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Breaking news: Intellivision flashback coming to retail

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Bill, I believe you were going to do a review of the Flashback before its official release???

 

If so, how has these 'leaked' flashbacks affected or changed that, if at all?

 

Would still like to see a nice well written review. I just gotnmy Intv flashback, but Im just not into reviewing stuff myself I guess. (But I review it in my mind when I will play. Haha)

 

Thanks

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Bill, I believe you were going to do a review of the Flashback before its official release???

 

If so, how has these 'leaked' flashbacks affected or changed that, if at all?

 

Would still like to see a nice well written review. I just gotnmy Intv flashback, but Im just not into reviewing stuff myself I guess. (But I review it in my mind when I will play. Haha)

 

Thanks

 

Well, those plans kind of changed. I was going to do videos on each one, then formal write-ups. Right now, I'm just doing a feature on all three for issue 5 of RETRO magazine (that will hit in October I guess?). I may still do videos in the mean-time, but it all seems a bit pointless now. AtGames is supposed to up their reviewer's schedule and I know they've been contacted by a few entities regarding that, but I just don't know. I was supposed to get first crack at it all as a courtesy, but since street date was broken (demolished?), I'm not sure it's worth bothering. At this point it's probably best just to wait for RETRO.

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Well, those plans kind of changed. I was going to do videos on each one, then formal write-ups. Right now, I'm just doing a feature on all three for issue 5 of RETRO magazine (that will hit in October I guess?). I may still do videos in the mean-time, but it all seems a bit pointless now. AtGames is supposed to up their reviewer's schedule and I know they've been contacted by a few entities regarding that, but I just don't know. I was supposed to get first crack at it all as a courtesy, but since street date was broken (demolished?), I'm not sure it's worth bothering. At this point it's probably best just to wait for RETRO.

If they are pushing up the reviews, would it not be advisable for them to push up the release date. If they get a bad review ( not that it is going to happen) but that could cause the flashback to be DOA when it is fully released. In my limited marketing knowledge it would be better to have the units out prior to the reviews to ward off such a disaster.

 

Just thinking out loud.

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Sorry to hear about that Bill. I'm sure this caused issues for a lot of people.

 

I can imagine there were several pissed off phone calls between AtGames and Toys R Us over this.

 

Having read all the threads here, it seems pretty clear what happened. Toys R Us always had the intent of honoring street date on this for October and had it set up in their system correctly. But they never communicated properly that with their managers at the stores. It's not common to hold a game or toy item -- normaly when it comes in it goes out on the shelves, so I don't blame any of the employees. It was never told to them 'hey, we can't put this out yet, hold it in the back'. So when people brought one up to buy it, that's when they saw it flagged in the system. To their credit, they allowed the person to buy it but then yanked them off the shelves.

 

I could see this really hurting the relationship between AtGames and Toys R Us over this also, as it really messed things up.

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If they are pushing up the reviews, would it not be advisable for them to push up the release date. If they get a bad review ( not that it is going to happen) but that could cause the flashback to be DOA when it is fully released. In my limited marketing knowledge it would be better to have the units out prior to the reviews to ward off such a disaster.

 

Just thinking out loud.

 

I don't really think it works like that. You get on retailers' schedules, you plan delivery and shipping, you plan advertising in circulars, etc. I'm sure large companies have the kind of sway to change things as needed, but I doubt an average company like AtGames has that kind of sway. These deals are negotiated months (or more) in advance.

 

As for reviews getting out, I think in the big picture, those don't really matter to the masses these are being targeted to. They won't be seeing those reviews anyway. The minority, the us, are the ones who will read and be influenced by the reviews.

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I did come across the Flashbacks at a local TRU, but they would not sell them (they were in a locked cabinet). They told me about the October 1st street date, and that they would be fined if they broke that.

 

I talked to the manager about it for a few minutes, and I was told that normally, when they get a product that isn't supposed to be released until a certain date, the shipping box has that information in large print 'warnings' all over it.

 

In the case of the Flashbacks, that warning label was NOT on the shipping boxes, which is why the games went on the shelf. The stockroom employees at TRU got the shipment, opened the box, and placed the Flashbacks on the shelves. Employees weren't aware of the October 1st date until the individual Flashback boxes were scanned at the register.

 

This same policy was confirmed by another manager at another local TRU who knew about the Flashbacks, and had taken them off the shelves in his store.

 

Therefore, it seems to me that perhaps there was a miscommunication between AT Games and the factory in China, and/or the shipper neglected to apply the labels (or the labels were never supplied to the factory and/or shipper). Whatever it was, it appears this was not the fault of TRU. It was a mistake made due to missing information.

Edited by nurmix
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I found them in Michigan at TRU , The system said not to sell until 9/22/14. But I did pick up 2 of each and they had 2 more of each on the self.

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[...]

 

I could see this really hurting the relationship between AtGames and Toys R Us over this also, as it really messed things up.

 

I personally don't think it will. It seems to have been a problem with miscommunication, but it seems that it was not reallyToys'RUs' issue, not ATGames's. I have the feeling it just sort of happened.

However, those of us who have been able (lucky enough?) to put their hands on one of these machines are dedicated collectors / experts / fans, who in a way have already spread a lot of positive information on these products. These are very good products, and worth buying.

As far as reviews are concerned, I, for one, would look forward to reading full, extensive reviews. As an adult with a busy life, I find myself struggling to even play the three new units fully, even as much as I love them. So I do hope Bill writes one for Retro, and I am looking forward to reading it.

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I did come across the Flashbacks at a local TRU, but they would not sell them (they were in a locked cabinet). They told me about the October 1st street date, and that they would be fined if they broke that.

 

I talked to the manager about it for a few minutes, and I was told that normally, when they get a product that isn't supposed to be released until a certain date, the shipping box has that information in large print 'warnings' all over it.

 

In the case of the Flashbacks, that warning label was NOT on the shipping boxes, which is why the games went on the shelf. The stockroom employees at TRU got the shipment, opened the box, and placed the Flashbacks on the shelves. Employees weren't aware of the October 1st date until the individual Flashback boxes were scanned at the register.

 

This same policy was confirmed by another manager at another local TRU who knew about the Flashbacks, and had taken them off the shelves in his store.

 

Therefore, it seems to me that perhaps there was a miscommunication between AT Games and the factory in China, and/or the shipper neglected to apply the labels (or the labels were never supplied to the factory and/or shipper). Whatever it was, it appears this was not the fault of TRU. It was a mistake made due to missing information.

Didn't know all that, that updates what I speculated on earlier today. Thanks for the extra info!

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I didn't get a unit at Toys R' Us, and I have difficulty getting out to all the local stores to find one, so I'm content to wait until the 10/1 official date.

 

So I'd still be interested in seeing an in-depth review of the INTV Flashback by Bill L. I really liked his review of the Atari Flashback 4 and it was a major factor in my decision to get one.

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So I do hope Bill writes one for Retro, and I am looking forward to reading it.

 

No worries. The feature for RETRO issue 5 is happening. I'm just not sure about anything else (from me) at this point.

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Sorry to hear that Bill is no longer feeling this, but I hope and expect that these units will get the obsessive reviews that they deserve, game by game and way longer than reasonable person could expect to read.

 

As for the sound in Squish em Sam, remember the Atari Flashback 2? "QUADRUN QUADRUN QUADRUN," it failed to say.

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I predict and can mostly promise that any early releases that sneaked out and were sold will only increase the demand and sale potential of this item.

 

Hype is good for sales!

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I predict and can mostly promise that any early releases that sneaked out and were sold will only increase the demand and sale potential of this item.

 

Hype is good for sales!

I agree. In a way, my background in marketing/communications [just never, ever tell my parents I'm making use of it, since I'm a humanities prof ;-)] kind of tells me that this could all have been a wisely-planned marketing strategy.

"Let there be hype!" [and with products such as these, it's worth it :)].

Edited by didimo63

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I agree. In a way, my background in marketing/communications [just never, ever tell my parents I'm making use of it, since I'm a humanities prof ;-)] kind of tells me that this could all have been a wisely-planned marketing strategy.

"Let there be hype!" [and with products such as these, it's worth it :)].

 

Except I can tell you for a fact it wasn't. Street dates have been broken before, intentional or otherwise. It happens in retail, that's why there are usually monetary fines. In any case, this was unintentional and did mess up planning. It's definitely not the end of the world, though, as the mainstream roll-out when it was supposed to be rolled out shouldn't be affected.

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Except I can tell you for a fact it wasn't. Street dates have been broken before, intentional or otherwise. It happens in retail, that's why there are usually monetary fines. In any case, this was unintentional and did mess up planning. It's definitely not the end of the world, though, as the mainstream roll-out when it was supposed to be rolled out shouldn't be affected.

 

When Halo 4 was released before time, M$ banned Xbox 360 consoles of everyone who played before the release date!!!

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http://intellivisionrevolution.com/entries/intellivision-revolution/the-serial-number-database-now-includes-the-intellivision-flashback

 

I didnt waste any time, Flashback owners, feel free to add your Flashback to the official Serial Number Database...........the Flashback has no serial numbers you may be wondering? But it will have 'editions' such as Dollar General, and Sams.......also, on the box and console is something called a BATCH CODE. A date of manufacture, my batch code (date) is 07/2014. Im wondering if they will change the date if a second run of these gets made. Oh the collectors of variants will go crazy!

Edited by revolutionika

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I talked to the manager about it for a few minutes, and I was told that normally, when they get a product that isn't supposed to be released until a certain date, the shipping box has that information in large print 'warnings' all over it.

 

[. . .]

 

Therefore, it seems to me that perhaps there was a miscommunication between AT Games and the factory in China, and/or the shipper neglected to apply the labels (or the labels were never supplied to the factory and/or shipper). Whatever it was, it appears this was not the fault of TRU. It was a mistake made due to missing information.

I think it's also possible that AtGames did not even know about the Warning labels normally applied to the shipping boxes for products with a specific release date. As far as I can remember, no previous AtGames products have had a set release date; with the Atari FB3 and FB4, didn't they just appear in stores without any particular date having been stated beforehand? And, none of their 2013 products (the FB64 and Sega 60-in-1) had any announcement before suddenly showing up on store shelves--we didn't even know they were coming at all. I'm just guessing, of course, but perhaps AtGames' lack of experience doing this kind of product launch is what left off the Warning labels that TRU would have expected. A planning error, rather than a miscommunication.

 

By the way, off-topic request to nurmix: the next time you talk to Keith Robinson, could you ask what happened to Night Stalker Gen2? It was announced, and a prototype was demoed, but then it just vanished into the ether.

 

Switching topics again, the following is a copy-pasted request from a post I just made in the CV FB topic, with slight edits. It applies to participants of this thread as well, so:

 

REQUEST to anyone who already has a CV and/or INTV FB!

 

Can someone boot up the system(s) while holding down the Reset button on the base unit? I'd like to see if this brings up a debug/test mode that may reveal which of AtGames' processors is powering the system. Pictures or video footage in particular would be great. Many thanks in advance!

 

With the Atari FB4, there were several buttons on the base unit, and you held only the Start and Select among them while booting to get the debug/test mode. It looks like the CV and INTV FB only have Power and Reset buttons on the base unit; I get the feeling that maybe their button sequence for debug/test isn't as simple as just holding down the only non-Power button while booting. Still, unless someone wants to try doing various random stuff on the controllers at boot, this is the closest analog to the FB4 debug/test button sequence.

 

Also, is anyone brave enough to take apart their Flashback and see if the PCB (or any socketed chips on it) has anything noteworthy written on it? Yes, I'd really like to determine what processor AtGames has deployed for these new Flashbacks.

 

onmode-ky

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Whats up with that empty space that says 'joypad 1 and joypad 2'?

 

The hole is for the mounting screws. But it just looks odd with the white line around that space. Probably nothing.

Edited by revolutionika

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Thanks for the pictures, rev (by the way, I just realized that your username could be interpreted as "Revolution Ika," or "Revolution Squid" in Japanese . . . uh, is that what it actually is?). Unfortunately, I didn't see anything on the board that hinted at which AtGames chip runs the system (does anyone else see anything helpful?). The two socketed chips on the board are a DRAM module and a flash memory module.

 

I hope someone can dig out the debug/test mode!

 

onmode-ky

 

Edit: Okay, those aren't socketed chips, but I've forgotten what that packaging form is called. The glob-top, of course, covers up the CPU.

Edited by onmode-ky

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