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Atari Flashback Portable FAQ and Compatibility List

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Are we still listing 7800 games we want to see?

 

  1. Homebrew
  2. Homebrew
  3. Homebrew

 

Seriously, get the homebrews that require pokey and this group will be excited.

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I don't know if you are still taking suggestions, but please consider very strongly Midnight Mutants. I'd maybe even categorize that as above all else. Never really played that game, but want to. Seemed like a unique title at the time. I guess Al Lewis licensed his image, or whoever owned The Munsters? Maybe there are licensing issues? I hope not. 

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7 hours ago, AAA177 said:

I don't know if you are still taking suggestions, but please consider very strongly Midnight Mutants. I'd maybe even categorize that as above all else. Never really played that game, but want to. Seemed like a unique title at the time. I guess Al Lewis licensed his image, or whoever owned The Munsters? Maybe there are licensing issues? I hope not. 

It seems like the Portable will be mostly unchanged for this year, so we'll file suggestions for next year. 

 

Midnight Mutants is one of the few NES/SMS-style games in the 7800 library, in that there's some complexity and depth to it. It's actually developed by SNK. While I generally like the game, it does control a bit odd. Either way, it's definitely a highlight on the platform.

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On 5/22/2019 at 9:52 PM, Bill Loguidice said:

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.

Interesting...

Can you comment on limitations as to licenses etc?

If I now should just give a list of what I wanted to be there, I would just list those it would be most difficult for me to obtain...

But if I should list 5 essentials it may be different.

5 essentials - quite unique for the Atari7800 system or Atari-8 bit systems:
1. Ninja Golf
2. Scrapyard Dog
3. Pole Position 2
4. Motor Psycho
5. Desert Falcon  - or - Alien Brigade (don´t know how it would handle gun-sight playability).

If I were to pick 5  7800-games I would love to play, or do love to play, personally, regardless of whether they would represent the System in an even manner or questions of licenses:

1. Kung Fu Master
2. Commando (plays better than NES-version, and sounds at least as good, and less tile-based background)
3. Tank Command
4. Dark Chambers
5. Robotron 2084 (this may potentially include two sets of direction-pads/mini-control-sticks).

Edited by Giles N

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On 5/22/2019 at 9:52 PM, Bill Loguidice said:

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.

Hi again.

Thanks for asking Atari-fans these things.

I would recommend for the next years release to include Atari 5200 games that uses only 2 - 5 buttons (fire button 1 and 2, start, #, *,)

Here is a list of some games I enjoy that can be ported to do that:

1. Pengo 
2. Mr Dos Castle
3. Pitfall
4. Pitfall II
5. Star Wars Arcade
6. Pole Position
7. Buck Rogers
8. Gyruss
9. Frogger
10. Frogger II
11. H.E.R.O.
12. Moon Patrol.
13. Gremlins.
14. Vanguard
15. Dreadnaught Factor.

I think these would be awesome additions to Atari-Flashback console (and really increase the sales as it would offer some really novel stuff) and I see no problems at all using them if you have 2-6 buttons (say 4 fire buttons and a start and select button).



 

Edited by Giles N

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On 5/22/2019 at 9:52 PM, Bill Loguidice said:

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.

Ok, so heres an idea:

Both the Atari 5200 and 7800 has a limited set of original titles: like 69 and 57 or something.

Why not produce 2 separate machines:Super  Atari-Flashback Deluxe (or something in that vein), pricing them at 300-500$ or whatever is needed.

Machine one is a mini Atari 5200 with all 69 games built-in, and high-quality analog and digital controller and 4 fire buttons and the numerical keypad - to be connected to modern TVs or link with other who have the same console (for two-player gaming).

The Second is an Atari 7800 with all games built-in (American and European), with one joypad at each side of screen, and also to be hooked up with modern TVs and to link with other who has the console for two-player-gaming.

Just price it at 250-600$ and those who are interested in such stuff will run their legs off to get one.

Add a net-based highscore-comparison site where gamers`scores will be displayed with their log-in names...

And hopefully you who produce this will be stone-rich... and old-school-&-retro-gamers will be super-satisfied...
 

Kind regards...

Edited by Giles N
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5 hours ago, Giles N said:

Ok, so heres an idea:

<snip>

Just price it at 250-600$ and those who are interested in such stuff will run their legs off to get one.

Add a net-based highscore-comparison site where gamers`scores will be displayed with their log-in names...

And hopefully you who produce this will be stone-rich... and old-school-&-retro-gamers will be super-satisfied...
 

Kind regards...

It's not a lack of ideas that's the problem, it's a lack of market. These things need to sell at $80 or less - usually much less - and need lots of willing buyers to make it into stores. No such market exists for those two platforms, especially by themselves, and especially not with price-busting features. The reality is, if a super niche product is going to be made, it needs to come from the homebrew community, not a corporation making mass market products.

 

The other thing to keep in mind is that the retro market has softened in recent years, peaking with the SNES Mini and then going on a rapid decline for a variety of reasons, including oversaturation. You only have to look at what happened to the PlayStation Mini, The64 Mini, and other retro products in the past year to see how even big names, far bigger than Atari 5200/7800, have fared in the US and/or world markets. Retro is not dead by any stretch, but retailers and manufacturers are being far more selective and far less bullish than they were.

 

Keep an eye on how both the upcoming Sega Genesis and TG-16/PC Engine Mini's do in the market. While the latter release is a minor miracle that is not expected to move big numbers (similar to the recent and upcoming Neo Geo Mini releases), seeing how those and others fare in the coming year (and if they hit blowout pricing) will be a good indicator of mass market retro health and whether or not it's still in decline.

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34 minutes ago, Bill Loguidice said:

It's not a lack of ideas that's the problem, it's a lack of market. These things need to sell at $80 or less - usually much less - and need lots of willing buyers to make it into stores. No such market exists for those two platforms, especially by themselves, and especially not with price-busting features. The reality is, if a super niche product is going to be made, it needs to come from the homebrew community, not a corporation making mass market products.

 

The other thing to keep in mind is that the retro market has softened in recent years, peaking with the SNES Mini and then going on a rapid decline for a variety of reasons, including oversaturation. You only have to look at what happened to the PlayStation Mini, The64 Mini, and other retro products in the past year to see how even big names, far bigger than Atari 5200/7800, have fared in the US and/or world markets. Retro is not dead by any stretch, but retailers and manufacturers are being far more selective and far less bullish than they were.

 

Keep an eye on how both the upcoming Sega Genesis and TG-16/PC Engine Mini's do in the market. While the latter release is a minor miracle that is not expected to move big numbers (similar to the recent and upcoming Neo Geo Mini releases), seeing how those and others fare in the coming year (and if they hit blowout pricing) will be a good indicator of mass market retro health and whether or not it's still in decline.

Thanks for valuable thoughts and insights, and - again - for being here with the ‘users’.

 

🙂

 

But as to both the C64 and PS1 mini, the obvious complaint from everyone, users and professional reviewers, was the lack of quality-games.

 

Both the NES and SNES mini had a selection of the most iconic games to represent the consoles.

 

So, one could imagine a «Super Atari-Flashback Deluxe» with 20 of the best games from the 7800 and 5200 (at least those who can be played with only 4-6 buttons); ie 40 high-quality games.

 

As combined handheld with possibility to hook up with modern TV, I think you could get people interested.

 

Begin here on AtariAge.

 

Who here wouldn’t have bought one if it contained 40 quality games for 80-120$?

 

If you marketed it (visually) with gameplay-snippets from the most colorful and classic titles, Ninja Golf, Ms Pac Man, Pole Position 1 & 2, Commando, Pengo, Galaga (7800), Xevious, Moon Patrol (5200), Motor Psycho, Vanguard (5200), Scrapyard Dog, Pac Man (5200) ... everything that plays smooth and is colorful... with some cool retro-music in the background to set the age for which this ‘goes back to’, I think people will be interested.

 

The reason why retro-remakes fails is lack of good/cool games.

 

The reason why the succeed is because or when they offer tons of hours of fun gameplay.

 

Thats my honest opinion.

 

Kind regards.

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2 hours ago, Giles N said:

Thanks for valuable thoughts and insights, and - again - for being here with the ‘users’.

 

🙂

 

But as to both the C64 and PS1 mini, the obvious complaint from everyone, users and professional reviewers, was the lack of quality-games.

 

Both the NES and SNES mini had a selection of the most iconic games to represent the consoles.

 

So, one could imagine a «Super Atari-Flashback Deluxe» with 20 of the best games from the 7800 and 5200 (at least those who can be played with only 4-6 buttons); ie 40 high-quality games.

 

As combined handheld with possibility to hook up with modern TV, I think you could get people interested.

 

Begin here on AtariAge.

 

Who here wouldn’t have bought one if it contained 40 quality games for 80-120$?

 

If you marketed it (visually) with gameplay-snippets from the most colorful and classic titles, Ninja Golf, Ms Pac Man, Pole Position 1 & 2, Commando, Pengo, Galaga (7800), Xevious, Moon Patrol (5200), Motor Psycho, Vanguard (5200), Scrapyard Dog, Pac Man (5200) ... everything that plays smooth and is colorful... with some cool retro-music in the background to set the age for which this ‘goes back to’, I think people will be interested.

 

The reason why retro-remakes fails is lack of good/cool games.

 

The reason why the succeed is because or when they offer tons of hours of fun gameplay.

 

Thats my honest opinion.

 

Kind regards.

TheC64 Mini had an easy way to add new games. The PlayStation Mini was executed poorly, but it was still put out by one of the most powerful names in gaming and received amazing distribution. 

 

There's just no appetite among non-enthusiasts for the Atari 5200 and 7800 platforms. Most people don't even know those existed anymore. As you correctly point out, you need blockbuster titles to sell these systems, yet there's really nothing on either the 5200 or 7800 that people recognize that aren't available multiple other ways. Again, these are ripe for homebrew projects, but just not something that a company that needs to sell in the hundreds of thousands of units can consider. That's why if we do anything with the 7800 in the future, it would be in addition to the strong foundation of the 2600 stuff (much like Atari's strategy in many ways for the main launch of the 7800). The 5200, you'll just have to be content (in an official manner) with what's on Atari Flashback Classics vol. 3 and Switch, which featured every available 5200 title to license from Atari.

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59 minutes ago, Bill Loguidice said:

TheC64 Mini had an easy way to add new games. The PlayStation Mini was executed poorly, but it was still put out by one of the most powerful names in gaming and received amazing distribution. 

 

There's just no appetite among non-enthusiasts for the Atari 5200 and 7800 platforms. Most people don't even know those existed anymore. As you correctly point out, you need blockbuster titles to sell these systems, yet there's really nothing on either the 5200 or 7800 that people recognize that aren't available multiple other ways. Again, these are ripe for homebrew projects, but just not something that a company that needs to sell in the hundreds of thousands of units can consider. That's why if we do anything with the 7800 in the future, it would be in addition to the strong foundation of the 2600 stuff (much like Atari's strategy in many ways for the main launch of the 7800). The 5200, you'll just have to be content (in an official manner) with what's on Atari Flashback Classics vol. 3 and Switch, which featured every available 5200 title to license from Atari.

Ok, but why not make a really heavy (20+ titles) addition to the solid base of 2600 outputs?

 

If the 2600 collections are possible to sell in quanta giving profit, why not also include a strong line-up of 7800 titles (and throw in the atari-licenced 5200 titles to boot)?

 

Then it would be so much, much more appealing to say atari-fans, and people like me who easily connects with C64-standard of graphics but not quite are able to get much out of the single-color blocky sprite world of the 2600.

 

Again, do the 2600-thing if it brings in money, but why not go for presenting the strongest line-up (economically possible), for the 5200 and 7800 in addition...?

 

I’m pretty sure it would at least land well with 50 000 atari-fans on this site.

 

And if people don’t know the good 5200 and 7800 titles even exist, they can’t get an appetite for them.

 

I had to research to find them, and now many of them are becoming 8-bit personal retro-favourites.

 

Edited by Giles N

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7 hours ago, Flojomojo said:

😂 how many 5200 and 7800 fans do you think are out there?

I don’t think the numbers will increase without new gamers and retro-gamers getting to be familiar with these systems and their strongest titles.

 

So its like who will go first?

 

The unknowing potential retro-gamer or those who can make the titles available to a new audience?

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Sorry, I don't think you grow legions of paying old-game fans by shoving reams of C-list games in their faces. The truly curious know how to find these on their own. 

 

The latest Atari Flashback collection has a bunch of 5200 games on it. Here's a smart take by someone who didn't grow up with them.

https://tinycartridge.com/post/183872713597/atari-flashback-classics-is-the-most-ive-had

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7 hours ago, Flojomojo said:

😂 how many 5200 and 7800 fans do you think are out there?

If you don’t make any noise, no-ones gonna know you’re there.

 

I waited like a squillion years for a solid Sega Arcade line up for the Wii Virtual Console, were completely willing to pay for it.

 

Sega didn’t do very much of interest.

 

They probably had like a ton of ‘strategic thinking and reasons for not releasing’.

 

They lost my money on that at least.

 

If something

1) is already produced

2) is not available for sale,

 

then owners lose the money from those who at least would have been willing to pay.

 

This is the model behind iTunes and Apple-music.

 

The software/games for the Atari 2600, 5200 and 7800 are already produced.

 

There are no more costs as to production.

 

Only licencing.

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5 minutes ago, Flojomojo said:

Who's going to package it for sale, market it, promote it, support it? 

One could release a Atari Flashback Retro Console with 150 inbuilt 2600 games, the atari-owned 5200 and 7800 titles, and have cartridge and/or memory-stick slots and/or download-page on the net for future releases of bought licenced games.

 

Each game could be bought on Atari-eshop for 5$-25$ dependent on different variables, or Memory sticks or Carts with collections for 20-30$.

 

Stuff like that.

 

 

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22 minutes ago, Flojomojo said:

Who's going to package it for sale, market it, promote it, support it? 

I have bought almost all my atari-things used from private owners or retro-gaming shops.

 

I would have been completely willing to shell out the dosh for a new quality Atari Retro console provided I actually could get the titles I wanted.

 

Atari haven’t chosen that path, so they have probably lost 1000$ ++ on me personally.

 

If that would go for 50 000 atari fans, 

Atari have lost 50 000 x 1000$ on not making things available.

 

That would then be 50 000 000 $ lost to not making stuff available.

 

Does that begin to answer your question?

Edited by Giles N

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For the record,

 

The Idealist in me would like to agree with Giles N (and honestly, ya never know),  But the Realist in me agrees with Bill and Flojo...

 

IMO, It would be nice to see some middle ground.

 

If on one hand, you have hobbyists making something by hand that will sell in the dozens if you're lucky, then you contrast that against a big company making and selling in the hundreds of thousands,...Well, I believe, there's  likely a nice market for things that might sell in the tens of thousands.  And I don't mean a crowdfunded tacobox ;)

 

Right there, if you could work out all the logistics, marketing, licensing, production, manufacturing etc., would lie a system with Atari 5200 or 7800 titles.  In a perfect world, a company like GameStop would sell them instead of bobbleheads or whatever they're pushing these days, and make people like me happy, and you might see a few on a narrow sliver of shelf space at WalMart or better yet, Target...

 

But...In the Real World, (Until the FB 9) WalMart, Target and GameStop wouldn't even carry The Flashbacks with HD, (The Gold, the Activision Edition, and anything with paddles was completely out of the question and their employees were beyond oblivious to their existence...)  And Anything remotely niche (say 8BITDO gamepads for SNES Classics or Mega SGs etc, ) will never be found in a sterile, boring environment such as WalMart, Target, or GameStop.   It's depressing as hell, but that's life I guess...

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Absolutely. Again, I'm being transparent here in saying that the retro presence in big box retailers is going to continue to evolve, and not in a positive way in terms of the variety of products from the many producers we've seen the past few years. The heights are over, similar to the boom/bust of the mid-2000s (before rising again...). There will need to be another boom before more niche, experimental, or low-return-on-investment moves are made again. Retailers get very anxious very quickly and they're definitely in the anxious/skeptical stage again.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Flojomojo said:

I don't think the market is as big as you seem to think it is. 

Well, a practical solution would be to 

1) produce a quality hardware unit playing 2600, 5200, 7800 games, and even Atari Sts and Atari Arcades, with both handheld capabilities and link to modern TVs 

 

2) make games available through

a) inbuilt collection

b) eshop

c) cartridge-slots 

d) memory sticks

 

pricing them as usual retro-games like on Nintendo eshop

 

(All this is initial investment).

 

Then people could 

1) buy the console (with revenue for sales price exceeding production-costs).

2) buy game-titles by

a)download

b) carts

c) memory sticks

 

and pricing for games growing from low on 2600 (2$) bit higher on 5200 (4$) , again a bit higher on 7800 (6$)  higher on Atari St (8$) and high on Arcade-titles (10-15$).

 

On download there are less costs for making of cartridges etc.

 

Visual Advertisements would go on top or on sidebars of eshop screen 24/7 to give people an impression of the games.

 

You could have an payment-option to get eternal lifes or invincibility on games (not much, just a little): consoles and arcades (if possible).

 

You could have small-amount payments to have all sorts of Atari-wall-papers in the background.

 

You could buy Atari-character-avatars, a buck each.

 

You could buy all Atari-game music (mp4) (on any system and Arcade) to use, a buck each, or a buck for 5.

 

You could pay 10$ to have some Pokey-sound-effect come into effect 2600-7800 systems.

 

And sell all finished, bug-free, homebrew games for all atari systems on such a eshop.

 

Increasing the number of available titles.

 

Get some bright head to finish Missing in Action for the 7800, and sell it for 7$.

 

 

etc etc

 

 

Well, that was some ideas...

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Giles N

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17 minutes ago, Bill Loguidice said:

Absolutely. Again, I'm being transparent here in saying that the retro presence in big box retailers is going to continue to evolve, and not in a positive way in terms of the variety of products from the many producers we've seen the past few years. The heights are over, similar to the boom/bust of the mid-2000s (before rising again...). There will need to be another boom before more niche, experimental, or low-return-on-investment moves are made again. Retailers get very anxious very quickly and they're definitely in the anxious/skeptical stage again.

 

 

 

Hm, I see.

 

The atmosphere in market and among retailers is something I would know very little about, so I understand those concerns.

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Question:

 

Does Atari own the full rights to the Star Wars Arcade Machine?

 

If a Universal Atari Super-Console was to be produced, would Atari be free to sell Star Wars (the actual arcade game), on an eshop, getting only revenue from an already produced classic game?

 

Or would they they have to use money on renewing licences?

Edited by Giles N

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21 minutes ago, Giles N said:

Well, a practical solution would be to 

...

 

The closest you'll get to the concepts:

 

https://evercade.co.uk/

 

https://atarivcs.com/

 

Keep in mind that any system that is going to emulate multiple systems usually needs multiple emulators, which incurs its own licensing and other restrictions/limitations and overall hardware and control requirements. It's not as easy as saying "just emulate everything."

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