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New Atari Console that Ataribox?

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25 minutes ago, Zor said:

they certainly do a better effort, but I can't picture who is the niche market.

What kids will want to play that "with the family" when they'll see Playstations, Xbox, and Switches everywhere  ?

If parents are convinced to buy that to play with their kids, I picture a lot of sad kids at Christmas 😛

As for adults who want simpler games, don't they just play with their phones or their cheap laptops ?

 

While I'm one of the earliest backers (just because I'm me), I agree with you that it's a tough sell. I guess my real point was was that they clearly defined what their product is, what it does, etc., and are specifically targeting families, so it's "easy" to decide if you'll want it or not versus something like the nebulous VCS offering. If the Amico people can get say, roughly 50,000 - 100,000 console sales a year and have an attach rate of 5 games or so a year, I suspect they can create a sustainable business model as long as their operation is lean enough. I suspect it is. So, to summarize, I think they do have a potential market and a case to be made for their product to exist in a very crowded field, but whether or not they can actually get enough sell-through is an entirely different matter/discussion. I just think that they've set themselves up for the potential to succeed, unlike the VCS.

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9 minutes ago, Paul Slocum said:

They say they're optimistic, but somehow they don't sound so optimistic...

713834438_Screenshot2020-06-1009_32_48.thumb.png.9ad1e8032efc8f744167db7becea4e4d.png

Weeks not months before Corona, maybe in 6 months after Corona. How much can they milk this pandemic ?

They were never weeks away last December, they're still missing a controller, so clearly they didn't have it either then.

 

What about that Call of Duty Demo "with added RAM and storage" than ran like a slideshow on ultra low details ...

What about their Netflix Demo, where they claim 4K Netflix streaming, when they're clearly showing Netflix in a Browser (mouse emulation via controller, seriously, does mom want that ?), which does not support 4K or HDR (only available via windows App or Edge browser)

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3 hours ago, Shawn said:

 

I'm guessing they do not have or might not be willing to spend the money to produce the actual product.


I am convinced that Atari had never intended to build the Atari Box.

I imagine the plan was this: Run an Indiegogo for the concept of the Atari Box (keep in mind at the time the Indigogo was running Atari had no prototype, and only a handful of actual staff, none of who had any experience with or the skills required to create a new console) and get the Atari brand trending. If the project failed in its funding goal, then they could at least cash out on the increased stock prices.

If the Indiegogo succeeded, then plan B was sit back and wait for one of the big players to notice them and buy Atari out for an obscene amount of cash (we can call this the 'Oculus Rift Effect'.), or just wait a bit of time then put out their 'This is a hard letter to write.... you were buying into a vision, not buying a product....' and ride off into the sunset.

I really do not think they ever actually planned for having to build the console themselves.

When the Atari Box Indiegogo succeeded, and with a surprising three million plus raised, they were now stuck. That is entirely too much money for them to pull an Atari Gameband and disappear with the cash (The US is now pressing class action lawsuits against high dollar fraud campaigns), and none of the big boys were coming to them with a giant novelty cheque for millions to buy them out.

So now with no manufacturing capabilities, no engineers, no programmers, absolutely nothing Atari needed to actually build and design a console; Atari had to start right from square one and design then manufacture 11,000 Atari Boxes and do all this for three million dollars.

Which brings up to a point I had mentioned a few weeks ago, the five hundred 'Atari Box 'Dev kits'. I would put my money on that Atari is now nearly out of cash; and that five hundred units is all they could afford to manufacture. 260K to Rob Wyatt, 100K or so for Feargal Mac Conuladh; add on three years worth of of salary and expenses (I bet Arzt pays himself handsomely) and top with considerably increased costs of electronic components need for the Atari box and I would think that the initial three million is now pretty much finished.

I would bet that the majority of these five hundred units is their 'Hail Mary' throw, and they are desperately shopping them around as demo units while looking for some investor money to pay for the actual production.

Of course this is all 100% conjecture on my part and I could be completely wrong about this. But looking at Atari's 'no news is good news' consistent silence on most aspects of the project, the repeated missed deadlines bringing them to now a year and a half past their initial delivery date with still no real idea when production is even beginning, critical staff quitting and then suing them for delinquent payment and I will certainly believe they are experiencing serious problems over believing everything is perfectly fine, but Atari just doesn't feel like keeping their backers updated.

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1 hour ago, Tavi said:

I really do not think they ever actually planned for having to build the console themselves.

I personally just feel this situation fits better with gross incompetence than planned fraud.  It's really easy to imagine these idiots massively underestimating how much it would cost to build these things, especially since no real technical work had been completed on the project at the time of the IGG campaign (even though Atari tried to make it look like they had a working prototype).  I could definitely see them choosing the original pricing based on a trip to PC Parts Picker, thinking that a small company with no hardware experience can sell a low quantity specialty computer for the same price as mass produced form factor PC parts by companies like Asus and Gigabyte. 

 

The more research I do into comparable Ryzen single board computers that are available, the more I'm convinced that it's too expensive for what they're charging.  The Kickstarter'd Udoo Bolt V3 is still the closest comparable computer I've found at $330 without RAM, case, or power supply, and it's a tad slower than the VCS.  All the available Ryzen single board computers are in the $400-$600 price range when configured similarly to the $250 Atari VCS 400 base model.

 

I also found this computer that uses the exact same Ryzen 1606G as the VCS (starts at $499 without RAM or storage, and it's been out for a year):

 

https://mitxpc.com/products/ibox-r1000m

 

427930910_Screenshot2020-06-1017_33_32.thumb.png.09ff6c8e8161710758f652626b2eea31.png

Edited by Paul Slocum
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It's been mentioned before but Atari just wants some big company to bite.    By trying to make themselves look good with some atacobox "product", they hope bigger companies would take notice and one will buy them out.

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Everyone above me has very good points... This is exactly what happened to Mike Kennedy, he had a chance, but then kicked out the only person that could build the thing. The Coleco Chameleon debacle started off as a bad joke, the Atari Jaguar shell, then Mike had no clue what he was doing so it snowballed into a big mess, lies after lies after fake prototype. The exact thing is hapening here, delays after delays after delays. The difference here is that the hardware is just a generic PC, the REAL work is the software, aaaaand there is none to speak of.

"What about that Call of Duty Demo "with added RAM and storage" than ran like a slideshow on ultra low details ..."

Hey, what about "Plumbers Don't Wear Ties" that was a slideshow game and it did well... xD

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I'm not sure where I fall. Either they are incompetent or this was fraud from the start. I lean more towards fraud but there does seem like a few people got involved in this and really did have good intentions. 

 

We really won't know until all the NDA stuff expires. 

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12 minutes ago, TACODON said:

I'm not sure where I fall. Either they are incompetent or this was fraud from the start. I lean more towards fraud but there does seem like a few people got involved in this and really did have good intentions. 

 

We really won't know until all the NDA stuff expires. 

I really don't think the NDA stuff will provide anything new. It's just going to confirm that it was chaos in the early days as they clearly had no real plans for delivering. As has been pointed out over and over, Atari relies on its brand to generate revenue and tries to use as little cash as possible.

 

Now, 3 years later, the project is completely different and I'm sure they will deliver the niche product they have been promising. My guess is they will delay until component prices drop back enough to give them some margin.

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At some point, the difference between gross incompetence and fraud is extremely slim.  Taking such a large amount of money, without a plan, without a budget, and without even a product (and, just to reiterate, making it appear you had all three) is a scam.  I tend to believe the theory that Atari was trying to score a buyout, which would simply have meant they were scamming a potential buyer in addition to a field of pigeons.

 

Lets say tomorrow I wake up stupid and decide I want to get into the airplane business.  I mean, I don't know anything about engineering or physics, but how hard could it be, right?  So I'll raise $50,000 and spend my time trying to figure out how to put a propeller on a Kia.  
 

Fact is, from jump I should have known better, and me taking money for it is dishonest at absolute best.  
 

I honestly don't think it's inappropriate to talk about corporate malpractice in cases like this.  

 

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14 hours ago, Zor said:

Weeks not months before Corona, maybe in 6 months after Corona. How much can they milk this pandemic ?

They were never weeks away last December, they're still missing a controller, so clearly they didn't have it either then.

That's exactly what I thought when they replied to me

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To be clear, I still totally think these guys are slimeballs and borderline criminals regardless, I just don't think they set out to fail.

 

And I don't see how launching a crowdfunding campaign for a console would have helped sell the company unless the console actually came out and did well.  Most of us immediately thought that a company like Atari using crowdfunding for this console was super sketchy, and I'm pretty sure most investors would have thought the same.

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12 hours ago, bmadgames said:

Now, 3 years later, the project is completely different and I'm sure they will deliver the niche product they have been promising. My guess is they will delay until component prices drop back enough to give them some margin.

 

I am very unfamiliar with the hardware business, but how much of a window is there between component prices significantly dropping and the manufacturer ceasing production in favour of something with a higher margin? Will prices ever drop low enough for Atari to make a profit at their price point? 

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5 minutes ago, jhd said:

 

I am very unfamiliar with the hardware business, but how much of a window is there between component prices significantly dropping and the manufacturer ceasing production in favour of something with a higher margin? Will prices ever drop low enough for Atari to make a profit at their price point? 

I would imagine yes although I don't know their financials. Covid has definitely driven shortages and price increases especially for lower volume orders. With the exception of the big players, no one wants to go to production right now especially when the picture seems to be getting better every day.

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I bet it would go a little sumthin' like this;
♫♪♪ Ring-a-ding-ding ♫♪♪
Factory: Hi Hi,
Atari: Hi Factory, please hold for MR. Cheesehead, his high honor of Atari........ This is Mr. Cheesehead, I own Atari, I need 500 of these, and if you are lucky, I might buy another 10,000 you dig? Make it happen, I have 3 million, big money.

Factory : Ok sir we take your money :) we make it.

-------- 5 minutes later------------
♫♪♪ Ring-a-ding-ding ♫♪♪
Apple: Hello, Factory I am calling from Apple INC
Factory: (: D $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
Apple: we need about 10 million units of this component this month, and future order of 100 million, are you able to scale to produce?
Factory: (: D,,,,,,,,,, Yes, we tell cheeseguy to get lost, you Numba 1 customer now!
Apple: Excellent.. wait what was that about Cheese?

Edited by OCAT
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Sony's absolutely crushing it right now in their PS5 reveal.

 

I wonder how many people are watching, but are deeply disappointed there's been no mention whatsoever of crypto, tokens, or open systems...just endless displays of quality software from talented developers eagerly developing for a legitimate console.

 

🤔

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2 hours ago, racerx said:

Sony's absolutely crushing it right now in their PS5 reveal.

 

I wonder how many people are watching, but are deeply disappointed there's been no mention whatsoever of crypto, tokens, or open systems...just endless displays of quality software from talented developers eagerly developing for a legitimate console.

 

🤔

That's silly. You're not supposed to have developers on board before a console is ready to ship! You wait until after it was supposed to ship, then promise that the first 500 will go to the developers. Then not ship those either.

 

Clearly, Sony doesn't have any idea what they're doing.

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1 hour ago, crsdawg said:

Sandbox mode peeps...Sandbox mode...make your own fun!!!

"PC mode" now. A few more months and there will be "PC mode"* and "100 old games mode"**.

 

*OS and storage not included

** Pay 300$ to show your friends under 45 how video games prehistory looked like.

Edited by Zor
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^ Just need to draw yourself the Atari Fiji logo on some paper, then stick it over the LED on your desktop computer and bam! Atari console in Sandbox mode.

To be honest, most computers these days could be turned into the Atacobox, just sell the controllers, free download and this will be free subscription revenue for Atari without having to sell the loss leading console. All Atari has to do is list all the AAA devs lined up to make games!

I do not see why I need to;
A-wait for the system to come out
B-wait for it to ship
C-upgrade the ram
D-install windows
E-hook up to my TV
F-throw in box and never play again

These things are already done, how about
A-buy atari controller*
B-install Atari software and pay $10 for subscription
C-throw in box and never play again

*I think you could even skip A in a basic setup.

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1 hour ago, vcoleiro1 said:

Looks like SONY was reading this thread and decided to design the PS5 as one big Taco

Have you seen its camera? ;)

Screen_Shot_2020_06_11_at_5.28.58_PM.png

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On 6/10/2020 at 7:26 PM, Paul Slocum said:

They say they're optimistic, but somehow they don't sound so optimistic...

713834438_Screenshot2020-06-1009_32_48.thumb.png.9ad1e8032efc8f744167db7becea4e4d.png

This is such a non committal post, it doesn't even say anything. Poor backers... 

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^Atari, the type of company to tell the customers to be optimistic after 3 years.

I wonder if the backers will be getting a year of free subscription after this long arduous wait.
The way I see it, they have to support this thing fro at least a year because of legal warranty, some countries it is 2, to discourage E-waste. But it does not mean they have to support the online portion of it, that is why they are repeating "SANDBOX MODE".

This is going to be something if all the games it has are the same games available on the $20-$50 flashbacks.

Imagine in the future someone buying the molds for this and trying to make another game system out of it?

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2 hours ago, OCAT said:


Imagine in the future someone buying the molds for this and trying to make another game system out of it?

 

Simple as that!

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