from the opposition, that`s part of the game currently with certain drivers so it`s not like it`s a different issue. It matters when you try to make your move...as it should do.
A couple of quotes seem to neatly condense what hit me as the main gist of both reports.
QUOTE With 3 or 4 cars on the track you can literally drive them flat out without ever letting up on the throttle.
QUOTE We saw bone-jarring hits that would have reduced most slot cars to bits of high-velocity plastic shrapnel. We saw repeatedly that sometimes the fastest way around the track was either under or through the opposition.
This appears to be the exact opposite of what many pro-digi enthusiasts have been proclaiming to be the primary advantage of these systems, which is rather curious. While I am delighted to have well written reports available (thanks chaps - genuinely), I find the conclusions very disappointing, seeming to confirm what I have always suspected.
the 'flat out' bit seems a bit confusing - the cars dont have enough power to come of on the bends?
The main thing that all the reports on digital I have seen, which really is the main thing - is that it is STACKS of fun! it might not meet pre-conceived ideas of what slot racing 'should be', but people who try it LIKE it and want more of it... surely that is the crux of these and other reviews? Or should you deny yourself fun because that is NOT what slot racing is about?
With respect, no, I don't think the views of a tiny minority of enthusiasts with only very short term experience is the crux at all. It would seem that some people simply like smashing cars, but that novelty won't last long.
"Lots of fun" can be had for a short period, doing many things and there are always a few people who will rave about anything new, whatever it is, without ever looking to the long term. Strangely, one rarely reads ANY counterbalancing argument in such reviews, thus projecting a very unbalanced view. Did absolutely no one have anything negative to say?
I fully expect a short term escalation in sales, based purely on novelty value and one-upmanship, helped by major reases just before Christmas, when many parents will buy 'little johnny' just about anything when they can't think of anything better and digital will be the 'in thing' . . . for a while.
Digital success or failure isn't about "pre-conceived ideas of what slot racing 'should be'", its about what 40 odd years of history should have taught people regarding what retains staying power and what doesn't. It's quite hard to think of any 'bright new idea' in slots that has survived and there have been plenty over the years.
Ahhhh I see what you are saying - digital is a backwards step and a failure, but we won't see the evidence of how rubbish it is until the year 2044? But at that point it will be obvious that the people who thought they were enjoying themselves were just kidding themselves
AFAIK Astro's right : I have never seen a post anywhere denying that digital is "lots of fun"
Where you have a point, of course, is about "staying power" - but even before digital, 90% plus of slot sales were one-off events, so where's the problem ?
I believe we should face once more the harsh truth : "we" are not and have never been the marketing target for the Majors - if there's enough disposable income around to support mass sales of high priced, short lifetime crash-and-bash toy car sets, so be it - it doesn't really matter whether it's level crossings or digital
So, it's really a matter of wanting to take advantage of this situation : in the past, we have profited from the fortuitous availability of cheap, aesthetically pleasing car bodies, and made them perform sort of well by adding aftermarket components
Today, it's the same : commercial digital can be adapted to our purposes (kindly vide my earlier post) - the different systems are a nuisance, we'll have to be patient a bit more and wait for the outcome of the SSD vs. Ninco slugfest
I believe this is inevitable as long as slot racing remains a niche hobby, content of the occasional back page in a RC magazine - but that's another story.....
My opinion of Digital has changed since first exposure, especially after racing on a decent sized layout. With reference to crashing, it depends on who you race, after spending a night racing with Julian (Slik) and his mate, we got to the point where we were racing each other tactically, including tailgating without contact and blocking (great fun!) to planning overtaking moves.
To be honest I don't think it would be that far off the mark to say; that we were crashing no more on Digital than when we race on Slik's permanent track.
However, I wouldn't go so far to say that Scalextric F1's would be my first choice to race though, (too fast and fragile) although for any reasonably robust cars no hesitation, like Harry mentioned in his review the Carrera Nascar's are a good choice.
Digital, I think is excellent and I would be happy to race on either Digital or Standard in the future, both are great fun in there own right.
Tropi makes some good points, and as I said, "traditional" slot car racing will never go away...at least that is my opinion. I do hope that all of these companies do not forget about our curent hobby. So far, SOME of them still manage to concentrate just as much on regular racing...
And your right, no one really had anything bad to say...they were having fun so there wasn't much to complain about. Yes it was a short term fun factor...but still no complaints.
Does that mean all of them planned on getting into digital racing? No, course not.
While some raced digital, both of our "old" Artin 4 laners were buzzing with racers. A few of them said that if I kept the digital track up, that they would most likely get a car to race on it when they visited.
In a way that reminds me of the R/C racers I dealt with when I worked with Hobbytown. These guys were at a high competive level in that hobby and traveled the country racing.
However, a few of them had other R/C interests. They built tanks, ships, submarines and planes. They were in a R/C club designed for military modeling. They enjoyed R/C....not just racing but other aspects of it. Their main focus was of course the racing....But every once in awhile they did something different.
I know racers who are all about 1/32nd scale...but every once in awhile A HO scale T-Jet race comes up...and, well, they are in it.
Maybe digital racing will be like this for some in the hobby? A diversion? Something different?
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