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Old 05-10-2015, 12:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Retro VGS



There's a team out there trying to make a new cartridge-based system. Dubbed the Retro VGS, it is intended to be an actual console on its own, rather than a clone like the Retron 5. They are launching a Kickstarter campaign for the VGS and twelve games. The publisher of Retro Magazine, Mike Kennedy, is spearheading the project, and claims to be in talks with numerous developers about creating games for the VGS. Kennedy managed to obtain the molding equipment for the Atari Jaguar, and is using that as the design of the system. However, it will not be compatible with Jaguar games, as the system is aiming for more of a 16-bit "sweet spot".

I doubt this system will actually be very successful. There's too many unanswered questions(like, say, the price point) about its viability. Furthermore, I'm not sure that there's any market for a cartridge-based system outside of the super hardcore retro crowd. Most people would probably be content with the inexpensive digital retro-style games of today, like Shovel Knight. Regardless, I'll still throw a couple bucks toward their Kickstarter because I think the concept is pretty cool.

This is how you make a new, cartridge-based retro video game console | GamesBeat | Games | by Mike Minotti
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Old 05-10-2015, 12:56 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Retro VGS

Thanks for the heads-up. Depending on the launch line-up I may pick one up.
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Old 05-11-2015, 05:02 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Retro VGS

The most difficult part will be cost.
A 2D only machine will have a low perceived value compared to other gaming hardware on the market, so the total hardware cost must be very low.
Distribution to retail will be difficult, if not impossible, so that getting consumer awareness would be difficult.
Online ordering would force premium prices, much like the Neo Geo AES cartridges back in the 90s.

People like to talk going back to a really low power 2D system, but I don't think enough would actually put up money to make it a sustainable venture.
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Old 05-13-2015, 01:53 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Retro VGS

Agreed, the market for this stuff is small. If they can somehow keep their costs really low, get cheap booths at cons across NA, hire a wicked salesman, maybe they could turn a profit. There is a market, but it is tiny.

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Old 08-20-2015, 12:16 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Retro VGS

So far, there are only 6 confirmed Retro VGS games, and one of them is Super Noah's Ark 3D. Pier Solar is probably the class of the group, but it's available on tons of platforms already. Read Only Memories and Songbringer look interesting, and Sydney Hunter and the Caverns of Death and pack-in game Adventures of Tiny Knight round out the lineup. Seems OK, but underwhelming, just like the Retro VGS has the whole time.
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Old 08-25-2015, 11:30 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Retro VGS

They got a bunch of old Jaguar clam shells cheap which is keeping their cost down.

Hardware wise it seems slightly more beefy than a Raspberry Pi. They might be able to get their break even price point close to $50. So maybe you can buy a console and two controllers for $100. Pure speculation.

They are designing the carts to last 100 years which means they can't use cheap SD cards. Games will look like Jaguar carts, come with a case and a manual. I'm guessing the typical game goes for $30-60.

Two 9-pin ports. So most original Sega and Atari controllers will be plug and play.
Two USB ports. There are USB adapters for Nintendo and Sony controllers.

Sounds like the bios will be on the cart and developers will include a bios for any system from A2600 to PS1 or a custom bios. The developer can treat the system like it's a regular Atari 2600 or an SNES, or Neo Geo etc. Very interesting but there aren't enough developers that care.

Because of that, someone will create a 1,000 in 1 cart and include a bunch of roms on one cart making a fairly easy way to play roms on your TV. You can already do this with a Raspberry Pi for less money though.

The interest for Shovel Knight style games from both developers to consumers is growing. Most of those types of games are currently purely digital. Casual gamers that like to display physical games on shelves will love it, if there are games for it.

They intend for it to be upgradeless with a long shelf life. All updates are done through the carts, not the console.
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