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4 hours ago, Leeroy ST said:

I almost thought that said Tramiel sex tape scandal. Lol.

 

Btw, why was the Konix system cancelled?

The Tramiel sex tape scandal caused that.

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6 hours ago, Leeroy ST said:

Btw, why was the Konix system cancelled?

I don’t know the official reason, but I think part of the reason may have been that it was lackluster. The first time I read an article about it (and I still have it btw) I was left wondering why? As in, why are they even trying to market this thing as a contender? It looked underpowered and outdated compared to everything else on the horizon, and even compared to what was already available!

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9 hours ago, Supergun said:

I don’t know the official reason, but I think part of the reason may have been that it was lackluster. The first time I read an article about it (and I still have it btw) I was left wondering why? As in, why are they even trying to market this thing as a contender? It looked underpowered and outdated compared to everything else on the horizon, and even compared to what was already available!

Long and the short of it was it was an ambitious project and Konix ran out of money before it could be released. 

 

I personally found it to be massively overhyped even at the time, when The Games Machine reviewed Hammerfist for it and pointed out the Konix version had smaller sprites than the Amiga version, eyebrows were raised. 

 

And then years later seeing those demos on the Telegsmes video:

 

 

 

It really sank in. 

 

 

Since then, we know the Hydraulic Chair didn't work as planned, MicroProse weren't impressed by the hardware, Elite and Domark weren't going to touch it due to concerns over the licensing deals... 

 

 

Seems like another disaster in the making from the start. 

Edited by Lostdragon
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I agree. I think the Konix was built around the controller gimmicks, which I think were inspired, but probably not fully thought through. That paired with the focus on relatively underpowered hardware and the British-centric software development would not have made it a market success.

 

I LOVE the basic concept of it being 3.5" floppy-based, which would both lower costs and allow for smaller production runs (more games), but it would have limited the games to being roughly equivalent to 7Mbit cartridges, which would have also eventually presented issues getting some bigger games on the system in the 16-bit era it would be competing in.

 

Regardless, I still find it a shame that the convertible controller concept was never tried again by a major player. We have wonderful steering wheels and flight sticks, but nothing that's really convertible (as far as I know) between the two, let alone anything that doubles as a motorcycle-style control. That idea could still potentially do well if done right, especially with today's haptics and force feedback technologies.

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27 minutes ago, Bill Loguidice said:

I agree. I think the Konix was built around the controller gimmicks, which I think were inspired, but probably not fully thought through. That paired with the focus on relatively underpowered hardware and the British-centric software development would not have made it a market success.

 

I LOVE the basic concept of it being 3.5" floppy-based, which would both lower costs and allow for smaller production runs (more games), but it would have limited the games to being roughly equivalent to 7Mbit cartridges, which would have also eventually presented issues getting some bigger games on the system in the 16-bit era it would be competing in.

 

Regardless, I still find it a shame that the convertible controller concept was never tried again by a major player. We have wonderful steering wheels and flight sticks, but nothing that's really convertible (as far as I know) between the two, let alone anything that doubles as a motorcycle-style control. That idea could still potentially do well if done right, especially with today's haptics and force feedback technologies.

Despite being described as a tiolet seat with handlebars, the mouldable controller concept was inspired abd we Brits always did like getting behind an underdog. 

 

Probably our undoing though as it's 3D capabilites didn't seem all that and offering more colurful 2D Amiga titles would of made for a hard sell. 

 

 

There seems to polarized views regarding how  well something like Starfox would of run on it, ATD seem to think around 5 FPS others disagree, but it never sounded promising in that field. 

 

Things like StarRay, Last Ninja II, Hammerfist etc would of done nothing to showcase the potential the controller concept offered. 

 

The chair was said to move painfully slow when in use, so a lot of smoke and mirrors over it's presentation. 

 

 

 

The DSP had potential for audio, but marketing couldn't really sell a system well on this area. 

 

Would the choice of  8086 CPU when so many used to coding for the 68000, alienated developers as well i wonder? 

Edited by Lostdragon
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35 minutes ago, Bill Loguidice said:

I LOVE the basic concept of it being 3.5" floppy-based, which would both lower costs and allow for smaller production runs (more games), but it would have limited the games to being roughly equivalent to 7Mbit cartridges, which would have also eventually presented issues getting some bigger games on the system in the 16-bit era it would be competing in.

Reminds me of the software that were on 5-6 floppies. Imagine swapping floppies on a Game console. Ugh.

 

19 minutes ago, Lostdragon said:

Despite being described as a tiolet seat with handlebars, the mouldable controller concept was inspired abd we Brits always did like getting behind an underdog. 

 

Probably our undoing though as it's 3D capabilites didn't seem all that and offering more colurful 2D Amiga titles would of made for a hard sell. 

 

 

There seems to polarized views regarding how  well something like Starfox would of run on it, ATD seem to think around 5 FPS others disagree, but it never sounded promising in that field. 

 

Things like StarRay, Last Ninja II, Hammerfist etc would of done nothing to showcase the potential the controller concept offered. 

 

The chair was said to move painfully slow when in use, so a lot of smoke and mirrors over it's presentation. 

 

 

 

The DSP had potential for audio, but marketing couldn't really sell a system well on this area. 

 

Would the choice of  8086 CPU when so many used to coding for the 68000, alienated developers as well i wonder? 

It sounds like they couldn't get a partner to help finance the idea.

 

It's also likely dropping the 68000 would have crippled it further. So many british devs were used to the chip, including the devs that were small groups or individuals.

 

Although it may help deal with those Amiga comparisons.

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6 hours ago, Leeroy ST said:

Reminds me of the software that were on 5-6 floppies. Imagine swapping floppies on a Game console. Ugh.

That was something I wondered about and if that would even be possible (I suppose it could be similar to multi-CDs or DVDs). Of course, floppies are less reliable than cartridges, and even CDs, so certainly that might be a factor for a console audience that has different expectations of how things should work (and I'm certainly aware of the few alternative removable media add-ons for other platforms like the Famicom and N64, and certainly the Dreamcast dodged a bullet by not having its Zip drive released and face the infamous click of death). It would have still been fascinating to see how a floppy-based console would have worked out on the market, though, so on that level it's kind of a shame we never got one.

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1 hour ago, Bill Loguidice said:

That was something I wondered about and if that would even be possible (I suppose it could be similar to multi-CDs or DVDs). Of course, floppies are less reliable than cartridges, and even CDs, so certainly that might be a factor for a console audience that has different expectations of how things should work (and I'm certainly aware of the few alternative removable media add-ons for other platforms like the Famicom and N64, and certainly the Dreamcast dodged a bullet by not having its Zip drive released and face the infamous click of death). It would have still been fascinating to see how a floppy-based console would have worked out on the market, though, so on that level it's kind of a shame we never got one.

I mean there were higher capacity floppies around that time. 30-50MB was supposedly available.

 

I guess it would be a question of cost. I assume those are more expensive than the common floppy formats, and CD was being adopted more and more with rapidly dropping prices.

 

But if you're competing at a SNES/Jag/N64 level that 50MB may be enough to put some decent games on one floppy.

 

However, I heard the Konix was underpowered. Any idea how much so?

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19 minutes ago, Leeroy ST said:

I mean there were higher capacity floppies around that time. 30-50MB was supposedly available.

 

I guess it would be a question of cost. I assume those are more expensive than the common floppy formats, and CD was being adopted more and more with rapidly dropping prices.

 

But if you're competing at a SNES/Jag/N64 level that 50MB may be enough to put some decent games on one floppy.

 

However, I heard the Konix was underpowered. Any idea how much so?

It's claimed they were 800K floppies similar to Amiga. That's roughly 7Mbit in cartridge storage terms.

 

In terms of power, it sounds like it was going to be in the Amiga/STe range, but with some added of-the-time 3D wireframe capabilities. As usual, it also sounded like there were some bottlenecks that would hold back much of its potential, and certainly the games shown were underwhelming.

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19 hours ago, Lostdragon said:

Would the choice of  8086 CPU when so many used to coding for the 68000, alienated developers as well i wonder? 

I read that Flair's first prototype was Z80 based but they moved to 8086 due to wanting 16-bit power. We need to remember that by 1988/89, the gaming systems using 68000 were Atari ST and Amiga. Also around then begun the era of VGA, AdLib/CMS/GameBlaster and so on. While PC DOS gaming may not have taken off until a few years later, I doubt the choice of 8086 had been that much different to the existing choices.

 

It kind of reminds me of the Famicom, which some sources claim to have been different on the Japanese market for the fact it was powered by a 6502 clone rather than Z80. There already were a bunch of imported 6502 based computers in Japan, but perhaps nothing native. Anyway, it didn't really hinder the Famicom success after a while, and with the right design and pricing, a 8086 based system may have worked around 1989-90 too.

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13 hours ago, Bill Loguidice said:

It's claimed they were 800K floppies similar to Amiga. That's roughly 7Mbit in cartridge storage terms.

 

In terms of power, it sounds like it was going to be in the Amiga/STe range, but with some added of-the-time 3D wireframe capabilities. As usual, it also sounded like there were some bottlenecks that would hold back much of its potential, and certainly the games shown were underwhelming.

If they were using those capacity would be quite the issue for more demanding games.

 

But then again it was announced in 89. Also apparently expected to release in 89.

 

I suppose they were hoping for decent games and the controller to be the main selling point.

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For what it is worth, IBM introduced the 1.44 MB floppy disks on the PS/2 series in 1987. Those were MFM formatted though. I don't know how much it would take for Konix to shift from Amiga-style 880K GCR encoded disks but if we play with the idea that by 1989 they would use 1.44 MB ones with a PC formatted capacity of 1,474,560 bytes, that is 11.5 megabit capacity going by console terms.

 

We must not forget that NEC released the CD-ROM^2 in December 1988. From what I understand, it would handle up to 640 MB (i.e. 74 minutes). It isn't unthinkable that if the floppy based Konix had become somewhat popular, a CD add-on would have been produced eventually, though I suppose they would've had a hard time matching NEC's pricing and have been closer to Commodore and Philips later offerings.

Edited by carlsson
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12 minutes ago, carlsson said:

For what it is worth, IBM introduced the 1.44 MB floppy disks on the PS/2 series in 1987. Those were MFM formatted though. I don't know how much it would take for Konix to shift from Amiga-style 880K GCR encoded disks but if we play with the idea that by 1989 they would use 1.44 MB ones with a PC formatted capacity of 1,474,560 bytes, that is 11.5 megabit capacity going by console terms.

 

We must not forget that NEC released the CD-ROM^2 in December 1988. From what I understand, it would handle up to 640 MB (i.e. 74 minutes). It isn't unthinkable that if the floppy based Konix had become somewhat popular, a CD add-on would have been produced eventually, though I suppose they would've had a hard time matching NEC's pricing and have been closer to Commodore and Philips later offerings.

I'm curious why you think adding CD jump the Konix price to Philips level? 

 

Also, there were supposedly 10-20(Flextra?) MB floppies. In 88-89. Not sure how feasible those would be or how costly. But since Konix ran out of money before launch I guess that wouldn't matter too much anyway.

 

Problem with a CD add on is that if Konix managed to launch and gain some ground they still likely wouldn't be in great financial position. Although by 1991-2 you could get more than 640mb iirc.

 

But I doubt without a partner or a very rich person(s) injecting them with cash, they would manage to handle the costs of any Addon. I remember the press being confused at how short a gap the last hyped PR was to them canning the machine.

 

 

 

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I mean Commodore took an Amiga 500, spent a good deal on development in order to add a CD-ROM and listed the device at $1000. I'm not sure how NEC could sell their add-on for $399 IIRC. But all this is hypothetical. For that matter, what if Atari/Flair also had steered directly towards optical media just to be future proof?

 

Regarding other types of floppy disks, the write-once-read-many Magneto-Optical drives were introduced in 1985, starting at 128 MB for 90 mm discs but as Wikipedia notes, never were popular with consumers. The Floptical technology was announced in 1988 and introduced in late 1991. Those disks hold around 20 MB formatted. From a copy protection point of view, I'm sure either of those with a custom scheme would have worked, but it seemed quite proprietary given the original idea for the console was to use regular 3.5" floppy disks which were beginning to get common by the time of the Konix.

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2 hours ago, carlsson said:

I mean Commodore took an Amiga 500, spent a good deal on development in order to add a CD-ROM and listed the device at $1000. 

The CDTV was more than just an Amiga 500 with a CD drive though.

 

It was a multimedia device that could upgrade to a computer with an wireless remote and some internal changes, but retaining the costly custom chip set.

 

A CDTV that was just a game playing Amiga with all the other computer flash and other additions thrown out and keeping the CD drive, would have cost significantly less. Maybe $499, half the price.  

 

2 hours ago, carlsson said:

 Those disks hold around 20 MB formatted. From a copy protection point of view, I'm sure either of those with a custom scheme would have worked, but it seemed quite proprietary given the original idea for the console was to use regular 3.5" floppy disks which were beginning to get common by the time of the Konix.

Well the gimmick was always the control, but we aren't talking much storage capacity with those floppies.

 

I mean that may have slid in 89 when it launched since that was a transition period, but by 1990 they would be left behind imo.

 

Generally since the problem was cash, now that I think about it, using 800k floppies was probably the cheapest option. But they couldn't get out a console with that either so.

 

Like I said before they needed a partner. I'm surprised no one backed them given how much press hype there was. You'd think people would have jumped at the chance.

 

 

Edited by Leeroy ST

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There’s really been too much focus on the capacity of the media used. Maybe it would have sufficed, maybe not. Maybe they could have expanded it, maybe not. But regardless, look at the games shown in that video? They look terrible! The narrator is talking about amazing colors, and the images are so saturated and bleeding that it looks like maybe 8 colors can be seen? And all 3 games look the same! Choppy frame scaling simplistic graphics with either a car, plane, or bike! It literally reminded me of Mythicon for the 2600! The same game re-skinned 3 times!

 

The portable Lynx had better scaling and better use of colors! Blue Lightning blows the doors off all 3 of those games combined!

 

At least the Jeff Minter Mutant Camels ‘89 game had bright beautiful and abundant colors. It was the best of the bunch and that’s not saying much, seeing as how it likely was played with just the basic joystick, whereby rendering the hyped up steering controller, light gun rifle, and motion chair as pointless in the process.

 

I never saw anything whatsoever promising about this system back in 1989 when I first read about it and I certainly don’t see it now with all of the additional information, pics, and videos, that have since come to light.

 

Even the 1988 Japan Sega Mega Drive launch titles (Super Thunder Blade and Space Harrier 2) which are a year BEFORE this systems debut are way more colorful and have far better scaling as well.

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By the way my association owns the Konix 'seat' in its collection (I have no idea how we got that), and it's quite underwhelming even though we have no game to test it of course.

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18 hours ago, Supergun said:

There’s really been too much focus on the capacity of the media used. Maybe it would have sufficed, maybe not. Maybe they could have expanded it, maybe not. But regardless, look at the games shown in that video? They look terrible! The narrator is talking about amazing colors, and the images are so saturated and bleeding that it looks like maybe 8 colors can be seen? And all 3 games look the same! Choppy frame scaling simplistic graphics with either a car, plane, or bike! It literally reminded me of Mythicon for the 2600! The same game re-skinned 3 times!

 

The portable Lynx had better scaling and better use of colors! Blue Lightning blows the doors off all 3 of those games combined!

 

At least the Jeff Minter Mutant Camels ‘89 game had bright beautiful and abundant colors. It was the best of the bunch and that’s not saying much, seeing as how it likely was played with just the basic joystick, whereby rendering the hyped up steering controller, light gun rifle, and motion chair as pointless in the process.

 

I never saw anything whatsoever promising about this system back in 1989 when I first read about it and I certainly don’t see it now with all of the additional information, pics, and videos, that have since come to light.

 

Even the 1988 Japan Sega Mega Drive launch titles (Super Thunder Blade and Space Harrier 2) which are a year BEFORE this systems debut are way more colorful and have far better scaling as well.

This may have to do with costs. Konix clearly wasn't in the position to produce this project, as they couldn't get the thing launched.

 

I wouldn't be surprised those games were among the best they could do with their apparent lack of funds.

 

You are right however the games were not impressive. But if they were to release the console with enough funds, capacity may be a turn off for third parties.

 

And if they had managed to release the console they would have NEEDED third parties to survive. Floppy would likely attract joe bedroom Amiga devs and maybe a few bigger studios but I didn't see much more than that.

Edited by Leeroy ST

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As well as the Sega Game Gear and NEC PC-9801 ports of The Humans, a NES version can be found being annouced around the same time as the SNES version. 

 

Little wonder Martin Hooley gets confused when asked what platforms the game was actually in development for.. 

 

Imagitec Design simply annouced so many to the press as soon as they hit the potential conversion stages... 

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