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Atari Arcade Flashback system: Why hasn't it come out yet?

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What's coming out in 2016 is two Atari 2600-based products and two Sega Genesis-based products.

 

The two Genesis projects seem to be predictable (I'm guessing the similar PnP & portable systems, perhaps with new exclusives to replace Mortal Kombat 1-3).

However, are you free to say what the second 2600 product will be? A portable perhaps?

 

Thanks for taking the time answer all these questions. I wish there were more physical products, but I understand the economics of it don't always support new products, especially for the more obscure systems.

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On the 2600 front, be nice to see a portable. Or if yet another PnP gets released, would like to see paddles and wired controllers return. More licensed games too.

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The two Genesis projects seem to be predictable (I'm guessing the similar PnP & portable systems, perhaps with new exclusives to replace Mortal Kombat 1-3).

However, are you free to say what the second 2600 product will be? A portable perhaps?

 

Thanks for taking the time answer all these questions. I wish there were more physical products, but I understand the economics of it don't always support new products, especially for the more obscure systems.

 

I can't divulge that at this time. As soon as I'm able, though, I definitely will. The Sega products will be the same, but will have an interesting software twist.

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I can't divulge that at this time. As soon as I'm able, though, I definitely will. The Sega products will be the same, but will have an interesting software twist.

 

I look forward to when you can!

 

For the Atari, my first guess would be a portable system with a second, very long-shot guess being a version with an actual cartridge port.

 

The software twist intrigues me. I could see new licensed games (For instance, if AtGames worked a deal with EA, that could open the door to a large amount of titles), or I could see the addition of some games that could've been played with attachments such as the Power Base Converter, 32X or perhaps even the Sega CD. Since AtGames has already released Master System games on other devices, I could see some SMS titles included on the next line of Genesis devices as well. And of course, there is always the possibility of some Sega Arcade games...

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The apps for both PC and iOS are actually quite good with cool interfaces, although I don't agree with the lack of physical controller support (I'm trying to get them to change that and it sounds like they eventually will, including possibly releasing their own USB controllers).

I did the best I could trying to convince one of the guys at Code Mystics to include spinner and trackball support to the Atari iOS game set .. and even demonstrated iCade Bluetooth key presses from an Atari driving controller .. but they would not do it .. so frustrating ..

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I say this a lot, but the next best thing to Tempest arcade's spinner, is the touch screen of a tablet!

You need to press the "fire button" and "Superzapper button" with touch screen which sucks,

but anywhere you touch on the gameplay screen, the shooter moves there!

I love it! Why doesn't the app TELL YOU that you can control it this way!?

 

The app shows a rectangular area with a large dial-like image that sliding over moves the shooter,

but you get that spinner like "scrubbing" when you touch the gameplay screen and scrub back and forth over 3-4 sections where the baddies are coming!

Then say touch the 7 o'clock position and the shooter moves there, then touch the 3 o'clock position and it moves there...

 

Bill, if anyone you know worked on that app, tell them someone always says that positioning the shooter to anywhere that you touch in Tempest is "killer app awesome!"

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I'm afraid it won't. There are no future plans for more ColecoVision or Intellivision Flashbacks. What's coming out in 2016 is two Atari 2600-based products and two Sega Genesis-based products. If there's room for expansion beyond that in 2017 (remember, shelf space is tight and AtGames doesn't want to oversaturate their own market), it would likely come from either an arcade-centric system or from a Commodore-centric system.

So, one of the 2600 products takes actual carts like the Genesis did? :D

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I was always hoping to see a Bally Astrocade Flashback make it to the shelves.

 

Joking or serious? If the latter, why?

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I was always hoping to see a Bally Astrocade Flashback make it to the shelves.

 

 

 

Joking or serious? If the latter, why?

 

Why, to go along with the Mattel Aquarius Flashback of course… collect them all!

 

Me? I'm waiting for the Timex Sinclair 1000 Flashback, the APF-MP1000 Flashback and the Magnavox Odyssey 2 Flashback! :rolling:

 

…on a serious note, would be kinda cool to see an O2 FB. Can just imagine how the logistics of "securing" K.C. Munchkin might go today though. :skull:

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It's been years since we had FB2, how about offering a variant once again? With actual cart slot built in this time?

 

I don't know if anyone can do 5200 FB clone because of the analog controller but it would be super cool if it was available that is 100% compatible with real 5200 and has actual self-centering mechanism that makes playing certain games so much easier.

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It's been years since we had FB2, how about offering a variant once again? With actual cart slot built in this time?

 

I don't know if anyone can do 5200 FB clone because of the analog controller but it would be super cool if it was available that is 100% compatible with real 5200 and has actual self-centering mechanism that makes playing certain games so much easier.

I'd be more interesed in an Odyssey2/videopac g7000 Flashback with detachable controllers myself. Maybe with the foundation for a cartridge port even! I knnow there are no plans now, but I can dream, plus there is always the hope for the next decade! :) :) :D

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It's been years since we had FB2, how about offering a variant once again? With actual cart slot built in this time?

 

I don't know if anyone can do 5200 FB clone because of the analog controller but it would be super cool if it was available that is 100% compatible with real 5200 and has actual self-centering mechanism that makes playing certain games so much easier.

 

You won't have much longer to wait to see what the new products are.

 

As for the 5200, yeah, the controllers are a no-go. If anything, it would be an Atari 8-bit console long before a 5200 console, but that's still unlikely due to the lack of good titles to easily license, among other reasons (lack of name recognition for the platform, etc.). We'll just have to see how the four physical products do this year, how the digital stuff evolves, and go from there.

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Bill is there any other systems that at games been thinking about using

 

They've strongly considered arcade and Commodore-related Flashbacks. Beyond that, nothing else really seriously other than one other variation of an existing product that fell through due to licensing. Again, it all comes down to what's available to license and what will resonate with the general public. For now, they're going to continue to stick with what they know works, and that's Atari 2600- and Sega Genesis-related product. They're doing a bit more than usual with both those platforms this year, so hopefully that translates to success and will give them the confidence to continue branching out again. With that said, there is limited shelf space, so they're similarly limited in how many products they can successfully have out at any one time. For "other" platforms, they're going to continue to pursue a digital strategy and see how that goes, since that carries far less risk than physical products. That's still a bit of a ways off though.

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Was it a certain portable that was going to come out till Atari said they would not back it

 

They have a license, so I really doubt that they need special permission.

 

I think you're confused with the Legacy Engineering proposal from a decade or so ago.

 

atari-flashback-portable.jpg

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Joking or serious? If the latter, why?

 

Serious. The Astrocade has several fun COMPETITIVE 2-player games and a very smartly designed controller with integrated paddles. It was a REAL arcade system, using basically the same hardware as Midway's arcade games of that time (hmmm... interesting possibilities there, huh?). The Astrocade suffered from very limited availability (pretty much mail order or later Montgomery Wards) and a high price of around $299 but it was a very capable system with excellent Midway arcade ports. I've got one with most of the games and it is a really great system and I think most of the games would be familiar to people that have never heard of the console. Also, it is a machine that has not been emulated to death.. the reason being is that the joysticks are so unique that nothing else can really replicate the experience. These consoles are now pretty expensive to buy and getting pretty hard to find.

 

Aside from that...

 

Have you guys thought about just building a kickass Bluetooth/USB wireless retro joystick interface and offer various sticks to plug into it (Astrocade, VCS, CV, INTV, O2, Genesis, Arcade-style, etc.) then offer matching emulators and game packs for tablets/phones and updated game packs each year so people can build an actual game collection? The shelf space needed for a retail product could be much less than what it is now as well. The real draw each year is the new games, right? Why keep producing slightly different console hardware with composite video output year after year? Just offer a base pack with interface and 2 controllers for whatever system and include a code to redeem for the game pack for that year's games. Then the next year, offer an in-app purchase option for people that already own the hardware and update the redemption code and box artwork to reflect that year's offerings. I quit buying the Atari Flashbacks because how many of these things do I really need to accumulate? Just a thought.

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Well I kinda like that. OR something similar. One console doing many things. Been operating that way for years myself.

 

Not sure how popular the Astrocade would be to today's audience. It's a "specialty" console more or less and wasn't too popular back in the day. But I rather liked it and had some good times with it.

 

Its a console you can honestly enjoy through emulation/recreation. And maybe even prefer that method over the real thing because of reliability. Scarcity of some of the semi-custom parts, too. Not to mention a lot of obscure titles. It was rather off the beaten path.

 

Either way, I'm just glad to be able to play it through mess & mame today.

 

Cant compose anymore! We're all drunk but there's always time for good old dear astrocade!!

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You have to think in terms of mass market products with AtGames stuff. They distribute through big box retailers for the most part, so their products need broad appeal. An Astrocade product does not have broad appeal, because even inside the community of those who are into videogames, very few even know that it exists. While I personally have an extensive Astrocade collection and enjoy it a great deal for a variety of reasons, it's the opposite of a mainstream product (heck, there are maybe a dozen of us that are even particularly active on the Astrocade mailing list). It's also important to note that it wasn't even that popular relatively speaking when it was new on the market.

 

The other thing you have to keep in mind is AtGames licenses everything, so, unless licenses are readily available for a system's game collection, even if they wanted to, they couldn't make a product around it. The other factor when it comes to licensing games is that you need at least a handful of titles that the average person will immediately recognize and be drawn to. That's why titles like Asteroids and Space Invaders are often on the front of the box for the Atari product, and titles like Sonic and Mortal Kombat are often on the front of the box for the Sega products. There's a lot of thought behind all of it, even if the execution is sometimes lacking (and keeping in mind that retailers won't carry these unless they can sell them for $40 or less, so there's not a huge margin here to throw all kinds of high tech into these things).

 

Anyway, if you consider they stuggled with selling ColecoVision and Intellivision products, two of the most recognizable pre-Crash consoles (alongside the almighty Atari 2600), there's no real business case to be made for attempting something like that for platforms from back then that were far less popular.

 

Like I said, some interesting (albeit relatively modest) things are going to be attempted with their Atari and Sega products for this year. Let's see how those go, and then maybe explore some other products again for 2017. As for releasing Atari and Sega products year in and year out, and often not changing much (although this year will be a reasonable change), there's a reason behind that of course and that's that they sell consistently year after year. If they didn't, they obviously wouldn't keep rolling them out like that.

 

AtGames is also not ignoring more niche platforms, but will be exploring them safely in a business sense by rolling out digital products around some of them. The success or lack thereof of those could definitely inform the viability of physical products around those properties.

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I'd be more interesed in an Odyssey2/videopac g7000 Flashback with detachable controllers myself. Maybe with the foundation for a cartridge port even! I knnow there are no plans now, but I can dream, plus there is always the hope for the next decade! :) :) :D

Sadly, there's not enough interest in O2/videopac for a proper modern emulator with a gui launcher, let alone hardware. O2em works great but is not nice to set up. I would love a better handheld o2 emulator than RetroArch on Android.

 

There's a nice one for CGW-Zero, at least.

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I don't know how the key board would work out for ether a o2 or c64 flashback would it be something easy to pull off for the price point. It would be needed for the true fans of the systems at least to look anyway authentic but the one point of a flashback is being compact

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