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Atari
November 12th, 2005, 10:06 AM
What do you all think of this new Atari unit?

http://www.classicgaming.com/features/articles/flashback2/

Looks like it's quite an acccurate unit, much better than the original. I think its also cool that the controller plugs are the same so any Atari controller may be used.

Jorg
November 12th, 2005, 10:57 AM
Doesnt look as good as the original one - it lacks... ehm.. AGE :D

But here is to hack it to put your cartridges in...

http://www.atarimuseum.com/fb2hacks/

Mad-Mike
November 12th, 2005, 12:34 PM
I think it'd be a nifty business model to use the "reissue system", the guitar companies have been doing it for years (making reissues of vintage guitars for the average consumer), no reason they can't put out reissue 2600's, unless there's something I'm missing, I can see it now....

Atari 77' "Heavy Sixer" Reissue (For Hardcore 2600 fans) $50.00
Atari 78' Six Switch Reissue $30.00
Atari 80' 4 Switch Reissue (Availible in 84' Vader Style too) $20.00
Atari 2600 Jr. Reissue (State Bezel Type) $15.00

Atari 2600 American Standard $30.00
New gold contact switches and cart port. 50 built in games, some homebrew, some classic. Comes with Joypads (Directional Pads that can be turned into a joystick via a screw-in stick), Paddle/Driving Controllers (DUAL PURPOSE!!),

Okay, so maybe I'm a little nutz.

EvanK
November 12th, 2005, 09:17 PM
"New" Atari console? Not quite... this was new back in the springtime.

FYI, I wrote about it in the May 30 issue of Computer Collector Newsletter. Here's an excerpt:

-----------------------------------------------

Six months ago, just before the 2004 winter holidays, we published a head-to-head review of the Commodore 64 DTV joystick vs. the Atari Flashback console. Both systems had advantages and disadvantages, and we declared the C64 as our winner.

Curt Vendel of http://www.atarimuseum.com sent us an email sooon
after: "I thought your review was exceptionally fair and I would've voted the C64DTV stick the winner as well..." The C64DTV, he noted, used original Commodore software running on a field programmable gate array, while the Flashback used basically a Nintendo chip "pretending to be a 2600/7800." Curt's team had just a few months to build it.

Now everything's changed. CCN visited Curt's house to see prototypes of Atari Flashback 2.0, built with the luxury of 10 months' time, and with a Xilinx FPGA inside - the system he wanted to ship last year.

The new version, available in mid-July, closely resembles a real 2600 in size and materials, unlike last year's Flashback which looked like an obvious 7800 fake. The only tell-tale signs of the new unit are red and orange buttons where the metal toggle switches were on real 2600 units. The new CX40B joysticks are a more major improvement. They're nearly identical copies of the original CX40 models, and are fully compatible with original consoles, while original Atari game controllers are compatible with FB2 as well (yes, even paddles and trackballs). The actual stick of the CX40B is better than original, built of strong black plastic with a rubber base cover, instead of a simple tube covered with rubber as in the 1970s.

This time, there are 40 games instead of 20, and there are two hidden games, accessed by a specific controller action from the main menu.
Curt didn't reveal the action, what fun would that be? He did show us how hackers can attach a real cartridge port, available from sites like http://www.best-electronics-ca.com and http://www.myatari.com - all you have to do is cut a couple of well-defined circuit traces and install a toggle switch instead, with one set of wires going to the cartridge slot. It looked so easy that even we can do it.

Another improvement is the documentation. The original Flashback had a nice, colorful manual, and this one promises to be as good, with the addition of a much more detailed HTML manual of about 90 pages available online. So what's it all cost? The price is $29.99 ($10 less than the original Flashback price), and it will be at Walmart first, followed by other department stores and game shops.

Now, if you know Curt, you also know that he always sees more room for improvement. The day of our visit, he was cleaning the garage out in preparation for a second-floor addition, installing a fire pit in his patio, and - deep inside his brain - planning for Flashback 3.0.

Whether FB3 will ever happen is a mystery that only time (and sales) will determine. There is not yet any committment from Atari, he emphasized. But the chip is mostly laid out, with features like a USB- to-PC connection (online gaming?), a media port (download new games?), and the possibility of having Atari 800 aspects inside, just as the
C64 DTV has a real C64 inside, the master explained.

Still prefer the C64 DTV? There is a 2.0 version of that being planned as well. Jeri Ellsworth pointed out to us that someone "leaked" the programming manual to http://www.dtvhacking.info ;)

CP/M User
November 12th, 2005, 09:45 PM
"Atari" wrote:

> What do you all think of this new Atari unit?

As an Atari 2600/7800 owner I am disguisted by the marketing of these
consoles. Not only do they stick old games on these consoles - they get
new ones & put them on.

I am stick of Atari, not only with these Flashback consoles, but also from their lack of responce I got from them. I address this to the marketing department & feel a lack of responce was terrible - that doesn't mean the issue should die, cause nothing has been done to address this issue.

So they want to bring out new games okay here's the problem:

* What "about" bringing them out for Atari 2600/7800, instead of cutting
them short.

* Why can't they simply have production of re-releasing their old games at a budget price.

* They're simply making machines full of games, why not make cartidges which act as compilation packs (there've done that before).

What's the problem Atari? - looking for a new audience to scam!

I suggest we all send a big letter to Atari telling them where to stick their consoles. They think their big & powerful, so they won't listen to one person, I figure the more people who want to get in on the act we'd have a better change of making them do something.

CP/M User.

Micom 2000
November 12th, 2005, 10:06 PM
I'm confused. Atari wound up a long time ago and sold off all the stock in their plant. So is this Hasbro, who I believe bought the rights or a total new venture under the Atari name ?

Commodore went thru a similar metamorphosis.

Lawrence

Atari
November 13th, 2005, 03:58 AM
Oops. I meant it looks much better than the original Atari flashback, not the original unit.

Vlad
November 13th, 2005, 04:51 AM
I have the first Flash Back unit I won off an auction. (NOT ebay, they suck)
It looks nothing like an atari, but still brought me some joy of playing its games. This new one has a lot more games that the first one did. But I do have 2 original Atari 2600's. The black one and the Wood Paneled one. Both of which will NEVER leave me. The only problem? That little doodad that plugs into the TV, the little switch thingy has broken (old age) and I cannot find one... But I do Have games a plenty. If your looking to play atari, I recomend the Stella engine for playing the ROMS you can get from the internet. Of all of the emulators I have tried, Stella seems to be the best.

-Vlad

P.S.

Hello? anyone home? Atari went out of business years ago, this is NOT the same company. Settle down CP\M user. The Original Atari company would have never done anything like this. Atari as it is today is a division of Infogrames, the people who brought us Driver 2, and many others.

Vlad
November 13th, 2005, 05:19 AM
After some searching of Gov't data bases, The enity called Atari now is really a company by the name of Atari Interactive. Based out of Massachusetts. The Original Atari company we all know and love was Atari Games Coporation. Based out of Califorina. What I find disturbing is that the trademarks that the original Atari company held are no longer active. Like this excerpt of one record as follows:

Word Mark ATARI JAGUAR
Goods and Services (ABANDONED) IC 009. US 026 038. G & S: computers and parts and accessories therefor; namely, key boards, disk drives, and blank floppy and hard disks

(ABANDONED) IC 028. US 022. G & S: pre-recorded video game and computer game programs and cartridges, joysticks for video games and machines
Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING
Serial Number 74267605
Filing Date April 20, 1992
Current Filing Basis 1B
Original Filing Basis 1B
Published for Opposition November 23, 1993
Owner (APPLICANT) ATARI CORPORATION CORPORATION NEVADA 1196 Borregas Avenue Sunnyvale CALIFORNIA 94089
Attorney of Record MELVILLE OWEN
Prior Registrations 1050153;1221509;1520637;1672407;AND OTHERS
Type of Mark TRADEMARK
Register PRINCIPAL
Live/Dead Indicator DEAD
Abandonment Date September 12, 1996

Atari labs is also this way. Some one could claim them and use them for evil!!!

-Vlad

Dear God! After pushing farther into the archives, it appears that Nearly ALL of the Atari trademarks are abandoned!!! Atari labs and Atari Soft, and most all of them!!

However, The original inventers of the Atari 2600 and the other systems, still hold the patents, thats why the flash back units look the way they do. The inventers still own the rights to the original Consoles!

CP/M User
November 13th, 2005, 11:59 AM
"vlad" wrote:

> Hello? anyone home? Atari went out of business years ago, this is NOT
> the same company. Settle down CP\M user. The Original Atari
> company would have never done anything like this. Atari as it is today
> is a division of Infogrames, the people who brought us Driver 2, and
> many others.

I still say protest to them (whoever they are) - in this case it's some
French company who won't reply.

If I had the skill & knowledge, I'd port all of those Infograme games from
my CPC (e.g. Hostages, Mystical) & stick them on my Atari instead. But I
don't.

So in reality were dealing with a dodgy company which claim to be Atari - if the games were sold off - where are they - who has procession, or are they simply sitting at the bottom of a landfill?

CP/M User.

EvanK
November 13th, 2005, 04:55 PM
Vlad, you're thinking of the RF modulator.

Forget that part! A better solution is to use an F-type coax-to-RCA adapter. You can find this online or at any electronics shop for just a couple of dollars. It gives a MUCH better image on your screen since the console gets plugged in directly to your television like any other component.

animekenji
November 15th, 2005, 02:45 AM
Unfortunately the Atari Flashback machines use the NES on a chip and all the games are translated from the original Atari to NES. There is not a lick of original Atari hardware in either of the machines. :-(

80sFreak
November 15th, 2005, 04:49 AM
Unfortunately the Atari Flashback machines use the NES on a chip and all the games are translated from the original Atari to NES. There is not a lick of original Atari hardware in either of the machines. :-(

That is only true for the first Flashback - the second one has an Atari 2600 emulated in hardware. You can add a cartridge port to the Flashback 2.0 and use original 2600 cartridge in it.

Cheers,

80sFreak

mryon
November 15th, 2005, 07:08 AM
I too was furious at Infogrames ( I pass by them every day on the way to work and one day the sign changed to Atari ) but I quite like the newest Flashback.

It's fun, it's nostalgic, it's cool.

Sure, they are cashing in on my childhood and it's a bit like Michael Jackson calling himself the Beatles just because he owns the songs but still, I like the box.

As for the history of the name Atari and it's assorted owners, a google search will give you all you could care to read.

animekenji
November 15th, 2005, 08:15 AM
I'm glad to see they wised up and recreated the original Atari VCS hardware, at least. Now if they would only release an all new, all original Atari branded game system to compete with Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo. :?

carlsson
November 15th, 2005, 11:22 AM
I don't think the "new" Atari has any plans to go into modern gaming hardware. It is getting too advanced and involves a lot of investment. With three big players on the market, anyone (Atari, Sega, Apple, Electronic Arts and so on) who would try to enter the competition is taking big risks, winning both the consumers and the developers. Of course there are consumers and developers who work on many systems and the biggest titles often are available on several systems, but I don't give it much of a chance.

The direct to TV games is yet a much smaller market. There are Jakks, Radica and a few more to compete with. Atari (Infogrames), Commodore (Yeahronimo) and other mainly have to get distribution in toy stores, and of course have a good selection of games and a good price. I've noticed that those direct to TV games also are getting more and more advanced, with peripherals to "unlock" more games (is that a Flash ROM card?), various light guns and mats and advanced features.

I'm not sure whether the majority of consumers would buy on high tech or nostalgia. I know the C64DTV has been hacked a lot (at least NTSC version) to attach disk drives and such. If the Taiwanese manufacturer in co-op with Yeahronimo were convinced how many fans would buy these units to hack them, they could put a mini-DIN or full IEC connector on the device to start with, and sell 1541 compatible CF drives which also existing C64 owners could have use of. There are already 3rd party products that do things like that, so it would not be rocket science. Compared to the costs of designing a brand new 21th century video game, the R&D for such peripherals would much sooner be covered and make a profit, I believe.

Flack
November 16th, 2005, 10:29 AM
The Atari Flashbacks (both one and two) are like a lot of the other "all-in-one" game joysticks on the market. The games are close enough to the originals that casual fans of the original won't notice, but hardcore gamers will be irked by the minute differences -- of course, the hardcore gamers still have real Atari's hooked up at home so it's kind of a moot point.

Just a minor aside, there are at least 3 different versions of the Flashback 2. The unit's code has been changed at least twice during its brief production run. Some versions of the console do not contain the voice sample in Quadrun while others do. Plus there are two different versions of Millipede which appear, depending on which version you own. Apparently, many changes are being made while the unit is being manufactured.

ahm
June 4th, 2006, 01:08 PM
If I were to go buy a Flashback 2, is there any way to tell which revision it is BEFORE I open the box?