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The Atari VCS Controversies Thread

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24 minutes ago, El Livo Cat said:

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.

 

 

Assuming you're not trolling - which I'm not convinced you aren't - I'll just say that I think you're so far off base on this that it's not even worth discussing further. It's already reached its maximum potential of <15,000 units sold. If you think this can even move six figures worth of units at anywhere near its current pricing, let alone seven figures, you really don't have a good understanding of the reality of things. To appeal to a mass market, especially doing those types of numbers, you have to have something they really, really want. I think even the VCS's most ardent (yet rational) fans understand it has limited outside appeal.

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9 minutes ago, Bill Loguidice said:

Assuming you're not trolling - which I'm not convinced you aren't - I'll just say that I think you're so far off base on this that it's not even worth discussing further. It's already reached its maximum potential of <15,000 units sold. If you think this can even move six figures worth of units at anywhere near its current pricing, let alone seven figures, you really don't have a good understanding of the reality of things. To appeal to a mass market, especially doing those types of numbers, you have to have something they really, really want. I think even the VCS's most ardent (yet rational) fans understand it has limited outside appeal.

While some advertising would probably result in more sales than no advertising, tbe VCS has never had a real value proposition. There is simply nothing you can do on the VCS that you can’t do elsewhere for cheaper. 

 

Even using it as a general purpose PC requires time and expense to add another hard disk and memory. 

 

It is just not a mass market product. No amount of advertising will change that. 

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13 minutes ago, Bill Loguidice said:

Assuming you're not trolling - which I'm not convinced you aren't - I'll just say that I think you're so far off base on this that it's not even worth discussing further. It's already reached its maximum potential of <15,000 units sold. If you think this can even move six figures worth of units at anywhere near its current pricing, let alone seven figures, you really don't have a good understanding of the reality of things. To appeal to a mass market, especially doing those types of numbers, you have to have something they really, really want. I think even the VCS's most ardent (yet rational) fans understand it has limited outside appeal.

How many of those Flashbacks have sold…all 10 of them? And by chance is there an 11th in the works?

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7 minutes ago, El Livo Cat said:

How many of those Flashbacks have sold…all 10 of them? And by chance is there an 11th in the works?

You do realize these are like 1/4 the price of a VCS? The Flashback 9 even had content the VCS does not (Activision games). 

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2 minutes ago, El Livo Cat said:

How many of those Flashbacks have sold…all 10 of them? And by chance is there an 11th in the works?

I'm sorry, I don't mean to be harsh, but that statement is another illustration of your profound lack of understanding of how things work. You're comparing an ~$25 - $60 impulse purchase of a plug and play device that you can find in places like dollar stores to a $400 sortof console/limited set top box/semi-computer thingy competing against some super popular options from massive companies. And I won't go into how many units the Flashbacks have sold other than to say that the plug and play market is not what it was back in the mid-2000s. And it's been downhill since the short-lived heights of the NES/SNES Classics releases. It's a saturated market and there's no longer the same interest there once was, especially from retailers.

 

I understand it's easy to get false impressions of market sizes, but you're way off base here by huge multiples.

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Just now, 6502wrangler said:

You do realize these are like 1/4 the price of a VCS? The Flashback 9 even had content the VCS does not (Activision games). 

You do realize…that there are ranges in purchases…low to medium to high and that sales through those ranges can all be substantial for each?

 

It doesn’t need to be “1” to “1”…to be a very substantial number and very good for business. Plus obviously…the price can be adjusted as more units are on hand.

 

People seem to forget…ATARI isn’t just “1” console(like some other guy’s nostalgia)…ATARI is arcade + console + computer + handheld…ATARI touched many lives for many years. 

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Here's my way of putting it:

 

You couldn't even have a decent night out for the price of a Flashback.

 

You can have a PS5 Digital Edition or a budget laptop for the price of a VCS.

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5 minutes ago, Bill Loguidice said:

I'm sorry, I don't mean to be harsh, but that statement is another illustration of your profound lack of understanding of how things work. You're comparing an ~$25 - $60 impulse purchase of a plug and play device that you can find in places like dollar stores to a $400 sortof console/limited set top box/semi-computer thingy competing against some super popular options from massive companies. And I won't go into how many units the Flashbacks have sold other than to say that the plug and play market is not what it was back in the mid-2000s. And it's been downhill since the short-lived heights of the NES/SNES Classics releases. It's a saturated market and there's no longer the same interest there once was, especially from retailers.

 

I understand it's easy to get false impressions of market sizes, but you're way off base here by huge multiples.

 

7 minutes ago, Bill Loguidice said:

I'm sorry, I don't mean to be harsh, but that statement is another illustration of your profound lack of understanding of how things work. You're comparing an ~$25 - $60 impulse purchase of a plug and play device that you can find in places like dollar stores to a $400 sortof console/limited set top box/semi-computer thingy competing against some super popular options from massive companies. And I won't go into how many units the Flashbacks have sold other than to say that the plug and play market is not what it was back in the mid-2000s. And it's been downhill since the short-lived heights of the NES/SNES Classics releases. It's a saturated market and there's no longer the same interest there once was, especially from retailers.

 

I understand it's easy to get false impressions of market sizes, but you're way off base here by huge multiples.

I just looked it up…says 500,000 for the first one $45/unit…and I assume less which each new version(some more expensive, some less). But we’re talking a sizable number for the 10 editions…meaning a good number to try to get a % of in my opinion. 
 

You’re the all knowing insider…why argue with an outsider?

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5 minutes ago, El Livo Cat said:

You do realize…that there are ranges in purchases…low to medium to high and that sales through those ranges can all be substantial for each?

 

It doesn’t need to be “1” to “1”…to be a very substantial number and very good for business. Plus obviously…the price can be adjusted as more units are on hand.

 

People seem to forget…ATARI isn’t just “1” console(like some other guy’s nostalgia)…ATARI is arcade + console + computer + handheld…ATARI touched many lives for many years. 

Yes, but it doesn't mean they're ready to spend $400 on a system without a clear use for them. If you want to play the latest games, you're not going to be able to do it on the VCS, so an Xbox Series S/X or PS5 or Switch are all going to be far better options for the vast majority of people with far fewer compromises or hassle.

 

And just because Atari has been an ongoing concern for nearly 50 years, doesn't mean the brand is a powerhouse or is attractive to masses of people. It hasn't been a powerhouse since the 80s. If people want to scratch their nostalgia itch, they can get a t-shirt or play Atari games on every available platform. They don't need a $400 mystery box with a nostalgic logo on it to do it. There simply aren't millions of people out there clamoring for a generic Atari-labeled box.

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15 minutes ago, Bill Loguidice said:

I'm sorry, I don't mean to be harsh, but that statement is another illustration of your profound lack of understanding of how things work. You're comparing an ~$25 - $60 impulse purchase of a plug and play device that you can find in places like dollar stores to a $400 sortof console/limited set top box/semi-computer thingy competing against some super popular options from massive companies. And I won't go into how many units the Flashbacks have sold other than to say that the plug and play market is not what it was back in the mid-2000s. And it's been downhill since the short-lived heights of the NES/SNES Classics releases. It's a saturated market and there's no longer the same interest there once was, especially from retailers.

 

I understand it's easy to get false impressions of market sizes, but you're way off base here by huge multiples.

Heh, to be fair; the VCS doesn't currently have competition, because you can't actually find new Xbox and Playstation consoles... It's basically competing with the Switch at this point.  If Atari could get someone to code Adventures of Bentley Bear, and make it like Breath of the Wild, maybe they'd have a hit.  Also, that would be some goofy fun.

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11 minutes ago, El Livo Cat said:

You do realize…that there are ranges in purchases…low to medium to high and that sales through those ranges can all be substantial for each?

 

It doesn’t need to be “1” to “1”…to be a very substantial number and very good for business. Plus obviously…the price can be adjusted as more units are on hand.

 

People seem to forget…ATARI isn’t just “1” console(like some other guy’s nostalgia)…ATARI is arcade + console + computer + handheld…ATARI touched many lives for many years. 

Dude. You’re the one that brought up the flashbacks in a conversation about potential VCS sales. 

 

So are we in agreement that the Flashbacks target completely different markets and the Flashback is mostly irrelevant to the VCS (with the caveat that you can get most VCS pack-in content for less in a Flashback form factor?)

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3 minutes ago, El Livo Cat said:

 

I just looked it up…says 500,000 for the first one $45/unit…and I assume less which each new version(some more expensive, some less). But we’re talking a sizable number for the 10 editions…meaning a good number to try to get a % of in my opinion. 
 

You’re the all knowing insider…why argue with an outsider?

I'm telling you flat out that you're trying to create an equivalency where one doesn't remotely exist. Your overinflated theoretical market size isn't there for all the reasons enumerated in this thread. With each price point, with each missing feature, with each competing product having something enticing, with each lack of a simple raison d être, and so on and so on, your actual potential market size shrinks dramatically. Unless one or more of those factors have a sudden dramatic and unexpected shift, there's no reason to expect some type of hitherto untapped market is going to appear. We already know what the system and platform is and what type of appeal that has.

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3 minutes ago, Bill Loguidice said:

I'm telling you flat out that you're trying to create an equivalency where one doesn't remotely exist. Your overinflated theoretical market size isn't there for all the reasons enumerated in this thread. With each price point, with each missing feature, with each competing product having something enticing, with each lack of a simple raison d être, and so on and so on, your actual potential market size shrinks dramatically. Unless one or more of those factors have a sudden dramatic and unexpected shift, there's no reason to expect some type of hitherto untapped market is going to appear. We already know what the system and platform is and what type of appeal that has.

There’s a reason that this website exists…there’s a reason for 10 Flashbacks vs. 1 Flashback(for that other guy’s nostalgia proposition)…there’s a reason for this emoji 🕹 and not that other’s guy’s nostalgia controller…there’s a reason for 4 Flashback handhelds vs. zero(for that other guy’s IP & Trademarks)…just an observation…that’s all. 

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1 minute ago, El Livo Cat said:

There’s a reason that this website exists…there’s a reason for 10 Flashbacks vs. 1 Flashback(for that other guy’s nostalgia proposition)…there’s a reason for this emoji 🕹 and not that other’s guy’s nostalgia controller…there’s a reason for 4 Flashback handhelds vs. zero(for that other guy’s IP & Trademarks)…just an observation…that’s all. 

You win. The VCS is gonna be a smash! 

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Just now, 6502wrangler said:

You win. The VCS is gonna be a smash! 

It will be bigger than that other guy’s nostalgia play…sorry if that disappoints anyone. 

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4 minutes ago, El Livo Cat said:

It will be bigger than that other guy’s nostalgia play…sorry if that disappoints anyone. 

So when Box A sells terribly, but Box B shows up and sells even worse, that somehow makes Box A a success?? ...This is George Costanza levels of business acumen. 

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3 minutes ago, pesh42 said:

So when Box A sells terribly, but Box B shows up and sells even worse, that somehow makes Box A a success?? ...This is George Costanza levels of business acumen. 

I’m not making any money off of ATARI’s new VCS-800…are you?

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1 minute ago, El Livo Cat said:

I’m not making any money off of ATARI’s new VCS-800…are you?

Non-sequitor?

 

BTW, if you’re referring to the Amico before did you know it has more presales than the VCS total sales?

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Just now, 6502wrangler said:

Non-sequitor?

 

BTW, if you’re referring to the Amico before did you know it has more presales than the VCS total sales?

Yeah…sources would be nice? Oh…and exact numbers of both too. 

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4 minutes ago, 6502wrangler said:

BTW, if you’re referring to the Amico before did you know it has more presales than the VCS total sales?

Pfft... if it's so cool, where is its emoji? #checkmate

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1 hour ago, El Livo Cat said:

Yeah…sources would be nice? Oh…and exact numbers of both too. 

The Amico was supposedly around 15,000 pre-orders by the middle of 2020. I haven't seen updated numbers since, but then I haven't been looking for them. That was no doubt due to some of the early coverage and momentum, including retail partners and other announcements and promotions. I wouldn't be surprised if they're around 20,000 or so by now. I suspect whatever they've pre-sold is about it for now based on the lost momentum and sales won't pick up again until post release.

 

EDIT: Based on 6502wrangler's link, I was way off in my estimates. Assuming they really did pre-sell 100,000+ units, which is quite possible, that's quite telling.

 

Based on the crowdfunding numbers, the VCS 800 probably pre-sold just under 10,000 units. Based on the ready availability to this day of units at BestBuy.com and GameStop.com, as well as having a small handful of units available in select physical retail stores and other factors like lack of discussions around it (outside of a site like this), maybe a few thousand more units (being kind) may have sold once it went live several months back.

 

Supposedly, the target for Amico to be sustainable is just over 100,000 units out in the wild, but they're targeting much more, obviously. They would likely need to have a solid launch and good word of mouth to pass six figures considering all that's happened since.

 

EDIT: See above.

 

There's no word on what the break even for the VCS is. They may have already reached it considering the relative minimal investments they had to make. Again, there's no scenario that I can imagine that they suddenly get an uptick in sales. I think they've pretty much hit their maximum audience (at least before any potential liquidation, sort of the pre- and post-liquidation Jaguar sales). My prediction is support will be dropped some time in 2022 unless platform maintenance levels can be maintained without losing money (which is possible). I don't have enough info obviously to make any guesses in that regard. Either way, I don't see an updated version being released (but would be happy to be wrong with that as well).

 

Again, without speculating on the immense number of Atari superfans who somehow have yet to hear about the VCS, can you tell us why you think the system and platform is suddenly going to an unprecedented uptick in sales? In other words, what will the exact catalyst be?

Edited by Bill Loguidice
Edited because of link to pre-sales from earlier
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59 minutes ago, toiletunes said:

2022 is very soon (weeks not months) can't wait to see the 50th anniversary marketing blitz

ditto…that other guy’s marketing campaign…oh wait…AARP magazine adverts…yeah…that magazine is in all the households with young kids. 
 

My bad. 

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1 hour ago, toiletunes said:

2022 is very soon (weeks not months) can't wait to see the 50th anniversary marketing blitz

"What's your Pong high score?"

 

Re: Nolan's "endorsement" - we went over this in one of the locked threads. Each clip had him saying a throwaway line or two and were under 30 seconds. The first time he saw their piece of plastic in 2017 or 18, he just said it looks cool. In the one pictured on the other page, he just played Tempest and talked about how cool that was (even though he'd been fired from Atari a few years before Tempest was even created). He never actually gave it a ringing, detailed endorsement saying "I would buy one for these reasons," which he has done to various other pieces of tech including the Switch.

 

So should we call the Switch the real Atari because Nolan endorsed that? lol

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