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The Atari VCS Controversies Thread

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Hello all, longtime lurker and fan of the site who finds the VCS both fascinating and disappointing.

 

Here's where I am with this: I have nearly dropped the money down for this thing twice. Honestly I still might. But I think the thing that is keeping me hesitant is the idea that this *might* motivate Atari to develop something better with possibly more funding in, say, 2-3 years. Again, purely a hunch. But we know the response outpaced expectations via IndieGoGo, and while TurboBlaster's review is hardly encouraging, it is clear this thing is veeeeeery beta. No, that's not fair for a $350-400 product. But I get it. The sandbox element of this thing was always part of the allure. 

 

All told, I don't think these issues are show stoppers. It's not like the thing doesnt turn on or is capped in terms of its projected use. In fact it feels the opposite. Part of me wonders how the VCS would have landed if it wasn't competing with 2-3 other highly anticipated consoles. I think it probably would have spurred a little more attention. But honestly, the saturated market may play in Atari's favor. The backlash is muted. Everyone is discussing how crappy Cyberpunk is, or lamenting a PS5 that can only be bought for the same price as a down payment on a car. In that space, they could pivot quickly and develop the ever-loving hell out of the VCS firmware as this thing launches. 

 

I am a sad optimist. I am a brand fan who wants this thing to work. I owned Nintendo, Sega, and Atari products from the 80s to now, and see this era as a potential space Atari could reemerge in. I am still watching this launch closely. I know people see this roll out as a dumpster fire, but honestly watchibgg these unboxings and reading about the software slowly but surely being developed is making me want it more. 

 

Again, thanks to all the mods and posters for this phenomenal site.

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6 minutes ago, Atarick said:

Hello all, longtime lurker and fan of the site who finds the VCS both fascinating and disappointing.

 

Here's where I am with this: I have nearly dropped the money down for this thing twice. Honestly I still might. But I think the thing that is keeping me hesitant is the idea that this *might* motivate Atari to develop something better with possibly more funding in, say, 2-3 years. Again, purely a hunch. But we know the response outpaced expectations via IndieGoGo, and while TurboBlaster's review is hardly encouraging, it is clear this thing is veeeeeery beta. No, that's not fair for a $350-400 product. But I get it. The sandbox element of this thing was always part of the allure. 

 

All told, I don't think these issues are show stoppers. It's not like the thing doesnt turn on or is capped in terms of its projected use. In fact it feels the opposite. Part of me wonders how the VCS would have landed if it wasn't competing with 2-3 other highly anticipated consoles. I think it probably would have spurred a little more attention. But honestly, the saturated market may play in Atari's favor. The backlash is muted. Everyone is discussing how crappy Cyberpunk is, or lamenting a PS5 that can only be bought for the same price as a down payment on a car. In that space, they could pivot quickly and develop the ever-loving hell out of the VCS firmware as this thing launches. 

While you're making your decision, I would ask you to look very carefully at the evidence (I would say clear evidence) that Atari did not actually intend to produce this product themselves when they announced it... that the Ataribox effort was a strategy to make the company attractive to be bought out by a larger firm who would then be on the hook to deliver.  The strategy did not work out, and now Atari has had to release a product through considerable arm-twisting.  

 

Most likely, they will do nothing to build a platform from here on out.  Do you see them recruiting developers?  Do you see them announcing related accessories?  Do you see them doing anything with the "community" they allegedly used crowdfunding to build?  Do you even see them attempting to produce another batch of Atari VCS units?

 

Look, you can have hope, but I can only ask you to note how much of that hope is backed by anything in reality.  

 

 

41 minutes ago, MrBeefy said:

I don't think that some get this. Why should I buy a VCS over a cheaper form factor PC/laptop that is cheaper and more powerful? If the answer is Atari, logo, nice case, that is not a compelling arguement.

Essentially, some are trying to sell the AtariCube as a game console, until it becomes clear it has no selling points as such.  Then they want to sell it as a very expensive electronic Funko Pop, until it becomes uncomfortable noticing how few people really want such a thing.  Even after it's released, no one can decide what it is or why we should want it.  

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20 minutes ago, Atarick said:

Hello all, longtime lurker and fan of the site who finds the VCS both fascinating and disappointing.

 

Here's where I am with this: I have nearly dropped the money down for this thing twice. Honestly I still might. But I think the thing that is keeping me hesitant is the idea that this *might* motivate Atari to develop something better with possibly more funding in, say, 2-3 years. Again, purely a hunch. But we know the response outpaced expectations via IndieGoGo, and while TurboBlaster's review is hardly encouraging, it is clear this thing is veeeeeery beta. No, that's not fair for a $350-400 product. But I get it. The sandbox element of this thing was always part of the allure. 

 

All told, I don't think these issues are show stoppers. It's not like the thing doesnt turn on or is capped in terms of its projected use. In fact it feels the opposite. Part of me wonders how the VCS would have landed if it wasn't competing with 2-3 other highly anticipated consoles. I think it probably would have spurred a little more attention. But honestly, the saturated market may play in Atari's favor. The backlash is muted. Everyone is discussing how crappy Cyberpunk is, or lamenting a PS5 that can only be bought for the same price as a down payment on a car. In that space, they could pivot quickly and develop the ever-loving hell out of the VCS firmware as this thing launches. 

 

I am a sad optimist. I am a brand fan who wants this thing to work. I owned Nintendo, Sega, and Atari products from the 80s to now, and see this era as a potential space Atari could reemerge in. I am still watching this launch closely. I know people see this roll out as a dumpster fire, but honestly watchibgg these unboxings and reading about the software slowly but surely being developed is making me want it more. 

 

Again, thanks to all the mods and posters for this phenomenal site.

 

When I buy an $89.99 flash cartridge with hardware and software developed and supported by one person, and that person says, "hey, the firmware's going to need some work; please be sure to give me bug reports," I can live with that.  It's a device where expectations have been set appropriately, and I don't care that it's being built from scratch by someone working out of their home so may take some fettling once it's out in the field.  I'm happy with my purchase, and grateful that the development effort was put into it.

 

When Fauxtari raises $3M to build a community and gauge interest $400 low-end PC in a 2600-lookalike shell, I expect them to be able to do at least as well as the person working on a flash cartridge in their spare time from home, and not fail to meet every single goal they set for themselves along the way.  Unfortunately, that seems to be asking too much of Fauxtari.

 

It's impossible to excuse the complete mess that this thing and its online ecosystem have been launched in, and it's interesting - from the admittedly-small sample set we've seen so far - to see that buyers' remorse is already a factor of ownership.

 

On another note, I'm wondering if Atari adheres to PCI guidelines for transactions in their store.  Hmm.

 

 

Edited by x=usr(1536)
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3 hours ago, x=usr(1536) said:

 

Assuming that what you heard is correct, that opens up the ability for pretty much anyone to re-jig the moulds to accomodate the mounting points for a user-supplied RasPi, then knock them out at $39.99 all day long.  You'd basically have what Fauxtari should've done in the first place, only 3 years later and with far less half-assery and incompetence.

 

Let's put it this way, There was a person or people who where disgruntled with Atari (the TacoBox specifically) that found this out specifically as they played with the idea of releasing something very similar before Atari could make it to market that was a much cheaper computer on a chip type deal (like you mentioned be it a pie or whatever) but it also had an SD card slot where the 2600 originally had it's cart slot. I was sent the renders for it at one point in the early months of this year but I deleted them months ago. Other more serious matters came up with said people(s) and the project didn't move forward any further than the specs and design stage, Not that I know of anyhow. I knew the price point at that time as well but I forget what it was now and don't want to say a price that is untrue if anyone else who has knowledge of that project or people from it ever come out of the woodwork. The person\people behind it where the type that could complete and release such a thing I should also add. Who knows, maybe it was all BS posturing. We will never know.

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35 minutes ago, Atarick said:

Here's where I am with this: I have nearly dropped the money down for this thing twice. Honestly I still might. But I think the thing that is keeping me hesitant is the idea that this *might* motivate Atari to develop something better with possibly more funding in, say, 2-3 years. Again, purely a hunch. But we know the response outpaced expectations via IndieGoGo, and while TurboBlaster's review is hardly encouraging, it is clear this thing is veeeeeery beta. No, that's not fair for a $350-400 product. But I get it. The sandbox element of this thing was always part of the allure. 

I don't think they can go back to the well a second time for another system, at least for crowdfunding. The response was solid, if unspectacular, then they took too long to deliver too little. There's nothing about it that would warrant a better response a second time. Diminishing returns and all of that. 

And frankly, why would they need to develop a new system? If they're REALLY into the whole ecosystem and platform thing, it would be trivial just to sell updated models with a faster processor and more memory. There's nothing proprietary about this system that would need another new architecture. It's all bog standard stuff, so can iterate like any commodity hardware. I'm skeptical they'll do anything more with the VCS platform regardless because there's not going to be enough money from it, but I guess time will tell.

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1 hour ago, MrSeven said:

You have labeled any VCS fan as having screws loose.

This is an excellent point. We haven't seen a teardown of the console yet, so we don't know if in fact the VCS fan does have loose screws or not.

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11 minutes ago, Nathan Strum said:

This is an excellent point. We haven't seen a teardown of the console yet, so we don't know if in fact the VCS fan does have loose screws or not.

https://imgur.com/a/pMWOdbu

 

Try to keep up. I didn't see any mention of loose screws.

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6 minutes ago, MrSeven said:

https://imgur.com/a/pMWOdbu

 

Try to keep up. I didn't see any mention of loose screws.

 

Quoting from the thread on Reddit that the pictures were originally posted in:

 

Quote

So I've gone ahead and put a quick look at the thing taken apart here. Bear in mind this isn't a full on teardown going over every chip in the thing, and no, I did not want to unseat the cooler to get to the processor. This is simply a look at the inside to give you folks an idea of what to expect.

 

Try harder next time.

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1 hour ago, MrBeefy said:

I don't think that some get this. Why should I buy a VCS over a cheaper form factor PC/laptop that is cheaper and more powerful? If the answer is Atari, logo, nice case, that is not a compelling arguement.

 

I have no problem with some French company owning the title Atari. I do think it has been pretty sad how they've handled things. This isn't the great comeback story that some would like you to think it was. 

Nostalgia is a powerful thing.  Look at the mini consoles.   Just about everyone knows you can emulate those games for free on a PC.  But that didn't stop people from losing their minds when the NES Classic was released.   I would argue that for some people, it's not about the games, it's about taking a step back in time.

 

I imagine it's something similar for the VCS fans.  It's an emotional thing, and you can't put a price on that.  That being said, if you don't have that attachment, this system has nothing to offer you, just like my kids make fun of my Sega Genesis Mini, calling it a "Boomer system."

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52 minutes ago, godslabrat said:

 Essentially, some are trying to sell the AtariCube as a game console, until it becomes clear it has no selling points as such.  Then they want to sell it as a very expensive electronic Funko Pop, until it becomes uncomfortable noticing how few people really want such a thing.  Even after it's released, no one can decide what it is or why we should want it.  

Fair play, I can agree that it does look like a play off nostalgia. The core problem with this thing, IMO, is that I struggle to see what they were aiming to achieve. My $50 TiVo dongle gets me streaming TV and video apps. I don't need this to do that. My Flashback X, bought for $50, gets me classic 2600 games. I have an EVERCADE to play Lynx games and select 5200 or 7800 ports. Cost about $120, all told. So right there, that's a lot of entertainment for just about half the price of the VCS. 

 

If Atari had initially marketed this thing as a 4GB device that had access to the whole damn library- we're talking 2600/5200/7800, Lynx, Jaguar, newer next gen ports, and a handful of new games developed exclusively for the system, marketed for around $279.99, and with access to streaming apps, I'd have purchased no questions asked. The lack of development for the system and shadowy status this thing has to the existing library (or if Atari even has license or the ability to offer such a thing) is what scared me away.

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13 minutes ago, x=usr(1536) said:

 

Quoting from the thread on Reddit that the pictures were originally posted in:

 

 

Try harder next time.

Yep, read through it again and still didn't see any mention of loose screws. They look pretty tight in the picture as well. I'll watch his video again but I don't think he mentioned anything about it. Should I come out and just ask him? Would that be trying harder enough?

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Just now, MrSeven said:

Yep, read through it again and still didn't see any mention of loose screws. They look pretty tight in the picture as well. I'll watch his video again but I don't think he mentioned anything about it. Should I come out and just ask him? Would that be trying harder enough?

No, I'd just say that you're trying too hard.

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16 minutes ago, Agillig said:

Nostalgia is a powerful thing.  Look at the mini consoles.   Just about everyone knows you can emulate those games for free on a PC.  But that didn't stop people from losing their minds when the NES Classic was released.   I would argue that for some people, it's not about the games, it's about taking a step back in time.

 

I imagine it's something similar for the VCS fans.  It's an emotional thing, and you can't put a price on that.  That being said, if you don't have that attachment, this system has nothing to offer you, just like my kids make fun of my Sega Genesis Mini, calling it a "Boomer system."


I think the popularity of the NES Classic took even Nintendo by surprise. Which is why there was supply problems right out the gate. I imagine they thought it would be like every other flashback device and make them a tidy little profit from the nostalgia crowd for a little while and that would be the end of it.

Once it was discovered how easy it was to add in new game roms to the system, and that it would emulate multiple systems (NES/SNES, Gameboy + Advance, Sega Genesis + Master System, Nintendo 64) and suddenly everyone and their dog wanted one; not just the NES fans.

Even now on eBay they sell for far above (close to double, by a quick look) their original retail cost.

Nostalgia is a powerful draw. Quite honestly if I had seen Atari's original unmodified campaign (back when they were promising a console with new exclusive games), I probably would have backed this campaign as well. Viewing Atari's shenanigans, broken promises and non-stop stream of dumpster fires over the last few years I am certainly estatic I did not.

But at the time I likely would have slapped a few hundred down for nothing more then promises and nostalgia.

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1 hour ago, Bill Loguidice said:

I don't think they can go back to the well a second time for another system, at least for crowdfunding. The response was solid, if unspectacular, then they took too long to deliver too little. There's nothing about it that would warrant a better response a second time. Diminishing returns and all of that. 

And frankly, why would they need to develop a new system? If they're REALLY into the whole ecosystem and platform thing, it would be trivial just to sell updated models with a faster processor and more memory. There's nothing proprietary about this system that would need another new architecture. It's all bog standard stuff, so can iterate like any commodity hardware. I'm skeptical they'll do anything more with the VCS platform regardless because there's not going to be enough money from it, but I guess time will tell.

Well, considering they delivered a system in 2020 that is up to par for a 2012 system. I say wait until 2023, and they can deliver something maybe from 2013 or 2014, and they can charge $500 for this new one.  I mean - up until now, how have I been able to stream Netflix or play emulated games from 1977 without shelling out $400?  The opportunities here are endless.

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26 minutes ago, TACODON said:

New sub forum... 

 

Complaining in real time about it to Al.

 

You all have a screw loose, wasting this much time of your life on AA.

 

Hmm, wait.

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25 minutes ago, CPUWIZ said:

 

Complaining in real time about it to Al.

 

You all have a screw loose, wasting this much time of your life on AA.

 

Hmm, wait.

There isn't a day I don't think about seeing a new CPUWIZ post.

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30 minutes ago, CPUWIZ said:

 

Complaining in real time about it to Al.

 

You all have a screw loose, wasting this much time of your life on AA.

 

Hmm, wait.

I'm just honored to be here as a founder! 

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When this was teased, then launched as a crowdsourced concept in 2018, I think the excitement was more natural and founded. In that time, not just the wait but also the countless other, stronger products that have come out that seem to do something similar (Flashback X, Retron 77) or innovate classic feel in a new way (Intellivision Amica) make this thing look disorganized and borderline silly. Add the fact that the parent company is trying to launch a line of Atari-branded hotels and a Casino, and welp, this sure looks a whole hell of a lot more like the Fyre Festival than the next Xbox.

Edited by Atarick
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1 minute ago, Atarick said:

When this was teased, then launched as a crowdsourced concept in 2018, I think the excitement was more natural and founded. In that time, not just the wait but also the countless other, stronger products that have come out that seem to so something similar (Intellivision Amica, Retron 77) make this look disorganized and borderline silly. Add the fact that the parent company is trying to launch a line of Atari-branded hotels and a Casino, and welp, this sure looks a whole hell of a lot more like the Fyre Festival than the next Xbox.

Yep - FArtari have become the quintessential Flim Flam Firm of the 21st Century

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1 hour ago, TACODON said:

New sub forum... 

"Why is there no threads about tacos, hot sauce, shoeboxes, or doorstops?" is the million token question.

Edited by MrBeefy
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54 minutes ago, CPUWIZ said:

 

Complaining in real time about it to Al.

 

Who's Al?

 

Does he listen to all complaints, or just ones about the VCS?

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2 minutes ago, MrBeefy said:

"Why is there no threads about tacos, hot sauce, shoeboxes, or doorstops?" is the million token question.

Link me whenever you start the hot sauce thread. I'm eager to up my game in that area.

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8 minutes ago, Chopsus said:

Who's Al?

 

Does he listen to all complaints, or just ones about the VCS?

The Artificial Intelligence that creates most of the content in these forums.  You don't think all this crazy talk is coming from actual humans, do you?

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