back to article We sent a vulture to find the relaunched Atari box – and all he got was this lousy baseball cap

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 …

  1. malle-herbert Silver badge
    Coat

    Aaaahhhh come on....

    Just slap a Raspberry-Pi in there and be done with it...

    1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge
      Stop

      Re: Aaaahhhh come on....

      I'm gonna make my own VCS! with blackjack! and hookers!

      ... in fact forget the vcs

      ah , screw the whole thing

      1. PaulR79
        Meh

        Re: Aaaahhhh come on....

        @Prst. V.Jeltz

        Mike, it's ok to use your real name. Tell us the truth now and get it all out.

        In all seriousness why bother holding an event where you can shed no light on the problems or give any worthwhile information? Why was it delayed? Has that problem been fixed? When can it be expected? For someone in charge of it to know so little would tell me this is something to be avoided if I was even remotely interested. Which I'm not.

        1. Valerion

          Re: Aaaahhhh come on....

          In all seriousness why bother holding an event where you can shed no light on the problems or give any worthwhile information?

          I imagine that Mike wanted a reason to go to the conference and stay in a nice suite at a nice hotel, and this was the only way he could swing it.

      2. Unicornpiss Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        Re. Screw the whole thing..

        Custer's Revenge anyone?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Aaaahhhh come on....

      They already slapped the woodgrain on (almost a lazy cliche of VCS nostalgia exploitation) and included the same old VCS games (#) that we've been re-sold millions of times- it doesn't surprise me they went the whole hog and decided to exploit the VCS name to sell a console no-one would care about if it wasn't masquerading as a new "VCS" (which it isn't) from a company masquerading as the original "Atari" (which they aren't).

      (#) As I noted before, these could have been emulated with ease on a typical PC 25 years ago. Nowadays, you could probably run them on the button panel controlling your bloody microwave. (##) No-one needs another console just because it's had some "this is a real late 70s VCS honest!" woodgrain slapped on.

      (##) FFS, you could probably emulate them on one with a mechanical clock that goes "ping" when it's ready ;-)

      1. ThomH Silver badge

        Re: Aaaahhhh come on....

        Emulating the 2600 exactly is actually more hassle than you think; it predates such niceties as just being able to tell the video chip where to put a sprite: instead there is explicitly a 160-step counter that triggers a draw of the sprite upon overflow and a bunch of conditions affecting when it'll be clocked and when it won't. You can reset it manually or provide some input into clocking to shift the sprite left and right. But the timing-related edge cases add up very quickly. Most games you can fake, hence the ability to emulate most of them on a 486, but at least one* was successfully emulated only in the last couple of years.

        Emulating something less simple but with a good abstraction is a lot computationally cheaper — something like a Spectrum, even allowing for contended timing.

        * actually, it's only a prototype: Meltdown. A real back-in-the-day prototype, but nevertheless a title that didn't ship.

    3. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: Aaaahhhh come on....

      From the spec it sounds much like a customised Steambox. And we all know how successful those were..

    4. Jason Hindle

      Re: Aaaahhhh come on....

      “Just slap a Raspberry-Pi in there and be done with it...”

      Like a mate of mine did with an old PC tower case. It looked comical, on the inside, but also a bit Sci-Fi.

    5. Tom 64
      Alert

      Re: Aaaahhhh come on....

      Ahh what's that smell... Why yes, its the smell of fraud.

  2. phy445

    Reliable Atari

    It’s good to know the Atari brand has retained its air of incompetence that characterised it’s fall from grace in previous incarnations.

    1. phuzz Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: Reliable Atari

      Come on now, I think you'll find that Commodore could out-incompetent Atari any day of the week.

      1. Steve the Cynic Silver badge

        Re: Reliable Atari

        Come on now, I think you'll find that Commodore could out-incompetent Atari any day of the week.

        Well it was Atari that had a floppy drive with a write-protect sensor that didn't actually stop the drive writing to the floppy. (520ST)

        1. Mike 16 Silver badge

          Re: Reliable Atari

          Of course, you are forgetting the "Great Mind Swap" where a bunch of Commodore folks followed Tramiel Per. to his new home at the company formerly known as Atari, oh, wait, it was still known as Atari after Warner gave it to Jack. Meanwhile a bunch of ex-Atarians were busy making a little box you may have heard of: The Amiga. The 520ST was definitely a Commodore design, with all that implies.

          A friend worked for Commodore back when they did calculators (pre-Pet), and would come home exhausted from her job of trying to follow the Cutomer Service script while being yelled at by dissatisfied customers.

      2. David Given
        Happy

        Re: Reliable Atari

        Commodore? Atari? Pfft.

        Look, people, I was an Acorn fanboy back in the day, and Acorn's marketing division could lose to *anyone*, with both hands not tied behind their back.

      3. Unicornpiss Silver badge

        Re: Reliable Atari

        "Come on now, I think you'll find that Commodore could out-incompetent Atari any day of the week."

        Only the management. The Engineering dept. was actually very sound and extremely under appreciated.

    2. asdf Silver badge

      Re: Reliable Atari

      Doesn't help that Billy McFarland sorry Mike is running everything.

  3. TRT Silver badge

    Hatari

    Consolation Prize.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hatari

      With or without John Wayne?

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: Hatari

        There's only one John Wayne. Big Leggy.

    2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
      IT Angle

      Re: Hatari

      Hatari! - IT Angle?

      Anna Maria D'Alessandro ("Dallas") - Elsa Martinelli

      Dallas Semiconductor

  4. Christian Berger Silver badge

    Welcome to actual capitalism

    Where even the simplest of tasks (putting some small mainboard into a custom case) can take magnitudes longer than doing it yourself.

  5. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
    Headmaster

    Space oddity?

    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.

    I wouldn't say that it's odd or uncommon - I know a lot of middle and occasionally senior managers in charge of projects that they know absolutely nothing about beyond the fancy PowerPoint buzzwords and maybe the title.

    Of course this doesn't stop them claiming all the glory and taking the credit when they are completed...

    1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      Re: Space oddity?

      yeah but when you're entire company has a single product that isnt launched yet ... you'd expect a little more surely? well , "expect" might be the wrong word ...

      1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: Space oddity?

        Given the branding and product history so far, it's unfortunately exactly what I was expecting...

      2. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Re: Space oddity?

        @Me

        "yeah but when you're entire company.."

        Thats "your" . FTFM. Blimey do I have to point these things out to myself now?. You grammar Nazis are slipping.

        1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: Space oddity?

          Just don't start writing odes to them... ;)

        2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: Space oddity?

          You grammar Nazis are slipping.

          It takes time to ready the invasion force y'know..

          1. VikiAi Bronze badge
            Go

            Re: It takes time to ready the invasion force y'know..

            Any you have to wait until winter, to be sure!

    2. JimboSmith Silver badge

      Re: Space oddity?

      I wouldn't say that it's odd or uncommon - I know a lot of middle and occasionally senior managers in charge of projects that they know absolutely nothing about beyond the fancy PowerPoint buzzwords and maybe the title.

      A friend of mine came to London for work purposes from the other side of the pond. Over a drink on the first night I asked if the meetings she was attending were boring. She said boring didn't describe it and she was normally one of, if not the most senior person in the room (and for our American readers by senior I mean in terms of seniority not age). It was then that I introduced her to Bullshit Bingo and she perked up a bit. Apparently people in the financial field also spout buzzwords and have make unrealistic promises and have wild expectations.

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Space oddity?

        Apparently people in the financial field also spout buzzwords

        Friend of mine in that field was due to go out to Russia this week. For entirely understandable reasons the trip has been cancelled..

    3. Unicornpiss Silver badge

      Re: Space oddity?

      "I wouldn't say that it's odd or uncommon - I know a lot of middle and occasionally senior managers in charge of projects that they know absolutely nothing about beyond the fancy PowerPoint buzzwords and maybe the title."

      I'd have to agree. Often the person drafted for these gigs aren't the people that have a clue about the project or any prior history, but someone that a self-serving manager "trusts" to not crap themselves in public or in any way demean their 'superiors' regardless of their actual skill set or how lackluster the presentation will be.

  6. Dan 55 Silver badge
    WTF?

    "It will do 4K video"

    Why? 0.4K video would be about four times more than the VCS ever had.

    1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      Re: "It will do 4K video"

      because buzzword

    2. MyffyW Silver badge

      Re: "It will do 4K video"

      Translation: It'll have 4KB of video memory. Possibly.

      1. Michael Strorm

        Re: "It will do 4K video"

        That'd be four times more video memory than the VCS.... no, it wouldn't. Actually, the VCS didn't even have anywhere near even *1KB* of video memory. (It only had 128 bytes of RAM for regular use!)

        As far as I'm aware, it had enough to store *one* scanline's worth of screen memory. That's it.

        No, really. There wasn't a "bitmapped" display as such- you had (from Wikipedia) "two bitmapped sprites, two 1-pixel "missile" sprites, a 1-pixel "ball," and a 40-pixel "playfield" [background graphic]" that you could set the patterns and position for.

        To the best of my knowledge, you could set that and leave it to repeat over multiple scan lines, but unless you wanted a screenful of nothing but vertical patterned stripes (i.e. the same arrangement on every line)- which of course you bloody did!- you had to update these registers on the fly- at the appropriate time for successive scan lines- to give the illusion of a bitmapped display.

        1. John Styles

          Re: "It will do 4K video"

          If you are interested in how to program them (on emulators primarily obviously) I recommend this book

          https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01N4DSRIZ/ Making Games for the Atari 2600 by Steven Hugg.

          For a more general book about it there is Racing the Beam by Ian Bogost (who you may have heard of) and Nick Montford https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/racing-beam

          It is somewhat academic in tone (I mention that not as a pejorative term, but to give an idea as whether it might be for you)

      2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: "It will do 4K video"

        It'll have 4KB of video memory

        Well, given that the original (according to pikiwedia) only had 128 bytes of RAM even that would be overkill..

        (According to the article, later versions allowed up to 32K for the ROMs, using bank-switching but the initial ROMS were 2k-4K in order to reduce costs )

        1. Michael Strorm

          Re: "It will do 4K video"

          @ CrazyOldCatMan; That 128 bytes was for the main RAM as far as I'm aware.

          As I noted in the comment above yours, the VCS doesn't even have bitmapped screen memory as such.

          AFAICT, all it has are registers for (one-dimensional) playfield and sprite patterns (along with horizontal position and colour data) that need to be manually updated for successive scan lines if you want anything other than vertical stripes.

          1. ThomH Silver badge

            Re: "It will do 4K video"

            If we're playing this game, it also doesn't have independent storage for all 40 background pixels. It can store only 20 of them, plus a decision either to mirror them or repeat them. That's why so many games have symmetrical backgrounds. If you want 40 independent background pixels, you'll need to write to the storage as the raster runs.

            1. Michael Strorm

              Re: "It will do 4K video"

              @ThomH; My apologies, I just looked up and nicked the specs from Wikipedia...! I know the broad principles of how the VCS works, but not all the fine details.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Have they the rights

    to actually call it the VCS.

    The Atari brand has changed hands so many times, I don't think the brand owners have a clue who owns what now.

    1. Edwin

      Re: Have they the rights

      I was thinking that that's all they have, but now you made me question even that ;)

      1. DJV Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: Have they the rights

        "The Atari brand has changed hands so many times, I don't think the brand owners have a clue who owns what now."

        Sadly, that's pretty much the same situation with Commodore.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Have they the rights

          @ DJV;The situation with Commodore seems- if anything- to be worse. It's a complete clusterf**k!

          The rights to the "Commodore" brand, to the "Amiga" name, to the various lines of hardware, and to the Amiga OS itself have all been variously and repeatedly split up, sold on, sublicensed to other parties and used for completely unrelated purposes numerous times over the years.

          Hence, we have new version of the Amiga OS (whose historical and present-day rights are split and sublicensed between multiple parties). Or the new "Amiga" hardware- don't get excited if you just want to play Lotus II a bit faster, it's all based on PowerPC architecture, very expensive for what it is and completely incompatible at a bare iron level with the old 68000 Amigas, but intended to run new versions of the Amiga OS for rabid diehard Amiga fans.

          Then we had at one point people- completely unrelated to the above- selling HTPC cases using the names of classic Amigas (e.g. Amiga 3000) that otherwise had nothing to do with them.

          We also had the "relaunched" Commodore 64 a few years back (actually a PC clone in a C64-style case made by a now-defunct company called "Commodore USA" that had only ever licensed the Commodore brand), who also sold small form-factor computer-in-keyboard PCs called "Vic" that had nothing to do with the Vic 20 (not even the case style) beyond the name.

          Oh, and what happened to that stupid idea to sell a generic Android tablet using the "Commodore PET" name (which was to have included C64 and Vic-20 emulators, but not apparently a PET emulator)? Last I heard, they might not have had the rights to the name after all. (Though if you want one anyway, you can just buy a cheapass Android tablet, scribble "Commodore PET" on it with a marker and you're already there.)

          If anyone else has the time or inclination to keep track of it all, you're better than I am.

          1. DJV Silver badge

            @AC

            Yeah, I know. Total clusterf**k squared!

            As someone who started off in 1979 on a CBM PET (original chiclet key version that I managed to upgrade all the way to Basic 4) and at various times owned a C64, C128D, CBM-500 (no, not the Amiga 500 - that came later), CBM-600 (B Series in the US), Amiga 500 and finally a 2000, I watched in horror as CBM crashed and burned in the 90s and was then tossed around like a seal amongst killer whales. I always wonder if it would have turned out any different had Commodore UK managed to buy the whole kit n kaboodle before Escom got hold of it.

  8. imanidiot Silver badge

    I other words they have nothing, and no development is happening. Otherwise they would have actually shown SOMETHING. If a product was indeed very close to launching in December they would have had a working model now. It might not be perfect and need polishing, but they'd have SOMETHING to show for themselves instead of a "the dog ate my homework".

  9. defiler Silver badge
    Joke

    The real reason for the delay...

    The production lines were snapped up for the Vega+. Atari will just have to wait until that production run is complete.

    Too soon? :-/

    1. Alistair Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: The real reason for the delay...

      @ defiler:

      Too soon? :-/

      apparently not.

    2. ThomH Silver badge

      Re: The real reason for the delay...

      I guess it helped that the Vega+ people had a whole bunch of customers money to woo the production line company with. At least sort-of-Atari has declined to take anybody's money so far.

  10. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

    This sounds exactly like the episode of The Simpsons where Homer decides to get in on the dot com bubble. His business plan is "Can I have some money now?"

    1. JimboSmith Silver badge

      This sounds exactly like the episode of The Simpsons where Homer decides to get in on the dot com bubble. His business plan is "Can I have some money now?"

      "Oh they have the Internet on computers now." my favourite Homer line.

    2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      His business plan is "Can I have some money now?"

      Art imitates life..

  11. trevorde

    Must try harder

    Pathetic effort! This is even vapourware.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    pretty impressive

    to write such an informative text off non-information. You'd think you're at a press conference of a British Foreign Ministry :)

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Vapourware?

  14. MonkeyNuts.Com
    Paris Hilton

    You're treading on my dreams

    First your slaughtered Magic Leap and now doing the same to my Atari box.

    If we wanted reality we wouldn't be seeking to escape it in video games!

    Paris (again), because when we want to escape other realities, we watch her videos.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: You're treading on my dreams

      >we watch her videos

      She has more than one?

  15. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    Just hand over the whole project to Warren Robinett, he'll know what to do.

    Plus add in some cool easter eggs :)

  16. Tom 7 Silver badge

    Atari controller?

    If only someone would invent a 3d printer, you knock one of those out in an hour.

    1. Fading Silver badge

      Re: Atari controller?

      Looks like a company with a marketing department, board of directors, a 3D printer and no engineers or technicians. A cargo cult company.......

      1. detuur

        Re: Atari controller?

        You hit the nail on the head. I'm an electronics/IT engineer and I'm friends with quite a few industrial designers. So many of their ideas and concepts are so entirely detached from physical plausibility that could be rectified by just having one person on board who vaguely remembers using a RasPi a long time ago. I have the impression that they're educated in a complete vacuum, unaware that engineers or practicality even exist.

        1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: Atari controller?

          unaware that engineers or practicality even exist

          People who can Do Stuff(TM) cost money! Whereas designers can *generate* money.. until the supply of credulous idiots runs out and, since it's a self-renewing resource, I can't see that happening any time soon.

  17. wolfetone Silver badge

    Jeez, they invite journalists to hotel rooms to see vapourware?

    1. VikiAi Bronze badge
      Unhappy

      Damn! The only time I ever get invited to a hotel room to see something of dubious existance, I end up having to knee someone in the groin and call the cops!

  18. rmason Silver badge

    I think

    I think they've employed the chap from vega+ in a stick on 'tasche.

    Questions should have been asked when he insisted the only way to get a good deal from suppliers was to travel to china himself with the cash for parts in briefcases.

    1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: I think

      And then unfortunately got onto the wrong plane and ended up in some tax haven island without an extradition treaty...?

      1. rmason Silver badge

        Re: I think

        @Anonymous Custard

        Yep, happens to the best of us.

        Don't pretend you've never done it.

  19. Cuddles Silver badge

    I still don't get it

    I'm sure I said something similar regarding one of the other various failures at making a nostalgia-focussed box, but how do they all manage to make this so complicated and difficult? Literally all you need is some low-end, off-the-shelf parts stuffed into a nostalgia-shaped box with a pre-installed software emulator. Even if you don't really know what you're doing and mess up on manufacturing time, cost estimates, and the like, how is it possible to be so incompetent that you find yourself months after your expected release date still with no idea what chips you're going to put in it? How can anyone be so oblivious to reality that they can claim they've solved all the hardware problems in the same breath as admitting they don't even know what hardware they're going to use?

    As far as I can tell it doesn't even seem to be the usual scam, since they've repeatedly delayed crowdfunding and pre-orders. They've genuinely just taken this long to make a box with nothing in it.

    1. WallMeerkat Bronze badge

      Re: I still don't get it

      To be fair the C64x had a wonderful keyboard for typing on.

      Until it stopped working.

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: I still don't get it

        To be fair the C64x had a wonderful keyboard for typing on.

        Until it stopped working.

        Or you wanted to type something quickly..

        1. VikiAi Bronze badge
          Facepalm

          Re: I still don't get it

          But Those arrow keys....!

  20. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

    "It doesn't sound like Atari has the slightest idea what it's doing"

    A fine candidate for understatement of the year.

    Unfortunately they're not the only company promising a retro-computing experience which deserves such negative accolades.

    I'm getting tempted to start a whole slew of nostalgic home computer revivals on Kickstarter so I can retire to the Bahamas and avoid the impact of brexit.

    1. Fading Silver badge

      Re: "It doesn't sound like Atari has the slightest idea what it's doing"

      Oooo do an Oric 1 - please take my money......

      1. CentralCoasty
        Angel

        Re: "It doesn't sound like Atari has the slightest idea what it's doing"

        I don't need a re-hash of that.... I've still got mine! The super-dooper 48K version!

  21. Steve Todd

    Why on earth do they need a high performance AMD CPU/APU?

    An ARM SoC should be more than fast enough for the task, and FAR cheaper.

    1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: Why on earth do they need a high performance AMD CPU/APU?

      An ARM SoC should be more than fast

      Solution: buy up all the old landfill Android phones and use them.

      That'll be £2.5m pounds please for my well-trained designer time. Cash only. Preferrably in brown[1] envelopes.

      [1] I believe that's the traditional colour..

  22. PNGuinn Silver badge
    Joke

    OOOPS! El Reg has just upset another ...

    El Reg has just upset another major hardware manufacturer.

    Apple refuse to talk to the vultures ...

    M$ refuse to talk to the vultures ...

    The Leading Manufacturer of games consoles refuses to talk to the vultures ...

    Keep it up, lads!

    1. Sampler
      Trollface

      Re: OOOPS! El Reg has just upset another ...

      Almost like they're biting the hand that feeds...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: OOOPS! El Reg has just upset another ...

      "The Leading Manufacturer of games consoles refuses to talk to the vultures ..."

      Apparently Atari have stopped speaking to them as well.

  23. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

    Thinking about it , this none working mock up box is not all that much more worthless than the planned product.

    My reasoning is. This could be done much more easily cheaply and effectively with an emulator.

    But for those hardcore fans who want woodgrain - buy the non working mock up and put it on top of your laptop.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Or just buy some wood and put *that* on top of your laptop! :-)

      (Well, technically it would have to be veneer, and imitation veneer at that...)

  24. Flakk Silver badge
    Mushroom

    At That Price, Who's the Targeted Consumer?

    That's right. They admitted that they don't know.

    Here's what I know:

    Atari VCS (2018) - $250.00 (est)

    Xbox One S (new) plus Atari Flashback Classics Volumes 1 and 2 (used copies) - $254.22

    Compare and contrast the value proposition between the two. The chasm is breathtaking.

    I am an unabashed lover of classic video games, and absolutely adore fawning nostalgia for the classics. I should be the target consumer for this device, but I wouldn't touch it with a 10' pole. I'm not sure I'd even bother to hook it up if I was given one. These cheap pimps turning out the Atari name have no idea what they're doing.

    1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: At That Price, Who's the Targeted Consumer?

      These cheap pimps turning out the Atari name have no idea what they're doing

      In other words, accurately replicating the authentic Atari[1] experience..

      (For purposes of full disclosure I need to reveal that I had an Atari ST. But I got rid of it once the Acorn Archimedes came out..)

      [1] Other fly-by-night late 80's computer manufacturers are available. Hardware may go down as well as up. Your experience may vary, please consult a qualified professional. Or, if you can't find one of those, that bloke[2] in the pub that once used a computer and brags about it endlessly..

      [2] Once got into a conversation with a kid who solemnly told me that "he knew all about viruses because they they were all written in machine code". Since I was (at that time) a mainframe assembler programmer I was somewhat underwhelmed..

      1. Steve the Cynic Silver badge

        Re: At That Price, Who's the Targeted Consumer?

        [2] Once got into a conversation with a kid who solemnly told me that "he knew all about viruses because they they were all written in machine code". Since I was (at that time) a mainframe assembler programmer I was somewhat underwhelmed..

        I wonder what His Kidness would have made of the virus called "Concept". It was written in Word-Macro because it was, in fact, the very first Word macro virus, written by a guy at Microsoft who told a colleague "hey, we can use this macro system to make viruses" and the said colleague pooh-poohed the idea. So Chuckles went off to make it (as a proof of concept), and because the A/V software of the time hadn't yet heard of the idea, it spread throughout Microsoft faster than corn through a goose, as they say.

  25. Pete4000uk

    Reminds me of the

    Coleco Chameleon debacle. Mind you that was a real con job, I'll still give this thing time though.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Reminds me of the

      Co-le Co-le Co-le Co Co-leco Chameleon.

      It came and went. It came and went.

  26. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    Oh, by the way... is there a meme or buzzword for "nostalgia vampire"?

    Nostalgia vampire = somebody who get you all excited about $OLD_TECH, start a kickstarter campaign, get oodles of $$$, then disappear with all the money with nothing to show...

    1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      meme or buzzword for "nostalgia vampire[1]"?

      I believe it's a subclass of "scammer".

      [1] Now, nostalgia is fine in the right context - I'll happily go and see a (good) Genesis tribute band, for example. Or even Steve Hackett[2] - who isn't a tribute band since he was really there. And his departure hastened the descent into prog-pop.

      [2] He whose music prompted my wife to exclaim "too many notes and all in the wrong place!". Which is exactly why I listen to it..

  27. adam payne Silver badge

    It looks sexy but I get a whiff of vapourware.

    If they were so close to launching they would have something to show.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "If they were so close to launching they would have something to show."

      Yup, at the very least there ought to be a lashed up prototype if not an actual preproduction model.

  28. localzuk

    Incompetence

    OK. So the product is supposed to be a machine which can run the old 2600 games via emulation, and run Linux for some other games.

    Where's the hard part in making that? I mean, you can do the whole thing with a Raspberry Pi in a day. The only different bit would be the controllers - and there's companies that specialise in those so could knock something out for them in no time.

    Then stick the R Pi in a nostalgia fulfilling case and you're done. The software is something a uni graduate could sort in a couple of weeks!

    Bizarre.

    1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: Incompetence

      The software is something a uni graduate could sort in a couple of weeks!

      Yeah but even a recent graduate is going to want *something* for their efforts. Which will reduce the amount of money available for moving offshore..

  29. This post has been deleted by its author

  30. Mike Richards Silver badge

    It's lucky they dug up all those Atari cartridges in the desert

    Because they now have a nice big hole to dump all these things in when they fail to set the market alight.

  31. BRYN

    anybody thinking......

    .... Big White Elephant........Nope

    #KThnxBai

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cap Picture

    Personally I would have only included photos of working equipment, so only the hat.

  33. sisk Silver badge

    Erm....seriously now....how difficult could it possibly be to emulate a console from the 70s? Nerds have been doing it for decades now, but the company that made the original is having trouble doing it? Or am I missing something and what they're actually trying to do is create a modern console that just happens to have an emulator built in like Nintendo* has been doing?

    *Ok, if we're using Nintendo as the example then we should say modern-ish since they generally build their consoles on last-gen hardware. But still....

    1. Linker3000

      Knock your socks off with TV Pong on an Atmel microcontroller:

      https://github.com/linker3000/Microbit-TVPong

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "but the company that made the original is having trouble doing it? Or am I missing something"

      I think the primary bit of missing information is that these people only bought the name Atari. That's their ONLY link to the original company.

  34. handleoclast Silver badge
    Coat

    Let me guess

    The baseball cap had "MAGA" on it and Mike told you it stood for "Make Atari Great Again."

  35. Mike 16 Silver badge

    Not even trying

    I recall when Coleco showed their "Gemini" at some trade show and Curous Minds discovered the cables running under the tablecloth to an actual 2600 under the table. Or the time I peered into the cabinet running (IIRC) Space Invaders at a coin-op show, to see an Apple ][ inside. If you are going to fake a product, give it a _bit_ more effort.

  36. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    The Register - Biting the hand that feeds IT

    A classic story reflecting The Registers true roots, well done!

  37. Eduard Coli

    Deja Vu

    Perchance Atari could just buy a controller:

    https://innexinc.com/pc-wired-atari-style-controller-black.html

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    WHERE'S

    ALAN SUGAR WHEN YOU REALLY NEED HIM?

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019