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AtariAge + Atari Q&A


Albert

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21 minutes ago, TrogdarRobusto said:

We took the emulation route, as I understand it, because it allowed us to do a few things:

1) get it out the door quicker
2) keep the price down
3) have a more stable supply chain
4) there are probably a few more reasons but that is what I am aware of

Will we someday make a 2600/7800 console that does not use emulation? I really don't know. Everyone loves the idea, not sure how practical it is. Time will tell. 

I can say that the emulation works and looks amazing. The first time you see an 8-bit game on an HD monitor, super crisp with vibrant colors, it is a bit disorienting. But you get used to it quick because it looks and plays amazing.

I don't know if all homebrew games work with the 2600+, we are keeping a compatibility list on our site. I would hazard a guess and say probably not? Will we work with the homebrew community to add compatibility ... where we can, 100%. This community has some very smart people in it, I bet you can help us figure it out.

Does Atari own the technology for the Flashback 2? It was an ASIC that contained an entire 2600 inside, but later they had legal issues with the company that made it, Tommo.

I have more questions, but I think it would be better to ask them to Al. Also, I hope this acquisition will be positive for both Atariage, Atari and the fans!

Edited by M-S
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Just now, Sauron said:

I think an important question that many of us are forgetting is....does this mean that you won't have to spend the bulk of your time putting carts together by hand? :cool:

That's absolutely one of the goals, is whittling down the amount of time I have to spend on physical production and shipping, so I can focus more energy working on publishing games, making improvements to AtariAge, and working on other fun projects I cannot talk about right now.  :)

 

 ..Al

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1 minute ago, Kirkland said:

Since actual Atari people are in here.. I've got a project where I've been scanning manuals and I'm wondering on your stance for hosting them going forward.  Would you be limited to Atari-owned or open to 3rd party as well? And who would need approval?  Is this unnecessary as Atari might now free up and post their original pdfs?  Or if those have been lost to time, should I focus more on the Atari side of my project?

 

http://atari7800.videogamemanual.com/

(green & blue links)

 

https://archive.org/details/kirklands_manual_labor_-_atari_2600_-_atari_corp_international_-_4k_version/3-D Tic-Tac-Toe (Atari) [international]/

 

 

 

I wish we had a comprehensive library of all our packaging, key art, and marketing materials. We really don't. Too much was lost in the many transitions. The Strong National Museum of Play has a rather large trove of Atari documents that they have been cataloging for quite some time. The team at Digital Eclipse worked with Strong to get a lot of the assets in Atari 50.  My goal is to go up there and look about next year. And Tim Lapetino has done an amazing job of tracking down and document all the old key art and marketing illustrations.  Beyond what we have managed to save, we kind of rely on fans to scan originals and post them. AtariAge and MobyGames are as much a resource to us as they are to you.

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1 minute ago, Albert said:

That's absolutely one of the goals, is whittling down the amount of time I have to spend on physical production and shipping, so I can focus more energy working on publishing games, making improvements to AtariAge, and working on other fun projects I cannot talk about right now.  :)

 

 ..Al

Every time I get on a call with Al it feels like he is assembling carts. Just like almost every time I get on the phone with Nolan he is in his garage with a soldering iron on his desk, surrounded by boxes of parts. I think we can free up a lot of Al's time, but I kind of think he likes assembly ;) 

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27 minutes ago, TrogdarRobusto said:

Will we someday make a 2600/7800 console that does not use emulation? I really don't know. Everyone loves the idea, not sure how practical it is. Time will tell. 

I mean, the Atari Flashback 2, released nearly twenty years ago, didn't use emulation, it was a genuine Atari 2600 hardware on a chip.  Curt Vendel (whose company made that chip) is sadly no longer with us, but surely Atari has the resources to bring back the 2600-on-a-chip from the Flashback 2, and create a 7800-on-a-chip to go with it?  Surely the technology to do so hasn't gotten *worse* in 20 years?

Edited by Raiu
Wanted to pare down the extraneous part of the quote
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I can hardly imagine that Atari will allow (at least in the medium term) that good games that are potentially sold will be partly available here for free. That would be a pity and after some of the best games have already disappeared (all arcade conversions) the next big disadvantage.

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Just now, Raiu said:

I mean, the Atari Flashback 2, released nearly twenty years ago, didn't use emulation, it was a genuine Atari 2600 hardware on a chip.  Curt Vendel (whose company made that chip) is sadly no longer with us, but surely Atari has the resources to bring back the 2600-on-a-chip from the Flashback 2, and create a 7800-on-a-chip to go with it?

I am not an engineer ... so I am not the guy to answer this question. Yes it is possible. Was it practical? That is the question. 

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3 minutes ago, Bakasama said:

Seeing that the 2600+ is able play most 7800 games, does that mean Atari at point some will release old and new 7800 games at some point?

So many good 7800 games. What was going on with developers during this period? Shooting aliens on the shore while waterskiing in Alien Brigade? Ninja Golf? MotorPsycho? Very much one of my favorite eras. I do hope we start to release carts for these games and dig deeper into the catalog.

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(disapproving Marge Simpson groan)

 

Corporate acquisitions of popular independent web sites rarely work out well for the readers of those sites. Remember Jump the Shark? Remember how cool it was before it was gobbled up by Fox and turned into a glitzy but vapid TV gossip site?

 

Get your fill of classic AtariAge now, kids. Chances are, it will be a VERY different site two years from now.

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6 minutes ago, Jess Ragan said:

(disapproving Marge Simpson groan)

 

Corporate acquisitions of popular independent web sites rarely work out well for the readers of those sites. Remember Jump the Shark? Remember how cool it was before it was gobbled up by Fox and turned into a glitzy but vapid TV gossip site?

 

Get your fill of classic AtariAge now, kids. Chances are, it will be a VERY different site two years from now.

Well we have owned MobyGames for 18 months now and the site is still going strong, still dedicated to its original mission, still relying on a volunteer community of contributors and moderators. So ... so far so good. Check in again at the two-year mark I am pretty confident that will still be true. 

It really goes back to motivation. Buying popular independent web sites and driving them into the ground is not our core business. We are all about making games and working hard to leverage our IP. Along with that we want to support and preserve the online communities we think are the most valuable to our shared interests and our brand. 

I totally understand your concerns, and I personally dig the marge simpson reference. Give it time ... I bet we make Marge happy. 

Edited by TrogdarRobusto
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29 minutes ago, Raiu said:

I mean, the Atari Flashback 2, released nearly twenty years ago, didn't use emulation, it was a genuine Atari 2600 hardware on a chip.  Curt Vendel (whose company made that chip) is sadly no longer with us, but surely Atari has the resources to bring back the 2600-on-a-chip from the Flashback 2, and create a 7800-on-a-chip to go with it?  Surely the technology to do so hasn't gotten *worse* in 20 years?

Easier to do it in FPGA these days, and indeed it already exists in that form. Wouldn't be cheap though.

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The only thing I was affraid for AtariAge was that it'd be victim of what happened to NintendoAge when they got bought out, which don't seems to be the case here. AtariAge isn't really about collecting and more about a bunch of nerds and geeks hanging around and talking tech, probably because there's an heavy computer community vs console community here compared to a strickly console hgaming site that NintendoAge was.

 

But, as someone else previously asked, does Atari SA has any plans or projects geared toward the Atari computers line? 

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4 minutes ago, juansolo said:

Easier to do it in FPGA these days, and indeed it already exists in that form. Wouldn't be cheap though.

Pretty much, yeah. Emulation is cheaper than FPGA...and I'll flat-out say it: FPGA is basically just hardware emulation at its finest and most expensive imo.

Edited by r_chase
Forgot to add something. :3
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So if I’m reading this correctly, it seems like the 2600+ might struggle with not only Melody boards, but DPC and it’s variants and possibly RAM+ games as well?   I mean it does wipe out Pitfall 2, several CBS games and all of the more advanced looking homebrews 😞

 

Is the 2600+ then just another Retron77 in different clothing?  (It dumps the rom and then executes)

 

I may end up getting it anyway for the hdmi but will keep my trust old 2600 running for the homebrew and CBS games  (loved Tunnel Runner)

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