Originally Posted by Granpa_jo
I've been on a hiatus for just under 2 years now, dealing with personal issues and even before I went on hiatus I hadn't bought any new gear in at least 2 years, and I just got on a few shopping venues and it looks to me like its all the same old stuff. I know that some of the higher end markers have had at least one "new" version come out in that time, but everything else is pretty much the same.
Once was a time we'd see a few new products coming out each year, a new mask, a new marker model, new hoppers, whatever. I look now and see that the I4 is the latest mask out for their line since 2008. Tippmann X7, 2010.
Then I look at the news section here, and I don't see much of anything.
Am I just missing all the cool stuff, or are companies just kind of floating by now trying to milk what they can before closing shop?
I think it really depends on how you are looking at it. If you look at the tournament side of paintball, from a performance standpoint it hit a peak well before you even got out. From a product standpoint new products weren't a sign of industry growth but, rather trying to sell folks guns and equipment that didn't significantly perform better than previous years (new styling, etc). There were improvements, just nothing that tangible within the limits of a single match (i.e. weight, efficiency, size, etc).
If you look at the recreational side of paintball, from a performance standpoint it's largely been the same except there was a clear performance improvement: Range and Accuracy due to the First Strike Round. In this side, there have been an explosion of new products. For example, in 2010Tippmann released the Phenom (not just another X7 but, a completely new engine), then they released the TPX/TiPX, and in 2012, the Crossover (phenom engine in a tourney style body). Several company's have come forward with guns designed to fire first strike rounds (not just 'capable' like the Empire Traccer) just this year: RAP4, Carmatech, CCM, MILSIG, Spyder, Dye. And Tiberius Arms is getting ready to release a true 2nd generation FS gun (the T15). All of these products also align with an increased interest (at least on the southern side of the Canadian border) in mag-fed or milsim play.