Williams Pinball Controller

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Williams Pinball Controller (WPC) is an arcade system board platform used for several pinball games designed by Williams and Midway (under the Bally name) between 1990 and early 1999. It is the successor to their earlier System 11 hardware (High Speed, Pin*Bot, Black Knight 2000). It was succeeded by Williams/Midway's Pinball 2000 platform, before Williams left the pinball business in October 1999.[1][2]

FunHouse (designed by Pat Lawlor) was the first production game to use WPC, although there are prototype Dr. Dude machines that use WPC.

Hardware info[edit]

WPC systems contain several separate printed circuit boards that are characterized by:[3]

  • Main CPU: Motorola 6809 at 2 MHz, 8 KB of RAM, and between 128 KB and 1 MB of EPROM for the game program
  • WPC ASIC: Williams-proprietary 68-pin PLCC custom chip that implements functions like address decoding, real time clock, and watchdog
  • Sound CPU: Motorola 6809 (Pre-DCS), Analog Devices ADSP2105 (DCS)
  • Sound chips (Pre-DCS): Yamaha YM2151, MP7524JN 8-bit-DAC, Harris HC55536 CVSD
  • Operating system: APPLE OS (created by Williams, not related to the company Apple, but "Advanced Pinball Programming Logic Executive")


There are six variations of the WPC hardware. The original version is sometimes referred to as WPC-89. The WPC MPU remained the same through all generation up to the addition of the security chip in WPC-S, and then the subsequent WPC-95 board. The variations are as follows:

WPC (Alphanumeric)[edit]

Some Dr. Dude machines were also made using this WPC generation, although most were still made using the System 11 board.

WPC (Dot Matrix)[edit]

Terminator 2: Judgment Day was the first to be designed with a dot matrix display, but was released after Gilligan's Island, due to Terminator 2 having a longer development time than Gilligan's Island. This generation WPC hardware was also used in the SlugFest 1991 baseball card dispenser game,[4] in the Hot Shot basketball game (designed 1991, produced 1994),[5] as well as in the first shuffle alley game Strike Master,[6] 1991.

WPC (Fliptronics)[edit]

The Addams Family was the only game produced with the Fliptronics I board, which is compatible with Fliptronics II boards, which added a bridge rectifier for the flipper voltage.

WPC (DCS)[edit]

Twilight Zone was designed to be the first pinball machine to use the new DCS system, but due to delays of the new hardware design it was decided to release it on the old hardware (using downsampled sound effects) instead. The redemption game Addams Family Values also used the DCS Sound System.

WPC-S (Security)[edit]

Starting with World Cup Soccer, a security programmable integrated circuit (PIC) chip was added to the CPU board in all WPC-S games at location U22. This PIC chip was game specific making it so CPU boards could not be swapped between different models without changing the security PIC chip.


In this final revision of the WPC hardware, the dot matrix controller and the DCS sound boards are combined into a single A/V board, while the Power/Driver and the Fliptronics boards are combined into a single Power/Driver board, bringing the board count down to three boards. It also includes the same game-specific security PIC introduced in the WPC-Security system.

This generation WPC hardware was also used in the ticket redemption game Ticket Tac Toe, March 1996,[7] the token payout game Phantom Haus, 1996,[8] and the shuffle alley game League Champ, 1996.[9]


  1. ^ "The Internet Pinball Machine Database". www.ipdb.org. Retrieved 2022-07-30.
  2. ^ "Williams WPC - PinWiki". pinwiki.com. Retrieved 2022-07-30.
  3. ^ "Williams WPC Technical Info - PinWiki". pinwiki.com. Retrieved 2022-08-28.
  4. ^ "Internet Pinball Machine Database: Williams 'SlugFest (First Model)'". www.ipdb.org. Retrieved 2022-07-30.
  5. ^ "Internet Pinball Machine Database: Midway 'Hot Shot'". www.ipdb.org. Retrieved 2022-07-30.
  6. ^ "The Arcade Flyer Archive - Arcade Game Flyers: Strike Master Shuffle Alley, Williams Electronic Games, Inc. WMS". flyers.arcade-museum.com. Retrieved 2022-07-30.
  7. ^ "Internet Pinball Machine Database: Williams 'Ticket Tac Toe'". www.ipdb.org. Retrieved 2022-07-30.
  8. ^ "Internet Pinball Machine Database: Williams 'Phantom Haus'". www.ipdb.org. Retrieved 2022-07-30.
  9. ^ "The Arcade Flyer Archive - Arcade Game Flyers: League Champ Shuffle Alley, Williams Electronic Games, Inc. WMS". flyers.arcade-museum.com. Retrieved 2022-07-30.

External links[edit]