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What do we think of the ATGames portable consoles?

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I asked ATGames if there would be an Atari 8-bit/5200 console with an SD card slot and was referred to this group. Doing a little googling, I have discovered that there are a LOT of hand held consoles available. Most seem to take a variety of rom file formats. Reading through Q&As and reviews, there seems to be a lot of inconsistency in assessment of quality. I was hoping to get some data from people I trust a lot as to the quality of the ATGames consoles. I really only want to hear from people who have significant time 'at the wheel'. For those who can recommend a non-ATGames, please PM me and not post to this thread. (I am looking for a solid handset with durable, comfortable controls and a nice screen that will play Atari 8-bit games.)

 

thanks!

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Any modern android cell phone works great. I use my old motorola ultra (stuck at 4.4 kitkat) and Fredo with about a thousand C64 ROMs. I doubt I'll see a better handheld C64 in my lifetime. For Atari 8-bit Colleen is nice emulator though not sure if 5200 ROMs are support as Colleen is an Atari 8-bit computer emulator (400, 800, XL and XE series)

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I've had my 2016 AtGames Atari Flashback Portable since last December, and absolutely love it! I just ordered the TV cable right before Christmas and got it yesterday. It will definitely take a break off my old eyes to see the game screen and now to see it in 32 inches on my flat screen TV!

 

I love it so much, I've compiled 3 ROM packs since last year, with the latest updated one released was 12/6/17 with 1001 working ROMs. http://atariage.com/forums/topic/254611-atari-flashback-portable/page-54?do=findComment&comment=3906015

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I got the ATGames Sega hand held console. We have not used it with an SDCard, but the hardware and included games are very good. I would love to have an A8 version.

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I got the 2017 FB Portable this year and really like it - performs exactly how I would expect and getting a quick 2600 game in on the run is fun ;)

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I got one today and it sucks pretty badly. The viewing angle on the screen is pretty horrible on one side. I have to hold the system at an angle or the colors are off. Legitimately, the viewing angles are better on my Game Gear, Lynx, and TurboExpress.

It also doesn't see my SD card but I assume that's because it's too new (it's 8 GB and formatted properly, but no dice).

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I got one today and it sucks pretty badly. The viewing angle on the screen is pretty horrible on one side. I have to hold the system at an angle or the colors are off. Legitimately, the viewing angles are better on my Game Gear, Lynx, and TurboExpress.

It also doesn't see my SD card but I assume that's because it's too new (it's 8 GB and formatted properly, but no dice).

sounds like you got a bad unit - try returning it and get another

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sounds like you got a bad unit - try returning it and get another

I bought it at work and to return an employee purchase I have to jump through hoops and talk to people that annoy the hell out of me, so I'm just going to put the damn thing on the shelf and hate it forever.

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I've got an Ultimate Genesis portable. I've only had it for a little over a month but so far I like it. As mentioned in most reviews the sound on certain games isn't all that great unless you're using earbuds or something. It's not a deal breaker for me though. The d-pad & buttons are decent and the screen is actually really good. I do hate the way they put "filler" games on all their systems though. I like having it for times when maybe I have to wait on somebody at the doctor's office or something & just need something to kill a little time.

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I do hate the way they put "filler" games on all their systems though.

 

My hope is that I can replace the included games with an SD card of roms -- best of the included games plus other favorites that did not make the game list.

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Honestly even as a huge Atari / 2600 fan I never been tempted to get one. It just does not interest me, I am put off by the tiny screen and through all the hands on reviews I have seen in articles and videos I still come away from them thinking....meh. Other than being officially Atari branded to me that is about the only thing it has going for it, for collector purposes I guess. for actual use and enjoyment of 2600 games in portable form I would rather simply emulate on a variety of portable I already own all with bigger and better screens and just as good if not better emulation. That is just my take though, for those enjoying it that's great.

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What do we think eh?

 

The Sega Master System/Geam Gear closed system is fantastic. Great screen, good audio, emulation is solid and with a nice set of quality titles to choose from.

 

The Sega Genesis/Mega Drive is about the total opposite due to the very buggy firecore emulator. I've had 2 of them since they've been around in the last decade, and both I ended up selling off in disappointment because of the (to me) 3 biggest issues -- awful audio, no saving of games with batteries, and certain games (from SD card valid ROMs) are broken. I'm never buying one again until they replace the broken core with a modern one, and when they do I'd buy that.

 

I had the first atari one but it just wasn't for me so I don't have it but it seemed fine but I just don't have the nostalgia over the 2600 to appreciate blowing time on it.

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(I am looking for a solid handset with durable, comfortable controls and a nice screen that will play Atari 8-bit games.)

If you can soft-mod a 3DS/2DS, there's a pretty decent 8-bit emulator for it. It supports 5200 also, but it's a little cumbersome to switch between the two.

 

I doubt I'll see a better handheld C64 in my lifetime.

https://the64.computer/

 

They were planning one...I don't know if it's cancelled or on the back burner or what.

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I've had the 2016 Atari Flashback Portable for about a year now and it's a neat little unit. Only about a dozen of the 60 built-in games are of any interest to me and I wouldn't have bought it if it didn't have the SD card slot. The emulation is really convincing but it does have its issues with certain games. I'm sure it's been optimized for the built-in games so I can't complain too much when it doesn't work with games I'm playing from the SD card.

 

The tiny screen is okay but I get this weird effect and I think it's a viewing angle issue. When looking at the bottom status bar in Solaris, for example, my left eye sees the tan color but my right eye sees dark brown so when I have both eyes open I get this weird Magic Eye effect that bugs me out. I'm glad it has A/V out.

 

The D-pad is okay but pretty terrible for Pac-Man games. The buttons have a strange layout but AtGames just reused the case molds from the portable Genesis so that explains that...although it's still a strange button layout for the Genesis even.

 

Overall I'm happy with the purchase. It won't replace any of my 2600s but it's nice to be able to play a quick game of Cave1k or something on the go.

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The tiny screen is okay but I get this weird effect and I think it's a viewing angle issue.

It's because the screens they use are designed to be used in a vertical orientation. That's why it looks fine if you hold it sideways.

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It's because the screens they use are designed to be used in a vertical orientation. That's why it looks fine if you hold it sideways.

Is this issue fixed with the 2017 version. I really enjoy my 2016 AFBP, but sometimes the screen becomes very hard to look at

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I asked ATGames if there would be an Atari 8-bit/5200 console with an SD card slot and was referred to this group. Doing a little googling, I have discovered that there are a LOT of hand held consoles available. Most seem to take a variety of rom file formats. Reading through Q&As and reviews, there seems to be a lot of inconsistency in assessment of quality. I was hoping to get some data from people I trust a lot as to the quality of the ATGames consoles. I really only want to hear from people who have significant time 'at the wheel'. For those who can recommend a non-ATGames, please PM me and not post to this thread. (I am looking for a solid handset with durable, comfortable controls and a nice screen that will play Atari 8-bit games.)

I think the AtGames toys are great ... for the price paid. They're not super-deluxe but they're fun.

 

Atari Portable is a dream come true for me, an official VCS on the go, sold in normal stores, with an SD card slot for adding your own games. There's a big thread about compatibility and suggestions for setting it up here: http://atariage.com/forums/topic/258970-atari-flashback-portable-faq-and-compatibility-list/

 

The Sega Genesis portables are neat for what they are, but they're essentially unchanged over the last 10 years and still have annoying sound problems. That said, they're cheap and fun so it's hard to get too annoyed by it. AtGames is likely making new portables in 2018, but nothing has been announced yet.

 

There are cheap Chinese handhelds for Nintendo and Sega emulation, and they're increasingly available from Amazon sellers in the USA. Ordering from AliExpress is fun, but takes forever to ship. I expect Retro-Bit's portable will be pretty good for MAME and NES/SMS/GB/GG/SMD/SNES like the Super RetroCade is.

 

In the meantime, Android is your friend but you really want hard buttons for this type of game. The GPD XD is about to be updated and can do Atari 8-Bit stuff with some configuration. I don't think "out of the box" Atari 8-bit is ever going to happen, but it's not too hard to set things up.

 

Personally, I think a PC is a better way to run offbeat emulators. It's easier to configure and tweak them. You can get a cheap laptop for under $100 and it can do much more than play games.

 

Finally, don't forget Archive.org's Console Living Room ... you can play a whole bunch of 5200 games in a browser without anything extra. https://archive.org/details/atari_5200_library

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Well, I got around to returning the one I bought with the horrible viewing angles, and the second one is no better. The viewing angle sucks so badly that the colors look completely different out of one eye than the other.

 

I legitimately don't know how anyone could play one of these things. It's beyond terrible. I bought it with very low expectations and it's worse than I could have imagined. I wouldn't buy one of these for my 7 year old nephew.

 

Bill seems like a genuinely good dude from his posts here but every single thing I have ever bought from AtGames has been awful. Even Hyperkin and Retro Bit stuff is better and I wouldn't even want to stain my trash can with their products.

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Well, I got around to returning the one I bought with the horrible viewing angles, and the second one is no better. The viewing angle sucks so badly that the colors look completely different out of one eye than the other.

 

I legitimately don't know how anyone could play one of these things. It's beyond terrible. I bought it with very low expectations and it's worse than I could have imagined. I wouldn't buy one of these for my 7 year old nephew.

 

Bill seems like a genuinely good dude from his posts here but every single thing I have ever bought from AtGames has been awful. Even Hyperkin and Retro Bit stuff is better and I wouldn't even want to stain my trash can with their products.

 

Hmm I don't have the issue above with my AFP 2017. Do you have the 60 game 2016 model or the 70 game 2017 model? Anyway an SD card works great. 1001 working games in matter of a few minutes thanks to Arenafoot! I think emulation is great for a $40 portable.. only a few glitches and many were fixed in the roms by the various wonderful folks here at Atariage.

Edited by thetick1
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Hmm I don't have the issue above with my AFP 2017. Do you have the 60 game 2016 model or the 70 game 2017 model? Anyway an SD card works great. 1001 working games in matter of a few minutes thanks to Arenafoot! I think emulation is great for a $40 portable.. only a few glitches and many were fixed in the roms by the various wonderful folks here at Atariage.

It's the newer model.

 

And let me just say, it's beyond absurd that the community has to hack individual games to get them to work on their emulator. I'm a grown man and the Atari 2600 released a full 13 years before I was born. There's no excuse for this shoddy emulation.

 

Bad emulation, bad battery life, and a screen worse than my Game Gear's. You can download free emulators on your phone that actually work, then just use a bluetooth gamepad. You're already carrying a phone anyway, and the gamepad is smaller than the Flasht Portable. Plus the screen on your phone is presumably visible.

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It's the newer model.

 

And let me just say, it's beyond absurd that the community has to hack individual games to get them to work on their emulator. I'm a grown man and the Atari 2600 released a full 13 years before I was born. There's no excuse for this shoddy emulation.

 

Bad emulation, bad battery life, and a screen worse than my Game Gear's. You can download free emulators on your phone that actually work, then just use a bluetooth gamepad. You're already carrying a phone anyway, and the gamepad is smaller than the Flasht Portable. Plus the screen on your phone is presumably visible.

 

First you have a very poor grasp of what is involved with emulation. I'll just leave it at that. I beg to differ also on the battery which is excellent (many hours of non stop play) . Finally I think the screen is great though it is a bit small but a pretty good value when you factor in the price. An A/V cord works fine and even looks pretty good on a modern TV.

 

Comparing a $800 phone to a $40 AFP is just NOT even in the same ballpark. It's like saying a Toyota sucks compared to a Lamborghini.

 

AFP 2017 is by far the best portable emulation product I used or seen. It's far better than many of the Asian portables available.

Edited by thetick1
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First of all, people already have cell phones. The additional cost of putting an emulator on a phone you already own is precisely zero.

 

Second, I had a GP2X 13 years ago with Stella running on it, and it was superior in every imaginable way to the Flashback Portable. Battery life was even comparable running off AAs; 3-5 hours. If it hadn't been stolen I would probably still be using it.

A modded PSP is superior in every way.

 

A Dingoo or any JXD handheld is superior in every way.

 

This thing is, by far, the worst portable emulation machine I have ever used. I used two and the screens on them are garbage. The build quality is poor, the thing doesn't recognize modern SD cards, the d-pad is awful, and the emulation is sub-par.

 

If there are products from over 13 years ago running Stella well, there's no excuse for this thing now. If you enjoy yours then by all means keep having fun with it, but don't tell me these flaws aren't there. I've got eyes.

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Speaking as someone with experience in emulators in particular and software development in general, it's probably not fair to compare custom-made emulators to something like Stella. For one thing, the custom-made emulators are made in-house by a (probably) limited number of developers, and have to come in under budget and strict time frames, just like most proprietary software has to.

 

Stella has been in continuous development for over 20 years (so it doesn't have a deadline), and for free by developers donating their time (so it doesn't have a budget). Frankly and IME, with the restrictions on the typical software developer, the emulators that they produce aren't so bad.

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Speaking as someone with experience in emulators in particular and software development in general, it's probably not fair to compare custom-made emulators to something like Stella. For one thing, the custom-made emulators are made in-house by a (probably) limited number of developers, and have to come in under budget and strict time frames, just like most proprietary software has to.

 

Stella has been in continuous development for over 20 years (so it doesn't have a deadline), and for free by developers donating their time (so it doesn't have a budget). Frankly and IME, with the restrictions on the typical software developer, the emulators that they produce aren't so bad.

None of that means anything to the end user, though. When I buy a product I just want it to work. I don't need to know how it was made or how many people worked on it, nor do I care. If I buy some cereal and it tastes much worse than the competition, it's no consolation to me that fewer people worked on it under more difficult conditions.

 

You're grading on a curve and it doesn't make any sense. This thing was designed to run Atari 2600 games and it does a much worse job of it than most available alternatives. If they're charging money for it, it should perform. And it doesn't.

 

And none of the emulator talk addresses the horrible build quality or screen.

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True story: I got tired of my GCW Zero (heir to the Dingoo handheld line) and sold it on eBay to a big dummy who lacked the smarts to load ROMs onto an SD card. I had to refund it because he told ebay it was defective (it wasn't, he was).

 

The average person wants plug and play. The market covered by AtGames is casual, and I suspect many of its customers never added any other ROMs to the device. When you pay the forty bucks or so, the thing works right out of the box, no dorking around.

 

Yes an Android emulator is better. Try going into a place talking about finding an NES Classic Mini and tell them they should get a RetroPie instead and they'll stone you to death.

 

To death, I say! 💀

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