Atari Flashback?

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JustRobert
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Atari Flashback?

Postby JustRobert » August 8th, 2017, 4:15 pm

With the advent of yet another Atari Flashback (the 8) coming next month, I am wondering if it's time to purchase one. I'm intrigued by the amount of games and the chance to play Atari (a company with a system that has a good reputation to me) for the first time; however I'm wondering with the release of a Flashback seemingly every year if it's a good idea to do it now or just wait and see if there's anything different or better the following year?

To you folks, does it seem worth it to try and buy a Flashback (regular or "gold") this time around and finally get to playing some Atari or wait?

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VideoGameCritic
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Re: Atari Flashback?

Postby VideoGameCritic » August 8th, 2017, 5:26 pm

I will definitely be in the market for Flashback 8, because it has one major upgrade: HDMI output!

Previous Flashback consoles didn't work very well in HD due to their antiquated composite cable outputs.
Finally that has been rectified.

Also, it looks like they are finally loading up these things with Activision titles - which are among some of the best for the 2600.

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JustRobert
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Re: Atari Flashback?

Postby JustRobert » August 8th, 2017, 9:30 pm

I am aware that there are apparently three different Flashbacks being released, one with 105 games, the Gold with 120, and the Activision with 130 games.
Apparently some of the games on the Standard or Gold aren't on the Activision edition (such as Chase It, Escape It, Frogger, Front Line, Jungle Hunt, Miss It, Polaris, Shield Shifter, Space Invaders)
(http://atariage.com/forums/topic/266964 ... le-lineup/)

I have time to debate with myself about which is the best choice, what do you think?

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Atariboy
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Re: Atari Flashback?

Postby Atariboy » August 9th, 2017, 9:37 am

VideoGameCritic wrote:I will definitely be in the market for Flashback 8, because it has one major upgrade: HDMI output!


In my opinion, high-definition HDMI output is only half of the appeal here for a modern gaming setup. They've also gone with modern wireless technology with their wireless joysticks and have abandoned the line of sight IR tech that was so unreliable with past AtGames products.

JustRobert wrote:however I'm wondering with the release of a Flashback seemingly every year if it's a good idea to do it now or just wait and see if there's anything different or better the following year?


There's an excellent chance that next year's model will offer expandability via the ability to load via SD slot your own roms that you've downloaded off sites like Atari Age. There's a push within AtGames to bring this feature to next year's line of Sega and Atari consoles (It's presently exclusive to their handhelds).

So while I'm confident we'll see a worthwhile Atari Flashback 8 Gold this year, it hopefully will be surpassed by this feature addition in 2018.

JustRobert wrote:Apparently some of the games on the Standard or Gold aren't on the Activision edition (such as Chase It, Escape It, Frogger, Front Line, Jungle Hunt, Miss It, Polaris, Shield Shifter, Space Invaders)

I have time to debate with myself about which is the best choice, what do you think?


The Atari Flashback 8 Gold and the Atari Flashback 8 Gold Activision Edition share the same 120 games. The Activision edition just gets 10 extra Activision games for 130 games in total. And all of those games that you mentioned are on both Gold editions.

Below is linked a breakdown I created of the final game lists that AtGames has posted. The regular Atari Flashback 8 has very little going for it that's exclusive (And the handheld has zero exclusives). They're Strip Off (Whatever that is), a solid Dig Dug and Galaxian port from back in the day, a poor Xevious prototype, and a modern Pac-Man homebrew. The gold editions, especially the Activision model, offer so much more.

http://atariage.com/forums/topic/259236 ... try3808988

So I say don't buy the regular Atari Flashback 8. It's the same old flawed hardware from previous years with composite output (And a return to wired joysticks), without the addition of much of the Activision library that is so beloved by Atari fans. Go with the Atari Flashback 8 Gold with 120 games, or better yet the Atari Flashback 8 Gold Activision Edition with 10 additional Activision games.

Paul Campbell
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Re: Atari Flashback?

Postby Paul Campbell » August 12th, 2017, 10:44 am

Wow, if one of those really does get HDMI output and wireless controllers, I'll be finally picking one up myself. That sounds like it has the makings of a legitimate console, especially if there's a way to add ROMs on your own. Definitely intriguing...

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Atariboy
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Re: Atari Flashback?

Postby Atariboy » August 14th, 2017, 10:33 pm

Some news about the game list, which makes my earlier post outdated.

http://atariage.com/forums/topic/266964 ... ?p=3827454

Between this and the confirmation that paddles will likely now not be included with the Atari Flashback 8 Gold Activision Edition, it's now up in the air whether the Atari Flashback 8 Gold Edition or the Atari Flashback 8 Gold Activision Edition will be the one for each person to get.

Bill goes on to state in that thread that two of the 19 games being replaced with Activision (And some Imagic) properties for the Activision Edition are the modern day Space Invaders and Frogger arcade ports. Personally, I can live with that since they're not even the 2600 versions, but I hope the other 17 games that are eliminated don't include any gems like Centipede.

Hopefully it's all trash like the 2600 Tempest prototype that will be killed off in favor of much superior Activision/Imagic games.

Paul Campbell wrote:Wow, if one of those really does get HDMI output and wireless controllers, I'll be finally picking one up myself. That sounds like it has the makings of a legitimate console, especially if there's a way to add ROMs on your own. Definitely intriguing...


Wireless and high-definition HDMI output have long been confirmed and are present in the review units sent out that have been covered by outlets like Classic Game Room in recent days. According to what Bill has stated at AtariAge, only some software tweaks will be happening before production units reach consumers, such as to correct an emulation flaw with Pitfall that caused a graphical issue with Pitfall Harry's jumping animation.

So these features should be safe, but you'll likely have to wait until 2018 for the ability to side-load your own roms via SD card. That ability isn't part of the feature set for any of 2017's HD AtGames models and is exclusive to their Sega/Atari portables for now (Which are running on the old AtGames hardware), but Bill at AtariAge seems hopeful that could change next year for the HD systems.

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scotland
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Re: Atari Flashback?

Postby scotland » August 15th, 2017, 9:42 am

Its amazing to think they have gone nearly a decade making Atari Flashbacks of Atari 2600 games. I can only assume that the lack of the SD card is mostly so that they have an upgrade ready for next year.

The addition of the Activision and Imagic games are a coup.

The change to HDMI is more than a tweak or the addition of a few games, but doesn't that mean its running some software emulation inside? Perhaps my affinity for hardware emulation is unfounded, but once we have gone to software why would I buy this over other linux, android, retropie or other OS emulators where the OS and the emulators can be updated? It certainly has nice features like pausing and rewinding somehow, but this is a closed system. If later on a new bug is found (like the Pitfall one that is being corrected now), then its too bad, where you just download a patched emulator on other systems.

All in all, I'm looking forward to at least seriously considering getting one of these.

pacman000
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Re: Atari Flashback?

Postby pacman000 » August 15th, 2017, 1:22 pm

scotland wrote:but once we have gone to software why would I buy this over other linux, android, retropie or other OS emulators where the OS and the emulators can be updated?

Ease of use.

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Atariboy
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Re: Atari Flashback?

Postby Atariboy » August 15th, 2017, 7:06 pm

scotland wrote:Its amazing to think they have gone nearly a decade making Atari Flashbacks of Atari 2600 games. I can only assume that the lack of the SD card is mostly so that they have an upgrade ready for next year.


The handheld edition launched last year with it, and will retain the feature this year.

I think it's mostly a holdover from the Sega line from AtGames. The portables don't have the cartridge slot that the consoles do, so they get the SD slot and rom loading ability to offer expandability of their own in a more portable friendly fashion. But sadly, AtGames seems to forget that the Atari console doesn't accept original cartridges and thus has no expandability at all without a SD slot, unlike the entire Sega line and the Atari handheld.

Crossing my fingers this changes in 2018.

scotland wrote:IThe change to HDMI is more than a tweak or the addition of a few games, but doesn't that mean its running some software emulation inside?


It has actually been software emulation since AtGames started with the Atari Flashback 3. Only the Atari Flashback 2 and 2+ from Legacy Engineering had a 2600-on-a-chip.

scotland wrote:Perhaps my affinity for hardware emulation is unfounded, but once we have gone to software why would I buy this over other linux, android, retropie or other OS emulators where the OS and the emulators can be updated? It certainly has nice features like pausing and rewinding somehow, but this is a closed system.


Remember, you're not the market that they're aiming for. These are casual mass market items for people that even if they knew what emulation meant, attach no significance to it. They don't care how the software is ran on this, they just want something that's plug and play to relive some memories with.

If you want the best way to enjoy 2600 games on a modern high definition display, you'd be best served loading up Stella. This mostly just holds appeal to those that haunt forums like AtariAge for the novelty of it all. We're 2600 fanatics and enjoy seeing the platform receive mass market attention over 40 years after the system launched.

Even with SD rom loading, solid hardware, and quality emulation, it's not going to ever be a full substitute. No Supercharger Frogger, Space Rocks, or Pitfall II for instance. AtGames has no incentive to emulate hardware that isn't required by a single game that they're including.

lynchie137
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Re: Atari Flashback?

Postby lynchie137 » August 15th, 2017, 7:23 pm

No Ms. Pac Man or Jr. Pac Man? Fail.


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