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The Atari VCS Controversies Thread

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On 8/1/2021 at 10:41 PM, jerseystyle said:

They did make a promise, though. Directly from their Indiegogo page- Game, Stream, Connect Like Never Before. Remember? Which part of the VCS has lived up to that? I also have seen multiple people on here explain how many people would choose VCS over Switch once they could see it on shelves because gaming is too hard now, etc. Or because Windows is bad. It’s a time tested “remember when gaming was fun?” Argument that pops up every few years.

"Game, Stream, Connect like never before" could mean a lot of things. Companies are usualy carefully vague with their promises and Atari is no different. I see it as more of a promise to be different. To that end, I'm feel perfectly fine with my pre-order/purchase.

If you see it as a promise to compete against Microsoft and Switch and later feel disappointed by this promise that you interpreted, well that's on you.

 

Anyway, I'm just finding it weird that people are getting upset about the product that Atari delivered vs. what they promised. Honestly I think they are pretty much the same. Could Atari be doing better, sure. Is there room for improvement? Absolutely. But I kept my expectations pretty low considering Atari has down in the gutter for so long.

Atari has very little resources when compared to the other guys. So how could they possibly come out of the gate going toe to toe with them? It's insane to think that they would come out like Microsoft did with their Billions of dollars at their disposal.

In order for Atari to even come close, it's going to be a painful process because Atari is very much "the little guy" in this fight.

 

But that's just my two cents. End rant.

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18 minutes ago, Lord Mushroom said:

:) 

 

It was a mistake for the company, and I think for him too. In real life, not just financially. If I recall correctly, the $15 million turned out to not be enough. I think he became near broke at some point.

 

And it is not just about being able to afford to consume stuff. He has always had a lot of ideas. If they had gone public, he could have used Atari´s profits to invest in his other ideas. Atari could have been like Google or Amazon in that sense.

The ability of tech startups to push out stock that carries no voting rights and pays no dividend is a comparatively recent innovation that only dates back to around the Dot Com boom. Back then, going public wasn't so different to getting bought out. Certainly, you've only got to look at what happened to Jack Tramiel at Commodore and Steve Jobs at Apple, by the hands of their own shareholders in the 80s.

 

There have also been buyouts in the video games business that allowed companies to continue under the same management for a very long time. Sega's 1984 acquisition by CSK would be an obvious example, and their merger with Sammy in 2004.

 

It's only selective application of hindsight that makes it seem like a bad move. Besides, Bushnell kept operation control of the company for another two years. If he hadn't been constantly clashing with Warner and convinced that the VCS was going to crash in 1978, he might have lasted another five years until it finally did. 😀

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So do most forum members here support the 2021 vcs, or hate it?

Edited by ataritiger

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2 hours ago, tripled79 said:

"Game, Stream, Connect like never before" could mean a lot of things. Companies are usualy carefully vague with their promises and Atari is no different.

Companies are fullashit.

 

I don't wanna game like never before. I want to game like I did in the 70's.

I don't wanna stream. I pee and the stream is a meter long.

I don't wanna connect, ever, before or after.

 

So fuckitall!

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47 minutes ago, ataritiger said:

So do most forum members here support the 2021 vcs, or hate it?

It's mainly irrelevant. I do PC gaming and vintage emulation. I'm just here for the entertainment.

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2 hours ago, tripled79 said:

"Game, Stream, Connect like never before" could mean a lot of things. Companies are usualy carefully vague with their promises and Atari is no different. I see it as more of a promise to be different. To that end, I'm feel perfectly fine with my pre-order/purchase.

 

That has to be the most clear cut motto out of anyone else on the market at the moment. Mainly due to the "like never before" part, which means only one thing in the languages I know. 

 

I Have Never Felt Power Like This Before GIF - XMenApocalypse Xmen JamesMcAvoy GIFs

 

Quote

Anyway, I'm just finding it weird that people are getting upset about the product that Atari delivered vs. what they promised. 

That's all on Atari, although I think that most would be like yourself, going into it with the lowest of expectations. That said, when you promise consumers that they can do things like never before, is it really any wonder that some might be underwhelmed with that? I mean, unless said consumer had never played modern 3D games at the lowest graphics settings.

 

While I get what they were aiming for, it was a really dumb slogan to go with - which is likely why they stopped using it on the VCS site and in their recent marketing.  

 

1 hour ago, ataritiger said:

So do most forum members here support the 2021 vcs, or hate it?

I'm amused by it, particularly by some of the twists of logic that supporters have to use to justify it's existence (such as a banned guy earlier in this thread who argued with me elsewhere that the most compelling feature that gives it a huge leg up on the competition is...the web browser. LOL). It can be annoying to be told that you aren't a true Atari fan unless you worship at the altar of the VCS and find everything that the company does is amazing and awesome. But I don't "hate" it. I only think about it when I drop by here and have a notification from one of these threads. ;)

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2 hours ago, ataritiger said:

So do most forum members here support the 2021 vcs, or hate it?

Neither for me. I think it's a bit of a joke tbh. If people enjoy it, live and let live. But $300/400 for a logo from the past plus a box that I'd want to spend more $$ on to upgrade so it would do what I'd expect, in order to do things I'm already doing elsewhere, it's not for me. Now if a half dozen rabid fanboys think I'm obsessed for joking about it, or secretly working for antiatari, well I guess they're entitled to some entertainment as well.

 

PS, 4k at 6fps is technically 'like never before' although that's probably not what they meant.

Edited by toiletunes
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Yeah, it's more like "Game, stream, connect like you were doing a decade ago."

 

We're into the fifth generation of consoles now that have come with web browsers and at least the third with streaming apps. They're not game changing additions any more, and the streaming apps on the last couple of generations of consoles generally offer a better feature set - native 4K, controller support, etc. - than just running them through your browser.

 

Even PC Mode isn't that compelling an addition when it's only got the performance of a $200 PC. You're either doing it for the lulz or have far better things to be spending the money on if that's your budget for a games machine.

 

If, after all that, you still want one in the living room to mod for something that's not particularly taxing and don't mind paying the premium for it on account of the looks, go for it. Is that enough to count as supporting it? 😀

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8 hours ago, ataritiger said:

So do most forum members here support the 2021 vcs, or hate it?

The question is flawed.  It's possible to see the VCS' shortcomings (and those of the iteration of Atari behind it) without hating it.

 

Personally, I'm glad that people received units that they backed on IGG: for the longest time, it appeared as though Atari SA's incompetence was going to prevent that from happening.  If someone bought one on the open market, fine, they can spend their money on what they like.  But none of that prevents me (or anyone else) from registering an opinion of the device and/or company behind it that may not align with someone else's.

 

But actual hate?  That's reserved for things that matter, not a game console or the person who happens to own one.

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Now that we're doing the "post-show" comments on the VCS, can we finally change the description for the Atari Jaguar?

 

790540644_ScreenShot2021-08-06at3_48_13AM.thumb.png.41171cc1bf07105853b22c6e06192b4a.png

 

So we can change Jaguar to:

 

"The Atari Jaguar represented a huge leap in technology from previous offerings.  Featuring a 64-bit architecture, the Jaguar had great potential but it's power was initially difficult to tap.  In the years since however the avid fan base has given new life with home-brews and numerous game ports from the Atari ST."

 

And the Atari VCS:

 

"Atari's last game console.   The VCS was streaming game hardware which also gave Atari fans a nostalgic revisit with a few creative new titles complete with a classic 2600 styled controller.  Through use of the PC mode running other operating systems, more gameplaying and emulation options were possible."

 

Something like that.   I just want it known that the Jaguar is no longer the "Last Atari console".

 

 

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6 minutes ago, doctorclu said:

Now that we're doing the "post-show" comments on the VCS, can we finally change the description for the Atari Jaguar?

 

790540644_ScreenShot2021-08-06at3_48_13AM.thumb.png.41171cc1bf07105853b22c6e06192b4a.png

 

So we can change Jaguar to:

 

"The Atari Jaguar represented a huge leap in technology from previous offerings.  Featuring a 64-bit architecture, the Jaguar had great potential but it's power was initially difficult to tap.  In the years since however the avid fan base has given new life with home-brews and numerous game ports from the Atari ST."

 

And the Atari VCS:

 

"Atari's last game console.   The VCS was streaming game hardware which also gave Atari fans a nostalgic revisit with a few creative new titles complete with a classic 2600 styled controller.  Through use of the PC mode running other operating systems, more gameplaying and emulation options were possible."

 

Something like that.   I just want it known that the Jaguar is no longer the "Last Atari console".

 

 

The VCS is a console? ;-)

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1 minute ago, agradeneu said:

The VCS is a console? ;-)

 

It was hardware that was released with a unique set of games under the flag of "Atari" so, yes.

 

And now Jaguar isn't the biggest and last failure.  :D

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3 minutes ago, doctorclu said:

 

It was hardware that was released with a unique set of games under the flag of "Atari" so, yes.

 

And now Jaguar isn't the biggest and last failure.  :D

 Yeah, it surely will struggle to reach Ouya sales.

IMO its not really Atari, and its not really an Atari console.

The Jag remains the last Atari console for me.

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Surely the Jaguar ceased to be the last Atari console when the first Flashback came out? 

 

Similarly, the VCS will lose that title when AtGames get around to the next generation of them.

 

It's not like Atari branded hardware has been particularly thin on the ground of late with all of those, the handhelds and the Atari Pi. It's all just a bit lacking in distinctive characteristics.

Edited by Matt_B
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11 hours ago, Matt_B said:

The ability of tech startups to push out stock that carries no voting rights and pays no dividend is a comparatively recent innovation that only dates back to around the Dot Com boom. Back then, going public wasn't so different to getting bought out. Certainly, you've only got to look at what happened to Jack Tramiel at Commodore and Steve Jobs at Apple, by the hands of their own shareholders in the 80s.

At least he would have had some voting rights, and the rest would be fragmented. He would have had a greater chance of doing what he wanted.

 

Alternatively, he could have launched the 2600 in partnership with a company with deep pockets. A big toy company or IBM for example.

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16 minutes ago, Matt_B said:

Surely the Jaguar ceased to be the last Atari console when the first Flashback came out?

It all depends on how you define an Atari console. Atari just licensed their brand for the Flashbacks, but they were more involved with the VCS. I don´t consider the Flashbacks to be Atari consoles.

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2 hours ago, doctorclu said:

 

It was hardware that was released with a unique set of games under the flag of "Atari" so, yes.

 

And now Jaguar isn't the biggest and last failure.  :D

Totally disagree on the last point. Half this thread is talking about how Atari failed to market and broadcast the new device, which easily explains part of it's limited appeal. Honestly given the tentative nature of the roll out, I'm not convinced that wasn't part of their intent. I have thought from day one they were nervous about potential large-scale production, not that it was ever in the cards.

 

With the Jaguar on the other hand, Atari bet the moon. The advertising campaign was huge and expensive, and the low appeal of the games and funky controls threw early reviews in a tailspin, as did the price and belief the console would have been more interesting if it had dropped two years earlier. They put a lot of Jaguar consoles into production and moved a fraction of what they needed to break even.

 

The current iteration of Atari, whether you call it Atari or not, was never in a position to have such a large scale "flop". Both any success or failure would be muted in comparison. That said, I have a VCS and thoroughly enjoy it for what it is. I am under no delusions about who this is going for, and think that if they HAD done an aggressive marketing campaign it would have been mocked, possibly even harder than many reviewers already did. At best this was a test balloon for Atari's appeal if a bigger investor came along to pump money into a future console. No idea if that has happened, but it's a far cry from what was happening in the 90s for Atari with the Jaguar.

 

 

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41 minutes ago, Lord Mushroom said:

At least he would have had some voting rights, and the rest would be fragmented. He would have had a greater chance of doing what he wanted.

Not necessarily.  An IPO (or buyout) does not guarantee that the executive staff of the company will remain in place after the event.  The buyer usually wants their own people in charge.

 

In general, some will be kept around long enough to at least transition over to new staff, but, again, there are no guarantees.

42 minutes ago, Lord Mushroom said:

Alternatively, he could have launched the 2600 in partnership with a company with deep pockets. A big toy company or IBM for example.

Doubtful.  At the time, IBM had no interest in non-business markets and toy companies didn't really understand how video gaming could fit into their lineup.  That would start changing around 1981 or so, but when we're talking 1976-1977 that was a long way off.

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7 minutes ago, Atarick said:

At best this was a test balloon for Atari's appeal if a bigger investor came along to pump money into a future console.

More likely scenario: Chesnais plays the, "Atari's back!" card, sells the company, and walks away.

 

He's basically trapped there at this point: no other company would want to hire him after having watched how Atari SA was (mis-) managed under his watch.  Sending him over to the hotel and blockchain operation was more or less equivalent to Napoleon's exile to Elba.

7 minutes ago, Atarick said:

No idea if that has happened, but it's a far cry from what was happening in the 90s for Atari with the Jaguar.

Ehhh...  Atari in the 1990s also had significant management problems, a product lineup that was increasingly non-competitive with the rest of the market, poor integration with sales channels, and a reputation for being difficult to work with.  Granted, it's not a 100% mirror image of what we've seen happen with the VCS, but things weren't looking all that rosy by the time the Jag eventually hit the market, either.

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Ah thank you. Jaguar imo is the last real console when it was still a large company and the vcs is a hybrid console from a guy who owns atari logo correct?

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1 hour ago, Atarick said:

Half this thread is talking about how Atari failed to market and broadcast the new device, which easily explains part of it's limited appeal. Honestly given the tentative nature of the roll out, I'm not convinced that wasn't part of their intent. I have thought from day one they were nervous about potential large-scale production, not that it was ever in the cards.

Atari didn´t market the VCS more because they knew it would only appeal to hardcore Atari fans, who would find out about it anyway.

 

They would have loved demand to be higher. Even if they couldn´t have got a partner to help finance a large scale production, they could have produced many more on their own than they have been producing. Even if they hadn´t been able to meet demand, they could just have increased the price, or have the news be full of headlines saying "Atari hit console sold out". They would have loved that.

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12 hours ago, ataritiger said:

So do most forum members here support the 2021 vcs, or hate it?

It divides the forum.   There's a bunch of people here who hate the fact that it exists at all because they don't see it as a real Atari product.   Others appreciate it as a collectable and a useful little PC.

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15 hours ago, Lord Mushroom said:

He started with next to nothing and sold it for about $30 million dollars 5 years later, which was a bargain for Warner. Under his leadership they went from nothing to being a very successful arcade game developer. They also had the idea for the 2600. 

 

I am not saying he was perfect, but he was good. His biggest mistake was selling it to Warner instead of raising cash by for example going public to finance the launch of the Atari 2600 and remain in control.

 

Atari was making a ton of money at one time. That is not possible unless someone ran the company well over some period of time.

I guess you could argue that he left the company in better shape than when he started, which is rare amongst Atari owners :)

 

But since most of the company's stellar success came after he left, I don't know what would have happened had he held onto the reigns longer.

 

He is a serial entrepreneur and likely would have gotten bored and left to do something else either way.

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I actually saw alot of vcs press esp on google news maybe 25 articles and a kinda tv spot maybe hsn. Atari changed hands logo ownership so many times this guy owning it i count it as real. But its a hybrid imo. How powerful is it with windows like a 2015 pc? Can I put andriod 8.1 on it? X64 or x86

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12 minutes ago, ataritiger said:

I actually saw alot of vcs press esp on google news maybe 25 articles and a kinda tv spot maybe hsn. Atari changed hands logo ownership so many times this guy owning it i count it as real. But its a hybrid imo. How powerful is it with windows like a 2015 pc? Can I put andriod 8.1 on it? X64 or x86

It works very well as a desktop PC, but it doesn't have a high-end GPU by any means, but people have still managed to get games like GTA V running on it.    I guess it depends what you want from it.

 

It should be able to run PC Android-  I haven't heard of anyone trying.  you might have to disable secure boot in the bios first.

Edited by zzip

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