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Current state of Plug and Play Game Market (2017) ?


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I was hoping onmode-kay or Bill Logudice (sorry Bill if I misspelled your name), could help me. Does anyone know if Jakks Pacific or Radica or any other company is making plug and play video games anymore ? All that I am seeing now are the flashback units, (Atari, Colecovision, Intellivison, and Sega.



Anyone with insight on this question would be helpful

On a side note, I like the plug and play video games

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Radica is a definite no. They released their last plug-n-play game system in 2006, and Mattel's acquisition of them was completed later that year. Afterward, Radica was just a division designing Mattel electronic toys. Jakks Pacific released only one plug-n-play game system in 2015, the Star Wars: Blaster Strike gun game, by veteran plug-n-play developer HotGen. That was Jakks' most recent entry in the plug-n-play market; they sat out 2016, and at least based on what I could find in the way of news from NY Toy Fair in February, it doesn't look like they have anything planned for the plug-n-play segment in 2017. Basically, aside from AtGames, it looks like there are no more veteran players on the field (unless you count dreamGear, who has released systems with generic games from unlicensed Famiclone developers in China for over a decade).


2016 was packed with newcomers during the holiday season, though, all with retro offerings: Nintendo, Retro-Bit, and, using the outdated "only one game in the controller" business model, MSI Entertainment. We don't know for sure which if any of those are returning later this year, but so far in 2017, Piko Interactive released their Kickstarter-funded, NOAC-based Arkade (a collection of Wisdom Tree's NES games), and The Bridge Direct is supposed to release an Atari 2600 10-game system later in the year (looks to use the same CX40-inspired molds as Jakks' 2002 TV Game, but the game selection and most likely also the underlying hardware are different). The makers of 2015's Indiegogo-funded ZX Spectrum Vega were expected to release the ZX Spectrum Vega+ in late 2016 (a handheld that can also plug into a TV, similarly funded through Indiegogo), but that's been repeatedly delayed and still has no set date. And of course, alongside the freshmen and sophomores, there will be AtGames, this year with HD Atari and Sega editions built on new hardware (accompanied by legacy SD editions).


And that's the way it is.




P.S. Yes, I'll eventually get around to updating my plug-n-play games info website with data from after the December 2016 update.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I saw a new-ish space invaders PnP at Target last saturday... Didn't catch the mfg.

That's from MSI Entertainment, one of their "only one game in the controller" systems that I referenced above. The Space Invaders model contains only a hack (changes to onscreen text) of the NES port of the game. The form factor and packaging are very close to (possibly the same molds as) Jakks Pacific's "Retro Arcade Featuring Space Invaders" unit from 2011, which ran 10 Taito arcade games on Code Mystics' emulation engine, but it's a much worse value being only 1 game for the same ~$20 price. MSI's other model is Frogger. Its form factor and packaging are nearly identical to those of the Frogger-only unit put out by Majesco in 2004, and I would guess it runs on the same NOAC hardware as MSI's Space Invaders. Majesco's Frogger ran an NES port on a NOAC back then, too, and with MSI being run by the guy who founded Majesco, it's not a stretch to guess that he leveraged his old resources.


I had intended to wait until the ZX Vega+ was released before I updated my plug-n-play information website with new data from the past few months (because there's been very little so far). With that system still not even having a tentative date, though, I'll probably just give up waiting some time in June, so the site will be "caught up" just before AtGames' deluge starts around the end of summer/beginning of autumn.



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Those tiny consoles are SO freakin cute though... the games don't all suck. There is always a few games I enjoy on them, anyway. :) I have a mini arcade of those things.


I have about 50 or so Plug N Play games of different types, and I too noticed just how great the decline in them has been. I wish they would keep making them, but I am also really happy with the ones I have now. :)



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