Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by bit-tech, 31 May 2018.
Great...but what's it for
Atari's pockets, duh. (No, but seriously, aside from having outdated hardware and being too expensive, it's a neato Linux box in a small chassis. Quite fancy one myself, but I'm stony at the moment.)
Being considerably larger, more expensive and consuming more power than a Raspberry Pi 3-based emulator?
I don't get it, either. There's already so many options available for playing these old games, why would anyone want to cram another full sized device into their multimedia unit (with the Xbox/PS4/Switch, Sky/Virgin/NowTV box, Blu-Ray player, soundbar, internet router etc) for the pleasure?
But you can't run your Steam games on a Raspberry Pi, while you can run (some of) your Steam games on an Atari VCS. Err, the new one, not the original one.
Steam games that run on that franken-vcs will also run on something like this:
Honestly I just don't see the point of the franken-vcs at its current price point.
Hey, with the number of "wildly above what the specs imply" games running on the original VCS, I wouldn't put a Steam client past them! (Seriously though, every time I remember the specs say there's only three sprites, and that reasonably credible versions of Asteroids and Space Invaders run on the thing, I'm just in awe of the insane code those programmers had to craft to do anything.)
Also, the neo VCS is probably the only remotely modern hardware you can buy with woodgrain on the casing. Well, that and the ATGames-manufactured ARM-in-a-box Atari Flashback units. WOODGRAIN IS IMPORTANT.
You're going to love these, then...
In-Win for the win?
Not gonna lie, that actually looks pretty awesome. Definitely a look I can get behind.
And to the surprise of no one ZombieAtari has been caught telling porkies about games on the vcs:
Sounds like the author of that piece hasn't heard of WINE: I often play games for which there's no native Linux port, and they appear to be native - it's only if you look at the shortcut that you'd notice it running through WINE.
I'm not saying that's what Atari was doing, but it'd be perfectly possible: there are plenty of classic games available on Steam and GOG.com that ship with a preconfigured DOSbox environment to work on modern systems, and WINE has the "bottles" feature to do the same thing and pull Windows-only games onto Linux. If you asked the people behind System Shock Classic, they'd tell you there's no Windows or Linux version either - but there it is in the Steam store nonetheless.
While the article does indeed ignore the existence of wine, there is also this:
So no matter if it could run through wine or not, they lied.
Gah - pet peeve time: a "PC" is a personal computer, and a Linux machine designed for personal use is a personal computer - which makes the Atari VCS Redux a PC. What the author meant to say, I assume, was "running on a Windows PC."
I can't find where Atari said "this is a native Linux build of the game" on a quick "atari vcs tempest 4000 native" Google search, but I can find where Giles Zorzin at Llamasoft confirms that 'there will be T4K on VCS... that IS GOING TO HAPPEN, it will be there' and '"There is going to be a working version of T4K made for the VCS", that's what I am saying, there's plenty of time to get things done properly,' which sounds like there isn't a native version yet but there will be. So, sounds like a bit of a storm in a teacup t'me.
They admitted to having lied.
Proven liars being handed millions in a crowdfunding campaign doesn't really fit "storm in a teacup"...
That's what I haven't been able to find: what Atari actually said. Do you have a source that has the company's actual words, so I can see for myself whether they directly lied or not? All I can find is, as in your quote, "Atari confirmed," not a direct quote.
There's a world of difference between Atari saying "what you're seeing is definitely a native Linux build of Tempest 4000 running directly on the Atari VCS" (a lie) and answering "this will be native" with "yes" (the truth, according to Zorzin), and everything in-between.
EDIT: Having done some more digging, everyone appears to be basing the "OMGBBQ ATARI LIED" narrative on this video, which says in its description it's showing 'the PC version of Tempest 4000' - which, as with the article you quoted, would (inaccurately) mean the existing Windows build. It only goes on to say that it's being 'played with a modern controller on an Atari VCS test platform' - which, if we're assuming they're using Steam In-Home Streaming to run the game on a Windows PC and stream the resulting video to the Atari VCS, is also true.
Add to that the fact that Zorzin himself has described a communications breakdown and admitted that Llamasoft is working on a build of the game for the Atari VCS, and I can't see anywhere that Atari lied. Misled, possibly, as it looks like the game is running on the VCS, but the video description clears things up nicely (if you know to read "PC version" as "Windows PC version" - and even if you don't, it doesn't say anything about "native version," "Linux version," or "Atari VCS version.")
So, yeah. Storm in a teacup.
EDIT EDIT: If this 'ere quote, taken from the Reddit thread that appears to have triggered all the articles, is to be believed, the video description has been edited. It originally said: 'Get #AtariVCS at AtariVCS.com Still excited about seeing Tempest 4000 on the Atari VCS? How about some actual gameplay? We’ve snagged more behind the scenes test video! It's Tempest 4000, played with a modern controller on an Atari VCS test platform!'
That, I'll grant you, is much more misleading - but still doesn't say it's native (though "actual gameplay" comes very, very close.) The game is, indeed, Tempest 4000, and it is, indeed, being played on an Atari VCS test platform - just through Steam In-Home Streaming, not natively.
Another thing that the Reddit thread has cleared up: anyone (including the site you linked to) claiming Jeff Minter, founder of Llamasoft and creator of Tempest 4000, said anything about not working on a Linux/Atari VCS port of the game is wrong. The original poster took Zorzin's initial reaction on the Llamasoft forum (which he has now walked back, confirming they are working on an Atari VCS version of the game after all) and incorrectly attributed them to Minter.
"Atari shared footage of the existing PC version" "for illustration purposes only"
Bottom of first post:
Did you see my edit of 0802 this morning, which quotes the original video description you're quoting there and explains why it's misleading but not a lie?
I'm no fan of Infogratarimes, but people are going seriously out of their way to assume malice where I don't believe any was intended.
Atari said Tempest 4000 will be a VCS title (it will.)
Atari showed footage of Tempest 4000 being "played with a modern controller on an Atari VCS test platform" (it was - not natively, but it was).
Bad communication? Sure. Misleading, either accidentally or deliberately? Yeah, okay. A lie? Not unless you're running a gaming news site and fancy DAE HATE ATARI LOL clicks, I'd say.
Separate names with a comma.