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The TI-99/4I Expansion Set


Omega-TI
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While thinking of ways to get 'casual user's' and 'classic gamer's sucked into the TI, a totally "Off-The-Wall" idea popped into my head, one that will never see the light of day of course, but it made me chuckle, so I thought I'd share it.

 

The TI-99/4I nternet Gamers Expansion Kit

 

This would be a two piece system, the controller cartridge and the Internet side car.

 

The Internet side car would house 32K of memory and an RS-232 port with a UDS-10 like interface.. but much faster.

 

The cartridge would house the menu interface and some update capability similar to Gazoo's XB 2.7 cartridge update program.

 

The games and programs would be maintained on a server somewhere, but would probably load many times faster than from diskette.

 

All a user would have to do is plug in the cartridge and side car, plug it into their router and go. Truly a PLUG-N-PLAY device. As new games or 'flavors of the month' become available, they would be added to the server. It would keep things fresh, for example Opry99er's game challenge of the month program could always be on the cartridge.

 

With the prices classic gamer's pay for cartridges, this would be a twist in the way things are done. No cartridges to buy.... ever, just a never ending supply of games at the flick of a switch.

 

Anyway, I hope you got a laugh... :)

 

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Sounds like the Gameline modem for the 2600 (company ended up morphing into AOL later) and even the Intellivision had such a (short lived) device.

 

Oh and can't forget about the SNES and Genesis X-Band modems. Cool concepts, but the online or server "pay to play" services sure didn't seem to stick until XBox Live and the PSN came about.

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Yeah, I don't expect this concept to go anywhere at all. Since there are so few of us, it would be mostly a hobby supported type thing. It sure as heck would never be a viable business model. Now I suppose the files themselves could be maintained at a place like WHTECH, or even here at Atari Age (maybe available to subscribers). Even with ALL the decent TI programs known, I doubt they would add up size-wise to the average well sized graphic or PDF file. TI programs are microscopic compared to modern day PC programs.

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