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The Linux-powered Atari VCS has gone through some design changes

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The Atari VCS team put out a new blog post and it goes over some changes to the design and it still looks pretty great.

Now that they've already announced a delay and upgrade to AMD Ryzen, the Atari VCS team is once again talking about the design of the unit and how they've overhauled the construction method to make it more streamlined.

It's worth noting, they're currently only showing renders of what it now looks like. As the pre-production models are on their way to their engineering team, which they say they will share actual photos when they have them.

Anyway, they say this refreshed design is "production-ready" and it's supposed to look a little closer to the classic Atari 2600:

What's happened? Essentially, they've raised it up a little and this has allowed them to move two of the USB ports to the front of the machine, to make connecting things up a lot easier (hooray). So it now only has two on the back, for things you connect/disconnect less often which does make a bit more sense. They've also removed the SD Card slot which they said was "redundant".

Another minor change is the front light, which across all models is now going to be in white and the same on the new joysticks and controllers to make it consistent.

As for the construction of the unit itself, it's no longer using their original (and pretty ridiculous) 16-layer ribbed sandwich which wasn't very practical and pretty wasteful. So now it's going with a much more standard approach consisting of four primary pieces: a top housing, a bottom housing plus front and back panels:

So not only does it save time, money and manufacturing waste, it should also be much easier to take the unit apart if you wish to tinker with the innards.

Liking what I'm seeing and hearing about it at this stage, but as always it's worth remaining sceptical until they actually ship. To be fair though what they're trying to do is no easy task, especially since they're doing it in public and a lot of this we wouldn't usually be seeing and hearing about.

See their full post here.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
Tags: Hardware
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slaapliedje 8 Apr, 2019
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Quoting: CFWhitman
Quoting: slaapliedje
Quoting: Guest
Quoting: inlinuxdude
Quoting: tmtvl
Quoting: EikeThe Linux-powered Atari VCS is not changing design, core hardware or peripherials anymore and instead will be on the shelves next week. - Nobody, ever

Hey, you'll regret those words when it's finally released... in 2600.



2600.... I see what you did there.... at least they're not waiting until 5200, amirite?

REPORT JUST IN: You'll have to wait until 5200!
Then the controllers will be non-centering.

Were the controllers perpetually non-centering? I had always thought that they must be like the PC joysticks from back then, with a switch to change between being centering or non-centering. However, I never actually saw a 5200 in person, only in advertisements. Our next system after the 2600 was the NES.
The pack in controllers were the first available analog controllers out there (at least as far as I'm aware). No, they did not automatically center, so when you're playing something like Donkey Kong or Dig Dug, you have to get used to moving it back to the center to stop moving. As someone I work with said, 'I think they were made for Star Raiders, and nothing else was ever tested.' They do work wonderfully in Star Raiders, and a few other games.

They were very innovative for the time, but they also had the problem of quick oxidation on the contacts, so they'd be sitting in the console for a month, then they'd stop working unless you took them apart to clean them regularly. Fortunately there have been new membranes made to fix that issue. I should find time to play mine more... but then I keep getting all these new Linux games coming out!
CFWhitman 9 Apr, 2019
Quoting: slaapliedje
Quoting: CFWhitman
Quoting: slaapliedje
Quoting: Guest
Quoting: inlinuxdude
Quoting: tmtvl
Quoting: EikeThe Linux-powered Atari VCS is not changing design, core hardware or peripherials anymore and instead will be on the shelves next week. - Nobody, ever

Hey, you'll regret those words when it's finally released... in 2600.



2600.... I see what you did there.... at least they're not waiting until 5200, amirite?

REPORT JUST IN: You'll have to wait until 5200!
Then the controllers will be non-centering.

Were the controllers perpetually non-centering? I had always thought that they must be like the PC joysticks from back then, with a switch to change between being centering or non-centering. However, I never actually saw a 5200 in person, only in advertisements. Our next system after the 2600 was the NES.
The pack in controllers were the first available analog controllers out there (at least as far as I'm aware). No, they did not automatically center, so when you're playing something like Donkey Kong or Dig Dug, you have to get used to moving it back to the center to stop moving. As someone I work with said, 'I think they were made for Star Raiders, and nothing else was ever tested.' They do work wonderfully in Star Raiders, and a few other games.

They were very innovative for the time, but they also had the problem of quick oxidation on the contacts, so they'd be sitting in the console for a month, then they'd stop working unless you took them apart to clean them regularly. Fortunately there have been new membranes made to fix that issue. I should find time to play mine more... but then I keep getting all these new Linux games coming out!

I remember the analog controllers for the 5200 being featured in the advertisements for the system, and thinking they were interesting, but my parents didn't seem interested in buying another game system when it came out. Since I posted this, I read that Atari were planning a self-centering analog stick for the system, but the system was axed before it came out.

The PC analog joystick interface was included on the original IBM PC in 1981, so very close to the same time as the 5200 (1982). However, I don't know when they first started making them optionally self centering. I never actually used a PC joystick before the 1990s. At that time most were optionally self centering, but that may have been a later development.
slaapliedje 10 Apr, 2019
View PC info
  • Supporter Plus
Quoting: CFWhitman
Quoting: slaapliedje
Quoting: CFWhitman
Quoting: slaapliedje
Quoting: Guest
Quoting: inlinuxdude
Quoting: tmtvl
Quoting: EikeThe Linux-powered Atari VCS is not changing design, core hardware or peripherials anymore and instead will be on the shelves next week. - Nobody, ever

Hey, you'll regret those words when it's finally released... in 2600.



2600.... I see what you did there.... at least they're not waiting until 5200, amirite?

REPORT JUST IN: You'll have to wait until 5200!
Then the controllers will be non-centering.

Were the controllers perpetually non-centering? I had always thought that they must be like the PC joysticks from back then, with a switch to change between being centering or non-centering. However, I never actually saw a 5200 in person, only in advertisements. Our next system after the 2600 was the NES.
The pack in controllers were the first available analog controllers out there (at least as far as I'm aware). No, they did not automatically center, so when you're playing something like Donkey Kong or Dig Dug, you have to get used to moving it back to the center to stop moving. As someone I work with said, 'I think they were made for Star Raiders, and nothing else was ever tested.' They do work wonderfully in Star Raiders, and a few other games.

They were very innovative for the time, but they also had the problem of quick oxidation on the contacts, so they'd be sitting in the console for a month, then they'd stop working unless you took them apart to clean them regularly. Fortunately there have been new membranes made to fix that issue. I should find time to play mine more... but then I keep getting all these new Linux games coming out!

I remember the analog controllers for the 5200 being featured in the advertisements for the system, and thinking they were interesting, but my parents didn't seem interested in buying another game system when it came out. Since I posted this, I read that Atari were planning a self-centering analog stick for the system, but the system was axed before it came out.

The PC analog joystick interface was included on the original IBM PC in 1981, so very close to the same time as the 5200 (1982). However, I don't know when they first started making them optionally self centering. I never actually used a PC joystick before the 1990s. At that time most were optionally self centering, but that may have been a later development.

I recall one of the old IBM joysticks, I don't think they were self-centering either, and not a whole lot of software actually supported them back then. They were a pain because you constantly had to calibrate them.
Was trying to find the date of the release of the controller, as it seems it was after '82 that I saw them. Seems the original IBM PC from '81 had an optional Game Port for $55 bucks. "The game port first appeared during the initial launch of the original IBM PC in 1981, in the form of an optional US$55 expansion card known as the Game Control Adapter.[1][2] The design allowed for four analog axes and four buttons on one port, allowing two joysticks or four paddles to be connected via a special "Y-splitter" cable."

To be sure, at the time the 5200 came out, there were other controllers coming with consoles that were weird and awkward.

I managed to get a Wico stick that is self-centering so I can play Adventure II, and others. Also someone has started converting Jaguar controllers to work as a digital one on the 5200, thought of picking one of those up, since I do love playing games on the 5200 after my Sofia RGB upgrade :)
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