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It seems the Atari VCS team are burning bridges before they're even built, as they accused the well respected tech news site The Register of professional trolling.

A user on Facebook sent Atari a link to this article by El Reg that basically savaged the Atari VCS. I'm surprised I missed that article, so I've done a little catching up this morning reading everything through.

Here's what Atari said in reply:

We honestly can't explain that article either. Our executives sat with that reporter for half an hour and he wrote what he wanted instead of what was discussed with him. Sadly there are even irresponsible trolls in "professional" positions i guess. We clearly said that we were bringing engineering design models to GDC and lots of people clearly don't understand what that means. Hunks of plastic? Well, yeah, that's how you finalize the designs and confirm that you can get the look and feel you want for the finished products. Sad.

The article author who wrote the original piece on El Reg himself replied, which was a little amusing:

 "He wrote what he wanted rather then what was discussed..." Oh dear. You must have forgotten that I recorded the interview. Will see if my editor is interested in a follow up given your accusations. 

And now we have a fresh article out, with the full interview and it shows up Michael Arzt from Atari pretty badly. He seems to dodge questions pretty poorly too, like the case of when they announced a date and then on that date they officially paused it giving no actual details as to why. The guy from El Reg rightyfully said, that usually when such a thing happens (which is incredibly rare) the company will say why they're doing so. Arzt then starts talking about NASA and just making no actual sense, some tiny game box is in no way anything like a rocket launch, that's just ridiculous.

Honestly, the whole interview is a bit of a farce, Arzt is repeatedly dodging questions and now they're trying to paint a respected tech site (one I personally read) as the bad guy…you couldn't make this up. Well, you could, but reality is far more entertaining in this case as the recordings show.

It's a shame, as I wanted it to be success considering it could have been an interesting Linux gaming device. I mean, it still could be, but that interview just shows how badly Atari have been handling it. 

Their IndieGoGo is doing well, with it hitting nearly $3 million in pre-orders. Considering it won't even ship until around Spring next year and they're still going through prototypes right now, there's no way I would back their crowdfunding, especially not after how they've made themselves out to be with stuff like this.

I still find it odd how their official website features three quotes from seemingly random nobody's, I thought they would have replaced those quotes by now with more real people, but given this interview perhaps they've found that a bit difficult…

We will possibly cover it next year, once it's actually out to see if it was worth all the fuss.

What are your thoughts?

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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emphy 24 Jun, 2018
Quoting: mandersson
Quoting: Narvarth
Quoting: emphyEven if we assume good faith from the company (that's a huge assumption)

Well, maybe you're right, and it's a case of blatant theft (what about the money collected on indiegogo ?). If it's true, we can say that the brand will be definitely dead in spring 2019...

Atari stated before the start of the indiegogo campaign that i would use crowd funding primary as a way for the community to influence the project,and as a bonus funds for the project without interest.This is the first crowd funding attempt from Atari.They have done what they have told during the campaign but nothing more.Maybe the expectations was to high?

Last year they signed quite a few deals for other companies to use the Atari brand.Their last financial report was the first in a long time to show profit so i doubt that they want to ruin the value of their intellectual property by doing something stupid.

I serious doubt that any company would dare to invest in a linux based console again if all they get is bad press and hate from the open source community...

Just because they are using linux does not mean they get a free pass; the atari brand has been dragged through the mud for the last few years by their own actions. Now they are asking money up front, showing nothing more than some suggestive videos and plastic models, on a crowd funding site with a less than stellar reputation in regards to checking on project quality. Imo, a bit of healthy scepticism is definitely called for here.

Note: this is not the first crowd funding attempt by atari: they also tried it with the roller coaster tycoon mobile port for the switch.


Last edited by emphy on 24 June 2018 at 9:32 pm UTC
Narvarth 24 Jun, 2018
Quoting: abelthorneI'm pretty sure this will be the same with the Atari VCS: if you can make your Linux games work, nothing will stop you to do it but don't expect to have a proper integration.

Well, if it's true, it's also totally crazy. Why the hell Atari would do this ?
I cannot remember any similar case (and i'm not so young ;)). On the contrary, console manufacturers are rather looking for games, especially when they launch a new system...
slaapliedje 25 Jun, 2018
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Quoting: Narvarth
Quoting: abelthorneI'm pretty sure this will be the same with the Atari VCS: if you can make your Linux games work, nothing will stop you to do it but don't expect to have a proper integration.

Well, if it's true, it's also totally crazy. Why the hell Atari would do this ?
I cannot remember any similar case (and i'm not so young ;)). On the contrary, console manufacturers are rather looking for games, especially when they launch a new system...

On the bright side, if Gnome Games can get some more love, it might become the universal game launcher for Linux.

Kind of wonder if that is what the Atari interface is, a fork / theme over Gnome Games.

Everyone is missing one huge thing from all this. We will hopefully be getting Tempest 4k! I think Jeff Minter considered a Linux port of Polybius at one point as well.
elmapul 26 Jun, 2018
Quoting: Purple Library Guy
yes, i also think that ChromeOS/ChromeBook is our best bet for sucess, if google fail or give up, i will lose my hope, but hopefully they will not.
windows will probably survive and keep an high marketshare, but at least we will be at an much better position in terms of marketshare, 5,10 maybe even 30% in the future.
Purple Library Guy 26 Jun, 2018
Quoting: elmapul
Quoting: Purple Library Guy
yes, i also think that ChromeOS/ChromeBook is our best bet for sucess, if google fail or give up, i will lose my hope, but hopefully they will not.
windows will probably survive and keep an high marketshare, but at least we will be at an much better position in terms of marketshare, 5,10 maybe even 30% in the future.
Historically, in the computer business, starting from cheap and spreading upwards has a good track record as compared to being the premium offering (although Apple is a counter-example . . . so far). Remember Silicon Graphics? No? Yeah, that's why--they were the premium offering for graphics workstations until intel ate their lunch, breakfast and dinner. Cray was eaten by the Linux Beowulf cluster . . . Then there's the mostly-demise of the mainframe and then of the "workstation" (a la Sun) as cheap Windows and Linux PCs and rack servers and such took over. Chromebooks have a strategy that fits computers well.
elmapul 26 Jun, 2018
Quoting: Purple Library GuyRemember Silicon Graphics? No?
actually i do xD, they made openGL
and i was studying on then recently (through videos on youtube), quite insteresting what they did on movies, the n64 and 3D interface (fun fact mario64 interface was based on their interface)
Eike 26 Jun, 2018
Quoting: elmapul
Quoting: Purple Library GuyRemember Silicon Graphics? No?
actually i do xD, they made openGL

Actually me too, have been using an SGI machine at university in the 90ies.
lucifertdark 28 Jun, 2018
There was nothing wrong with the Ouya, it's a pretty damn sweet little entertainment centre, I have one sitting on my desk right now, after they were bought out by Razor my account was killed so I can't use it at all for the moment, but once I can get back into it I'll be using it again.
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