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The Atari VCS Controversies Thread

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4 minutes ago, 6502wrangler said:

Yes, many people, including myself, were surprised the system came out. I’m glad it did. Given Atari’s behavior over the previous few years I didn’t think they could pull it off. 

 

I’m happy you are happy with it as a mini PC. That said, as a console is has had about the impact of a wet fart. Even in a parts shortage there are plenty in stock and they are getting discounted. 
 

The “not letting it go” is due to the controversy. Most people are ignoring the VCS right now. It likely won’t be around for long (Atari SA doesn’t have a good track record) so it’s possible you can pick up some cheap soon. 

Well, considering the state of the world, and the chip shortage, and such... the VCS is actually doing quite well.  As far as it being a co sole, they have actually 100% kept up with their 'Stream things' promise.  It pretty much has every streaming service available to it.  Like about the only thing it is missing is a direct Steam Play app, and Itch.io and GOG (although those two don't have a streaming service, they are just competing stores.)  But you can stream your Steam library directly through Geforce Now on it.

 

I haven't booted into the Linux internal drive in a while on the thing because there is no need to.

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3 minutes ago, leech said:

Well, considering the state of the world, and the chip shortage, and such... the VCS is actually doing quite well.  As far as it being a co sole, they have actually 100% kept up with their 'Stream things' promise.  It pretty much has every streaming service available to it.  Like about the only thing it is missing is a direct Steam Play app, and Itch.io and GOG (although those two don't have a streaming service, they are just competing stores.)  But you can stream your Steam library directly through Geforce Now on it.

 

I haven't booted into the Linux internal drive in a while on the thing because there is no need to.

Something that is still in stock and readily available, and even being discounted, during an unprecedented supply chain disruption and parts shortage is not doing quite well. 

 

Obviously there is not a significant market for the device. 

 

And yes, the console is functional. I didn’t claim otherwise. I claimed it is not making a significant impact in the marketplace. The performance of Atari SA stock since the release of the VCS indicates most investors agree with me. 

Edited by 6502wrangler
clarity

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Just now, 6502wrangler said:

Something that is still in stock and readily available, and even being discounted, is not doing quite well. 

 

Obviously there is not a significant market for the device. 

 

And yes, the console is functional. I didn’t claim otherwise. I claimed it is not making a significant impact in the marketplace. The performance of Atari SA stock since the release of the VCS indicates most investors agree with me. 

Huh, where are you seeing it discounted, I may pick up a second.

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23 minutes ago, 6502wrangler said:

That said, as a console is has had about the impact of a wet fart.

I hear that too many tacos will cause this condition too.😁

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What Say GIF - What Say Did GIFs

 

And to make this VCS related to a post above, the VCS reaching 50k sales is a very generous prediction. I'd be amazed if it even matches the Jaguar's sales numbers, which were dismal. That might not be the case if all these Recharged games were only available on the system though.

 

As for goal posts, goal posts have been moved frequently on both sides, but like X=user said, that was really Atari's fault. Most were reacting based upon the info on hand at the moment, and when Atari showed off nothing but a case and couldn't answer even basic questions about the device; forced out their console designers; made major delays, etc, it was a safe bet for many to say "this thing will never come out." Sure, it's almost a miracle that it did, but then seeing a few defenders here and there start to claim things like it being a PS5 killer, or we should buy it for the sakes of Nolan Bushnell and a logo was a bit more absurd than guessing that it wouldn't see the light of day. 

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3 minutes ago, Shaggy the Atarian said:

What Say GIF - What Say Did GIFs

 

And to make this VCS related to a post above, the VCS reaching 50k sales is a very generous prediction. I'd be amazed if it even matches the Jaguar's sales numbers, which were dismal. That might not be the case if all these Recharged games were only available on the system though.

 

As for goal posts, goal posts have been moved frequently on both sides, but like X=user said, that was really Atari's fault. Most were reacting based upon the info on hand at the moment, and when Atari showed off nothing but a case and couldn't answer even basic questions about the device; forced out their console designers; made major delays, etc, it was a safe bet for many to say "this thing will never come out." Sure, it's almost a miracle that it did, but then seeing a few defenders here and there start to claim things like it being a PS5 killer, or we should buy it for the sakes of Nolan Bushnell and a logo was a bit more absurd than guessing that it wouldn't see the light of day. 

Hey, it's likely already beaten the JaguarCD sales 😛

 

It IS a PS5 killer.  Because you can actually buy an Atari VCS!  Ha, I figured why not, and put in with Sony to see if I'd MAYBE get on the list to be able to buy one... After Best Buy basically created a 200 dollar 'club' you have to join to be able to buy one from them.  This chip shortage needs to freaking end...  Also, if you want to compare it to the PS5, much like it, it's only getting a few original titles, the rest are just remastered like the VCS! 

 

I say of course this all in jest, no one expected it to be a PS5 killer, and I said it'd be somewhere between the power of a PS3/PS4, which it is.  One of the reasons though you're only seeing small indie style games developed for it, is the thing only comes with 32gb of storage.  Your typical PS4 game is much larger than that.  Though I believe AtariOS actually did something before PS5 did, and that's the ability to add internal storage.  Pretty sure you can just attach it to AtariOS and install games on it easily that way.  I should look again at that...

 

Hmm, I should have tacos for lunch.

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4 minutes ago, Shaggy the Atarian said:

What Say GIF - What Say Did GIFs

 

And to make this VCS related to a post above, the VCS reaching 50k sales is a very generous prediction. I'd be amazed if it even matches the Jaguar's sales numbers, which were dismal. That might not be the case if all these Recharged games were only available on the system though.

I don't see a scenario where it matches the Jaguar's historically low numbers, which barely cracked six figures before going on clearance. With that said, the VCS is obviously not a major console release, so we can't hold it to the same standards as something like that, or even to the standard of the Amico, frankly, which seems to have better distribution on top of original games (although it still needs to see official release, obviously).

 

I don't think we have any evidence that the VCS will sell beyond the 10 - 20k range originally predicted. Heck, there's not even evidence they produced much beyond the crowd funding numbers. There might only be day 15,000 produced period, with little need/incentive to produce more. 

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56 minutes ago, 6502wrangler said:

That's not what I'd call discounted... that's like a sale.  A discount is like in the 80s when games were being dumped for 3 bucks.  The VCS isn't being dumped yet.  I'm betting after Thanksgiving, the VCS will likely be on sale for Christmas so they can see how many will buy it at 50-80 bucks off.  But that's still a sale vs discounted.  Like 100 bucks would be the 'okay, we don't know what to do with these, let's get them off the shelf...'

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1 minute ago, Bill Loguidice said:

I don't see a scenario where it matches the Jaguar's historically low numbers, which barely cracked six figures before going on clearance. With that said, the VCS is obviously not a major console release, so we can't hold it to the same standards as something like that, or even to the standard of the Amico, frankly, which seems to have better distribution on top of original games (although it still needs to see official release, obviously).

 

I don't think we have any evidence that the VCS will sell beyond the 10 - 20k range originally predicted. Heck, there's not even evidence they produced much beyond the crowd funding numbers. There might only be day 15,000 produced period, with little need/incentive to produce more. 

Seems there is just as much controversy over the Amico being a thing as the VCS, isn't there?  I haven't kept up with all of it, but it sure seems there's been some back pedaling on what they were trying to sell, and it's sounding more and more like the VCS or Chameleon.  Only one of which became a real product.

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15 minutes ago, leech said:

Seems there is just as much controversy over the Amico being a thing as the VCS, isn't there?  I haven't kept up with all of it, but it sure seems there's been some back pedaling on what they were trying to sell, and it's sounding more and more like the VCS or Chameleon.  Only one of which became a real product.

I've played an Amico, and they've shipped some game products, so it's light-years ahead of the Chameleon. Whether or not it ends up being like the VCS remains to be seen, although they certainly are comparable when it comes to shipping delays at this point. I find it funny though that some who crow about how the doubts about the VCS shipping were unfounded are now saying that it's unlikely that the Amico will ship, as though those numerous high-profile delays the VCS had never happened.

 

 

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30 minutes ago, leech said:

Hey, it's likely already beaten the JaguarCD sales 😛

 

It IS a PS5 killer.  Because you can actually buy an Atari VCS!  Ha, I figured why not, and put in with Sony to see if I'd MAYBE get on the list to be able to buy one... After Best Buy basically created a 200 dollar 'club' you have to join to be able to buy one from them.  This chip shortage needs to freaking end...  Also, if you want to compare it to the PS5, much like it, it's only getting a few original titles, the rest are just remastered like the VCS! 

 

I say of course this all in jest, no one expected it to be a PS5 killer, and I said it'd be somewhere between the power of a PS3/PS4, which it is.  One of the reasons though you're only seeing small indie style games developed for it, is the thing only comes with 32gb of storage.  Your typical PS4 game is much larger than that.

 

Hmm, I should have tacos for lunch.

Hadn't seen this, so repsonding separately.

 

On the JagCD, I'd always read Atari produced 20,000 units, never saw sales numbers. Not aware of the VCS selling above 10k 

 

As for "you can actually buy a VCS"...well, the PS5 hasn't already sold 11 million+ units because no one can buy one 🤐

 

Yes, some of the most rabid defenders were calling it a PS5 killer, which is just as dumb an argument as saying you should buy something because of a logo. Granted, there are fanboys for every system who will blindly buy any new Sony/MS/Nintendo console because of that, although usually they can at least expect some certain exclusives to come with that system at some point, while Atari can't/won't do that.

 

Quote

  Though I believe AtariOS actually did something before PS5 did, and that's the ability to add internal storage.  Pretty sure you can just attach it to AtariOS and install games on it easily that way.  I should look again at that...

Pretty much every console for the past 10+ years has allowed you to add external storage so it's kind of a moot point and the PS5 has an internal storage bay that can be swapped out for something bigger in case the 1TB of existing storage isn't big enough. The only thing the VCS has over it is upgrading the RAM, but that doesn't magically enhance the CPU or GPU base computing & rendering capabilities.

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As an original backer, my thoughts of the VCS have evolved over time.   I too, thought the project was doomed, and was surprised it was shipped to me.   It is far from a perfect device, but is moving in the right direction.  In the most recent months, I do like what they are trying to do with the VCS.   I don't think it will capture any significant market share, but am curious to see what else they offer.   It does need a price reduction, and I predict we will see one before Christmas.   This following next six months will probably determine the outcome of the console.   The recent activity of releasing some classic games on their store along with the recharged games have made me play more on the VCS and am really hopeful to see more games released.    If anything, I feel that it shows Atari is actually trying to do something with the console now, which is a good thing for those who invested in the console.    

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52 minutes ago, leech said:

That's not what I'd call discounted... that's like a sale.  A discount is like in the 80s when games were being dumped for 3 bucks.  The VCS isn't being dumped yet.  

 

Your definition of “discount” is not standard English usage. 

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1 hour ago, leech said:

Hey, it's likely already beaten the JaguarCD sales 😛

 

It IS a PS5 killer.  Because you can actually buy an Atari VCS!  Ha, I figured why not, and put in with Sony to see if I'd MAYBE get on the list to be able to buy one... After Best Buy basically created a 200 dollar 'club' you have to join to be able to buy one from them.  This chip shortage needs to freaking end...  

Ah yes, the PS5. The console that has sold 13.5 million units despite not being available to actually buy. 

 

It’s like the famous Yogi Berra joke: “Nobody goes there anymore, it’s too crowded!”. 

 

And the chip shortage is having no impact on the VCS at all. I was at Microcenter a few days ago and they had a few VCS consoles in stock!

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13 hours ago, stirrell said:

Honestly, though, can we just be honest and admit that if you go into a forum of users of a system and essentially suggest that the product is worthless or has no reason to exist, you are going to get pushback? Why are people feigning surprise and suggesting the people on this forum can't let it go when the fans of the VCS are only responding to others?

In the interest of bringing honesty into the discussion: the forum currently specific to the neo-VCS actually post-dates the discussions that existed surrounding its development by a significant amount - approximately three years, by my rough reckoning.

 

To say that the people with a less-than-charitable view of the system somehow came out of the woodwork and invaded territory established by those who were proponents of it is absolutely incorrect.  If anything, the skeptics appeared shortly after the Ataribox announcement (myself included), and made their positions and analyses of the situation clear; supporters started appearing around the same time or shortly thereafter.

 

Please do not try to make it sound as though things happened differently; there is more than enough proof to the contrary to shoot that idea down where it stands.

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5 hours ago, x=usr(1536) said:

Please do not try to make it sound as though things happened differently; there is more than enough proof to the contrary to shoot that idea down where it stands.

Sorry that I was unclear. I wasn’t trying to suggest any kind of timeline. I only meant to say that people currently going into a forum dedicated to product to proclaim how terrible it is and how anyone who bought it were misguided for doing so are going to stir up heated conversations. That would be true of any forum for any product and to act shocked that people are reacting, and then claiming that they can’t let it go, is strange to me.

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3 hours ago, stirrell said:

Sorry that I was unclear. I wasn’t trying to suggest any kind of timeline. I only meant to say that people currently going into a forum dedicated to product to proclaim how terrible it is and how anyone who bought it were misguided for doing so are going to stir up heated conversations. That would be true of any forum for any product and to act shocked that people are reacting, and then claiming that they can’t let it go, is strange to me.

Ah, OK.  I understand the point you were making.  Appreciate the correction.

 

Can you provide examples of this currently happening?  I don't follow the VCS as closely as I once did so may have missed where it is taking place, but on the occasions where I do have reason to poke around in here, it's not something I'm seeing happen.

 

BTW: I can provide examples to the contrary, and not just in this forum.  It seems as though there is one VCS supporter in particular - I'll let them remain unnamed for the moment - who really does enjoy tossing low-grade snide taco comments at me for no very good reason other than that he can.  The amusing part is that this happens outside of this forum, so all I can figure is that it's just too difficult for him to let go.  Weird.

 

While it doesn't really bother me (the snipes are seriously low-grade), it does back up the never-left-high-school image that a couple of folks here have built up for themselves.

 

In any event, I'll reiterate that most folks - pro- or anti- - quit caring months ago.  That doesn't mean that the VCS is immune to criticism: it isn't, and it's unreasonable to expect it to not receive any particularly when it's still a currently-available product with some backing from the manufacturer still in effect.  Same applies to other devices and companies, new or old.

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On 10/30/2021 at 9:09 AM, Bill Loguidice said:

I feel like the goal post thing is a myth. A few people definitely thought it was never going to come out, but that definitely was not representative of most of the skeptics. As you stated, most of the issues were around the "why?" and the actual value of the thing in comparison to other options. Nothing has changed in that regard.

Agreed. The "scam" label was a bit overblown by the supporters.

 

I always assumed Atari SA's intentions were genuine (i.e they weren't going to take the money and run), that they truly wanted to create a console. 

 

However, the problem from day one has been that they had no solid vision for it beyond "Hey, we got a cool case." As such, it always seemed like a solution in search of a problem.

Edited by Laner
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I personally love the console and I was a skeptic. I did not back the system but picked one up later.

 

It's a functional mini-PC, the curated content in Atari OS is cool and I can stream most modern AAA content. I agree that Atari SA didn't seem to have a vision at first. Under their new leadership this seems to have changed. For example, the Recharged series, while not exclusive, has VCS exclusive content that makes it the best system to play those titles. Food Fight will be a timed exclusive. They continue to listen to community feedback and make improvements to the UI, game features and other functionality. They haven't walked away from the system. 

 

If you've already made up your mind, nothing anyone says is going to change that. For me, my VCS is my most played console and - with it's functionality as an emulator and streaming - it's really the only thing I need hooked up at the moment. People are really sleeping in this thing IMHO. 

 

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5 hours ago, Laner said:

Agreed. The "scam" label was a bit overblown by the supporters.

Point taken, but in context it made a lot of sense.

 

Bear in mind that the VCS was following on from the Gameband, which had been a very visible Atari-branded failure.  Granted, that one was in conjunction with Feargal Mac Conuladh, but so was the VCS, at least initially and until he left the project over non-payment.

 

This was also a device that was announced with timing that allowed it to be - fairly or not - immediately viewed skeptically due to a string of failures of other retro consoles in the preceding years.  The most visible in that regard was the Coleco Chameleon, which the VCS was springing up not too terribly long after.  Couple that with the existing failure to execute on the Gameband as well as Atari SA's known financial and leadership situation, and there was a reasonable set of ingredients there (IMHO) to cause skepticism as to whether or not it could be brought to market.

 

Granted, others may have felt differently, and did.  That's fine.  But as I mentioned earlier, much of the detractors' opinions were formed from both Atari SA's track record and handling of the device from the get-go.  If anything, I'd be willing to hazard a bet that a good chunk of the detractors' concerns could have been addressed had Atari SA themselves bothered with clear communication.  Which brings me on to:

5 hours ago, Laner said:

However, the problem from day one has been that they had no solid vision for it beyond "Hey, we got a cool case." As such, it always seemed like a solution in search of a problem.

Agreed.  Frankly, I liked the early case designs.  Sure, they were impractical and needed to be reworked, but I can accept that renders don't necessarily reflect a finished product.

 

Had the case been something that they released which could have a RasPi or similar SBC installed in it, cost somewhere in the $49.95 or less region, and came with an SD card you could jam into your SBC for access to pre-loaded software, the store, etc., I likely would have bought one.  It's not something I really need, but it would have been a neat thing to have.

 

And I am glad that people are happy with their VCS.  Much as I didn't want to see them screwed out of their money by a poorly-run crowdfunding campaign, I wouldn't want them to be disappointed with what they ultimately received.  Not my cup of tea, but neither are a lot of things.  It's no big deal in my book if someone else enjoys them.

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On 10/30/2021 at 10:09 AM, Bill Loguidice said:

I feel like the goal post thing is a myth. A few people definitely thought it was never going to come out, but that definitely was not representative of most of the skeptics. As you stated, most of the issues were around the "why?" and the actual value of the thing in comparison to other options. Nothing has changed in that regard.

It was representative of most of the loud skeptics though.  It was constantly being called a scam, the next Coleco Chameleon.

 

On 10/30/2021 at 12:25 PM, stirrell said:

- Before purchasing, I looked to see what other mini PCs were available on Amazon and NewEgg. I didn't find the VCS to be very overpriced compared to other Ryzen/Vega mini PCs. I get that I could buy a gaming PC in a big tower with spinning RGB lights at a better price but I wanted something that could easily fit into my living room. Home Theater/Media Center PCs have been a thing for quite some time so I think that market is pretty well known. When people have asked for examples of mini PCs that show the VCS is way overpriced I have seen responses ranging from Walmart laptops, barebone systems and claims that you should get an old work computer and buy a graphics card. None of those seemed like conclusive proof to me. At NewEgg now, I do see that there are mini PC Ryzen systems at lower price points than when I picked up the VCS a couple months ago, so the market is shifting. Hopefully Atari can discount the VCS.

And prices have been increasing due to the chip shortage, so there isn't much around that's a better value in the small PC world anymore, even if there was pre-pandemic.   Also the VCS is likely to hold its value more than a generic PC because it's more collectable.   Especially if it releases in small quantities.

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15 minutes ago, zzip said:

It was representative of most of the loud skeptics though.  It was constantly being called a scam, the next Coleco Chameleon.

 

I don't know. I feel like that's the same as saying the VCS proponents who called it a PS5 killer were representative of any significant group. There are always going to be a small group of extremists one way or the other.

 

16 minutes ago, zzip said:

And prices have been increasing due to the chip shortage, so there isn't much around that's a better value in the small PC world anymore, even if there was pre-pandemic.   Also the VCS is likely to hold its value more than a generic PC because it's more collectable.   Especially if it releases in small quantities.

Putting the Xbox Series S aside (despite it offering computing and robust emulation capabilities, and far superior gaming capabilities), there are plenty of 4.5 inch Mini PCs with Windows pre-installed that are readily available that are less money and offer at least as much RAM and more storage than the 800. I do agree though that for many, the case of the VCS is quite desirable for whatever that's worth.

 

Whether the VCS will have any collectible value in the future remains to be seen, but if it does, it would almost certainly come down to the case and the fact that it has "Atari" on it. The wireless classic joystick definitely has some value, as well, and I think universally was and is still considered the high point of the project. While I have yet to try one myself, I'm skeptical of the combined rotation/joystick thing. It's a great idea (and looks really nice) that's been implemented only a few times before (Fairchild Channel F/VES, Bally Astrocade, for instance), but I have concerns (again, not using one myself) of it twisting when I merely want to move it like a regular joystick.

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