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Would a relaunched VCS sell?

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Do you think relaunched muskets would sell?

 

I mean, yeah the boring modern firearm. You load a round in the clip, & fire away.

 

Some people though love the nostalgia of putting in the lead shot & powder & using that ramrod, and firing. Forget those modern-day insta-load firearms. I want to take my time with hand-loading a firearm that MIGHT hit my target, or blow off my hand.

 

I think a re-launch musket would really sell well!

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I guess the XM is just a dream too...:D

 

 

It's looking more and more like vaporware.

 

Just you shut your mouth! :lol:

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'Halo 2600' brought people out of the woodwork to post on AA inquiring about getting a copy. As much as I would love to see a VCS bundled with a bunch of my favorite homebrews like Thrust, Qb, or Toyshop Trouble (among countless others), I just don't think they have the broad recognition to get the attention of someone walking by the display box. Now, a bundle of modern games de-made for the 2600 (like 'Halo 2600') would be the best hope for something like this. When I see all of those "de-makes" for the SuperNES or whatever it makes me wish someone would actually go forth with it commercially. There's a lot of potential in the older hardware that was not recognized due to an artificial time limit on video game consoles (which usually comes out to about 5 years).

 

All I can say about retro-hardware is this: no more Atari/Activision/whatever games, I think the market has been pretty much saturated with those, am I right? If I had the option of "new games for old hardware" vs. "old games for old hardware" for a venture of this type, I would choose the former.

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There's a lot more snark in this thread now than is probably warranted (sorry for contributing).

 

I think the real point is pinning down the potential VCS market with some degree of accuracy. Here in 2011, it's just not a mass-market retail product. At best, it's a boutique market that will cater to a small buyer-base with a unique taste and the willingness to pay premium prices to satisfy it. That means traditional manufacturing and advertising models are impossible (too expensive), and distribution is completely digital.

 

Even within that market, demand will likely be small and hard to gauge. It's not hardware that you're selling: it's nostalgia. Not that "nostalgia" is a bad thing, or unsaleable, but it's very delicate and fleeting. It's true that there's a lot of 80's retro nostalgia out there (go figure, with the state of global finance), and even retro-tech nostalgia, but how much of the total interest does a VCS represent?

 

Also, it's important to remember that even though the tech savvy of the average person has gone up over the past couple of decades, for most people video games are things that come out of "magic boxes." They don't know how the stuff is getting on that screen, and largely don't care. They only care about the stuff that's coming out. Despite Apple's best efforts, Earth is a software world. Delivery systems don't matter; content does.

 

If the idea is viable at all, maybe a "nostalgia" brand of products, with multiple offerings, would be the more appropriate biz model. You call the store "1984" and (attempt to) offset the costs of manufacturing the expensive hardware with relatively cheap merchandising (clothing, mugs, keychains, lunchboxes, cassettes, etc) and sell the "80's lifestyle" rather than a particular good or service.

 

In that model, a profit might be possible... that is, until you run afoul of the biggest, baddest "Boss Monster" of modern human history:

 

LICENSING

 

Licensing agreements will stomp you into the dirt. Someone "owns" everything you could think of that might spark a nostalgic purchase. Not only do they own it, but they own the book, movie and game rights to it, and have several projects "in development." They will sue you even if you get within ten miles of their license.

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Or an atari 2600 exterior look but inside updated graphics to match todays speed. An updated space invaders would be so cool. Or I like the other idea of the FB3 with SD slot and play what ever I want.

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Or an atari 2600 exterior look but inside updated graphics to match todays speed. An updated space invaders would be so cool. Or I like the other idea of the FB3 with SD slot and play what ever I want.

 

We already have an updated Space Invaders. Space Invaders: Infinity Gene. I actually bought it on XBLA.

 

As much as I enjoy retro gaming, the Atari "south" will NOT rise again, despite how much self-interest there is. The world of video games has changed quite a bit in the last 35 years. Atari is no longer a household word.

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Also, I have to believe in the lower-end economic market. There are many families without internet (so no Atari Age, imagine that) that are looking for a little family-friendly entertainment. They cannot afford to spend $200 on Xbox 360, nor $50-$60 for new games. No, these people live in a tight economic situation but would be more than glad to have good video games available at an affordable price. New game releases would fuel the market, and re-releases would draw the enthusiasts.

 

Not to dog-pile on to the OP, but would not this segment of the market already be well served by used game systems? A product aimed at this demographic would be competing directly with the old, used NES and PSX bundles listed on Kijiji, sold at flea markets, etc. Those games are at least newer and, depending on the audience, would have rather better brand recgonition and/or more nostalga.

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Agree with jhd. Low income has no correlation to interest in retro gaming. In those circumstances, they tend to be a generation or two behind in systems, not 30 years behind unless by chance. It's funny someone mentioned N64, because in my experience, there's a lot of truth to that!

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Agree with jhd. Low income has no correlation to interest in retro gaming. In those circumstances, they tend to be a generation or two behind in systems, not 30 years behind unless by chance. It's funny someone mentioned N64, because in my experience, there's a lot of truth to that!

 

Yeah; my experience was several years' employment at Target during the Gamecube era. "Where are all the N64 games?" They're in the 1990s, mofo!

Edited by Rex Dart
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IMHO, FB2 sold as well as it did because it was an inexpensive plug&play, like those namco sticks.

The only real complaint I remember about the FB2 was "why was game X included instead of game Y"

 

So, Imagine a FB2-type P&P, but the 50-or-so games are on a pack-in cart.

The cart would have a built in menu, and the console would have a way to return to menu without powering off.

Then there are additional theme carts- sports, arcade, whatever.

There could be a special paddle multicart sold with paddle controllers.

The carts would be cross-compatible. They would work on original systems, and original carts would work on the new system.

 

Would it sell? Probably not. The cost of manufacture & licensing would make it unrealistic.

However, if it did come to market, this is how I would want to see it done.

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I doubt a relaunch would work. I would buy it. I would love to see a Sears Video Arcade at Sears again. I just doubt it could go mainstream. I think a brand new Atari system would have a better chance with wireless joysticks, wireless paddles, remakes of games... They could just modernize all their old systems and games into a new system. They could remake all they have the rights to from the past for a new generation. If it works then third parties like Activision with rights to the other games could jump on board by remaking their games. They could take the retro soul of Atari and put it in a new system. But I doubt they have the money to make a new system to compete against Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo.

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They could take the retro soul of Atari and put it in a new system. But I doubt they have the money to make a new system to compete against Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo.

 

I think *this* is closer to the mark. No, the VCS is not ever making a hardware comeback, just like horse and buggies aren't making a comeback. But the "retro soul" can certainly make a comeback, from the software side. I can envision a game company that uses next-gen hardware to deliver games that "feel like" out-sized 8-bit games. To use an art analogy, this would be sort of like how Rembrandt was eventually supplanted by abstract expressionists like Rothko, or the way a filmmaker like Lars Von Trier restricted his work to the "Dogma 95" rule set. As long as the revolution is software-based, it has a chance of being "televised."

Edited by jrok

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The device could, for all intents and purposes, be jazzed up to appeal to modern tastes. What if it not only played games, but also allowed for wi-fi texting via an on-screen interface built into the system? What if it had a built in camera for video messaging? MP3 player built in with a flash drive port in the side of the console? I know that all the naysayers will automatically shoot these down based on costs, but making it updated and modern, looking nothing like the woodgrain design of the 70's, might go a long way toward gaining widespread acceptance. Also, consider that maybe all do not want to have to invest hours into playing modern three dimensional RPG's and FPS. Some like the quick pick up and play ability that was the core of the VCS games. Marketed in the right way, it would have a good chance to succeed.

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I REALLY like the idea of beefing up the atari flashback. Make it have a cart port (for the collectors) also Ethernet for access for online leader boards competition. Similar to the xbox live gameroom. Except make this like an atari network. Tap into the home brew scene with a rom download or something... It'd be the ultimate homage to the classic system that really started it all...

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I REALLY like the idea of beefing up the atari flashback. Make it have a cart port (for the collectors) also Ethernet for access for online leader boards competition. Similar to the xbox live gameroom. Except make this like an atari network. Tap into the home brew scene with a rom download or something... It'd be the ultimate homage to the classic system that really started it all...

And have emulated "Gameline", then you could connect to others, then add in email, and web browsing. Call it "Atari On Line" or AOL for short!

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The device could, for all intents and purposes, be jazzed up to appeal to modern tastes. What if it not only played games, but also allowed for wi-fi texting via an on-screen interface built into the system? What if it had a built in camera for video messaging? MP3 player built in with a flash drive port in the side of the console? I know that all the naysayers will automatically shoot these down based on costs, but making it updated and modern, looking nothing like the woodgrain design of the 70's, might go a long way toward gaining widespread acceptance.

Then it's not an Atari VCS anymore, by any stretch, is it? Wasn't the original point (if any) of the thread about a "relaunched VCS" selling?

 

Also, consider that maybe all do not want to have to invest hours into playing modern three dimensional RPG's and FPS. Some like the quick pick up and play ability that was the core of the VCS games. Marketed in the right way, it would have a good chance to succeed.

It's already succeeding. It's a modern console with a couple of retro-Atari compilation titles, and some downloadable mini-games from the online marketplace. Already been done, and not a VCS.

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I'm seeing more atari games in independent game stores. I can name at least nine stores in the Columbus area that sell atari carts. I've wondered if someone could unite the independent stores to carry new homebrews. That wouldn't take up much space and would give people another reason to go there instead of gamestop! I don't see a new console being viable though unless it was extremely cheap ($20-$25) and hooks up quickly to a modern TV.

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They could take the retro soul of Atari and put it in a new system. But I doubt they have the money to make a new system to compete against Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo.

 

I think *this* is closer to the mark. No, the VCS is not ever making a hardware comeback, just like horse and buggies aren't making a comeback. But the "retro soul" can certainly make a comeback, from the software side. I can envision a game company that uses next-gen hardware to deliver games that "feel like" out-sized 8-bit games. To use an art analogy, this would be sort of like how Rembrandt was eventually supplanted by abstract expressionists like Rothko, or the way a filmmaker like Lars Von Trier restricted his work to the "Dogma 95" rule set. As long as the revolution is software-based, it has a chance of being "televised."

 

I enjoyed the remakes of Pong and Breakout on the Playstation. I really hated that there were no paddles though. I would like the soul of the system to be something like those remakes but also include the originals. Not just the VCS originals but all of them. If they remade Breakout it would have a brand new version, the Playstation version, all the versions from all their systems, the arcade version.... They remake all their games and include every version of that game on each disc. I think it would be cool if they had the discs in a cartridge. It would be like how MiniDisc is a disc you never touch but stays in it's protective plastic. It would look like a cartridge but really be a disc. All the manuals, old artwork, commercials, history... would be on the disc. There would be no discs to scratch or lose from their cases. There would be no manuals to lose or ruin. The box, the games, the manuals... would all be in the cartridge. The cartridge itself would be CIB. All you buy is the cart to stack nicely on your shelf. They also remake their joysticks, paddles... It would also have full backwards compatibility with all their old carts and hardware. It would basically be as if they never made any of their past systems and waited until now to make them into one system but also still have the original versions. It would be a system to make a new generation of Atari gamers and collectors while appealing to the older generation. It would be new and retro.

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It might sell with a government mandate that everyone has to buy one. Then congress could pass a law preventing any non-cartridge games from being sold without equal space dedicated to Atari-compatible games.

 

Of course, if that happened, I would probably go out of my way to NOT buy it.

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I vote that it wouldn't sell. I would not buy it. You can buy a working 2600 for under $50 easily on any given day and as someone said, get games, even complete in box or sealed for under $10. Hell, probably 50% of my stock on Ebay is under $10 per game, some $5 complete/sealed. I've dedicated way too much space on the vintage stuff, so I'd have no interest in dedicating more space for the same old games I already have.

 

Phil

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