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Mockduck

The Atari VCS Controversies Thread

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6 minutes ago, TACODON said:

What about hands down pants?

No - I think that was a truthful showing - a foreshadowing if you will, of "this things stinks like shit".

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4 hours ago, The Historian said:

AtariOS root filesystem wasn't encrypted

 

 

 

With this "feature" of the OS discovered I could see folks showing off a handheld ataribox on homemade portables before the new year. As a handheld it might be more interesting?

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1 hour ago, Shawn said:

 

With this "feature" of the OS discovered I could see folks showing off a handheld ataribox on homemade portables before the new year. As a handheld it might be more interesting?

You might be on to something there, on the right handheld might even make it better than the current AtGames Atari Flashback Portable Game Player....barely. 😛

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3 hours ago, justclaws said:

What I don't like about the Xboxes or PSwhatever is they are closed platforms I cannot tinker with.
There's no installing Windows or Ubuntu on them, although an older Switch can be hacked but it's
still a small Arm based system, and it's limited. There are also many Android on Arm consoles or
set-top boxes, with restricted hardware, like Raspberry Pi, with 2-4 GB RAM and SD card storage.
The Ouya was a small Arm-based Android system, and when it's one support failed, it all ended.
 

Small point of order but the new Xboxes can be tinkered with as they can be booted into a Developer Mode - it costs $19 for a developer licence but after that you can switch between Developer and Retail modes as much as you want. People are already running Retroarch etc on it, no doubt a strong dev community for it will build up soon.

More here: https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2020/11/how-to-turn-your-xbox-series-x-s-into-an-emulation-powerhouse/

 

Wouldn't be surprised if the ease of "hacking" the VCS OS was intentional as that encourages the same kind of tinkering, although that would probably render the VCS shop (such as it is) pretty useless.

 

 

Edited by zappi
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Today was an exciting day for me no matter what y'all think. :) I got it today. Note I am spending more important time with my 9 year old son over Christmas than focusing inappropriately on this new toy, but I also can't totally help myself and unboxed it tonight. Thought I'd share a few reference pics of sorts for the thread, with my serial number covered. 

 

Haven't plugged it in yet, when I feel like I have some impressions to share I will. Immediate reactions: The thing looks gorgeous. The wood front rocks, and they nailed the logo. The joystick looks great, and will probably be excellent. The stick itself is a bit looser than I'd prefer, but does center itself nicely. The packaging is very nice, and also I want to give them minor kudos for using quality cardboard that is also better for the planet. It's more rough cardboard then the PS5 uses, but all that fancy Apple packaging comes at a huge environmental cost. The VCS box looks swank, sells itself well, and isn't a monster. Can't wait to plug it in, and ya know I'm not done yet: 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Stephen said:

No - I think that was a truthful showing - a foreshadowing if you will, of "this things stinks like shit".

 

 

They can't separate user activity on the desktop.

 

They can't come up with a root filesystem that isn't wide-open.

 

Maybe it's a good thing that they don't have much to buy in the store, because with a track record like that I'd be worried that they tried to implement their own backend for payment card transactions.

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14 hours ago, zappi said:

Small point of order but the new Xboxes can be tinkered with as they can be booted into a Developer Mode - it costs $19 for a developer licence but after that you can switch between Developer and Retail modes as much as you want. People are already running Retroarch etc on it, no doubt a strong dev community for it will build up soon.

More here: https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2020/11/how-to-turn-your-xbox-series-x-s-into-an-emulation-powerhouse/

Oh, that's very interesting! I had not seen anything about that. Thank you!
$19 for a developer licence is very interesting. I will go look. I think I am registered already. :-D 

At the moment an Xbox-S is an interesting price; 299 Eur for a bare system with 1 controller,
on clearance, but I guess I have to factor in the cost of a skin to make it marginally less ugly. 🙂

Oh, I see it's not really very open, as no Windows or Linux, and no real way to publish homebrew,
but it's certainly something I could consider, especially if I can pick one up cheaply down the line.
I already have machine(s) for Retroarch etc., so that aspect isn't very interesting but I'll read on!!

s-l1600.jpg

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7 hours ago, Mockduck said:

Today was an exciting day for me no matter what y'all think. :) I got it today. Note I am spending more important time with my 9 year old son over Christmas than focusing inappropriately on this new toy, but I also can't totally help myself and unboxed it tonight. Thought I'd share a few reference pics of sorts for the thread, with my serial number covered. 

 

For sure, I would also be very excited to get one of these this Christmas! 
Thank you for sharing your experience!

Could you perhaps also post your photos and future videos in the "unboxing" thread I creaed? :-D

Cheers, and CONGRATULATIONS!
Richard.

Edited by justclaws
Removed unnecessary quoting.

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11 hours ago, Stephen said:

Wow - can this amateur hour get any more, well, amateur?  This is almost at the point where it is sad to make fun of these people (faux-Tari).  It's like they are a certain kind of special.

Are you a backer waiting for your console?
What's your interest in the VCS when you think Atari and the machine are so bad?

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This is a very interesting new review, which is far more useful than anything else I've seen. 🙂

 

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1 hour ago, justclaws said:

What's your interest in the VCS when you think Atari and the machine are so bad?

TLDR

 

I can't speak for him, but I can for me. I was actually excited about the announcement of the Ataribox. I don't really care about who owns Atari or who is "the real" Atari. I just had fun when growing up playing Atari and thought it would be cool to see them get back into the market somehow. 

 

So Atari trying to get back into the market = yay!

 

Where it turns for me is how they've poorly handled things. They took people's money and couldn't be decent enough to do regular updates to those people. They seemed to have little to no direction in building the thing (it's a console, a PC, and unconsole?). I can't really think of one thing they've done that they haven't dropped the ball on.

 

Also them curating comments and such is a huge red flag or should be. When companies do that it is because they are basically saying, "Our product is weak and can't stand on own." It also appears worse when they've already taken money or are still taking money through whatever platform they are using.

 

I'm an interested consumer and don't like those type of tactics that I feel are trying to insult my intelligence. I don't think anyone is dumb for wanting an over priced under powered boutique console. I just don't like it when a company basically shows it doesn't care about its customers or doesn't know what it's doing.

 

If Atari didn't want people to point and laugh at them they shouldn't have made a caricature of themselves. Now I'm more interested in seeing if anyone can make this worth the price. I've heard some people are having problems booting or getting the first update.

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2 hours ago, justclaws said:

Are you a backer waiting for your console?
What's your interest in the VCS when you think Atari and the machine are so bad?

No - I wouldn't spend $5 on this thing.  If people get their consoles and it brings them happiness, then great.  It's not for me to say what other people do with their time or money.

 

The reasons I am so harsh on this console and the current company are numerous.  I'll try to quickly summarize:

  1. They do nothing with their IP holding except sue people.  They sued people and gave cease & desist letters for fan websites such as this one, and MANY smaller ones.  We're the only supporters they have left, and they sue us.  WTF?!?
  2. Gameband - LOL.  I have a major problem with people and companies that take money and deliver nothing.  That is stealing.
  3. Taking $3 million dollars on a crowdfunding platform.  Then they feed us bullshit.  "It's not about the money, it's about building a community."  That is outright lying.
  4. They had no intention of building or delivering anything.  This entire thing started as a stunt to pump & dump their stock and go for a buyout.  Nice combination of stealing and lying.
  5. Substandard hardware released in 2020 that cannot adequately play games from 2012 AND they have the gall to charge $400 for it when new XBox and PS5 are current.
  6. Constant deletion of any comment or question that doesn't fit their narrative.  This is cowardly behaviour that may not be outright lying, but is deceptive.

I could go on, but this should be reason enough to paint a picture of how this company acts.

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On 12/18/2020 at 1:36 PM, RedWolfJC said:

From the igg page:
image.thumb.png.fe19e8276eca4935a5ab3b29f94bf5d3.png

Not even remotely surprised.  More excuses.
Someone was saying they ordered day 1 hour 1 and still don't have tracking info.

5 days into shipping that they said would take 8-10 days, and they still aren't done shipping hour 1 orders?

 

 

 

Just an update.  8 business days into shipping and they may (or may not) have crossed the halfway point.  Looks like someone posted they received tracking for order # 11632, and Atari is claiming the last order number is "Lucky" 22608. (If things proceed as they are now this lucky fella will see his sometime toward the middle of January)

But who really knows at this point.  I can confirm they still aren't done with day one orders yet.  But I suppose that makes sense as I assume most people who backed this did so on day one.

 

Edit: New update someone says order #14936 has shipped, while someone with order # 12745 has not.

So who the hell knows at this point.

I wonder if they ran out of joysticks or something and are skipping to ones that didn't have them.

 

Edited by RedWolfJC
updated info
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19 hours ago, zzip said:

When was the last good Rollercoaster Title though?   I can't think of a game that Atari has that would make the system more attractive.   The real appeal of the system is that you can load your own games on it, in a console form-factor with cool retro-stylings.

TBH I've never played RCT (closest I've got is Theme Park on the Jag), but looking at Steam, RCT 3 Complete Edition was released this year and has "very positive" reviews, as does the 2017 RCT Classic. RCT World was apparently crap per user reviews (as are a majority of Atari released over the past 5-6 years...which haven't been all that plentiful). As I recall from Atari's past financial statements, it's the one IP for them that still is capable of generating millions of dollars in sales, which is why I find it entirely odd that it's missing from their flagship hardware platform. Shouldn't it be easy for them to have added a few bells and whistles to one of their well-liked recent RCT releases and make a "Special VCS Edition" out of it that might drive some extra sales? If I was in-charge of the thing, that's the kind of no-brainer low hanging fruit that should have been picked right after deciding to put the Mega Vault on it. 

 

Game consoles live and die by their exclusive, big name games. I've just been saying that if you want to have more than a drop-in-the-bucket kind of sales, you need these to foster growth. Otherwise it is looking very much like the Ouya 2 with a Fuji logo on it (which had a ton of indie games available on it through the Google Play store, a great price and better handled crowdfunding campaign than Atari managed...still ended up as a big flop).

 

If MS/Sony/Nintendo released with nothing but unknown indies, they would not do all that great and end up in a worse spot than the WiiU did. Zelda: Breath of the Wild drove tons of people to the Switch, Halo drove tons of people to the Xbox, etc. I don't know if RCT could drive tons of people to the VCS, but it'd certainly be more people than are interested in having a FutureRetro 1970s PC case for a 2012ish PC.

20 hours ago, justclaws said:

Meanwhile... we have great, super-experienced developers, developeing NEW IP for the VCS!
e.g. Tony Barnes just posted, and will update on the development of his new game.

 

I saw that in the forum, but it's unclear - is this going to be a VCS exclusive? It does look interesting

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5 hours ago, justclaws said:

Oh, that's very interesting! I had not seen anything about that. Thank you!
$19 for a developer licence is very interesting. I will go look. I think I am registered already. :-D 

...

Oh, I see it's not really very open, as no Windows or Linux, and no real way to publish homebrew,
but it's certainly something I could consider, especially if I can pick one up cheaply down the line.
I already have machine(s) for Retroarch etc., so that aspect isn't very interesting but I'll read on!!

It is coded with the Windows API just like Windows 10, so "no Windows" is inaccurate. If you mean it doesn't have a Windows desktop and command line, well it's the console variant of Windows.
 

You side load by talking to it through your browser. It's not hard. So home brewers theoretically could share their projects for other dev enabled machines to run, but [email protected] is a super friendly and supportive team for people who want to distribute their own creations to non-dev systems, and that'd be how to share your work. 
 

Edit to clarify: I just noticed I excised all mention of the fact we were talking about Xbox. 

Edited by JeffVav

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15 minutes ago, Shaggy the Atarian said:

TBH I've never played RCT (closest I've got is Theme Park on the Jag), but looking at Steam, RCT 3 Complete Edition was released this year and has "very positive" reviews, as does the 2017 RCT Classic. RCT World was apparently crap per user reviews (as are a majority of Atari released over the past 5-6 years...which haven't been all that plentiful). As I recall from Atari's past financial statements, it's the one IP for them that still is capable of generating millions of dollars in sales, which is why I find it entirely odd that it's missing from their flagship hardware platform

But it looks like 'RCT 3 Complete Edition' was published by Frontier, not Atari.   Frontier developed the original RCT3,  had a dispute with Atari over royalties and went on to develop the excellent "Planet Coaster".      "Planet Coaster" should have been an RCT game,  instead of the subpar RCT releases Atari put out.  

 

RCT Classic is based on the old source code from 1+2 with updated graphics, so that's why it's good.

44 minutes ago, Shaggy the Atarian said:

Game consoles live and die by their exclusive, big name games. I've just been saying that if you want to have more than a drop-in-the-bucket kind of sales, you need these to foster growth. Otherwise it is looking very much like the Ouya 2 with a Fuji logo on it (which had a ton of indie games available on it through the Google Play store, a great price and better handled crowdfunding campaign than Atari managed...still ended up as a big flop).

 

If MS/Sony/Nintendo released with nothing but unknown indies, they would not do all that great and end up in a worse spot than the WiiU did. Zelda: Breath of the Wild drove tons of people to the Switch, Halo drove tons of people to the Xbox, etc. I don't know if RCT could drive tons of people to the VCS, but it'd certainly be more people than are interested in having a FutureRetro 1970s PC case for a 2012ish PC.

I don't think this is meant to compete with the Big 3,  nor do they expect it to come close to the Wii U in sales.   It's a niche device.  It's in a fairly new product category for micro-consoles.   Even KFC is producing one! 

 

Yes Ouya had a problem with content,  Amibo may have a similar issue.  The difference VCS is open and will allow you to play literally thousands of games if you are willing to load them yourself.

 

I don't think putting a Rollercoaster Tycoon game on it will move that many more units then already has.

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I'm really enjoying the comments on IGG now. The mandatory update isn't working for most. The build quality is sub-par. Missing controllers even the packing slip shows them. The barely functional store. 

 

Happy Festivus everyone... keep airing those grievances!

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44 minutes ago, TACODON said:

I'm really enjoying the comments on IGG now. The mandatory update isn't working for most. The build quality is sub-par. Missing controllers even the packing slip shows them. The barely functional store. 

 

Happy Festivus everyone... keep airing those grievances!

How long until those messages start getting deleted?  With all the time it will take keeping the boards clean, how will they ever find time to resolve issues?

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There still seems to be some confusion on why the Ataribox is so hated here. It's less the device itself, but the business practice of its owners. Now they have actually released one of their crowd funded projects, the watches and handheld they were planning to make but never did; there is at least some credibility that something got made and sent to people. I'm prepared to now 'Bury the hatchet' on it as most of my rejection on it was based on a mixed belief it would ever see light of day due to their past projects of taking peoples money before anything is made. 

 

However, it'll always be an underpowered PC at a far too high price point. We're now on what, 4 games maybe being developed for it, only one released so far I believe? But with a online shop that doesn't work properly but will charge you each time you try. I worry for people's card information too in this situation, it might be safe enough for you to put your steam library on, but not to actually buy anything using it. 

 

Edit: what I want to say is, I'm more open to buying something in the future from current atari, now they've proven they _can_ release something, but it probably won't be this. I think they need to improve both their public and private business to be seen as a morally reasonable company to buy things from. Other companies have done this before, take Electronic Arts for example, they've saved themselves and all they had to do was listen to the fans of the games they own rights to. 

Edited by Mikebloke
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2 hours ago, zzip said:

Yes Ouya had a problem with content,

 

I don't think putting a Rollercoaster Tycoon game on it will move that many more units then already has.

Uh, that's the point. The Ouya also had thousands of games available for it via the Google Play store. That didn't help it out, now did it? 

 

And as we've rehashed a billion times now, nobody outside of niche-of-the-niche gamers are buying this thing because it's a PC. There are tons of non-Atari branded options for that out there for the same price or better, from better resourced companies. The PC thing just happens to be the only reason so far to justify already thrown money at the VCS. I should be in the market demographic of people that want to get one, but they've done nothing to earn my business, and I don't see them making any moves to do so. Backers also don't seem to be too happy in being psuedo-hired to be the QA team for it.

 

No one, even Atari, develops a device like this and hopes that it's a massive bomb. A competent company though would use everything in their arsenal to bring in new buyers. You might not think so, but that's normally how successful gaming devices operate. 

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An advert came on Ebay earlier. I guess Google really wants someone to make their own VCS, in a Pi case?
They don't publish a price though... 
For anybody who claimed the VCS just has a Pi inside, finally they can make their own version which does!
A chance to show they can do better!
Well, it won't be a Raspberry Pi (Arm CPU), but it will be a Pi format board, with the AMD R1606G (as VCS).
Quite amazingly compact. (For myself, I'll rather have the real Atari VCS, thank you.)
https://www.dfi.com/product/index/1455?

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Here's the "reason" the abusive discord admin publicly tagged me and banned me from commenting. I replied to it as I considered it an abuse of power, but wanted to know from you guys if it's understandable since english is not my first language("se habla español"). Thank you!
 

image.thumb.png.87dd8215b7a13935d6d2419d0cf5354f.png

Edited by Oscar Manuel Rojas Maillo
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34 minutes ago, justclaws said:

An advert came on Ebay earlier. I guess Google really wants someone to make their own VCS, in a Pi case?
They don't publish a price though... 
For anybody who claimed the VCS just has a Pi inside, finally they can make their own version which does!
A chance to show they can do better!
Well, it won't be a Raspberry Pi (Arm CPU), but it will be a Pi format board, with the AMD R1606G (as VCS).
Quite amazingly compact. (For myself, I'll rather have the real Atari VCS, thank you.)
https://www.dfi.com/product/index/1455?

Atari officially supported an Atari RPi case too. Gets you pretty much the same deal as the VCS, without the CX-40 joystick for $100

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I've got the VCS booted and good to go. Interestingly, I have not had a problem using my classic joystick with the home screen, so it isn't clear to me why they are saying you need to use a keyboard and mouse. Setup didn't go fine, exactly, in that updating to the day one OS patch caused a problem. I was able to load up the Atari OS image file as provided by Atari and flash the bios easily with a USB drive. Sounds a bit scary for the less tech minded, but it's really nothing more than downloading a file onto a USB drive and then booting the VCS with a keyboard attached and the escape key pressed. 

 

Anyway, it worked fine, and I'm now on the home menu. Here is the full list of things available with their price in the Atari VCS Store:

 

Games: 

Sigi - A Fart for Melusina 4.99
Mutazione - 19.99
Spear Master - 9.99
Missile Command: Recharged (Free)
Unsung Warriors - Prologue (Free)
Guntech - 24.99
Mad Age & This Guy - 3.99
Atari VCS Vault 2 - 4.99

Apps:

Discord
Plex
Netflix
Disney+
Twitch
Hulu
HBO Max
Prime Video
VRV
YouTube

VCS Companion
Chrome
PC Mode
 

###

 

Given that Atari is passing out the Atari OS image file without concern, I'm gonna say it isn't an issue for it being unencrypted, but I'm no lawyer. 

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