Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A new era - How is it coming along?

There are news going around the paintball industry about a complete restructure of the sport. These news are common and they are usually released towards the end of the year when a new product is about to launch... usually get someone stepping out from the crowd stating a new industry for the new year... and we have all witnessed these before... when Sup'Air introduced inflatable bunkers, hyperball went into extinction, when autocockers were introduced, pump fans got very disturbed, when speed feeds were introduced, everyone when into speed feed system. We all know about a marker that "talks", it will be soon when this becomes a default feature for all markers.

Well, if you classify them into categories, you will realized that while some are minor changes, some simply change the whole industry forever. There was a time when everyone was playing 5 men games when someone came up with the idea of playing 7 men, then there is X ball and now a race to format by the PSP. Its always changing, changing and changing... but never once has anything come this close, the introduction of 0.5 caliber paintballs.

Last year, Kingman Training came up with the 0.43 caliber. It was radical, it was revolutionary... but it does seem to capture the hearts of the audience, as Singaporeans would call it, the next BOOMzz... 1 year later, Chasers and Erasers are still the "fun" thing but that's all it is.

Richmond Italia, inventor of the Xball came up with the idea of introducing the new 0.5 caliber paintball, he calls it "Paintball 2.0". Well... you have just seen 0.43, now you are introducing 0.5... maybe by tomorrow someone will introduce the 0.53 and so on and so on. But hey! If you say its "Paintball 2.0", show us!!!

This "new" invention is said to be cheaper, smaller, lesser impact, travels further... breaks better than 0.68 and yet has lesser fills in it. Unbelievable!!! A new technology it is... there are even talks about manufacturers producing 0.5 caliber markers, well... G.I Milsim showed us 2 models in the November issue of FACEFULL. We have heard of an Eclipse 0.5 caliber kit in the making. Procaps are part of this project... so is Smartparts, the big leagues such as PSP, Millenium, USPL (renamed NPPL)... so maybe, maybe this is a reality. It is true than there is "Paintball 2.0"!!!

So how is this going to affect everyone? With cheaper paint cost, it will be stupid for manufacturers/operators not to change their markers from 0.68 to 0.5. More storage space, cheaper shipping cost, more paint sales, etc. Paintballers will have lesser to carry... lighter paintballs, smaller markers, its cheaper so shooting more than usual, etc. But wait! With this change means new markers! Paintball markers are not cheap to begin with, so to get everyone (and we are talking about millions) to change from 0.68 to 0.5, I say another 2 - 3 years of transition? We'll see...