Sounds interesting, though there are not a lot of details, but I can't help but feel it will fail. I could see cartridges being viable again using high speed high capacity flash. So I have no problems with that. But I just have to wonder if they will actually be able to get the games off the ground to make it a successful system. From what I understood from the video was that there is no download component to it. If a game isn't on cart it isn't on the system. Sounds good right? When you buy a game you have something physical. But the type of games I see this catering to are the indie style retro games. I just don't see those small dev teams being able to afford producing cartridge games. Also unless the system is Windows or Linux based you will have to add in the cost of porting the games over to new hardware.
I guess it's worth noting that they are actually trying to do something different in that market. It's not a clone system(retro trio), Emulation system(retron5), or Download service system(Ouya). But I ask myself what need does this fill? I would love to be proven wrong but I see this failing. What's everyone's thoughts.
It is an interesting idea and if it takes off and has some good exclusive retro-titles for it I think it at least has the potential to do very well since there is definitely a new market for retro-games. However, in it's current state I'm just not sure it's enough to hold it's own. The body being designed after an unattractive failed system that no one really liked or bought is definitely not the move I would make if it were my call. I'd model it after something that looks uniquely retro that promotes imagery of good, classic nostalgia. A hybrid of the NES/SNES and Genesis or something to that effect since that will be the core of their target audience.
In any case, I'll be following their progress and considering purchasing if there are enough games that look interesting. I can say that I am interested in playing Tiny Knight so far as it looks like Wonder Boy, which I'm actually playing through for the first time now over PSN's Sega Vintage Collection. But if they want this to sell, they need to show at least 5 good titles that retr0-gaming enthusiasts would really want to play.
I might contact them about this and give my opinion if they really are interesting in reading what I have to say that is.
Thanks for sharing this information, Xalphenos!
Last Edit: Apr 13, 2015 10:12:11 GMT -5 by SkyeWelse
But if they want this to sell, they need to show at least 5 good titles that retr0-gaming enthusiasts would really want to play.
And here is my other main cause for concern. How big is the market for this really? I know there has been a boom in the "retro gaming" crowd on the net in recent years. But I think we are a relatively small portion of the gaming crowd. While yeah if every "retro", I really hate the misuse of this word, gamer bought one it would be successful I don't see that happening, and I don't see this appealing to your typical gamer.
I don't think it would be something that your average gamer would be interested in to be honest, unless they are really interested in retro-games or they have a friendly developer/publishing model setup for new Indie gamers looking to publish their game in physical form without a huge overhead cost.
Post by ParanoiaDragon on Apr 14, 2015 0:37:52 GMT -5
If I'm understanding right, it'll be using the Jag cart molds for this. That, is one thing that bugs me, as I hate those things. I have all mine stacked on a shelf, but if a fly buzzed by, they'd be on the ground in a second. Still, I'm interested in general.
Been meaning to talk about this some more. I came across another video a while back. It's an interview with the main guy behind the thing. It's clear he is passionate about it but it did raise some concerns. Primarily for me with their storage medium. They've chosen to use something called "hundred year flash" which as the name implies is flash memory that should last for a hundred or more years.
Current flash technology is estimated to have a life of 20 years if written to only once. When used as a drive that gets written too a lot that life expectancy gets cut in half. This information is available in most reputable flash manufacturers data sheets so I'm not just pulling this out of my ... So 20 years seems pretty short when you consider that a lot of the Classic games some of us are still playing is older than that now. It makes sense that they would want to go for something better. But by their own admission this hundred year flash gets too expensive past 60 or so megabytes.
Their solution for this is to possibly put hard drives in carts requiring more space. Which even he was careful to say would probably on be viable for about 20 years or so. I just can't help but think why not go with Optical media instead. There is M Disk which is supposed to last like 1000 years or something. So hdd in the system; Not retro. Optical Discs; Not retro. HDD in the cartridge; Plenty retro.
Anyway I like the guys enthusiasm and wouldn't mind the system becoming a success but I feel that this thing is doomed harder than a time paradox duplicate. Some chatter I'm hearing around is that a kickstarter is coming pretty soon. They do get bonus points for correct use of the word "retro" though.
After watching this new video from Mike Kennedy, I'm really thinking of supporting it. I don't know if I'll really be able to save up too much for a Kickstarter going above $150 as a buy-in this soon, but I'm actually considering it. I really enjoyed hearing about the presentation and their vision. I still feel it's a gamble, but I feel a larger sense of relief that perhaps it really could be something interesting if there is enough support for it.
Also, he had me at Shantae on cartridge... Just sayin. : )
Also, he had me at Shantae on cartridge... Just sayin. : )
I immediately thought of you when I heard that.
Yeah I like their vision and I may be in the minority but I actually love that they are using the jag molds. I still can't shake the feeling that it's going to fail. To make this 60MB flash really be viable they are bassically asking devs to step back in time as far as their development practices go. Or even step back to a time where they possible didn't eve develop games if you are talking about current indie devs. Let me try to explain myself a little better.
We basically live in a world where if someone has a computer and running steam then it's a pretty safe bet their system is pretty decent. It may not be top of the line but you can pretty safely assume they are going to have at least a 2 ghz dual core cpu and 2 gigs of ram. And that would be the lowest of the low. More likely the bulk of your consumer base is going to have at least 3 ghz and 4 gigs of ram. In both cases you can also expect plenty of Hard drive space. What this has done is cause developers to be lazy, at least in regards to system resources. There is basically no need to optimize code or assets. So you need all the devs who honed their skills in this environment to then make every bit of 60MB count. Or go up to HDD carts which I don't see standing the test of time.
Yeah you read that right they ditched kickstarter and went with indiegogo. But they did use the fixed funding option so they don't actually get the funds unless it's successful. The official reason for the change is that "indiegogo had been courting [them] for awhile." Though many suspect it is actually because of kickstarter's requirement that a prototype exist.
Still no hard system specs either. It's still just a "powerful arm processor" and an FPGA. Further about that though. Through this whole internet hype build up the FPGA was touted as being able to reconfigure the system to be basically any other classic system. But then the first price hints and fan blow up happened. They announced that the system would be about 400 to 450 using the FPGA they wanted and maybe an FPGAless version for 300. Well at least they kept the price down and included an FPGA but apparently it's not the one they wanted. Only if their stretch goal of 3.8 million is reached will they be able to put the FPGA that can reconfigure the system in. So even though the video specifically talks about this feature it isn't actually possible unless they nearly double their funding goal.
The storage medium is still a problem as far as I know. There have been no updates on that front. So it's still either 60MB of "hundred year flash" or hard drives. I understand not wanting to use standard flash since that only lasts 20 years but hard drives aren't guaranteed to last any longer. So their "play for a lifetime" slogan is a bit misleading. I would have more faith in optical media lasting the rest of my life then an hdd in a cartridge.
Then there is the price. At least initially, either they said it themselves or everyone just expected it*, it was supposed to be about 150 to 200. Now all of a sudden it's 300. Despite all of my reservations about this at $150 I probably would have backed it. But at 300 I'm just going to have to pass. And really if I were to back it I would want one of the limited edition backer colors and that costs an additional $50.
Honestly I don't see this succeeding. Too many red flags for people paying attention. And too little real information that I am interpreting as lack of planning.
*Well it seems like I was remembering correctly. This screen grab was recently posted by retrogamingmagazine.com. So yeah the initial target was 150 with 180 being a possibility. Now it's 300 for early bird backers or 350 regular. That's not the only price increase either. Games were going to be between 20 and 40 now they are between 30 and 60.
This is what happens when you don't finalize your system specs before you start pricing and hyping something. Basically this crowdfunding campaign is so they can finally nail down their system specs. If it ends up not having an FPGA or only having a weak FPGA that no one is going to use then this thing will essentially be a raspberry pi 2 in a jag case.
Last Edit: Sept 20, 2015 13:34:05 GMT -5 by Xalphenos