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The Atari VCS Controversies Thread

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1 minute ago, Nall3k said:

I agree and understand Atari has to release games on every platform for increased revenue. My thought is they are in too deep with the VCS at this point to abandon it, especially on their 50th anniversary. If they do decide to drop it, I'd wager 2023, to avoid bad publicity. But, if the VCS is somewhat profitable, it could just be a niche micro console for a few years.

Hmm, click on q thing that says 'build for Linux too' and then plopping it onto the VCS and Steam takes very minimal effort.  So why wouldn't they sell it for multiple platforms?

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@Bill Loguidice one of the things Atari under Rosen needs to focus on is simply getting quality game content out there. Too much time has been wasted since exiting bankruptcy in 2013 on wasteful endeavors like casinos, tv production, and NFTs. The whole shift to mobile 10 years ago was so stupid. The recharge games are fun, but they also need to get new IP out there as well.

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2 minutes ago, Nall3k said:

I agree and understand Atari has to release games on every platform for increased revenue. My thought is they are in too deep with the VCS at this point to abandon it, especially on their 50th anniversary. If they do decide to drop it, I'd wager 2023, to avoid bad publicity. But, if the VCS is somewhat profitable, it could just be a niche micro console for a few years.

That is a great point. I also don't think there'd be any official announcement, though, so it would be more just quietly stopping production (if it's still even being produced) and then backing off on active support. 

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1 minute ago, leech said:

Hmm, click on q thing that says 'build for Linux too' and then plopping it onto the VCS and Steam takes very minimal effort.  So why wouldn't they sell it for multiple platforms?

I'm not against them selling on as many platforms as possible. The VCS never struck me as something to compete with modern systems, but as a micro console.

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Just now, Nall3k said:

@Bill Loguidice one of the things Atari under Rosen needs to focus on is simply getting quality game content out there. Too much time has been wasted since exiting bankruptcy in 2013 on wasteful endeavors like casinos, tv production, and NFTs. The whole shift to mobile 10 years ago was so stupid. The recharge games are fun, but they also need to get new IP out there as well.

Absolutely, and things do seem to better thought out under the new leadership. I'm not sure if the VCS is salvageable in its current form, but it would be nice to see a reversal of fortune in that area too.

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33 minutes ago, zzip said:

With the logistical nightmare and the higher levels of inflation I think you need to toss out the old notions of reasonable price targets.   They don't hold anymore.   Given how much costs have increased in the PC space,  the VCS cost no longer seems as unreasonable as it did in say 2019.

 

How do you figure? There are micro PCs for less money, as well as non-PC computing platforms like Pi's, and you can get versions of the current major consoles (when available) for the same price or less.

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13 minutes ago, Bill Loguidice said:

RE: "perfect Christmas present"... I just don't see how it's better than a new console from Microsoft, Sony, or Nintendo. They offer the same types of games, many more of them, and at a better and/or more consistent quality. It's also less effort to run emulation on the Xbox Series S/X if that's the angle.

Suppose you already got one of those consoles last year?   Or can't find one at all?

 

15 minutes ago, Bill Loguidice said:

RE: "arriving at the 15,000 figure," I just don't see how it sells more at its current price point and what else is on the market. Why would someone want the VCS over one of the major consoles that do a better job at playing all kinds of games? If you're a dedicated PC gamer, you'll get a better experience on a gaming PC.

How many of us have one console that meets all of our needs?    For instance we have a PS5 and a Switch.   The VCS does else everything those two don't.   gaming PCs don't fit well in the living room and the VCS has the perfect form factor for that.   Again I'm not arguing that there are millions of potential sales,  but with the hundreds of millions of people living in countries whe

 

re a VCS might be sold in, I find it hard to believe there are only 15,000 people who might find a use for it.

 

23 minutes ago, Bill Loguidice said:

"selling more because no other consoles are available," Maybe, but I don't see it because it's not an actual alternative to those other systems. It has very specific use cases that certainly appeal to some people, but is completely wrong for so many others. Availability won't change that. There's no evidence that the units are moving now and I really don't think that's going to change even with the lack of being able to purchase other consoles.

If you are the parent of young kids who don't yet know the difference between Nintendo, Microsoft or Atari or a grandparent buying it for their grandchild because they wanted a videogame.   Kind of similar to how many of us got a Channel F/Astrocade/Odyssey 2 instead of a 2600 or Intellivision BITD (and if we didn't, we knew someone who did)  Again it's not huge sales, but might be enough to clear present stock off retailers shelves..   (depending on how many are sitting unsold at retail, I have no idea)

 

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10 minutes ago, zzip said:

Suppose you already got one of those consoles last year?   Or can't find one at all?

 

How many of us have one console that meets all of our needs?    For instance we have a PS5 and a Switch.   The VCS does else everything those two don't.   gaming PCs don't fit well in the living room and the VCS has the perfect form factor for that.   Again I'm not arguing that there are millions of potential sales,  but with the hundreds of millions of people living in countries whe

 

re a VCS might be sold in, I find it hard to believe there are only 15,000 people who might find a use for it.

 

If you are the parent of young kids who don't yet know the difference between Nintendo, Microsoft or Atari or a grandparent buying it for their grandchild because they wanted a videogame.   Kind of similar to how many of us got a Channel F/Astrocade/Odyssey 2 instead of a 2600 or Intellivision BITD (and if we didn't, we knew someone who did)  Again it's not huge sales, but might be enough to clear present stock off retailers shelves..   (depending on how many are sitting unsold at retail, I have no idea)

 

RE: "consoles last year" Yes, I have the Series X and PS5. I don't count though as a typical consumer, of course. I try to get (almost) everything.

 

RE: VCS sales. It depends. I don't know what use the typical person, who already has set top boxes, consoles, mobile devices, and probably some PCs would have for a VCS. I don't think it appeals to most enthusiasts either because it's relatively pricey for what you get and there are arguably better devices that do the same things.

 

 

 

Quote

If you are the parent of young kids who don't yet know the difference between Nintendo, Microsoft or Atari or a grandparent buying it for their grandchild because they wanted a videogame.  Kind of similar to how many of us got a Channel F/Astrocade/Odyssey 2 instead of a 2600 or Intellivision BITD (and if we didn't, we knew someone who did)  Again it's not huge sales, but might be enough to clear present stock off retailers shelves..  (depending on how many are sitting unsold at retail, I have no idea)

 

I supposed that's possible, but I just don't see it. I don't think shopping works like that much anymore and there certainly aren't enough of the things in obvious spots in stores to "accidental" purchases.

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14 minutes ago, Bill Loguidice said:

How do you figure? There are micro PCs for less money, as well as non-PC computing platforms like Pi's, and you can get versions of the current major consoles (when available) for the same price or less.

The fact that it is so hard to get the current console suggests that they are under-priced.   You certainly can't build a PC with anything close to their specs for close to the same price.

 

And PC prices have risen dramatically.   I spend about $850 in upgrades for my PC in 2018 and 2019 and those exact same upgrades would cost me $1350 today.

 

Keeping in mind that the base VCS costs $299,   I don't see a whole lot of Micro PCs for less anymore.   You can get some for around the same price and up

 

Pi's are weak compared to the VCS.   It depends on your intended application of course,  but the VCS makes a much better emulation device, not only because it can emulate higher power systems, but being based on x86 will allow it to run closed-source emulators that haven't been ported to Pi/ARM

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21 minutes ago, Bill Loguidice said:

RE: "consoles last year" Yes, I have the Series X and PS5. I don't count though as a typical consumer, of course. I try to get (almost) everything.

 

RE: VCS sales. It depends. I don't know what use the typical person, who already has set top boxes, consoles, mobile devices, and probably some PCs would have for a VCS. I don't think it appeals to most enthusiasts either because it's relatively pricey for what you get and there are arguably better devices that do the same things.

Everyone has different needs/desires  You see a reason to own a PS5 and Xbox Series X and I don't.   My PC can now play the few Xbox exclusives I care about.   So you may say your Xbox works as an emulator device for you and fair enough.   My big name consoles don't allow that,  so the VCS fills that for me perfectly.  

 

There's people like us that like to buy new gadgets that we arguably don't need.   So just because someone doesn't "need" a VCS doesn't mean they won't buy one because they are bored and looking for something new to tinker with.   The argument that because Retrons, Evercades, FPGA systems, low-end PCs, high-end PCs,  Amicos,  Nintendos, Playstations, Xboxes, Apple TVs, Rokus, etc etc exist then there is no room for the VCS is silly since the VCS can be used in place of several of those devices.  Personal preferences.   Brands matter,  The "Atari" name speaks to some people in a way "cheap generic low end HTPC" doesn't

47 minutes ago, Bill Loguidice said:

 

I supposed that's possible, but I just don't see it. I don't think shopping works like that much anymore and there certainly aren't enough of the things in obvious spots in stores to "accidental" purchases.

Who knows?  I've seen warnings that Christmas is not going to be very merry this year due to supply problems,  if that happens I think people will buy whatever they can get.

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I know Mattel fans & the super cool don’t want to hear this…but…I think the tsunami of tie-ins + licensing deals is going to be off the charts for ATARI’s 50th Anniversary year. 
 

That other guy’s project is going to be swamped by it…sorry…what can I say or do? Again…he needed to get his system out before 2022…or now maybe he should just wait until 2023.

 

Why…??? Because I see tie-ins from McDonald’s to Frito-Lay to Coca-Cola to basically everything wanting to have some fun nostalgia in 2022 which will also help with their own bottom line. This type of thing would not work with that guy’s project…never…not enough impact on not enough people. This is going to be worldwide as well…because ATARI has had a worldwide presence that touched all 4 corners of the globe.

 

Hope for yourselves & that guy’s project that it is much smaller than I am thinking it will be. Or…hope his project can get a bit of oxygen & traction while the storm rolls through in 2022 and that it can make it into 2023 still breathing and not on terminal watch/life support.

 

I’m jokingly being serious. 
 

 

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8 minutes ago, El Livo Cat said:

I know Mattel fans & the super cool don’t want to hear this…but…I think the tsunami of tie-ins + licensing deals is going to be off the charts for ATARI’s 50th Anniversary year. 
 

That other guy’s project is going to be swamped by it…sorry…what can I say or do? Again…he needed to get his system out before 2022…or now maybe he should just wait until 2023.

 

Why…??? Because I see tie-ins from McDonald’s to Frito-Lay to Coca-Cola to basically everything wanting to have some fun nostalgia in 2022 which will also help with their own bottom line. This type of thing would not work with that guy’s project…never…not enough impact on not enough people. This is going to be worldwide as well…because ATARI has had a worldwide presence that touched all 4 corners of the globe.

 

Hope for yourselves & that guy’s project that it is much smaller than I am thinking it will be. Or…hope his project can get a bit of oxygen & traction while the storm rolls through in 2022 and that it can make it into 2023 still breathing and not on terminal watch/life support.

 

I’m jokingly being serious. 
 

 

Put down the crack pipe and let’s see in a year. 

 

Either the VCS will take the world by storm, with a strong media presence, corporate partners, and blockbuster sales. Or it won’t. 

 

Only time will tell. 

Edited by 6502wrangler
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4 minutes ago, 6502wrangler said:

Put down the crack pipe and let’s see in a year. 

 

Either the VCS will take the world by storm, with a strong media presence, corporate partners, and blockbuster sales. Or it won’t. 

 

Only time will tell. 

What I’m saying is a monsoon of ATARI “everything” that drowns out that guy’s project aspirations. Not specifically tied into ATARI VCS-800 sales…just him not being able to effectively get the word out about his nostalgia play while navigating in ATARI’s wake.

 

Sorry. 

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5 minutes ago, El Livo Cat said:

What I’m saying is a monsoon of ATARI “everything” that drowns out that guy’s project aspirations. Not specifically tied into ATARI VCS-800 sales…just him not being able to effectively get the word out about his nostalgia play while navigating in ATARI’s wake.

 

Sorry. 

Yep. Let’s see. In a year maybe we will all be staying in Atari Hotels, playing Atari video games, wearing Atari speaker hats, and getting rich off AtariCoin. 

 

Or maybe it won’t happen. 

 

We will see. 

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12 minutes ago, 6502wrangler said:

Yep. Let’s see. In a year maybe we will all be staying in Atari Hotels, playing Atari video games, wearing Atari speaker hats, and getting rich off AtariCoin. 

 

Or maybe it won’t happen. 

 

We will see. 

Personally I am looking forward to Atari branded Replicants.

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14 minutes ago, El Livo Cat said:

What I’m saying is a monsoon of ATARI “everything” that drowns out that guy’s project aspirations. Not specifically tied into ATARI VCS-800 sales…just him not being able to effectively get the word out about his nostalgia play while navigating in ATARI’s wake.

 

Sorry. 

I blame myself for still engaging with your statements, but I can't help but state it's not a zero-sum game. In other words, the success or lack thereof of the VCS has very little to do with the continued success or lack thereof of the Amico, and vice-versa. There's very little overlap with what each offers and if suddenly and inexplicably the VCS actually started to sell in any real numbers, it would have little-to-no impact one way or the other on the sales potential of the Amico. Your obsessing with the Amico is really strange. No one cares about some imagined console war, let alone a console war from 40 years ago springing back to life no matter how much you want it. Neither company is remotely the same, neither company is remotely a major player, and neither company has a product that in any appreciable way intrudes on the other. Again, literal Atari games are on the Amico. That tells you all you need to know. There's no there, there.

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56 minutes ago, zzip said:

Everyone has different needs/desires  You see a reason to own a PS5 and Xbox Series X and I don't.   My PC can now play the few Xbox exclusives I care about.   So you may say your Xbox works as an emulator device for you and fair enough.   My big name consoles don't allow that,  so the VCS fills that for me perfectly.  

 

There's people like us that like to buy new gadgets that we arguably don't need.   So just because someone doesn't "need" a VCS doesn't mean they won't buy one because they are bored and looking for something new to tinker with.   The argument that because Retrons, Evercades, FPGA systems, low-end PCs, high-end PCs,  Amicos,  Nintendos, Playstations, Xboxes, Apple TVs, Rokus, etc etc exist then there is no room for the VCS is silly since the VCS can be used in place of several of those devices.  Personal preferences.   Brands matter,  The "Atari" name speaks to some people in a way "cheap generic low end HTPC" doesn't

Who knows?  I've seen warnings that Christmas is not going to be very merry this year due to supply problems,  if that happens I think people will buy whatever they can get.

I can argue all day that an Xbox Series S is as good as or far better at doing the VCS things than the VCS, but you're right, it's really irrelevant. People will want what they want, and of course that's OK. My issue is as much with the VCS's price point as it is about its relative power and value. A tinker box is a tough sell at the VCS's price point, which is certainly part of the reason the reception has been tepid at best (going back to the premise that it needed some type of hook that never materialized). I just don't believe there's enough of a market for as generic as the offering is at the price point it is. Whether it's now a better value based on current market conditions doesn't mean much in my opinion, as it's still past the point where you don't have to give a lot of thought to why you want the thing. That's my main point. I think the sales figures and the ready availability bear that out. I just don't know what would shift the momentum in the positive. I really don't. It would have already captured more imaginations than it has if that glimmer of hope was there. 

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7 minutes ago, Bill Loguidice said:

I blame myself for still engaging with your statements, but I can't help but state it's not a zero-sum game. In other words, the success or lack thereof of the VCS has very little to do with the continued success or lack thereof of the Amico, and vice-versa. There's very little overlap with what each offers and if suddenly and inexplicably the VCS actually started to sell in any real numbers, it would have little-to-no impact one way or the other on the sales potential of the Amico. Your obsessing with the Amico is really strange. No one cares about some imagined console war, let alone a console war from 40 years ago springing back to life no matter how much you want it. Neither company is remotely the same, neither company is remotely a major player, and neither company has a product that in any appreciable way intrudes on the other. Again, literal Atari games are on the Amico. That tells you all you need to know. There's no there, there.

This is true.   The systems have taken very different approaches and I doubt there's many people who are undecided between buying one or the other

 

I do wonder how much the old console war mentality has contributed to the ridiculous amount of drama both systems have received though

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7 minutes ago, zzip said:

I do wonder how much the old console war mentality has contributed to the ridiculous amount of drama both systems have received though

^This...

 

If the VCS were by anyone else, it would have come and gone without much discussion. If the Amico didn't have the Intellivision legacy and a bombastic front person, it wouldn't have gained the traction it did. That's absolutely why so much typing and video content has been spent on these systems. It's super rare to get people to care about niche products without some type of hook unless they're unusually lucky (I'm looking at you, Playdate (even if that crank counts as a hook)).

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17 minutes ago, Bill Loguidice said:

as it's still past the point where you don't have to give a lot of thought to why you want the thing.

I suppose a lot of consumers need clear use cases spelled out for them,  and Atari has always been rather vague about why the thing exists.   They could do better with the messaging and probably sell more.    For someone like me,  as soon as I knew it was going to be an open device  that you didn't have to jailbreak,  then I had all sorts of uses in mind..  provided they managed to ship the thing

 

30 minutes ago, Bill Loguidice said:

That's my main point. I think the sales figures and the ready availability bear that out. I just don't know what would shift the momentum in the positive. I really don't. It would have already captured more imaginations than it has if that glimmer of hope was there. 

I guess the real question here is how many did Atari project to sell?   Maybe they are satisfied with 15K or so sales?   I find it hard to believe.   They did push the crowdfunding campaign hard,  but they haven't really pushed it hard since it shipped to retailers.   I think there's likely a fair number people who were interested at the time, but found crowdfunding it too risky and have since forgotten about it.   So I don't know if they plan a 50th anniversary push, or a Black Friday push or are content to just content let things sit as they are.

 

But for fans of the system, sales really aren't that important unlike traditional closed consoles that live and die by their sales numbers.   Atari could abandon it tomorrow and it would still have mainstream OS, and thousands of games and apps available with more released every week.   Low sales numbers would also make it rare and collectable (assuming there isn't a huge stock of these things sitting unsold in a warehouse somewhere)

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5 minutes ago, zzip said:

I guess the real question here is how many did Atari project to sell?   Maybe they are satisfied with 15K or so sales?   I find it hard to believe.   They did push the crowdfunding campaign hard,  but they haven't really pushed it hard since it shipped to retailers.   I think there's likely a fair number people who were interested at the time, but found crowdfunding it too risky and have since forgotten about it.   So I don't know if they plan a 50th anniversary push, or a Black Friday push or are content to just content let things sit as they are.

 

But for fans of the system, sales really aren't that important unlike traditional closed consoles that live and die by their sales numbers.   Atari could abandon it tomorrow and it would still have mainstream OS, and thousands of games and apps available with more released every week.   Low sales numbers would also make it rare and collectable (assuming there isn't a huge stock of these things sitting unsold in a warehouse somewhere)

Let's just be clear that all we know is that they sold around 10,000 systems during crowdfunding (the number is a bit bigger, but that includes an unknown number of just controllers and other support). We also know that there is ready inventory available where the system is carried. We also know that there is not necessarily a lot of general chatter about the system. So we really don't know if they've reached 15,000 in system sales yet. It's quite possible they're still well under that. We just don't have the data. The 15,000 - 20,000 is what I (and I believe others, but I'll put the blame on me) believe to be its ceiling in terms of system sales, and that's with more things going right than they have thus far (perhaps a 50th anniversary push will result in several thousand more sales). With so many unknowns, though, they could certainly have already passed that (somehow).

 

I won't debate the open and closed thing, as that means different things these days, but it's certainly not alone in that regard even versus more mainstream systems. Absolutely, though, it does not matter if Atari dropped support tomorrow. It's the type of hardware that almost anything can be installed on it (within its limitations). I don't think that's really up for debate, though. It was more whether sales may or may not pick up and why. I feel like its appeal drops with each passing day, but certainly others will feel as more content becomes available the exact opposite. I just feel like it already started at a power deficit and there's nothing that can be done to correct it. And it's not like I have any answers myself. I continue to look for that comment or idea that makes me think, "sure, I can that being something Atari would both do and would have a really good chance of appreciably increasing sales."

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15 minutes ago, zzip said:

I guess the real question here is how many did Atari project to sell?   Maybe they are satisfied with 15K or so sales?   I find it hard to believe.   They did push the crowdfunding campaign hard,  but they haven't really pushed it hard since it shipped to retailers.   I think there's likely a fair number people who were interested at the time, but found crowdfunding it too risky and have since forgotten about it.   So I don't know if they plan a 50th anniversary push, or a Black Friday push or are content to just content let things sit as they are.

 

 

In terms of projections, I have considered that possibility, as have others. It's certainly possible that they were able to hit break-even with the VCS via crowdfunding (which I do believe could have happened) and everything past that point is just gravy. Let's say that instead of manufacturing roughly 10,000 systems to handle the crowdfunding demand, they instead manufactured 15,000 - 20,000 to also support interest from retailers. Maybe even with that they're still not losing any money on the VCS and are able to maintain the modest support that they've been doing. That would be great and certainly realistic. I think the catch is if their ambitions are beyond that, then they certainly haven't indicated that in a way that might fulfill those ambitions. It's quite possible they do have a sense that the cap is whatever they already manufactured, and a little extra just in case (or for warranty support). And if they only planned on active support for a few years and then maybe the occasional game releases thereafter (that whole click-to-convert to Linux thing and/or a Linux version being planned anyway), then all the better. Of course, if it took off for whatever reason, I'm sure they could do additional runs of whatever quantity might be needed.

(again, just thinking this through - nothing specific that I'm going off of besides crowdfunding data and general impressions)

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1 hour ago, Bill Loguidice said:

I blame myself for still engaging with your statements, but I can't help but state it's not a zero-sum game. In other words, the success or lack thereof of the VCS has very little to do with the continued success or lack thereof of the Amico, and vice-versa. There's very little overlap with what each offers and if suddenly and inexplicably the VCS actually started to sell in any real numbers, it would have little-to-no impact one way or the other on the sales potential of the Amico. Your obsessing with the Amico is really strange. No one cares about some imagined console war, let alone a console war from 40 years ago springing back to life no matter how much you want it. Neither company is remotely the same, neither company is remotely a major player, and neither company has a product that in any appreciable way intrudes on the other. Again, literal Atari games are on the Amico. That tells you all you need to know. There's no there, there.

Have you looked at that guy’s system’s ATARI games? ATARI has made money for games that look mediocre or worse…and may never see the light of day…fine by me. You have fun with those…Missile Command is way too squished together & horizontal Breakout…I’m a vertical Breakout player…sorry. 
 

I’m looking forward to Asteroids: Recharged & Breakout: Recharged after already owning the awesome Missile Command: Recharged + Centipede: Recharged + Black Widow: Recharged the later 2 which have exclusive content on ATARI’s own system. 
 

I’m hoping that ATARI doesn’t do the horizontal Breakout at all…but it “might” be part of the Challenge Levels which will ok but I definitely don’t want it to be most of the game like that guy’s system’s version.

 

What other ATARI games will be on that guy’s system? I just hope ATARI received most of their licensing payment upfront.

 

Edit…I forgot about the controller…using the touchscreen for both those games I mentioned…I assume. It’s going to be godawful…sorry. 

Edited by El Livo Cat
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