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The Atari VCS Controversies Thread

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On 10/30/2021 at 2:31 PM, Shaggy the Atarian said:

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.

I have a PS5.   And right now I kinda regret buying it early because there still isn't enough next-gen content to justify it.   Mostly it is a glorified PS4 at this point.    PS5 is selling in large quantities on name alone.    Yes there's a lot of faith that the big exclusives will come.   But so far they haven't announced anything amazing recently.   Many of the games that we thought were going to be PS5-only are now getting PS4 versions.   And Sony keeps putting more and more of their library on PC.     Unless things turn around, this may be the most disappointing Playstation generation.

 

On 10/30/2021 at 2:31 PM, Shaggy the Atarian said:

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

You can't swap out the built-in PS5 internal storage, but there is an internal m.2 slot where you can supplement it.   It doesn't even come with a full 1TB.  But the SSD it requires is expensive.   A compatible 2TB SSD costs as much as the PS5 digital edition itself!

 

On 10/31/2021 at 7:25 AM, 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.

On a dedicated Atari board no less.   This is a place where people buy and sell all kinds of crazy retro hardware, and pay obscene prices for real Atari hardware like the Jaguar.   But they try to endlessly convince us that VCS is 1) not worth the money 2) not a real Atari product.   Both are subjective arguments what's worth it to one person is not worth it to another.   Also when/if Atari stopped being the "real" Atari is subjective since ownership changed quite a few times over the years.   So arguing these points isn't going to change anyone's opinions.   But yet the argument goes on for years and years going around in circles.   At least it isn't as bad as it used to be since the VCS shipped.    Now it seems there's a lot more controversy in the Amico forums.

 

 

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32 minutes ago, Bill Loguidice said:

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.

Just look at through the old threads,  they would get dozens of posts per days from yes a small group of people who seemed to have nothing better to do than trash the VCS all day long.   They would try to convince everyone first that it was a scam that would never ship.   The proof was that the person working on it also worked on the Chameleon.   And if they weren't trashing it, they were making offtopic "taco" posts that in effect kept supporters from discussing it, making supporters feel bad for wanting to like it, etc.   

 

I usually roll my eyes at claims of "paid shills",  but sometimes I wonder if there's people from a competing retro product being paid to trash the competition on social media.   Likewise there are some people so positive on the likes of VCS, Amico, etc that you have to wonder if they are actually stealth marketing assets.  It would explain why these things are far more controversial than they really ought to be.   The VCS and Amico controversy threads go to tens of thousands of replies and are among the most active on the forum..   All for systems that don't seem to have high demand.   I find that interesting.

 

55 minutes ago, Bill Loguidice said:

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.

 

I have a lot of old computer hardware.   And it's hard to give alot of it away, especially PC hardware.   The only stuff that holds its value are things that are rather unique,  like my old Gravis Ultrasound ISA sound card seems to sell for hundreds on eBay.   But most of it doesn't fetch enough to make it worth the hassle of selling.   However on the Atari side it is a different story.  I recently sold my STe for $400, which is about what I paid for it (not counting inflation).  Jaguar, which are considered a failed system can fetch $500 or more.   I bought one BITD on clearance for $49,  and man do I wish I had held onto it!   Atari stuff holds value better than generic PC stuff.   I can't predict what the VCS will be worth in the future, but I think it's safe to predict it will be worth more than a no-brand small PC bought off Newegg that is just as powerful or more so.

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6 minutes ago, zzip said:

Just look at through the old threads,  they would get dozens of posts per days from yes a small group of people who seemed to have nothing better to do than trash the VCS all day long.   They would try to convince everyone first that it was a scam that would never ship.   The proof was that the person working on it also worked on the Chameleon.   And if they weren't trashing it, they were making offtopic "taco" posts that in effect kept supporters from discussing it, making supporters feel bad for wanting to like it, etc.   

 

I usually roll my eyes at claims of "paid shills",  but sometimes I wonder if there's people from a competing retro product being paid to trash the competition on social media.   Likewise there are some people so positive on the likes of VCS, Amico, etc that you have to wonder if they are actually stealth marketing assets.  It would explain why these things are far more controversial than they really ought to be.   The VCS and Amico controversy threads go to tens of thousands of replies and are among the most active on the forum..   All for systems that don't seem to have high demand.   I find that interesting.

 

Yeah, I don't see who would want to or need to "run resistance" on something like the VCS. I don't even know how that would work, let alone why. I mean, it was pretty obvious it was going to be DOA from before day 1. And it also doesn't compete directly with anything that I can think of in the retro space since it's not targeted to that market (or any market, really). It's in a weird in-between space that doesn't and can't compete with various set top boxes and consoles, and doesn't make an ideal retro device for most people since there's a sparsity of turnkey content.

 

Again, there's a lot to criticize about the Amico, but it at least has a clear justification for its (eventual) existence (and, as always, whether or not that differentiation pays off is anyone's guess - it will sell more than the VCS (if it hasn't already, which I believe it has) - but that's not much of a bar).

 

I think the VCS "controversy" is nothing more than passion around the Atari name (and the "VCS" repurposing for that matter). If it was a random company's logo on there, it wouldn't have gotten a fraction of the notice, good or bad.

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36 minutes ago, Bill Loguidice said:

I think the VCS "controversy" is nothing more than passion around the Atari name (and the "VCS" repurposing for that matter). If it was a random company's logo on there, it wouldn't have gotten a fraction of the notice, good or bad.

This right here is part of it for me, for sure. People can argue what is the “real” Atari but most people can agree there was continuity from the founding up until the collapse after the Jaguar fiasco. 

 

It just feels wrong to reuse the company name and model for a low-end PC. 

 

It would be like if I bought the name DeLorean and announced a new car called the DMC-12. After several years and various controversies, I released something akin to a 2015 Ford Focus. 

 

I don’t think DeLorean fans would be happy. Although, based on my experience here, I think there would be a subset of DeLoreanAge members would be so super exicited you could buy and install gullwing doors yourself. 

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1 hour ago, Bill Loguidice said:

Yeah, I don't see who would want to or need to "run resistance" on something like the VCS. I don't even know how that would work, let alone why. I mean, it was pretty obvious it was going to be DOA from before day 1. And it also doesn't compete directly with anything that I can think of in the retro space since it's not targeted to that market (or any market, really). It's in a weird in-between space that doesn't and can't compete with various set top boxes and consoles, and doesn't make an ideal retro device for most people since there's a sparsity of turnkey content.

 

Again, there's a lot to criticize about the Amico, but it at least has a clear justification for its (eventual) existence (and, as always, whether or not that differentiation pays off is anyone's guess - it will sell more than the VCS (if it hasn't already, which I believe it has) - but that's not much of a bar).

 

I think the VCS "controversy" is nothing more than passion around the Atari name (and the "VCS" repurposing for that matter). If it was a random company's logo on there, it wouldn't have gotten a fraction of the notice, good or bad.

Then it's a different mindset I guess.   Like I don't purposely see much point to Amico or Playdate, but I also see no reason to hang out in those threads and rain on the parade of the people who do like those systems, and do it day after day, year after year as some people have done.   That seems like an unhealthy emotional investment in wishing a product didn't exist.

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3 hours ago, Bill Loguidice said:

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.

What is an example of a mini PC that would handle gaming as well as the VCS at an under-$300 price point? Doing a quick search at Amazon, I see things like this:

https://www.amazon.com/Beelink-x5-Z8500-Windows-Computer-Ethernet/dp/B08K919Y91/

You get more drive space and a Windows license but I suspect the Vega graphics in the VCS would be much better than an integrated Intel based on my experience with my MacBook Pro and VCS. When I was shopping for a mini PC I didn't consider integrated Intel graphics because it limited me on what I could play on the Mac (as macOS did itself, of course). When searching for a Ryzen/Vega mini PC I didn't see much in the VCS price range especially a couple months ago.. Granted, I am sure if you went up to the $500 range you would get boxes that would be much more powerful than the VCS. So I could definitely see the argument that paying a bit more would be a better value.

I am willing to admit that I am missing something that would make the Beelink above a much better value than the VCS but I am not seeing too much. And I wasn't trying to find the best comparison to put the VCS in the best light. I just searched for mini PCs and looked at items around that price range (as the base VCS). I don't dispute that I may have paid a premium for the Fuji logo and the case but with the criticisms leveled against the VCS' price I would have thought it was grossly overpriced. And I am just not seeing that myself.

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1 hour ago, stirrell said:

What is an example of a mini PC that would handle gaming as well as the VCS at an under-$300 price point? Doing a quick search at Amazon, I see things like this:

https://www.amazon.com/Beelink-x5-Z8500-Windows-Computer-Ethernet/dp/B08K919Y91/

You get more drive space and a Windows license but I suspect the Vega graphics in the VCS would be much better than an integrated Intel based on my experience with my MacBook Pro and VCS. When I was shopping for a mini PC I didn't consider integrated Intel graphics because it limited me on what I could play on the Mac (as macOS did itself, of course). When searching for a Ryzen/Vega mini PC I didn't see much in the VCS price range especially a couple months ago.. Granted, I am sure if you went up to the $500 range you would get boxes that would be much more powerful than the VCS. So I could definitely see the argument that paying a bit more would be a better value.

I am willing to admit that I am missing something that would make the Beelink above a much better value than the VCS but I am not seeing too much. And I wasn't trying to find the best comparison to put the VCS in the best light. I just searched for mini PCs and looked at items around that price range (as the base VCS). I don't dispute that I may have paid a premium for the Fuji logo and the case but with the criticisms leveled against the VCS' price I would have thought it was grossly overpriced. And I am just not seeing that myself.

I find the power for money argument kind of disingenuous.   Because if the sole decision-making criteria is how much more power can we get with the same amount of money, then the Amico is overpriced, and something like the Playdate is way overpriced (180mhz processor, 16mb RAM  400x240 2-color display) for $180

 

In reality all these devices are targeted to people who likely already have primary PCs/consoles/mobile devices, have expendable income, looking for some novelty.   If you are a Gen-X dad like me who is into tech like me,  you'd rather receive something like one of these devices rather than socks and a bathrobe under the Christmas tree.   If you were an Atari fan BITD, you may appreciate the VCS design.   If you were in Intellivision fan, you might find the Amico appealing for similar reasons

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2 hours ago, zzip said:

Then it's a different mindset I guess.   Like I don't purposely see much point to Amico or Playdate, but I also see no reason to hang out in those threads and rain on the parade of the people who do like those systems, and do it day after day, year after year as some people have done.   That seems like an unhealthy emotional investment in wishing a product didn't exist.

By the same token, why would someone who knows that they're about to post in a thread that's not exactly viewing the VCS favourably do so anyway, knowing that their point of view is in opposition to the majority of the ones held in the thread?

 

Let's face it: it's even happening right now.  You're a VCS supporter (fine) and you're posting in a thread called, "The Atari VCS Controversy Thread".  IIRC, this thread was created specifically to be a thread in which people could discuss some of the more contentious aspects of the device and company behind it.  Why does it seem to surprise you that there might be opinions stated here that don't match your own?

 

Given that you are the person I alluded to earlier who continues to lob taco jabs at me outside of this forum, your stance regarding what happens year after year is incredibly hypocritical considering that if there's anyone perpetuating the behaviour, it's you.

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X=user(1536), speaking of tacos, I just noticed 913 S Broadway, LA……I see what you did there!  Looks like a great hole in the wall!

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3 hours ago, Saldo said:

X=user(1536), speaking of tacos, I just noticed 913 S Broadway, LA……I see what you did there!  Looks like a great hole in the wall!

They're really good, and were my favourite lunch spot whenever I had to work in Downtown L.A.  They do have a few other locations, but that one is the the one to go to IMHO :D

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I saw my first VCS in the wild this week, in the Nintendo Switch Lite locked case at Best Buy. If I didn't know what it was, I'd have overlooked it completely, as they didn't even have the box facing outwards and the price tag thing was on top of it tucked in the back. Probably embarrassed to be placing a $400 device next to something that actually has a reason to buy it, and for half the cost. You'd think Atari would at least try to get them to maybe put it near the retro game console stuff or maybe the PCs, but apparently no one really knows what to do with it. At least it'll probably be hitting fire sale in about 8 weeks. 

On 11/1/2021 at 10:35 AM, zzip said:

Just look at through the old threads,  they would get dozens of posts per days from yes a small group of people who seemed to have nothing better to do than trash the VCS all day long.  

Sorry, hadn't visited the forum all week. Guess I'm slacking on my daily 2 minutes of VCS hate, but I'll make up for it here.

 

It wasn't happening in a vacuum. You guys fed it, we fed it, responses were made, typical forum stuff. I remember you trying to pass that off as some great interest in the VCS, although as we can all see no one outside of a small subset of VCS backers cares. There's zero talk about the VCS outside of here and the other tiny pockets that have always been talking about it. 

 

On 11/1/2021 at 9:56 AM, zzip said:

I have a PS5.   And right now I kinda regret buying it early because there still isn't enough next-gen content to justify it.   Mostly it is a glorified PS4 at this point.    PS5 is selling in large quantities on name alone.    Yes there's a lot of faith that the big exclusives will come.   But so far they haven't announced anything amazing recently.   Many of the games that we thought were going to be PS5-only are now getting PS4 versions.   And Sony keeps putting more and more of their library on PC.     Unless things turn around, this may be the most disappointing Playstation generation.

 

Sorry to hear that - I remember hearing some gamers say the same things about the PS4 and XB1 when they came out too. One friend of mine, a former editor of Gamefan Magazine (ECM), talked about how both his PS4 and XB1 were great dust collectors. Just because they were for him, didn't mean that they were for everyone else.

 

I personally don't have much interest in the PS5 as I've never really been into their exclusives - God of War, The Last of Us, Uncharted, Spider-man...meh. I don't care. Millions of other people do though, so Sony execs won't lose any sleep over my single lack of support. 

 

On 11/1/2021 at 2:28 PM, zzip said:

If you were an Atari fan BITD, you may appreciate the VCS design.   If you were in Intellivision fan, you might find the Amico appealing for similar reasons

Sure, the VCS design is cool. But when I buy a game device, that's a secondary or tertiary consideration. I don't find the Amico's design appealing and I have zero nostalgia for the name, but I enjoyed playing Moon Patrol and Astrosmash. I'm curious to see how Breakout plays on it. If it has enough fun games that I enjoy, then I'd grab one. But if all the games were available on other platforms(particularly ones that I already own), then no, I wouldn't be interested.

 

That's why, as I've stated more times than I can count, that the VCS is a pointless product. It's a shame, I wish that Atari had made something worthy of the name, but they didn't. If I wasted the money on one, even at $100, it'd be nothing more than a dust collector, just like that stupid Atari Pong Jr. unit I got. At least that was free though. 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Shaggy the Atarian said:

Sorry, hadn't visited the forum all week. Guess I'm slacking on my daily 2 minutes of VCS hate, but I'll make up for it here.

 

It wasn't happening in a vacuum. You guys fed it, we fed it, responses were made, typical forum stuff. I remember you trying to pass that off as some great interest in the VCS, although as we can all see no one outside of a small subset of VCS backers cares. There's zero talk about the VCS outside of here and the other tiny pockets that have always been talking about it.

I remember you saying literally the exact same thing in another thread. We get it, you don't like the VCS. What good are you really trying to achieve by bringing up the same dead talking points like a broken record? I like the fact that it's a small community of supporters, we have comradery here. So just accept the fact that there are fans of the VCS and let it go already.

Edited by Djmicklovin
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1 minute ago, Djmicklovin said:

I remember you saying literally the exact same thing in another thread. We get it, you don't like the VCS. What good are you really trying to achieve by bringing up the same dead talking points like a broken record? I like the fact that it's a small community of supporters, we have comradery here. 

Probably will achieve more than you do with you using military service to try and shut down debate, or stupid claims that people care about web browsers on consoles.

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4 minutes ago, Shaggy the Atarian said:

Probably will achieve more than you do with you using military service to try and shut down debate, or stupid claims that people care about web browsers on consoles.

The only one that ever brought up military service is you and what's it to you? It's uncalled for and what does my military service have to do with this discussion? You were never a Marine so just stop. Sounds like jealousy to me.

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^

Burn Sick GIF - Burn Sick Omg GIFs

 

21 minutes ago, Djmicklovin said:

So just accept the fact that there are fans of the VCS and let it go already.

Lol, I know there's a few dozen of you. Sorry that pointing out this product's flaws is so triggering to you. 

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On 11/1/2021 at 12:47 PM, Bill Loguidice said:

 

 I mean, it was pretty obvious it was going to be DOA from before day 1.

Asking as someone who has followed this thing virtually none -- was it / is it DOA?  

 

I saw a couple of posts on here (and an couple of articles) and kinda started having an interest in it, but the impression I got was that it was doing ok.  Not great, but definitely had some value and maybe worth checking out.  But if it's generally accepted that it was DOA, then I'll go back to my nearly 0% level of interest.

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2 minutes ago, Djmicklovin said:

You can read them to me after you become a Marine...

At this point, I'm wondering if you ever actually were in any branch of the services.  The only people I've ever met who act the way you do about apparent service were engaging in stolen valour.

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Just now, x=usr(1536) said:

At this point, I'm wondering if you ever actually were in any branch of the services.  The only people I've ever met who act the way you do about apparent service were engaging in stolen valour.

Post a pic in your uniform then. I'll wait...

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Just now, Djmicklovin said:

Post a pic in your uniform then. I'll wait...

Just stop.  At this point, it would be in your best interest to make better decisions.

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1 minute ago, x=usr(1536) said:

Just stop.  At this point, it would be in your best interest to make better decisions.

Nothing? That's what I thought... 

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

Just stop.  At this point, it would be in your best interest to make better decisions.

You picked the wrong guy to start arguments with and now you're trying to tell me about military. GTFOH!

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4 minutes ago, Razzie.P said:

Asking as someone who has followed this thing virtually none -- was it / is it DOA?  

 

I saw a couple of posts on here (and an couple of articles) and kinda started having an interest in it, but the impression I got was that it was doing ok.  Not great, but definitely had some value and maybe worth checking out.  But if it's generally accepted that it was DOA, then I'll go back to my nearly 0% level of interest.

It depends on your definition of DOA. It exists... to me it seems like it is a decently-built mini PC with an Atari front-end. I would say that if seems like a reasonable deal as it is now, feel free to consider it. The VCS will get at least the Recharged releases, some more retro games for Flashback Fridays and a handful of games from indie developers. If you expect it to be even a marginal competitor with support approaching any of the bigger systems you will likely be disappointed. But as a casual gamer who also wanted a cheap box to run Windows, I've really liked it. But I would guess sales numbers are very low and that no long term support is guaranteed. Just my uninformed opinion.

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2 minutes ago, Djmicklovin said:

You picked the wrong guy to start arguments with and now you're trying to tell me about military. GTFOH!

*shrug* your call.  I would strongly recommend not escalating.

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