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My owner's manual says the max card supported is 8GB...

 

Maybe I lucked out because the first card I tried worked like a champ...I used a SanDisk 4GB Micro (in the adaptor).

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I wonder what the difference is between cards that work and don't work? Formatting? Controller chip? Timing? File System?

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My wife somewhat surprisingly got me one of these for Christmas. I had a feeling she had bought me one and when I grabbed one of the last Colecovision Flashbacks that Toy 'R Us had she kind of got mad, so that reinforced that feeling. So far I am pleased with the system. The games I have tried all seem pretty close to the original, well except for Frogger, but I have not tried to add an SD card yet.

 

Speaking of Frogger, I understand the musical rights issue, but what keeps them from emulating the original 2600 Frogger and leaving the music out?

 

Once we were done opening gifts I opened it up and started playing Asteroids. You know that first game on Asteroids is pretty easy, so I eventually just had to stop playing or I would have been MIA for the rest of Christmas.

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Speaking of Frogger, I understand the musical rights issue, but what keeps them from emulating the original 2600 Frogger and leaving the music out?

 

I would guess it's because of the difficulty of hacking a 2600 game ROM to remove the music while leaving the rest of the sound intact. I'm sure that wouldn't be hard for a Nukey Shay or a Thomas Jentzsch, but AtGames may not have a Nukey Shay or Thomas Jentzsch on staff.

 

It may also be something similar to the deal Taito insisted on for Space Invaders on the previous Flashbacks. I can see Konami saying, "We can't use the old music, and just to be absolutely certain it doesn't sneak in, use this approved version of the game instead."

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With the screen problem, if you hold the unit sideways, I think you might notice what happened. It looks like they accidentally used a screen designed for portrait mode instead of a landscape one.

 

 

This is exactly what I was thinking. It looks the worst when playing a game with a dark background.

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I wonder what the difference is between cards that work and don't work? Formatting? Controller chip? Timing? File System?

 

What I discovered is that apparently Windows 10 (and perhaps some other versions of Windows as well) do not format the SD card correctly and you need to get a tool called the SD Formatter from https://www.sdcard.org/downloads/formatter_4/eula_windows/index.html

Once I used this, my SD card worked on the portable.

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Got one of these for Christmas. I've been wishing for someone to make a portable Atari for the last 10 years! Overall it's a nice enough little unit. I loaded 60 or so games onto an SD Card (SanDisk 4GB Ultra SDHC) and had no trouble. I'm mostly satisfied with the compatibility....I can see why some new homebrews, especially of larger file sizes, won't work....though I would be curious to hear the technical reason as to why some older, actual Atari carts don't (like Galaxian). The sound quality is rather weak, but at this price point it's good enough.

I do have 2 minor gripes though. First and biggest would be the screen quality. Two Christmases ago, I got the AtGames Genesis portable. Same size, same layout as the Atari portable. But put them side by side and the Genesis screen is noticeably nicer - it's brighter, and doesn't "fade out" as much when tilted side to side. On the Atari, you can look at the screen with one eye....and then the other...and notice the picture is brighter and less faded from the vantage point of one eye over the other. That's really poor. Sure hope they release a slightly updated version next year with a better screen - I'd definitely "upgrade" if they ever do.

My second gripe is I suppose more of a personal preference type of thing, but I find it really hard to play a lot of the games with a D-pad under my left thumb. On the Genesis sytem, the controls felt natural because the actual Genesis console controllers used a left-thumb D-pad and buttons by the right thumb. For years now (decades!) I've been playing these Atari games with a joystick, moving the player with my right thumb, and pressing fire with my left thumb. It just feels VERY unatural swapping controls at this point. So another wish for a future update - make an option to swap the screen (and D-pad orientation of course) upside down so you can play using your right-thumb on the D-pad.

The Genesis portable I'd pretty much give an "A" grade to - it's really a nice little unit. The Atari portable is decent, but I wouldn't grade it higher than a "B".

Edited by eegad
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Got one of these for Christmas. I've been wishing for someone to make a portable Atari for the last 10 years! Overall it's a nice enough little unit. I loaded 60 or so games onto an SD Card (SanDisk 4GB Ultra SDHC) and had no trouble. I'm mostly satisfied with the compatibility....I can see why some new homebrews, especially of larger file sizes, won't work....though I would be curious to hear the technical reason as to why some older, actual Atari carts don't (like Galaxian). The sound quality is rather weak, but at this price point it's good enough.

 

I do have 2 minor gripes though. First and biggest would be the screen quality. Two Christmases ago, I got the AtGames Genesis portable. Same size, same layout as the Atari portable. But put them side by side and the Genesis screen is noticeably nicer - it's brighter, and doesn't "fade out" as much when tilted side to side. On the Atari, you can look at the screen with one eye....and then the other...and notice the picture is brighter and less faded from the vantage point of one eye over the other. That's really poor. Sure hope they release a slightly updated version next year with a better screen - I'd definitely "upgrade" if they ever do.

 

My second gripe is I suppose more of a personal preference type of thing, but I find it really hard to play a lot of the games with a D-pad under my left thumb. On the Genesis sytem, the controls felt natural because the actual Genesis console controllers used a left-thumb D-pad and buttons by the right thumb. For years now (decades!) I've been playing these Atari games with a joystick, moving the player with my right thumb, and pressing fire with my left thumb. It just feels VERY unatural swapping controls at this point. So another wish for a future update - make an option to swap the screen (and D-pad orientation of course) upside down so you can play using your right-thumb on the D-pad.

 

The Genesis portable I'd pretty much give an "A" grade to - it's really a nice little unit. The Atari portable is decent, but I wouldn't grade it higher than a "B".

 

 

 

I read on Facebook there is a joystick port mod for the portable. I wonder if paddle controls would work... my biggest gripe is the paddle games don't play right with the d-pad.

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I do have 2 minor gripes though. First and biggest would be the screen quality. Two Christmases ago, I got the AtGames Genesis portable. Same size, same layout as the Atari portable. But put them side by side and the Genesis screen is noticeably nicer - it's brighter, and doesn't "fade out" as much when tilted side to side. On the Atari, you can look at the screen with one eye....and then the other...and notice the picture is brighter and less faded from the vantage point of one eye over the other. That's really poor. Sure hope they release a slightly updated version next year with a better screen - I'd definitely "upgrade" if they ever do.

 

 

There is a thin layer of plastic on the atari portable flashback screen. If you start from a corner of the screen with your fingernail and pull it off, you will notice a much clearer, crisper display. You can also leave it on there, it's your choice...

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I read on Facebook there is a joystick port mod for the portable. I wonder if paddle controls would work... my biggest gripe is the paddle games don't play right with the d-pad.

 

You've come to the right place. Just read back the last few pages of this thread and you'll get your answer. The short answer is: No. ;)

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Got one of these for Christmas. I've been wishing for someone to make a portable Atari for the last 10 years!

Netbook and Emulator Stella. Been around for years. Not in the same class as AFP.. but a nice solution which is versatile and far more accurate..

 

I can see why some new homebrews, especially of larger file sizes, won't work....though I would be curious to hear the technical reason as to why some older, actual Atari carts don't (like Galaxian).

A layperson's answer is the emulation is "good enough" at this price point to play the built-in games. The emulator inside was developed on a strict budget and isn't savvy enough to replicate all the funky tricks that are commonly used in making VCS games. The technical answer would likely be different from game to game. My guess is that some instructions act differently close to or at their limit. You'd need to consult a professional programmer to get a tech answer that is correct.

 

The sound quality is rather weak, but at this price point it's good enough.

I'm surprised no one has mentioned the speaker mod.

 

 

I do have 2 minor gripes though. First and biggest would be the screen quality. Two Christmases ago, I got the AtGames Genesis portable. Same size, same layout as the Atari portable. But put them side by side and the Genesis screen is noticeably nicer - it's brighter, and doesn't "fade out" as much when tilted side to side. On the Atari, you can look at the screen with one eye....and then the other...and notice the picture is brighter and less faded from the vantage point of one eye over the other. That's really poor. Sure hope they release a slightly updated version next year with a better screen - I'd definitely "upgrade" if they ever do.

At this price point it will have to do. Someone said they used the same screen as the Genesis portable and that it was simply rotated 90 degrees. Most cheap LCD displays are pretty good left to right, but their brightness changes significantly if you look at them from the bottom or top - not something expected in the TV and gaming viewing environment. But here, rotated 90`, it's noticeable.

 

 

 

 

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What I discovered is that apparently Windows 10 (and perhaps some other versions of Windows as well) do not format the SD card correctly...

That would make sense. I know Windows 7 and up, any time I plug in a USB stick, it asks me if I want to repair it :roll:

 

... my biggest gripe is the paddle games don't play right with the d-pad.

I only tried a couple of paddle games, but I thought it actually worked a lot better than I was expecting. Sure, a true paddle would be ideal (especially one without jitters), but it's a lot better than nothing.

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The Genesis portable I'd pretty much give an "A" grade to - it's really a nice little unit.

Have you actually played any of the games on a real Genesis? The sound emulation is horrid.

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I was checking around today, mostly to look for a Genesis Portable. I was surprised a bit to find

 

1) All the Portable Flashbacks were sold out (but glad it did so well)

2) That they all basically retained their price at around $49.99. :/

 

This was a shock to me since I bought my Atari Flashback Portables, which were $39.99 at Bed Bath and Beyond for about $32 with the 20% coupons I had.

 

Before the holiday season was over, I had bought four Atari Flashback Portables. One pre-production from ATgames, one production, one for a gift, and one for a home brewer for tinkering. Been fun. :D

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Have you actually played any of the games on a real Genesis? The sound emulation is horrid.

 

Yes, I played on a real console back in the day, and just as with the Atari unit, the sound is pretty weak. Can't argue that point. But for $40, I think the sound is "good enough". Given the decent screen, video out port, sd card slot, and controls that are laid out similar to the original controllers, I do think the genesis model is pretty darn nice. The Atari unit is a step down in terms of screen quality and controls that are so different from the original console.

 

One other plus for the genesis unit - a user replaceable battery.

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Netbook and Emulator Stella. Been around for years. Not in the same class as AFP.. but a nice solution which is versatile and far more accurate..

I love my netbook, but it's really not the same thing as a handheld that fits in your pocket. I sure as heck wouldn't bring it to work to play during break (though I've contemplated it a time or two) =)

 

I've always thought devices like the Pandora were a really cool idea, having the best of both worlds, but they tend to be pricey, have a niche audience, and very little dev support. Seems like they get a few emulators, a port of DOOM, and then call it a day.

Edited by Asaki

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I don't mind R-Pi, right now it's an auxiliary kinda thing. An accessory. It will have to improve in many areas before I adopt it as my mainline platform.

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I think a future platform could be a portable with Just the Paddle games...

 

Picture a unit with far less games, but all of them Paddle games and instead of a D-Pad, a Paddle built right into the unit...

 

And I mean something In addition to the FB Portable...Not a replacement for it.

 

Anyone else think That would be neato?

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Hey Atari Flashback Portable fans, thanks to Nukey Shay we have...

 

STAR RAIDERS

 

Hold down the Mono/Color button for the galactic map to select the sector with the Zylon ships.

Hit the fire button while on the galactic map page to hyperspace!

Difficultly 1 turns on attack computer.

Difficultly 2 turns on shields.

(And Nukey fixed the previously non-working Dpad!)

 

You can download the game at the following link. (That way the download count will be at one spot, show Nukey some love for his hard work, and hopefully inspire other hacks, never know.) :D

 

http://atariage.com/forums/topic/259166-flashback-portable-needed-controller-hacks/page-2?do=findComment&comment=3661676

 

Video of the gameplay can be found here...

 

Edited by doctorclu
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I think a future platform could be a portable with Just the Paddle games...

Picture a unit with far less games, but all of them Paddle games and instead of a D-Pad, a Paddle built right into the unit...

My only comment would be that you'd really want to include a second paddle, as a fair number of the paddle games are two-player.

Maybe you'd have to put in a port to plug in a second paddle, and at that point it starts to go from a $35 stocking stuffer to something quite a bit pricier.

Not sure it's really a workable idea.

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It obviously went through a recent redesign (http://atgames.us/main.sc). There's more to come.

 

I was doing some tinkering today and thought they had removed the AFP from the ATgames website. But apparently the site I found was different from the one above. http://www.atgames.net/

 

As for my tinkering...

 

With the Genesis Portable, you can add a DAT file (named MDB.DAT) to the Games folder to change the way your list of ROM names is displayed and even show boxarts or screenshots in the SD selection menu. I don't think this was a widely known feature (at least not mentioned in the manual). I'm wondering if there is a similar feature for the Atari Portable. I already tried using the DAT file from the Genesis version and editing it for Atari games, but that didn't work. I'd think there may be a way to do this, but if so, there must be a slightly different format or possibly just a different name for the DAT. Does anyone have any knowledge of this?

 

I see that others have played with this with no result.

 

Today I tried various tests with the MDB.DAT file.

 

1) Used the editor, set up names to match the binary files, made the picture files to match the binary (plus got them in the 120x112 mode with 63 color... uggg). Did that for a simple directory of three games. No go.

2) Tried a variation of capitalization for the Game folder (GAME, Game, game). Also variation of the MDB.DAT (MDB.DAT, mbd.dat, Mdb.dat) no go.

3) Tried the existing MDB.DAT that comes with the editor and tried renaming some of the Atari files to the Genesis names in the .DAT file. Remember both .gen and .bin would work with the MDB.DAT file. Also no go.

 

So despite the fact that this device is obviously a reprogrammed Sega Gopher, and even has the same yellow screen for the SD Card games of the Sega Gopher, was the MDB.DAT option simply eliminated from the programming? Seems weird that it has the know how to recognize a "Game" folder just like the Sega Gopher but not the MDB.DAT file.

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So despite the fact that this device is obviously a reprogrammed Sega Gopher, and even has the same yellow screen for the SD Card games of the Sega Gopher, was the MDB.DAT option simply eliminated from the programming? Seems weird that it has the know how to recognize a "Game" folder just like the Sega Gopher but not the MDB.DAT file.

 

That's not the case. While it re-uses the plastic tooling and other physical features from the Sega portable, the internal chipset is completely different, as is the emulation layer. It's more a case of graphical asset re-use than anything else.

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