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  1. For a while, but it was only a niche market and the ST was only really suited towards MIDI-centric sequencing setups. In the early 90s the market shifted more towards direct-to-disk recording and, while Atari had a swing and a miss at that with the Falcon, it was more common to do it with a PC or Mac.
  2. Everything from Atari is half price barring Gravitar R (just released) and Missile Command R (only about three bucks anyway.) If you've not tried any of the Recharged games yet, I'd still recommend Missile Command as the one to start with too. Tempest 4K is also half price and well worth getting. Avoid the Roller Coaster and Pong games, or at least buy them on Steam because you'll probably want a refund.
  3. Well, they've managed to get some prototypes into the hands of YouTubers. AOKZOE have, that is. IE continue to leave us in suspense. 😃 Anyway, here's ETA PRIME putting it through its paces with some AAA games: The 6800U is clearly a gaming beast and will be the chip to have this year for AAA gaming on the go. Other than that, I'm not terribly convinced. There are just too many players in the market these days and they've all got access to the same off-the-shelf chips, so it's going to come down to value for money and how refined an experience they offer.
  4. Given how big a deal they made of "unboxing" one of their own prototypes in the office, I'd think that's a given. Seriously, why invest now when you could just wait for the inevitable bankruptcy auction and not have to worry about paying existing investors first before you could take a profit? Anyway, there's another handheld of note on the horizon in the shape of the AOKZOE: Being based around the Ryzen 7 6800U it's got the potential to outperform the Steam Deck significantly. Just don't ask about the price, availability, build quality, the track record of the company behind it or any of that. We may yet be pleasantly surprised, of course.
  5. What I suspect they're hinting at is knocking together some preview units to give to influencers. That's a significant step and what most of the serious players in the market are already doing for devices that they're expecting to ship later in the year, but probably not enough to move the project forward in itself. The obvious takeaway from that SEC document is that they're going nowhere without a huge amount of new cash, and if that ever happens they'll be sure to make it known. The Neo Air has a few things going for it. It's smaller, lighter, has a better display, Hall sensors, runs Windows out of the box, and they're shipping globally rather than just to Valve's currently very small list of countries. That might be worth an extra hundred bucks or so to some people, at least. I'm more tempted by the Loki though, to be honest. On the other hand, if you're already deep in the Steam Deck pre-order queue, there's no reason to cancel. Nobody in the handheld PC space is matching Valve's economies of scale and thin-to-negative margins, so it's still very much the value proposition if it's got the features you want.
  6. I'd throw in the Aya Neo Air, GPD Win Max 2, AYN Loki and Anbernic Win600. If the Amico beats any of them to market I'd be surprised, because they've all got a record of shipping product more or less on time. AYN are still dragging their feet a with the Odin Lite, I suppose, but that's only six months late rather than two years and a few preview units have finally reached the hands of influencers.
  7. We could always rest assured that any advantages a 90s Mac held over over other computers in terms of productivity would be more than offset by the amount of time their users spent evangelizing about the product. 😄
  8. RGL and Blaze are able to bring their mini-consoles to markets around the world because they both did deals with a much larger company in the shape of Koch Media, who already have that global presence and deep enough pockets for the upfront funding. Atari presumably intended to do something similar, but didn't manage to find a partner outside of the one who brought it to Australia. I'd guess that the relatively high retail price and thin margins would have been somewhat offputting.
  9. It makes sense in that you really don't want to risk trashing your Steam Deck for the sake of a drifting stick, as replacements are expensive and you'd probably have to wait months. A certain amount of modularity for the components most likely to fail isn't a bad idea, even if there's only so far they can go in a handheld device. For what it's worth, the same goes for the Switch Lite as the sticks are on daughter boards separate from the main, which can be swapped out without having to touch much else. I suspect the main reason why nobody does this for stand alone controllers is that replacements aren't particularly expensive and it's only really the thrifty few who'd attempt a repair anyway.
  10. If you register a Microsoft account with a Windows machine it'll associate the license with it and store it online. You can check which computers are registered to you on the devices page at account.microsoft.com which will also give you their licensing status. You can keep reusing a retail license to register new computers as many times as you want; only the OEM ones are tied to a particular machine and require permission from Microsoft support, which they'll usually give if you just say that you changed the motherboard, to move. Either way though, any previous machines using that license will eventually become deactivated when they go online. Stuff still works, you'll just start seeing the nag messages. If you're anything like me, you've probably picked up enough Windows licenses over the years that you can endlessly recycle them and never have to buy new ones. Just be careful not to reassign ones that are currently in use.
  11. It's possible to make smaller handheld versions of some consoles, such as the Wii, by sawing off less necessary parts of the main board with a Dremel. You might be able to do something similar with a 5200, although the much higher chip count and spread out nature of the board are going to limit the potential gains. Also, you'd have to chop up a working 5200 to do it and the preservation purists are going to hate you for it. If you want a really compact 5200, you could use a Raspberry Pi and emulate it. Still, where's the fun in that?
  12. It depends what you're into. Jetpac, Manic Miner and Chuckie Egg are three relatively straightforward action games that practically everyone still rates. For some deeper gameplay, after a bit of a learning curve, you could try Tau Ceti, Lords of Midnight or Laser Squad. Recent homebrew efforts to push the hardware include Buzzsaw+, Old Tower and Sword of Ianna.
  13. Stealth sections in non-stealth games.
  14. It's good fun, the motion controls feel much tighter in the existing sports, and the new ones feel like worthy additions. I can't help but feel that there's something missing though, and not just the golf. Hopefully there will be more updates to come.
  15. I'd think that the 7800 would have been very competitive for late 1984. Even the sound wasn't that bad when most games at the time only had a few jingles and spot effects and, for anything that needed something more sophisticated for continuous music, speech, samples, etc. they'd provided for in-cartridge chips. Hopefully, by 1986 they'd be making a revision with something a bit better built-in though. Extending the life of the 5200 would certainly have been another option. A smaller cheaper model with a better controller could potentially do good business and could have piggybacked the work that went into the 800XL. Ports of A8 software could have kept it supplied with competitive games to the end of 1985 easily. They more or less did this with the XEGS even, just about three years too late for anyone to care much. I suppose we can't ignore the fact that Atari were melting down at the time, with axing the 5200 and delaying the 7800 being the work of entirely different CEOs. Doing either of those things was necessary to avoid having the two machines compete over the same market. The mistake was that the ended up doing both.
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