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Slot City
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I realise there is already a thread on this, but thought people would be interested in the official press release in English:

QUOTE NINCO TO LAUNCH DIGITAL TRACK IN 2005

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COMPATIBILITY AND RELIABILITY WITH THE NINCO GUARANTEE

NINCO will launch its digital slot car and track system in 2005. With NINCO Digital, hobbyists can reproduce the most realistic race settings, by competing with several cars at the same time on traditional two-lane tracks. In this way NINCO, the absolute leader in slot clubs and permanent tracks, answers a growing concern of hobbyists.

"For us, announcing the upcoming launch of our digital system is a matter of responsibility toward our clients and users." As the leading manufacturer of 1:32 and 1:24 tracks, we needed to assess this possibility. We had been asked for it for some time, but we did not start work on it until our market studies gave us the key to defining the project precisely. In deference to our followers, and breaking with the standard of discretion that characterizes the launch of new products, we can now say that the NINCO digital system will soon be a reality", declares David Cosculluela, General Director of NINCO.

The NINCO Digital project is being carried out by a certain internal team, which has worked on the fundamental principle of compatibility in order to offer a new alternative in slot racing entertainment, using the rich array of tracks and vehicles developed by NINCO in its more than ten years of 1:32 model-making.

David Cosculluela describes NINCO's Digital project as "one more step toward offering hobbyists the most options for entertainment. It does not mean a break with the past, but rather a broadening of the slot spectrum, to be able to choose simply and using your regular track, whether you want a traditional race or a digital one today."

Throughout its entire path in the industry, NINCO has always reflected an absolute conviction of the need to offer the greatest compatibility among its products in order to expand the popularity of this hobby and to take the utmost care of its clients.

With this clear philosophy, Eduard Nin, founding partner and President of the company, has taken the lead in the Digital project "with the same hope as when we planned our tracks, in order to offer a technologically superior product with clear practical advantages for the user. Our tracks are easy to assemble, compatible and the connections are 100% reliable, not only because we try to do our job well but because we believe that it is the only way for the slot hobbyist to get the most enjoyment out of this hobby and stay with us for many years. We would say the same about our cars and our constant pursuit of innovation. That is how our Digital system will be."

Given the project's complexity, NINCO will offer no more details about it until a new official press release is deemed appropriate.

Jon,
Slot City.
 

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With a preface of "I love and use Ninco track", the only thing I want to disagree with there is the "most options" comment. Where's a 22.5degree r1 and r2 curve? Are the curve switchovers out yet, and can you promise a 50% cut in that way overpriced MSRP for them?

Nin "at least we don't have banked curves" co

pupkick
 

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Aside from all the trumpet blowing (if I was to blow trumpets in this manner then words would be said!
) it still begs the question as to why make an announcement when they actually have no product to announce? (well is doesn't really as it smacks of taking panic measures and an attempt to influence the buying patterns of slot car enthusiasts)

Hornby Scalextric have indicated that their development with their partners has already taken 2 years and it was 18 months into the development before an announcement was made. If Ninco have only just realised that their customers want digital systems then it could be 2006 before we see anything concrete available.

Remember that it was Nuremburg February 2003 when SCX and Carrera made announcements and had working prototypes on display and we have still to see product on the shelves in the UK.

Its almost as if they are waiting to take a Scalextric Digital set apart before they commence their own development!


And remember that those manufacturers who already have digital in the shops will have developed the systems further by the time of the Ninco release. (oh yes, there is a lot more on the horizon!
)


Moped
 

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DT
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I think that this is par for the course. Ninco don't want to loose out and they don't want their existing customers to switch brands. It could be done in a year especially with a few other systems now in production to look at for inspiration.
 

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Hehe, think about it.

Scx Carrera Scalex are all going to have there individual problems, Ninco can see these and make sure that theirs doesnt have it so there's will be the best system.

Nice one Ninco!

But Digital just isnt going to work like you lot think so end of mass debate hehe
 

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Julius Wilkko
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Hi!

I agree with moped. If NINCO really is just starting design and construction of digital from scratch - it may be that they don't have anything ready for the market until 2006. Maybe even 4th quarter of 2006 is optimistic.

Julius
 

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Why make a claim? As Moped asks, I will spell it out.

Sclaextric and Carrera made claims that they were designing digital products long before they were released. This anouncement of intent has affected my and I am sure many other people's decision on whether to buy SCX.

If there had been no comment, and we were all under the impression SCX was the ONLY digital product, more people would have bought in, SCX would have more money for product development etc.

Same goes for Ninco. Now that they have made a commitment, fans of Ninco may wait for this release, if they have patience. It will adversely affect scalextric sales because I know that ninco fans here were under the impression that ninco were planning NOT to do digital. Now some may wait.

Furthermore, it makes more sense to wait, since there will be the awareness that Ninco will be able to learn from any mistakes Scalextric and Carrera (and SCX) make. So it might be the best system of all.

All in all , a fantastic decision to make the announcement. They lose the lead of others having products on the shelves ahead of them, but they minimise the damage done by this.
 

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One more point: many of speed tracks erected in Spain (say 80%) are Ninco. After Carrera digital product, and Scalex digital ready to buy, a massive club track replacement could be warned by Ninco. At this poind, there are two ways: leave digital world and see how a percentage of ninco tracks are dismanled, or make a quick announcement without anything in mind but promising compatibility and make clubs run into doubt.

IMHO, this seems a shout to all Ninco users saying "Wait! don't replace your track, we will do something digital for you". Of course is up to us to buy wrong digital system now or wait until Ninco Digital and buy wrong system, because doesn't matter which one you buy it will be wrong system since there is no compatibility agreement between systems. What about Slot DCC?
 

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It is smart of Ninco to make the announcement.
Ninco will offer the only system that gives the posibility to run a traditional or a digital race on the same system! That's clever!

I intended to switch to Scalextric, but now I will wait for Ninco.

jan willem

www.SlotcarAcademy.com
 

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This is actually a great opportunity for Ninco to assist in the creation of a world standard for slot car digital.

Surely the only truely compatible system (which they claim to be wanting to offer) is one where Scalextric digital chipped cars will run on the Ninco digital system and Ninco digital chipped cars will run on the Scalextric system.

Further it should be possible to combine Ninco and Scalextric track and lane switching and control systems. This is a truely compatible system setting a world standard and would certainly leave SCX and Carrera digital for dust.

It would also mean that Scalextric and Ninco could develope digital accessories without their being any overlap. Ninco for example could produce a control tower which could be integrated within a mainly Scalextric digital operation and Scalextric could produce computer software which could be integrated within a mainly Ninco digital system.

How can they claim to be producing a truely "compatible" system if their final product is only going to work with an all Ninco set up.

Of course it is up to Ninco and Scalextric to co-operate on this and do you think they are going to?


And to those who claim that the Ninco system will be the best, what would be your basis for this claim?
Ninco electronic platforms in the past have not been that reliable whereas Hornby Scalextric have a good track record and a history of development under their belt and a number of production partners.

Given that most folk here want a world standard with compatibility and given that most sensible folk here and on other websites agree that Scalextric already appear to have offered this, how much extra can Ninco add to the standard?


And for that reason why would it make sense to wait? Maybe if you are a club running Ninco track but if you are already a Scalextric convert....

And I also cannot understand why folk such as Astro are suggesting that Scalextric may be making mistakes and that Ninco will be able to learn?
Last is not always best and Scalextric have a 40 year history of inovation.

And it is very interesting that Intergrale and one or two others here are suddenly more positive about digital. From a position of being very anti-digital the pendulum has almost in an instant swung in the other direction. That attitude does not give a very good impression and it is very clear to the independent minded person what the true agenda of certain individuals is (to stir). But of course this is the nature of message boards and those types of individual exist on every board!



Moped
 

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Scalextric are daring and innovative, and almost by definition, they do make mistakes:

Newmarket slot horse racing?

MotoGP? (they realised they need weights, now have responded)

Scalextric monitor forums and slot fans to see what they have done right and what they have done wrong. They are a great company not because they don't make mistakes, but because they learn from their mistakes.

Ninco COULD have an advantage (not 'will' have an advantage) because they will have a greater pool of knowledge of other designs AND user response to these ideas at a much earlier stage of development. With something as different as digital racing, this sort of market research BEFORE you start making fundamental decisions like what decoder chip and digital protocol is INVALUABLE. You can make something much better by incorperating design issues at a fundamental level of the product design that others will find expensive or impossible to sort out. (EG - SCX's decision to change lanes with the guide - if they now feel that making their track compatible with analogue SCX track and make it possible to produce a kit to adapt other cars for a tenner, how?)

PS - Ninco claim complete compatibility, so do scalextric. Depending on what each of the manufacturers mean by 'complete', it is uncertain which is better
 

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Fair comment Astro on the daring and innovation front. I can see where you are coming from.

QUOTE Ninco claim complete compatibility, so do scalextric. Depending on what each of the manufacturers mean by 'complete', it is uncertain which is better

At least Scalextric make it very clear and are up front with the information so there can be no doubt. A Ninco car will run on a Scalextric digital circuit.

The Ninco statement leaves me with the impression that they have yet to make up their mind how compatible their system is to be. The constant references to "their clients" and "their users" does make me wonder.

I do have strong and genuine suspicion that we won't know any more until after Scalextric Digital is on the shelves.



Moped
 

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For crying out loud, Mope. Read the threads properly before you start typing.

QUOTE But Digital just isnt going to work like you lot think so end of mass debate hehe

What part of this statement makes you think Inte is "...suddenly more positive about digital..."

So Ninco are going to do digital, bully for them. I still think the concept soft. No harm in being second to the marketplace though, I thought Betamax came out before VHS?
 

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Further thoughts based on messages elsewhere.

Ninco clearly have a strong club following in Spain and Italy and this may well be their main market. In fact there could be up to 50 times the number of club racers in Spain alone compared to the UK.

Scalextric have a strong home following in the UK and this is definitely their main market.

The initial Scalextric Digital products offered to date clearly have a biase towards the home racer although there is a Digital Pro offering still to come with little information yet about the additional features this will offer, although it should answer those critics of the small size of the liquid crystal display offered initially.

Given that Ninco may well be targeting their products at club racers in the main, what would club racers want to see out of a Ninco Digital system. The big difference could be 4 lane switching and this would definitely make for a more complex system design.


Moped
 

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Scalextric = home racer in UK!

Ninco is probably the leading manufacturer in spain track wise and probably car wise before the slot it things came along.

Moped your making us all go off topic! bloody scalex jibbering again
 

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QUOTE (moped rider @ 25 Jul 2004, 23:21)...Ninco clearly have a strong club following in Spain...
Moped, just to confirm your words, I've been reading the clubs appointed in Slot Adictos club list and here is the result:

Speed tracks:
Ninco: 31 (average, 6-lane 35m)
Wood (Concept, etc.): 5
Carrera: 2
SCX/Superslot: 1

Just to have an idea about how the Digital world might change this.

On the other side, you can reverse the numbers for rally tracks (one Ninco rally track for every 30 SCX/Superslot tracks). But it seems that digital is not focused on such type of race.
 
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