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New Atari Hardware Console/System?

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These ideas are enticing... I can imagine a new Atari game console, that would run everything from 2600 to Jaguar, using original but improved and reduced size chips.. either having a slot that accepted all format cartridges, or using an adapter, or a USB type attachment depending on which game system the cartridge came from. Since they all use original design then all the 3rd party enhancements would work. It would also have some room for expansion in the form of writing new games for any of the platforms, that could exceed the specs of the originals and could come up with some pretty interesting new or expanded titles for this new all-encompassing console. This would be better than the current Atari Flashback, which is limited in expansion, something against the original early 80s Atari philosophy it seems.

 

This goes along with my other vision of an all encompassing Atari computer.. or at least expandable 8-bit computer.. but something that could flawlessly handle every system they ever released... and allow for new games that exceed specs that would only run on the new system.. for example a 2600 programmed game, but, no longer bound by storage limits.

 

Some kind of round-up console that can serve as a launchpad. They could be made in limited numbers to start.

Part of what you stated isn't a bad idea. I like the idea of a console that can run all Atari's past library (even arcade and some new stuff) but, lets make it a little more interesting (and a little easier to build).

 

It has already been pointed out that Atari can't compete with Sony or Microsoft (which I agree). Why not aim more toward the Wii model but, striped down a little. First, make sure the hardware is powerful enough to do all of Atari old platforms and then some (just enough to do things almost on par with the Wii). Then, do away with any kind of media port except dual SD card slots. This would be used to save all games and save data. Next, make all game purchasable via an online only type option. Think of it like the way the Wii works for virtual console. This would be right up Atari's new biz model of being more of an online type company. Now, make some kind of ergo wireless controls and you should be good to go.

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It has already been pointed out that Atari can't compete with Sony or Microsoft (which I agree). Why not aim more toward the Wii model but, striped down a little. First, make sure the hardware is powerful enough to do all of Atari old platforms and then some (just enough to do things almost on par with the Wii). Then, do away with any kind of media port except dual SD card slots. This would be used to save all games and save data. Next, make all game purchasable via an online only type option. Think of it like the way the Wii works for virtual console. This would be right up Atari's new biz model of being more of an online type company. Now, make some kind of ergo wireless controls and you should be good to go.

This seems like a pretty damn good idea to me... not that I'm a business guy, but...

 

Half my friends repurchased their entire classic Nintendo library on Wii virtual console. Some of them had the original carts still, most had emulators, but all of them were more than happy to buy it again just so they could play it on a TV set on their couch the way it was meant to be played.

 

Atari could release a system capable of playing the entire Atari library in emulation for $50. No need to support classic carts if you can resell people their favorites again for a few dollars each.

 

Use some of Curt's bitchin' 2600 joystick recreations and you've got another Flashback-sized market at least, with a lot more juicy profit selling all those games -- re-releasing more games on a regular basis, etc.

 

- KS

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I'd like to see something like a Flashback 2 with an SD card slot. It could be shipped with an SD-ROM card with a nice selection of games.

 

Seems like a good idea to me, but I guess the bean-counters at Atari think otherwise.

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Is CB sugessting that we help atari 'search' for a new console (J/K)

 

Question is Why would atari want to change there business model after many a year making diddly squat (or at least since 1996)

 

And it isn't resoruces that is stopping atari (from getting bk into the hardware game) it's a lack of money (perhaps they have the same accountants/financial experts that told UK's previous gov't to spend our way into debt with money we don't have)

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There really doesn't seem to be anything wrong with being in the hardware market in a small way, be it small-ish mp3 players or even PDAs. I agree with you, carmel, I think they would want to change their model to make a few extra bucks at something hardware related.

 

Something that ocurred to me are those 8-bit NES clone "kids' computers" are pretty popular elsewhere, why not try them here with an Atari name on them? I know I've been wanting one but don't want to import it. Those things have a LOT of potential even at 8 bits, raise it up to 16 bits and you have even more.

 

A few of the things that could be put together at MY PRICE THAT I HAVE BEEN PAYING:

USB sound cards, $1

sd-usb $0.50

single board small computer ~$20

connectors, parts and pieces plus a small plastic case are priced to ME at something like radio shack ~$15

 

These aren't wholesale prices, these are prices I pay online from retailers. Wholesale gets even cheaper and programming it up take a bit of time, sure, but something really neat can be made from junk.

 

Just my humble opinion, Atari ought to be making some kind of hardware, even if it's something really small.

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It has already been pointed out that Atari can't compete with Sony or Microsoft (which I agree). Why not aim more toward the Wii model but, striped down a little. First, make sure the hardware is powerful enough to do all of Atari old platforms and then some (just enough to do things almost on par with the Wii). Then, do away with any kind of media port except dual SD card slots. This would be used to save all games and save data. Next, make all game purchasable via an online only type option. Think of it like the way the Wii works for virtual console. This would be right up Atari's new biz model of being more of an online type company. Now, make some kind of ergo wireless controls and you should be good to go.

This seems like a pretty damn good idea to me... not that I'm a business guy, but...

 

Half my friends repurchased their entire classic Nintendo library on Wii virtual console. Some of them had the original carts still, most had emulators, but all of them were more than happy to buy it again just so they could play it on a TV set on their couch the way it was meant to be played.

 

Atari could release a system capable of playing the entire Atari library in emulation for $50. No need to support classic carts if you can resell people their favorites again for a few dollars each.

 

Use some of Curt's bitchin' 2600 joystick recreations and you've got another Flashback-sized market at least, with a lot more juicy profit selling all those games -- re-releasing more games on a regular basis, etc.

 

- KS

 

 

The Jaguar chipset at a double clock rate could easily handle anything Atari before it....including the ST and

maybe even a few in that line. So essentially , all that would need to do is release a twice the clock Jag

with cart port adapters(seperately to help make a profit of course) and write a bit of software to emulate

the various systems. Im sure they could pay each of the popular emu writers for Atari systems out there a handsome

fee to port them over. I'd fix the GPU main bug first and add a nice C compiler to the dev package for the RISC's

to make it less of a chore.

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this and a new sega console :)!!!

 

i like the phoenix name also. Could get a headstart on a new generation or perhaps be a bargain leader?

 

80+ unreleased games (exclusives) at or near launch would really help also

 

France? I did not know that how sad :( and I'm sure the new flashback consoles are still made overseas to right?

 

 

Yes, a new Sega console!

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The Jaguar chipset at a double clock rate could easily handle anything Atari before it....including the ST and

maybe even a few in that line. So essentially , all that would need to do is release a twice the clock Jag

with cart port adapters(seperately to help make a profit of course) and write a bit of software to emulate

the various systems. Im sure they could pay each of the popular emu writers for Atari systems out there a handsome

fee to port them over. I'd fix the GPU main bug first and add a nice C compiler to the dev package for the RISC's

to make it less of a chore.

I like the way that sounds. I would still leave out the cart port. More money can be made using the virtual console model. With a cart port, Atari would be only making money on the console and cart adaptors. With the virtual console model, they would be making money on the console and the sale of each and every game (a lot more money to make there) and hopefully that would mean better support for the console itself. Either way, it sure looks doable. Just my two cents.

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The Jaguar chipset at a double clock rate could easily handle anything Atari before it....including the ST and

maybe even a few in that line. So essentially , all that would need to do is release a twice the clock Jag

with cart port adapters(seperately to help make a profit of course) and write a bit of software to emulate

the various systems. Im sure they could pay each of the popular emu writers for Atari systems out there a handsome

fee to port them over. I'd fix the GPU main bug first and add a nice C compiler to the dev package for the RISC's

to make it less of a chore.

I like the way that sounds. I would still leave out the cart port. More money can be made using the virtual console model. With a cart port, Atari would be only making money on the console and cart adaptors. With the virtual console model, they would be making money on the console and the sale of each and every game (a lot more money to make there) and hopefully that would mean better support for the console itself. Either way, it sure looks doable. Just my two cents.

 

 

 

 

You of all folks probably would be interested to know(based on your current avatar) that we(3DSSS)

have a working Coleco emulator already for the Jaguar. It's running slow but that is because its

a quick port in C on the 68k only.

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You of all folks probably would be interested to know(based on your current avatar) that we(3DSSS)

have a working Coleco emulator already for the Jaguar. It's running slow but that is because its

a quick port in C on the 68k only.

That sounds really cool and shows that your idea of using the Jaguar hardware (with twice the clock speed) is a very doable idea. The Jaguar hardware seems to be a very robust system, I just hope Atari takes notice.

Edited by pboland

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I would honestly like to see Atari come out with a new age "retro" system. It would be about as powerful as, say, a Super Nintendo or something along those lines. Production and development costs would be very low, and they could capitalize on the only thing people still respect Atari for: nostalgia and retro gaming.

 

They could open up the platform and let indie and homebrew developers make games for it, along with anyone else who wanted to take a crack at it. And Atari could release arcade-perfect ports of its best games, like Centipede, Missile Command, Pong, Defender, Tempest, etc.

 

It could even use carts in the same size and form factor of the 7800 and 2600 and have backwards compatibility.

 

The sales of the Flashback consoles and emulator handhelds like GP2X and Dingoo make it clear that there is a market for this sort of thing.

 

You mean something like this?

 

http://www.ladyada.net/make/fuzebox/

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You of all folks probably would be interested to know(based on your current avatar) that we(3DSSS)

have a working Coleco emulator already for the Jaguar. It's running slow but that is because its

a quick port in C on the 68k only.

That sounds really cool and shows that your idea of using the Jaguar hardware (with twice the clock speed) is a very doable idea. The Jaguar hardware seems to be a very robust system, I just hope Atari takes notice.

 

 

I wont and you should not hold your breath on it. I doubt very much you will see anything in the way of hardware

coming from what is not even really Atari anymore. However, a few small CPLD chips on cart adapters would go

along way in emulating the needed signals that the Jaguar cart may or may not have. Atari could make a killing

on the adapters and still sell them at a decent price. I mean how cool would it be to plug an exsisting Coleco,

NES, or even an SMS cart in to your Jaguar's cart port? Pretty sweet I think. Even the current Jaguar with someone

with enough balls to code it properly could handle any of the older systems. For instance, a Genny or an ST could

theorectically run at full speed since they already use a 68k and just a nice wrapper to handle the different vectors

and such would allow those games to probably run full bore.

 

The 68k in the Jaguar is almost twice as fast as that in the ST or genny. The Z-80 in the Genny could be emulated by

either the GPU or DSP at full speed for instance. The Jag RISC's as they stand could easily emulate a 6502, Z-80, 8048

or whatever at full bore. The Blitter and the OPL are more than versatile enough to emulate any support chips from even

the 8 or 16 bit arcade boards. I could see the OPL be dead wringer for a MARIA chip as it is. MARIA and the OPL are very

similar. Using the GPU as the Sally(and to handle some differences between MARIA and the OPL) and the DSP as the POKEY and

the TIA could be doable. THe GPU would have to interpret the MARIA list into an OPL object list...not that hard.

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You of all folks probably would be interested to know(based on your current avatar) that we(3DSSS)

have a working Coleco emulator already for the Jaguar. It's running slow but that is because its

a quick port in C on the 68k only.

That sounds really cool and shows that your idea of using the Jaguar hardware (with twice the clock speed) is a very doable idea. The Jaguar hardware seems to be a very robust system, I just hope Atari takes notice.

 

 

I wont and you should not hold your breath on it. I doubt very much you will see anything in the way of hardware

coming from what is not even really Atari anymore...

Not to worry, I'm not holding my breath on this. For Atari it's a shame really, to have that technology right there and not even use it. And we are not even talking about the Jaguar II technology that they could have done more with. What a shame.

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You of all folks probably would be interested to know(based on your current avatar) that we(3DSSS)

have a working Coleco emulator already for the Jaguar. It's running slow but that is because its

a quick port in C on the 68k only.

That sounds really cool and shows that your idea of using the Jaguar hardware (with twice the clock speed) is a very doable idea. The Jaguar hardware seems to be a very robust system, I just hope Atari takes notice.

 

 

I wont and you should not hold your breath on it. I doubt very much you will see anything in the way of hardware

coming from what is not even really Atari anymore...

Not to worry, I'm not holding my breath on this. For Atari it's a shame really, to have that technology right there and not even use it. And we are not even talking about the Jaguar II technology that they could have done more with. What a shame.

 

 

Ah yes the Jaguar II...now that would be killer. That would be able to handle anything emulation wise. If only

I could get Downix to finish up his rework of the Midsummer chipset. He actually took the JagII nets and started

from scratch to re-code(VHDL) them for todays faster more efficient silicon. I beleive he said it would be possible

to get the Midsummer running in at the several hundred MHZ instead of the 66 mhz they were shooting for back in

the day. The Jag II was a MAJOR improvement in many ways to Jag I. The blitter alone was a giant leap in advancment.

The old Blitter was capable of about 1000-1500 g-shaded polygons per frame with seriously hard work coding.

The Jag II blitter at its original speed was to obtain something ridiculos like 900k polies textured, shaded. lighted

and bilinear filtering per second or 15000 per frame and non textured was something like 2.5 million per second or

42k, per frame. Now compare that to the PSUX of 180,000 per second textured and shaded or 360,000 flat shaded polies

per frame.

 

The big difference in the blitter is its about ten times the silicon of the original blitter, it has a very large

texture RAM cache and a blitter command cache as well as a blitter texture ROM( ie built in common textures like

bricks, asphalt and such.) However, the big fix in the Jag II was the no nonsense main code RAM execution. All

three riscs cores were capable of main RAM code execution without using a workaround. The Jerry II held two of

the cores, the DSP core and now the new RGPU core which was fine tuned for high level languages instead of tedious

assembler. It would have been the perfect classic emulation system. It would have handled anything with ease up to

and including the Jag I(which is was supposed to be 100% backward compatible with.) A Shame indeed.

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Ah yes the Jaguar II...now that would be killer. That would be able to handle anything emulation wise. If only

I could get Downix to finish up his rework of the Midsummer chipset. He actually took the JagII nets and started

from scratch to re-code(VHDL) them for todays faster more efficient silicon. I beleive he said it would be possible

to get the Midsummer running in at the several hundred MHZ instead of the 66 mhz they were shooting for back in

the day. The Jag II was a MAJOR improvement in many ways to Jag I. The blitter alone was a giant leap in advancment.

The old Blitter was capable of about 1000-1500 g-shaded polygons per frame with seriously hard work coding.

The Jag II blitter at its original speed was to obtain something ridiculos like 900k polies textured, shaded. lighted

and bilinear filtering per second or 15000 per frame and non textured was something like 2.5 million per second or

42k, per frame. Now compare that to the PSUX of 180,000 per second textured and shaded or 360,000 flat shaded polies

per frame.

 

The big difference in the blitter is its about ten times the silicon of the original blitter, it has a very large

texture RAM cache and a blitter command cache as well as a blitter texture ROM( ie built in common textures like

bricks, asphalt and such.) However, the big fix in the Jag II was the no nonsense main code RAM execution. All

three riscs cores were capable of main RAM code execution without using a workaround. The Jerry II held two of

the cores, the DSP core and now the new RGPU core which was fine tuned for high level languages instead of tedious

assembler. It would have been the perfect classic emulation system. It would have handled anything with ease up to

and including the Jag I(which is was supposed to be 100% backward compatible with.) A Shame indeed.

Something like an iPad using Jaguar II hardware would appeal to both video game players aswell as PC owners wanting armchair computing. Nolan talked about using an iPad as a kind of electronic board game in another thread:

 

http://www.atariage.com/forums/topic/162342-discuss-atari-history-with-nolan-bushnell/page__p__2002451#entry2002451

Edited by Math You

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Even if Atari had all the resources they needed for a new system, the market is crowded enough with 3 companies. Adding a 4th would put a lot of strain on developers to to release games on 4 systems, AND handhelds, AND PC/MAC etc.

 

One company would have to go first. And unless one of them makes a BIG series of mistakes like Sega did, then that isn't going to happen any time soon. (Strangely, MS has been acting similar to Sega this last E3. New system coming out the same week as E3, new add-on to increase lifespan of system, high price for add-on, not too many games for add-on, etc. It's kinda scary)

 

Now, a new Atari system would be neat, but nowadays how the company actually is this like saying any other company should make a game system, like EA or Namco.

Edited by Animan
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@MathYou:

 

I doubt most people would bother with an I-pad soley for games. The Midsummer chipset

is not geared toward that but mainly video gaming. Can it be used for other apps? Sure

but personal pocket gadget chips of today are much more geared toward both.

 

It does not matter how many systems are out there, it is what you have to offer on those

systems that the other systems DON'T have or could not get. Atari would have to be ready

by Christmas with a new console, that can play all the current classic systems games to

appeal to an ever growing classic retro crowd, and they would need several unique releases

for a more modern gaming look with yesteryears feel. If they try to compete with the top

3 at their own game( four annoying genre's beaten to death), they will fail as they did

with Jaguar I.

 

If the Tramiels did what they said they would do with the Jaguar and release many of their

arcade updated hits (they did not...Tempest 2k and Missile Command don't cut it alone) they

would have done a lot better. There are at least 80 games Atari owns from the old days, all

unique one from the other that if updated to todays graphical standards and sound, without

loosing the feel of the original would do well. They do not have to take over the market at

first or at all, simply just appeal to an exsisting ever growing classics crowd with updates

of the oldies but goldies that would draw the 40+ age men and women gamers from back then.

You know? The folks with kids and money nowadays?

 

If they had Asteroids, Centipede ( and not that crap they released on other systems...yeah

they updated it but it was nothing like Centiped,) Miilipede, Agent X , I-Robot, Major

Havoc, Black Widow, Gravitar, Wolf Pack, Night Driver, A very realistic looking Lunar Lander,

Food Fight, Destroyer, Space Duel, Star Ship, Super Bug, Mini Golf, Pool Shark, and many

other covering a wide range of genre's...then

 

Mutiplayer online games:

 

War Lords, Sprint, APB AND Cops and Robbers(where players can choose being the cops or

the chasee) BattleZone (not Hover Strike as a replacement for it, which could have stood

on its own as its own game) Battle/CyberMorph, pay the guys at Scatologic to do a killer

BattleSphere, A Star Wars and Empire Strikes Back that playes EXACTLY like the two original

arcade machines did with realistic graphics and a few new multiplayer modes.

 

This is what should have been done and while they were at it, get a few licenses for

updates of games like PacMan, Berzerk, Robotron Defender(still was not thrilled with

the Jag's updated versions and felt the 2000 was rushed...the Plus mode is a much

more enjoyable game) Space Invaders....all of these in 3D with photoreal graphics and

the same game play as yesteryear would have done well.

 

Own the market? Perhaps not, but they could have certainly brought in enough income to

interest other developers to make the same four genre's: that boring the shit out of

everyone crap the top 3 systems are getting, the Wii being the only one with any real

unique games...even though Mario is as worn out as Ron Jeremy's pecker....yet they still

manage to do well (over)using Mario...so don't hand me any of this rehash BS. Done

correctly, rehashes work.

 

 

@ Animan:

 

No company would have to go. Atari just nees to appeal to it's base which is definitely

still out there. They are just waiting for the right products. Then Atari could work

from there getting other top developers working on this new system. It would take proper

tools and a monster support system on Atari's part and Nolan is certainly capable of

handling this if he just remembers where he came from originally.

Edited by Gorf

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These ideas are enticing... I can imagine a new Atari game console, that would run everything from 2600 to Jaguar, using original but improved and reduced size chips.. either having a slot that accepted all format cartridges, or using an adapter, or a USB type attachment depending on which game system the cartridge came from. Since they all use original design then all the 3rd party enhancements would work. It would also have some room for expansion in the form of writing new games for any of the platforms, that could exceed the specs of the originals and could come up with some pretty interesting new or expanded titles for this new all-encompassing console. This would be better than the current Atari Flashback, which is limited in expansion, something against the original early 80s Atari philosophy it seems.

 

This goes along with my other vision of an all encompassing Atari computer.. or at least expandable 8-bit computer.. but something that could flawlessly handle every system they ever released... and allow for new games that exceed specs that would only run on the new system.. for example a 2600 programmed game, but, no longer bound by storage limits.

 

Some kind of round-up console that can serve as a launchpad. They could be made in limited numbers to start.

 

 

Don't get your hopes up Kiddo. That's an awfully expensive project for such a niche market. I don't think we'll ever see anything like that, short of another Flashback system or the every-so-slight possibility of the Atari brand being revived to print on somebody else's game system. (Say a cheap and sleazy Chinese or Korean company with zero name recognition in North America.)

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These ideas are enticing... I can imagine a new Atari game console, that would run everything from 2600 to Jaguar, using original but improved and reduced size chips.. either having a slot that accepted all format cartridges, or using an adapter, or a USB type attachment depending on which game system the cartridge came from. Since they all use original design then all the 3rd party enhancements would work. It would also have some room for expansion in the form of writing new games for any of the platforms, that could exceed the specs of the originals and could come up with some pretty interesting new or expanded titles for this new all-encompassing console. This would be better than the current Atari Flashback, which is limited in expansion, something against the original early 80s Atari philosophy it seems.

 

This goes along with my other vision of an all encompassing Atari computer.. or at least expandable 8-bit computer.. but something that could flawlessly handle every system they ever released... and allow for new games that exceed specs that would only run on the new system.. for example a 2600 programmed game, but, no longer bound by storage limits.

 

Some kind of round-up console that can serve as a launchpad. They could be made in limited numbers to start.

 

 

Don't get your hopes up Kiddo. That's an awfully expensive project for such a niche market. I don't think we'll ever see anything like that, short of another Flashback system or the every-so-slight possibility of the Atari brand being revived to print on somebody else's game system. (Say a cheap and sleazy Chinese or Korean company with zero name recognition in North America.)

 

 

Sorry AJ...... This would not cost much at all, could be done on one flashable FPGA and

do it well. It would not take much in the way of developing such a system and it would

be very low cost, using a small FPGA to handle all such systems. The problem is anyone

having the balls to try it....they would succeed too. A Jaguar could handle anything before

it easily with the right team doing this....emulation using the RISC's would be perfect for

such a task.

Edited by Gorf
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If they try to compete with the top

3 at their own game( four annoying genre's beaten to death), they will fail as they did

with Jaguar I.

 

If the Tramiels did what they said they would do with the Jaguar and release many of their

arcade updated hits (they did not...Tempest 2k and Missile Command don't cut it alone) they

would have done a lot better. There are at least 80 games Atari owns from the old days, all

unique one from the other that if updated to todays graphical standards and sound, without

loosing the feel of the original would do well.

 

More Tempest 2000-like stuff would have helped, but could a "64-bit powerhouse" make it on retro-games alone? The fact that they released games in popular genres that couldn't hold a candle to the competition had as much to do with it as anything. I don't know many gamers who would choose Checkered Flag, Fight For Life, and Kasumi Ninja over Virtua Racing, Virtua Fighting, Mortal Kombat...etc....etc...repeat ad nauseam.

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Sorry AJ...... This would not cost much at all, could be done on one flashable FPGA and

do it well. It would not take much in the way of developing such a system and it would

be very low cost, using a small FPGA to handle all such systems. The problem is anyone

having the balls to try it....they would succeed too. A Jaguar could handle anything before

it easily with the right team doing this....emulation using the RISC's would be perfect for

such a task.

 

If you're so confident in the viability of that project why don't you fund it and see how many you sell. :thumbsup:

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And where are you expecting him to get the money from exactly? :ponder:

 

 

Raise it. If he believes in it and it's as viable as he claims then it won't be hard, will it?

 

Take it to Mr. Vendel and present it to Atari. Don't just talk.

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And where are you expecting him to get the money from exactly? :ponder:

 

 

Raise it. If he believes in it and it's as viable as he claims then it won't be hard, will it?

 

Take it to Mr. Vendel and present it to Atari. Don't just talk.

 

 

You seem to do alot more talking than I my friend. Two problems....Curt is way busy

working on other things and Atari would not give a rats ass about it. I already HAVE

thought about it. Problem is, you need someone capable of doing the VHDL code. Oh,

that's right...it's already done. Code for just about every console from the 2600 on

up is done already. Also, I HAVE talked it over with 'MR Vendel" as you put it already.

To discuss that any further with you, I'd have to kill you. ;)

 

Go look at the FPGA Arcade website.

 

You said it would be too costly and that is just plain you shooting your lips off. Cost

has little to do with it. FPGA chips especially ones big enough to handle it cost nothing.

The code already exsists if you want to really know and it's just a matter of packaging and selling it.

 

So, with all that said, I hear all the talk coming from you and nothing to prove me wrong

or otherwise. Perhaps since you are such a hardware and VHDL expert, you can explain to

every one how it's TOO costly and not market viable?

 

That's what I thought! :roll:

Edited by Gorf
  • Like 2

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