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9 hours ago, Draxxon said:

the AFBX Deluxe is $150

But is it really being sold at that price?

 

You can find the AFBX for 40-80 typically on ebay and other social selling apps

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Posted (edited)

Sure, you cannot find an AFB X at a brick-n-mortar store any more, but I don’t think a few sellers on Amazon mean that it is worth $150.

 

While something is technically worth whatever someone will pay for it, it should be possible to get a general idea what somebody might be willing to pay based upon scarcity and close alternatives.

 

The AFB X original retail price was $80 (I think), and the lasr price they were selling them at was $60.

https://www.atgames.us/products/atari-flashback-x
 

If the shape of the plug-n-play was important, then the Retron77 ($70) is a good alternative. It too has custom firmware that supports the latest homebrews, and also allows you to load new games via SD.

 

If the shell isn’t important, then the Legends Flashback is an alternative, and those are only $40.

https://www.amazon.com/At-Games-Legends-Flashback-Boom-electronic/dp/B07FK2GQFY

 

AtGames has announced a new Atari Flashback for 2021 (I think from one of the other threads Bill Loguidice said they would be focusing on premium systems), so there may not be one this year, but they may decide to release one at a later date. If time isn’t an issue, you could always wait and buy a AFB11.

 

Used ones come up every once and awhile too, and don’t sell for too much. (June 2021, $26+SH)

https://www.shopgoodwill.com/Item/123120832

 

So, taking all those things into consideration, I would say a AFB9 is worth $40-$80, and an AFBX is worth the same, maybe with a $10 bump for the cool shell.

Edited by CapitanClassic
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Yes, to me it does not seem like a > $100 device, but I was amazed they could be sold domestically for $40 at Sam's Club and Menard's.  Knowing the Nexus is available I would certainly pay $60 or $70.  It's now my favorite way to play Atari 8-Bit Computer games vs. using an emulator on a PC or a mame box with arcade controls.  I do wish the joysticks were better - I still like to use the atGames player 1 joystick just for the extra buttons.  With a few improvements in quality and/or the addition of keyboard support I would gladly pay around $100.

 

I also agree if you watch carefully, the used ones sometimes still come up at a bargain, but the bargains are getting rare now.

 

Here is the actual "marsboard" in it's bare-board raspberry-pi like form - If you add the power supply it is $63.  (It would be interesting to see if the atGames FW would flash to these.) 

 

http://www.hotmcu.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=34_35&products_id=64

 

The Flashbacks contain a very stripped down custom version of that, but the $40 sales price with 2 controllers and the nice looking mini VCS console chassis just still blows my mind.

 

It still seems like atGames could sure do another production run around Christmas and sell some of the X model without really changing the design.  No clue about the economics of that.  Maybe they have to get a major retailer (Sam's Club?) interested.  It seems like they sold out of them last time?

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In Europe the Flashback X has been quite expensive to buy for over a year now. It is hard to find any below 80 to 100 dollars. But as an Atari collector I had to buy this one because of the shell.

 

I found out that about 2 years ago Lidl (supermarket) in Germany sold it for 25 euros (30 dollars) for a very limited time.

 

I love the Flashback X with the nexus software, but if I have to be honest.... Looking at the Chinese handhelds with a Rockchip rk3326 (like the Anbernic 350, Rk2020, Powkiddy RGB 10/20) they are way better in emulating old systems. They run Retroarch and for example the Atari800 emulator (version 4) runs better and has no issues with the sounds. Some of these handhelds have an HDMI out and I would not be surprised if console versions exists with the same hardware.

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, MrZarniwoop said:

I have to think this is a combo of post-COVID inflation + it's a sexy device + Nexus makes it a really great retro gaming console.

As much as I would like to think that NEXUS has something to do with it, I have to wonder if the majority of AGB9/X owners even know about it at all.

From what I remember, the AFBs were $60 new and you could get them on deals in brick and mortar stores for $30-40. Menards had them for 30 bucks just 3 or 4 months ago.

I totally get that Amazon's over inflated prices are stupid, but I check ebay also. Around $85 bucks is as cheap as I've seen sealed systems lately. And like Rocketfan said, they (deals) are getting fewer and fewer. There also doesn't seem to be any rarity or scarcity of the AFBs.

I realize you can still find things on deals, I got an AFB9 new in box for $20 just a couple weeks ago. But, not everyone wants to bid on stuff on ebay, and meet strangers in parking lots for plug and play systems.

 

I would also agree about the emulation quality of the AFBs. I find myself going to the Retron77 to play 2600 games. They just play better than on the AFBs. Again, the whole point of this project was to elevate the AFBs. To make them as desirable as any other mini classic console. I think we all helped to accomplished that to some degree. And I pretty much agree with all that's been said so far.

Edited by Draxxon
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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Fred_M said:

Looking at the Chinese handhelds with a Rockchip rk3326 (like the Anbernic 350, Rk2020, Powkiddy RGB 10/20) they are way better in emulating old systems. They run Retroarch and for example the Atari800 emulator (version 4) runs better and has no issues with the sounds. Some of these handhelds have an HDMI out and I would not be surprised if console versions exists with the same hardware.

Yeah - I have some experience with the Chinese handhelds - though I have never bothered to hook one up to a TV.  🙂

 

My problems with that:  The case, the Controllers, the UI, and the setup.  I like the Atari themed case for the device (a lot).  I want to use an original "style" Atari controller.  I use emuelec on my home-made standup Arcade unit - it is a very good front-end interface on retroarch.  It's not bad to setup box art, but using a scraper does not seem to get 8-bit box art, so that would be a manual process.  I really like browsing the box art and the overall simple menu setup on atGames/Nexus.  It's much better for a "non-hacker" user, because it is preloaded with content AND art.  It is also easy to screw things up or otherwise get lost in the emuelec/retroarch UI.  Made by geeks, for geeks.  LOL.

 

If anyone wants to launch an "ultimate Atari flashback" project, it could be done like this:

We could have someone design a 3D printed case, and special decals, use Hyperkin Trooper II joysticks, and a highly performant "mainboard" like this one from Hardkernel:

https://www.hardkernel.com/shop/odroid-xu4-special-price/

Then we could implement our emuelec theme and build up the Atari box art database for the device.  We could even re-implement a retromenu in the style of the AtGames one and use retroarch in the back-end as our retroplayer.

That would be a big project, but it would eliminate many of the present limitations, and it is doable!  However, I think the cost would then be back around $150!

 

On the 8-bit sound:  I must not be as much of a perfectionist.  I know some games glitch  (which I ALWAYS wanted to fix, but got stumped), but to me the sound is OK on the majority of games - or does it have something to do with running PAL?

 

 

Edited by rocketfan

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48 minutes ago, rocketfan said:

If anyone wants to launch an "ultimate Atari flashback" project, it could be done like this:

We could have someone design a 3D printed case, and special decals, use Hyperkin Trooper II joysticks, and a highly performant "mainboard" like this one from Hardkernel:

https://www.hardkernel.com/shop/odroid-xu4-special-price/

Then we could implement our emuelec theme and build up the Atari box art database for the device.  We could even re-implement a retromenu in the style of the AtGames one and use retroarch in the back-end as our retroplayer.

That would be a big project, but it would eliminate many of the present limitations, and it is doable!  However, I think the cost would then be back around $150!

Something like Microcenter's Atari Pi Kit + a pair of Trooper IIs would run about $140.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, rocketfan said:

If anyone wants to launch an "ultimate Atari flashback" project, it could be done like this:

We could have someone design a 3D printed case, and special decals, use Hyperkin Trooper II joysticks, and a highly performant "mainboard" like this one from Hardkernel:

https://www.hardkernel.com/shop/odroid-xu4-special-price/

Then we could implement our emuelec theme and build up the Atari box art database for the device.  We could even re-implement a retromenu in the style of the AtGames one and use retroarch in the back-end as our retroplayer.

That would be a big project, but it would eliminate many of the present limitations, and it is doable!  However, I think the cost would then be back around $150!

What about 2 Trooper IIs and this: (I ask because that's my plan. At least this way you get a somewhat real atari case, but its kind of meh.) You can debate how "official" that case is, but, it would stop on all the hacking and modding of AFB1s and other old cases and eliminate the need to 3d print one. (Also, most 3d printed cases look like shit btw. Ive been printing stuff since they came out. We have two resin printers currently. Just my opinion) Is the Pi3B+ not enough? If that's an issue, why not just go for an FPGA setup?

 

616767_048983_01_front_zoom.jpg

 

They were down to 70 bucks, I see they are at $100 again.

Atari Pi Kit - Micro Center

The case was as low as 12, now it is 20:
Atari 2600 Themed Raspberry Pi Case - Micro Center

What is the cheapest you can get a Pi for? The case for $20 and a pi = ?

Two troopers is 40ish? Back to around $100 bucks. The OG LFB1 for $40 bucks

with the CFW might be the easiest way to play atari games w/ HDMI after all. lol.

I own the Atari Pi and I'll say this. It's not much to look at in pictures, but in hand it's solid. I think its dope. They also have Atari "tanksticks" w/ and w/o a trackball with the pi built in. you could skip the "console" portion alltogether. I think if your going to take the time to build a setup for everyone, its nice to pick the thing that everyone has. Lots of gamers have Pi3s. You dont have to have the atari case.

Edited by Draxxon

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, rocketfan said:

On the 8-bit sound:  I must not be as much of a perfectionist.  I know some games glitch  (which I ALWAYS wanted to fix, but got stumped), but to me the sound is OK on the majority of games - or does it have something to do with running PAL?

Most of the glitching is because there are still PAL 8-bit games in the Nexus image that are running in NTSC. I am planning to make a list of games in Nexus that must be run in PAL. I already did that for some games (as Draxxon knows) but there are still plenty in there that are not running in the correct system. That causes glitches and some games even crash.

 

About the sound..... I am absolutely not a prefectionist, but I think it is really very bad. You are right, the sounds of most US games (NTSC) in the image are reasonable because they only use sound effects or simple music tracks. You hear how bad it is when music with more than 1 voice is played. A lot of the later PAL releases are using all 4 voices and sometimes samples too. Let me give you some examples, Jet Set Willy and Megablast. Please listen to both on the Flashback X and then listen to these Youtube videos:

 

Jet Set Willy:

 

Megablast

 

 

Edited by Fred_M

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, rocketfan said:

My problems with that:  The case, the Controllers, the UI, and the setup.  I like the Atari themed case for the device (a lot).  I want to use an original "style" Atari controller.  I use emuelec on my home-made standup Arcade unit - it is a very good front-end interface on retroarch.  It's not bad to setup box art, but using a scraper does not seem to get 8-bit box art, so that would be a manual process.  I really like browsing the box art and the overall simple menu setup on atGames/Nexus.  It's much better for a "non-hacker" user, because it is preloaded with content AND art.  It is also easy to screw things up or otherwise get lost in the emuelec/retroarch UI.  Made by geeks, for geeks.  LOL.

 

I agree, but I have to say that the joystick that comes with the Flashback X is complete rubbish. It looks the same as an original Atari joystick, but it is a very bad copy. I love my Flashback with the Nexus image, but I am using a joystick splitter cable to use a real Atari joystick from the 80's (the CX10 or the CX40). Honestly, I think a retropie with a good 3d printed 2600 case might do the job better.

 

But I am still happy with my Flashback X. It is in my collection as a playable device. I stripped the Nexus image so it only has Atari 2600, 5200, 8-bit, 7800, Lynx, the karaoke player as an MP3 player and the media viewer to run some old Dutch Atari commercials. I made menus and backgrounds in the style of my website (atarimuseum.nl). So I am very thankful to you and Draxxon for this image!

 

20210719_234720.thumb.jpg.1d1c091a7fcef34df840a973d501222d.jpg

 

20210719_234748.thumb.jpg.4bf06d0ba41c51f9ccb967b04a287e9d.jpg

 

20210719_234824.thumb.jpg.505560ac87ff199c76436dd8fce15d84.jpg

 

museum.thumb.jpg.158f8254fb99029c2347cbae98453ca7.jpg

 

Edited by Fred_M
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Posted (edited)

The P1 Joystick's control is rubbish and loose, but you have select and reset from the controller. I like not getting up to push reset after each game. I can definitely recommend wiring it up to real arcade controls easily and it rocks. What I want to know is can you hook the P1 and a pair of paddles up to the splitter and will they both work. Also, will you get the warning screen on every a2600 game you play?

When I go to the Retron77, pushing the buttons on the console every time sucks. It has rewind, but it isn't one-button-press easy either.

I wonder if there is a way to wire a trooper II up to a P1 PCB for use on the AFBs???

Edited by Draxxon

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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, Draxxon said:

The P1 Joystick's control is rubbish and loose, but you have select and reset from the controller. I like not getting up to push reset after each game.

I have not opened the P1 joystick yet, I know you did. I will open mine tomorrow (it is midnight in Europe now) and take a look. Maybe it is possible to replace some parts with original Atari joystick parts ;-) 

Edited by Fred_M

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Posted (edited)

I just saw your pictures of your backgrounds and set up, pretty sweet looking.

It's really cool to see someone make their own custom pack. I like it a lot.

And, I guess I kind of have some art in a museum now, lololol. Even if it is just touched up boxes.
We got "museum quality" box art, yall!

To be serious, tho. I know one thing that still needs to be done is sort the atari 1st party and paddle games. There hasnt been much of that done with the atari 8bit games yet.

Edited by Draxxon
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Posted (edited)

Fred, If you open your P1 Joystick, here is what Im trying to wrap my head around...

How do the extra buttons work?

 

I know that...

Menu is U+D. You can do it from the P2 Joystick manually even from the player 2 port.

Rewind is L+R+U. Works the same as Menu.

Which leads me to believe Select and start must be something like L+R. Because how they function when you try to use them as action buttons in combination with Left and Right, and how select switch + up is rewind and select switch + down is menu... but how does that work? if select is L+R and you add D, where is the U coming from to trigger the exit menu like in the manual input? If Select is U+L+R how does rewind work manually? I'm missing something but I know you cant get select and start to work manually on the P2, only the P1 from the player 1 port. The P2 PCB looks normal, the P1 has traces running everywhere and chips (or something, Im no expert) on the board.

One thing I noticed is if you use manual Menu, U+D or select switch+D, it wont let you back all the way out past the details page. Only the P1 menu button lets you back out to the main menu.

Edited by Draxxon

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I finally got around to updating my AFBX with the most recent full release. I intended to do this back when a800 was first added. I am impressed.

 

I love the 2600 and a800 sections, and did delve into all the other sections. I especially like the karaoke player, which was surprising to me.

 

What I didn’t see was the ports of AFB1 games in the NES section. I thought that there was a dump at one point and that those were going to be included in the Nexus.

 

 

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4 hours ago, CapitanClassic said:

What I didn’t see was the ports of AFB1 games in the NES section.

Draxxon included those games in the "Flashback Gold" section, which has all the various flashback published games.

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6 hours ago, original_gamer said:

The Flashback X is back in stock on the AT Games site.

Great, thanks for the heads up!

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Next idea for a reto atari - Could you embed a pi-zero inside a Hyperkin Trooper II? Maybe hard-wire the USB connection to the stick internally to save room...  And is the pi zero good enough for Stella/a800 emulation?

 

I have no idea if there is space, but could put you back in the <$100 price range.

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22 hours ago, Draxxon said:

How do the extra buttons work?

On 1/12/2019 at 2:03 AM, boggis the cat said:

MENU = UP + DOWN

SELECT = LEFT + RIGHT (or LEFT + RIGHT + DOWN)

REWIND = LEFT + RIGHT + UP

START = UP + DOWN + LEFT

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Posted (edited)

Thank you, AtGames.
After Xmas time hopefully we get new owners who want to mod it.

Sure wish this would come back:
 

Capture.PNG

Edited by Draxxon
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On 7/20/2021 at 4:22 PM, Draxxon said:

Fred, If you open your P1 Joystick, here is what Im trying to wrap my head around...

How do the extra buttons work?

I see the answer is already given. I just found out myself. I used my old Atari 8-bit computer (peek(632)) to get the readings. So I came to the same conslusion:

 

Menu: up and down

Start: up, down and left

Select: left and right

Rewind: left, right and up

 

Sadly the inside of the Flashback X joystick is completely different than an original Atari CX-10 or CX-40 joystick. In stead of buttons/switches the Flashback X used a D-pad system. 

 

20210721_144423.thumb.jpg.4a24536b2b92346eb0d6a4b0201fd558.jpg

 

I tried to make the distance smaller by putting 4 small screws in the stick, but sadly that works not good enough. Because of the smaller distance the joystick will not return to its original position anymore. So I unscrewed them.

 

So for me the best way is still to use a splitter cable to use an original joystick and the FBX joystick at the same time.

 

20210721_152937.jpg.0e8a293233f157055fe014b6eeb718ad.jpg

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1 hour ago, MrZarniwoop said:

if menu is U+D

and select is L+R+D

how does select+D trigger the menu?

In this thread they say you can just wire up the extra buttons, but as far as I can tell you can only wire up menu and rewind to a diff joystick.

It also says they will only work from port 1, but menu and rewind will work from port 2.

 

maybe there are differences in the 9 and X? Ill bust the 9 out at some point and check. My gut feeling is they figured it out mostly but got a couple details wrong.

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Posted (edited)

fred, can the P1 board fit in an original stick below the gold PCB? just wire the gold pcb to the green pcb and out to the console?

Also, how do these chips work?

 

Capture.PNG

Edited by Draxxon

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Posted (edited)
32 minutes ago, Draxxon said:

how does select+D trigger the menu?

I just tested it on a real atari (8-bit computer) and pushing select and down gives value 1. Pressing left, right and down also gives value 1. So that is what we would expect.

 

The menu button gives value 12, that is the value for up and down.

 

So my conclusion is, that the FBX treats value 1 as a way to open the menu too.

 

29 minutes ago, Draxxon said:

fred, can the P1 board fit in an original stick below the gold PCB? just wire the gold pcb to the green pcb and out to the console?

I don't know what you mean. I think it is possible to solder the PCB with the menu/start/select/rewind buttons to an original atari joystick PCB (ar any other 9pin digital joystick), but I don't think there is room enough in the case.

 

29 minutes ago, Draxxon said:

Also, how do these chips work?

I don't know, I am not an electrical expert. I don't think these are chips, but resistors? Anyway, a FBX joystick works without any problem on a real Atari. And an original old (Atari or other brand joystick) works perfectly on the FBX. So they don't not seem to be parts that are needed for the buttons/directions.

Edited by Fred_M

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