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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?

10 Likes, Who?
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48 comments
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cprn 23 June 2018 at 1:28 am UTC
I don't get it. Why are they lynching the guy? His responses make perfect sense.

He brought a design unit that isn't a final product and isn't meant to work with other devices so he can't know what will happen if somebody tries to connect them. He's not at liberty to say what went wrong during launch, yet they keep asking what it was. He gets as close to the truth as he can by giving them an analogy that suggests it was one specific aspect that came out sub-par in final testing and has been improved since then but isn't in production yet and they bash him for comparing it to a rocket launch even though it worked perfect with both having issues coming out last second. He doesn't want to release specs because they try to keep them up to date and will update before public release so announcing now what they were going to launch before would just be outdated in a few months. He's frustrated he cannot answer them straight without possibly violating NDAs. When inviting them he said he has design models, which means these aren't meant to be run but to be touched, felt, to prove they keep working on the project and he explains it's because they don't have a UI yet. He says project has money to move forward. He says business negotiations with distributors are taking place.

And what they took out of it is they were invited to play a game even though nobody said so? And that nothing works even though the guy said PCB is functional? Basically, they wrote a bullshit article because they hyped themselves and misunderstood the intention of the whole thing. That's not journalism. It's like getting invited to see a brand new type of plates and complaining there wasn't any food on them.


Last edited by cprn at 23 June 2018 at 1:31 am UTC. Edited 2 times.
emphy 23 June 2018 at 1:54 am UTC
cprnI don't get it. Why are they lynching the guy? His responses make perfect sense.

He brought a design unit that isn't a final product and isn't meant to work with other devices so he can't know what will happen if somebody tries to connect them. He's not at liberty to say what went wrong during launch, yet they keep asking what it was. He gets as close to the truth as he can by giving them an analogy that suggests it was one specific aspect that came out sub-par in final testing and has been improved since then but isn't in production yet and they bash him for comparing it to a rocket launch even though it worked perfect with both having issues coming out last second. He doesn't want to release specs because they try to keep them up to date and will update before public release so announcing now what they were going to launch before would just be outdated in a few months. He's frustrated he cannot answer them straight without possibly violating NDAs. When inviting them he said he has design models, which means these aren't meant to be run but to be touched, felt, to prove they keep working on the project and he explains it's because they don't have a UI yet. He says project has money to move forward. He says business negotiations with distributors are taking place.

And what they took out of it is they were invited to play a game even though nobody said so? And that nothing works even though the guy said PCB is functional? Basically, they wrote a bullshit article because they hyped themselves and misunderstood the intention of the whole thing. That's not journalism. It's like getting invited to see a brand new type of plates and complaining there wasn't any food on them.

They're not lynching the guy; they're lynching the company. Infogrames has a recent history of shitty cash grabs (e.g RC world getting released way too early from early access the day before planet coaster), so Infogrames has to prove that this ludicrous crowd funding campaign isn't one. Inviting the press to show a plastic model and, basically, answering no questions is not the way to do that...


Last edited by emphy at 23 June 2018 at 1:56 am UTC. Edited 3 times.
slaapliedje 23 June 2018 at 3:24 am UTC
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razing32This seemed like a cool little console.
But I don't get the hype, Linux machine or not.
And it's not like Atari had a good track record in recent years.

You mean like in almost 25 years since the Jaguar came out?
slaapliedje 23 June 2018 at 3:55 am UTC
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emphy
cprnI don't get it. Why are they lynching the guy? His responses make perfect sense.

He brought a design unit that isn't a final product and isn't meant to work with other devices so he can't know what will happen if somebody tries to connect them. He's not at liberty to say what went wrong during launch, yet they keep asking what it was. He gets as close to the truth as he can by giving them an analogy that suggests it was one specific aspect that came out sub-par in final testing and has been improved since then but isn't in production yet and they bash him for comparing it to a rocket launch even though it worked perfect with both having issues coming out last second. He doesn't want to release specs because they try to keep them up to date and will update before public release so announcing now what they were going to launch before would just be outdated in a few months. He's frustrated he cannot answer them straight without possibly violating NDAs. When inviting them he said he has design models, which means these aren't meant to be run but to be touched, felt, to prove they keep working on the project and he explains it's because they don't have a UI yet. He says project has money to move forward. He says business negotiations with distributors are taking place.

And what they took out of it is they were invited to play a game even though nobody said so? And that nothing works even though the guy said PCB is functional? Basically, they wrote a bullshit article because they hyped themselves and misunderstood the intention of the whole thing. That's not journalism. It's like getting invited to see a brand new type of plates and complaining there wasn't any food on them.

They're not lynching the guy; they're lynching the company. Infogrames has a recent history of shitty cash grabs (e.g RC world getting released way too early from early access the day before planet coaster), so Infogrames has to prove that this ludicrous crowd funding campaign isn't one. Inviting the press to show a plastic model and, basically, answering no questions is not the way to do that...

I'm not saying that's a shit thing to do, but let's face facts, game publishers are KNOWN for doing this.. ALL... THE... TIME... defintely not something that just they did. They sign contracts with developers and a lot of times the developers don't meet the deadlines and the games get released in broken states. This is status quo now. It isn't like the good old days where a game released with no easy patch system in place, so game makers had to actually make sure the games WORKED before they were released.

Look at all the Bethesda games, without a doubt every time they release a new game it's pretty terrible and buggy, it isn't usually fixed until quite some time later.

Should they clean up their act? Certainly. But I kind of think that applies to most publishers/developers.
emphy 23 June 2018 at 4:43 am UTC
slaapliedje
emphy
cprnI don't get it. Why are they lynching the guy? His responses make perfect sense.

He brought a design unit that isn't a final product and isn't meant to work with other devices so he can't know what will happen if somebody tries to connect them. He's not at liberty to say what went wrong during launch, yet they keep asking what it was. He gets as close to the truth as he can by giving them an analogy that suggests it was one specific aspect that came out sub-par in final testing and has been improved since then but isn't in production yet and they bash him for comparing it to a rocket launch even though it worked perfect with both having issues coming out last second. He doesn't want to release specs because they try to keep them up to date and will update before public release so announcing now what they were going to launch before would just be outdated in a few months. He's frustrated he cannot answer them straight without possibly violating NDAs. When inviting them he said he has design models, which means these aren't meant to be run but to be touched, felt, to prove they keep working on the project and he explains it's because they don't have a UI yet. He says project has money to move forward. He says business negotiations with distributors are taking place.

And what they took out of it is they were invited to play a game even though nobody said so? And that nothing works even though the guy said PCB is functional? Basically, they wrote a bullshit article because they hyped themselves and misunderstood the intention of the whole thing. That's not journalism. It's like getting invited to see a brand new type of plates and complaining there wasn't any food on them.

They're not lynching the guy; they're lynching the company. Infogrames has a recent history of shitty cash grabs (e.g RC world getting released way too early from early access the day before planet coaster), so Infogrames has to prove that this ludicrous crowd funding campaign isn't one. Inviting the press to show a plastic model and, basically, answering no questions is not the way to do that...

I'm not saying that's a shit thing to do, but let's face facts, game publishers are KNOWN for doing this.. ALL... THE... TIME... defintely not something that just they did. They sign contracts with developers and a lot of times the developers don't meet the deadlines and the games get released in broken states. This is status quo now. It isn't like the good old days where a game released with no easy patch system in place, so game makers had to actually make sure the games WORKED before they were released.

Look at all the Bethesda games, without a doubt every time they release a new game it's pretty terrible and buggy, it isn't usually fixed until quite some time later.

Should they clean up their act? Certainly. But I kind of think that applies to most publishers/developers.

I don't think you quite realize how bad infogrames has gotten:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJ_I9-CkzDE
abelthorne 23 June 2018 at 8:03 am UTC
slaapliedjeLook at all the Bethesda games, without a doubt every time they release a new game it's pretty terrible and buggy, it isn't usually fixed until quite some time later.

"I've read on the internet that our games have a few bugs." (Todd Howard, E3 2018)
Narvarth 23 June 2018 at 9:40 am UTC
DarthJarjarI'm pretty disappointed by the general attitude here.
We've got a linux machine with mass market potential. We all know that the specs are good for the money, that the library is already consequent and that the proposed timetable is very workable. From a purely technical perspective, this is a solid project.

Exactly this. OK, their communication skills are really poor, but it's a shame to see some people call this project a "scam" (just for click bait) or the "new Ouya".

Ouya was based on Android, had no real games, no real softwares, and a poor Cpu/GPU.

The Atari VCS has a real Linux, with thousands games already available, an open ecosystem, and a real CPU/GPU (at least for a 199$ machine). So, no, the comparison with the Ouya is really unfair.

Let's check the real facts : people backing it on indiegogo will get a mini-PC with hundreds (thousands ?) games already available and a cool design for this price. Can we really call this a scam ?

Please stop feeding all the youtube/click bait trolls.


It's really disappointing that we have to explain such evident facts on a Linux website...
abelthorne 23 June 2018 at 11:42 am UTC
NarvarthExactly this. OK, their communication skills are really poor, but it's a shame to see some people call this project a "scam" (just for click bait) or the "new Ouya".

Ouya was based on Android, had no real games, no real softwares, and a poor Cpu/GPU.

We're not comparing with the OUYA on the technical side, of course, but on the fact that the whole project relies on hype and because of this will likely be a flop. All the marketing is (and will be) focusing on the nostalgia factor. "Hey, remember the Atari 2600 you had as a kid? we're launching a new console that looks exactly the same, isn't that cool?"

QuoteThe Atari VCS has a real Linux, with thousands games already available, an open ecosystem, and a real CPU/GPU (at least for a 199$ machine). So, no, the comparison with the Ouya is really unfair.

A real CPU/GPU? It's an AMD APU with an integrated GPU. Don't expect to play mid/high-end games with it. But I'm sure it'll be perfect for emulating Atari 2600 games (/sarcasm off).
wvstolzing 23 June 2018 at 12:27 pm UTC
NarvarthIt's really disappointing that we have to explain such evident facts on a Linux website...

Yeah it totally beats me how people on a Linux website aren't rallying behind someone's commercial venture, despite the fact that the advertisements for it sound very nice.
liamdawe 23 June 2018 at 4:22 pm UTC
wvstolzing
NarvarthIt's really disappointing that we have to explain such evident facts on a Linux website...

Yeah it totally beats me how people on a Linux website aren't rallying behind someone's commercial venture, despite the fact that the advertisements for it sound very nice.
It uses Linux, so even if the people behind it sound like they don't have a clue what they're doing, we simply must throw money at them...

No.
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