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dneedham

Not sure where to drop this / ataribox

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Maybe it's just me.. but most 2600 games are better left in the past. I mean they show off pac-man, which is notably one of the worse conversions for the 2600. My fond memories are Combat, Adventure, Space Invaders, Armor Ambush. I think after not so long, I got into the Atari 8-bits, which to me was far more epic.

It's not just you. It's also about a zillion potential Atari customers (like my kids) who are too young to be into the retro-gaming scene, but nevertheless recognize and even revere the Atari name and legend because they've heard their dads talk about it so much. In my opinion, that's the stuff Atari needs to tap into.

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A very vibrant and active fandom and homebrew development community begs to disagree.

Homebrew I can agree with. A lot of the homebrew stuff is "look at what crazy crap I can make this old thing do!" which is absolutely amazing! Hell, even patching older games like OIDs on the ST so that it runs smoother is amazing work. What I'm saying is there is a large percentage of 2600 games that were rather horrid.

 

It would have been much better if they'd done more of an 'all in one' thing, or at least made something with the widest base of cartridge... and by that I mean the slot.. then you could build up adapters, so we could have an old Genesis/Mega Drive style pancake stack! Imagine a 5200 slot (I think the widest?) that could have an 8-bit cartridge or 2600/7800 cartridge plugged into it. Sadly after the 8-bit era the only other cartridges released by Atari would be the Jaguar ones.. which would also be cool.

 

I was kind of hoping they would announce something actually new... like "Look at this, we're coming back with something epic!" And why not? Most game platforms out there are just commodity PC parts slapped onto a board and put into a 'cool' case. Why couldn't Atari had put in the time and effort and made a new console? Retro things are huge, as Nintendo found with the NES classic. And if the Switch can sell enough to be out of stock everywhere....

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Why couldn't Atari had put in the time and effort and made a new console? Retro things are huge, as Nintendo found with the NES classic. And if the Switch can sell enough to be out of stock everywhere....

 

Because, unfortunately, an Atari with fewer resources than an Atari from the epic disaster of the Jaguar era is not a recipe for success. I also think you overestimate the appetite for retro stuff. It's nowhere near the numbers that traditional consoles - which include the Switch - do.

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I'm not going to make this a point by point rebuttal, but all anyone needs to do is take a look at the 2600 section of AtariAge, or any one of the Atari hobbyists FB groups and pages to see that plenty of people disagree. There were something like over 1,800 commercial releases for the VCS and 2600 models between 1977 and about 1992 ... Sure, some of those sucked. But many hundreds of them are fantastic and have great playability today. I play my 2600's weekly at least if not daily. I am far, very very far, from alone in this. Heck, just look at the analogous "Ataribox" thread and the Retron 77 thread in the 2600 forum to see.

 

The same can be said (and IS said!) of A8 enthusiasts by people who have no nostalgia for the era, from a certain core of C64 and Apple II enthusiasts, from people who think we're all just living in the past. They're welcome to think that, however wrong-headed I believe that to be.

 

But hey, to each their own. I'm not gonna tell anyone how to have fun or denigrate what others take delight in. Life's too damned short. I'm actually much more interested in the Retron 77 than this Ataribox, but I did sign up for email updates. :)

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Was just looking at the picture again, and it kind of looks like a badyard child of an alienware steam machine and 2600.

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Maybe it's just me.. but most 2600 games are better left in the past.

 

"Most"? Certainly. The 2600 had more than it's fair share of shovel-ware. But there are just enough truly excellent titles, with high replay values, to make having one worthwhile. Here's a short list of 2600 games I argue belong "on tap" in every living room.

 

Warlords

Kaboom

Demon Attack

Maze Craze

Asteroids

Combat

 

Endless fun in that set of titles.

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It's not just you. It's also about a zillion potential Atari customers (like my kids) who are too young to be into the retro-gaming scene, but nevertheless recognize and even revere the Atari name and legend because they've heard their dads talk about it so much. In my opinion, that's the stuff Atari needs to tap into.

I think you overestimate the level of brand recognition that the Atari name has. Being rather young for this hobby myself (I'm 20) I can tell you most people my age have no clue what I'm talking about when I mention Atari. It's not going to get any better as the world grows up.

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I think you overestimate the level of brand recognition that the Atari name has. Being rather young for this hobby myself (I'm 20) I can tell you most people my age have no clue what I'm talking about when I mention Atari. It's not going to get any better as the world grows up.

 

That's weird, I almost always have someone in their 20s or younger make a comment when I'm wearing my Atari shirt or if they notice the Atari watchface on my Pebble. I'm actually quite surprised at the brand recognition that Atari, and more importantly, the fuji, still has.

 

Although this is all anecdotal. I found a survey from 2010 about Atari brand recognition:

 

If the data is accurate, it seems the brands may not be so iconic anymore. Overall awareness of Atari is low for gamers age 13-24, clocking in at 34 percent. Compare that with 63 percent among gamers 25 to 54 and it would appear that Atari isn't well recognized by a key gaming demographic.

 

Although I believe 34% is pretty impressive for a brand that hasn't released a console in over 20 years.

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Brand recognition and product purchases really are two different things. The Atari name has significant cultural relevance, but that doesn't necessarily translate to mass purchasing power. Vintage gaming is probably as big as it ever was, but it's still just a niche of the larger market. It's important to keep this in perspective when wishing for products that - when viewed on a reasonably neutral basis - are targeted more to us than everyone else.

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I always hope for a comeback, but given the past track-record, I always reserve some doubt. Since this might be at least partially online-based and not purely stand-alone, I hope there is an effort to document its existence, regardless of the outcome - recording the start-up / welcome screens and any store-front or software dash-board that might appear. And any unique game-play would be good to archive, as well. icon_wink.gif I'll probably get one, eventually, as I did the Jaguar, knowing the odds might be against them.

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"Most"? Certainly. The 2600 had more than it's fair share of shovel-ware. But there are just enough truly excellent titles, with high replay values, to make having one worthwhile. Here's a short list of 2600 games I argue belong "on tap" in every living room.

 

Warlords

Kaboom

Demon Attack

Maze Craze

Asteroids

Combat

 

Endless fun in that set of titles.

Combat, I'd agree with. Not sure I ever played Maze Craze. Demon Attack was pretty damned good, but I think like the others there was a superior 8-bit version. Joust was definitely much better on the 8-bit and was terrible on the 2600 (yay for flying eggs!).

 

Still one of my favorite games on the 2600 is Armored Ambush. But I have a RetroPi setup connected to my 55" TV for any of the 2600 stuff. I wouldn't mind collecting some specific cartridges again, I just don't have the room with all my other retro systems.

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I always hope for a comeback, but given the past track-record, I always reserve some doubt. Since this might be at least partially online-based and not purely stand-alone, I hope there is an effort to document its existence, regardless of the outcome - recording the start-up / welcome screens and any store-front or software dash-board that might appear. And any unique game-play would be good to archive, as well. icon_wink.gif I'll probably get one, eventually, as I did the Jaguar, knowing the odds might be against them.

The funny thing is, I remember maybe a year or two after the Jag came out (may have even been when the JagCD came out and I bought mine) I was talking to a co-worker and he literally said 'what's Atari'. Dude was probably only 5-7 years younger than I was. A lot of people of a specific age grew up only knowing Nintendo and Sega, sadly. They don't remember when Atari was the fastest growing company in the world, and then suddenly the tables flipped and they were losing money the fastest out of anyone.

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That's weird, I almost always have someone in their 20s or younger make a comment when I'm wearing my Atari shirt or if they notice the Atari watchface on my Pebble. I'm actually quite surprised at the brand recognition that Atari, and more importantly, the fuji, still has.

 

Although this is all anecdotal. I found a survey from 2010 about Atari brand recognition:

 

Although I believe 34% is pretty impressive for a brand that hasn't released a console in over 20 years.

I also forgot to mention that on the occasion people do know Atari, their next question is, "They're still around?"

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I figured that was a given. Honestly... how cool would it be to have it boot up with just the old Fuji with the memory test... that goes up to 32gb? Would be interesting if it was kind of a Steam Machine, but at this point it sounds like they're doing the same thing PS4 and Xbone did, PC hardware in a box with proprietary OS and games.

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...but at this point it sounds like they're doing the same thing PS4 and Xbone did, PC hardware in a box with proprietary OS and games.

 

Not quite that elaborate.

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Here's your dang Atari Box. For now it is just a [?] block replaced with the Atari logo...

attachicon.gifAtari Box.png

I really wish that shit logo would disappear. it's not the proper Fuji.

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I really wish that shit logo would disappear. it's not the proper Fuji.

Don't be mad bro, I just Googled "Question Block" and "Atari Logo" and got creative with GIMP. It's not like I'm using the original pixellated [?] blocks either...

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