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The Atari VCS Controversies Thread

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2 minutes ago, Nall3k said:

You know what's ironic too? Atari SA since Infogrames started using the brand publicly in 2003 has lasted longer than the "original", Atari Games, and Atari Corporation.

Can you name one line of continuity between the Atari in California and the Atari in France besides some IP purchased at a bankruptcy proceeding?

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4 minutes ago, Nall3k said:

You know what's ironic too? Atari SA since Infogrames started using the brand publicly in 2003 has lasted longer than the "original", Atari Games, and Atari Corporation.

🧐🧐🧐🤯🤯🤯🧐🧐🧐

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2 minutes ago, 6502wrangler said:

Can you name one line of continuity between the Atari in California and the Atari in France besides some IP purchased at a bankruptcy proceeding?

Here's the thing and I'm not saying this as an attack, no one younger than 30 cares. Anyone can go on about "it doesn't have this or connection to that" but no one actually cares. Nolan Bushnell was part of Atari SA's board, endorsed several of their products, including the VCS (again, no one cares). Atari SA on paper is a French company, but their main base of operations and a majority of their staff is in New York, they are an American centric company with their products and marketing.

 

In the credits of the recharged titles for Centipede and Black Widow, the original game designers are the first credited. At the end of the day, it's a company that has called itself Atari for twenty years. No one under 30 cares if it doesn't have a "direct connection" from the 70s.

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25 minutes ago, Nall3k said:

Here's the thing and I'm not saying this as an attack, no one younger than 30 cares. Anyone can go on about "it doesn't have this or connection to that" but no one actually cares. Nolan Bushnell was part of Atari SA's board, endorsed several of their products, including the VCS (again, no one cares). Atari SA on paper is a French company, but their main base of operations and a majority of their staff is in New York, they are an American centric company with their products and marketing.

 

In the credits of the recharged titles for Centipede and Black Widow, the original game designers are the first credited. At the end of the day, it's a company that has called itself Atari for twenty years. No one under 30 cares if it doesn't have a "direct connection" from the 70s.

I'm well over 30 and don't care.    Maybe at first when Hasbro bought the name and started milking it it didn't feel right,  but I got over it.   Tramiel fired most of the Atari staff and moved the HQ, so it was already a very different company under his ownership.   So whatever.   I guess I'd rather live in a timeline where someone tries to keep the Atari flame alive rather than one were it ceases to be.

Edited by zzip
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25 minutes ago, Nall3k said:

Here's the thing and I'm not saying this as an attack, no one younger than 30 cares. Anyone can go on about "it doesn't have this or connection to that" but no one actually cares. Nolan Bushnell was part of Atari SA's board, endorsed several of their products, including the VCS (again, no one cares). Atari SA on paper is a French company, but their main base of operations and a majority of their staff is in New York, they are an American centric company with their products and marketing.

 

In the credits of the recharged titles for Centipede and Black Widow, the original game designers are the first credited. At the end of the day, it's a company that has called itself Atari for twenty years. No one under 30 cares if it doesn't have a "direct connection" from the 70s.

Do you really think anyone under 30 cares? Some young people will wear an atari logo shirt now and then but that’s just “ironic” nostalgia. 

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3 minutes ago, 6502wrangler said:

Do you really think anyone under 30 cares? Some young people will wear an atari logo shirt now and then but that’s just “ironic” nostalgia. 

I said people under 30 don't care if there is a direct connection. I'm 32, you know what I think of when I see Atari? It's weird, but I think of the PS2 game Stuntman. I grew up playing that, along with Test Drive, Ghostbusters, Riddick, and AitD5.

 

I didn't grow up in the 70s and 80s, so people my age and younger aren't going to have that same connection with the brand.

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2 minutes ago, Nall3k said:

I said people under 30 don't care if there is a direct connection. I'm 32, you know what I think of when I see Atari? It's weird, but I think of the PS2 game Stuntman. I grew up playing that, along with Test Drive, Ghostbusters, Riddick, and AitD5.

 

I didn't grow up in the 70s and 80s, so people my age and younger aren't going to have that same connection with the brand.

It seems odd then Atari SA itself seems so keen on making a connection. Calling the device a VCS, how the case looks, the classic joysticks. 

 

If young people don’t care, is the target audience old people like me?

 

Maybe that’s why they have sold so few. 

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16 minutes ago, Nall3k said:

I grew up playing that, along with Test Drive

Just to further confuse the lineage.   Test Drive was first published by a company called Accolade,  before they merged into (Infrogrames) Atari. 

 

   Accolade was founded by two ex-founders of Activision,  who also worked at (surprise)  Atari before that!    Funny how it all comes full circle   😄

Edited by zzip
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1 hour ago, 6502wrangler said:

If I put an Atari logo on my Corolla would you buy it?

If it used Linux, I might.  I am both a fan of Atari and Linux / Open Source.  😜

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31 minutes ago, 6502wrangler said:

It seems odd then Atari SA itself seems so keen on making a connection. Calling the device a VCS, how the case looks, the classic joysticks. 

 

If young people don’t care, is the target audience old people like me?

 

Maybe that’s why they have sold so few. 

Younger people don't care if there is a direct connection with the original. As for the VCS, I don't know what it was designed for, it was one of Fred Chesnais shotgun blast of ideas. I'm glad someone else is now in charge and focusing on games.

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21 minutes ago, zzip said:

Just to further confuse the lineage.   Test Drive was first published by a company called Accolade,  before they merged into (Infrogrames) Atari. 

 

   Accolade was founded by two ex-founders of Activision,  who also worked at (surprise)  Atari before that!    Funny how it all comes full circle   😄

I love Eden Games, and wish things had turned out differently 10 years ago for them and Atari SA. I still am not over Fred selling off Test Drive and Alone in the Dark.

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1 hour ago, 6502wrangler said:

 

Before the Jaguar-fueled collapse there was always some continuity from one owner to the next. Tramiel shook things up a lot, but there were some people and, obviously, a lot of products in common.

This. There was always a lineage, some connective tissue between each owner through the mid 90s.

 

That was severed once the Jaguar was cancelled and Atari Corp ceased to be a standalone entity.

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3 hours ago, zzip said:

Yeah the "real Atari" line of reasoning doesn't hold up to much scrutiny.    But the new VCS has something that I don't think the Lynx, Jaguar or ST ever did,  informal endorsements by Nolan himself   😜

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In all honesty, how much do you think an endorsement from Nolan is worth these days?

 

I don't want to take away anything from what he achieved in the 70s, but to me it comes across like the new owners of a once great sports franchise wheeling out an old star player who retired over forty years ago at the start of the season in a vain attempt to enthuse fans despite them heading inevitably towards another year of table-propping mediocrity because they haven't really got anything new to offer.

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22 minutes ago, Matt_B said:

In all honesty, how much do you think an endorsement from Nolan is worth these days?

 

I don't want to take away anything from what he achieved in the 70s, but to me it comes across like the new owners of a once great sports franchise wheeling out an old star player who retired over forty years ago at the start of the season in a vain attempt to enthuse fans despite them heading inevitably towards another year of table-propping mediocrity because they haven't really got anything new to offer.

It doesn't mean much to me personally,  but I think it shows how pointless the "Not the real Atari" debate is.   If the founder can come to terms with the new ownership being legit, then why can't the rest of us?   It doesn't mean you have to like the product

Edited by zzip

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In terms of "caring" one way or the other, I think we also have to realize that those of us on this forum are not representative of general Atari fans or even fans of classic gaming in general. We're definitely a skewed bunch/outliers around here. We care more than the average bear about all of this stuff and all have varying degrees of specific interests and wants that are not necessarily reflective of larger groups. 

 

It goes without saying that the available Atari IP is well-worn at this point. It's been readily available on mass market products for more than 15 years now (officially, obviously unofficially for much longer). I'd say because of that relative ubiquity, it's much harder to get excited again about much of any of it. For most of us around here, if we want a real Atari hit, we'll likely go back to the original hardware and/or games. We don't really need new Atari-specific hardware for any of that. For everyone else, having something like Atari Vault as the pack-in for the VCS might have been exciting if there weren't already tons of ways of getting it on other platforms for a number of years already. That's kind of why on a personal level I would have liked to have seen a different approach with the VCS from Atari. I don't need another generic Windows box to play games that I can play better countless ways, and I don't need the VCS to play the same Atari content I already have on countless other devices that I'm already actively using. Just like with my prior Amico, Playdate, Evercade, Analogue, Polymega, etc.-related comments, I would have definitely supported something like the VCS if I could find any sliver of justification for it.

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2 minutes ago, Bill Loguidice said:

That's kind of why on a personal level I would have liked to have seen a different approach with the VCS from Atari. I don't need another generic Windows box to play games that I can play better countless ways, and I don't need the VCS to play the same Atari content I already have on countless other devices that I'm already actively using. Just like with my prior Amico, Playdate, Evercade, Analogue, Polymega, etc.-related comments, I would have definitely supported something like the VCS if I could find any sliver of justification for it.

Everyone says this, but never seem to explain what they should do differently

 

Keeping in mind that almost any other approach would lead to a proprietary system that they would need to support with content, and as you say yourself they don't have the IPs to really do so.  (or the development resources to produce compelling content by themselves)

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19 minutes ago, Bill Loguidice said:

In terms of "caring" one way or the other, I think we also have to realize that those of us on this forum are not representative of general Atari fans or even fans of classic gaming in general. We're definitely a skewed bunch/outliers around here. We care more than the average bear about all of this stuff and all have varying degrees of specific interests and wants that are not necessarily reflective of larger groups. 

 

It goes without saying that the available Atari IP is well-worn at this point. It's been readily available on mass market products for more than 15 years now (officially, obviously unofficially for much longer). I'd say because of that relative ubiquity, it's much harder to get excited again about much of any of it. For most of us around here, if we want a real Atari hit, we'll likely go back to the original hardware and/or games. We don't really need new Atari-specific hardware for any of that. For everyone else, having something like Atari Vault as the pack-in for the VCS might have been exciting if there weren't already tons of ways of getting it on other platforms for a number of years already. That's kind of why on a personal level I would have liked to have seen a different approach with the VCS from Atari. I don't need another generic Windows box to play games that I can play better countless ways, and I don't need the VCS to play the same Atari content I already have on countless other devices that I'm already actively using. Just like with my prior Amico, Playdate, Evercade, Analogue, Polymega, etc.-related comments, I would have definitely supported something like the VCS if I could find any sliver of justification for it.

Regardless of how long things have been out in the wild, people still sell their classic libraries.  How is what Atari is doing now any different than say Sega or Nintendo do with their old games?  People still buy them up.  The Mini systems still sell a ton.

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17 minutes ago, zzip said:

It doesn't mean much to me personally,  but I think it shows how pointless the "Not the real Atari" debate is.   If the founder can come to terms with the new ownership being legit, then why can't the rest of us?

I don't think anyone has ever disputed that they're the legitimate owners of the Atari IP, so can you please stop bringing up that straw man?

 

Rather, it's the gaps in continuity of ownership and staff that people have a problem with. Nobody really thinks Atari pre/post Warner takeover is a different company because they didn't sack most of the staff. Tramiel did though, so his Atari is a bit more debatable although many people and products survived the transition. Hasbro just bought the IP with no staff moving, so that was a total break. Infogrames bought Hasbro Interactive but kept most of their employees, so nobody really cares about that one. Fred sold off or closed down all of the development studios in the bankruptcy, hence we're now into the 'Not even Infogrames' era.

 

That's why people don't think of it as the real Atari, and someone who used to work at the company forty years ago turning up to endorse a product doesn't change that.

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6 minutes ago, zzip said:

Everyone says this, but never seem to explain what they should do differently

 

Keeping in mind that almost any other approach would lead to a proprietary system that they would need to support with content, and as you say yourself they don't have the IPs to really do so.  (or the development resources to produce compelling content by themselves)

Well, let's just compare some of the other solutions. The Amico runs on an Android-type system with a proprietary layer and unique controllers centered around family-friendly multiplayer gaming. Could Atari have stirred up interest with a cohesive proposal of similar scope? Maybe. 

 

The Evercade is both a handheld and a console running the same cartridges (as licensing allows). It has Atari games and other relatively inexpensive licenses. Could Atari have come up with a similar approach to a product? Maybe.

 

Could Atari have commissioned the creation of an Analogue-like FPGA-based system that had say, an Atari 7800 with POKEY and then sell compilation cartridges to run on it? Maybe.

 

The point is, Atari went with the most basic, simplest approach, a generic PC box with limited capabilities with a fancy case and an interesting, but arguably flawed classic controller. All of the other systems/approaches I mentioned (some in this post, some in others) have in some way tried to differentiate themselves in the market, which is step one when coming up with a product idea, i.e., is this something people would want and/or can I make an existing something better? What was the differentiator with the VCS?

 

All of the companies I mentioned are arguably of similar financial status or lower. Surely Atari could have scared up additional investment (like some of these companies) or partners had they had a compelling vision. I won't go into details, but I will say that they had a heck of time doing that when initially pitching the Atari Box to potential partners for exactly that reason. How do you market what's ultimately an underpowered box given what's already out there on the market? The answer is you can't and Atari certainly hasn't.

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7 minutes ago, Bill Loguidice said:

Well, let's just compare some of the other solutions. The Amico runs on an Android-type system with a proprietary layer and unique controllers centered around family-friendly multiplayer gaming. Could Atari have stirred up interest with a cohesive proposal of similar scope? Maybe. 

 

The Evercade is both a handheld and a console running the same cartridges (as licensing allows). It has Atari games and other relatively inexpensive licenses. Could Atari have come up with a similar approach to a product? Maybe.

 

Could Atari have commissioned the creation of an Analogue-like FPGA-based system that had say, an Atari 7800 with POKEY and then sell compilation cartridges to run on it? Maybe.

 

The point is, Atari went with the most basic, simplest approach, a generic PC box with limited capabilities with a fancy case and an interesting, but arguably flawed classic controller. All of the other systems/approaches I mentioned (some in this post, some in others) have in some way tried to differentiate themselves in the market, which is step one when coming up with a product idea, i.e., is this something people would want and/or can I make an existing something better? What was the differentiator with the VCS?

 

All of the companies I mentioned are arguably of similar financial status or lower. Surely Atari could have scared up additional investment (like some of these companies) or partners had they had a compelling vision. I won't go into details, but I will say that they had a heck of time doing that when initially pitching the Atari Box to potential partners for exactly that reason. How do you market what's ultimately an underpowered box given what's already out there on the market? The answer is you can't and Atari certainly hasn't.

You need the product on hand…in substantial numbers…to benefit from marketing it fully. 
 

‘member how a certain someone has for years said the “big” marketing push is right around the corner…when his kiddie/hyper(scan) casual gaming system is about to be launched…no point in doing so without having the product available. 

 

Seems to me, ATARI will begin their push for serious sales of their VCS-800 in 2022…the 50th Anniversary year of ATARI’s founding. And when they have the numbers of systems on hand to warrant a serious sales push. 

 

There’s also the point of putting out a quality product that can be used in many ways vs. a low quality/barely above a plug & play console that will most likely just collect dust. This because of its very limited games selection at launch, its non-ability(weakness) to be used for any other purpose and its gimmick controllers that seem will be only perfect for low scores/frustration. 

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33 minutes ago, El Livo Cat said:

Seems to me, ATARI will begin their push for serious sales of their VCS-800 in 2022…the 50th Anniversary year of ATARI’s founding. And when they have the numbers of systems on hand to warrant a serious sales push. 

That is one hot take if I ever saw one. This is more of a rhetorical question than an actual question, so you don't have to answer, but do you really see a system that when first announced on crowdfunding in June of 2018 was already non-competitive from a technical standpoint (and many other standpoints) to suddenly become interesting in 2022 considering what's already on the market just because of an anniversary tie-in? 

 

On a non-rhetorical basis, I'd like to know what you think is stopping all of those people from buying a system now that will somehow be different next year?

 

 

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9 minutes ago, Bill Loguidice said:

That is one hot take if I ever saw one. This is more of a rhetorical question than an actual question, so you don't have to answer, but do you really see a system that when first announced on crowdfunding in June of 2018 was already non-competitive from a technical standpoint (and many other standpoints) to suddenly become interesting in 2022 considering what's already on the market just because of an anniversary tie-in? 

 

On a non-rhetorical basis, I'd like to know what you think is stopping all of those people from buying a system now that will somehow be different next year?

 

 

Actual marketing…there really hasn’t been any. 
 

Plus millions & millions(so many more than that other guy’s system could even dream about…oh wait…the Hyper-casuals…haha…my bad) of Gen-Xers who don’t even know it exists…yet.

 

 

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