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Atari "VCS" (the Atari Box saga continues)

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 Cnet even recently confirmed what was shown and on display was NOTHING BUT A MOCKUP

 

The difference being it was Atari's own engineer who plainly said it's not ready yet, the antithesis of the Chameleon's faked prototypes and subterfuge.

Edited by dgrubb

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The difference being it was Atari's own engineer who plainly said it's not ready yet, the antithesis of the Chameleon's faked prototypes and subterfuge.

OK I will give you that but everything else about this just stinks, they have nothing running yet, literally other than a subjectively pretty box and a lot of talk there is not a single thing that warrants interest outside of blind loyalty to Atari. I LOVE ATARI but I just do not see how anyone is not sensing where this is heading. I agree with what someone else commented elsewhere "Atari isn't the old Atari and doesn't deserve your brand allegiance.  Make them earn it." 

 

Check this out - 

 

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/03/22/atari_lempty_box/

 

We sent a vulture to find the relaunched Atari box – and all he got was this lousy baseball cap
Things get surreal in suite 7088
 
By Kieren McCarthy in San Francisco 22 Mar 2018 at 07:02 82 
 
Well, its lights come on, so that's something. The AtariVCS: what a games console looks like
GDC The Ataribox has been renamed the AtariVCS, and it is finally here!
 
Where? Suite 7088 of the Marriott Marquis hotel in San Francisco, USA, directly opposite this year's Games Developers Conference (GDC).
 
There's only one problem: it doesn't work. And by "not work" we don't mean it crashed or is having teething troubles, we mean it literally does not work.
 
When Atari's chief operating officer Michael Arzt suggested we take a look at the ports in the back, we're surprised to find it actually weighs something: Atari knows how to mock up products.
 
Less impressive is the accompanying game controller which looks like an industry-standard controller – the sort of thing you'd see hooked up to an Xbox or Playstation – but which is in reality a solid lump of plastic in the shape of a controller. The buttons don't move, the joysticks are rigid. It has nothing inside.
 
"The traditional controller works," Arzt told us, pointing to the square-stick box with a red button that, many, many years ago, was the games controller. It's hard not to get a twinge of nostalgia.
 
The red button goes down and when it does, a circle of red lights on the controller light up. The central stick moves. It appears to have a real USB connector.
 
Atari controller
Nostalgia ... Literally the only reason to be in this room is this classic Atari controller
 
What happens if we plug this into our laptop, we ask Mike. I don't know, he says. Will it work? I don't know. If we plug it into a different games machine, will it work? No. So it's custom hardware and software? I don't know about that.
 
Mike doesn't know lots of things about the AtariVCS – standing for Atari video computer system – which is odd because he's the exec in charge of it. But for those things he doesn't know, he makes up for with all the things he does know. None of which he can tell us about.
 
Here we go
Launch date? Can't say. Interface? Can't tell you. Hardware manufacturer? Can't tell you. Games developer partners? We're talking to people. Target market? We can't say.
 
What makes this all the more amazing is that the Ataribox was supposed to launch in December before, literally on launch date, the company pulled it citing vague issues with components. It then went silent for three months.
 
Mike tries to tell us that big product launches are suspended all the time. We tell him they really aren't, and on the rare occasion that they are, the company goes out of its way to explain why and give a new launch timeline.
 
So far, Atari refuses to give even a preorder date. And it won't say what the issue was that caused the launch to be called off. Was it hardware? Software? They won't say but apparently it's been resolved. Yet there is still no working model.
 
Mike explains that the situation is the hours before the final countdown to a NASA rocket launch. Sometimes, even in the last few seconds, they have to call it off because of one small issue. We point out that a games console is literally nothing like a rocket launch.
 
Mike is getting fed up. So we focus on finding actual real details, and here's where we get to:
 
It will cost around $250 (equivalent to £180)
It will be "like a good laptop"
It will do 4K video
It will use an AMD chipset – although they don't know which yet
It will run on Linux
We have to be honest, we tell Mike as he explains that AMD has offered another chip that is faster and will cost around the same and so it might shift to that chip, it doesn't sound like Atari has the slightest idea what it's doing.
 
Literally across the road, companies are live demoing headsets that track your eyeballs and respond accordingly. One area has people physically running around with sci-fi superguns, blowing things up as they appear in their vision and avoiding their fellow players who appear in the game in the correct physical space thanks to wireless tracking accurate to 0.2mm.
 
Why are we in a hotel suite staring at a games console from our youth that doesn't even work? And the answer, and the only reason, is the name.
 
We thank Mike, wish him all the best, and grab an Atari-branded baseball cap on the way out the door. ®

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The red button goes down and when it does, a circle of red lights on the controller light up. The central stick moves. It appears to have a real USB connector.

 

If there's a little gold nugget to find in here of something I like, this is it. I'd be happy if Atari released a cool, modern 2600 joystick that was compatible with the original systems. A circle of red lights lighting up around the controller? Sound neat to me!

 

 

We have to be honest, we tell Mike as he explains that AMD has offered another chip that is faster and will cost around the same and so it might shift to that chip, it doesn't sound like Atari has the slightest idea what it's doing.

 

Okay, hold up, you lost me.. So there's this guy named Mike whose developing a new retro video game system but he doesn't seem to know what he's talking about and he's at a booth at a video game expo showing off a non-working mockup?

 

I think you posted that last year.

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Okay, hold up, you lost me.. So there's this guy named Mike whose developing a new retro video game system but he doesn't seem to know what he's talking about and he's at a booth at a video game expo showing off a non-working mockup?

 

I think you posted that last year.

Hah I know, what are the chances? Not sure if MIKE is another bad omen but it sure sounds like it!  ^_^

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I have said before if they just release the joystick I would be buying one, heck I bet there's enough people willing to buy one to fund early development models of the box or vcs or whatever they are calling it 

 

but instead they insist on showing pictures of an empty box with a long list of maybe's but a semi firm price and a second go at crud funding / pre-orders etc.

 

So any interest I might have had in the thing is instantly negated. ON top of all that they still have not completed the game band, but nevermind that.... its totally different atari than the atari failing to deliver on this project, they cant possibly screw up everything, right?

 

bleh

Edited by Osgeld

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well I do not know of a name more iconic than the one that started the casual home game market, but thank you for that link, it provides a point I have been trying to make on another forum about how iconic is the term VCS

 

apparently there's a group that is offended by the use of that name for the new system, my argument was no one really associated the original system with VCS, least as time marched on, even back in the day it was just ATARI or when the 5200 was around the bend they started calling it 2600 starting with the vader models onwards

 

frankly it was decades after the fact for me that people saying VCS meant 2600 ... but to be fair I was born in 79 so by the time I knew more than we had a coleco and my cousin had an atari both systems were obsolete and the NES was starting to dominate :)

 

on the flip side "we called it a video computer system cause that is what it is"  ... ok guys its not 1977 and computers have been using video displays for a half century now 

Edited by Osgeld

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Still not interested. That is not, and never will be, an Atari. Sorry but the Atari I knew and loved died a long time ago when Jack called it quits. Not trying to be offensive or anything, and my thoughts are strictly my opinion, but to me there never will be another Atari. The best developers came from there, made their own chips, and everything. That is what made Atari special, unique. There were not many Atari consoles or computers that used off-the-shelf processors. The new VCS sounds cool and all but it is not for me. If given a choice I would go with an XBOX One or Switch. Again, just my opinion.

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There were not many Atari consoles or computers that used off-the-shelf processors.

 

?????

 

Name a single Atari console or computer that wasn't based around a 6502-derivative or 68000. The closest you'll get is the Jaguar.

 

EDIT: You could argue the Transputer workstation, which was an amazing experiment, but I'm not sure that counts as it was canceled immediately.

Edited by dgrubb

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In that case, i prefer tacos!

 

I ask myself, why aren't they selling their Atari VCS in shops or by retailers? Even in Germany many newspapers, gaming magazines and internetpages are informing about their new console, the Flashback 8 Gold can be found in consumer electronics retailer shops etc.

 

The VCS will be delivered in spring 2019? Hm, i think, in that time the PS5 hype train is on its way. Could be really a bad decision to publish the baby in that time.

 

What they really need is a bunch of interesting games. The real VCS was a success for that reason. The name Atari VCS is only interesting for the old Atari fans, no contemporary gamer and no gaming kids are interested in a Linux computer with woodfront finish and a lack of fresh titles.

 

I was really excited about the first news about the Ataribox and i grant success to the new Atari, but i do not think, that this Atari VCS would be successful. Not in the way, they choose to market their product.

 

And sorry for that... but that Centipede snippet makes me laugh. The Tramiels always were bashed for their management decisions and marketing, but compared to that, they were the kings of the hill!

Edited by TeddyGermany

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So I sense a shift in some opinions after the latest round of news broke:

https://youtu.be/I7GrVmE8yUU

 

In my previous update videos, opinions had been mixed pretty equally, sometimes leaning towards optimism.

However in my latest video, it seems that opinions are now 90/10 negative. 

I think that lack of exclusive games, the fact that the base price might not include a controller and one year pre-order really hurt.

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So I sense a shift in some opinions after the latest round of news broke:

https://youtu.be/I7GrVmE8yUU

 

In my previous update videos, opinions had been mixed pretty equally, sometimes leaning towards optimism.

However in my latest video, it seems that opinions are now 90/10 negative. 

I think that lack of exclusive games, the fact that the base price might not include a controller and one year pre-order really hurt.

It's a shame. Atari, I think, really has something here. An open, but enclosed, platform that's easy for indies and kids in their basement to develop for. They are shooting themselves in the foot with this messy marketing.

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The new ATARI VCS has been NOTHING but talk, claims, marketing hype and nothing more. Over priced, no real titles announced besides the Atari VAULT ? Come on. STOP CALLING A CROWDFUNDING SITE A PRE-ORDER, there is nothing to pre-order yet, there is a BOX they are making a lot of claims about, that footage they showed playing CENTIPEDE? Not even sure that was legit as you could not even tell if the controller was actually in sync with it, could of very well been running on a retro pie for all we know and IF, and that is a big IF everything they have shown and claim turns out 100% legit SO WHAT? Who is this for? It is way over priced for what they claim it will do that you cannot do already elsewhere and probably for better and cheaper. After major delays now they claim Spring 2019? Just my opinion but anyone giving one dime towards this BEFORE verified gameplay on real hardware and some real announced titles is foolish and even then I think you'd be silly to pay that much for Wood grain style and an ATARI logo.  :rofl: There is nothing new or forward thinking about this product. 

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If it were a true pre-order rather than crowdfunding, I would be less skeptical. With Indiegogo, "Atari" keep the money as long as they meet their funding goals. If they were going through GameStop and failed to deliver, I could get a refund. Also, the new Atari VCS is registered to Atari Gamebox, LLC. It's not clear that this is a subsidiary of Atari Interactive or just a licensee. If Atari is managing the launch, why isn't the VCS registered directly to Atari Interactive? LLCs can't issue stock to raise capital and limit the personal liability of owners against judgements. Assuming that this is an Atari subsidiary, or Frederic Chesnais and some other partners, it seems that they are insulating the main company and its holdings from a potential flop.

 

All that said, I like the look of the box and will reserve final judgement for the specs and additional software announcements.

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I think that lack of exclusive games, the fact that the base price might not include a controller and one year pre-order really hurt.

No, it do not hurts, it kills! It kills euphoria, that VCS box thing and finally Atari itself! Meanwhile Atari  seems to be an equivocal little rat shop! And that is imho the killing factor!

First i am angry, than sad about that! It would be so wonderful to see a new hardware with the Fuji logo on it, but that mess has such a bitter taste, especially for the old Atari fans, they want to attend to!

So i prefer to play on the old Atari systems, which i am able to touch with my own god-given hands!

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If it were a true pre-order rather than crowdfunding, I would be less skeptical. With Indiegogo, "Atari" keep the money as long as they meet their funding goals. If they were going through GameStop and failed to deliver, I could get a refund. Also, the new Atari VCS is registered to Atari Gamebox, LLC. It's not clear that this is a subsidiary of Atari Interactive or just a licensee. If Atari is managing the launch, why isn't the VCS registered directly to Atari Interactive? LLCs can't issue stock to raise capital and limit the personal liability of owners against judgements. Assuming that this is an Atari subsidiary, or Frederic Chesnais and some other partners, it seems that they are insulating the main company and its holdings from a potential flop.

 

All that said, I like the look of the box and will reserve final judgement for the specs and additional software announcements.

 

Atari Gamebox LLC is a subsidiary of Atari SA.

 

According to this, http://www.atari-investisseurs.fr/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Atari-Actu-DDR-2017-09-VDEF-DEF.pdf, they are 100% owned by Atari SA.

 

Again, I don't think the Atari VCS is a bad thing, I think it's just an issue with their marketing side of things. I think if they can sort out their launch, it can be really good.

Edited by leolinden

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Yes, but the marketing side of things could be a question of to be or not to be! Do they believe in their own product? I have my doubts, because they seem to take fright at publishing it. They have announced the Box nearly one year ago and want to publish it in a year. Sorry, but they haven't the PS5 or Xbox Two to offer. They can't tell me now, what i'll get for my money, but i have to pay now for a clammy handshake. This is not reputable. And that kills my euphoria.

Edited by TeddyGermany

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