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BIGHMW

Who would go for an Atari 5200 Flashback-style unit???

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I am in a paradox, I own both an original 5200 and many accessories for her like several controllers and the VCS adapter but I also own an AtGames Flashback 9 with HDMI that plays those great (well, not really , when compared to the 5200 ports) 2600 games on my SD card slot I used with my old Harmony Encore multicart, but after looking at a different post (mainly of Parker Brothers' ads for their games on various different systems, including both the 2600 and 5200 versions among others) I now greatly miss playing the graphically-superior 5200 ports on my SD card I still have after I sold my Atarimax SD multicart.

 

That, leads to this, I have been enjoying my AtGames Flashback 9 but since I dearly miss my 5200 ports I am planning on getting back that Atarimax multicart, but, I don't have the space required for Big Sexy to fit in my a/v cabinet, which leads to why AtGames (or anybody else for that matter) has never put out a 5200 Flashback, in which would be almost the same size as the current Flashback 9 (or my Lonpoo LP-099 region-free worldwide DVD player) I own, all that is needed is the circuitry from both the 5200 and the multicart themselves, combined and put in a small, miniature 5200-like enclosure (Little Sexy) with just 2 5200 controller ports, an HDMI port for modern HDTVs (or composite RCA stereo a/v jacks or a 4-pole composite a/v minijack) an SD card slot, power switch, and a micro-USB power jack, plain and simple.

 

Who is willing to do it? I could two s***s and a f*** what the copyright police, or AtGames, think of it, but I would pay $$$ to obtain one, much like Edladdin came up with all of his great controllers, and all of you with your great homebrews both on ROM and on cartridge, somebody can step up and do this!!! How many of you are with me on this, and how much would YOU pay to get one???

Edited by BIGHMW
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For me the perfect solution would be the 5200 version of the CollectorVision Phoenix, where the unit can run original carts and controllers, plus an SD card, and with all the modern A/V and power features BIGHMW described.  

 

PS:  Thank you for the Edladdin shout out!  

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It would make for a nice project case. Strip it out and put a proper

MiSTer or R-Pi in there. Maybe even a micro or pico ITX.

Edited by Keatah

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I would for sure..how about a flashback unit that plays 5200 games as well as Atari 400/800 games?

Edited by ASalvaro
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8 hours ago, edladdin said:

For me the perfect solution would be the 5200 version of the CollectorVision Phoenix, where the unit can run original carts and controllers, plus an SD card, and with all the modern A/V and power features BIGHMW described.  

 

PS:  Thank you for the Edladdin shout out!  

If it led to a better controller solution I would really piss my wife off throwing money at this. The 5200 was my first console and I'd love to see it get a little more love.

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If ATGames made one I would buy it!

 

As far as a hobbyist solution where someone makes something (a very expensive one off), probably not (speaking for myself)...

 

I first read your headline as a question of would you buy one if someone (like ATGames) made it, (YES!)...

 

Upon reading all you have written...Words like "All that is needed" and JUST ...Not to mention "Plain and simple"....Well, no disrespect,...But Nothing is ever that simple.  I'm not saying it's impossible, it's just not easy.  Maybe gathering the components from a working 5200 and putting them all together into a smaller case (maybe with an A/V mod even)...That sounds like something doable to my brain, but I have no idea what's inside a 5200 so I may be way off...

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Who would go for an Atari 5200 Flashback-style unit??? - The answer is almost no one.  You'd probably be overjoyed to sell 10,000.

 

I appreciate the Retron '77 for what it is, but we don't even have a proper clone of the 2600 that plays carts yet.  I can already play Stella.

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If someone would made a nice 5200 controller replica with a USB connector, I think that would suffice. The emulators are already out there and hardware is easy enough. 
 

Seems to me the trick will be threading the needle between making it reliable and keeping it faithful. 
 

The 5200 does nothing for me, I wouldn't buy it. Sorry. 

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The only way I would even buy a 5200 Flashback Like unit is if it met with the following criteria...

 

1) Be HDMI

    If it's not HDMI what's the point?  We all want cleaner and better graphics than RF right?  That would draw me in...

    Problem is licensing rights for HDMI can be problematic/expensive.  Weighed against potential sales, it's a huge risk.

 

2) Atarimax Compatible

     It either has to use my AtariMax cartridge, or at least the SD card.  I will not but anything that only comes with a few older mediocre games.

 

3) Smaller Footprint

    Yeah, it has to smaller, for all the obvious reasons.

 

4) Joystick Legacy compatibility.

    If it will not support people current investment(s) in trackballs, joysticks or paddles, what's the point in getting another money pit?

 

5) Be Affordable

    I don't care if it's made in Mainland China, if it works, but if it costs more than two AtariMax cartridges, forget it!

 

Seeing that all these criteria will probably never coalesce, I'm probably SOL.

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I sold both my 5200 and XEGS in the last few years, so I'd be interested in a 5200 flashback. I'd like to play Space Dungeon again, along with a few other choice games.  I really like the 5200's library.

 

Mostly it'd really need to have a controller with similar feel and functionality.  I like the CV/Inty flashbacks because the controllers are nice, new versions of the classics I'm used to.  They make those flashbacks.  I think there's more wiggle room for change and improvement with the 5200's... but stray too far and why bother, you might as well play on an emulator.

 

Composite output is ideal for me as I'd use it on my tube TV along with my other classic consoles and flashbacks.  I get why some people want HDMI, but not for me.  You can't please everyone.

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One of the real questions to answer would be the following:

 

Is there anything so 5200-specific that you can't find it on the 8-bit computer platforms?

 

I'll admit to not being super-familiar with the 5200, but I very clearly remember playing 5200 games that had been dumped & hacked to run on the 8-bit machines.  Given the closeness in hardware, it's difficult to see where a 5200 mini would have any real advantage over an 8-bit emulator and a Raspi.  I get the attached nostalgia value for the 5200 itself, but just don't see it doing well enough in the marketplace to justify its existence.

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3 hours ago, x=usr(1536) said:

I get the attached nostalgia value for the 5200 itself, but just don't see it doing well enough in the marketplace to justify its existence.

I tend to agree.  With that said, I'd play my 5200 more if the graphics were better.  Sadly there is no VGA or HDMI upgrade that I know of that is available.  

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I had a 5200 as a kid, but soon realized it was just a stripped-down Atari 400. The core architecture is the same except for like address locations and BIOS/firmware.

 

At this time you might want to check out Emulator Altirra. It's probably the best way to experience the entire 8-bit library - aside from spending bookoobucks on fleabay for original hardware.

 

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8 minutes ago, Keatah said:

At this time you might want to check out Emulator Altirra. It's probably the best way to experience the entire 8-bit library - aside from spending bookoobucks on fleabay for original hardware.

Yup!  Using Altirra is my favorite way to play Qix (with the keyboard).

 

Altirra-Qix.thumb.jpg.dd21dbfa695d56d37cd44a436510ca01.jpg

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3 hours ago, Keatah said:

I had a 5200 as a kid, but soon realized it was just a stripped-down Atari 400. The core architecture is the same except for like address locations and BIOS/firmware.

 

At this time you might want to check out Emulator Altirra. It's probably the best way to experience the entire 8-bit library - aside from spending bookoobucks on fleabay for original hardware.

 

 

The goal, or hope, would be a Flashback for the 5200, so an emulator would be useless since it already exists and (some) people still want the 5200 Flashback.  While the core architecture is almost the same, the result is not.  I much prefer the 5200 versions of the same games that were on the Atari 800/400, mostly because of the controllers.

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17 hours ago, --- Ω --- said:

The only way I would even buy a 5200 Flashback Like unit is if it met with the following criteria...

 

1) Be HDMI

    If it's not HDMI what's the point?  We all want cleaner and better graphics than RF right?  That would draw me in...

    Problem is licensing rights for HDMI can be problematic/expensive.  Weighed against potential sales, it's a huge risk.

 

Yes and no.  Ya, we want to avoid the RF connection, of course.  But HDMI isn't necessary.  Easy of connections is necessary.  So HDMI is sort of a standard currently so why not.  But RCA connections work as well, I'd expect both for those of us who prefer playing a 5200 on a CRT or other similar 4:3 crap SD resolution

 

17 hours ago, --- Ω --- said:

2) Atarimax Compatible

     It either has to use my AtariMax cartridge, or at least the SD card.  I will not but anything that only comes with a few older mediocre games.

 

It needs a cartridge slot for sure in order to play real 5200 cartridges.  The SD card slot should be there, too, but that could be mitigated by something like an AtariMax cartridge.  It cannot simply be a console with some built-in games but no ability to play anything else, that's a deal-breaker.

 

17 hours ago, --- Ω --- said:

3) Smaller Footprint

    Yeah, it has to smaller, for all the obvious reasons.

 

Agreed, but a similar shape to the original would be ideal.

 

17 hours ago, --- Ω --- said:

4) Joystick Legacy compatibility.

    If it will not support people current investment(s) in trackballs, joysticks or paddles, what's the point in getting another money pit?

 

Yes, 15-pin connectors for new (digital or at least self-centering) joystick controllers that can also correctly accept vintage controllers (analog input is still analog input).

 

17 hours ago, --- Ω --- said:

5) Be Affordable

    I don't care if it's made in Mainland China, if it works, but if it costs more than two AtariMax cartridges, forget it!

 

I'd pay more for a functioning cartridge slot but, ya, there is a limit in terms of price.  Now, if it came with a working cartridge slot and a new pack-in game made specifically for this release, that would be something.  An improved, completed version of Asteroids?  I, Robot perhaps?

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5 hours ago, Keatah said:

I, Robot ?? Has there ever been a home port of that?

 

Not that I'm aware of, but there should be.

 

From what I recall, the main reason for that was that there just wasn't hardware available in the home computer market at the time that could get anywhere near close to the graphics calculations handled by the arcade game's mathbox.  Had to consult DanB's I-Robot tech specs for info on that (and I'd recommend checking that link for the full rundown of how memory is shared, etc.; it's a moderately complex arrangement), but what it boils down to is that the main CPU was a 6809, a quad-POKEY handled sound, and the mathbox was a quad-AMD 2901 4-bit slicer arrangement.  Not easy to replicate even close to faithfully on 8-bit hardware of the era, and single-cpu 16-bit machines might even struggle.

 

A shame, too, because it was a really innovative (and fun, once you got the hang of it) game.

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On 9/7/2019 at 10:34 PM, edladdin said:

For me the perfect solution would be the 5200 version of the CollectorVision Phoenix, where the unit can run original carts and controllers, plus an SD card, and with all the modern A/V and power features BIGHMW described.  

 

PS:  Thank you for the Edladdin shout out!  

I second this. Happy for the Coleco crowd, but envious of the Phoenix. I'd love to to see an equivalent happen for the 5200, as unlikely as that may be.

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7 hours ago, Keatah said:

I, Robot ?? Has there ever been a home port of that?

Nope. It's easily emulated on super low spec hardware, though. It's one of my favorites for style and innovation. 

 

Atari SA claims they own the rights to the game. I can think of reasons they haven't brought it back. 

  1. The name "I, Robot" is from an old Asimov story, which has been adapted into at least one big motion picture
  2. They wouldn't want to pick a trademark fight, especially trademarks are just about the only thing they own
  3. The game was awesome, but uncommon, so it's unlikely to draw a crowd, certainly not one worth picking a legal fight over
  4. The game had some custom hardware so their existing commercial emulators (licensed from others) might not run it without some work
  5. They're too far up their own Asteroids to think outside the usual moneymakers

All this is likely true of Food Fight, too. 

 

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5 hours ago, Flojomojo said:

Nope. It's easily emulated on super low spec hardware, though. It's one of my favorites for style and innovation.

I think I recall playing this on a Pentium III 850 or less. Maybe as low as a Pentium III 450 or Pentium II 266.

 

I would guess (but don't know and don't care) that the complex Mathbox was abstracted away early on in MAME's development. I think they "had" to do it to get Tempest working.

 

As far as home ports go - I've heard people actually refer to MAME as a platform and sometimes ask when a game will be "ported to MAME".

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