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Atari Flashback Portable FAQ and Compatibility List

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I found that there are a great many scanned 2600 game manuals on the Internet Archive (www.archive.org). I searched for "atari 2600 manual". Some are good scans and some aren't. Downloading is free.

 

When you click on the items in the list (cover art), the information can be downloaded in a number of file formats (PDF, EPUB, KINDLE, etc.) so that it is easy to make a library of manuals for your preferred reader.

 

These made figuring out how to play the games a lot easier, at least for the original 2600 cartridge games, both the Atari originals as well as the third party ones (Activision, etc.). I printed the ones I was interested in on 4x6" paper then spiral bound them into a book so I could take it with me for reference while traveling.

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Posted (edited)

Actually the firmware can be upgraded. We just have to wait for Atgames to make new firmware...

 

Hmm and how could you possibly know that ? An SD slot that can read files does mean the OS image on the final device can boot off of SD card. Reading files and booting an image need to be configured separately on the final burned OS image. I suspect more likely ATgames did not use programmable memory for the final OS image as that would be cost a bit more.

Edited by thetick1

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For some reason, I have an eBay alert set for "Atari portable Ben Heckendorn" --- I think it's because I get a warm feeling out if avoiding the $700+ cost of a limited, signed, handmade one of a kind Atari portable, because I have the AtGames mass produced, emulation-driven Atari Flashback handheld.

 

I know they're not at all comparable, except that they both play ye olde Atari games, which is what really interests me, not hardware or cartridges.

 

https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.com%2Fulk%2Fitm%2F133052281600

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For some reason, I have an eBay alert set for "Atari portable Ben Heckendorn" --- I think it's because I get a warm feeling out if avoiding the $700+ cost of a limited, signed, handmade one of a kind Atari portable, because I have the AtGames mass produced, emulation-driven Atari Flashback handheld.

 

I know they're not at all comparable, except that they both play ye olde Atari games, which is what really interests me, not hardware or cartridges.

 

https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.com%2Fulk%2Fitm%2F133052281600

Ditto!

 

But I would seriously debate getting my favorite Ben Heck model...... VCSp Model 1 (love that wood grain!)

post-2652-0-04437100-1557936795.jpg

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We're at the stage now where we're going to take a hard look at the design of the next Atari Flashback Portable, so I thought it might be a good idea to get some feedback from those who have played the existing models the most. What's your wishlist if you could have one or more changes made to the next AFP to make it even better?

 

Some obvious ones:

 

- Larger Screen

- Some type of paddle control

- ???

- ???

...

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I'd pay a little more for nicer build materials. The new BittBoy is supposed to have a tempered glass screen protector, which would be much more durable and scratch-resistant than the soft plastic used in the Flashback portables we've seen so far.

 

Removable battery would be nice

 

Clearer labels on the buttons

 

D-Pad is everything. Needs to be super precise and feel good.

 

I agree it would be cool to have paddle control, but it's hard to get it right in a small form factor, doubly hard to make it durable. Remember the Arkanoid controller on Nintendo DS? Maybe a similar kind of add-on like an olliclip could work here. If there were more of them, I'd suggest a dedicated handheld, but it's not something that excites me.

 

Also ... Atari 7800 support! :-D

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We're at the stage now where we're going to take a hard look at the design of the next Atari Flashback Portable, so I thought it might be a good idea to get some feedback from those who have played the existing models the most. What's your wishlist if you could have one or more changes made to the next AFP to make it even better?

 

Some obvious ones:

 

- Larger Screen

- Some type of paddle control

- ???

- ???

...

Stella emulator

wood grain look to it

and your two above would do it!

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Posted (edited)

We're at the stage now where we're going to take a hard look at the design of the next Atari Flashback Portable, so I thought it might be a good idea to get some feedback from those who have played the existing models the most. What's your wishlist if you could have one or more changes made to the next AFP to make it even better?

 

 

Here's my wish list:

  • better support for modern SD cards
  • better Atari compatibility (i.e. using the Stella emulator)
  • phospher delay option for games that flicker a lot
  • a contrast or brightness control
  • sensitivity control for paddles
  • charging cable that's either micro USB B or USB C

I had to insert some hacks to get my game working on the portable. It's also hard to see the ghosts in Ms Pac-Man and the hearts in Popeye, so contrast/brightness control would help.

 

One last thing. I suppose it's an anti-wish list. I'd hope the button layout never changes, so that homebrew games can be coded to use the buttons like Gameboy buttons. Changing the button layout would mess that up. (Excluding the D-pad mentioned earlier. That one is a great idea.)

Edited by azure
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Stella emulator

wood grain look to it

and your two above would do it!

 

Bill, what he said! ^^^^^^

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Bill,

 

Throwing in my two cents, I would have to say I would like to see the following:

 

1) Bigger, better screen like what the new BitBoy has

2) Better emulation

3) Better, more precise D-pad

4) Better build quality and ergonomics

5) Paddle control of some kind along the lines of what Hyperkin has come up with. I also know that Willie from ArcadeUSA has suggest some kind of device on the sides or bottom. Either way, something for paddles.

6) Improved buttons

 

Obviously this will most likely lead to a higher priced unit, but I believe it can be done within a reasonable retail amount as the BitBoy is a pretty nice little unit for the $30 or $40 you pay.

 

Anyway, thanks for getting feedback on an updated unit as I still enjoy my Atari FB 2018 handheld, but I do realize that it could be better. Still, it is pretty darn good for what it is.

We're at the stage now where we're going to take a hard look at the design of the next Atari Flashback Portable, so I thought it might be a good idea to get some feedback from those who have played the existing models the most. What's your wishlist if you could have one or more changes made to the next AFP to make it even better?

 

Some obvious ones:

 

- Larger Screen

- Some type of paddle control

- ???

- ???

...

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Yeah, bigger screen is the real need, in my opinion. Also, better emulation, but I'm OK with using the hacked games that work on it. Forget paddle games if it costs more...I love 'em, but I don't need that in a portable.

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Posted (edited)

Lots of good ideas mentioned above. Below are my preferences for new model in decreasing order of importance.

 

Latest Stella -- I want play Super Cobra on the new model!!

Removable battery

Larger screen at same same cost points.. a $100 retail unit would be just too much even if the screen was superior

SD upgradable to newer Stella

Support all the old and the latest SD cards (Gamestop only has so many 1G 99 cent SD cards)

Edited by thetick1
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Posted (edited)

A d-pad that isn't horrible and the Stella emulator as the emulation core.

Edited by Atariboy
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The latest Stella is currently being ported to RetroArch (which I believe is what the Flashback uses). It's already working nearly perfectly on mainstream hardware (Linux, macOS, Windows), and there is even some progress on getting it to run on more esoteric systems (Wii, Vita, etc). Now, I don't know if the hardware of this device can handle it, but it's likely that the 6.1 release of Stella will have nearly full support for RetroArch/libretro.

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Posted (edited)

The entire XX00 support (2600, 5200, 7800) for the first 3 home cartridge game consoles that Atari put out. (Call it the 15600 - or someone else mentioned 'Atari Generations Flashback')

I'm not sure which is the best 5200 emulator, but the 'A7800' emulator is about as exact as you can get for that system.

Edited by PacManPlus
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Posted (edited)

My 2 wishes:

 

1. The D-pad that came out with the first Atari portable (2016) was adequate. The more recent one (2017?) with Pacman on the box art is not as good, especially with diagonal movement. This makes Crystal Castles much more difficult than usual.

 

2. Some kind of wood grain effect

 

Looking forward to buying the next version. There is no greater feeling than going on lunch break with almost every Atari 2600 game ever made to choose from!

Edited by Bartman72
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We definitely won't be doing 5200 (too many buttons, analog, etc.), but we do want to look into 7800. What 7800 games do you guys want to see supported the most? Say, a top 3 - 5.

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Posted (edited)

Off the top of my head, I think this is my 7800 top 5 list of commercially released 7800 games from back in the day.

  • Asteroids
  • Centipede
  • Commando
  • Food Fight
  • Pole Position II

Mario Bros. just might bump one of these, if for no other reason than just sentimental reasons (For quite a few years after getting a 7800, I only owned that and Pole Position II). But there's obviously no point in listing that one or any Nintendo property, where as all these other releases are either owned outright by Atari or involve parties AtGames has already worked with in past Flashback products (Capcom and Namco).

 

Pole Position II has a bit of a bad name at classic gaming forums these days, but it's still a really nice effort and would've been really well received had it appeared when the system was meant to be released. Was a bit dated I suppose in the age of Rad Racer and such, but it was still a good pack-in and I suspect is well remembered by 7800 owners from back in the day.

Edited by Atariboy
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Posted (edited)

7800 games I would like:

 

Robotron 2084 - The Immortal John Hancock would approve!

Centipede

Joust

Desert Falcon

Dig Dug

Edited by thetick1
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7800 games I would like:



Robotron 2084


Centipede


Joust


Xevious


Donkey Kong and DKJr


Dig Dug


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