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Anyway to play Coleco Games on Atari?

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30 minutes ago, christo930 said:

 

Where did Coleco get the custom Atari chips?

That's the one I've always wondered. Was the TIA one of those custom chips that ended up offered on the open market instead of being exclusive?

 

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1 hour ago, Tursi said:

That's the one I've always wondered. Was the TIA one of those custom chips that ended up offered on the open market instead of being exclusive?

 

Part of my understanding from reading about the expansion module online was part of the reason ColecoVision had success defending the unit in court was that they made the argument that the unit was built with completely off the shelf parts

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The 6507 and 6532 chips could legally be sourced from several manufacturers.  Coleco sourced the proprietary TIA chip from a company called VLSI Technology Inc (VTI).  Mattel used the same source.  It was still protected by Atari patents.  Coleco had no success defending it in court since they settled out of court with coleco paying royalties.

Edited by mr_me

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5 hours ago, mr_me said:

The 6507 and 6532 chips could legally be sourced from several manufacturers.  Coleco sourced the proprietary TIA chip from a company called VLSI Technology Inc (VTI).  Mattel used the same source.  It was still protected by Atari patents.  Coleco had no success defending it in court since they settled out of court with coleco paying royalties.

Pretty sure Colecovision actually won a ruling by a judge but in fear of losing an appeal they settled with Atari that lead to the royalties.

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On 11/5/2019 at 11:39 PM, Crzymk101 said:

Hello all I went to a Retro game shop In Fayetville ga and bought Venture for the Colecovision and it wokerd! 

My old stomping grounds.  Welcome!

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4 hours ago, zaphro72 said:

Pretty sure Colecovision actually won a ruling by a judge ...

Where did you hear this?

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Bits about Atari vs. Coleco here.  My understanding is there was no actual trial and therefore no actual "victory" or "defeat".  Some of Atari's motions apparently were dismissed before there would have been a trial, and then a settlement between the two companies ended all litigation.

 

 

Incidentally, the kind of adapter that allows 2600 games to be played on the Coleco, as well as on the 5200, would be impossible to build for the 2600. The 5200 and the ColecoVision both have data lines that allow video and audio to be passed in from a "cartridge" or expansion module.  This is why, as people have mentioned, both adapters are merely full-fledged Atari 2600 systems wrapped up and disguised as "adapters"; once these adapters are plugged in, the console pretty much does nothing except pass audio and video from the cartridge port to the A/V output.  The Atari 2600 doesn't have any such lines, neither in its cartridge port nor anywhere else, and so any system adapter would have to compute what the game is "supposed" to look like for each given frame of video, then compute how to draw that frame using the Atari 2600's native video capabilities.  Such an adapter would also have been impossible back in the day, and today would be extremely difficult if not still impossible.

 

It's something of an apples-to-oranges comparison, but this video will give you an idea of the effort involved.  This guy created an SNES "adapter" for his NES, another system that doesn't have any means of passing in video created on another piece of hardware.  The adapter can also play NES games, creating an NES "yo dawg".

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The only thing relevent from the above link might be the following.  

 

https://atariage.com/forums/topic/227899-atari-v-coleco-lawsuit/?do=findComment&comment=3037051

"We researched the story pretty thoroughly for our book, plus I'm friends with one of the Atari employees who built the exhibits for the trial (still has a bunch of them with the original court stickers on them), Jerry Jessop. Basically, Warner and Atari saw it more profitable to license to Coleco and make money off the sale of every one of it's 2600 adaptors and Gemini. Patent cases are very very comprehensive and complex (Curt and I have most of the testimony and paperwork from the bulk of the Magnavox vs. trials for instance and the depths both sides go to establishes nuances are insane) so there's no telling which way a judge or jury will go. Jerry felt they would have won had it continued on."

 

Don't know if someone from coleco was asked for their side of the story but so far there's nothing to support the idea that any of atari's charges were dismissed by a court.

Edited by mr_me

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10 hours ago, mr_me said:

Don't know if someone from coleco was asked for their side of the story but so far there's nothing to support the idea that any of atari's charges were dismissed by a court.

Not completely nothing, but unfortunately the write-ups where sources might have been cited apparently no longer exist.  Same difference in the end, but it's not entirely implausible that a motion was dismissed.  Like you quote acknowledges, people at Atari were nervous how judges and juries might lean, no matter how in the right Atari ultimately was.

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31 minutes ago, FujiSkunk said:

... the write-ups where sources might have been cited apparently no longer exist ...

What write-ups?  Surely someone would have written about it in a newspaper somewhere.

 

Lawyers will tell you that no matter how convincing your case is there is always a 20% chance that a judge will give an unexpected ruling.  Avoiding trial is always the best option and the settlement establishes the validity of the atari patents.

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5 hours ago, mr_me said:

What write-ups?

The older thread I linked has a quote from a colecoworld.com write-up, where this appears: "Atari's claims remained unproven and dismissed, and both sets of charges were settled out of court by April 1983 when Coleco agreed to pay royalties."  Sadly that particular version of colecoworld.com shut down.  It seems the colecoworld.com write-up mentioned gamingmuseum.com as a source, but gamingmuseum.com is also no longer the site it used to be.

 

5 hours ago, mr_me said:

Surely someone would have written about it in a newspaper somewhere.

I would think so too, but admittedly I'm not about to go digging to find out.  Again, I concede these articles, which no longer exist, don't really help the debate one way or the other, but the idea of Atari having motions dismissed still jives with the idea the lawyers didn't really want to roll the dice in court any more than they had to.

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The gamingmuseum.com website is archived on the wayback machine.  Writing "Atari's claims remained unproven and dismissed" doesn't say it was dismissed by a judge.  It was dismissed by both parties because they settled.  And the settlement is coleco's admission to the patents.

13 hours ago, FujiSkunk said:

I would think so too, but admittedly I'm not about to go digging to find out.  ...   the idea of Atari having motions dismissed still jives with the idea the lawyers didn't really want to roll the dice in court any more than they had to

You don't have to because others have, including people that have written books on the subject.  It's like the WMDs, you can't find something that doesn't exist.  There's also plenty of people around today that worked for either Atari or Coleco at the time.  Someone from atari that worked on Atari's court preparation  has even been consulted.  They would know.

 

Atari was also facing a $500M antitrust countersuit that they avoided dealing with.   If successfull, it would have forced them to license their patented technology anyway.  Either way it all supports the validity of the patent.  And it has been proven that the tia chip coleco used is a copy of the atari chip.

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Well, make a mini-colecovision out of a raspberry pi or something that supposedly plugs into the 2600 but requires it's own power adapter and av out(basically an Atari cartridge shaped stand-alone console)o. That's pretty much it, unless you really want to get technical, which I presume you don't want to deal with.

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