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Hyperkin - Retron 77. HD Atari 2600?

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$80 for an Atari 2600 clone is a reach. $40 would be a home run. My guess is they will settle somewhere in the middle.

I read the same article this morning. My guess is that the $80 is an MSRP price. Generaly inflated with the retail real price generally half that.

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What do you think the appeal is for this machine? I'm wondering if its just the hdmi? I'm playing my 2600 games still to this day on an actual Atari product so why do I need this?

 

I've always felt that way about repro consoles. "Why do I need a Retron when I already have a real NES?" I've always advocated real hardware and original systems. I've spent a lot of time in game stores though and I see Retron systems fly off the shelves. They sell like hotcakes. I think if you're 16 or if this is your first Atari console, if your Radio Shack closed down and you don't want to worry about hooking up a 40 year old game system with an RF Switch Box to an HDTV - this has some appeal. For hardcore Atari people like you and me with AV modded Atari 7800 systems, I think the appeal is deflated and we kind of look at Hyperkin as interlopers. I'll welcome anything that brings renewed interest to the world of Atari though.

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I've always felt that way about repro consoles. "Why do I need a Retron when I already have a real NES?" I've always advocated real hardware and original systems. I've spent a lot of time in game stores though and I see Retron systems fly off the shelves. They sell like hotcakes. I think if you're 16 or if this is your first Atari console, if your Radio Shack closed down and you don't want to worry about hooking up a 40 year old game system with an RF Switch Box to an HDTV - this has some appeal. For hardcore Atari people like you and me with AV modded Atari 7800 systems, I think the appeal is deflated and we kind of look at Hyperkin as interlopers. I'll welcome anything that brings renewed interest to the world of Atari though.

 

What do you think the appeal is for this machine? I'm wondering if its just the hdmi? I'm playing my 2600 games still to this day on an actual Atari product so why do I need this?

 

No RetroN anything is needed but having a newer machine and a better image is nice. Our systems, modded or not, are getting old and tired. Cheap alternatives are always welcome and the fact that there is no crazy things needed to hook it up makes it easier with today's techknowledge.  But the REAL reason I like this unit is not for all it can do but more so the IDEA of what it is. Maybe more interest might hit the market to preserve the history of the pre 8 bit systems and carts. A little respect for the older stuff. New 3rd party products such as affordable alternatives for the 5200/7800 controllers as only an example. Me personally I am SO SICK of NES/SNES love in the clone aftermarket of convenience, it is about time we 2nd generation console gamers were offered the same love and respect in the market. Last it makes playing Atari more accessible to the casual kat that wants to be nostalgic or share with their kid the amazing games of the 70's and 80's without the (small I know) issues that come with Flashback systems.

 

Just my thought!  

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No RetroN anything is needed but having a newer machine and a better image is nice. Our systems, modded or not, are getting old and tired. Cheap alternatives are always welcome and the fact that there is no crazy things needed to hook it up makes it easier with today's techknowledge. But the REAL reason I like this unit is not for all it can do but more so the IDEA of what it is. Maybe more interest might hit the market to preserve the history of the pre 8 bit systems and carts. A little respect for the older stuff. New 3rd party products such as affordable alternatives for the 5200/7800 controllers as only an example. Me personally I am SO SICK of NES/SNES love in the clone aftermarket of convenience, it is about time we 2nd generation console gamers were offered the same love and respect in the market. Last it makes playing Atari more accessible to the casual kat that wants to be nostalgic or share with their kid the amazing games of the 70's and 80's without the (small I know) issues that come with Flashback systems.

 

Just my thought!

 

Well put man! Baby steps maybe but at least some things are finally happening to spotlight the 2600 era, hopefully is just the start. While I think such items are targeted to us older gamer/collectors I would love if the low cost and ease of connection and accessability may draw in younger folk who might not of previously considered anything prior to NES. IF IT STIRS ENOUGH INTEREST to influence even a small percentage of todays gamers to perhaps research and learn about the pioneering of modern gaming, some respect for it, that could be cool.

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  • It's a tremendous missed opportunity for the Retron 77 not to play Atari 7800 games. That would've introduced the 7800 to a ton of people and sparked more homebrewing and new 7800 developers. Hardware is still very early with talk of open source, so I’m holding out hope.
  • Will new 2600-compatible HD consoles spark renewed interest in Atari games and cause prices to go up? $10 Space Invaders? New wave of homebrews? More 2600 players means more demand for games.

 

You've made same solid points here Justin.  

-I'm a huge fan of the 7800 and would love for others to give the 7800 games some love since many missed out on it back in the day.  As a random thought Hyperkin could possibly release an adapter for the Retron 77 similar to the 3-in-1 adapter they released for the Retron 5 system.  This plugged into the system and provided support for Sega Master System carts, Master System cards, and Game Gear games.  I'm dreaming of a 77 adapter that provides me with the ability to play 7800, atari 8-bit computer, and lynx games.  Dreaming rules!

 

-I do expect a renewed interest in 2600 carts once this thing hits store shelves.  Look what happened to the NES, SNES, and Genesis market once the flood of repro consoles hit.  Prices have gone up over the last few years and I do believe a portion of that is due to the increased amount of folks who had the ability to again play original cartridges.  Supply and demand...better grab those 2600 cartridges you've been skipping out on now.

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Now that more information has been released on the Retron 77, I am leaning toward a purchase. The ability to play physical carts and a Harmony makes it an easy decision. I agree that 7800 emulation should be included and it's a bit of a missed opportunity, but not a deal breaker.

 

In my opinion, the planned HD Flashback from AtGames is striking out by not including an SD slot.

 

I'm still curious about the Ataribox, especially as Atari confirmed it as an official product on their FB. While this probably means a licensing agreement, the teaser made it look a bit more stylish than either the Retron or Flashback, and "box" makes me think it could handle multi-platform emulation and streaming content.

 

It's great to see all this interest in bringing Atari related products to market.

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Some takeaways from Hyperkin's Facebook live broadcast:

 

 

  • Hyperkin is striving for 100% compatibility with existing 2600 cartridges.

     

  • Compatibile with "the vast majority" of Atari 2600 peripherals and controllers.

     

  • While the prototype shown at E3 only has 2 switches (Reset and Select), the final production Retron 77 is going to have all of the switches that the original Atari 2600 had, and more.

     

  • One new switch will likely be for switching between aspect ratios of 16x9 and 4x3 video modes.

     

  • Hyperkin is still considering save states.

     

  • Retron 77 will likely support hot-swapping of cartridges without powering down the console.

     

  • Retron 77 plays games off the cartridges and does not store the ROMs on hardware. Hyperkin is striving to be fully legal and mindful of copyright issues.

     

  • Hyperkin is working on a new, more responsive controller for the Atari 2600.

     

  • Retron 77 will still ship with a classic joystick, and will have a classic controller available "for people who like it old school."

     

  • Hyperkin is monitoring the Atari Age forums for feedback. (I hope they see us too!)

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Here's a comment from the post we made on our Facebook page about the Retron 77. Erik's comments are emblematic of a lot of what I've been seeing and a good example of the type of gamer Hyperkin is hoping to cater to with the Retron 77. For a lot of people it comes down to not believing / knowing how to hook a classic Atari console up to modern TV sets:

 

 

Screen Shot 2017-06-16 at 3.07.26 PM.png

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It's important to understand that some very new TVs have done away with coax and don't play nicely with the various A/V mods. I've experienced this with a mod that I did for a friend. I tried three different configurations before I found a mod that worked and then it was just "ok". Many of us in the community have CRTs or older flat screens so this isn't an issue for us. But for some who decide to get back into classic gaming and have already moved on to HD or 4K, the Retron 77 could be a great solution.

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Sharing this interesting post made today over on Atariage ;) 
 
 
Posted Today, 10:03 AM

 

Hi guys, I'm Andrew Steel from Hyperkin. First I want to thank you all for your support, it means a lot to our company and to me personally. I'm very excited to work on this project, aiming to make it as good as it gets. That's why I'm here to share my thoughts and hear your opinions. We did license Stella and obtained a custom build with a few important improvements. As many of you noticed, there is a 2-seconds loading screen when you hotswap the game. It is actually there only to ensure the hotswap procedure happens smoothly. It is only a prototype for now, and we didn't want any hiccups to occur at E3. In the final version the loading screen will be gone, because I think normally users wouldn't mind hitting Reset if the console occasionally attempts to read the cart earlier than it's fully inserted.

 

It is a very challenging task to cover the vast library of games and homebrews. But I know that supporting certain things is cruicial, so we went an extra mile and developed a way to work with Harmony. I cannot guarantee that this feature will still be present in the final release due to certain potential legal concerns, but we all understand its importance to the scene and will do our best to keep it.

 

Our primary goal is to ensure good compatibility with real cartridges because well, they are awesome, and the 2600 is actually a quite affordable platform to collect for. Please message us with your contact info if you are willing to jump on board and offer your help with testing the system for compatibility. Also, since we officially partner with the scene, I would actually prefer for the system to be open-source. In my envision, it will ship with our own Stella build, hardware-wise prepared to be tinkered with -- just in case if someone out there wants to remove or add any features they want.

We understand that the system has to be affordable, so our target price is 50 USD, give or take. Too early to state it firmly and predict the costs, we are still working on the features. I think it generally would be a bad idea to add some extra hardware just to support a peripheral used in 2-3 games and make the system way too expensive, so we expect to go for a good balance of what it does and what it does not. Again, if you are willing to offer your help with that, even just an opinion, please don't hesitate and message me and our R&D department at developer@hyperkin.com.

 

As it is for now, I can confirm that our newest build has the following working physical buttons that we plan to bring to the front: reset, select, save, load; a few buttons on the back: difficulty, game mode, color/bw/scanlines, aspect ratio, glitch switch. As most of people who came to talk to me and to try to earlier prototype, it plays games in clear HD without any noticeable issues. As for the controller to ship with the system, we expect to stick to the classic design with a paddle wheel on the side or perhaps just around the stick. It's our own design but of course original joysticks will work as well. I'd personally refrain from anything D-pad based because if you want one, you can use a Genesis controller, but please feel free to share your thoughts. Now, the release date, we will try to make it happen before Christmas. It is also a very challenging plan, but we work hard to make it happen. 

 

And for those of you who wonder in the previous posts, your humble servant is 32 :)

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I'm actually really looking forward to this. I do have a 30" widescreen CRT TV that I used to use for classic consoles, but the thing is a beast and currently in storage (though I've got it ready if I ever do get a chance for a dedicated setup some day). That means I'm stuck with the HDTV, and although I think older consoles look ok on it (it's an older LG plasma), they definitely don't look their best.

 

I have a Retron 5 and am pretty pleased with it overall, so for a quick way to play old Atari carts on a modern TV at a low price, this will work pretty well for most people. As long as they keep that price around $50, I'm almost willing to bet that there are plenty of people out there who have some old 2600 carts that they've picked-up over the years or have hung onto since they were younger (probably long after their original VCS or 2600 Jr. failed) that would pick something like this up in a heartbeat. With the also-HD Retron 1 HD selling for $40, there's no reason that they shouldn't be able to keep the price-point low, although they're probably expecting the demand for the 77 to be of a much smaller scale.

Edited by Karyyk

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UPDATE TO MY POST #40 - RE:ANDREW STEEL form HYPERKIN - 

 

I want to thank everyone for their input and warm welcome. Your opinions are truly important, both personally for me and for our company.
 
We licensed an early version of Stella, and being fully aware of its certain technological issues, our software developers continue working hard to implement the promised features. We at Hyperkin fully understand that all the newer versions are subject to different license terms, and therefore plan to ship the product with our own build. Stefan, please contact us at developer@hyperkin.com, hopefully we can negotiate the opportunity to use your newer builds, for the sake of making the product better. 
 
What we initially plan to offer is basically a convenient piece of hardware, with a properly configured and licensed Stella (early version). It will not include any other proprietary parts of Stella code from further revisions (unless we negotiate that with Stefan). That build is expected to have the full set of features I listed in my previous post, and hopefully some more.
 
As an additional tinker-friendly feature, we expect to leave an opportunity (for example in a form of a service port) to install other versions of Stella -- we honor everyone's IP rights, but since it's open-source, I believe users are free to rebuild and deploy any build of Stella they want. 
 
Also, many of you requested 7800 compatibility. I cannot really promise that at the moment, but we are working on it. 
 
Thanks again for your support! 

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Thanks for posting this @MaximumRD.

 

Also, many of you requested 7800 compatibility. I cannot really promise that at the moment, but we are working on it. 

 

This is the one thing I was waiting to hear. If they can include 7800 compatibility I'd be deeply grateful. That will introduce a ton of people to the Atari 7800 and spark more homebrewing and new 7800 developers. Then who knows what new strides would be made in 7800 programming, potentially new NES-quality games.

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In my opinion the 7800 is the untapped pinnacle of Atari 8-bit awesomeness. For 1984 it was amazing and even when compared to early NES there are a number of ways in which the 7800 performs very well. Unfortunately I don't see that the 7800 ever reached its full potential. Nintendo continued to develop the NES and push the envelope of what it could do, meanwhile Atari Corp. was aggressive about cost-saving measures, i.e. no POKEY, no new chips, no new accessories, etc. The 7800 was left to compete for shelf space with the XE, 2600, and Lynx before facing the real competition from Nintendo, Sega and others. I would love to see the new Retron include 7800 compatibility and hopefully jumpstart a new frontier of 7800 homebrew developers. Not to do so I believe would be a mistake.

I probably won't buy it if it doesn't support 7800 games.

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