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sloth-machine

Atari Flashback Portable quality control. Is it just me?

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So my local store got in a bunch of the 2017 models on clearance, all new in the box. Always curious on this thing, I picked one up. I powered it on and quickly noticed the volume did not work, no matter how much I fiddled with the volume up...it can only be turned up so much...

 

Exchanged it for another. This time the Dpad did not function properly. Right and Down worked but Left and Up did not. So I thought third time is a charm, not exactly. Still issues with the Dpad, it was better. But I really had to mash it hard to get it to respond. I thought about taking it apart at this point. But, I paid for a fully functioning unit so I just decided to return it for my money back.

 

Once I got to the store again (same place I get my groceries, so it's not out of the way) I see they still had plenty left. I just had to try once more, and finally got a normal working unit. I asked the store if these were opened returns but the employee said no. I understand that the Atgames consoles are not premium gaming systems, but it was quite a hassle.

 

Anyone with similar issues here?

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...Anyone with similar issues here?

One of the ones I bought in 2016 had an issue with the volume dial being finicky, (I bought a few of them - a couple for myself and for gifts). I opened up the one with the volume issue and saw the solder was not good, so I touched it up and it has worked great ever since. I kept that one for myself and also swapped out the screen with a larger Genesis Portable screen.

 

This past year, I bought a 2017 model, but did not like it nearly as much as the original 2016 one, so I returned it. I just prefer the 2016s styling and D-pad. The only advantage to the new one (that I noticed), was the compatibility of Pressure Cooker and Pitfall timing working properly (tho Im sure there are probably others), which didnt justify the purchase for me.

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Agree that the 2016 version is the better one. The D pad design for the that year was better. Here is to 2018 being a better unit.

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I tried 13 different units and not one of them had a screen you could see well. 12 of the 13 had to be held at an angle or all the colors were wrong, and the last one had to be held perfectly still and at a precise distance.

 

The controls felt cheap and cheesy but they worked fine, and I didn't notice any volume issues. Just awful screens and poor emulation.

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Agree that the 2016 version is the better one. The D pad design for the that year was better. Here is to 2018 being a better unit.

 

2018 is going to use the 2016 d-pad. I'm hoping for other tweaks as well, but screen size will not be one of them.

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I've warmed up to the flashback portable 2017. I made this topic in frustration but I do enjoy the portable.

 

I own a clip on Bluetooth controller for my android phone but it's quite cumbersome to put on, sync up and get it ready, when in all that time I could have just quickly played a few games on the flashback portable.

 

I like everything about it, screen and emulation is manageable. But that d pad sucks. Glad to know the 2018 model will be improved with the d pad. I will definitely pick one up.

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2018 is going to use the 2016 d-pad. I'm hoping for other tweaks as well, but screen size will not be one of them.

 

That's good news and bad news. I'm glad to hear they're going back to the 2016 D-Pad, but disappointed that they'll still be using the smaller screen. That little bit of size makes a big difference to me. The smaller screen just seems too cramped IMO.

 

I noticed they've also gone with the smaller screen in the 2017 Genesis portable. I was going to pick one up to see if the sound issue was improved, but first peeked inside the box and when I saw the smaller screen, I just put it back on the shelf. I still love my 2016 model Genesis portable and I'm glad I bought an extra one, since the screen has gotten smaller on new ones. The sound issue can be resolved with the "Neto" boot loader. I just wish I didn't have to wait for that loader to start up every time I want to change rom files.

 

I've heard AtGames will fix the Genesis portable audio in 2018, which may be enough reason to get me to buy a new one, but I really hope they don't change the overall look. I really don't like the look of the 2017 Atari portable and will probably steer clear if the Genesis one takes on that physical design. I'd like to see the Atari portable go back to the look of the 2016 model.

Edited by KevinMos3

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Is there a better, more expensive portable out there with high quality and, say, 5 inch (10-13cm) diag screen at a higher but not crazy price point? I know there's the plus size Android phone option, but for the half of us that own an iphone, it really isn't, and it can be cumbersome as mentioned. Do people hack 3DS's?

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Is there a better, more expensive portable out there with high quality and, say, 5 inch (10-13cm) diag screen at a higher but not crazy price point? I know there's the plus size Android phone option, but for the half of us that own an iphone, it really isn't, and it can be cumbersome as mentioned. Do people hack 3DS's?

 

GPD XD is versatile and powerful, and not too expensive. There's a Plus version coming soon, and a version 2 a bit after that, so the original unit should be easy to find used soon.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GPD_XD

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GPD XD is versatile and powerful, and not too expensive. There's a Plus version coming soon, and a version 2 a bit after that, so the original unit should be easy to find used soon.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GPD_XD

Basically looks like a hacked 3DS.

I dont know anything about android. Is it better to just replace the OS with a Mac or Windows OS? If I got a GDP Win I would want it with the XD control panel, plus keyboard appears to add $150.00 to price.

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Basically looks like a hacked 3DS.

I dont know anything about android. Is it better to just replace the OS with a Mac or Windows OS? If I got a GDP Win I would want it with the XD control panel, plus keyboard appears to add $150.00 to price.

 

Android is easy. It's mobile Linux but has a very friendly app store. You could add a microSD card full of ROMs, buy an Atari emulator, and point it at the folder. This is purpose built for Android, so you're not going to be able to install another OS.

 

Yes, you could get the tiny Windows device for twice the price. For me, that runs into the "too expensive for a toy" territory. GPD Win seems underpowered and glitchy. The new one is what I would want, but that's even more expensive, like $650. I have a real laptop that can do more for that price (apart from not fitting in a pocket).

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Android is easy. It's mobile Linux but has a very friendly app store. You could add a microSD card full of ROMs, buy an Atari emulator, and point it at the folder. This is purpose built for Android, so you're not going to be able to install another OS.

 

Yes, you could get the tiny Windows device for twice the price. For me, that runs into the "too expensive for a toy" territory. GPD Win seems underpowered and glitchy. The new one is what I would want, but that's even more expensive, like $650. I have a real laptop that can do more for that price (apart from not fitting in a pocket).

Okay, thanks for the great info. So, beyond 2600.emu, do other emulators, like for the 7800, 5200, Colecovision, Genesis, etc., suck from lack of attention or are they well made and maintained? Currently I am using in Windows:

Stella for 2600, MAME for 7800 and 5200, MAME, or BlueCV BlueMSX or CoolCV for Colecovision and MSX, depending on need, plus a bunch of others for other systems. Not asking for replacements, but just as a quality comparison. Getting off into emulator territory now, but, last post for me, I promise. :-D

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Okay, thanks for the great info. So, beyond 2600.emu, do other emulators, like for the 7800, 5200, Colecovision, Genesis, etc., suck from lack of attention or are they well made and maintained? Currently I am using in Windows:

Stella for 2600, MAME for 7800 and 5200, MAME or BlueCV for Colecovision, depending on need, plus a bunch of others for other systems. Not asking for replacements, but just as a quality comparison. Getting off into emulator territory now, but, last post for me, I promise. :-D

Hit up play.google.com and take a look for yourself. I like the .emu series by Robert Broglia and the stuff by Marat F. because they use a common look and feel, and are easy to configure. There are free versions of just about anything, and paid stuff only costs a few bucks.

 

Android emulators are usually ports of the PC versions. There's a RetroArch port that uses cores from all the emulators, just like the PC version, but the interface is obtuse.

 

2600 and Coleco/MSX are pretty much perfect.

NES, SNES, Genesis, TG-16 are essentially perfect.

 

N64 is hit or miss -- Nintendo stuff is almost perfect but third party N64 often doesn't run.

PSP and Dreamcast are similar, amazing that they work as well as they do, when they do.

 

7800 and Odyssey 2 are nonexistent last I checked, though probably doable in RetroArch if you tweak it.

5200/8bit, Amiga, Atari ST, C64 are ok but difficult to set up (for me, since I don't know the source machines too well)

MAME is quite good, medium setup difficulty just because it's picky about file paths.

 

I really should go play some old games now.

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I tried 13 different units and not one of them had a screen you could see well. 12 of the 13 had to be held at an angle or all the colors were wrong, and the last one had to be held perfectly still and at a precise distance.

 

The controls felt cheap and cheesy but they worked fine, and I didn't notice any volume issues. Just awful screens and poor emulation.

 

I did notice out of the few I tried, some had brighter screens than others which affected the colors. But viewing angles were all the same, nothing were it had to be held at an angle though. Still, not bad for a handheld you can find for 20-30 bucks new on ebay.

 

I have to say that I have played more Atari on the flashback portable in the past few days compared to the whole last year on my actual consoles, which is good.

Edited by sloth-machine

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The 2016 d-pad was lackluster. I'm sad to hear that the 2018 improvements constitute reverting back to it after apparently making it even worse in 2017. It's much too easy to trigger a diagonal input in my 2016 unit.

 

In a way though, perhaps I'm glad. If the Atari/Sega consoles take another leap forward this year, I don't mind waiting another year before possibly upgrading my original Atari Flashback Portable.

Edited by Atariboy

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As someone who loves the paddle games these things are basically useless to me. I had the 2016 version and returned it within a week. All kinds of sound and control issues and graphical glitches. The D pad felt horrible and seemed very unresponsive. I have no intention of getting another. I just don't see the point. I know I'm in the minority but for me they rank up there with your average cheap Chinese knockoff handheld

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As someone who loves the paddle games these things are basically useless to me. I had the 2016 version and returned it within a week. All kinds of sound and control issues and graphical glitches. The D pad felt horrible and seemed very unresponsive. I have no intention of getting another. I just don't see the point. I know I'm in the minority but for me they rank up there with your average cheap Chinese knockoff handheld

 

The 2018 d-pad is using the 2016 d-pad design, but should also be getting improved responsiveness. It was not there yet in the test model I tried. We'll see if it makes it in. A paddle dial may make it in for 2019, but it's not a given at this point.

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