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The Atari VCS Controversies Thread

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3 hours ago, youxia said:

The whole talk about the "brand" is fairly depressing. What brand? We all know what "Atari" is these days, and it's not only an unpleasant association, but also an empty husk - a stamp on some documents given in exchange for a financial gratification, completely without substance or continuity. Real Atari has been dead for decades and it's quite sad that this kind of  zombie "branding" can be used to flog all kinds of stuff.

 

The collecting angle also stinks. Sure, people will buy it just for that reason and most likely sell with a little bit of profit years later, but, again, it just seems so...desperate. Manufactured pre-collecting of phantom brands, like something out of Dick's novel.

 

We go through the same thing every couple of years when people petition Sega to make a Dreamcast 2.  Even if Sega somehow did make a new console, they're not the same company they were 20 years ago, so why bother? Nostalgia is a powerful thing, but it's not always grounded in reality. 

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1 hour ago, racerx said:

My life is full of enjoyable things and moments that are long gone. I enjoy them for what they were, and have no compulsion to try to ghoulishly hang on to their remnants. I was a big Atari fan because they were a unique company at one time...but I'm not so obsessed that I need a zombie brand on life support.

Fair play, I can't fault your point. Personally? I don't think they're a million miles off from possibly recouping some of the goodwill they've burned, spurned, and spent, but it will take a personality transplant. They could become a unique company again, but it will take a reckoning with fans, investors, and skeptics. They will have to both admit fault and hear the criticism. They have a long way to go.

 

I've followed too many crappy sports teams owned by awful people (who go from worst to first sometimes) to say things can't turn. The difference between sustained success and lasting mediocrity is often nothing more than having a clear operating model, hiring respected industry experts to manage and develop it, and regularly engaging the fan community to earn trust. 

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2 hours ago, GoldLeader said:

 

My answer:  The company would have to be sold to someone with a passion for the brand.  The current owners have way too much badwill saved up to EVER earn my trust or faith again (EVER).  How about the fact that almost everyone on this board has had a better idea than the VCS?

 

As an example,  THIS VERY WEBSITE is more ATARI than Atari SA will ever be.   So there's an example.  If Al from AtariAge, or (almost) any one of the people posting here bought the company,  Maybe then it could be revived.

Badwill ... that describes it perfectly and I don’t think I have ever witnessed so much of it.  FArtari’s continued arrogance, hubris, mismanagement and refusal to take any responsibility for their own project simply destroy any remaining Brand Equity they have left.

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I'm just not a brand guy. I truthfully just don't care if there's an Atari moving forward. If they make great compelling stuff, I'll buy it. Early Atari constantly did. Later Atari increasingly did not. I didn't buy the Jaguar, because it was a laughable attempt by a death spiralling company. I didn't care what it was branded.

 

Then, I'm not a sports superfan either. Field a great team and I'll watch...but I don't have any kind of loyalty to some rich guy's team of rich guys just because we're in geographic proximity.

 

So in answer to your original question, I simply don't need a future venture named "Atari." I'm going to buy the most compelling product, whether in be Atari, Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, or anything else.

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7 minutes ago, racerx said:

 

So in answer to your original question, I simply don't need a future venture named "Atari." I'm going to buy the most compelling product, whether in be Atari, Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, or anything else.


One thing for me is certain ... I am going to stop buying products based on a crowd funded promise ... I would pay money to avoid any ongoing relationship with this French Atari mob and will happily take a loss to rid myself of this POS if it ever arrives.

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24 minutes ago, Chopsus said:


One thing for me is certain ... I am going to stop buying products based on a crowd funded promise ... I would pay money to avoid any ongoing relationship with this French Atari mob and will happily take a loss to rid myself of this POS if it ever arrives.

I’d pick one of the classic controllers in a heartbeat if they ever get on store shelves. 

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45 minutes ago, Chopsus said:

Badwill ... that describes it perfectly and I don’t think I have ever witnessed so much of it.  FArtari’s continued arrogance, hubris, mismanagement and refusal to take any responsibility for their own project simply destroy any remaining Brand Equity they have left.

A part of me had hoped that the response, and bungled execution, of the VCS launch would humble them a bit. The fan-shaming and censoring of their Reddit and discord changed my view on that. The odd thing: there are SO many things they could do to make a genuine effort. Fan advisory board, maybe some of the members recruited from this board. Naming a former Atari exec or developer a Brand Advisor or ambassador. Having a "dev fest" that Atari sponsors for indie gamers for the VCS, granting the winner a VCS-exclusive contract. But no. We're going with hotels and Bitcoin.

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6 minutes ago, Atarick said:

A part of me had hoped that the response, and bungled execution, of the VCS launch would humble them a bit. The fan-shaming and censoring of their Reddit and discord changed my view on that. The odd thing: there are SO many things they could do to make a genuine effort. Fan advisory board, maybe some of the members recruited from this board. Naming a former Atari plankholder/exec or developer a Brand Advisor or ambassador. Having a "dev fest" that Atari sponsors for indie developers for the VCS, granting the winner a VCS-exclusive contract. But no. We're going with hotels and Bitcoin.

 

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2 hours ago, Atarick said:

A part of me had hoped that the response, and bungled execution, of the VCS launch would humble them a bit. The fan-shaming and censoring of their Reddit and discord changed my view on that. The odd thing: there are SO many things they could do to make a genuine effort. Fan advisory board, maybe some of the members recruited from this board. Naming a former Atari exec or developer a Brand Advisor or ambassador. Having a "dev fest" that Atari sponsors for indie gamers for the VCS, granting the winner a VCS-exclusive contract. But no. We're going with hotels and Bitcoin.

Atari SA did have Nolan Bushnell on the board for a time (maybe still is?) but Bushnell really doesn't seem to care about reliving the past when it comes to spending his money...he's much more interested in finding some new venture that does things in a different way. 

 

 For me to not just care about what "Atari" does in the future but for me to invest money into them, they'd need a complete reinvention. That would entail staffing it with passionate people that understand not just what the brand was about(innovative leisure), but also with what it would take for a gaming company to do in the future.  That isn't "leading from behind" with crap like blockchain, or worse, constantly stiffing your contracted help on the bills  - it's respecting the past with innovative remakes, while placing a strong focus on original, fun ideas. The game Minimum is the closest they really got to doing the latter, but they screwed the developer over and that was that.

 

Correcting an old brand like this is a daunting challenge, but I think the basics would be kind of like what we see here at AA - arcade ports are interesting and all for the old systems, but I personally get excited more about original homebrews. Both keep people interested in the old hardware though, and in a way, in Atari. For a modern gaming company though, properly handled old IP rewards your fans while good new IP makes new ones. The VCS would've been a great way to get that ball rolling, but that train went off the tracks about GDC 2018. Otherwise the only software output from Atari lately has been crappy, broken mobile games that are forgotten about as soon as they're released, like Night Driver.  

 

In essence, they'd need an equivalent developer genius like Miyamoto to turn it around, along with someone with a strong history of turning businesses around, but Chesnais doesn't seem interested in having his version of Gordon Ramsey or Robert Irvine come in and do some "Come to Jesus" moments until the ship has been righted. By everything I can tell, he just wants to find a way to win that elusive Golden Parachute. IIRC, Curt Vendel had said in the taco thread that some company was trying to buy Atari up recently, but Fred kept demanding stupidly outrageous values like $200m or some other crazy number (also iirc, Infogrames bought up the name/IP for only about $5m in 2001 dollars, and they've sold a lot of the IP off since, plus all these other moves which devalue the thing as a whole...probably is still worth about 5m, or at least 3m per the IGG campaign on this). Maybe I'm wrong on that as I don't know Fred personally, but that's just the way it appears from the actions taken over the past several years. 

 

 

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17 hours ago, Shaggy the Atarian said:

In essence, they'd need an equivalent developer genius like Miyamoto to turn it around, along with someone with a strong history of turning businesses around, but Chesnais doesn't seem interested in having his version of Gordon Ramsey or Robert Irvine come in and do some "Come to Jesus" moments until the ship has been righted. By everything I can tell, he just wants to find a way to win that elusive Golden Parachute. IIRC, Curt Vendel had said in the taco thread that some company was trying to buy Atari up recently, but Fred kept demanding stupidly outrageous values like $200m or some other crazy number (also iirc, Infogrames bought up the name/IP for only about $5m in 2001 dollars, and they've sold a lot of the IP off since, plus all these other moves which devalue the thing as a whole...probably is still worth about 5m, or at least 3m per the IGG campaign on this). Maybe I'm wrong on that as I don't know Fred personally, but that's just the way it appears from the actions taken over the past several years. 

 

 

The numbers are correct (I was there) but considering what happened with Wade J. Rosen and Chesnais (via Ker Ventures) selling lots of his shares, the price went down quite a bit.

 

Not much more I can say but there is light at the end of the tunnel.

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So did I hear correctly that some of the people who didn't get a classic controller got T-shirts instead. This was with the money that should have gone towards them getting the classic controller instead.

 

Anyone else having that issue?

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9 minutes ago, MrBeefy said:

So did I hear correctly that some of the people who didn't get a classic controller got T-shirts instead. This was with the money that should have gone towards them getting the classic controller instead.

 

Anyone else having that issue?

I read one person who used his refund credit to buy a shirt instead of reordering the controller as they were told to. They then got mad at the Internet because reasons.

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This just came in the mail - Mentioned a few months back(I won it in a contest), it's the Atari Pong Mini Jr. unit, although the box just says "Atari Pong." It's Android based and I can access something via Windows when I plug it in via USB. Video forthcoming, although not sure which section of the site I should post that in...Atari General? Dedicated Systems?

 

1228201822.thumb.jpg.598b20542fafea38956ccf54448f819f.jpg

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42 minutes ago, Mockduck said:

I read one person who used his refund credit to buy a shirt instead of reordering the controller as they were told to. They then got mad at the Internet because reasons.

People can't operate backerkit? So user error and not actually Atari's fault?

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3 hours ago, Shaggy the Atarian said:

This just came in the mail - Mentioned a few months back(I won it in a contest), it's the Atari Pong Mini Jr. unit, although the box just says "Atari Pong." It's Android based and I can access something via Windows when I plug it in via USB. Video forthcoming, although not sure which section of the site I should post that in...Atari General? Dedicated Systems?

 

1228201822.thumb.jpg.598b20542fafea38956ccf54448f819f.jpg

 

I was very interested in that pong machine until I saw it was $129 plus shipping. :(

 

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That looks really strange, almost like it is a prototype (really thick).  The buttons look like they crap out after a few hours of use.  Also looks really big, got a Switch for a side by side comparison?

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8 hours ago, Shaggy the Atarian said:

This just came in the mail - Mentioned a few months back(I won it in a contest), it's the Atari Pong Mini Jr. unit, although the box just says "Atari Pong." It's Android based and I can access something via Windows when I plug it in via USB. Video forthcoming, although not sure which section of the site I should post that in...Atari General? Dedicated Systems?

 

1228201822.thumb.jpg.598b20542fafea38956ccf54448f819f.jpg

Wow, the battery is charged with 583%? Amazing 😉!!!

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14 hours ago, Shaggy the Atarian said:

This just came in the mail - Mentioned a few months back(I won it in a contest), it's the Atari Pong Mini Jr. unit, although the box just says "Atari Pong." It's Android based and I can access something via Windows when I plug it in via USB. Video forthcoming, although not sure which section of the site I should post that in...Atari General? Dedicated Systems?

 

1228201822.thumb.jpg.598b20542fafea38956ccf54448f819f.jpg

 

 

Neat!  What's your high score?

 

 

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On 12/26/2020 at 9:52 PM, Shaggy the Atarian said:

2) And yet you need something custom about it to become a special collectible for #3 there. Without that, no one outside of a tiny niche cares.

3) See #1 & 2. People that already own one will think it's collectible because they already over-value the Atari brand name and think that everyone else feels the same. The Atari Speakerhat will be more "collectible" than the VCS will be.

 

It has custom case, custom controllers, and a story behind it.  You don't need a large market to be collectable,  you need a limited supply and interested buyers who missed out on the product BITD for whatever reason.

 

Case in point:   Jaguar.   I bought one for clearance for like $50, and the CD for about the same price.   I sold it within a year because it wasn't worth the space it was taking up,   It didn't fetch much money because back then not many people cared about it.    Nowadays it will fetch hundreds without the CD unit

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With each game having it's own thread I wondering why the VCS forum doesn't have another thread for each of those games settings.

 

*Not employed by Atari or whatever I'm supposed to say here to be VCS friendly

 

 

EDIT: Sarcasm aside, why does every single game or announcement of a possible game or system function have a thread? Wouldn't it make more sense for them to be in ONE thread instead of a zillion?

Edited by Shawn
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On 12/27/2020 at 2:35 PM, GoldLeader said:

My answer:  The company would have to be sold to someone with a passion for the brand.  The current owners have way too much badwill saved up to EVER earn my trust or faith again (EVER).  How about the fact that almost everyone on this board has had a better idea than the VCS?

But a company doesn't run on passion, they have to do things to keep money coming in!   I would bet that if this board's ideal passionate investor bough the company, they would still be making the kinds of licensing deals that drive the people here crazy.   Why?   Because the brand's nostalgic appeal is worth more than its portfolio of IPs at this point,  they'd be foolish to not monetize it.

 

On 12/27/2020 at 2:35 PM, GoldLeader said:

As an example,  THIS VERY WEBSITE is more ATARI than Atari SA will ever be.   So there's an example.  If Al from AtariAge, or (almost) any one of the people posting here bought the company,  Maybe then it could be revived.

Al does great things,  but how many employees does he have?   The market for homebrews for defunct consoles isn't that large, and Atari as a company would need to generate much more revenue than that.   Where is it going to come from?

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17 hours ago, CPUWIZ said:

That looks really strange, almost like it is a prototype (really thick).  The buttons look like they crap out after a few hours of use.  Also looks really big, got a Switch for a side by side comparison?

It's at home right now, but yeah, it's bigger than a Switch with Joycons. Probably like three of them stacked on top of each other, and a little wider.

 

Buttons don't feel arcade-quality by any means, but I highly doubt that I'll manage to log a few hours on this ever - unless I can hack some other paddle games onto it :P 

 

Here's a new video of it being played - fixed an audio glitch in the last part of it:

 

 

 

12 hours ago, andymanone said:

Wow, the battery is charged with 583%? Amazing 😉!!!

-583% 🤩

 

7 hours ago, OverMuch said:

 

 

Neat!  What's your high score?

 

 

Theoffice Unbelievable GIF - Theoffice Unbelievable Oscar GIFs

 

2 hours ago, zzip said:

 

 

It has custom case, custom controllers, and a story behind it.  You don't need a large market to be collectable,  you need a limited supply and interested buyers who missed out on the product BITD for whatever reason.

 

Case in point:   Jaguar.   I bought one for clearance for like $50, and the CD for about the same price.   I sold it within a year because it wasn't worth the space it was taking up,   It didn't fetch much money because back then not many people cared about it.    Nowadays it will fetch hundreds without the CD unit

Yeah, in the broadest sense of the word where everything produced is "collectible" it is, but I just don't believe that you've got thousands more people that truly want to get a crap PC in an Ataribox because they love so much, or enjoy owning dumpster fires . Anyone who really gives a damn about this has already bought one, outside of a few maybe waiting for a price drop. The primary driver for collectibility is value though, and the VCS has nothing beyond the three things you mentioned. Yeah, those things work for some people, but most? I don't think so.

 

The Jaguar for all it's faults has various reasons that have driven up the value , but it has little to do with the the case, logo and story (although to be fair, it has far more interesting development stories behind it - hardware & software wise, since there were a ton of challenges to overcome. It actually had games designed for it, each of which comes with their own interesting stories. So far, the only thing the VCS has "Well, I mapped buttons to the Atari joysticks and published my already completed PC game in Unity." Not very compelling if that's the kind of thing you care about; and the Jaguar still has more exclusives in development for it than the VCS has, by what we know, which is amusing to me). 

 

What ultimately drives value on game consoles are the games - exclusives in particular. Nobody recommends getting a Switch in the first place because it's a great platform for indie games - the first thing you're told to get is Breath of the Wild, then one of the Mario games that you can't get anywhere else.  I wanted a Jag back in the '90s because it had stuff like AvP, T2k, Missile Command 3D, Battle Morph (well, that game made me want to get the JCD), the best version of Wolf 3D, etc. Then you started getting more stuff from Telegames and other homebrewers that were cool. No one remembers the NUON because it was a DVD player, but because it had some quirky & rare game experiences on it. What does the VCS do? Nothing that my current gaming hardware can't do far better. Without good exclusives on it(or any exclusives really), it's grasping at straws to think that the case & logo are eventually going to make people go crazy over this.

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5 hours ago, Shawn said:

Sarcasm aside, why does every single game or announcement of a possible game or system function have a thread?

 

Because, Jaguar.

 

Just wait for individual threads for resistor values of the Amico.

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