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The Phoenix, 1 year on.

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Anybody that ordered a Phoenix, including myself has pretty much had one for a year now, give or take so let's look at some of the things that were promised, post launch that may have persuaded some of us to buy one.  
 

1. More cores beyond the 2 that came with it.  

2. An Atari 2600 cartridge adapter.

3. Phoenix exclusive games.

4. New controllers.

 

What have we got after 1 year?  Well, none of the above.  Nada, zilch, zippidydoodah. A preorder for 1 game, still to be released and not even any news on the others.  Maybe the Collectorvision club members are privy to some news but who knows? Seems a bit unfair to hide that info behind a paywall anyway.  Hopefully, simply being a Phoenix owner would be enough.  What we have got is a few updates to the cores.  Something that was absolutely necessary for the disappointing and broken Atari core, which still needs work.  I don't mean to come across as ungrateful or a moaner.  I have enjoyed my Phoenix and I understand things move slowly in homebrew land, but none of us are getting any younger and at this rate, we'll be dead from old age before the Phoenix reaches its full potential.  I know Collectorvision are probably, mostly hard at work on the Phoenix's second production run and hopefully, year 2 will see some of the above promises come to fruition.  In the meantime, it might be nice to get some info on possible timelines for the above.  I've waited till now to mention this.  I've always thought I was a patient man but it seems I need to work on that if I want to be part of the retro gaming community. Anyway, rant over.  Hope I don't regret this post and have people throw verbal mud at me.

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I haven't used mine much honestly but when I do it's mostly to play the few cart games I own. I use an hdmi to composite adapter as neither of my hdmi sets work with the Phoenix. One doesn't recognize it at all and the other has a horrible background noise that makes it unplayable.

 

Its fine for what it is but yea I'm still hoping for the 2600 cart adapter and some new cores would be nice

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1 hour ago, Serguei2 said:

One year ago, nobody can predict coronavirus would strike and slow everything down for everybody.

Can't disagree with you there.  Covid MAY have played a part although maybe not.  Has it delayed the second run?  I don't know.  I know it's not the same but my wife works for a major packaged goods company and while Covid has certainly affected the way they do things, it has had zero effect on timelines and targets.

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2 hours ago, insertclevernamehere said:

Anybody that ordered a Phoenix, including myself has pretty much had one for a year now, give or take so let's look at some of the things that were promised, post launch that may have persuaded some of us to buy one.  
 

1. More cores beyond the 2 that came with it.  

2. An Atari 2600 cartridge adapter.

3. Phoenix exclusive games.

4. New controllers.

 

What have we got after 1 year?  Well, none of the above.  Nada, zilch, zippidydoodah. A preorder for 1 game, still to be released and not even any news on the others.  Maybe the Collectorvision club members are privy to some news but who knows? Seems a bit unfair to hide that info behind a paywall anyway.  Hopefully, simply being a Phoenix owner would be enough.  What we have got is a few updates to the cores.  Something that was absolutely necessary for the disappointing and broken Atari core, which still needs work.  I don't mean to come across as ungrateful or a moaner.  I have enjoyed my Phoenix and I understand things move slowly in homebrew land, but none of us are getting any younger and at this rate, we'll be dead from old age before the Phoenix reaches its full potential.  I know Collectorvision are probably, mostly hard at work on the Phoenix's second production run and hopefully, year 2 will see some of the above promises come to fruition.  In the meantime, it might be nice to get some info on possible timelines for the above.  I've waited till now to mention this.  I've always thought I was a patient man but it seems I need to work on that if I want to be part of the retro gaming community. Anyway, rant over.  Hope I don't regret this post and have people throw verbal mud at me.

I think what they have done so far is, frankly, amazing. Making an FPGA Atari 2600, ColecoVision or Intellivision with the capabilities of the original is something most people said could never be done, because there would not be enough interest in it. But, CollectorVision are the first to do it, despite a bunch of trolls coming into the community trying convince them not to during the Kickstarter. At this point, I think the only kink left to iron out in providing the equivalent of a fully pimped out ColecoVision that would cost $600+ before, and is now $200, is to solve the HDMI issue on some TVs. Not to mention, it also, currently, has the ability to use a wireless controller with the 8bitdo SNES retro receiver or SN30 or use an unmodified NTT data controller, which is basically an SNES gamepad with the Colecovision keypad. I am hoping after that we can get a fully pimped out Atari 2600, but the impossible takes time.

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17 minutes ago, insertclevernamehere said:

Can't disagree with you there.  Covid MAY have played a part although maybe not.  Has it delayed the second run?  I don't know.  I know it's not the same but my wife works for a major packaged goods company and while Covid has certainly affected the way they do things, it has had zero effect on timelines and targets.

major packaged goods compagny this is the key... collectorvision are people like us not major compagny so yes they are affected by post delay and everything that cause the delay... and they also have jobs and familly... 

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Well technically there is a Hanimex Pencil II core put there as well but currently only one game for it.

 

Dead Tomb is on its way and Collectorvision has been working on Gorf Super Game.

 

They have a prototype Atari cartridge adapter.

 

They have an idea for a fix for the roller controller issue.

 

All of this while trying to get an improved second batch of Phoenix’s out to increase the install base which will likely improve the chances of other things in the future.

 

is the Phoenix perfect? No. 
 

Is it a great product that is being supported pretty decently by a super small homebrew company? My thought is yes.

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2020 has been a challenging year for most small sized businesses.

 

I also recently marked my 1 year Phoenix anniversary and reflected on what I experienced.

 

Summary: exceeded my expectations and beyond thrilled

 

Here are five areas that delivered value to me.

 

1/ hardware: modern hardware design reliable, efficient, powerful 
2/ small form factor: portability achieved...have taken it on a few trips, easy to store at home
3/ joystick support: 8bitdo wireless/NES, Coleco vintage, Atari vintage, and 3rd parties  
4/ game support: support for legacy Coleco carts (all 43 worked) and could explore ROMs on SD card (Coleco, Atari) 
5/ customer support: responded to key issues on forums and via email 

 

Of course I would like more features, and it would have been better to set expectations more frequently/proactively about the future roadmap, but for year 1, the core gaming experience exceeded my expectations and that established a solid foundation upon which to improve upon. 

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I appreciate owing a Phoenix, I still play games on it frequently. I am hoping for an Intellivision core.

Edited by funcool

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It's like a new Colecovision and the Atarimax cart in one shot. It's small and does not take up as much shelf space. The menu system lets me create folders to label types of cart releases. I'm pretty satisfied.

 

It must have been a lot work for small handful of persons to pull off. Plus it takes a long time to make games form scratch if not working on them full time.  I've been feeding my Phoenix with the ROM's from the past two clubs and the free Team Pixelboy Christmas gifts. Can't complain.

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One thing someone outside collectorvision might be able to contribute if they wanted was a menu system for the colecovision core where you could add box art and manual pics.

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I think they did a real nice job on the phoenix. I really appreciate being able to use my original controllers and cartridges.

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I wish the HDMI problems had been fixed. I wanted one, but didn't want to risk ending up in the same position Atarileaf was.

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4 hours ago, Atariboy said:

I wish the HDMI problems had been fixed. I wanted one, but didn't want to risk ending up in the same position Atarileaf was.

Strangely, I actually like using the converter to play on a crt. It adds that feel of the original. Sure using HDMI would be nice but it's not a deal breaker. It's still a fantastic system and well worth the price.

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21 hours ago, Phil7833 said:

 

 

... It must have been a lot work for small handful of persons to pull off. Plus it takes a long time to make games form scratch if not working on them full time. ...


^ THIS ^

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I love my Phoenix, I use it frequently, I think its amazing what they did.  I too would like to have had the HDMI thing fixed but I don't mind using a switch.  I am very much waiting for the Atari adaptor as that would accomplish most of what I wanted, in my world it would be a 7800 adapter that works with 7800 and 2600 games.

 

 

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It’s like when Coleco promised the computer expansion module for the Colecovision but didn’t release it until after the video game crash and by then it was already too late.  Coleco went bankrupt because of it.  I’m still reading about all of the bugs.  The second run has been delayed as a result but they are addressing some of those bugs so they can deliver an improved core so I don’t mind the delay to fix the issues.  But yeah a LOT was promised in the Phoenix marketing sales pitch they have yet to fulfill that reminds me of the sales and marketing pitch for the Adam.  The big question is IF/WHEN?  Yet I keep seeing preorders for new homebrew games and wondering why Phoenix support hasn’t been the primary focus.  We need more console games directly supported by the FPGA/SGM on the Phoenix.  I’d love to see more classic games get SGM enhanced like Time Pilot 84 in all of its arcade glory. New Phoenix controllers instead of using Sega gamepads.  There’s an opportunity to take the Phoenix and Colecovision to the next level it could have been had it continued in 85.  Time will tell but I’d hate to see tge Phoenix not realize its full potential as promised and turn into just another Adam.

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9 hours ago, Tron Unit said:

It’s like when Coleco promised the computer expansion module for the Colecovision but didn’t release it until after the video game crash and by then it was already too late.  Coleco went bankrupt because of it.  I’m still reading about all of the bugs.  The second run has been delayed as a result but they are addressing some of those bugs so they can deliver an improved core so I don’t mind the delay to fix the issues.  But yeah a LOT was promised in the Phoenix marketing sales pitch they have yet to fulfill that reminds me of the sales and marketing pitch for the Adam.  The big question is IF/WHEN?  Yet I keep seeing preorders for new homebrew games and wondering why Phoenix support hasn’t been the primary focus.  We need more console games directly supported by the FPGA/SGM on the Phoenix.  I’d love to see more classic games get SGM enhanced like Time Pilot 84 in all of its arcade glory. New Phoenix controllers instead of using Sega gamepads.  There’s an opportunity to take the Phoenix and Colecovision to the next level it could have been had it continued in 85.  Time will tell but I’d hate to see tge Phoenix not realize its full potential as promised and turn into just another Adam.

You sir, have got where I was coming from.

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20 hours ago, Tron Unit said:

It’s like when Coleco promised the computer expansion module for the Colecovision but didn’t release it until after the video game crash and by then it was already too late.  Coleco went bankrupt because of it.  I’m still reading about all of the bugs.  The second run has been delayed as a result but they are addressing some of those bugs so they can deliver an improved core so I don’t mind the delay to fix the issues.  But yeah a LOT was promised in the Phoenix marketing sales pitch they have yet to fulfill that reminds me of the sales and marketing pitch for the Adam.  The big question is IF/WHEN?  Yet I keep seeing preorders for new homebrew games and wondering why Phoenix support hasn’t been the primary focus.  We need more console games directly supported by the FPGA/SGM on the Phoenix.  I’d love to see more classic games get SGM enhanced like Time Pilot 84 in all of its arcade glory. New Phoenix controllers instead of using Sega gamepads.  There’s an opportunity to take the Phoenix and Colecovision to the next level it could have been had it continued in 85.  Time will tell but I’d hate to see tge Phoenix not realize its full potential as promised and turn into just another Adam.

Coleco (back then) was WAY BIGGER than us, in fact there's no comparison

We're currently working on fixing the issues with the cores, also working on the second batch

The Atari2600 cartridge adapter is still in the pipeline.

Dead Tomb (Phoenix game) is going to ship in a few weeks
I'm currently working on Gorf SuperGame, wich is also going to be a Phoenix game 

I mean....  our hand are already full right now

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On 11/1/2020 at 10:08 PM, Swami said:

One thing someone outside collectorvision might be able to contribute if they wanted was a menu system for the colecovision core where you could add box art and manual pics.

You could... but you have to remember it's a Z80 reading an SD card - loading the images would slow down the menu a lot. My goal in that menu was performance to get you into the game as quick as possible...

 

But, if someone wanted to, you have 24k of ROM space to play with, and 512k of RAM during the menu execution... ;)

 

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On 11/1/2020 at 11:08 PM, Swami said:

One thing someone outside collectorvision might be able to contribute if they wanted was a menu system for the colecovision core where you could add box art and manual pics.

I’m sure you own the AtariMax Ultimate SD Cart so that could be used instead of the Phoenix SD Card/Menu if you really need to display screenshots or box artwork.

 

Before you respond, yeah I understand that you would probably prefer that this ability be built into the Phoenix’s menu system, but for right now, the AtariMax can provide you with this ability. BTW, when was the last time you used this feature or displaying text manuals using the AtariMax?

 

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14 hours ago, NIAD said:

I’m sure you own the AtariMax Ultimate SD Cart so that could be used instead of the Phoenix SD Card/Menu if you really need to display screenshots or box artwork.

 

Before you respond, yeah I understand that you would probably prefer that this ability be built into the Phoenix’s menu system, but for right now, the AtariMax can provide you with this ability. BTW, when was the last time you used this feature or displaying text manuals using the AtariMax?

 

I was thinking more along the lines of the carousel type menus with name and box art like is becoming common in emulators. I was thinking the sd card could work from the RAM of the real processor through a GUI rather than the z80 created by FPGA, like in emulators, but may not be possible for FPGA boards. In that case, we are probably limited to something like sofarun for MSX for a menu GUI.

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I’m still unable to display my Phoenix on my tv set and I’m not even sure if this is still an issue or if this has been fixed; either through software update or an actual hardware revision. I did buy some adapters that should let me convert signal to either composite or RF but i have yet to try them out. I did purchase exclusive Dead Tomb & will support future releases. 

Edited by rodge2001

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9 hours ago, rodge2001 said:

I’m still unable to display my Phoenix on my tv set and I’m not even sure if this is still an issue or if this has been fixed; either through software update or an actual hardware revision. I did buy some adapters that should let me convert signal to either composite or RF but i have yet to try them out. I did purchase exclusive Dead Tomb & will support future releases. 

Issue with displaying Colecovision core has not been fixed yet to my knowledge.

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