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The Atari VCS Controversies Thread

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1 hour ago, godslabrat said:

3- Atari almost immediately stops acknowledging the project, claims the shipped units are "a special gift for the true fans" or some garbage, and casts doubt that there will be a second run.

With "tech support" to match.

 

Atari: "Good morning, Atari customer service. How may I help you today?"

Backer: "Hi. I bought an Atari VCS, and..."

Atari: "I'm very sorry. But we don't support those anymore."

Backer: "No, I don't mean the original one... the new one. I just got it. I'm an Indiegogo backer."

Atari: "I understand. I'm very sorry, but we don't support those anymore."

Backer: "Look... I just got this, and want to play some games on it. Can you help?"

Atari: "Let me put you on with someone familiar with that product."

(Muffled background voice) "Can you talk to this guy Michael? I promised to screen calls for you, but this is getting ridiculous."

(Muffled background voice) "Okay mom. Sheesh. Just a minute."

Michael Arzt: "Hello? You have a question about the Atari VCS?"

Backer: "Yes, I'd like to play some games on it."

Arzt: "Atari Vault is included with the console. Thanks for supporting Atari!"

Backer: "I mean new games. I didn't spend $390 to buy another Flashback console."

Arzt: "The AtariVCS is a PC/Console Hybrid. There are online services you can buy games from that will run on the Atari VCS."

Backer: "You mean like the AtariVCS store? There's nothing there. And what the heck is Klarna?"

Arzt: (muffled sound like someone crinkling up paper next to the phone)

Arzt: "I'm sorry, we're presently experiencing COVID-19 related technical issues. Someone will get back to you shortly."

Backer: "But I didn't give you my pho..."

(click)

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10 minutes ago, AlecRob said:

Yall truly think the VCS is hopeless?

Yes - it was under-powered and over-priced junk three years ago.  Now, even more so.  There's not a single thing it can do that can't already be done for a fraction of the cost.

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15 minutes ago, AlecRob said:

Yall truly think the VCS is hopeless?

I've been consistent as well. I don't see how it goes beyond the 10 - 20,000 sales range. There's nothing to it as of yet or known coming that would generate any interest beyond super fans of the logo and a micro-niche of hobbyists.

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15 hours ago, CPUWIZ said:

 

My money is on the PSU, nobody has seen it yet, coincidence?  Maybe a C64 PSU, those are reliable.

 

Oh lord, no. Back in the 80s when I a kid, my C64 PSU started overheating and crashing the computer. So, in my genius, I started putting a cool, wet washcloth over the PSU to get the heat out (periodically rinsing it in cold water when the washcloth got hot). I did this for several years until I finally upgraded to an Amiga.

 

Since I survived that incredible display of idiocy, I had to become an Electrical Engineer to repent.

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43 minutes ago, AlecRob said:

Yall truly think the VCS is hopeless?

 

Have this and the dearly departed Taco Thread been ambiguous about that in any way?

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28 minutes ago, AlecRob said:

Yall truly think the VCS is hopeless?


I would more say pointless then hopeless.

There is literally nothing it offers that cannot be done just as well or better, by devices common to most homes.

Steam machines have existed for over half a decade already. Pretty much any device with internet capabilities can stream Netflix. The Atari Vault is a nice collection, but it also has been available for the last five years.

The Atari Box hardware is not upgradeable and was not exceptional to start with. It will require additional effort and spending to install a second operating system to unlock its full capability. After two years of delays the hardware will be showing its age and limitations even more I expect.

I am thinking once the excitement and novelty wears off of actually having the unit in hand, the backers are going to be considerably underwhelmed with what they have actually received.

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There are plenty of smartphones on the market that dont do anything different from other smartphones on the market... VCS at least has a different look & feel compared to other similar PC’s on the market

 

 

i’m not saying its an outstanding product, but compared to the relatively monotonous and boring compact/home/thin PC market, the VCS doesn’t look that bad.  For example, i’d rather have the VCS than comparable products from dell, HP, intel, etc.  PC’s are pretty boring in general.  So why not have one with an Atari logo on it.  This isn’t for high end power users...   it’s just a somewhat fashionable PC.
 

   If crappy overpriced SLOW shitty Hewlett Packard PC’s can still sell decently then I don’t see why the VCS couldn’t either.  Is it the most efficient purchase you can make? No.  But IMO, some people will still buy it just for dat logo

Edited by AlecRob
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30 minutes ago, AlecRob said:

There are plenty of smartphones on the market that dont do anything different from other smartphones on the market... VCS at least has a different look & feel compared to other similar PC’s on the market

 

How is it different?  Have you used one?

 

Quote

i’m not saying its an outstanding product, but compared to the relatively monotonous and boring compact/home/thin PC market, the VCS doesn’t look that bad.  For example, i’d rather have the VCS than comparable products from dell, HP, intel, etc.  PC’s are pretty boring in general.  So why not have one with an Atari logo on it.  This isn’t for high end power users...   it’s just a somewhat fashionable PC.

 

It's a piss-poor PC.  Yeah, aesthetically, it's not bad.  But good looks don't make up for the fact that it's underpowered, overpriced, and the product of a company that doesn't give a rat's ass about its 'customers' or history.

 

Quote

If crappy overpriced SLOW shitty Hewlett Packard PC’s can still sell decently then I don’t see why the VCS couldn’t either.  Is it the most efficient purchase you can make? No.  But IMO, some people will still buy it just for dat logo

 

Here's the thing: HP doesn't try to tug the nostalgia heartstrings to sell their PCs while completely perverting their own history (of which they are surprisingly ignorant) for financial gain.  HP just sells no-bones-about-it low-end computers, which is far more honest than Fauxtari can ever manage.

Edited by x=usr(1536)
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1 hour ago, AlecRob said:

There are plenty of smartphones on the market that dont do anything different from other smartphones on the market... VCS at least has a different look & feel compared to other similar PC’s on the market

 

 

i’m not saying its an outstanding product, but compared to the relatively monotonous and boring compact/home/thin PC market, the VCS doesn’t look that bad.  For example, i’d rather have the VCS than comparable products from dell, HP, intel, etc.  PC’s are pretty boring in general.  So why not have one with an Atari logo on it.  This isn’t for high end power users...   it’s just a somewhat fashionable PC.
 

   If crappy overpriced SLOW shitty Hewlett Packard PC’s can still sell decently then I don’t see why the VCS couldn’t either.  Is it the most efficient purchase you can make? No.  But IMO, some people will still buy it just for dat logo

I think it's safe to say everyone who would be lured in by Mount Fuji has already backed this thing.   Remember, its been 27 or so years since Atari released anything of relevance in terms of consoles. They didn't exactly end on a stellar note like Sega did with Dreamcast. 

 

I think comparing the VCS to a budget PC is a terrible idea.  A budget PC let's you do things like surf the net, create documents, and run other programs.  While all of that may be possible with the VCS, why? You'd have to spend extra money on a keyboard and mouse, as well as extra storage. I'm not seeing the savings here.   Most of the games Atari is touting for the VCS can be purchased on Steam or Google Play, so that's not a selling point.   Also, budget PC's are actually available NOW.  No need to go to Walmart's website or Gamestop. 

 

Aside from the sheer obnoxiousness of certain VCS supporters, and Atari's shady business practices, that's the biggest problem for this system.  It's a solution in search of a problem. 

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2 hours ago, AlecRob said:

There are plenty of smartphones on the market that dont do anything different from other smartphones on the market... VCS at least has a different look & feel compared to other similar PC’s on the market

 

 

i’m not saying its an outstanding product, but compared to the relatively monotonous and boring compact/home/thin PC market, the VCS doesn’t look that bad.  For example, i’d rather have the VCS than comparable products from dell, HP, intel, etc.  PC’s are pretty boring in general.  So why not have one with an Atari logo on it.  This isn’t for high end power users...   it’s just a somewhat fashionable PC.
 

   If crappy overpriced SLOW shitty Hewlett Packard PC’s can still sell decently then I don’t see why the VCS couldn’t either.  Is it the most efficient purchase you can make? No.  But IMO, some people will still buy it just for dat logo

So you're making the case of "Compared to other boring things, it's less boring?"  Am I getting that right?

 

I think a key point is, people don't buy PCs to have fun, at least, not super-low-end ones, which is what the VcS is.  People buy them for basic PC functionality, and frivolous cases or logos aren't likely to be a big draw.  Sure, it'll sell 10-20k to nostalgic fans, but it won't be able to create a viable product line. 
 

On the other hand, people DO buy consoles to have fun, and it's been well established how the VCS is failing to be a console.  
 

The system is failing to do anything except maybe be a paperweight.

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On 12/5/2020 at 10:51 AM, OCAT said:

Yes, I have invested too much time following the console trainwreck I must know how it ends. I mean going into 🦇 🦸‍♂️Batman & Robin you knew it was going to be Hot garbage but batman fans had to see it, they did not even try to make it seem like it had any potential, at the start of the movie you knew.... you knew...  😂

Batman and Robin...only movie I ever walked out on. Terrible...like the VCS!

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4 hours ago, AlecRob said:

 

   If crappy overpriced SLOW shitty Hewlett Packard PC’s can still sell decently then I don’t see why the VCS couldn’t either.  Is it the most efficient purchase you can make? No.  But IMO, some people will still buy it just for dat logo

The last time I bought a crappy overpriced SLOW PC, I bought it because:

1- I wanted some kind of pc right away

2- I wanted something that would work out of the box (didn't want to assemble a bunch of pieces and add software)

3- I didn't want to spend more money on something better, I just wanted whatever cost the least.

4- when I went to the store, it was there on the shelf.

Ataribrick fails on all 4 counts. All it has is dat logo. (my cheapo pc was probably a Walmart black friday thing, so it probably didn't have a dat logo, but that's the one thing I didn't care about)

Edited by toiletunes
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1 hour ago, MarioMan88 said:

Batman and Robin...only movie I ever walked out on. Terrible...like the VCS!

Well, being fair, ...  Terrible though it is...It's still better than the VCS!      (And your ticket wasn't 300 bucks!)

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4 hours ago, TACODON said:

I'm sure Atari is already working the VCS 2 or would it be 3? The Super VCS? 

Nope - Atari has never worked on updates to their consoles.  The 2600 - Sorry, the REAL VCS was sold from 1977 through 1992.  The 2nd generation chipset was used un-altered in their 8-bit computers from 1979 through 1991.  Also, you used this verb that Atari does not know - "working".

 

For these three reasons, I must declare your theory incorrect.  Also, I had tacos for lunch today.  My local Taco Bell opened after a 2 week (mysterious) shutdown.

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This is a paperweight!  Super rare and cost less (at least for me, it did). :D

 

 

unnamed.jpg

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18 minutes ago, CPUWIZ said:

This is a paperweight!  Super rare and cost less (at least for me, it did). :D

 

 

unnamed.jpg

But can moms watch Netflix on it? CHECKMATE!

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Klarna is just like getting a bank loan to do home improvements, except its for tens to hundreds of pounds and not thousands, and not for massive projects but for buying fast fashion and adult sex toys, for the people who just need things they don't require to live but seemingly can't wait till the end of the month. 

 

It has made me wonder whether if the VCS was a fancy Win XP / 98 emulator with a cd/dvd drive and just made out to be a retro device whether more of us would be on board with it. To remove the pain of configuring old games (why does X1 beyond the frontier not work on my windows 10 laptop!) I'd pay money for a system that fits nicely in my living room, it can sit next to my amstrad CPC emulator GX4000. 

 

 

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19 hours ago, AlecRob said:

   If crappy overpriced SLOW shitty Hewlett Packard PC’s can still sell decently then I don’t see why the VCS couldn’t either.  Is it the most efficient purchase you can make? No.  But IMO, some people will still buy it just for dat logo

Ignoring the fact that getting the VCS serviced should anything go wrong will likely be impossible, that would be true if cheap HP pcs required you to buy your own OS licence and hang a USB drive at the back (which you'll have to buy as well). What cheap PC supports USB drives only ? ....

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20 hours ago, AlecRob said:

Yall truly think the VCS is hopeless?

I'm more curious to know where you are getting any hope from? 

 

No one at Atari that has been involved with this has any connection to Atari of old. Not the 2600, not the ST or PC-1 lines, nothing. 

 

Atari was taken to court by two of the system architects on this, Feargal Mac who first proposed it as an enhanced Flashback, then Rob Wyatt who saw that the only way the thing would have some value is to be opened as a PC. Both architects quit because Atari didn't pay them for the work that they did (Atari has a notorious reputation for not paying their contracts, settling out of court. This is why no major company is doing business with them any more). Mac literally produced nothing for them to "test." That was abundantly clear from the GDC fiasco that The Register covered and Atari lied about.

 

From the Reg article talking about Rob Wyatt quitting, the prototype they could begin testing only got into their hands in Sep. 2019, and then they had to hire a 3rd company to figure out and test what Wyatt had given them:

 

Quote

We now know that Atari did not even have a working prototype when it re-relaunched its VCS console in June with a new launch date of March 2020. The first prototype motherboard designed by Wyatt arrived three months later in September. That’s last month. [Written in Oct. 2019] 

...

The most striking comment, and one which may sum up the Atari VCS, came from someone who had worked directly on the gizmo. They called the whole process a “shit show.”

That's really why it's taken them so long to get this out, not because of the pandemic, which only shut down the Chinese factories for a few months. If anything, that was a great excuse to buy them some time to do some testing, but if you really think that this system has been through the same rigorous process that major brand products receive, I've got a bridge to sell you in Alaska. It has an Atari logo on it, promise!

 

Think for a moment - Let's remove the Atari name from this completely. Would you have any confidence whatsoever in a company that took in over $3m for a product based on nothing more than a presentation, then took over two years just to get a working prototype in hand? Who stiffed their own hired help and did major cutbacks on the features? Who has made a big habit of lying to their backers? Who can't manage to attract any developers to make something unique and exclusive to their platform?

 

Look up Magic Leap. That's a great example of a company that figured out how to hoodwink investors based on pie-in-the-sky promises. They were much sharper at the scam than Atari has been, managing to rake in billions based off of a pitch video. When they finally got the product to market, it was a massive dud because it was nothing like the video. They had far more resources than Atari could even dream of, and yet it's already been thrown into the dust bin of history.  

 

The Atari brand and logo no longer has any real "oomph" to it on today's market. The name was enough to get 11,000~ people to back the project (not all of those were consoles, some were just joysticks). That's it. People don't think of Atari when they think video games these days, they think Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft, Blizzard, etc. When the VCS is actually available for sale beyond backers, it's going to be a major flop, mark my words. I'm willing to bet that the Jaguar will have sold more consoles than the VCS will manage to do. 

 

 

 

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I’m not saying VCS is going to be a blockbuster success... i just don't see it worthy of receiving so much hate.  Atari, SA doesn’t bother me, really.   I’d rather see people discussing unique ways of using the VCS hardware and homebrew projects.  Instead we get endless banter about why it will flop.  Ok, it’s already established that the machine will most likely flop.  What creative things can we do with this machine?   

Edited by AlecRob
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18 minutes ago, AlecRob said:

 What creative things can we do with this machine?   

Answer: Nothing that we can't already do with spare parts sitting in our homes right now. 

 

(If that's the discussion you want to have, it won't be a lengthy one.)

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