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Mockduck

The Atari VCS Controversies Thread

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On 2/14/2021 at 3:06 PM, leech said:

Performance on the RPi was terrible for desktop usage before the 4.  So I'm curious about the usage for that.  For sure things like NUT, or PiHole, etc.  They're perfect for things like that.  RetroPie is a pretty sweet setup, but you're still looking at at most PS1 emulation for the RPi4.  The Pi 400 seems to be a decent setup, but I think it'd do better with 8gb of ram, as you said, just doing a small amount of tabs will eat your ram like nothing else (remember when web pages were small?)

I've heard the Pi4 is much better than the Pi3 for desktop replacement. That could be one of thos YMMV type of things though.

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You only need 8GB ram in a raspberry pi if you're doing 4k video, otherwise 4GB is huge for a lightweight os like raspbian.  Even windows is fine with 4GB ram, so 2GB might be plenty for raspbian.  The faster cpu in the raspberry pi 4 will make more emulators work properly, it might even be okay for modern mame.

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37 minutes ago, mr_me said:

You only need 8GB ram in a raspberry pi if you're doing 4k video, otherwise 4GB is huge for a lightweight os like raspbian.  Even windows is fine with 4GB ram, so 2GB might be plenty for raspbian.  The faster cpu in the raspberry pi 4 will make more emulators work properly, it might even be okay for modern mame.

I am used to Gnome, or KDE.  LXDE for me has always felt clunky, so maybe that is why I feel the Pi isn't great as a desktop PC.  But then it is still more usable than Win95.  😀

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🦗 🦗 🦗 🦗.  No posts here in almost a month and the last few pages were about Linux and the Raspberry Pie. The VCS is really setting the world on fire!  I guess it will really take off once it hits the retail selves.....oh wait, that is never gonna happen.

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1 hour ago, Saldo said:

🦗 🦗 🦗 🦗.  No posts here in almost a month and the last few pages were about Linux and the Raspberry Pie. The VCS is really setting the world on fire!  I guess it will really take off once it hits the retail selves.....oh wait, that is never gonna happen.

Or you know it could be that issues have been fixed and the mad rush of hacking around with things has worn down.  I have been too busy with work to even play anything lately.  

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2 hours ago, Saldo said:

I guess it will really take off once it hits the retail selves.....oh wait, that is never gonna happen.

That's not true.

 

Big Lots counts.

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It's been released, there's been some light first party support, the true believers were satisfied, and now I suspect the most logical path forward is counting the days until it's quietly discontinued. They'll probably have <15,000 units produced when all is said and done. I suspect they'll license out the classic controller design at some point, maybe another year or two, and, probably a bit further down the line, the case molds/design. In any case, we'll 100% see the "successful" parts of this project re-appear elsewhere some way, somehow, because Atari is configured in a way to be successful (in its own way) with licensing rather than with direct responsibility for a product.

I think the big problem was and always has been this is a low volume production when it needed to be a high volume production to get costs low enough to make it a more mass market price. The only way something like this would have really taken off is with a super low price (though whether it really would sell that much better at a lower price is still arguable, but a different discussion). As it is, technology moves way too fast and there are too many more capable devices already here and/or coming, especially in the portable space. This could have been an early TV-centric version of what we're getting with say the Aya Neo or GPD Win 3, but is too underpowered as-is, with no credible path forward to a VCS 2 to leverage some of the newer tech that might make it a bit more appealing. 

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Nah, the only difference is the gatekeeping nonsense crowd found a different target for their outrage youtube culture. They're all yelling about the Amico nowadays so aren't wasting our time in this thread. 

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52 minutes ago, Mockduck said:

Nah, the only difference is the gatekeeping nonsense crowd found a different target for their outrage youtube culture. They're all yelling about the Amico nowadays so aren't wasting our time in this thread. 

I'm a tad insulted you'd suggest I can't find two projects useless at the exact same time.  Heck, I can laugh at the Amico and the VCS and STILL have time left over to call the Polymega a waste of space.

 

A model of efficiency, I am.

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1 hour ago, Mockduck said:

Nah, the only difference is the gatekeeping nonsense crowd found a different target for their outrage youtube culture. They're all yelling about the Amico nowadays so aren't wasting our time in this thread. 

🌮

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I'd buy one at Big Lots, to be honest. Because the price point at Big Lots will be about what it's worth. Not saying that as an insult to it (though I predict this will later be turned into "AND I HOPE ALL VCS FANS DIE AS I TWIRL MY MOUSTACHE, HAW HAW," as has already been seen.....).

 

Just...$100 ballpark is what it's worth. Maybe $149.99.

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2 hours ago, godslabrat said:

I'm a tad insulted you'd suggest I can't find two projects useless at the exact same time.  Heck, I can laugh at the Amico and the VCS and STILL have time left over to call the Polymega a waste of space.

 

A model of efficiency, I am.

I like the idea of the Polymega, but the fact that it is just an emulator box makes it 'meh'

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6 hours ago, godslabrat said:

Big Lots counts.

If it shows up there I’d buy it for $50. But here’s the thing, the only way it shows up in places like Big lots is it is liquidated by other retailers.  For that to happen other retailers have to have had it on their shelves.  The only units that have been produced are Indigogo backers and Walmart and GameStop preorders.  Has their been any sign that retailers have ordered any units for their stores?

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I still feel anger and shame every time I think of Big Lots and the times(!!!) I went to the one in the 1990's and DIDN'T buy the entire shelf of boxed sealed Atari Activision and related semi-common games for $5 each. 

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18 hours ago, Saldo said:

If it shows up there I’d buy it for $50. But here’s the thing, the only way it shows up in places like Big lots is it is liquidated by other retailers.  For that to happen other retailers have to have had it on their shelves.  The only units that have been produced are Indigogo backers and Walmart and GameStop preorders.  Has their been any sign that retailers have ordered any units for their stores?

 

Searching Wal-Mart's website for 'Atari VCS', I get a total of 32 results.  None of them are for the unit we're talking about here.

 

GameStop is still showing preorders starting on April 30th for either of the controllers, a base system, and one bundled with controllers.

 

With GameStop being the Radio Shack of the 2020s, this doesn't bode well for its chances of success in the wider marketplace.  They're dead and just don't know it yet, and apparently no longer being available from America's largest retailer is not a good sign either.

 

I'll be very surprised if production has been ramping up since Christmas to meet the massive retail demand production quantities needed to be carried by a major retailer, even one as near death as GameStop.  That requires a revenue stream, which is basically nonexistent for Fauxtari at this point.  Banks and/or investors aren't going to throw money at them unless there's at least some guarantee of a return, and it's difficult to see any of their production facilities extending credit to them in order to build the things.

 

Then again, actual Atari made more 2600 Pac-Man cartridges than there were consoles in circulation, so with that bit of historical precedent maybe they'll pull out a rabbit.  Doubtful, but given infinite sets of probabilities, anything could happen.

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They'll probably just blame the chip shortage again. 😀

Let's face it, AMD are going to have bigger priorities at the moment than supplying Atari with what would be, for AMD at least, relatively modest quantities of one of their cheapest SoCs. They can't keep up with the demand for graphics cards, desktop CPUs, and the APUs for the popular games consoles as it is.

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2 hours ago, Matt_B said:

They'll probably just blame the chip shortage again. 😀

Let's face it, AMD are going to have bigger priorities at the moment than supplying Atari with what would be, for AMD at least, relatively modest quantities of one of their cheapest SoCs. They can't keep up with the demand for graphics cards, desktop CPUs, and the APUs for the popular games consoles as it is.

Well it is a perfect storm of nonsense.   Shit time to try to buy any components.

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On 3/20/2021 at 1:43 PM, Cebus Capucinis said:

I HOPE ALL VCS FANS DIE AS I TWIRL MY MOUSTACHE, HAW HAW

I knew it!

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I think the next "big" news will actually be that Atari has started and plans to complete shipping to all Gamestop/VCS web site preorders, and my gut tells me they are intending to make the announcement in a few weeksish. I get the sense from their Discord and just from watching how things have unfolded that they are prepping their next big phase, and we know they had enough extra sticks recently to open up a new set of orders to backers. 

 

Now, I think that would cover preorders, but what about the "spring retail launch"? THAT I am less sure about given the major issues Atari and literally everyone else including the big players are having with component sourcing and production capacity scheduling. I'm half wondering if the next set of news isn't distribution to preorders then kicking the full retail launch to the fall similar to Amico. I can see a "preorder fans are now joining our Founders to help us prepare for retail launch" style messaging happening. 

 

All speculation though, all we know so far is they've got sticks backers can order, Utopos is hitting at the end of the month, there are at least two other developers showing off their games in progress, Atari is claiming AMD intends to somehow magically solve the 4k issue, most of the December-era issues are resolved minus a few, and the Store has had a pretty darn great catalog release list so far, with not a ton but a few good to great games trickling out for it. 

 

Based on my personal industry experience I would also speculate that the new VCS has a very high attach rate thanks in part to its relatively inexpensive Store pricing. It also seems possible that after an initial blast of participation the number of individual people playing has slowed down. Not that surprising, really, but maybe happening. Meanwhile, the outrage patrol has moved onto the Amico and is giving Tommy and team fun times, and the people who said they didn't care and actually didn't care continue to not care. 

 

There is a core VCS community of a few hundred folks at the moment online, hanging out, chatting, and playing some games semi-together on Antstream. Antstream has so far proven to be particularly well-suited to the VCS, and is a bit of a hit on the console. It serves as a pretty good central meeting point for high scores, for example. AirConsole has proven itself surprisingly good and interesting as well, and covers both the mildly-adult party game and family-friendly casual gaming niches very well. The rest of the library skews toward the indie, and Atari has done a fantastic job of carefully curating a list of across-the-board excellent games of variety and challenge. Buying the whole library and actually having a great time for the next 100-200 hours is totally a thing someone could do, and it'd cost what about $150. 

 

The joysticks have proven themselves to be durable over the short-term, and probably ok medium-term. Long-term it remains to be seen if the Classic "wears out" or has shearing issues. The Classic is a game-changer for things like Tempest and paddle control, even if there's a bit of jitter until you turn sensitivity down. 

 

Word also is that Atari is seriously considering a $299 but no joystick version of the VCS. Better IMO, but it really needs to come with one Classic to present the right experience to the buyer. Figure out how to come in at $299 for a basic walnut front and one Classic controller and I think they have the potential for an actual hit, regardless of what peeps here think. 

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11 hours ago, Mockduck said:

I think they have the potential for an actual hit, regardless of what peeps here think. 

I need you to write this down:  there is absolutely zero chance this thing is going to become a “hit.”  It is absolutely not going to happen, period, end of story, amen. 
 

 

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11 hours ago, OverMuch said:

I need you to write this down:  there is absolutely zero chance this thing is going to become a “hit.”  It is absolutely not going to happen, period, end of story, amen. 
 

 

My definition of "hit" and yours are likely very far apart. My definition would be enough revenue to keep going to a core crowd of people who have a lot of fun with it for the next couple of years. We'll come away with it with a few years at least of great gaming memories on an awesome fun console/PC hybrid and a nice subsection of modern Atari history. Atari would come away with it with a lot more money and the foundation for further future success. Yours is probably rivaling Nintendo for money and audience, which I agree ain't happening. 

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