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Goochman

New Atari Console that Ataribox?

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I would think if they had a complete, working prototype, they would go the higher profile Kickstarter route. Unless of course they want some distance from Gameband.

 

Pardon the cynicism, but if they don't have a working prototype (which I agree, it definitely seems like they don't), how on Earth do they expect to ship by next spring? I don't work in hardware, but that definitely seems like a very optimistic development time, no?

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Pardon the cynicism, but if they don't have a working prototype (which I agree, it definitely seems like they don't), how on Earth do they expect to ship by next spring? I don't work in hardware, but that definitely seems like a very optimistic development time, no?

Im going the other side of the fence with that one ;) Apparently they have been working on it for a couple of years now, so that's a hell of a statement if incorrect. To create all the hype and drip feed information, could well be a tactic to create some buzz and get noticed. It's not all that silly when you think about it, although i could be completely wrong and just wishful thinking..

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BTW, I've been following the saga of something called the Dragonbox Pyra for years now, a.k.a. one man's quest to put "somebody else's computer hardware running open source OS inside a plastic box with a name on it", and it's a bit harder than you may think.

 

 

 

If anyone can do it, why hasn't anyone else done it yet? This isn't a Raspberry Pi. It's custom modern AMD hardware. And the whole point of using an open source OS is that users will be able to do what they want. I thought the only reason people kept preferring locked down consoles to computers was price, but if this forum is anything to go by, maybe people are actually afraid of freedom.

 

I really can't agree that it's at all difficult to take someone else's hardware and integrate it into a project box or installation of your own. Any makerspace/hobby enthusiast can do that. I've done it many, many times for broadcast applications, telemetry, and environmental monitoring. There are many off-the-shelf Windows 10 and Linux systems now in a form factor designed for wearables, vehicle and industrial installations etc., and there are more on the market every day. We are hardly limited to Raspberry Pi or Arduinos any longer.

 

What's hard is getting anyone to buy such a thing, precisely because any slightly skilled person can do it themselves. Why would anyone pay someone else to do it for them at a mark up? These things aren't failing to come to market through crowd funding because of technical challenges. They are failures because there is no market for them. The difference for Ataribox, retro gaming in general, and anything else that looks "cool" is the crowd funding approaches are rife with grifters trying to con people into buying magic beans.

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Im going the other side of the fence with that one ;) Apparently they have been working on it for a couple of years now, so that's a hell of a statement if incorrect. To create all the hype and drip feed information, could well be a tactic to create some buzz and get noticed. It's not all that silly when you think about it, although i could be completely wrong and just wishful thinking..

 

I think the thing with most crowdfunding is that as a producer you always go overly optimistic on delivery date and then "casually" let it slip for several months or more due to "minor production issues" or some "discovered improvements", i.e., "to make it even better." The crowdfunding unicorn is the project that actually delivers when they originally state that they will.

 

In terms of time needed, considering this is using off-the-shelf PC-like parts, I don't think the challenge is necessarily in the manufacturing. It's probably more in customization of Linux, testing the software, etc. Regardless, this is all but guaranteed to slip past the target date for a variety of reasons. For them to make the Spring 2018 date, they'd probably have to start production around March or April to get it out by the end of June. That's certainly possible if they're indeed as far along as they've hinted, but, as you state, there's a lot to be skeptical about there.

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That's my thinking too Bill. It's like they saw the Coleco Chameleon fail, so they decided to try the exact same thing but with ATARI!!! but they seem to be doing exactly everything wrong that Mike Kennedy did. Fashion a case, make it light up, put it next to a TV screen, get on Indiogogo and PROFIT!

 

Having watched Stop, Drop & Retro's video about the Gameband, I see exactly the kind of people Feargal Mac and company are: bullshitters and half-assers. Think of the backers who waited patiently for updates, only to get a one line "Sorry for our radio silence!" after months of nothing... that kind of attitude infuriates me. He obviously has no respect for people's money and imo it's even worse that it was money obtained from crowdfunding - which is my mind is only one step up from begging. I know all the Ataribox backers will get the same kind of treatment and I feel sorry in advance for all of you who throw money at this.

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Im going the other side of the fence with that one ;) Apparently they have been working on it for a couple of years now, so that's a hell of a statement if incorrect. To create all the hype and drip feed information, could well be a tactic to create some buzz and get noticed. It's not all that silly when you think about it, although i could be completely wrong and just wishful thinking..

 

I know for a fact it hasn't been worked on for a couple of years now. It was still just a concept at least as far back as this January.

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That's my thinking too Bill. It's like they saw the Coleco Chameleon fail, so they decided to try the exact same thing but with ATARI!!! but they seem to be doing exactly everything wrong that Mike Kennedy did. Fashion a case, make it light up, put it next to a TV screen, get on Indiogogo and PROFIT!

 

Again, the difference here is that this will almost certainly meet its funding goal and then some. If the Coleco Chameleon project was instead the Atari Chameleon, it almost certainly would have succeeded on its first crowdfunding attempt. It's all in the name and, obviously, perception. Mike just lacked the necessary gravitas and made some rudimentary blunders with the bluffing.

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So, does being "open" guarantee what is generally considered "modded" or "jailbroken" for other consoles, and particularly difficult to accomplish for the more powerful and/or cheaper PS4, XbX and Switch? If so, that may be the niche Atari is targeting.

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So, does being "open" guarantee what is generally considered "modded" or "jailbroken" for other consoles, and particularly difficult to accomplish for the more powerful and/or cheaper PS4, XbX and Switch? If so, that may be the niche Atari is targeting.

 

That is definitely one of its few niches--a certain type of Atari enthusiast and Linux and related enthusiasts. I don't think being "open" means much to most other groups that would normally be a target for a traditional streaming or gaming box.

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In terms of time needed, considering this is using off-the-shelf PC-like parts, I don't think the challenge is necessarily in the manufacturing. It's probably more in customization of Linux, testing the software, etc.

Well that's not too far off my thought's aswell, the hardware side will be non-proprietary and that's not a bad thing at all. Reminds me of the good old VCS where 90% of the machine was off-the-shelf. Heavily software controlled allowing the programmer to take advantage of hardware manipulation.

 

All in all it's actually the smarter move to save money on R&D using off-the-shelf that can go other areas. The gains that the big hitters gain with proprietary 'custom' hardware are very minimal anyway (more of a selling point). Really the current gen consoles are basically a laptop in a box using an in-house OS dedicated and tweaked to play games. The OS will be the game changer here IMO

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Again, the difference here is that this will almost certainly meet its funding goal and then some. If the Coleco Chameleon project was instead the Atari Chameleon, it almost certainly would have succeeded on its first crowdfunding attempt. It's all in the name and, obviously, perception. Mike just lacked the necessary gravitas and made some rudimentary blunders with the bluffing.

 

Mike and crew were funnier to watch though. :lol:

 

"Our PR firm added that at the last minute"

"Simple as that"

"Power goes in ..."

"Quality of the original COLCEO"

"Colecovison"

 

and so much more. Pure comedy gold and I miss it terribly!

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For all those still curious about what's to come....Here are the most likely innards of the Ataribox if it makes it far enough to be a prototype. Mind you, these have been on the market since early 2015.

 

For only $199.99, I'll sell you my 3D model of the Ataribox so you can order your own 3D print online and have your own Ataribox way, way, way ahead of time. Think about it. That's like having your own time machine and prescription for Xanex to avoid all the crowd funding disappointment, anxiety, and angst just for the bargain price of $199.99 plus printing, testing, electronics, testing, assembly, more testing :) and installation. Act now and you can have a second electronic copy of the 3D model absolutely free. Just pay an additional fee.

 

http://www.fit-pc.com/web/products/specifications/fitlet-models-specifications/?model%5B%5D=FITLET-GI-C67-WACB

 

http://linuxgizmos.com/tiny-fanless-mini-pc-runs-linux-on-quad-core-amd-soc/

 

https://www.amazon.com/fitlet-FITLET-GI-C64-WACB-CompuLab-fitlet-i-Barebone/dp/B00TQPF7NU/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1506699728&sr=8-6&keywords=fitlet#productDetails

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Well that's not too far off my thought's aswell, the hardware side will be non-proprietary and that's not a bad thing at all. Reminds me of the good old VCS where 90% of the machine was off-the-shelf. Heavily software controlled allowing the programmer to take advantage of hardware manipulation.

And someone could clone this and release it as the "GeminiBox"

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For all those still curious about what's to come....Here are the most likely innards of the Ataribox if it makes it far enough to be a prototype. Mind you, these have been on the market since early 2015.

 

For only $199.99, I'll sell you my 3D model of the Ataribox so you can order your own 3D print online and have your own Ataribox way, way, way ahead of time. Think about it. That's like having your own time machine and prescription for Xanex to avoid all the crowd funding disappointment, anxiety, and angst just for the bargain price of $199.99 plus printing, testing, electronics, testing, assembly, more testing :) and installation. Act now and you can have a second electronic copy of the 3D model absolutely free. Just pay an additional fee.

 

http://www.fit-pc.com/web/products/specifications/fitlet-models-specifications/?model%5B%5D=FITLET-GI-C67-WACB

 

http://linuxgizmos.com/tiny-fanless-mini-pc-runs-linux-on-quad-core-amd-soc/

 

https://www.amazon.com/fitlet-FITLET-GI-C64-WACB-CompuLab-fitlet-i-Barebone/dp/B00TQPF7NU/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1506699728&sr=8-6&keywords=fitlet#productDetails

 

Well, those Fitlets aren't as nice looking without the woodgrain, but they do resemble the Mega STe so it's a still another psuedo-Atari running Linux. :)

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Im going the other side of the fence with that one ;) Apparently they have been working on it for a couple of years now, so that's a hell of a statement if incorrect. To create all the hype and drip feed information, could well be a tactic to create some buzz and get noticed. It's not all that silly when you think about it, although i could be completely wrong and just wishful thinking.

 

They only have a vague vision of what the final product is going to be. They wouldn't carry drip-feed information this long. If they are it's having a negative effect. A month or three, that's fine.

 

The longer this bus is rolling the more it looks like a coleco chameleon.

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I think the thing with most crowdfunding is that as a producer you always go overly optimistic on delivery date and then "casually" let it slip for several months or more due to "minor production issues" or some "discovered improvements", i.e., "to make it even better." The crowdfunding unicorn is the project that actually delivers when they originally state that they will.

 

That's something I dislike. And it is something everyone needs to understand prior to parting with their cash. After all, it's one step away from not delivering a product at all.

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That's my thinking too Bill. It's like they saw the Coleco Chameleon fail, so they decided to try the exact same thing but with ATARI!!! but they seem to be doing exactly everything wrong that Mike Kennedy did. Fashion a case, make it light up, put it next to a TV screen, get on Indiogogo and PROFIT!

 

Having watched Stop, Drop & Retro's video about the Gameband, I see exactly the kind of people Feargal Mac and company are: bullshitters and half-assers. Think of the backers who waited patiently for updates, only to get a one line "Sorry for our radio silence!" after months of nothing... that kind of attitude infuriates me. He obviously has no respect for people's money and imo it's even worse that it was money obtained from crowdfunding - which is my mind is only one step up from begging. I know all the Ataribox backers will get the same kind of treatment and I feel sorry in advance for all of you who throw money at this.

 

Pretty much my thinking too.

 

When people ask me about emulation and stuff. I tell them to get a NUC or similar, or build up their own STB. When the right emulators are installed it is more Atari than ataribox. Like what could be better than playing classic VCS then segueing into 400/800 games? And when the games are over, you can do whatever PC'ish things you do.

 

But it's not uh-tar-eee! Waaa! Ohh bullshit.. just get faux woodgrain paper and print out the Atari logo. Now it's real Atari!

 

After all, isn't that what they're doing? Generic hardware + custom case + atari badge?

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They might have been able to pay for it themselves without courting indigogo, if they hadn't wasted money suing a candy bar.

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1) It runs Linux? So does nearly every other low-powered device on the market, and anyone whose name isn't Richard M. Stallman probably doesn't care. To almost the entire market likely to buy this device, it's just that - a device. An appliance. A thing that plays games. And it does it using off-the-shelf software that can also run on a Raspberry Pi Zero for $5 (power supply and storage not included).

 

2) It plays media files? Big deal. When even the cheapest of TVs or Blu-Ray players at Wal-Mart can do that and for less money than the Ataribox, the Ataribox had better have some pretty damn impressive games in its library (and that includes new titles) to justify the expense above and beyond those devices, because that's functionality that's been built into nearly everything made in the last five or six years that's likely to be used for displaying its picture.

 

3) 'We'll release in the Spring' coupled with 'here's our Indiegogo tin cup to make that happen' are pretty much mutually-exclusive. Agreed re: earlier points regarding crowdfunding being a good way to slip release dates indefinitely without anyone thinking there's anything odd about that, and it really does provide a convenient out for if it all goes sideways. It's also a great way to reduce the company's risks associated with development and marketing, making those piddly little issues the customer's problem, not the company's.

 

4) Asking your potential customers to fund development of the exact same thing you want them to later buy is pretty ballsy, and the 'this is our way of making sure you can be a part of the magic of Ataribox, too!' approach to this is just insulting. Want people to be part of the magic? Offer stock in exchange for contributions. Have stockholder meetings. Make the board answerable to the shareholders. But don't act like you're doing everyone on the crowdfunding side a favour by sprinkling them with magic Ataribox pixie dust when you're really just taking their money twice.

 

5) Given the number of Flashback consoles, downloadable and retail retrogaming titles, and 20-odd years' worth of free and open-source emulators out there, the Ataribox is going to need a software library that makes it more than just another way to play Centipede on your OLED TV. That means new - and compelling - titles. Remember the Jaguar? 'Compelling' didn't describe much of its library, and I say that as someone who owns one (and really rather likes it, strangely enough).

 

I'd like to see the Ataribox succeed, but based on how its introduction to market has been handled so far it seems to be destined for consignment to the failure category of 'nice idea, piss-poor execution'. Perhaps its real value will be as an object lesson to others in what not to do if they're thinking of walking the same path.

Edited by x=usr(1536)
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