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the antithesis

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About the antithesis

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  1. Personally, I am remaining cautiously optimistic about the Amico. What we need here is to see it action. We need to see the games. They're not ready to be shown. That's fine. But we don't have anything of substance to discuss until they are. A new Earthworm Jim has been announced. That is a step in the right direction. But I don't need to see pictures of the console in various colors. I have paint. I can have any color I want. But I'm not going to be looking at the console when I'm playing a game. I'm not that keen on the console design, anyway. I suppose it's fine, but it reminds me of a baby humidifier. The controllers are concerning. It's the only part of the console that in any way recalls the Intellivision. In fact, I could see this console being released without the Intellivision brand and just be a party game console that uses everyone's smartphones are controllers. That's not a horrible idea, getting people to do things with their existing devices they couldn't before. That's how Ralph Baer came up with the Odyssey. I don't know if it'll catch on, though. Some have expressed concern over the controller design in how kids will react to them, but I think they're like a smartphone with extra buttons on them. I don't think younger people will have trouble adapting. I am not sure about the angle of this being a kids console, as in that all the games are rated E or whatever. I don't pay much attention to that stuff. I don't see that as being a particularly strong selling point because Nintendo already occupies that niche comfortably. It's not a wide open niche. The Switch may be considerably more expensive, but the NES Mini and the Flashback systems are under a hundred dollars. Now there's a PlayStation mini and upcoming Sega Genesis and Turbografx-16 minis. It's a crowded market. I don't find that all the games will be rated E to be a good selling point, anyway. Most people won't care. It's only going to appeal to people who have kids but are not interested in parenting them and expect the manufacturers of consumer electronics to do it for them. So that mormon housewife who had her kids' copy of Princess Bride edited so that all the swords were replaced with light sabres because that makes it "less violent" (this was a real service someone was offering a few years ago) will find this appealing. No one else cares. The Amico takes a few cues from the Wii and I'm not sure that's a great idea. Sure is sold a lot of consoles, but who bought games for it? Some but most people seemed to play Wii Sports, the pack-in title, and maybe five additional party games and that's it. Know what kids are doing with their Wii's now? They're cutting up the motherboard to make portable GameCubes. GameCubes because no one cares about Wii games. The casual game market may be large, but they are fickle and they don't buy much. Didn't help that most of the games on the Wii was horrible shovelware. I've voiced most of my concerns. Most of these will just go away once we get to see the games. Because marketing for the console does not matter and is largely ineffective. The real marketing for a console is the games you can play on it. So, I'll be able to update my opinion once they're ready to be seen. I just hope the "updated" Intellivision games aren't from that failed Intellivision Gen2 kickstarter. They looked like horrible Flash games from 2002.
  2. I'm posting this because it's the main thing that still has my interest about this device. I like games and this thing plays games. But I do have one question: How? There are no controls in evidence on this thing, so how do you control the ship in Asteroids? It mentions motion and voice, which would be hideous. Imagine being on the bus waving your arm around shouting "Shoot!Shoot!Shoot!Shoot!" It's possible this is where the smartphone link comes in and you can play with virtual buttons on that screen while awkwardly trying to look at your wrist, but that isn't in evidence here. At the end of the day, this isn't a product that would interest me. Which is not to say I'm not interested in game watches. I used to have one back in the day. God, that was terrible. But I played the hell out of it. I'd been thinking before these smartwatches came out that the next evolution would be to bring back watches, but I was thinking more of pocket watches.I could see the hipster kids latching onto the style of a pocket watch and it just seems to make more sense to me as a functional device, since to can still swipe and tap the screen with the thumb of the hand that's holding it but you still have the other hand if you need it. It would make more sense as a gaming smartwatch if it had physical controls on the edge like a stopwatch. Imagine if under the thumb was a d-pad, A and B buttons on the side under the first and second fingers. I think this would work. But that's not what Gameband is offering. So, oh well.
  3. That sounds like a good idea. There were thousands of those stupid things and there should be enough room for a Pi Zero, I would imagine.
  4. Yeah. I was planning to revisit this thread once the full unveiling occurred because the shilling is painful to behold. I really don't understand this product. What is a smartwatch and why should I care? I don't even have a smartphone, personally. I may learn how to make one out of a Raspberry Pi someday... They really missed a trick by not making the Atari one black and woodgrain. In either case, it doesn't appear to be like the Minecraft one that was a glorified thumbstick. It's a full Smertwetch. Woo hoo.
  5. So I got a tantilizing email today from Atari's newsletter. It had a picture of an Asteroids Deluxe cabinet with the words "Remember how you used to game?" After that, it reads Now, my first thought was that the Coleco Chameleon was back again, but after a bit of research, I don't think that's the case. I had never heard of this Gameband company, so I looked them up and found a Minecraft Gameband which is a glorified USB thumb drive you can wear on your wrist. To be fair, it is different tech than typical flash drives as, allegedly, you can play Minecraft directly from the Gameband, which would kill an ordinary flash drive. Even so, whoop-de-skip, I say. So this has me wondering what Atari is doing with this and if the reference to classic games means anything. We won't know until February and in February we will all be underwhelmed.
  6. A handheld game system with removable controllers. That sounds vaguely familiar. Everything Nintendo has done in the last decade or so has been an update of something they did thirty years ago. The Wii was the Power Glove. the DS was the Game & Watch Multi Screen. I'm still waiting for the update of R.O.B. the Robot.
  7. You can get AAA titles on Gamecube. Just take some nice poo, wait for it to start turning grey and then put it on top of your Gamecube. The problem here isn't Nintendo but with that so-called AAA market you mentioned where they went from males aged 16-30 being the people most likely to purchase a video game to being the only people likely to purchase a video game. This laser focused the market and eliminated a large percentage of the possible consumers out there. Have a vagina? Video games simply are not for you. Younger than twelve or older than 35? Video games are not for you. It's the same kind of focused marketing that brought us all those Fast and Furious movies. In a more robust market, Call of Duty would be a B title at best. This is what happened to Nintendo. A large electronic conglomerate that could give a fig about video games as an artistic medium or as a business and found out how to maximize their profit in a short-sighted move that shrank the audience so that what should have been a game with niche appeal became the biggest tent pole franchise.
  8. Yep. I wonder if this means other Parker Bros games will be included...
  9. Ah, intriguing... Were I to guess, I'd say Vanguard because of the tune ripped from the Flash Gordon soundtrack. Japan had different copyright laws in the 80's so they'd rip off stuff wherever. I'm trying to think of what games have music that would be likely to cause a problem. The 2600 wasn't known for it's musical abilities.
  10. Oh god, I'd forgotten about that. I'm glad it failed because that looked so ugly and, honestly, who wanted this? It reminds me of Retro Atari Classics for the DS "3 graffiti legends tag 10 Atari classics" the box says. Why?!? How does one become a graffiti legend and why would anyone want Atari games with stupid graphics?
  11. I am an American, but I think the ZX Spectrum is cool in theory. Haven't tried it in practice. I did watch the episode of the Ben Heck Show where he made a pocket version of the ZX and during the teardown found out some interesting technical aspects. I think the appeal is it was a cheap computer you would buy for your kids back in the day, so many Brits had one and are now nostalgic for it. So a new ZX machine is just capitalizing on that. No different from the Atari Flashback systems. Frankly, I find the output I have seen thus far rather appealing. I like the look of it better than, say... oh the Colecovision. I'll have to take a closer look someday.
  12. Wait. So they needed to include a different, non-2600 version of Space Invaders, but not Jungle Hunt, Front Line or Polaris? I'm sure there's more to this story but I doubt if they'll admit it to anyone. Were I to guess, it may be a means for Taito to maintain the copyright on Space Invaders. Weirder things have been done in the name of copyright preservation. It might also be that Taito would rather have had non-2600 versions of all their games, but the hardware could only do Space Invaders well.
  13. I'm trying to teach myself electronics (yeah I know) and was wondering if anyone had done a teardown of the hardware in the flashback consoles, with the possible exception of the FB 2 since many have modded that one to accept cartridges. I'm working with a FB4 and find the PCB laughably tiny. So much space... I'm not having much luck finding out what some of the components are. There's tons of surface mount resisters, capacitors, a few inductors, transistors, etc. But I'm more interested in the main chip. I looked up the numbers and think I've identified the SDRAM and Flash memory chips. I assume the games/menu software are stored in the flash, which might be bad as I've heard somewhere that flash degrades over time. I've had no luck finding out what's under the black blob, but that did give me a chance to learn about chip on board manufacturing. Has anyone done a breakdown of the hardware specs? I am curious what's in there.
  14. Heh. I had a similar experience with some guy in the paper & dice RPG scene. He was publishing a fanzine for an old school RPG but was using art assets from other sources without paying for them, like Games Worshop art. I even contributed a few articles which were crap. He never paid me for it, although pay was never the point as we were all enthusiasts. He did give me a PlayStation with a bunch of games. Worries me that he had my address to send that to me. It was actually kind of weird. Glad I haven't heard from him in forever.
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