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Operators Appreciate Low Price And High Reliability Of Coastal's Nexus Countertop, Praise Company's Service

Posted On: 11/28/2006

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LAKEWOOD, NJ -- Operators who have tried the Nexus touchscreen countertop video game system from Coastal Amusements praise the product for performing reliably and earning well -- up to 20% better than other brands, say some operators.

But operators make no bones about their favorite feature: the price. The base price for Nexus is as low as $2,295 to the operator, with an Imonex coin mech and bill validator included.

"With the price they're offering, 30% cheaper than the competition, it's a no-brainer," said Ozzie Williams of Coin Op Amusements (Buffalo, NY). "The bottom line is how much the machine costs. I appreciate that updates are free, too. It's about time these companies finally listened to the operator. We've been asking for more reasonably priced equipment for years."

Free game updates help make the Nexus system affordable and profitable even for "B" and "C" locations, said Coastal executive vice-president Sal Mirando.

Nexus reflects Coastal's strategic decision to compete in the countertop and touchscreen sector on the basis of price advantage. The Nexus system made its trade show debut at AMOA Expo after starting shipping to distributors in June.

"We've been getting very good reception from operators," Mirando said. "The piece earns weekly as much as our competitors, on average, and in some cases a great deal more. And, based on ROI, it's performing much better because the operator can buy our base model for $2,295 plus free upgrades. As we say, do the math."

Nexus runs on the open architecture Linux-based operating system with a 40-gigabyte hard drive that provides ample memory for an extensive library of real-time, full-motion video clips with extensive graphics detail. Full-motion video in this case means that the video scanning frequency is equivalent to 24 frames per second, the standard for theatrical motion picture display.

So far, 15 gigs of memory have been utilized for the games themselves and for video clips associated with two games. With Poker Strip Show, skillful card players can choose to watch dancers from a menu of 50 to 60 performers. Each clip runs up to 60 seconds long. The Video Jigsaw Puzzle game also uses full motion video clips.

It also offers a wider range of colors than may be achieved through a flash memory system, said Mirando.

Nexus is offered in three configurations. S-Zero, branded as Slingo based on the popular game of that name, contains Slingo and seven additional games. The first-level upgrade, called S1, offers additional games without Slingo. The second-level upgrade, S2, offers an even wider menu.

The base model (S-Zero) can be upgraded to the other two models for an additional cost, using a kit. Coastal said this scheme ensures maximum flexibility, allowing an operator to make a minimal initial investment yet preserve his option to place a superior product if a location warrants it.

Mirando stressed that the full Nexus menu includes as many as 50 games, each of which is a unique title, rather than multiple variations on poker or other similar card games. Titles include a wide range of licensed properties, original concepts and remakes of popular older games.

The lightweight cabinet includes a 17-in. LCD with 3M Microtouch touchscreen, an Imonex coin acceptor and a standard Money Controls bill acceptor that takes $1 to $20 bills. An upgrade path to MEI bill acceptors is available at an additional cost.

Although Nexus is aggressively priced, Coastal is also working with Firestone Financial Corp. to offer an attractive finance package . Mirando said the reasons for this "belt and suspenders" approach are both obvious and compelling.

"Everyone knows the touchscreen countertop market has matured," he said. "It's not new anymore. As with every other game including golf simulators, it peaks, then levels out. Today, it's still a staple offering good, steady income -- but not what it was 10 years ago.

"So we decided to offer three different models, to give operators who don't need all the bells and whistles an option to buy a solid product with a great price and appealing financing," Mirado said. "Even when the operator has a location that is crying for a new game -- a venue that does not really deserve one, from an ROI point of view -- the operator can now afford to give that location a new machine before somebody else does."

Mirando said that the traditional industry spirit and identity of Coastal Amusements itself should be a factor in the operator's buying decision.

"Ask around the industry, and I have the confidence to say I don't think you'll find a company that appreciates its customers more than Coastal, or offers better customer service and support. After 20 years in business, Coastal is still owned and operated by traditional coin machine people."

Operator Ozzie Williams endorsed that sentiment: "If I need any tech support, they're right there, but we've had zero problems. Nexus is a nice, durable, reliable, no-frills machine. I'm very pleased and I plan on buying more Coastal countertops."

Donald Step of Step Amusement (Lexington, NC) purchased four units last summer and reports reliable earnings of $200 per week on average.

"Nexus is very dependable; so far we've had no technical trouble out of any of them," said Step. "The players say they like the variety of new games that they haven't seen on other machines. We will buy two or three more very soon."

More information is available from Coastal Amusements Inc., 1935 Swathmore Ave., Lakewood, NJ 08701; (732) 905-6662;