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Trip_Cannon

Atari Flashback Unit

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Long live the spirit of Atari!

 

 

 

i VIVA LE ATARI !

 

You mean the spirit of INFOGRAMES.

 

:roll: :x

 

well... :roll:

 

Sorry man. Infogrames has given me a new reason to despise the French.

 

Yeah well... :roll:

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I guess it comes down to this. Do you want any new hardware coming from Atari or prefer to keep just the existing consoles with homebrew games coming out for them?

 

I'm not a big emulation fan, to me it's a way of sort of renting your game before picking it up. I'm all for homebrews however. Atari has changed hands many, many times, but as long as they produced hardware, the fans seemed mostly content, although we wished for more during the Tramiel era.

 

Once again, I'm happy to see Atari making something again but I have the hope that they'll grow out of their x-in-one classic game phase and go on to bigger and better things. I know this was discussed in another thread here, about the possibility of them one day making a system to compete with the "Big Three" and I'd imagine that if they did, who's not to say that they could include a cartridge port on their new system so you can also play your own 2600 games on the console as well? Perhaps that's just a fancy of mine, having a powerful 'state-of-the-art' 3D game system that I can also play my 2600 games on, but I'd buy it. Either way, I'd love to see Atari not just making games but also hardware like they used to. :D

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Sorry man. Infogrames has given me a new reason to despise the French.

 

 

Do you want any new hardware coming from Atari?

 

Kepone, Did you think Atari was still Atari when Warner Communications boght it from Nolan?

 

Or was it still Atari when the Tramels bought it out?

 

I think it's the story of Atari to get bought out and re-sold, and re-invented.

 

It's a smart idea, take a semi successful software company and turn it into Atari! It's not like you could simply start Atari again! all of the original employees are gone, and I doubt the Charters are efective enough to last.

 

So instead use another company as your base, and go from there.

 

True Infogrames is not actually American, and so they have taken the all american Atari name and turned it into a French name.

 

But it's still Atari. [/i]

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Besides which, Infogrames is doing well by the license. Can't complain w/ the idea of games as good as Driver 3 and Unreal Tournament sporting the Fuji . . .

 

I could see new hardware coming from them. . . I do think Europe will be the source of the next hardware innovation that shifts the market like the 2600/NES/Genesis/PS1 did . . .

 

They might well be the ones to market it.

 

While I'm dreaming, I hope it has a rotary controller . . . :)

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Why does anyone want to see this crap sold on the shelves? We already had the perfect situation. The system was in the hands of people who care only about quality rather than money. We were free to rediscover lost games no matter who owned the rights and to rebuild a hobby the exact way that we, the hobbyists, wanted to. We were living the dream.

 

Why? In the hopes others will jump on the bandwagon...Oh wait they already have. I don't care so much about this system and neither do most folks here. See it works like this NovaXpress when a company releases something like say...a little joystick with built in classic games, and they sell much more than anyone anticipated, then other folks start taking an interest and wanting a piece of the pie. So they buy up classic games rights, or start gather the rights they know they already own and release their own product. Like say a C-64 controller with built in games!! (Awesome) Who knows, like some of us have been discussing in other threads, we might some very cool stuff out of all this.

 

If Atari makes some bucks off this, they might be willing to listen more to classic gamers, and release a spinner controller you hook up to your TV (Great!) Someone might release an Exidy gun with all those great gun games! (What gamer wouldn't want that?) If the C-64 stick does well, we may see others (Good deal) The possiblilities are endless...but only time will tell. As far as poor emulation, That is sad...I know in the past they have gone through measures to correct issues, and hopefully going forward the quality will be better. Lets wait till Atari releases the console before we pass judgement hu? As far as this ruining gaming for folks who collect classic games... Heh, Well don't speak for me Ok? I dont think it does in the least.

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I would prefer to keep my older consoles and buy homebrews and hacks. That's always the way I've preferred it to be.

 

Even if the Atari of today does something like the Flashback console, it is still not the same thing or same company to me.

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Kepone, Did you think Atari was still Atari when Warner Communications boght it from Nolan?

 

Or was it still Atari when the Tramels bought it out?

 

I think it's the story of Atari to get bought out and re-sold, and re-invented.

 

It's a smart idea, take a semi successful software company and turn it into Atari! It's not like you could simply start Atari again! all of the original employees are gone, and I doubt the Charters are efective enough to last.

 

So instead use another company as your base, and go from there.

 

True Infogrames is not actually American, and so they have taken the all american Atari name and turned it into a French name.

 

But it's still Atari. [/i]

 

 

The Atari we know and love (I'm talking consumer, not coinop now) really was the product of the people who were at Atari in the mid 70s. I'm speaking mostly of the hardware team led by Jay Miner and the software team lead by the Activision and Imagic guys, and the management team with Nolan and Al Alcorn. To a lesser extent GCC for those who are fans of the 7800 and some of the coinop ports around the time of the crash.

 

The best stuff to come out of Atari and (the best 3rd party stuff) was the direct output of these people. That's why when the Activision guys formed Activision, they were able to accomplish so much. That's why when Jay Miner left to do the Amiga Atari was left with no clear direction in hardware design and really nobody in-house to execute those ideas. These people were able to leave Atari and go on to bigger and better things but Atari really could not stay together without them.

 

Whatever stuff the Tramiels might be able to get good credit for in its support of 8-bit computing/gaming was mostly a result of warmed over stuff that was served to them on a silver platter by the previous regime.

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If Atari makes some bucks off this, they might be willing to listen more to classic gamers, and release a spinner controller you hook up to your TV (Great!)  

 

The risk here is that the market will quickly saturate, and by the looks of it it might happen this Xmas season, and after that it's all over.

 

If you are going to saturate the market with a piece of hardware, it's a lot BETTER for the homebrew community if it can accept cartridges than if it can't.

 

Just imagine if these things all supported cartridges (I know, the internals architecture would have to be different, but theorize here).

 

If Jakks has sold millions of these units, that's millions of potential AFTERMARKET CONSUMERS FOR HOMEBREW GAMES to run on their systems when they get tired of the embedded games!

 

Sure, most of them might just chuck the thing and move onto something else, but even a small percentage finding out about homebrews and AtariAge would be able to spike homebrew sales. (I would suggest that homebrews be offered in a bundled multicart form if this were to take place, like 5-6 games per multicart).

 

So HOW these things are done really means a lot in how strong an impact it's going to have on the classic game scene.

 

If this is only going to be a cyclical thing with a market saturation at the end of it then we're already almost at the end of the opportunity to "get it right".

 

I don't think Atari could justify pumping out a 7800 thing with a cart port after having sold millions of embedded units. Don't you think they'd worry about market saturation? And don't you think Joe Consumer might be pissed off that they spent their money on a closed system only to come back to the store and see a better, new and improved system for not much more the next day?

 

I think that's a long-shot. And by the looks of it, competition is going to heat up if the 2600-on-a-chip product reaches mainstream retail distribution.

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I wonder if the pause function will work in the 2600 games.  :ponder:  

 

Anyway, isn't it funny how history repeats itself? Almost 30 years ago these single system Pong and Pinball units were the thing. Paddle and buttons built right into the system itself. And now what's happening? I keep seeing more and more of these things pop up. I don't see it slowing down anytime either... Nevertheless it's pretty cool that the 7800 is finally getting some sort of recognition.

 

 

 

But the motivation is different now.

 

Like I said in other threads, it's all about DRM.

 

If the system is closed you can't download ROM images to it. Therefore you stamp out piracy attempts. This was just NOT a factor in the old days. If the crash hadn't happened then maybe the Supercharger or a higher-capacity equivalent would have caused a piracy stir at Atari in the mid 80s, but other than that there was no real way to pirate 2600 games besides burning EPROMs.

 

Piracy is a big deal when the games you could potentially run on this thing are all online.

 

They don't HAVE to come after sites like AtariAge for distributing ROMs because there is no way to get them onto one of these things. Even hackers won't be able to succeed since the host hardware is not able to run native 2600 binaries.

 

Same deal with the console-based 2600 emulations, which are protected by read-only DVDs.

 

By not including a screen and using a cheap embedded architecture they can keep the hardware overhead at a fraction of a GBA. Really, the hardware is nothing but a dongle wrapped around the software. You are really just paying for the right to play the games that are selected to run on these.

 

Now can an open 2600 succeed? Yes but it's a matter of scale. The way they have it now they can keep pumping out new issues of these every time they want to distribute more games. With a cart-based 2600 they will have a hard time getting people to buy a 2nd or 3rd unit just because the built-in games have changed. People will look at the cart port and want to make the most of it, if not through Atari than via a 3rd party offering a Cuttle Cart device. While Atari could start offering cartridges, then they are still dealing with a piracy threat since the ROM images are tiny, easy to copy, and there is no kind of lockout chip.

 

Companies being greedy as they are would prefer to be able to sell to you again and again instead of just once, so bundling the hardware with the software is more attractive. Since the hardware costs are so minimal, this added expense via cartridges is justified.

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Eh, I'm not an Atari collector, I'm a sometime developer and a player of the games.

 

On the other hand, I DO like collecting tacky, faddy things, and so I am buying every last one of these N-games-in-1 things so that in a year or two when they've been liquidated, I can say to my nieces, "You know, it used to be that you would buy a system and there was NO WAY to buy any more games for it! Behold!"

 

(Just bought the Space Invaders and Tetris ones, so I'm temporarily all caught up till the Commodore ones and the Flashback appear on Wal-Mart's shelves....)

 

As a game hacker, I am kinda miffed that the copyright holders are exercising their (ludicrously overextended by Congress in my lifetime) rights, and I really couldn't care less whether or not anyone feels I have the right to be miffed. But after this fad is over, in a year or two, the grey market will return from blackness, whether here at AA or somewhere else. Meanwhile, I suppose those of us who *did* have hacks that AA sold can watch with a queasy feeling in our stomachs as they go up on ebay as "SUPER RARE ATARI GAME [email protected]@K!!"

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I am going to suggest they make a cartridge port possible on that or a future game system. After a bit of research the suggestion line is...

 

978-921-3700. They forwarded me to a Matthew Sidon. (Not sure the exact spelling on the name.)

 

Good luck!

 

Doctor Clu

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To correct what I just said, the contact information is...

 

978-921-3700 (I told them I had suggestions for the Atari: Flashback, they forwarded me to...)

 

Matthew Siden (Spelling verified)

 

Fax number 978-921-3080

Attn: Matthew Siden.

 

Ultimately I am thanking them for their good work, and just suggesting a cartridge port for future sells and expansion!

 

Doctor Clu

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That's interesting, I'm wondering how many people / fans it's going to take for Atari / Infogrames to listen to us. The hardcore gamers represent quite a marginal market (which makes it even more surprising that Atari Age doesn't sell reproductions, hacks, etc... any more) so I wouldn't hold my breath but who knows ? If the Flashback sells well, we might get something even better down the road.

 

On the other hand, maybe I should use my French and call Bruno Bonnell (Infogrames CEO).

 

"Cher Bruno,

 

Nous voulons un port cartouche sur la console Flashback II !

 

Sincèrement,

 

La Communauté Atari Classique"

 

AB.

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Certains comment I don't pensent l'entretien de he'll à vous ! C'et le retour en arrière d'Atari est juste juste pour le marché leur viser.

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This one was due for a bump, so we can all look back and see how this controversy progressed. . .

 

Look at the statements in this thread: "Who cares if Atari takes away our stuff, at least we have something new to buy at Wal Mart" and "The Flashback is no good but I'll buy it anyway because its Atari" and "Atari isn't going to threaten our hobby, NovaXpress you fool." As a whole, the members of this community have gotten exactly what they asked for.

 

This isn't an "I told you so" but an attempt to get everyone thinking about what they really want out of the classic gaming community and how you'll react the next time a company wants to get in on our act.

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Actually you'd be entitled to an "I told you so" ol' chum, because you predicted this to me in a convo two weeks ago. You might have been stoned out of your mind on cold medicine at the time, but it was still a prescient observation. We have been royally F'D, and all for nothing.

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We have been royally F'D, and all for nothing.

 

Heh Its not that bad. At first I was kinda pissed at Info-tari's tactics, but Atari can only defend what they are entitled to. Doesn't matter if you are a really really big fan of classic games if you aren't entitled to something legally you got nothing to bitch ablout. Luckily they haven't come to my house and asked for my old carts back. Let me know when they start doing that, then I will get pissed. It seems like the only games they are asking to be removed are ones that contain a game title that they feel is their title....Whatever...Change the name. I personally will enjoy Adventure 2 just as much if it's called Quest For The Underpants. Change Mondo Pong to Mondo Ping-Pong...big deal. I'll admit the more they push the more folks they will alienate. But in the end no one's getting fucked per say. We can still all benefit from the current deluge of classic video games in the stores as the big boys try to make their $$$, and once it dies down (which it will probably fairly quickly) things will settle down.

 

Now even if they make they make AA take down all the ROMS that'll make alot of folks mad I suppose, but would they be outside their rights?

I wouldn't think so.

They do what they do from a business standpoint, not because they are assholes. They want to make money off of what they own and dont want others to...Big f*ckin deal. I supppose you blame them? In the end, it's cool with me. I have hundreds of atari games in my room. Tommorrow I still will. And same with the next day. I'm willing to bet if I realllllly can't stand life without a game where pac-mans been turned into a shoe, I could probably contact someone right here via PM to make me that game under the table.

 

Once the potential for profit is gone, so will Atari's desire to do stuff like they are doing now. Surely everyone can go without purchasing hacks of games someone else now owns. Surely you can go without using someones elses logo and still enjoy classic games. I don't feel like I'm getting f'ed. Am I missing something here?

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FWIW, I agree with you Moycon. Somehow I doubt that Atari is coming to my house to reposess my cart collection. I still plan to buy a Flashback.

 

-S

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We have been royally F'D, and all for nothing.

 

Heh Its not that bad. At first I was kinda pissed at Info-tari's tactics, but Atari can only defend what they are entitled to. Doesn't matter if you are a really really big fan of classic games if you aren't entitled to something legally you got nothing to bitch ablout. Luckily they haven't come to my house and asked for my old carts back. Let me know when they start doing that, then I will get pissed.

 

No, but perhaps they're the Sum Guys who buy them all up in the thrifts. :)

 

 

It seems like the only games they are asking to be removed are ones that contain a game title that they feel is their title....Whatever...Change the name. I personally will enjoy Adventure 2 just as much if it's called Quest For The Underpants. Change Mondo Pong to Mondo Ping-Pong...big deal.

 

I think they're claiming to own anything that looks vaguely Pongy and is for one of their platforms, though . . . See Castle Crisis, which got yanked because it happens to well, be a Warlords clone, which is odd since it's probably not the only one ever . . . Wasn't there one on the TRS-80/Coco? Bryan could always say it's a clone of that. :)

 

 

 I'll admit the more they push the more folks they will alienate. But in the end no one's getting fucked per say. We can still all benefit from the current deluge of classic video games in the stores as the big boys try to make their $$$, and once it dies down (which it will probably fairly quickly) things will settle down.  

 

You see, if it were hardware w/ some way of interchanging the games, it wouldn't be so bad . . . Otherwise, they expect us to shell out for the whole magilla everything they put a different dinky amount of games on them . . .

 

Seeing as how putting every game they've ever done into a system would not be substantially more expensive than only putting 10 in, if it is at all (the hardware engineering is where the cost comes in, not the ROM capacity), that's where I have a little problem with it . . .

 

 

Now even if they make they make AA take down all the ROMS that'll make alot of folks mad I suppose, but would they be outside their rights?  

I wouldn't think so.

 

No, it's not that other sites that exist outside the law and don't sell carts don't have them anyway . . .

 

They do what they do from a business standpoint, not because they are assholes. They want to make money off of what they own and dont want others to...Big f*ckin deal. I supppose you blame them?  In the end, it's cool with me. I have hundreds of atari games in my room. Tommorrow I still will. And same with the next day. I'm willing to bet if I realllllly can't stand life without a game where pac-mans been turned into a shoe, I could probably contact someone right here via PM  to make me that game under the table.

 

Indeed. And probably with less overhead also . . .

 

Once the potential for profit is gone, so will Atari's desire to do stuff like they are doing now. Surely everyone can go without purchasing hacks of games someone else now owns. Surely you can go without using someones elses logo and still enjoy classic games. I don't feel like I'm getting f'ed. Am I missing something here?

 

I think the potential will always be there for them to make a profit from this. . . Even in 2019 . . . ;) And I've never liked the boxes/labels being clones of the originals, anyway. Gives a non-existent company too much credit at the expense of the actual creators, and leaves less room for artwork.

 

So, no, you're not missing anything. Yes, I'll buy a flashback, if only because half of those games are ones I've never been able to find in the wild that also don't seem right on emu . . . If they are snooping on here, maybe they'll read this and decide to make a lightgun or steering wheel console next . . .

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A thought about the lack of a catridge port and the hopes that they add one...

 

Right now there is an exemption under the DMCA that allows the copying of media made for systems that are no longer commercially available.

 

http://www.copyright.gov/1201/docs/librari...atement_01.html

 

If they add a catridge port onto this thing, atari 2600 and 7800 ROMs become protected under the DMCA again. Where this has the largest obvious impact is hacks, repros, and emulators. Note that this does not free the ROMs from copyright laws, but rather makes the act of circumventing the protections (ie cart) legal.

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I apologized if this update strategy has already been discussed, but come on... Detachable controllers? A seperate power supply? Detachable video/audio cables? Come on... the Flashback is so close to being a true game console there has to be a way of adding more games to it in the future...

 

It's posible that the Flashback can accept downloads through its joystick ports isn't it?

 

Just a wild stab in the dark, but maybe there will be a download kit for the pc/mac coming out for this. Plug a serial cable from your computer into one of the joystick ports and download a bunch of games from an official Atari Flashback CD - 20 games for $10? Buy a developer's disk for $20? Can you see the potential for add-ons?

 

There is a precedent for this update model isn't there? 7800 bios updates are done this way correct?

 

Seems to me to be the way to do it, you don't have to install any cart ports, cd drives, or usb connectors... just use the 9 pin ports that are already there, a serial cable, and some custom PC/MAC software. Not that much of an added expense if it was done that way. It would explain why they decided to go with detachable controllers (which I still think should be joypads instead of those awful 7800 sticks).

 

Anybody care to speculate if this is a possibility? Am I crazy? Am I just living in a dream world? Just think, you could have Flashback CD's put out by Activision... yeah, I must be crazy.

 

Aaron

 

Maybe not on this version, but who knows, perhaps this is just a first in a line of such consoles and the next one will have a cart slot on it ;-)

 

 

 

Curt

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I apologized if this update strategy has already been discussed, but come on... Detachable controllers? A seperate power supply? Detachable video/audio cables? Come on... the Flashback is so close to being a true game console there has to be a way of adding more games to it in the future...

 

It's posible that the Flashback can accept downloads through its joystick ports isn't it?

 

Just a wild stab in the dark, but maybe there will be a download kit for the pc/mac coming out for this. Plug a serial cable from your computer into one of the joystick ports and download a bunch of games from an official Atari Flashback CD - 20 games for $10? Buy a developer's disk for $20? Can you see the potential for add-ons?

 

There is a precedent for this update model isn't there? 7800 bios updates are done this way correct?

 

Seems to me to be the way to do it, you don't have to install any cart ports, cd drives, or usb connectors... just use the 9 pin ports that are already there, a serial cable, and some custom PC/MAC software. Not that much of an added expense if it was done that way. It would explain why they decided to go with detachable controllers (which I still think should be joypads instead of those awful 7800 sticks).

 

Anybody care to speculate if this is a possibility? Am I crazy? Am I just living in a dream world? Just think, you could have Flashback CD's put out by Activision... yeah, I must be crazy.

 

Aaron

 

Maybe not on this version, but who knows, perhaps this is just a first in a line of such consoles and the next one will have a cart slot on it ;-)

 

 

 

Curt

 

Yeah, but it'll just be for show, but don't worry, we'll find uses for it.

 

"You can put your WEEEEED in it!" :P

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Yeah, but it'll just be for show, but don't worry, we'll find uses for it.

 

"You can put your WEEEEED in it!" :P

Um, that woluld be the 5200, actually.

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Yeah, but it'll just be for show, but don't worry, we'll find uses for it.

 

"You can put your WEEEEED in it!" :P

Um, that woluld be the 5200, actually.

 

Damn, you must have quite a stash! :P

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