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How bad is the lag? It can really make or break a gaming experience. Did you try playing on a CRT to rule out display lag?

 

Bingo!! Just used it on my 32 inch Hitachi - buttons perform perfectly (at least on Dragonfire and Miner 2049er). I do notice that the Miner runs slow for some reason and then plays normal - weird. Anyway, that just improved my overall rating from "must buy" to "Oh my God, if you haven't gotten one yet, you're a damn fool!!"

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I picked mine up from TRU today and gave it an hour runthrough on a 32" HDTV (Don't feel like pulling out the Commodore 1084 today. Maybe tomorrow.)

 

I tried out about a half dozen games. Its pretty decent. The controller is kind of blah though. Even a passthrough dongle so I could use my Genesis stick would be ducky.

 

But its not BAD. I mean if it can handle Montezuma's Revenge and I get fairly far it can't be too rough.

 

I'd honestly rather pay 50 for a machine with proper controllers/DB9 plug support and HDMI or at least S Video out options. Hell DVI monitor!

 

But it is a good first step. I obviously have very little need of the Ataris, Intellivision, or Genesis as I have in some legit collection or other most of those games already. Or in some cases the original carts. The Coleco not so much. Sadly unless Activision gets on board HERO will still be a game I have to hunt down.

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I went to my local TRU last weekend because the website listed the Flashback as available for in store pickup. It wasn't on the shelves and when I asked about it I was told that they couldn't sell it yet. I'm going to try again this weekend.

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Negative at the "Dollar General" today in Central Massachusetts. Lady looked at me like I had three heads, had no idea what I was talking about.....

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I went to my local TRU last weekend because the website listed the Flashback as available for in store pickup. It wasn't on the shelves and when I asked about it I was told that they couldn't sell it yet. I'm going to try again this weekend.

Which one, I was thinking of checking it out but don't want to re invent the wheel, lol

(I'm MN too btw)

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I went to the one in Maplewood. At the time they were the only one showing it available for in-store pickup. Now there are a few other stores showing it available for pickup. So, it might actually be available. I might drop by there tomorrow night and check.

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I went to the one in Maplewood. At the time they were the only one showing it available for in-store pickup. Now there are a few other stores showing it available for pickup. So, it might actually be available. I might drop by there tomorrow night and check.

 

Is that the Maplewood Mall one roughly where the old Childrens Palace once was, in my old 'hood? ;)

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Is that the Maplewood Mall one roughly where the old Childrens Palace once was, in my old 'hood? ;)

 

Yep, that's the one. Not in the mall, but in that first ring of stores across from Maplewood Mall.

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I'm sure they could, as they create the keychain friendly Nano: http://segaretro.org/Arcade_Nano_Series , but I have to admit, I prefer the discrete components. I think the goal for most of us is to have improvements in AtGames' controller design and to be able to fulfill the original promise of cross compatibility in the next iteration of the ColecoVision Flashback. That wouldn't happen if they switched to the all-in-one model.

 

By the way, I reviewed that C-64 DTV back in 2004 and liked it a great deal (particularly in comparison to the other release at the time, the original Atari Flashback), but was never a fan of that joystick design (and it was obviously not even as good as the original inspiration). That was a case where if it were a tiny console that you could plug any controller into, it would have indeed been ideal, since the actual C-64 hardware recreation was so spot on. Of course it's hackable and all that, but it still would have been nice to have the separate components by default.

Bill, since you posted in the other thread, do you know now what the extra overlays are for the Sam's Club edition of the Colecovision Flashback?

 

Checked my local SC today also by the way, guys. Nothing yet.

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Bill, since you posted in the other thread, do you know now what the extra overlays are for the Sam's Club edition of the Colecovision Flashback?

 

Checked my local SC today also by the way, guys. Nothing yet.

 

Aquattack, Gateway to Apshai, Miner 2049er, and Quest for Quintana Roo

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Hi

 

Just wanted to say they have these at Family Dollar in the Cincinnati area, Thought that was interesting considering all the stuff going on between Family Dollar and Dollar General. At my local store I counted seven for sale.

 

Forrest

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Got mine today in the mail. After looking at the overlays, I would have to say the overlays are very nice. I don't know if you guys figured it out yet but, there is a plastic film over each overlay. Like on a read out screen of a new device. Once you peal it off, the overlays look great!

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Aquattack, Gateway to Apshai, Miner 2049er, and Quest for Quintana Roo

Interesting... Could these be the homebrew overlays I created? Or perhaps AtGames used someone else's overlay templates... :)

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Got mine today in the mail. After looking at the overlays, I would have to say the overlays are very nice. I don't know if you guys figured it out yet but, there is a plastic film over each overlay. Like on a read out screen of a new device. Once you peal it off, the overlays look great!

 

Interesting, I thought the plastic film was a manufacturing defect.

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Bill's description here mentions that the controllers are backwards compatible.

I bought this because of the compatibility, (preordered the minute I read this in May), finally able to resurrect my original machine. I promptly plugged the new controllers into the old console and they fit, albeit loosely. Before powering on, I figured I'd better take a glance at the manual. Sure enough, on page one: "Colecovison Flashback Controllers are NOT compatible with original Colecovison consoles."

 

I think I will see if I can swap out some components to use the new controller's switches inside the old controller's housings. edit: I opened the new controller, it uses varying resistances to detect which button is pressed, whereas the old one used no less than 28 diodes to make a binary pattern to be read by the Coleco. So I guess they may have saved about a dollar by not making them compatible. I imagine that adds up over the total production run qty.

 

I will fit an ATMEGA chip in to translate the button press signals to the old Coleco. Unfortunately the new controllers don't fit comfortably in the old console's tray, although the do fit acceptably if the cord is stressed a bit.

 

BTW, what's up with the "spinner" contacts on the old controller circuit boards?

Edited by towmater

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I bought this because of the compatibility, (preordered the minute I read this in May), finally able to resurrect my original machine. I promptly plugged the new controllers into the old console and they fit, albeit loosely. Before powering on, I figured I'd better take a glance at the manual. Sure enough, on page one: "Colecovison Flashback Controllers are NOT compatible with original Colecovison consoles."

 

I think I will see if I can swap out some components to use the new controller's switches inside the old controller's housings. edit: I opened the new controller, it uses varying resistances to detect which button is pressed, whereas the old one used no less than 28 diodes to make a binary pattern to be read by the Coleco. So I guess they may have saved about a dollar by not making them compatible. I imagine that adds up over the total production run qty.

 

I will fit an ATMEGA chip in to translate the button press signals to the old Coleco. Unfortunately the new controllers don't fit comfortably in the old console's tray, although the do fit acceptably if the cord is stressed a bit.

 

BTW, what's up with the "spinner" contacts on the old controller circuit boards?

Thanks for the technical details of this. So it's a fact now that the controllers are completely incompatible (ie using a resistor array to be read as an analog matrix instead of a diode array to be read as a digital matrix) and no amount of pin adapters will change that.

 

If the resistor network required 28 discrete diodes, which would have cost as you say $1 extra per controller, $2 savings on a $40 retail device that probably wholesales around $20 and costs $10 to manufacture per unit, that $2 savings per unit greatly enhances the product's bottom line. And that's not counting losses due to distribution and advertising. This is a process known as "value engineering".

 

While it would have been nice to make the controller compatible with original hardware, a head engineer probably had discussions with someone from the finance department and said, "we can make a backwards compatible controller that will cost X, or a no-backwards compatible controller that will cost Y," and the Y option was obviously cheaper.

 

You wonder why the directional discs have shorter pegs? Value Engineering. The post has to be made from thick plastic to prevent snapping, and guess what, a shorter post will save material cost and perhaps be cheaper to mold as well.

 

Diehard retro fans often overlook the value vs quality aspect. sure, you would pay $140 for a scale replica of the ColecoVision with quality ergonomic microswitch controllers, and 60 built in games with overlays for every game plus compatability with original cartridges and accessories, and with HDMI 480p output in addition to composite, but who the hell other than die hard collectors would buy it?

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Got mine today in the mail. After looking at the overlays, I would have to say the overlays are very nice. I don't know if you guys figured it out yet but, there is a plastic film over each overlay. Like on a read out screen of a new device. Once you peal it off, the overlays look great!

 

 

Interesting, I thought the plastic film was a manufacturing defect.

At first I thought it was too but, after dragging my finger over the corner of the overlay I realized it was just a protective film. I have a feeling that most thought it was a manufacturing defect. So, just in case users still don't know:

 

 

**Be sure to peel off the protective film on your overlays**

 

 

;-)

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Thanks for the technical details of this. So it's a fact now that the controllers are completely incompatible (ie using a resistor array to be read as an analog matrix instead of a diode array to be read as a digital matrix) and no amount of pin adapters will change that.

 

If the resistor network required 28 discrete diodes, which would have cost as you say $1 extra per controller, $2 savings on a $40 retail device that probably wholesales around $20 and costs $10 to manufacture per unit, that $2 savings per unit greatly enhances the product's bottom line. And that's not counting losses due to distribution and advertising. This is a process known as "value engineering".

 

While it would have been nice to make the controller compatible with original hardware, a head engineer probably had discussions with someone from the finance department and said, "we can make a backwards compatible controller that will cost X, or a no-backwards compatible controller that will cost Y," and the Y option was obviously cheaper.

 

You wonder why the directional discs have shorter pegs? Value Engineering. The post has to be made from thick plastic to prevent snapping, and guess what, a shorter post will save material cost and perhaps be cheaper to mold as well.

 

Diehard retro fans often overlook the value vs quality aspect. sure, you would pay $140 for a scale replica of the ColecoVision with quality ergonomic microswitch controllers, and 60 built in games with overlays for every game plus compatability with original cartridges and accessories, and with HDMI 480p output in addition to composite, but who the hell other than die hard collectors would buy it?

 

While you're 100% correct that every penny saved can translate to big money with mass market products (and that's always been the case; Boisy Pitre and I detail that very process in our book on the Color Computer, "CoCo: The Colorful History of Tandy's Underdog Computer"), since I've had a ringside seat to the goings on, I can say that it really was a "simple" oversight not to make them cross compatible. Without that clear direction at the engineering company, it indeed worked out like you said where savings ruled the day to make a functional, reminiscent controller. With that said, I think it's fair to say that for all of their faults, AtGames can make good quality controllers, having done so with the Atari, Sega, and Intellivision systems. I'll do everything I can to encourage a redesign for any future ColecoVision-related products so that side can receive a similar benefit. Personally, it's the one I'm most disappointed in as an original ColecoVision owner and a fan to this day.

 

In regards to your last point, despite the controversy with Hyperkin's RetroN 5, the product itself is brilliant. It would be stunning to have a classic version of that that did Atari 2600, Intellivision, and ColecoVision (and whatever else pre-Crash they could make work), but as you say, the belief is that the market is too small. I sincerely wish it wasn't (or at least the perception wasn't there), particularly with how much I admire how the RetroN 5 works.

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You wonder why the directional discs have shorter pegs? Value Engineering. The post has to be made from thick plastic to prevent snapping, and guess what, a shorter post will save material cost and perhaps be cheaper to mold as well.

 

 

Actually that's the one thing I did understand. The reason I need to replace the original controllers is that the shafts broke and were virtually irreparable. The short shafts on the new design were not to save money, rather to save (er, well money) them from an unknown number of returned products. The new design will actually bottom-out the thumb disc against the outer case before even fully compressing the rubber between the stick and the switch contacts, so the new design would be extremely difficult to snap.

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Actually that's the one thing I did understand. The reason I need to replace the original controllers is that the shafts broke and were virtually irreparable. The short shafts on the new design were not to save money, rather to save (er, well money) them from an unknown number of returned products. The new design will actually bottom-out the thumb disc against the outer case before even fully compressing the rubber between the stick and the switch contacts, so the new design would be extremely difficult to snap.

 

It will be difficult to know the real engineering reason behind the decision, but I like the theory that the designer didn't know how to hold the ColecoVision controller he had in his possession. The theory goes that he assumed it was thumb operated, which is why some people seem to like to use the ColecoVision Flashback controllers like that, since that's how he more or less designed it to be used. In fact, if you go with that idea, that's where the shorter shaft makes the most sense, since I think it's more or less accepted (and has been my direct experience) the longer the shaft (to a point of course), the more precise the control.

 

I can't stand that thumb grip and still use the three finger pinch grip like I do on real ColecoVison controllers. I could probably learn to deal with the discomfort of the shorter shaft if these were precise, but no matter how I hold it, I can't consistently hit certain directions, particularly diagonals.

 

Of course, I'm of the impression that I'm in the majority in terms of my feelings about these controllers. If I'm in the minority, then perhaps I won't be so insistent with my recommendations about a redesign. Maybe a poll of some type is in order?

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BTW, what's up with the "spinner" contacts on the old controller circuit boards?

The original [prototype] Colecovision controllers had the spinner that was later used on the Super Action Controllers. It was dropped as a cost saving measure, and presumably so the Super Action Controllers would sell better, having an 'exclusive' feature not available on the standard system controllers.

 

post-19229-141234959563_thumb.jpg

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The original [prototype] Colecovision controllers had the spinner that was later used on the Super Action Controllers. It was dropped as a cost saving measure, and presumably so the Super Action Controllers would sell better, having an 'exclusive' feature not available on the standard system controllers.

 

 

 

As far as I know, the spinner isn't supported by any games - is that correct? It would be cool to play Flipper Slipper using the spinner if it worked.

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I can't stand that thumb grip and still use the three finger pinch grip like I do on real ColecoVison controllers. I could probably learn to deal with the discomfort of the shorter shaft if these were precise, but no matter how I hold it, I can't consistently hit certain directions, particularly diagonals.

 

I've always held the CV controller in-between the lower thumb and base of the forefinger (metacarpal bones). With my forefinger and middle slightly curved over the side or top. It helps with the shorter sticks on the flashback a lot.....but I grew up playing the CV this way so I'm very used to it.

 

Suprisingly I actually got incredibly far in Oils Well which was the big test for me. Had a hard time with Smurf Rescue but played well in Venture and Zaxxon. I dearly wish Lady Bug was on this console. Heist is unplayable for me.

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As far as I know, the spinner isn't supported by any games - is that correct? It would be cool to play Flipper Slipper using the spinner if it worked.

 

It's my understanding the unreleased original controller spinner is the same spinner found on the Super Action Controllers, and the same way the driving controller and trackball work. So any games that support those should in theory support that. Flipper Slipper is not one of them.

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