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Opinions on Harmony

Posted by Hogan, 19 March 2018 · 283 views

I have a question for those of you who code homebrews: What is your opinion on the Harmony Cartridge? I found out about it yesterday(3/18/18) and took interest in getting one so I could play Princess Rescue and DK VCS along with other Homebrews using the Binaries acquired from the website, but, I want to support the homebrew scene by purchasing physical Homebrew games from the AA store. My question(s) for you guys is: what is your Opinion on Harmony? Would it be better to purchase the physical games when possible or save money and just get Harmony? 

Buy harmony and send money to authors of binaries if you truly want to support the homebrew scene.

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Good idea

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If you can - do both. The Harmony cart is a great convenience for playing the 2600 library. I use it for playing games I don't own, testing homebrews that are in development, and even playing games that I do own, but may not want to dig out of their boxes.


But - a lot of time, effort and money goes into producing homebrew releases - even beyond the countless hours the programmers put into authoring them. Printing boxes, manuals, labels, assembling circuit boards, even running the AtariAge store, all take a lot of work, and the cost is all up-front. If people stop buying the physical releases, at some point, it won't be worth producing them anymore. I know a lot of the appeal to programmers is having that physical cartridge and manual produced for their games, and they get a great deal of satisfaction seeing them in the hands of people who really appreciate and enjoy them. It's not about the money (which is minimal anyway).


Ideally, the Harmony is part of someone's homebrew collection (itself being a homebrew project). Not a substitute for it. Sure - not everyone can buy every homebrew that comes out. But for the ones you can - I'd highly recommend it.


It makes the programmers feel the totality of their work is being appreciated.

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Also those homebrew games not released as free or paid ROMs won't be playable with a Harmony cartridge unless someone rips the ROM content, which would be circumventing protection and illegal business. Sometimes an early dev version or a demo version of a game might be released as a ROM but the full version is only available on cartridge.

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January 2019

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