Jump to content

Photo

About Atari Mirai...


24 replies to this topic

#1 Blur2040 OFFLINE  

Blur2040

    Chopper Commander

  • 245 posts
  • Location:Columbusish, Ohio, USA

Posted Mon Mar 7, 2005 2:10 AM

Ok, I'm pretty sure you've all seen that unknown Atari Shell labeled "MIRAI"...you know...the system that looks kind of like an XE?

http://www.assembler...58265#post58265

One of the gang at ASSEMbler (GigaDrive) took an interest in it...just a way to gather all information on it in one spot. Well, another member (A. Snow) sent an email to SNK Playmore USA...and...GASP! They responded...

Turns out that it isn't a Neo Geo clone...Atari was never asked to distribute Neo Geo in the USA...

So, my question to you nice folks is: Does anybody have any other ideas what it might be? Hop on over and give us any believable ideas you might have...or just throw them around right here!

Thanks!

#2 birdie3 OFFLINE  

birdie3

    River Patroller

  • 2,092 posts
  • Atari is good.
  • Location:Eastern Ontario, Canada

Posted Wed Mar 9, 2005 12:34 AM

Maybe this is what they came up with when they were considering distribution of the NES/Famicom.

#3 Ferris OFFLINE  

Ferris

    Stargunner

  • 1,098 posts
  • ...Doin the Bull Dance ...Feein the Flow
  • Location:Walt Disney World, Florida

Posted Wed Mar 9, 2005 3:46 AM

Just because SNK/Playmore gave the response that "Atari was never asked to distribute the Neo-Geo in the United States" does not mean that this was not the result of some sort of bastardized collaboration between the two companies.

For one, SNK is no longer SNK just as Atari is no longer Atari. SNK was acquired by Playmore in recent years and is a far cry from the original SNK of the late 1980s. Today's Atari bears little resemblance to their former being and retains little knowledge of the past aside from what legal documentation they have and what Curt may contribute from his vast knowledge. SNK/Playmore would be no different. Bottom line... what the hell do they know first hand?

Secondly, from everything I've heard from former employees about the Mirai and it's suspected tangled relationship with SNK, the "Mirai/SNK" scenario does *NOT* call for the Mirai to be a "rebodied" Neo-Geo to be sold under the Atari name. This was not to be like the 1983 Nintendo Famicom deal where Nintendo asked Atari to distribute the NES in America as an Atari system, simply folding the Famicom down into the 2600jr's case. People seem to think that the Mirai WAS a Neo-Geo and from what I know this is not true.

The "Mirai/SNK" scenario I've come across that holds more water than others presents us with a game system being developed between 1987 to 1988 (same development as the Neo-Geo MVS arcade unit and identical AES home console, and same time period the XEGM styling was prevalent within Atari). Jack had seen Nintendo turn the industry around and was interested in creating a game machine out of the ST to beat Nintendo to the next generation system. (A game machine had been created out of the XE line so why not an STGM?)

At some point early on SNK (which had made Ikari Warriors for the 7800) and Atari began some sort of cross-pollination between companies. The relationship was casual and arose out of a relationship between the Tramiel family and the Barone family. Ask any Atari enthusiast who the Tramiel family was and they will go off on a rant. Ask any SNK enthusiast about the Barone family and they will do the same. The Tramiels and Barone's shared a great deal in common, as do the stories of their respective corporations. This was not some super high level corporate agreement made through lawyers. This was personal. It's a little sketchy but it seems like Atari would share some of their intellectual property with SNK USA and in return SNK would share some of their technology with Atari, technology that would allow Jack to create an ST-based game system that was way more advanced than anything Nintendo or Sega had to offer at that time. The Neo-Geo was an arcade system first and a home system second, and at that, the Neo-Geo was a niche market product with an MSRP over $500, not something that would need to compete with the $199 system Jack wanted to make. SNK and Atari would not be in each otherís way. Two separate game systems. Totally separate market share. It was technology (most likely surrounding the Neo-Geo's cartridge capacity and dual-board pinout) that was shared, not the system its self.

Ultimately in this scenario, the relationship between SNK and Atari (and the Barones and the Tramiels) came to an end shortly after it had begun. Not sure if this was a nasty breakup or if the two just couldnít prove beneficial to one another, but it ended. The ST-based system was passed over by the end of 1988 to begin work on the Panther (which I'm pretty sure was loosely based on the ST/TT line) and ultimately to the Falconish Jaguar.

Keep in mind this is just a *scenario* put forth to try to connect the dots and make sense of the Mirai. I've been told this story by four people, all with first-hand knowledge at Atari in one way or another, but none of them could claim to have worked on the Mirai, just that "this is what I heard around the watercooler" stuff. If all this is incorrect then oh well.

What's sad is that if Jack hadnít been jerking around with things so much on the computer end of things and could get his act together instead of fiddling with the Panther for so long, Atari could have had a great 16-Bit system out around the same time the PC Engine / TurboGrafx-16 came out in Japan, well before the SNES or Genesis. 1985 (ST) to 1989 (TG & Gen) is a hell of a lead time.

As for SNK, they can claim that "Atari was never asked to distribute the Neo-Geo in the United States" all they want because it's true. I don't question that for a second. Atari didn't have great distribution channels by 1990 when the Neo came out, besides the Neo-Geo went into stores like Bloomingdales, not Sears. That being said, SNK/Playmore would likely have no record of what the Barone family did on the side.

A final thought - The word Mirai apparently is the Japanese word for "Future" or "Tomorrow"...can't back this up first hand because I dont speak Japanese, but if it's true, what would provoke an Atari project to be given a Japanese name? Short of Nolan playing GO while drunk, SNK seems to be a viable causation.

Okay... now tell me how wrong I am. 8)

#4 Blur2040 OFFLINE  

Blur2040

    Chopper Commander

  • Topic Starter
  • 245 posts
  • Location:Columbusish, Ohio, USA

Posted Wed Mar 9, 2005 2:45 PM

Well, we've tossed around the idea that it might have been an ST based console, but there was an issue or two with that:

1. Why create an ST based system? The appeal of the XE was that it had a library of 8 bit cartridges that it could use. I suppose an ST console using carts could be made, but it wouldn't make as much sense as an 8bit game console.

2.. Why such huge cart slot? I know it could just be what they wanted, but that slot seems excessive.

Though I want to think that Mirai isn't an ST, Atari need a competitor for Sega/NEC/Nintendo, and the ST line would be the quickest solution.

I do agree that theres a possibility that Atari was sharing technology with SNK, what we know now is that Mirai isn't a straight up Neo. Remember...many of the same people are at SNK as they were before it changed ownership. The company wasn't torn to pieces like Atari. The guy at SNK who responded was quick to remind us of that.

#5 birdie3 OFFLINE  

birdie3

    River Patroller

  • 2,092 posts
  • Atari is good.
  • Location:Eastern Ontario, Canada

Posted Wed Mar 9, 2005 4:09 PM

Why doesn't someone ask the person who owns the Marai, or perhaps someone who worked at late the 80's/early nineties Atari, if they know what the Marai is? It seems strange that this item is a complete mystery.

#6 Joey Kay OFFLINE  

Joey Kay

    Dragonstomper

  • 610 posts
  • Location:Saskatoon, SK, Canada

Posted Sun Mar 13, 2005 9:37 PM

Why doesn't someone ask the person who owns the Marai, or perhaps someone who worked at late the 80's/early nineties Atari, if they know what the Marai is? It seems strange that this item is a complete mystery.


I would love to see an interview with one or two of the Tramiels to help solve some of these mysteries. However, I suspect that due to much of the "anti-Tramielism" (if I can use that "word") on Atari forums that it is doubtful they would agree to any interviews regarding Atari.

The only post-Atari Tramiel interview I have ever read was one with Leonard... that was a few years ago.

Cheers!

Joey

#7 birdie3 OFFLINE  

birdie3

    River Patroller

  • 2,092 posts
  • Atari is good.
  • Location:Eastern Ontario, Canada

Posted Mon Mar 14, 2005 10:06 AM

Now that would be cool.

Do you have a link for that interview by chance (or is it worth reading)?

#8 TheRedEye OFFLINE  

TheRedEye

    Moonsweeper

  • 341 posts
  • Location:Berkeley, CA

Posted Mon Mar 14, 2005 7:03 PM

I would love to see an interview with one or two of the Tramiels to help solve some of these mysteries.  However, I suspect that due to much of the "anti-Tramielism" (if I can use that "word") on Atari forums that it is doubtful they would agree to any interviews regarding Atari.


Yeah because multi-millionaires who are no longer in the industry sit around on the internet and read AtariAge.

#9 Ferris OFFLINE  

Ferris

    Stargunner

  • 1,098 posts
  • ...Doin the Bull Dance ...Feein the Flow
  • Location:Walt Disney World, Florida

Posted Mon Mar 14, 2005 7:24 PM

I have contact information (address & phone number) for Jack Tramiel, Sam Tramiel Leonard Tramiel and Gary Tramiel. Its available publically but I've never posted it on AtariAge just out of respect for the site and to avoid any misuse. I called Jack last summer at like 4am and woke his ass out of bed. I told him I was having problems with my 7800 and needed assistance. He told me to call customer service :D Anyway, I dont suggest anybody else do this. That would be wrong and not something that should be advocated here in the open and welcoming atmosphere at AtariAge. :P

Doubtful that any of them would care to be interviewed, but you never know.

#10 TheRedEye OFFLINE  

TheRedEye

    Moonsweeper

  • 341 posts
  • Location:Berkeley, CA

Posted Mon Mar 14, 2005 7:41 PM

I told him I was having problems with my 7800 and needed assistance. He told me to call customer service :D


Wow, that's awesome.

#11 Joey Kay OFFLINE  

Joey Kay

    Dragonstomper

  • 610 posts
  • Location:Saskatoon, SK, Canada

Posted Mon Mar 14, 2005 7:51 PM

I called Jack last summer at like 4am and woke his ass out of bed. I told him I was having problems with my 7800 and needed assistance. He told me to call customer service :D


As much as I don't want to advocate prank phone calls to senior citizens- good lord that is absolutely hillarious! :lolblue: Way to go, Ferris!!! His response is rather uproarious, too.

Would it be incorrect to suspect there was a small amount of alcohol lubricating that phone call.

It is probably a very responsible decision not to publish that phone number, although listed phone numbers are ridiculously easy to find in this day and age.

Cheers!

Joey

#12 Joey Kay OFFLINE  

Joey Kay

    Dragonstomper

  • 610 posts
  • Location:Saskatoon, SK, Canada

Posted Mon Mar 14, 2005 7:52 PM

Now that would be cool.  

Do you have a link for that interview by chance (or is it worth reading)?


I was trying to find the link last night, but can't seem to find it. When I do, I will post it on this thread!

Cheers!

Joey

#13 Ferris OFFLINE  

Ferris

    Stargunner

  • 1,098 posts
  • ...Doin the Bull Dance ...Feein the Flow
  • Location:Walt Disney World, Florida

Posted Mon Mar 14, 2005 8:22 PM

As much as I don't want to advocate prank phone calls to senior citizens- good lord that is absolutely hilarious!   :lolblue:   Way to go, Ferris!!!  His response is rather uproarious, too.


Lol I agree. I met Jack in person for just a second several years ago. He was predictably very dismissive. Once I got a hold of his contact information I couldn't just sit on it.


Would it be incorrect to suspect there was a small amount of alcohol lubricating that phone call.


Hmm I suppose you could suspect a little bit there. Along with 20 years of suffering by proxy through Atari, it was enough motivation to pick up the phone at 4am PST to give Jack a little jingle.


It is probably a very responsible decision not to publish that phone number, although listed phone numbers are ridiculously easy to find in this day and age.


I agree. I would not want to post information here that would instigate any problems or provoke AA members into doing things that you might see pressed at other inferior digital lists. AA has a great community of members its like a little family. It's important to respect that.

But it is true that finding publicly listed phone numbers is ridiculously easy, especially if you use the internet. My favorite phone directory website is CBS's www.Switchboard.com, a choice source for publicly listed telephone numbers, street addresses and email addresses. It's very easy to use and is a great source when you cant get to the phone book. Just enter the name of the person or business you're trying to locate, and then key in the appropriate City and State such as Monte Sereno, CA then click search and BINGO quick results to access a huge database of public information, all legally provided over the internet. Another good source is www.MapQuest.com

Cheers!

#14 Joey Kay OFFLINE  

Joey Kay

    Dragonstomper

  • 610 posts
  • Location:Saskatoon, SK, Canada

Posted Mon Mar 14, 2005 9:22 PM

Now that would be cool.  

Do you have a link for that interview by chance (or is it worth reading)?


Found it...

http://www.classicga...ticles/tramiel/

Cheers!

Joey

#15 Ferris OFFLINE  

Ferris

    Stargunner

  • 1,098 posts
  • ...Doin the Bull Dance ...Feein the Flow
  • Location:Walt Disney World, Florida

Posted Mon Mar 14, 2005 11:09 PM

Wow Leonard is such an ass. He doesn't even know about the Nintendo/Atari talks going on in 1983.


Dig this:

Marty: What was the status of the Nintendo deal (Warner/Atari had been in negotiations with Nintendo at the time for distribution of their Famicom system that became the NES) at the time you took over? Had it already been cancelled before your family took over, or was it just lost in the shuffle of the takeover and eventually fizzled out?

Leonard: I'm pretty sure there was no serious negotiation between Nintendo and Atari. I don't know what your source of information is, but there's a lot of bad information in the world.

Marty: The two main video game history resource books on the market detail this. Game Over is specifically about Nintendo's history and Phoenix is about the entire industry in general, and both make mention of this.

Leonard: I didn't read Game Over but I have read other books on related subjects. There was one written by an ex-Commodore employee that got so many things wrong I was amazed. Even things he was closely involved in. I would take these books with many POUNDS of salt.


..for those of you interested I have the text from an original Atari inter-office memo regarding this subject. Many pages in length detail this information. It's one thing that Leonard didn't know about what transpired right before he showed up, but it's another thing to discredit Leonard Herman's knowledge.

http://www.atari7800...nts_nes7800.htm

#16 HARMIK OFFLINE  

HARMIK

    Moonsweeper

  • 404 posts
  • Location:Melbourne Australia

Posted Wed Mar 18, 2009 7:31 AM

Any more news as to what this console was ?

#17 Fangorn81 OFFLINE  

Fangorn81

    Star Raider

  • 98 posts
  • Location:Brooklyn, NY

Posted Sat Mar 28, 2009 6:58 PM

I mean "Atari" is a Japanese word, so I see no real significance in the fact that "Mirai" is a Japanese word also...doesn't strike me as very conclusive.

#18 SoulBlazer OFFLINE  

SoulBlazer

    Quadrunner

  • 5,078 posts
  • Location:Providence RI

Posted Sat May 24, 2014 11:52 AM

Bumping this thread just cause today was the first time I came across any info on this!

 

I came across an article and some pictures here:

 

http://www.videogame...tm#page=reviews

 

There's also a link there to this thread.

 

And there's a link also to this site that has more info and discussion on it:

 

http://www.assembler...O-GEO-AES-Clone



#19 atarian63 OFFLINE  

atarian63

    River Patroller

  • 4,192 posts
  • Location:columbus ohio

Posted Sat May 24, 2014 7:19 PM

Interesting.. Marty says this will be address in the upcoming book... must have missed that...

user-offline.png
New memberreputation_pos.pngavatar77745_2.gif   Join Date Mar 2013 Posts 3
 
 
quote_icon.png Originally Posted by GigaDrive viewpost-right.png
nope. I know absolutely nothing about it. I read it in EGM 
(this was when EGM was fairly credible not the rag it is now) and on the internet. there was never any detail on the deal--unlike the Atari-Nintendo Famicom deal, where there was some detail on the web, and probably in magazines & books.
1) Two different Ataris. The one involved in the Nintendo deal was Atari Inc. (and a lot of what's been posted on the web is only half accurate). The one with the Genesis deal was Atari Corp.

2) The details are: SEGA, disappointing with Tonka, came to Atari Corp. wanting to have the Megadrive manufactured and distributed in the U.S. under an Atari branded name. Head of Atari Corp., Jack Tramiel, didn't want just the U.S. rights, he would rather have world rights excluding Japan. They couldn't come to an agreement and SEGA moved on. Jack wanting more than U.S. rights wasn't off, Nintendo was looking to give Atari Inc. world rights as well.


 
quote_icon.png Originally Posted by Jet-X viewpost-right.png
As an Atari enthusiast, I'm still intrigued by this machine (and one who actually liked the industrial design of it and the XE Game System). Wish I knew what the story was.

I'm also 99% certain there was also an Atari Mirai desktop system prototype but having trouble at the moment locating photos.
You'd be 99% off. ;) The Mirai only had to do with consoles, and no - it had nothing to do with Neo-Geo either. We already tracked down what it was for and it'll be in our next book.


#20 Shawn OFFLINE  

Shawn

    Nodus Tollens

  • 16,256 posts

Posted Sun Jun 1, 2014 1:32 PM

So that book is out now isn't it? Anyone who bought it care to share the 411?



#21 Ripdubski OFFLINE  

Ripdubski

    Stargunner

  • 1,221 posts

Posted Mon Jun 16, 2014 10:45 AM

Haven't finished it.



#22 Wickeycolumbus OFFLINE  

Wickeycolumbus

    Red Sea Crosser

  • 5,136 posts
  • Location:Michigan

Posted Mon Jun 16, 2014 7:23 PM

He's probably talking about the second book Buisness is War. I don't think that's out yet.

#23 atarian63 OFFLINE  

atarian63

    River Patroller

  • 4,192 posts
  • Location:columbus ohio

Posted Mon Jun 16, 2014 11:29 PM

Should be a good read,even as dealer they kept us in the dark.

#24 Retro Rogue OFFLINE  

Retro Rogue

    River Patroller

  • 3,442 posts
  • Location:Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Posted Wed Sep 17, 2014 2:37 PM

Yes, the second book is planned to be out in summer 2015. For those that haven't seen it, here's the cover:

 

post-23-0-69273700-1404323686.jpg



#25 Shawn OFFLINE  

Shawn

    Nodus Tollens

  • 16,256 posts

Posted Wed Sep 17, 2014 3:25 PM

Yes, the second book is planned to be out in summer 1015. For those that haven't seen it, here's the cover:

 

attachicon.gifpost-23-0-69273700-1404323686.jpg

 

You guys have any plans for the 1000th Anniversary? :ponder:






0 user(s) are browsing this forum

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users