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Vectrex iOS Review (iPad)

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The Vectrex home console was a bit of an anomaly back in the early 80s, with it's vector based graphics, built in TV and analog joysticks. Now, that classic & rare console has been lovingly brought to the iOS platform along with many of the games. I review the iPad version along with the iCade and come away impressed!

 

If you are having problem starting the app, it's because your iPad is jailbroken...

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I appreciate the programmers' efforts on developing this app ..

 

Q: although the flicker is part of the "charm" of the Vectrex, I would think that would be eliminated from the emulator .. Or maybe an option to turn it off?

 

Q: have the app programmers established a contract with Jay Smith who owns the copyright to all the original game ROMs? If so great! If not, he could complain to Apple and this app would be pulled! (An email i sent to the app site has not been answered).

 

Minestorm looks great on my big 42" plasma TV when I use my AV HDMI cable to connect my iPad.

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The

Q: although the flicker is part of the "charm" of the Vectrex, I would think that would be eliminated from the emulator .. Or maybe an option to turn it off?

 

Q: have the app programmers established a contract with Jay Smith...

 

The predominate flicker you see in the video capture of the app is primarily because the Reflection/Reflector display mirroring software I use to capture footage is so accurate, and not representative of actually playing it on an iPad. That's why when you look at the footage of me playing on the coffee table, it looks fine. Typically when I do iPad reviews that mirroring software works great...but in this case because every vector line is being drawn, it exaggerates the effect, and that's why I wanted the disclaimer.

 

As for the 2nd question. I have no idea. If that's a legal issue I would be surprised if the developer responded to you unless you have some personal or financial stake in the matter.

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Well done!

 

I'd downloaded the app, but haven't had much free time to check it out. I totally missed the fact that you could spin the room around to access additional content like the commercials.

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I have played around with MS and the other accessible games .. But I have not purchased the gamepack because of the above mentioned copyright issue and Space War is not listed!

 

I do have a tricked out iCade into which I can plug a Starplex 5 button controller to play Asteroids .. So I look forward to playing MS on the big screen too.

 

It was interesting to see my name listed at the bottom of the list in the history of the Vectrex file ...

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I was under the impression that all the official Vectrex games were made public domain years ago. It seems like just about anyone could add them to a collection like this, although they might have problems with the arcade conversions, since those were licensed by Konami, Namco, and whoever owns what's left of Stern.

 

Also, this needs an Android port. What, does the format have cooties or something? C'mon people, snap to it!

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I downloaded this app and I will be buying an icade specifically for it. Now if they would only give us access to the best vectrex homebrew ever "Protector", I would be estatic!

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awesome to see that you are on this site man! Subscribed to you on Youtube, checking the App out right now on my Iphone 5. Never in my life have played Vectrex, exciting.

 

I have to say that AtariAge is one of my favorite sites & forums. Love the layout, knowledge contained and the peeps. Thanks for watching my videos!

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It does not work on my iPhone 4S that is *not* jailbroken running iOS 6.0.1

 

The developer has told me that there is a new update submitted to Apple for approval. Should go through in the next couple days...

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I was under the impression that all the official Vectrex games were made public domain years ago.

 

Mr. Jay Smith, who originally developed the Vectrex, retains the copyrights to all the original Vectrex game ROMs. At his appearances at CGE in Las Vegas in years past, he has said that the Vectrex community can do whatever they want with them as long as they do not make a profit on them. That includes reproduction carts .. So someone could make a Polar Rescue cart but not sell it on eBay for say $40. John Dondzilla will make one for only $20 which is his cost. I remember Mr. Smith saying that if someone wanted to make a modern Vectrex console and sell the game ROMs for it, he definitely wanted to talk I with them. I think that selling the ROMs for $6.99 is a violation of his wishes as I understand it. Of course if the Rantmedia - Vectrex Regeneration have his permission then .. OK.

 

I think that the more people who pay the fee for the games will lose out of $$ if the developers are forced to offer the ROMs for free .. Or many will lose out if the app gets pulled for copyright violation.

 

I look forward to an update of this app .. But I have not paid for the ROMs ..

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I think that selling the ROMs for $6.99 is a violation of his wishes as I understand it.

 

My bet would be that the explaination is that you are not paying for the ROMS; you are paying for the icade support - the ROMS (free from anywhere) just happen to be included to save people the time from side loading them themselves (if it's possible). Anybody can grab the roms from anywhere and get them on their i-device - the app icade update just makes it easy to put those roms in the app conveniently.

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My bet would be that the explaination is that you are not paying for the ROMS; you are paying for the icade support

 

I think you are right about this. Its the same reason why the developer plans on bring all the rest of the Vectrex games (commercial & homebrew) to the app eventually, at no additional charge beyond the Mega Pack in app purchase.

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My bet would be that the explaination is that you are not paying for the ROMS; you are paying for the icade support

 

If that were true, the ROMs should be included with the base purchase.

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I got this on my iPad2, with the game pack too. ... I'm glad this was made and released, but I guess I wish it was more straight-forward - fixed controls, simpler menus, fewer special features - basically just an emulator would be my preference. ... I still think the best vector graphics conversion I've seen on any iTunes app is the arcade games in the Atari Greatest Hits app. Most everything else I've seen kind of annoys me.

 

If you're playing the Vectrex Regeneration app on the touchscreen (no iCade or iPhone link), the joystick control is incredibly frustrating. That's really my main comment on the app (a negative one), but I keep this comment separate because it's one thing that they could potentially fix in an update, and probably they will I think.

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If that were true, the ROMs should be included with the base purchase.

 

It could also be claimed that one is paying for the art work and 'shells' within the app that hold access to a ROM file. So you're paying for the additional artwork and features surrounding the Additional games. Inclusion of the ROMs is a 'free' extra just so people don't have to side load them into the app 'containers' that the developer has coded into the app. But to make it clear, for me as with some others, I would 'prefer' to see an official endorsement from Jay.

Edited by mckafka99

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I'm not sure why anyone is even asking questions about the validity of this. We have an excellent product here for a system I don't think any of us really thought would ever see a compilation release and it's priced at bargain prices.

 

Not to mention that if there's a legal problem, i'm sure that the copyright holder is already well aware of this product.

 

I was under the impression that all the official Vectrex games were made public domain years ago.

 

The statement that something copyrighted is being released into the public domain just means that the copyright holder will voluntarily look the other way when copyright infringement takes place.

 

It doesn't really mean it's in the public domain. Things like the Exidy library, the Vectrex library, and so on are still protected by copyright.

 

Even if there's no clear copyright holder in existence, copyrights are still valid until expired. Witness the fear of the legal team at the merged CBS/Paramount in recent years when it comes to DVD releases of content from the 50's, 60's, and 70's that utilized Capitol cues. They were excising them from releases for the better part of five years out of fear someone would stand up and claim ownership of those assets. Due to that sliver of a chance, they were butchering the audio for many releases for half a decade or so until recently figuring out the legal status of it all for a proper release of The Fugitive at long last.

Edited by Atariboy

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As I understand it, the Vectrex Regeneration guy has purchased worldwide rights to use the Vectrex name and software catalog.

 

I'm guessing titles like Pole Position, Scramble etc have also been licensed from Namco, Konami and whoever owns Cinematronics IP.

 

IMO they should have charged for game packs rather than just the megapack option.

 

Glad this is now running on my iPad 1/iCade but nothing beats the real thing (sat next to my iCade).

Edited by KidQuaalude

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