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Everything posted by CatPix

  1. In Europe that would be near worthless junk, there are so many of that console (and variations). In the US I don't know; it seems that in Europe Pong sales peaked between 1977 and 1980, due to the lack of consoles on the market (the 2600 would only arrive in 1980) save for the Videopac which was a novelty and not especially cheap compared to a Pong.
  2. You're probably on something. Also, there is probably not enough Saturn fans eager to do mods? I remember 15/20 years ago you'd find Saturn piling in garage sales and bins more than PS1 did, as nobody wanted them but a few hardcore Sega gamers. So in addition to the difficulty of making a generic shell that fit them all, there may be simply too few collectors of it. Unlike the DC that gained a cult following from the get go, and arriving at the beginning of the retrogaming phenomenon, was basically considered "retro" as soon as Sega discontinued it (in Europe and the US).
  3. Got it, played it, loved it It really is a nice, well made game, and certainly stand out compared to most (not all) Supervision games.
  4. Well I suppose it's bad for people that invested recently, but... the OSSC have been out for what? 4 years? If the new OSSC exist, it's because so many people have invested in the current one and showed interest for it. Plus, that new OSSC doesn't make the older ones obsolete so it's not that bad. People that want to recoup on their investement may resell their current OSSC as well.
  5. I was about to say that. Also you may have noticed that the Vectrex PCB is dual side, but there is no vias; all connections through boards are made by component legs being soldered on both sides. It cause a plethora of connection issues due to dry solder on both side over time!
  6. Yet no one consider the M35 released. Neither Citroën themselves nor car enthusiast themselves. Unlike the GS Birotor https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citroën_GS#GS_Birotor that is a commercial release (and was bought back too to avoir lenghty part support).
  7. It's hard to compare well-established companies and a local imported that had merely a legal agreement with NEC to advertise the PC-Engine and not be sued, but nothing else - NEC cleary told Sodipeng they would refuse any warranty claim since the Sodipeng PC-Engines were RGB modified. The general agreement amongst French retrogamer is that Sodipeng did good, considering the difficulties they faced, but "good" compared to an import shop, not compared to Nintendo and Sega. And Of course, in France, both the SMS and Megadrive were popular, Sodipeng couldn't (and probably didn't) expect to take Sega's place on that market.
  8. What part of : Didn't you got? They were sold, not leased, not rented, not given for a trial. People that got a M35 from Citroën got it legally as any other car, hence why Citroën had to buy them back from the testers and some legally refused to give it back.
  9. Well. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citroën_M35 Prime example on the top of my head. This car has legal existence, can still be found, exist officially in French administrative services, is road legal, the sale of the car to customer bound Citroën to provide a warranty... Yet this car is NOT a commercial release. And if they still exist it's because after selling them (yep, unlike what the english article may suggest, people paid money for them) Citroën had no legal way to get them back. They ended up buying them back, save for a few that the owners wanted to keep. Say what you want, but this car was available to the public, in limited quantity, in a short period of time, was certified, legally existing, yet... It's not a commercial release.
  10. Yes, it is. 220 volts is either a legacy printing or you got an old model; tho in most European countries the grid had been switched to 230 volts years before the change was officially made (and same goes for the UK which had a 240 volts grid before). A 10Volts difference is absolutely harmless and if your power supply is a good one it will compensate for the extra voltage easily.
  11. I haven't checked all games yet. But all the ones I tried so far played and looked genuine, I can tell that much. I also tried an original cart and my Harmony cart and both worked flawlessly as well.
  12. I recently found a 2600 clone! My first one, not counting the very not Atari-looking Akor Super TV Boy. I almost even ignored it because at first glance, it looked like an Atari 2600. Then I decided to check it, just in case there would be interesting games or accessories. And oh boy it became interesting very fast. So the clone is a "Television Computer System" manufactured by Dar Yar; model is 2600B-160. It is... quite descriptive. It is indeed a PAL B* system with 160 build-in games. It came with two joystick, both made in Taiwan, I assume from Day Yar as well. *PAL B here is unrelated to the unfamous NES A and B zones, here, B is for the technical video system used in msot of Europe, PAL B/G. UK used PAL I, France used SECAM L, Eastern Europe used SECAM D/K. With the exception of SECAM L, it's mostly a sound carrier issue. What caught my attention is the the outside is really well done. I could swap the shell for a genuine Atari 2600 and most people would be totally fooled. But let's have some picture so you can see it by yourselves : Big bonus for the plastic insert with the list of games. Very rad with that late 80's theme, hard to lose and impossible to destroy. Great job! Of course they couldn't copy the name and all. But still, looks very genuine. The "Game Select" button confused me for a bit, until I found the answer to that odd labelling later... On AtariAge The back is the part where a trained eye would spot odd things. Of course the biggest clue here (ignoring the sticker) is the "Dar Yar" embossed in the plastic. Still, remove it and it still look genuine. Now, let's take a look at the joysticks : Can you tell the real deal from the clone? For the nayed eye, they are hard to tell apart, but when you hold them... You can tell them more easily. I suppose those clones were made long before the consoles itself and they didn't took as much care to make them as they did for the system. The plastic, while still decent, is much thinner and hard, making it feel brittle. Two things to note here : one, they aren't shy of slapping "made in Taiwan" on their products. And second : They moved the cable exit, so that the rubber pads can be put more in the corner of the shell, making it a bit more stable than the original Atari design. The biggest changes are inside. Dar Yar completely redesigned the joystick. On one hand, the Taiwanese design is better than Atari's original. Those metal strips can be easily fixed and are reliable. Atari's use of those cheap clicker metal things isn't really a nice solution, requiring a PCB, then a layer of sticky tape to held those down, and those kind of clicky metal things flattens with use and don't work properly anymore. On the other hand, the downfall of the Dar Yar Joystick is the use of that cheap, hard plastic. As you can see in the second pic, a bit of strenght on it and it just snaps. Atari used soft plastic that bend and avoid such failure. Now let's go back to the system and do some comparisons with a Darth vader model... I mean, either they managed to get their hands on the original Atari molds, or they managed to copy them to a surprisingly good degree. With a genuine system to compare, little details appears that shows that it isn't an original factory model. One thing that appears clearly on the upper shell are the hole for the joysticks, power supply and difficulty switches, have all been redrilled, apparently by hand. My best guess is that the molding process wasn't perfect and plastic partially obtured the holes. For some reason, extra holes have been hand drilled on the bottom. I say for some reason because I see no reason for this, there is absolutely nothing under those. The hole for the RF cable is bigger too, but this time, there is a neat explanation : Dar Yar used a proper RCA plug, unlike Atari, so it couldn't fit through the original hole Also of notice is that Atari-made stuff is absolutely void of mentions about who and where it was made. Hah! Let's take a screwdriver now... Well, now you can easily tell the fake from the real deal. Some of you may know better than me so if you do, tell about it. But my guess is that Dar Yar only got their hands on the outside molds of a Darth vader or didn't wanted to pay for the inside part, and they simply recreated it by hand or "molded" it from an existing shell. I'd go for the molding because they copied everything from the original. Tho you'll notice that they added two plastic legs, that support the console PCB where you insert the cart, reducing stress on the PCB. Now I never heard of an original Atari PCB cracking or having contact issues because of this, but once again, we see that despite making a clone, Dar Yar attempted to improve the original Atari design. That's actually very cool Same "unproper finish" on the clone. But as an added bonus, they added "Dar Yar" inside. They were really proud of their work I assume! And frankly, I can see why. And now, maybe the most interesting part : I didn't had a proper Atari 2600 Jr to compare, but since it's a Darth vader shell... (don't mind the wires on the bottom of the original PCB, it's something I added to do a mod). Another good surprise : this is a proper, clean design! Not a single wire to patch a mistake, no botched hand soldering. If I had been given this PCB without any infos, I would never say it's a clone! Very impressive. The only giveaway (save from the lack of Atari markings) is the generic big chip. And, while I looked for a PAL Jr PCB, I found this : Important quote : So, now that explain why on this clone system, the B/W switch is called "Game Select". Tho, no this console, the switch does nothing. Here is a pic of the original Atari 128 games PCB : And the Dar Yar : The most mind-blowing thing, however, are the two main chips. They are the same used in both console, from the same manufacturer. If I looked right, the "generic" chip is the TIA, which kind of make sense as it's the only part Atari could sue (erm, at least, as far as electronics are concerned) and UMC probably didn't wanted that. It's noteworthy that various components on the board bear date codes of 89 and 90, so that clone was made and maybe sold while the Atari 2600 was still for sale. I didn't took any pic of the menu, for it's just 3 numbers you roll to select a game. Game display is correct so they took care of using PAL roms.
  13. Because the cover is a rather thin plastic slab. Usually what happen si that it crack in the middle and end up eventually snapping in half. And since the controllers are supposed to be stored under it and the "opening point" is in the middle, it's a recipe for disaster. For the prices, Wow. The Super Cassette Vision was exported to France (officially, up to having the brand Yeno engraved on the plastic and various parts relabeled in French) and the prices are in the 100€ range, which most collectors already find excessive. It's a fun system with decent good games, though I'm not sure it's a system you may play in the long run. It would be a good deal to grab one under 50$.
  14. As far as I'm concerned, I see no harm. I wouldn't have heard of this game without your message on this very thread. I would have to say things about the strange inputs you designed but I assume it's for a good reason - and the game is straightforward enough that is isn't really an issue
  15. The difference, as far as video game is concerned, was that Sega had a bad case of poor leadership. I'm not sure about Sony, but for Nintendo, if there were struggles between NOA, NOE and Nintendo Japan, then the final word was for Nintendo Japan - this is the reason why the Wii was released without HDMI or component; because Nintendo Japan planned to sell the Wii for young people and kids, which would have only low-end TV without HDMI at the time; unlike Western markets where most people would have or planned to switch to HDMI-able displays. Bad decision maybe, but a firm one nonetheless. Here we had Sega Japan, who was making the games, the system, and was, after all, the original core of the company; but their performances on their own market was abysmal. Then Sega of America, which, after a false start with the SMS, became the main seller of Sega systems in the Megadrive Era. Then Sega of Europe, which, with a fragmented market, several languages, laws, taxes, but early adopter of Sega hardware, even before the SMS since the Sega SC-3000 was sold in Europe (at least in France as the Yeno SC-3000) and had in general, a taste for Japanese games more than the US market. And even tho Megadrive sales in Europe ended up in a 1/3 of the market compared to Nintendo, it was still a decent market grip, and let's not forget that the SMS and Game Gear sold well too. Apparently, it was easy for Sega Japan to ignore Sega of Europe (alienating millions of customers in the process) but not so much for Sega of America. It probably didn't helped that in the early months of the Saturn's sales in Japan, the Saturn sales outpaced the Playstation's sales and even after slowing down, were still, up to early 95, 1/3 of the PS sales, givign the impression that the Saturn would be a solid seller in Japan.
  16. I do'nt think they have aged that much. If anything, I think theyare less horrible than the 2000's era PC graphics where the big thing was to slap high detailed textures on low-poly 3D models, which made things looking weird, and characters especially creepy, right into the uncanny valley (see Max Payne for a good example). They thing is : they graphics did not aged. They weren't a fad or something that age. They are looking EXACTLY like they looked back in the mid 90's. What changed is us and the games we're used to.
  17. Nope. As with most console, it was meant to pass the US FCC tests and doesn't play any purpose whatsoever. The original Famicom isn't shielded, late Intellivision in Europe werent shielded, for example. You can remove it without any issue; in fact it will improve ventilation. One exception is the Bally Astrocade, where it's used for heat dissipation and as ground plane.
  18. Ah, I remember he said you had to cut the shielding, I assumed that meant on the whole surface of the mod. Make sense. I ditched the shielding long ago For the system, I keep it usually it's at arm's reach. It helps that the controller cords are quite short usually - I would be surprised that they used longer cords for the US release, but maybe Tonka bothered with that. I know that in Europe, they seemingly didn't paid much attention with the Megadrive, it's not uncommon to find short cable (merely 80cm long) and long cables (1.50m) pads. For sound, I think it's much greater, but it depends on games. Some games were clearly developped with great care for the FM music, others are more of a lukewarm attempt and doesn't sounds so great. Someone made a custom FM soundtrack for Sonic 1, and it's brilliant :
  19. I don't think the DC is rushed or have so much issues - the trouble here is that the DC was also plagued with development issues - Sega of America and Sega Japan competing for their own designs - which wasted money of course, but also caused a leak that made most people aware that merely a year after the Saturn's lauch, Sega was already working on a new console; and was advanced enough in it (as opposed to you know, just throwing ideas out) which caused further consumer distrust : why would you buy a console when clearly, the manufacturer planned to replaced it in a few years? Sure the DC could have been refined more, but (moving topic a bit) when the DC was launched, the issue was simple : Sega didn't had enough ressources to properly advertise their system for a worldwide launch; and this isn't some random post-analysis, it's from Sega (I think I read it in an interview of the former Sega France director of the time) Sega doomed themselves by taking so many poor decisions in 1996 it's incredible. Releasing the 32X then droping support of SMS and Megadrive altogether merely 6 month after. (yes, even SMS support hurt them, at least in Europe - the SMS remained popular as an entry-budget console and also, it was very common to play SMS games on a Game Gear, so it had a public). Reducing/disabling Sega Europe's power to choose which game they wanted. Many games were announced in European magazines, or even by "local" Sega offices, only to never being released because Sega USA said "no". Sega announcing, merely 2 years after the console's release, a new console. Sega was basically in an ongoing trainwreck from 1996 and never stopped. The Saturns couldn't have been saved, IMO, because they did everything wrong even before the console's release. Even if Sega had made a perfect launch in the USA, let Sega Europe living their own life... They would have still needed to stop the USA/Japan struggle, postpone the DC developement 2 years later and focus on games instead, letting at least the Megadrive still live for one or two years... And even then, it wouldn't solve the issues of costly hardware and square polygon based 3D making game ports harder to do on the Saturn than on the PS1 and N64.
  20. Yes, that's what I say, I soldered mine straight, not slanted like this, and it fits into the SMS alright.
  21. The current one only require soldering the connector, and it's easy, if tedious All wires are connected on it with connectors. I don't know why he says that the board must be slanted, I soldered it straight and it fits into my SMS 1.
  22. Soldering is rather easy, at least on a SMS 1 board. The soldering points are large and there is lots of room. It would be a good training for a beginner
  23. I regret that the Videopac version only for those bland, non-glossy labels. The artwork tho is very cool in that "hyper-realist" style, unlike the US type (which is really great too). Philips console boxes were bland but Radiola (French brand that actually made Videopac) had more colorful boxes, not unlike US ones.
  24. You mention the O2 but you don't mention the Videopac boxes. Sturdy plastic, nive housing for the cart, tighly held notice. It's a collector's dream.
  25. Touch screen and LCd are different things. You may be able to peel the old touch screen and put it over a new LCD.
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