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Atari GameBand

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Has anyone been following this?

 

 

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Mark your Calendars: February 8th
(6am PST, 9am EST, 3pm CET)
CLASSIC GAMES, NEW FORMAT!

Created for people who love to game, in terms of tech, design and content; Gameband Atari Edition is a powerful smartwatch, like no other.

We launch Gameband Atari Edition via Kickstarter on February 8!

 

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I've been following this pretty closely, such that I was able to get in on the $99 super-early-bird price (just barely), and I'm actually pretty excited about it.  My job requires that I carry a work phone, and I really don't like having any personal stuff on it (music, podcasts, etc.) but at the same time, I also don't want to carry around a whole second phone for that sort of thing.  However, a smartwatch with an SD card slot?  That should work nicely.  It's got WiFi and Bluetooth and a USB-C port as well, so it looks pretty versatile.

 

As for actual gaming on the 1.63-inch (4.14cm) square screen, that will take some convincing.  I don't play any smartphone games, and haven't played a game on a watch since I was in the 7th grade, but I see how some Atari games could be conducive to the smartwatch format.  Breakout, for example, would work well using either the built-in motion sensor or a finger.

 

The other side of the watch-gaming coin token looks like a game delivery platform called PixelFurnace, which can be installed and run directly from the smartwatch's storage when plugged into a computer (Windows/Mac/Linux).  You could, I guess, run Atari Vault or whatever on any computer without having to install it on the computer itself.

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If you are looking for a good smartwaych i recommend the Samsung galaxy gear S

 

Thanks. I'm looking at the Asus ZenWatch 3.  Now that version 2.0 of Android Wear is out I'm more interested.  I've heard the Galaxy Gear S is very good also. 

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I was curious about this and had kind of forgotten thinking surely it's out by now. Checking their site it looks like they are most likely another 6 months off from production, if it even happens at this point? It doesn't seem very consistent. I didn't back it so I can't read the updates but everyone leaving feedback in the comments section asking for a refund or an update.

 

Did anyone here actually back it?

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I've yet to jump on the smartwatch bandwagon.  Looking at some second generation ones now to see if they are something I want. 

At this moment, I'm wearing a Casio atomic watch.  It's usually that or an old Lorus Mickey watch I bought at Disneyland in 1987. 

 

One of these days, I may have to check out these supposed "smart" watches. 

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Did anyone here actually back it?

 

I backed it.  Here's the basic gist of what's going on, as I understand it.  About a week before the end of the funding phase, they figured that with a small design change, they could make the watch IPX7 compliant.  What this basically means is decent waterproofing, able to survive immersion in one meter of water for 30 minutes.  Prior to this, the Gameband design allowed for little to no water resistance, so backers were quite happy with the change.

 

The updated IPX7 design meant that the original renders were no longer accurate, so the watch ended up with a boxier design.  Not a big deal, I guess.  But once they were deep in the DVT (design verification test) phase, they noticed the USB-C connector was about 1mm too deep within the watch body for your typical USB-C cable to reach.  Most cables' molded plastic housing would bump into the outer edge of the watch and keep the metal connector from making full contact inside.  They wrestled with this for a couple months then decided, maybe, an adapter would be the best way to move forward, without starting over from scratch and delaying the project another year or so.

 

Then, they ran into the great wall of the Chinese New Year shutdown, halting any progress in finishing DVT or moving on to hard/soft tooling.  That holiday has since passed, and they're starting to move forward once again, but details are light.

 

Communication has been a constant issue with the Gameband team these past several months due to a combination of factors, and prolonged silence makes backers uneasy.  But it's a Kickstarter, after all, and those come with certain risks.  I'm not terribly concerned, myself; I've seen videos of recent prototypes showing off the software, and I've played a little with their SDK, too.  Their website shows an April, 2018 availability for some of their software, and if that's in any way indicative of the the timeframe for the watch shipping to backers, then I'm OK with that.  But again, without better communication, it's hard to tell for sure.

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Gameband is another project by Feargal Mac Conuladh, this snake oil salesman is the same clown behind "Ataribox". Personally I will be very surprised if either product ever materialize and actually ships.  :P He seems to be a lot of talk, promises and buzzowrds with very little substance. 

 

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The clown prince himself - 

 

 

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What initially gave me some confidence in the Gameband smartwatch project is that I saw a Minecraft Gameband device in an actual store.  I didn't understand the point of the thing, and it seemed terribly expensive for not even including a copy of the Minecraft game, but actually getting a product on the shelves in Target seemed like a reasonable track record to me, especially compared to other fly-by-night Kickstarter campaigns.

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Yeah, I was kind of aware that he had some sort of dealings with the watch and was just more curious if they got anywhere with it, since the AtariBox seems dead in the water as well. I did watch one of his super long interviews or whatever it was for about 40 minutes and cringed quite a bit.

 

If they have a product at Target then I'm confused at how this can be so problematic and delayed.

 

I really wonder what the true underlying backlash is, if it's really the guy himself, the products, the fact of who is running Atari, all of the above or what would make people view it differently. Dedicated teams perhaps with real passion and history for Atari, a CEO that isn't out just to make a quick buck... there are so many things that could be good about the current Atari but it seems like a lot of it easily backfires and for more than just any single reason.

 

I guess at what point is it going to be OK for Atari to sell Atari-branded merchandise. After a CEO replacement? or someone like Curt Vendel or a combination of others joining the board and running the company the way it should be ran.

Edited by Clint Thompson

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