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keithbk

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Everything posted by keithbk

  1. Let's be 100% HONEST about the evolution of the Atari 2600... 1 ) NOVELTY: "It's new, it's different, have you seen it???" 2 ) COOL: "I have an Atari, want to come and play?" 3 ) COLLECTIBLE: "They just released XXXX, I have to have it!" 4 ) COMPATIBILITY: "Our game will play on the Atari!" 5 ) COMPETITION: "Our system is better than the Atari!" 6 ) OVER-SATURATION: "Most of these games are just not worth having." 7 ) LIMITATIONS REALIZED: "Have you seen what my C-64 Computer can do???" 8 ) MARKET SHIFT: "Computers are the future. The Atari is boring." Nintendo would revitalize the game console market by introducing games with additional depth, better graphics, and more long-term value (games that required hours of play to genuinely explore (Zelda), rather than hours of mere repetition (Space Invaders)). Now, we're in the "NOSTALGIA" phase: "I remember loving the Atari as a kid... I wonder if I can program a game for it..."
  2. A lot of us remember growing up on cheap cardboard toys, so it never entered my mind to return a video game unless it didn't work. What do I mean by "cardboard toys?" Well, I'm talking about playsets that were nothing more than cardboard: Even the Star Wars line had cardboard toys mixed with plastic bases: If we kept this stuff, even though it was nothing more than printed cardboard, what would make anyone think we would return "E.T." when it at least had a title screen and an animated landing scene at the beginning.
  3. Atari Atlantis: Atari Solaris: Atari Pitfall 2: Which of these do you like best? What do you like better?
  4. I chalk it down to "Membrane Madness." I'm a big lover of the Suncom Slik Stik joystick because of the simplicity of design. If you've taken one apart, you will know what I mean. It's easy to clean the contact points and it's a great tight controller. But the membrane stuff and the sloppy joystick feel of the 5200 was a system-killer for me.
  5. Yeah, I loved the graphics on the 5200, but the controller is AWFUL. I have the system, but I don't recall playing it but a few times. It was a total waste. Big, bulky, and an overall horrible console.
  6. keithbk

    Movie Cart

    "Back to the Future: Atari Edition..." Where an enterprising developer travels back to 1978 and tells the Atari team, "You wanna see something interesting?" ... then pops in the Movie Cart of Star Wars...
  7. keithbk

    Movie Cart

    Show us more video... please? I want to see how things have advanced!
  8. Allow me to continue with another example... In 1999, a company called "Research in Motion" released a novel new product: The Blackberry They had been around for a few years and had released a different product earlier in 1996 called "[email protected] Pager 900." In 2002, Blackberry became the first company to include push-email service on their phones. By 2013, there were more than 85 million Blackberry users across the globe. By 2016, there were only 23 million Blackberry users left on the planet. Android and IPhone had dominance in the market. Blackberry fell behind due to a failure to innovate, in spite of a variety of new models introduced over the years. People went elsewhere because technology improved with smartphones. While Atari sold home Pong units before the 2600 hit the market, the 2600 held market dominance for 6 years. Atari failed to innovate quickly and they were left in the dust by the computer wars of the 1980's. The Atari computers were a novel idea, and they were produced until 1993, but they never captured the market like the competition. The most popular Atari computer during the 16 bit era was the Atari 1040STf (1986). It was all downhill from there. By 1993, it was over for the Atari PC era.
  9. I'm sorry, but I don't buy the narrative that people returned tons of Atari 2600 games because "they sucked." I never even considered returning a game, even if it did suck. I remember getting E.T. as a kid, not because I loved the movie, but because the game looked interesting. And after I got it, I played it until I beat it, just like I did Raiders of the Lost Ark. At no point did I thin "E.T. really sucks." I figured out the basics of how to avoid falling into pits and how to get out pretty easily. I had someone try to tell me "E.T. sucked because they didn't even have instructions on how to play the game." I was like, "Yes, there was an instruction book, and I own it. It is quite clear how to play the game." There are NO surprises with "impossible gameplay" or bugs in the game. It works just fine. Could it have been better? Maybe, but I thought it was fine the way it was; it was simply challenging. Where Atari got itself into trouble was producing more cartridges than consoles for certain titles (like Pac-Man). Pac-Man was FAR MORE disappointing than E.T., and I believe that is the title Atari produced more cartridges than consoles. Ms. Pac-Man redeemed the Atari. Atari was 6 years old when the video game crash hit. The kids who had the Atari GREW UP. Our tastes changed. Atari was great for a 10 year-old kid. As a 16 year-old kid, we moved on. Home computers were on the scene. I was fully into the Commodore 64 and the TRS-80 by 1983, and I was learning to program the Apple IIe in high school. The games on the Commodore 64 were jaw-dropping compared to the Atari 2600. We had full D&D-style adventure games, text adventure games that challenged the mind, and arcade-level games that simply could not be produced on the Atari 2600. Plus, I was starting to use the word processing capabilities of the home computer to write for class, printing with my dot matrix printer and tearing off the spindle-edges. E.T. was not the only game on the market and it in no way killed the industry. It was not responsible for killing the Atari, the Intellivision, the ColecoVision, or any of the other consoles available at the time. The kids simply grew up and switched technologies.
  10. I remember when Imagic came out with Atlantis back in the day and it awed everyone. Graphically, it was pretty impressive at the time. Pitfall looked good, but Atlantis had pizzazz.
  11. Anyone else wish, back in the day, they had clear plastic "boots" you could put on the M-Network games so they could stack with your other Atari games? Not talking a full box, but something that went on the back and made it more rectangular.
  12. Just caught this video on the rise and fall of Epyx, the game creator. Ties in with Atari and Commodore, and I found it very informative, albeit left me wanting a bit more. Thought I would share it with everyone.
  13. My question is, how easy is it to upgrade the hardware on the system to improve it? PC components date very quickly, and since this is a PC-based console, I would want to know how easy it is to improve the hardware as time passes.
  14. keithbk

    Movie Cart

    Thanks for clarifying. I love what's happening with this project, and I hope one day we can see some cart technology that works
  15. keithbk

    Movie Cart

    So let me ask this, because I haven't done anything with a final file... Can a movie file be loaded to my regular Harmony cart and played from my Atari 2600? I would love to see it, just for the sake of playing around with it. I know "Wizard of Speed and Time" (1988) has Jittlov's approval for sharing, as long as no one is making money from the film. That feature-length film can be seen here: https://archive.org/details/WizardSpeedTime Is the final file a BIN file? Just curious...
  16. If you are going to be doing "Another Adventure" this coming Tuesday, I will do my best to be on your Twitch chat to help answer any questions. Let me know.
  17. Anyone ever open up their ET Cartridge and find an entire IBM XT SL in there?
  18. This was a really good video 8-Bit Guy released on Demos today. While he's mainly talking about Demos on the Commodore 64, his techniques and "cheats" are applicable to people who do stuff on the Atari 2600.
  19. We worked together on Another Adventure. He was wonderful and very accommodating to my tremendous lack of knowledge. I will certainly miss him. Wish I had met him in person.
  20. I was just re-reading this old thread, then found this YouTube video which goes into a good amount of detail on the Kid Vid products and thought I would share it with everyone:
  21. keithbk

    RetroN 77

    I can run modern Stella on a PC (and it has HDMI outputs). Why would I want a box that does the same thing? That's not a reason to want a Retron 77.
  22. keithbk

    RetroN 77

    Ah, but it is a handheld and never advertised a cartridge system. The Retron 77 is not a handheld. It is a system. And it doesn't work with most cartridges. If you're going to make something that advertises it works with cartridges, then it should do so. Otherwise, what is the point? I can hook up the latest Flashback system and get the same results running ROMS. Or I can hook up my modified 2600 and use the Harmony Cart to run ROMS. HDMI output is the ONLY plus with the Retron 77, but you can get HDMI with the Flashback 8 and forward. Even the switch placements on the Retron 77 makes little sense and are difficult to use.
  23. keithbk

    RetroN 77

    Which is why I wondered if anyone gutted it to put actual 2600 parts inside to make it a genuine compatible.
  24. keithbk

    RetroN 77

    I've updated the firmware on the Retron 77 and it does not increase the percentage of functioning Atari cartridges that work when plugged into the unit. I cannot even get Superman to work on it, and that was an early release.
  25. keithbk

    RetroN 77

    I consider the Retron 77 borderline false advertising and junk, so I'm wanting to repurpose it.
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