Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Mockduck

The Atari VCS Controversies Thread

Recommended Posts

Added to the OP:

 

UPDATE September 13th, 2020: 

 

It has been quite the long and windy road, but all signs point to Atari being in the stage of getting units manufactured and shipped to backers, so here's an update:

 

Timing:

 

Atari has been using a couple of different words, but they intend to "begin shipping consoles to backers" sometime in October. From a July 1st Tweet used to promote an exclusive article from Game Informer: 

 

The Atari VCS PC/console hybrid will begin shipping to Indiegogo backers this October! Preorders will follow this holiday season.

 

The article itself implies an earlier ship date "by" October:

 

The Atari VCS, the console/PC hybrid from the legendary game company, is finally releasing this fall. Atari VCS backer units for those who supported the system's Indiegogo campaign will ship by October, while all subsequent pre-orders and retail units will arrive holiday 2020.

 

Additionally, Atari phased out "early adopter" pricing on July 31st, which included free shipping and "guaranteed delivery before December 24th!"

 

As of mid-September Atari has not shown manufactured units other than an initial test batch of a bit under 100 units in June. It seems likely that additional units are currently being manufactured, but whether it will be done in time for an October distribution to IndieGoGo backers remains to be seen. Additionally, Atari has announced that Bluemouth Interactive will serve as its distribution partner for Australia.

 

Launch Titles:

 

As expected, the VCS will not be launching with any titles on offer from its direct store outside of Atari's games. Missile Command: Recharged has been an announced launch title, and it will ship with Atari Vault. Tempest 4000 was previously announced as a launch title, and it has been shown in some images from CES 2020. It seems likely Atari will also offer some of its Tycoon-style titles, and perhaps some mobile titles as well (a "Hoops Clash" is seen in the CES images). 

 

Atari has announced several service partnerships that will offer hundreds of other retro titles if you subscribe to them, with free trial periods available:

 

Antstream Arcade

GameJolt

AirConsole 

 

Additionally, Atari has announced a partnership with PLEX, which is both a subscription entertainment (TV/movie/channel) service in addition to a free service which allows people to create digital media distribution centers in their home. 

 

Pricing:

 

In a July Q&A COO Michael Jolt stated, "Titles in Atari’s store are expected to be much more affordable, with prices ranging anywhere from $3 to $25, with no fees imposed by Atari for online access."

 

I'll update the OP as needed.

 

###

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1
  • Haha 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^^^ Please update when an actual console is IN THE HANDS of.. ANYONE!!!! 🖐🏽🖐🏻🖐

  • Like 4
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/11/2020 at 8:26 PM, Matt_B said:

Certainly, when you look at the sort of niche devices that have been at least moderately successful of late, they're things like the Linux/Android/Windows gaming handhelds like the Dingoo, Nvidia Shield and GPD Win, the sub-$100 plug-n-play retro consoles in which I'd include the Flashbacks, the even cheaper single-board PCs like the Raspberry Pi, FPGA devices like Spectrum Next and MiSTer, and cartridge-compatible retro-consoles like the RetroN series. Success isn't necessarily always measured by sales, but I'd think that you have to be offering something substantial that people can't just already get from a PC or games console at around the same price.

I've got a pair of Pi's, I have lots of issues with them.   No power management, require tons of fiddling, cables coming out of 3 or 4 sides depending on the model,   very slow, can't run lots of my emulators at proper speed, and I have to recompile all my stuff to work on it which is time consuming.   Nvidia shield's aren't all that cheap either,  at least no for the good models.   They are also Android-based, not PC based.

 

I've got an extensive emulator + game set up on my PC that I've spent years getting it to the state it's in.   I would like a simple device attached to my TV that I could transfer it all too without lots of fiddling.   The Atari VCS might meet this need.   But I have to wait and see.

 

On 9/11/2020 at 8:26 PM, Matt_B said:

You're also giving Atari more credit than they deserve if you think they're going to be engaged in actual sales forecasting. I'd think that the 11,000 or so crowdfunded orders plus whatever extra they can glean from listing it on various online stores - which presumably won't be that many given the bad publicity, lack of unique features and high price - will be pretty much the extent of their manufacturing run.

I don't think anyone is going to go and manufacture a device without an idea of how many they can actually sell.

 

I don't crowdfund anything, I was never going to crowdfund this.   But if they deliver a device that works in the specs they've given, I may buy one.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^^

I don't think anyone is going to go and manufacture a device without an idea of how many they can actually sell.



HUSH!! 🤫🔇

I have gotten many devices at steep discounts because of exactly this reason. No need to start talkin sense into these jobbers, let them make as many as they can so we, The people 👉 can pick it up on liquidation later when it fails hard 😁

If anything we should all be encouraging over production, then play the waiting game ⏲ %10 Off, %15 Off, %50 Off, %75 OFF
%90OFF BUY BUY BUY!!!

  • Like 3
  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, OCAT said:

^^^ Please update when an actual console is IN THE HANDS of.. ANYONE!!!! 🖐🏽🖐🏻🖐

Yeah, if that happens that would indeed be the next update to the OP. My personal guess: by Thanksgiving, maybe. Assuming they start getting consoles into the US warehouse by the end of September, they could have them out the door by mid-to-late October, depending. Or that could just not happen at all. Honestly, I'm half thinking most of the new consoles will be more theory than object until sometime later toward the end of the first quarter 2021, but whatever. Technically there might have been some number of boxes somewhere to buy before that, but supply constraints are gonna be a thing.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If Atari is going to get these out to folks next month. They need to be almost here from China. Shipping across the Pacific is very slow and with customs. I'd think Atari would be beating the drum when these hit the shores. They haven't. That worries me about them making this deadline. 

  • Like 3
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Mockduck said:

Tempest 4000 was previously announced as a launch title, and it has been shown in some images from CES 2020

Has this even been confirmed by Llamasoft???  I guess this can be loaded in sandbox under Windows, but isn’t exactly a launch title since the Windows version has been out since 2018.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, zzip said:

I've got a pair of Pi's, I have lots of issues with them.   No power management, require tons of fiddling, cables coming out of 3 or 4 sides depending on the model,   very slow, can't run lots of my emulators at proper speed, and I have to recompile all my stuff to work on it which is time consuming.   Nvidia shield's aren't all that cheap either,  at least no for the good models.   They are also Android-based, not PC based.

 

I've got an extensive emulator + game set up on my PC that I've spent years getting it to the state it's in.   I would like a simple device attached to my TV that I could transfer it all too without lots of fiddling.   The Atari VCS might meet this need.   But I have to wait and see.

I was mainly talking about why the Pi managed to find a niche in an otherwise Mac/PC dominated computer market, and it's mostly about it being very much cheaper than the existing options. Being physically small and having low power consumption helps too, but it didn't just dribble out after a succession of missed deadlines into a market crowded with similar products flaunting a vintage case and logo as its only selling points.

 

I'm genuinely curious as to what are you trying to emulate that the Pi is too slow for? Except for the original model and its derivatives like the Zero, they're pretty decent and easily make a better emulation box than other commonly used devices such as an Ouya, a hacked Xbox/Vita/Wii or almost all the handhelds in the sub $200 range. There are PS1, Saturn, N64 and Dreamcast emulators that can run games at full speed on a Pi 4 and ready made distros (RetroPie, Lakka, etc.) with RetroArch and a bunch of cores that you can just slap on an SD card and be up and running with in minutes. Compiling your own isn't necessary unless there are things in the source that you want to change.

 

I don't think you should necessarily count on the VCS to do any better at power management unless you put Windows on it. Linux is not totally guaranteed to be able to access ACPI features even if the hardware has them and that might well include the VCS because it's based on a chipset that's still pretty new. A Pi 4 at idle consumes power comparable to a PC in sleep mode anyway so always-on is an option, or you can pay $20 extra for a remote control with shutdown and power-off features if it's still a total deal breaker for you.

 

Do you really think the Pi requires too much cabling? The ones I use as media/emulation boxes have precisely two cables both on the same side; one for the power and one for the HDMI, with everything else over WiFi and Bluetooth. I'm pretty sure the VCS won't do any better. It's nice to have things like USB, Ethernet and the audio jack for tinkering purposes but it's not like you're going to use them when the device is set up.

 

The Pi isn't the be all and end all of emulation boxes by any means but it does set the bar above which you can legitimately ask what you're paying extra for. I don't see the VCS bringing too much extra to the party, and probably nothing at all unless you're going to put an SSD in it and install Windows, in which case building your own won't require much more effort and would give you better results for the money.

 

2 hours ago, zzip said:

I don't think anyone is going to go and manufacture a device without an idea of how many they can actually sell.

If Atari knew what they were doing, I don't think they'd be making the VCS at all, and a good look through the history of the device ought to confirm that they don't know what they're doing.

 

As it stands, they know that they can sell 11,000 crowdfunded units plus whatever preorders they had, but I honestly don't think they should be counting on much more than that.

 

Still, as others have said, I won't complain about overproduction if it drives the price of second hand units through the floor as that's the only way I can see myself picking one up.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, zzip said:

I've got a pair of Pi's, I have lots of issues with them.   No power management, require tons of fiddling, cables coming out of 3 or 4 sides depending on the model,   very slow, can't run lots of my emulators at proper speed, and I have to recompile all my stuff to work on it which is time consuming.   Nvidia shield's aren't all that cheap either,  at least no for the good models.   They are also Android-based, not PC based.

 

I've got an extensive emulator + game set up on my PC that I've spent years getting it to the state it's in.   I would like a simple device attached to my TV that I could transfer it all too without lots of fiddling.   The Atari VCS might meet this need.   But I have to wait and see.

 

I don't think anyone is going to go and manufacture a device without an idea of how many they can actually sell.

 

I don't crowdfund anything, I was never going to crowdfund this.   But if they deliver a device that works in the specs they've given, I may buy one.

Pretty sure Sony didn't realize how hard the PlayStation Classic was going to bomb when they manufactured it.  I mean they should have after the zero effort they put into it.  But, even still, I don't think they knew it was going to suffer the humiliation of having to receive price cuts before it even made it to the Christmas shopping season it was released for, and then relegated to Clearance bins shortly afterwards.

The PlayStation Classic is now discounted after less than a month in stores  Dec 28, 2018  (price slashed from $99 to $60 less than a month on shelves)

https://www.businessinsider.com/playstation-classic-price-cut-month-2018-12

PlayStation Classic gets a deep price cut at Walmart  Feb 12, 2019 (price slashed again from $60 down to $39.99 less than 2 months later)

https://www.slashgear.com/playstation-classic-gets-a-deep-price-cut-at-walmart-12565419/

 

PlayStation Classic Price Drops To $25

Jul 6, 2019  (officially in clearance bins 6 months after release, compared to the NES Classic which would sell out immediately after arriving in stores for years)

https://www.ibtimes.com/playstation-classic-price-drops-25-2805027

 

2p3wa9yrjtc21.jpg

  • Like 2
  • Haha 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Matt_B said:

I'm genuinely curious as to what are you trying to emulate that the Pi is too slow for? Except for the original model and its derivatives like the Zero, they're pretty decent and easily make a better emulation box than other commonly used devices

Well I don't have a 4,  I hear they are much faster.   I have a 2 that was meant to be an emulation box, but it just sits there idly most of the time because it never really fufilled it's promise.   It barely runs stella at full speed.

 

11 hours ago, Matt_B said:

I don't think you should necessarily count on the VCS to do any better at power management unless you put Windows on it. Linux is not totally guaranteed to be able to access ACPI features even if the hardware has them and that might well include the VCS because it's based on a chipset that's still pretty new

Well it's not 1999 anymore.   I haven't seen Linux struggle with ACPI in years.   So I would hope that the VCS can handle this properly.   But these are the reasons I want to wait and see before buying.

 

11 hours ago, Matt_B said:

Do you really think the Pi requires too much cabling? The ones I use as media/emulation boxes have precisely two cables both on the same side; one for the power and one for the HDMI, with everything else over WiFi and Bluetooth. I'm pretty sure the VCS won't do any better. It's nice to have things like USB, Ethernet and the audio jack for tinkering purposes but it's not like you're going to use them when the device is set up.

mine has a keyboard attached and lan cable because it tends to not initialize the wifi dongle properly.   Also game controller attached via USB because I don't have a bt dongle at the moment  +  power and HDMI.    If all these things came out the back, it would be great, but now they stick out of 3 sides making it an awkward device. to place in a media center and have it look clean.    VCS should be better at this.

 

11 hours ago, Matt_B said:

There are PS1, Saturn, N64 and Dreamcast emulators that can run games at full speed on a Pi 4 and ready made distros (RetroPie, Lakka, etc.) with RetroArch and a bunch of cores that you can just slap on an SD card and be up and running with in minutes. Compiling your own isn't necessary unless there are things in the source that you want to change.

I've tried RetroPie and some others.  If I was only running console emulators, those might be good enough.   But I'm emulating various computer models like Amiga, Atari ST, Atari 8-bit which require specialized disk image management that I built into my front-end that other front-ends don't handle so well.  I know compiling isn't strictly necessary, but there are a few emulators I do customize.

 

11 hours ago, Matt_B said:

If Atari knew what they were doing, I don't think they'd be making the VCS at all, and a good look through the history of the device ought to confirm that they don't know what they're doing.

Product design is messy.  Requirements are constantly in flux.  Most of the time this happens behind closed doors.  Atari VCS was more public than most.    As I said, I will judge it on the results, not on the internet drama. 

 

11 hours ago, Matt_B said:

The Pi isn't the be all and end all of emulation boxes by any means but it does set the bar above which you can legitimately ask what you're paying extra for. I don't see the VCS bringing too much extra to the party

Well it's Linux/x86-64 for a start.   I should be able to tar up my emulator set-up from my PC and drop it on the VCS and have it work (install a few libs if needed).   As I said the Pi's been a much bigger effort for me and the results haven't been good.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, TACODON said:

If Atari is going to get these out to folks next month. They need to be almost here from China. Shipping across the Pacific is very slow and with customs. I'd think Atari would be beating the drum when these hit the shores. They haven't. That worries me about them making this deadline. 

I agree. I think technically they still have a week or two, but I would expect them to show delivery when it happens.

14 hours ago, Saldo said:

Has this even been confirmed by Llamasoft???  I guess this can be loaded in sandbox under Windows, but isn’t exactly a launch title since the Windows version has been out since 2018.

Good question, and I will update the OP. I was of the impression that Tempest 4000 had been announced as a launch title back in like 2018, but it sounds like that may be inaccurate. The best I can find today is this which indicates that the issues between Llamasoft and Atari were worked out and it was going to be coming to the VCS. 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Mockduck said:

I agree. I think technically they still have a week or two, but I would expect them to show delivery when it happens.

Good question, and I will update the OP. I was of the impression that Tempest 4000 had been announced as a launch title back in like 2018, but it sounds like that may be inaccurate. The best I can find today is this which indicates that the issues between Llamasoft and Atari were worked out and it was going to be coming to the VCS. 

The whole llamasoft debacle is just another of the many reasons the new faux-tari sucks.  They basically sued llamasoft for TxK being too much like Tempest 2000 (the dumb shits must not have realized Jeff wrote T2K and owned the rights).  They prevented TxK from launching on the PS4.  They prevented a VR mode of the game (which was completed BTW) from being released.  Then, after allowing Tempest 4000 on the PS4 (albeit watered down), they showed FAKE screenshots of it running on the non-existent "unconsole" of theirs.  Llamasoft were made aware of this, and said that in no way were they contacted, and also, a Linux version did not exist.

 

Great way to do business folks.  Everything they do is shady, everything they say is a lie.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd love to send one of these to James, AKA the Angry Video Game Nerd for a "Review"
I expect a 🐃💩💩💩💩💩 rating! 🤣
"After almost 50 years... these consoles are still a pile of $%^&" 👆🏼 F-these games! 💩🥒

Edited by OCAT
  • Like 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Mockduck said:

I agree. I think technically they still have a week or two, but I would expect them to show delivery when it happens.

 

A week or two though. That is cutting very close. I'm expecting another delay.

  • Thanks 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/13/2020 at 8:30 AM, Mockduck said:

Added to the OP:

 

UPDATE September 13th, 2020: 

 

[...]

 

Launch Titles:

 

As expected, the VCS will not be launching with any titles on offer from its direct store outside of Atari's games. Missile Command: Recharged has been an announced launch title, and it will ship with Atari Vault. Tempest 4000 was previously announced as a launch title, and it has been shown in some images from CES 2020. It seems likely Atari will also offer some of its Tycoon-style titles, and perhaps some mobile titles as well (a "Hoops Clash" is seen in the CES images). 

 

[...]

 

###

I'm just checking in here after a while...looks like we're about a month away from allegedly shipping and there are still a lot of question marks as to this thing's actual content, and they haven't bothered to announce anything new. I'd think they would be gladly showing Tempest 4000 and RollerCoaster Tycoon if they actually had them running at this point. There's no excuse not to, just as there never has been an excuse to hide behind, since those are both Atari IP.

 

They also just got massively undercut by Microsoft launching the Xbox Series S at $300. Yeah, yeah, "we're not in the same market" will be the excuse, except that they are.

 

Applying the same rules to other consumer electronics gaming products, we'd call that "DOA" 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, zzip said:

Well I don't have a 4,  I hear they are much faster.   I have a 2 that was meant to be an emulation box, but it just sits there idly most of the time because it never really fufilled it's promise.   It barely runs stella at full speed.

 

Well it's not 1999 anymore.   I haven't seen Linux struggle with ACPI in years.   So I would hope that the VCS can handle this properly.   But these are the reasons I want to wait and see before buying.

 

mine has a keyboard attached and lan cable because it tends to not initialize the wifi dongle properly.   Also game controller attached via USB because I don't have a bt dongle at the moment  +  power and HDMI.    If all these things came out the back, it would be great, but now they stick out of 3 sides making it an awkward device. to place in a media center and have it look clean.    VCS should be better at this.

 

I've tried RetroPie and some others.  If I was only running console emulators, those might be good enough.   But I'm emulating various computer models like Amiga, Atari ST, Atari 8-bit which require specialized disk image management that I built into my front-end that other front-ends don't handle so well.  I know compiling isn't strictly necessary, but there are a few emulators I do customize.

 

Product design is messy.  Requirements are constantly in flux.  Most of the time this happens behind closed doors.  Atari VCS was more public than most.    As I said, I will judge it on the results, not on the internet drama. 

 

Well it's Linux/x86-64 for a start.   I should be able to tar up my emulator set-up from my PC and drop it on the VCS and have it work (install a few libs if needed).   As I said the Pi's been a much bigger effort for me and the results haven't been good.

 

The Pi 3 and 4 have built-in WiFi and Bluetooth so no dongles are needed and you're not going to have the same sort of driver issues. That pretty much negates the need to plug anything into the Ethernet and USB ports once you have it set up.

 

I'm surprised you'd have problems running Stella on a Pi 2, as it works just fine on mine. I've only ever used the default install on RetroPie though, so there may be config settings that you have to change to get the performance up. The Pi 2 does have some performance issues with more demanding 16-bit emulators and needs frame skipping to handle anything beyond that but it's always done a pretty good job with all the 8-bit systems I've thrown at it.

 

I've also had no issues with Amiga and ST emulation on RetroPie either, although I do keep my games collection as a set of floppy images rather than going for emulated hard-drive installs. Disk changes need some menu navigation, but that's about it.

 

You might not have had many problems with Linux on x86 PCs of late, but I can assure that they're not entirely free of problems. Support tends to be good with most desktop chipsets, and laptops from the big brands, but custom-built small production run PCs can still be an utter pain. For instance, I had a good go at trying to get it running on my GPD Win and... yeah... not only did the ACPI not pick up but the screen was rotated round 90 degrees, the WiFi didn't work and the only thing the USB ports were good for was charging. Apparently the Win 2 works much better though, so there's probably an element of luck of the draw with these things.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, TACODON said:

 

A week or two though. That is cutting very close. I'm expecting another delay.

Me too ... I am not even convinced they have produced 11,000+ consoles, let alone have them in the water to San Fran ... or wherever they are distributing from.   If they were they would be promoting the hell out of it to increase retail pre-orders.

 

The reality is that F-Atari has gone into silent running mode again and that never results in good news for backers.

 

I will be more than happy to be proved wrong though.

Edited by Chopsus
Spelling
  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, Stephen said:

Llamasoft were made aware of this, and said that in no way were they contacted, and also, a Linux version did not exist.

And do we know if a Linux version exists today?  The Wiki for Tempest doesn’t mention a version for Linux.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, Saldo said:

And do we know if a Linux version exists today?  The Wiki for Tempest doesn’t mention a version for Linux.

FAtari have never given a straight answer on this.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Saldo said:

And do we know if a Linux version exists today?  The Wiki for Tempest doesn’t mention a version for Linux.

 

2 hours ago, Chopsus said:

FAtari have never given a straight answer on this.

Llamasoft has - the answer is a "no there isn't and no there won't be".

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Matt_B said:

I'm surprised you'd have problems running Stella on a Pi 2

It works, but it's a bit stuttery.  If it can't run a 2600 at 100%, I worry how it will fare with more advanced emulators.  Now maybe the retropie version is using a different version of Stella, or it's compiled with some optimization tweaks I don't know about

 

13 hours ago, Matt_B said:

I've also had no issues with Amiga and ST emulation on RetroPie either, although I do keep my games collection as a set of floppy images rather than going for emulated hard-drive installs. Disk changes need some menu navigation, but that's about it.

With ST, I also maintain a database of which games need STe/TOS 2.06 enabled, which ones require something older, which games/apps to boot into monochrome etc.  

 

The really complicated ones are the Atari 8-bit as I have tape/disk/cart and loose binary images, all of which need to be loaded differently,  plus which games need PAL/NTSC, 800 mode, XL/XE mode, Basic installed, etc.  The idea being once you click on a game, it loads with all the correct emulator settings and you don't have to spend time in menus.

13 hours ago, Matt_B said:

You might not have had many problems with Linux on x86 PCs of late, but I can assure that they're not entirely free of problems. Support tends to be good with most desktop chipsets, and laptops from the big brands, but custom-built small production run PCs can still be an utter pain.

I have seen issues with obscure hardware.   But with x86_64 being Linux's bread and butter,  you would think there'd be less issues, and if there are, you'd hope they worked with the Linux kernel developers to get support into the kernel.

So I'm going to wait and see for user impressions to see if there's any show-stoppers before deciding to buy one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Chopsus the IGG page is like the wild west again. I suppose the intern is off break and back to school...

 

I'm done posting over there. Actually I made a deal with someone about my preorder. So I really don't have a horse in this race anymore. But at any rate. I'm waiting for another delay.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, TACODON said:

@Chopsus the IGG page is like the wild west again. I suppose the intern is off break and back to school...

I used to check that page out every now and again, but good grief. Most of the people still posting there seem to have enjoyed a healthy appetite for paint chips as kids.

  • Haha 5
  • Confused 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...