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2016 Flashback speculation thread


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#101 privateers69 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 7, 2016 6:09 PM

The 100 games is the console, 60 games for the handheld. According to the pictures posted earlier.

Edited by privateers69, Thu Jul 7, 2016 6:10 PM.


#102 nosweargamer OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 7, 2016 6:14 PM

So back in Feb, I actually guessed that there might be an Atari portable this year! 

 

I also guessed that we might see new games on the Sega systems from a third party, dreaming of the possibilities with EA.

Could it be, since Konami is working with bringing Frogger to the Atari FB, that we might see some Konami games on the Sega systems this year?

(Contra HC, Castlevania BL, Rocket Knight, Sunset Riders and a version of Frogger? :-D  Probably not TMNT due to licensing. :_( )

 

Of course, I'm also guessing Bill can't make any comments at this time  ;)



#103 privateers69 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 7, 2016 6:31 PM

Double

Edited by privateers69, Thu Jul 7, 2016 6:32 PM.


#104 Bill Loguidice OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 7, 2016 7:29 PM

101 games on the console and 60 on the handheld. Yes, on the handheld paddle- and two player-centric stuff was removed. Of course, for our purposes (the "us" on this board), it could come with zero games and not be a major deal because of the SD card.

 

I can't go into details on the Sega stuff yet. There will be new games on there, but not really third party stuff. There will also be a new feature. We got one press release out today related to the Flashback Classics (finally!), I'm pushing to get the one related to the hardware out soon as well. We aren't revealing the game lists in that press release, but it does speak about some of the new stuff.



#105 Flojomojo OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 7, 2016 7:51 PM

Here are my guesses for the software lineup, based on the list of 100 titles on the Atari Flashback 6 and the additional known game, Frogger.

 

I've crossed off games that I think would be boring/superfluous/unplayable on a single-player portable with a digital controller. Early sports games that were obsoleted by RealSports games aren't needed. 2-player-only games like Combat and paddle-only games like Breakout shouldn't be on here because they'd be literally unplayable. I suspect homebrews and prototypes could be cut out, too. I've left the prettier prototypes in here because of my graphics whoredom bias. 

 

If it were up to me, I would cut super old and primitive things like Air-Sea Battle, because, they're ugly and don't show well. I'd also drop M-Network sports games if I had RealSports. I had both of these groups crossed out but couldn't make it to 60 titles, so they're back in. 

 

Cutting out 41 titles brings us down to the magic 60 number on the box. I assume that 60 games means "60 virtual cartridges," not the "112 video games" as variations and options were advertised on the box of many early Atari games. 

 

The beauty of this device will be that even if our favorites aren't onboard, chances are good that they'll work via the SD card slot. That was certainly the case with the Genesis handheld. Not everything worked, but plenty did, enough to be lots of fun. I love the Parker Brothers and Imagic games on the VCS. 

 

Note that this is pure speculation, I know nothing and am just a fan who is more interested in this than most people. Also, my count might be off because I'm pretty lazy and not very smart. 

 

  • Atari:
    01 3D Tic-Tac-Toe
    02 Adventure
    03 Adventure II
    04 Air·Sea Battle
    05 Aquaventure
    06 Asteroids
    07 Backgammon
    08 Basketball
    09 Black Jack
    10 Bowling
    11 Breakout
    12 Canyon Bomber
    13 Centipede
    14 Championship Soccer
    15 Circus Atari
    16 Combat
    17 Combat Two

    18 Crystal Castles
    19 Demons to Diamonds
    20 Desert Falcon
    21 Dodge 'Em
    22 Double Dunk <-- not sure if this or RealSports Basketball would be cut. We probably don't need 2 basketball games, and we certainly don't need 3
    23 Fatal Run
    24 Flag Capture
    25 Football
    26 Frog Pond
    27 Front Line
    28 Fun with Numbers
    29 Golf
    30 Gravitar
    31 Hangman
    32 Haunted House
    33 Home Run
    34 Human Cannonball
    35 Jungle Hunt
    36 Maze Craze
    37 Miniature Golf
    38 Missile Command
    39 Millipede
    40 Night Driver
    41 Off-the-Wall
    42 Outlaw
    43 Polaris  <--- Bill, I think this should be Solaris, which is my favorite 2600 game
    44 Pong (Video Olympics)
    45 Realsports Baseball
    46 Realsports Basketball
    47 Realsports Soccer
    48 Realsports Volleyball
    49 Return to Haunted House (uses Adventure's source code and graphics)
    50 Saboteur
    51 Save Mary
    52 Sky Diver
    53 Slot Machine
    54 Slot Racers
    55 Space Invaders <-- this is actually the ARCADE version
    56 Space War
    57 Sprintmaster
    58 Star Ship
    59 Steeplechase
    60 Stellar Track
    61 Street Racer
    62 Submarine Commander
    63 Super Baseball
    64 Super Breakout
    65 Super Football
    66 Surround
    67 Swordquest: Earthworld
    68 Swordquest: Fireworld

    69 Tempest
    70 Video Checkers
    71 Video Chess

    72 Video Pinball
    73 Wizard
    74 Warlords
    75 Yars' Revenge

  •  

    Frogger <-- new version for 2016

    M Network:
    01 Air Raiders
    02 Armor Ambush
    03 Astroblast
    04 Dark Cavern
    05 International Soccer
    06 Super Challenge Baseball
    07 Super Challenge Football
    08 Space Attack
    09 Star Strike
    10 Sea Battle
    11 Frogs and Flies
    12 Sword Fight

     

    Homebrews:
    01 Chase It
    02 Escape It
    03 Miss It
    04 Shield Shifter
    05 Strip Off



#106 Flojomojo OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 7, 2016 7:57 PM

101 games on the console and 60 on the handheld. Yes, on the handheld paddle- and two player-centric stuff was removed. Of course, for our purposes (the "us" on this board), it could come with zero games and not be a major deal because of the SD card.

 

I can't go into details on the Sega stuff yet. There will be new games on there, but not really third party stuff. There will also be a new feature. We got one press release out today related to the Flashback Classics (finally!), I'm pushing to get the one related to the hardware out soon as well. We aren't revealing the game lists in that press release, but it does speak about some of the new stuff.

 

Agreed on the Atari lineup. The thought occurred to me while poring over the existing list, "who cares? I'm not playing from the ROM, I'll be loading from the SD card." Still, having good stuff on the box helps with sales. You should lose the Tempest VCS game, because despite the name, it looks like underpants. 

 

I saw your Armchair Arcade press release about the Flashback Classics and was disappointed it wasn't about the handheld which is 2600% more exciting to me. Roll on, October!

 

New feature, eh? Save states on the Genesis handheld would be a system-seller for me and probably many others. We could do without the 40 spam games on there, they should be Genesis only in my opinion. Wireless multiplayer would be neat but seems like it would be harder to implement than save states. I hope it's save states. Did I mention I'd like save states on there?



#107 Bill Loguidice OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 7, 2016 9:09 PM

This is actually the link to the Flashback 6 game list: http://armchairarcad...cial-game-list/

 

I haven't bothered to double-check, but I'm pretty sure for the 7 it's the same list plus Frogger.

 

Sword Fight wouldn't be on the handheld because that's a two player only game. The other guesses are pretty good overall.

 

I can tell you that save states are not in this year's Sega hardware, but that's good thinking for 2017 if they end up moving those products to a next gen hardware platform. It's a pretty good feature that's added for this year, but only affects a few of the games that will be included. I've already said too much... ;-)



#108 Inky OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 7, 2016 9:14 PM

 

I can tell you that save states are not in this year's Sega hardware, but that's good thinking for 2017 if they end up moving those products to a next gen hardware platform. It's a pretty good feature that's added for this year, but only affects a few of the games that will be included. I've already said too much... ;-)

Sonic and Knuckles being able to virtually piggyback Sonic 2 and 3?



#109 FifthPlayer OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 7, 2016 10:29 PM

I've crossed off games that I think would be boring/superfluous/unplayable on a single-player portable with a digital controller.

  • 36 Maze Craze

 

 

I'm pretty sure Maze Craze is a two-player game, or at least it really needs two people in order to have an interesting game.  You can probably cross it off the list.



#110 Atariboy OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 8, 2016 3:18 AM

Maze Craze can be fun solo. I bet it's on there.

 

The portable unit intrigues me but these things almost never show up here in Canada, at least my area of Southern Ontario.

 

Ever cross the border into New York State or whatever is closest to you? Dollar General always carries these each Fall and there seems like there's one on every street corner at times.

 

So drive 5 minutes after you cross and you'll likely find a Dollar General with them in stock when the day comes. :)

 

I see that the person who posted it is a Dollar Tree store manager. That chain has a long history with selling AtGames stuff.

 

I think you meant Dollar General. Dollar Tree is a dollar store and doesn't typically stock items over $1.

 

Yes, it's a portable Atari Flashback with SD card support. 

 

 

I was betting on this. Nice to see it not only confirmed, but even better than I'd of guessed thanks to the SD slot. :)
 
Any chance they've improved the emulator this year? It has been far from perfect so far, such as my favorite example with Battlezone where the radar is virtually broken. Granted I haven't been able to test that example out in recent Flashbacks, but you've spoken like there has been no emulator changes in recent releases so I'd imagine the bugged radar remains in the latest model were Battlezone able to be played on it. 

 

There's also TV out, although like with the Sega product, you have to purchase the cable separately. 

 
 
Never had one of those. Is the cable proprietary or will a standard RCA cable suffice? Edit: Nevermind, a visit to the AtGames store gave me my answer
 
I'd love to see the SD slot migrate to the console counterparts eventually. Hope that's possibly in the cards. 

Edited by Atariboy, Fri Jul 8, 2016 4:05 AM.


#111 Flojomojo OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 8, 2016 4:21 AM

Yes, you're right --- Dollar General is the one. I don't have that store within an hour's drive so I can never remember the name.

Atari sold off Battlezone in their last bankruptcy filing so it won't be on this thing -- problem "solved." I wonder how usable the radar will be on a small screen? I guess we will find out when we load the ROM. Maybe someone will be able to mod the ROM to make it work better. Until then, hopefully we can still play Robot Tank.

#112 Bill Loguidice OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 8, 2016 6:55 AM

 

Any chance they've improved the emulator this year? It has been far from perfect so far, such as my favorite example with Battlezone where the radar is virtually broken. Granted I haven't been able to test that example out in recent Flashbacks, but you've spoken like there has been no emulator changes in recent releases so I'd imagine the bugged radar remains in the latest model were Battlezone able to be played on it. 

 

 
I'd love to see the SD slot migrate to the console counterparts eventually. Hope that's possibly in the cards. 

 

 

The hardware is improved on the handheld and the emulator tweaked, but I have not tested if Battlezone is 100% now. Unfortunately, my early test unit has a broken SD card slot.

 

The SD card slot is unlikely on the Genesis console due to the cartridge slot, plus the fact that AtGames sells its own flash cart. However, the Atari Flashback Console has no such slot, obviously, so I'd say that's ripe for such a feature, particularly as they struggle to differentiate that year after year. I'll definitely be suggesting that assuming the Portable is the type of success I think it will be.



#113 bugcatcher88 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 8, 2016 7:49 AM

This is actually the link to the Flashback 6 game list: http://armchairarcad...cial-game-list/

 

I haven't bothered to double-check, but I'm pretty sure for the 7 it's the same list plus Frogger.

 

 

If the list is the same as last year (but now with Frogger), I'm guessing Secret Quest must still be included. I remember reading that Secret Quest on the Flashback 6 wasn't fully playable (no color/BW switch or button). Is there now a work-around to address this for this year's Flashback or has the game been removed again?


Edited by bugcatcher88, Fri Jul 8, 2016 7:56 AM.


#114 Bill Loguidice OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 8, 2016 7:55 AM

 
If the list is the same as last year (but now with Frogger), I'm guessing Secret Quest must still be included. I remember reading that Secret Quest on the Flashback 6 wasn't fully playable (no color/BW switch or button). Is there now a work-around to address this for this year's Flashback or has the game been removed again?


Yes, it's functional through a key combination now on the console, so it really is 101 fully playable games. On the handheld, every switch is accounted for so there's no need for the button combo method.

#115 sdamon OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 8, 2016 8:05 AM

The SD card slot is unlikely on the Genesis console due to the cartridge slot, plus the fact that AtGames sells its own flash cart. However, the Atari Flashback Console has no such slot, obviously, so I'd say that's ripe for such a feature, particularly as they struggle to differentiate that year after year. I'll definitely be suggesting that assuming the Portable is the type of success I think it will be.

 

Glad to hear that!  A Flashback 8 that allowed the use of original controllers (as do Flashbacks 2-7) plus an SD card slot would be very desirable.  As nice as the portable sounds, it clearly won't be usable for paddle or keyboard controller games.



#116 Bill Loguidice OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 8, 2016 8:29 AM

 

Glad to hear that!  A Flashback 8 that allowed the use of original controllers (as do Flashbacks 2-7) plus an SD card slot would be very desirable.  As nice as the portable sounds, it clearly won't be usable for paddle or keyboard controller games.

 

My personal wishlist is to get the consoles on HDMI first and foremost, but yeah, SD card support is a close second. Unfortunately, there are certainly challenges with getting HDMI to work with the technology.



#117 Flojomojo OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 8, 2016 8:40 AM

that's ripe for such a feature, particularly as they struggle to differentiate that year after year. 

 

after year (2013) after year (2014) after year (2015) after year (2016)

 

Thank goodness for the Portable!

 

 

Yes, it's functional through a key combination now on the console, so it really is 101 fully playable games. On the handheld, every switch is accounted for so there's no need for the button combo method.

 

 

I like the inclusion of a black&white/color switch just for old-timey retro purposes, too. I'm glad it's there!



#118 awhite2600 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 8, 2016 11:37 AM

 

All I'll say is it's the next generation of what has been used in previous Atari Flashbacks. It's the usual proprietary stuff. It's actually highly compatible with excellent performance. The only possible disappointment to hardcore fans is that it's not designed to support cartridge images that relied (or rely) on special chips.

 

And yes. SD cards equals playing anything Atari 2600-based that you want, with some aforementioned exceptions. I'm sure there will be some homebrews and maybe even other original titles that don't happen to use special chips or add-ons that may not work as well for whatever reason, but compatibility testing has been good to this point.

 

Bill, how far does the compatibility / emulation go?  You state that special chips are not supported.  I take this mean that there will be no support for the DPC chip in Pitfall II.  What about things like the Super Chip used in some of the later Atari games, RAM+ used by CBS, the complex bankswitching used in BurgerTime, etc?  Are all of the various bankswitching methods (that don't use extra ram or hardware) supported?

 

In theory, all of the above should be possible because the handheld is just running an emulator.  Have certain capabilities (like DPC) been excluded on purpose to keep the original license holders happy?



#119 Flojomojo OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 8, 2016 11:52 AM

Bill, how far does the compatibility / emulation go?  You state that special chips are not supported.  I take this mean that there will be no support for the DPC chip in Pitfall II.  What about things like the Super Chip used in some of the later Atari games, RAM+ used by CBS, the complex bankswitching used in BurgerTime, etc?  Are all of the various bankswitching methods (that don't use extra ram or hardware) supported?

 

I think we can make an educated guess, based on this list of Atari 2600 bankswitching methods. 

 

Crystal Castles uses the Super Chip, Crystal Castles is in the current Flashback 6. 

We can assume that if Crystal Castles is in the Portable, the onboard emulator can run the game equally well from ROM or SD card. 

If it can run Crystal Castles from either place, it can likely run other things with the Super Chip, too. 

 

Atari's 'Super Chip' is nothing more than a 128-byte RAM chip that maps itself in the first 256 bytes of cart memory. (1000-10FFh) 

 

Millipede, Sprintmaster, and Secret Quest are there too. I'd guess with 95% certainty that other games such as Dig-Dug, Dark Chambers and Stargate will work, too. If they don't, well that's just a small subset of what this thing will actually do and my life will go on. 

 

I would think that things like DPC have been excluded to keep things simpler for the emulator developer, not having to emulate a whole chip just to support a single game. 



#120 Bill Loguidice OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 8, 2016 12:31 PM

Flojomojo is on the right path. Unfortunately, at the moment, I only have an early test unit with a faulty SD card slot, so I can't do proper testing. The results have been good from other testers, though, and I suspect it will only be a handful of original titles and some of the more advanced homebrews that will present issues. I'll prioritize that type of testing when I get a unit off the final production set.



#121 Bill Loguidice OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 8, 2016 12:33 PM

So back in Feb, I actually guessed that there might be an Atari portable this year! 

 

I also guessed that we might see new games on the Sega systems from a third party, dreaming of the possibilities with EA.

Could it be, since Konami is working with bringing Frogger to the Atari FB, that we might see some Konami games on the Sega systems this year?

(Contra HC, Castlevania BL, Rocket Knight, Sunset Riders and a version of Frogger? :-D  Probably not TMNT due to licensing. :_( )

 

Of course, I'm also guessing Bill can't make any comments at this time  ;)

 

No new third party additions on the Sega hardware this year, although that's always being evaluated for the future. There are new first party games in the mix, though, and the aforementioned addition of a nice feature that affects a couple of those games.



#122 Flojomojo OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 8, 2016 12:35 PM

Flojomojo is on the right path. 

 

 

If I can see farther, it is only because I have been standing on the shoulders of giants like Bill Loguidice

 

(If I suck up to you enough, can you get me an early version? I'll write an exhaustive review ...)



#123 Bill Loguidice OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 8, 2016 12:41 PM

 

 

If I can see farther, it is only because I have been standing on the shoulders of giants like Bill Loguidice

 

(If I suck up to you enough, can you get me an early version? I'll write an exhaustive review ...)

 

 If any opportunity presents itself, the sucking up will be noted.  :grin:



#124 Flojomojo OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 8, 2016 12:45 PM

No new third party additions on the Sega hardware this year, although that's always being evaluated for the future. There are new first party games in the mix, though, and the aforementioned addition of a nice feature that affects a couple of those games.

 

It occurs to me that "save states" is separate and distinct from "cartridge saves" or "battery saves," which is really all we need to play RPGs as we did on the original systems. It would be nice to be able to play things like Phantasy Star II and Shining Force on an inexpensive, dedicated handheld.

 

(racking my brain to think what else it could be ... Sega CD and Sega 32X are out, save states are out, bigger/better screen isn't really game-dependent. SVP chip support for Virtua Racing would be a bizarre thing to include if 32X doesn't work)



#125 Emehr OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 8, 2016 1:37 PM

I haven't been interested in Flashbacks since the FB2 (of which I bought 2 at retail and another at a yard sale) but now my interest is re-invigorated with this portable. That really is the logical path for this product and I'm surprised it took any amount of convincing. The SD slot was also a smart move. I can see the portable replacing the console unit if it's successful enough. In future revisions, allow the portable to utilize the wireless controllers, add a switch to turn off the LCD screen, and there's the console unit. Maybe add a DC plug if it doesn't have one already. Spend some money and have a designer come up with a more unique case for it that allows portable use and still retain that classic 2600 style. Anyway, looking forward to the portable!






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