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The Atari VCS Controversy Thread

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I'm not sure we should compare this with regular consoles or PCs; Atari SA's strategy reminds me of the GP32. It didn't make a dent in the market, but it still had a fairly long life, plus a few successors. GP32 - Wikipedia

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5 minutes ago, rayik said:

 

Expectat multiboot loader without having to his ESC.  Hitting ESC is Atari not doing anything to have a multiboot loader.  Rather that's hitting a hot key to interrup the bootup and go to the BIOS boot menu.  

 

Also how do you hit ESC when you only have a controller in hand and no keyboard hooked up?

 

I would expect a multiboot loader to automatically give you the option to choice which available OS to boot into.  No need to hit a key to interrupt bootup.  Also able to allow you to make a selection using a controller.  Or if you don't choose, booting your choosen default OS after a perod of time.

 

That's why it's beneficial to install grub or refind or something to give you the kind of bootloader you want, rather than the BIOS provided one.   My main PC is exactly the same, I have to press F11 at boot to see the BIOS bootloader

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When consoles go away, how will old ladies land young guys?

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26 minutes ago, Draxxon said:

When consoles go away, how will old ladies land young guys?

https://external-content.duckduckgo.com/iu/?u=https%3A%2F%2Ftse1.mm.bing.net%2Fth%3Fid%3DOIP.O8RJ_CJcF06KvgRy8V8fmgHaEA%26pid%3DApi&f=1

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30 minutes ago, x=usr(1536) said:

https://external-content.duckduckgo.com/iu/?u=https%3A%2F%2Ftse1.mm.bing.net%2Fth%3Fid%3DOIP.O8RJ_CJcF06KvgRy8V8fmgHaEA%26pid%3DApi&f=1

Too young. Maybe this one...

 

OIP.jpg

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6 hours ago, zzip said:

Right now PC GPUs are very expensive even for entry-level ones , so that is probably fueling the insane demand for PS5/XBsX for people who don't want to break the bank on a gaming PC these days.

Think it's something like $2,300 for the top of the line RTX GPU. And something in the $600-$700 range for the low-end RTX models. It's outrageous to the point it "doesn't exist". Doesn't bother me much. They wanna sell me a GPU? They'll make it affordable.

 

I think my GTX 1080 is somehow worth more now than when I got it some 3 years ago.

 

6 hours ago, zzip said:

Core count alone doesn't mean much.   The most powerful processors need active cooling.

Pretty sure that's the reason why full-size PC cases still exist. Everything else can be miniaturized. You got this 200mm2 chip, and 1kg of Aluminum and fan to dissipate its heat.

 

6 hours ago, zzip said:

And I don't.   The phone company stopped laying fiber in my area, and worse Comcast wants to institute a data-cap on residential customers.  My cell plan has data caps,  why would I go to streaming?

Streaming and data caps don't mix my world.

 

6 hours ago, zzip said:

Besides that, there are a lot of people who will never switch to streaming for a variety of reasons-  they want to own the physical hardware, they want to own the games, they don't want the added latency, they don't want to lose everything because they posted an angry message one day and got banned from the service.

Take my daily dumps in the stream..

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6 minutes ago, Keatah said:

Think it's something like $2,300 for the top of the line RTX GPU. And something in the $600-$700 range for the low-end RTX models. It's outrageous to the point it "doesn't exist". Doesn't bother me much. They wanna sell me a GPU? They'll make it affordable.

 

I think my GTX 1080 is somehow worth more now than when I got it some 3 years ago.

Yeah I'm seeing $500-600 for the RTX 060 models.   Crazy!   PS5/XB1X looks like a bargain in comparison, if you can find one.

 

13 minutes ago, Keatah said:

Pretty sure that's the reason why full-size PC cases still exist. Everything else can be miniaturized. You got this 200mm2 chip, and 1kg of Aluminum and fan to dissipate its heat.

And some of these heatsinks are massive.  A lot of people have commented on how large the PS5/Xb1x are, but the size is due to cooling needs.

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1 hour ago, Keatah said:

I think my GTX 1080 is somehow worth more now than when I got it some 3 years ago.

Interesting - I should sell mine and wait for prices to come down on the 3k series.  By the time that is affordable, NVidia will already be launching the 6000 series, and the 4000 and 5000 will be old news.

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10 hours ago, zzip said:

Do we know for sure they are doing this, or will they cop out too and limit access because of the support/warranty/security issues it might cause?

I suppose nothing is final until the hardware ships, but I'd be at least 99% confident on this one. They already did it with the Steam Machines, after all.


Obviously, they were someone else's problem when it came to warranty and support. However, at the end of the day, the Steam Deck is just a very specialized laptop, as are any of the other current handheld gaming PCs. If you trash the OS on any of them, support will tell you to do a factory reset from the recovery partition, and only if you've also trashed that are you looking at a return.

 

Security is a categorical non-issue because the Steam Client typically runs on machines that have root access anyway. It's only really a problem for Atari because they're complete novices when it comes to digital sales and are attempting to run an online store for a platform that's far too small to support it in the long run.

Edited by Matt_B

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15 hours ago, zzip said:

It was probably mid-2000s.     PC games were disappearing from the stores and articles were written about how PC gaming was dying, but then as Steam got more popular it reinvigorated it.

 

Before that, the PC game market was almost almost separate entity from console games.  Lots of PC games never showed up on console (or if they did, they'd be cut down versions) and lots of console games never showed up on PC.  Nowadays most games minus exclusives show up on both and they are virtually identical.

I'd argue that happened earlier with the Xbox but yeah you go back to the 90s and some of those ports were so bad or downgraded it made you wonder why they bothered.

 

But on the flip scale it was just as odd that almost every port FROM consoles to PC was handled incompetently, like both sides had developers that couldn't figure out the other.

 

12 hours ago, zzip said:

Yeah I'm seeing $500-600 for the RTX 060 models.   Crazy!   PS5/XB1X looks like a bargain in comparison, if you can find one.

 

And some of these heatsinks are massive.  A lot of people have commented on how large the PS5/Xb1x are, but the size is due to cooling needs.

Huh? Xbox One X is pretty small, unless you meant Series X. Even then I'm not sure if the heatsink is main reason for it's size or just the odd rectangular casing they went with.

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17 hours ago, zzip said:

That's why it's beneficial to install grub or refind or something to give you the kind of bootloader you want, rather than the BIOS provided one.   My main PC is exactly the same, I have to press F11 at boot to see the BIOS bootloader

 

I'm sorry, but advertising PC mode and then relying upon a "BIOS provided bootloader" is exactly Atari doing no programing for the PC mode they advertised. 

 

Even iin Atari OS, all that was programmed was a PC mode icon which when clicked triggers a text message and then system reset.  The only reason it  then reboots into another OS, is because the BIOS device boot order sets the USB device as first boot device.  There really is no reason to go into Atari OS if you just plug in the USB device before turning the system on.

 

To me the relatively little effort boot into multi booting has nothing to do with programmers involved, but rather the resources Atari put into the software for the system.

 

PC Mode while prominently advertised, really seems like something minimally implemented.  To me this is a great example of the effort put into Atari OS.

 

And I'm a supporter of the system, who actually bought it in a retail store.

Edited by rayik
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3 hours ago, Leeroy ST said:

I'd argue that happened earlier with the Xbox but yeah you go back to the 90s and some of those ports were so bad or downgraded it made you wonder why they bothered.

Yeah I don't remember exactly when it was.   I do remember PC gaming was alive and well around the turn of the Millenium with super popular games like The Sims.  So it was some years after that when it fell into a slump.

 

3 hours ago, Leeroy ST said:

Huh? Xbox One X is pretty small, unless you meant Series X.

Yeah I meant Series X!   I hate the way MS names these things

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1 hour ago, rayik said:

 

I'm sorry, but advertising PC mode and then relying upon a "BIOS provided bootloader" is exactly Atari doing no programing for the PC mode they advertised. 

 

Even iin Atari OS, all that was programmed was a PC mode icon which when clicked triggers a text message and then system reset.  The only reason it  then reboots into another OS, is because the BIOS device boot order sets the USB device as first boot device.  There really is no reason to go into Atari OS if you just plug in the USB device before turning the system on.

 

To me the relatively little effort boot into multi booting has nothing to do with programmers involved, but rather the resources Atari put into the software for the system.

 

PC Mode while prominently advertised, really seems like something minimally implemented.  To me this is a great example of the effort put into Atari OS.

 

And I'm a supporter of the system, who actually bought it in a retail store.

I don't like the way they use the term "PC Mode" either.  It's confusing!  Sounds like it's a mode within Atari OS that launches a VM or something, or gives you direct access to its OS like SteamOS does.

 

But to me, the VCS was always a PC in a console form factor, and that's how I intend to use it.  It will be the living room console we use to play retrogames and it will boot into the Ubuntu instance with a gamepad-controlled interface for selecting games.   I don't really expect to use Atari OS  much, unless they surprise me with compelling content.

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4 hours ago, zzip said:

 

But to me, the VCS was always a PC in a console form factor, and that's how I intend to use it.  It will be the living room console we use to play retrogames and it will boot into the Ubuntu instance with a gamepad-controlled interface for selecting games.   I don't really expect to use Atari OS  much, unless they surprise me with compelling content.

 

Agree 100%

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I bought a VCS because I want it to succeed. I know it's a long shot. If it doesn't I still have a little living room gaming PC. I enjoy mine. It will be fun when it can retro game natively in Atari OS (hopefully). If that's all the further it gets in development I'll be okay with that as well. I do hope it gets further because some of the games coming out for it look cool. As for the price, it is pretty inexpensive compared to my other gear. Techies don't buy cheap tech and if they do, they tend buy a lot of it. My guess is people spend way more money overall on their other consoles, PCs, networking gear, and other tech toys.

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16 hours ago, zzip said:

Yeah I don't remember exactly when it was.   I do remember PC gaming was alive and well around the turn of the Millenium with super popular games like The Sims.  So it was some years after that when it fell into a slump.

 

Yeah I meant Series X!   I hate the way MS names these things

I still have problems finding actual Xbox 1 stuff till this day because they called the third console Xbox One.

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On 7/23/2021 at 1:12 PM, Mockduck said:

Agreed! Given how much people love to dunk on Atari on the boards here you'd think they would jump at the chance at the first opportunity. Starting to wonder if it was a fake flex or something...

I've been wondering about that for a while.  It's been two weeks since @The Historian was asked to share what he knew:

On 7/15/2021 at 8:50 PM, x=usr(1536) said:

Asking for a friend: now that we're eight days past your NDA's expiration, when will the beans be spilled?

And near enough as doesn't matter to a month-and-a-half since he last logged in:

 

179672572_TheHistorianActivity.thumb.jpg.c9e6be2d569e50335a778e7a901d01a6.jpg

 

I do hope that @The Historian's dropping off of the face of the planet isn't indicative of a shift to expecting the delicate aroma of horseshit to come wafting gently over upon the breeze from the direction of his NDA.

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I've been casually watching the build up to the release of the VCS... but that $400 price tag w/ controllers is just way, way too expensive. And now that every reviewer basically says that the store is anemic, it sadly may be dead on arrival. 

 

I'd love to potentially cover it on my YouTube channel in the future, but Atari will need to fix those two things before my audience would probably care at this point.

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In totally unrelated news ( 😉 ), the new Game Boy-like Play Date handheld sold 20,000 units in 20 minutes of it being announced. 

 

There must be something wrong here, as Atari took 3 years to amass around 11,000 pre-orders, not all for the console either. As I can recall various arguments from the non-haters that nostalgia, a strong brand name, merely being able to be found in a retail store somewhere, PC-mode, being able to upgrade your RAM, having a web browser, and having a few several month old videos with a few views on YouTube are the keys to successful game hardware in 2021, and this has none of those. What am I missing? 😬 

Edited by Shaggy the Atarian
added a couple of extra thoughts
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1 hour ago, Metal Jesus said:

I've been casually watching the build up to the release of the VCS... but that $400 price tag w/ controllers is just way, way too expensive. And now that every reviewer basically says that the store is anemic, it sadly may be dead on arrival. 

 

I'd love to potentially cover it on my YouTube channel in the future, but Atari will need to fix those two things before my audience would probably care at this point.

Cover it anyway.  You could probably do it in greater depth than other reviewers I've seen.

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3 minutes ago, Shaggy the Atarian said:

In totally unrelated news ( 😉 ), the new Game Boy-like Play Date handheld sold 20,000 units in 20 minutes of it being announced. 

 

There must be something wrong here, as Atari took 3 years to amass around 11,000 pre-orders, not all for the console either. As I can recall various arguments from the non-haters that nostalgia, a strong brand name, merely being able to be found in a retail store somewhere, PC-mode, being able to upgrade your RAM, having a web browser, and having a few several month old videos with a few views on YouTube are the keys to successful game hardware in 2021, and this has none of those. What am I missing? 😬 

It got a flurry of positive press right before preorders opened.   Same with the Steam Deck.    Didn't The VCS crowdfunding campaign get delayed?   I think that's key.  Stuff falls off people's radar quickly,   Plus the Playdate doesn't have an army of haters ready to tear it to shreds at every turn,  unlike the Amico and VCS.

 

I noticed a number of the users here who complained that the VCS is "underpowered", that there is no point in launching a console in 2021 because "you can't compete with the big-3" are all-in on the Playdate.   Weird how that works out, since most of those criticisms apply there as well.   All because it has that one gimmick...

 

I'll be right back,  I'm going to crowdfund a console that features a TNT plunger, a rotary dialer and a TV Rabbit ears for the hipster crowd 😄

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, toiletunes said:

The man who knew too much, maybe?

Or was faking it the entire time?

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So I didn't really know anything about this system until recently, but I love following the gaming hardware events in the world. I want to understand all these consoles hitting the market these days, and I am trying to catch up on what sorts of objectives all these machines have in their sights and what markets they are going for. It's very intriguing and feels like watching history happen in our humble hobby. I have skimmed some info about the vcs, but I was wondering if anyone can throw a few major bullet points out for me that may not be inferred by specs alone.

 

Say I'm wandering the halls of the internet shopping world and I see all sorts of shiny gaming hardware, all vying for my attention and dollars.. There's the vcs, amico, analogue pocket, playdate, steam deck, ps5, Xbox, switch, and many more (let me know if I missed anything interesting). Some of these jump out to gamers and laymen alike- the "big three," perhaps. Some are more niche, like the playdate. I'm hoping someone can help me see who is drawn to the vcs and why. I have read some specs and some of the mission statement kind of stuff. It's another option for gaming and media center for the family, which might be a tough sell if it's in the price range of triple a consoles. Is there an x factor I'm missing?

 

If the game prices I saw are legit, then that is a huge plus. A mountain of good, affordable games can take a system a long way. Will there be steady, fun exclusives coming to the vcs? If couch multiplayer is a huge goal, then affordable controllers would entice people. However, with no track record, a purchase of some of these systems can be a leap of faith, and some may not want to start leaping with $400+ unless there's something making them say, "I have to have specifically that!"

 

I'm sure if I extensively research and lurk, I could find all the info I want, but I was hoping someone versed in recent events wouldn't mind catching me up. If not, no big deal.

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