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Tanooki

AtGames 2019 speculation thread

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As can be seen with the 5200 collection on Atari Flashback Classics vol 3. and Atari Flashback Classics Switch, it's not easy to implement 5200 games because of the oddball controller and keypad. There's really no incentive to re-engineer a 5200 controller just to play those 5200 games that are available (all of that are present on those two collections). As such, I don't consider that a viable option.

 

Homesoft took a lot of the 5200 games, and adapted them for use on the 8-bit computers, so the controller issue has been surmounted on many titles.

 

Edited by Inky
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I'm considering trying to scoop up the more elusive Genesis flashback hd (2018) on ebay. Do we know if there even will be a 2019 model because of the Sega interest in doing their own classic HD console this year? Will that come to and end, and will the handheld die off too without ever being made right with the new core?

 

I'd just like to do some Sega stuff again and the 2018 fixed issues the 2017 had quite a bit, plus with firmware updates and its SD card slot it basically doubles like an everdrive too like the handheld has done for years.

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Homesoft took a lot of the 5200 games, and adapted them for use on the 8-bit computers, so the controller issue has been surmounted on many titles.

 

 

The adapted 8-bit titles would require an Atari 8-bit emulator instead of a 5200 emulator. There are some key differences such as a much bigger/more sophisticated OS ROM on the A8 platform that would need to be brought along. There's also the somewhat questionable idea of using hacked executables in a licensed commercial product. There are also 5200 games which use the keypad controls (Star Raiders and the Realsports games come to mind) that could use the typewriter keyboard on the A8 but wouldn't translate well to a home console that AtGames could make (which wouldn't have those buttons). There are also the 5200 purists who would regard a conversion from the 5200 controller as sacrilege.

Edited by FifthPlayer
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The adapted 8-bit titles would require an Atari 8-bit emulator instead of a 5200 emulator. There are some key differences such as a much bigger/more sophisticated OS ROM on the A8 platform that would need to be brought along. There's also the somewhat questionable idea of using hacked executables in a licensed commercial product. There are also 5200 games which use the keypad controls (Star Raiders and the Realsports games come to mind) that could use the typewriter keyboard on the A8 but wouldn't translate well to a home console that AtGames could make (which wouldn't have those buttons). There are also the 5200 purists who would regard a conversion from the 5200 controller as sacrilege.

 

I wasn't suggesting use the Homesoft roms. I was just saying that the controller issue has been worked around.

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I wasn't suggesting use the Homesoft roms. I was just saying that the controller issue has been worked around.

Hasnt it only been worked around by using the keyboard instead of controller buttons?

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Hasnt it only been worked around by using the keyboard instead of controller buttons?

 

For some titles, yes, but most, no.

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I only want the flashback portable to return to the 2016 D-pad, keep the B/W switch (that holds its state) from the 2017, and the nicer LCD of the 2017 (the colors were slightly darker but looked sharper)

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I personally would be content if the Namco Blast unit with Arcade versions would finally be released .... you know as promised before and after it was known the one available at retail was the up-to-that-point unannounced NES version.

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Of course they work on LCDs.

Did you see the thing with red LEDs in it? That is providing pulses that allow the light gun to work. If that isn’t sitting in front of your digital TV and connected up you won’t get anything happening as there is nothing for the light gun to ‘see’ and thus allow the game to figure out what part of the screen it is pointing at.

 

Old video games (like the 7800) relied on the CRT scan operation to work correctly. What you really have with a CRT is a bright dot that starts at the top left, moves to the right across the screen lighting phosphors, then turns off and there is a slight delay while it repositions to start far left again but one scanline down. When it reaches the bottom of the picture (the last scanline) there is a delay while it repositions back to the top of the CRT. An old light gun works by detecting that bright dot, and signals the video game (or computer) when it detects it. The video game then knows where the light gun is pointing.

 

The delay between drawing each scanline is the ‘horizontal blank’ and the delay between ending the screen draw and restarting is the ‘vertical blank’. The 2600 can only do game calculations during those blanks as the rest of the time the microprocessor has to feed data to the chip that draws the picture. So far as I am aware, the 2600 can’t use a light gun due to being busy when the gun would be signaling that the dot had appeared. (Maybe it’s possible by using a synchronised light gun and sending a coded signal giving the position when ‘requested’ by the 2600 — turn a light gun into a keypad that sends a code, essentially.)

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I wouldn't mind seeing an Activision flashback that takes into account everything that company owns, such as the Imagic stuff. Also, would not mind seeing Pitfall 2 with the extra adventure...

 

And I know I repeat this from time to time, but maybe some sort of deal could be worked out with Lucasfilm/Disney for E.T. and Raiders of the Lost Ark? Then again, would Universal and Paramount have to get involved, too? If the latter is the case, then that probably would be a nightmare. One would think someone like Spielberg knows about (and perhaps owns) the Flashback units, and might get a kick out of these titles being on the platform. Maybe he'd help to get Gremlins on as well. Lucasfilm/Disney has allowed some of its games to get on Gog and Steam and the like, so maybe there is hope? Imagine a fixed E.T. on a Flashback. Would also love to see Ghostbusters from Activision show up; considering there is a new film coming in 2020, Sony should license it for a small amount as a loss leader for the promotional value...

 

Of course, the SD-card angle does make some of this moot, I suppose. That's why reprogrammed titles have value (such as what was done with Pac-Man and Frogger; wouldn't mind seeing a new version of Defender, now that I think about it...).

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Did you see the thing with red LEDs in it? That is providing pulses that allow the light gun to work. If that isn’t sitting in front of your digital TV and connected up you won’t get anything happening as there is nothing for the light gun to ‘see’ and thus allow the game to figure out what part of the screen it is pointing at.

 

Old video games (like the 7800) relied on the CRT scan operation to work correctly. What you really have with a CRT is a bright dot that starts at the top left, moves to the right across the screen lighting phosphors, then turns off and there is a slight delay while it repositions to start far left again but one scanline down. When it reaches the bottom of the picture (the last scanline) there is a delay while it repositions back to the top of the CRT. An old light gun works by detecting that bright dot, and signals the video game (or computer) when it detects it. The video game then knows where the light gun is pointing.

 

The delay between drawing each scanline is the ‘horizontal blank’ and the delay between ending the screen draw and restarting is the ‘vertical blank’. The 2600 can only do game calculations during those blanks as the rest of the time the microprocessor has to feed data to the chip that draws the picture. So far as I am aware, the 2600 can’t use a light gun due to being busy when the gun would be signaling that the dot had appeared. (Maybe it’s possible by using a synchronised light gun and sending a coded signal giving the position when ‘requested’ by the 2600 — turn a light gun into a keypad that sends a code, essentially.)

I'm aware of that. I'm just saying that AtGames could make a plug and play that could play light gun games on LCD and CRT TVs (using an IR sensor!). As Bill said

"As for the light gun thing, there are various ways to make it easily workable on modern TVs, obviously..."

 

Of course, an old-timey light-gun like the XG-1 or justifier isn't going to work on an LCD TV, but they would include a gun with the mini console, like the examples I posted. As can be seen from the Star Wars example, it can be made, inexpensively. I imagine the main obstacle would be hacking the games for an IR sensor rather than the CRT beam.

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Light gun games, even original 80s carts can be made to work on a modern TV. The latest invention are hacked NES ROMs that work in conjunction with like the Tomee light gun which has a little single LED inside the barrel that works along with the principle of the original and it can track the ducks, cans, etc targets and pop the off. There are more annoyingly expensive choices but the fact someone figured it out to work that cheaply is pretty nice, though you'd need to make your own bootleg cart or get an everdrive.

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Light gun games, even original 80s carts can be made to work on a modern TV. The latest invention are hacked NES ROMs that work in conjunction with like the Tomee light gun which has a little single LED inside the barrel that works along with the principle of the original and it can track the ducks, cans, etc targets and pop the off. There are more annoyingly expensive choices but the fact someone figured it out to work that cheaply is pretty nice, though you'd need to make your own bootleg cart or get an everdrive.

 

It would be nice to have games like Alien Brigade, Sentinel and Crossbow back where the gun was accurate enough you could play by aiming the gun rather than looking at where marks are on the screen. Also, it would be great to not lose the light-gun part of the retro-gaming history due to CRTs becoming obsolete/dead. In addition, there are several PAL only games that are really inaccessible in North America because of the complications and expense of getting a PAL compatible CRT in the US and even the fastest converters are still to slow. Okay, sliding off-topic, end of rant. :grin:

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Light gun games, even original 80s carts can be made to work on a modern TV.

...

There are more annoyingly expensive choices but the fact someone figured it out to work that cheaply is pretty nice, though you'd need to make your own bootleg cart or get an everdrive.

It would have to be extremely cheap to make a viable add-on to something like the Flashback range. There isnt anything on the 2600 that uses a light gun, so it isnt relevant unless you also want 7800 ports - then that requires new controllers with the extra button...

 

It starts to add up, and in the end who will buy it? The retailers want an 'impulse buy' price level, and dont care about much beyond that.

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Off by two

Sentinel is boring like hell (I played the 7800 version so maybe the 2600 is better), how about the other one?

Sentinel review by VideGameCritics https://videogamecritic.com/2600sae.htm?e=88752#rev365

 

List of light gun games on 2600 https://atariage.com/controller_page.php?SystemID=2600&ControllerID=13

 

Now wrt to 7800 I think Alien Brigade is not bad, the rest so so:

https://atariage.com/controller_page.php?ControllerID=25&SystemID=7800

(not a big fan of Crossbow but it comes definitely in second)

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I'd like to predict the Sega Genesis handheld will finally use the HD system core - but I think that would be a mistake since it hasn't happened so far. :(

 

I mean is it that hard to put a little chipset in that handheld that can use the Genesis GX core they licensed in the 2018 verison?

Edited by Tanooki
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Amen. Significant updates to both handhelds would be very nice, especially the Genesis one.

I'd like to predict the Sega Genesis handheld will finally use the HD system core - but I think that would be a mistake since it hasn't happened so far. :(

 

I mean is it that hard to put a little chipset in that handheld that can use the Genesis GX core they licensed in the 2018 verison?

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Atari handheld needs it worse. I never see complaints about the d-pad on the Genesis handheld, so I assume it's not as awful as that on the Atari system. But it really holds back the Atari Flashback Portable.

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I speculate that I will be covering less products from them after the Bandai Namco issue. Time will tell. Have not heard a peep from them since then. Interesting...

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Off by two

Well, one that was released. Hardly a good reason to produce a light gun for a 2600 based Flashback.

 

How many games across the entire Atari product line used a light gun? Would it exceed ten? (Including the computers as well as the XE.)

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The Atari and genesis handheld use the same form factor and rubbers on the inside for the dpad and button array so it is a shared problem. The genesis has ear wrong, to bad, to ear piercing screeching tones depending on the game. While the on board games are working play and display fine, there are some serious issues with graphics in notable titles, and saving on sram is out entirely. The home version with genesis gx is great compared by a long shot.

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