Remember the Retro VGS we reported on last week? It was supposed to be a throwback to the good old days of cartridges, and was up on crowdfunding site Indiegogo with a target goal of $2 million.
Sadly, the campaign wasn't exactly a success - only $61,755 had been raised in 11 days - and has this forced the team behind the console to cancel the venture entirely. The good news is that the system isn't totally dead, and will return to crowdfunding in the future.
Here's the official line:
It's clear, in its current state the RETRO VGS Indiegogo campaign is dead in the water and thusly will be shut down early. Once the Indiegogo team explains to us how we can do this, the plug will be pulled and all of you who have contributed will receive a refund post haste. Or you can go in and request a refund from Indiegogo right now.
The good news is we aren't giving up and have made some adjustments to our hardware team, which includes the involvement of... other hardware gurus who were part of our venture in the very beginning. We will also be lowering the price while maintaining most of the cool features you all want.
We will be back in the near future with a prototype RETRO VGS system, front-and-center playing our games on our cartridges and with our USB controller. Sit tight, be patient and RETRO VGS will return.
Thanks again for your support, patience and understanding while we regroup and prepare for the relaunch of a new crowdfunding campaign.
Why do you think the Retro VGS struggled to find support? Was it the basic-looking games, the high cost or the fugly Atari Jaguar casing? Do you think a second crowdfunding attempt is wise? Let us know by posting a comment below.
This article was originally published by nintendolife.com on Wed 30th September, 2015.
[source retrocollect.com, via indiegogo.com]
Think the major problem is their selling-point. They make it sound like they're chiding modern consoles for features that are actually useful. Playing on the internet is a major plus, Local multiplayer became optional the moment when internet became a thing. Cart systems are something that Nintendo still do with their handhelds, and still do work well. Retro is something to be appreciated, not to be exploited. The project shows points of exploitation much like what the OUYA had when it was marketed as a "AAA killer."
The mentality that these types of products have are really rarely rationalized by what the market is. Now while I may be chiding them for trying to exploit an audience, I still did want to see where this project went.
Harping on the idea wasn't exactly wise for the most part. I smelt a bad egg from the start and felt that this project wouldn't last long to begin with.
Still good that they're ambitious about it though. I'd like to see where the project goes from here. it's an interesting curiousity and I really thought their controller could be something of use. I'd buy that though.
After the Ouya failed, I would not be shocked if people are a more cautious with these startup crowd funding consoles. The Ouya never even remotely lived up to its hype.
Plus, 299 bucks is tons of money to ask for given At games is selling retro themed Atari, Coleco, Intellvision, and Sega consoles on a chip for 50 bucks at your local Walmart.
Those consoles do well because they are retro systems. They sell to people like me who want to play a Sega Genesis cart that they have laying around.
But even with that said, I don't want to go back 20 years to carts anymore then I want to trade in my HDTV for a old tube one.
Technology moves forward for a reason, and while I have my issues with modern systems, they do have their perks, including making older games from previous generations(NES,SNES, Neo Geo, Genesis) better due to save states and filters that make the games look better.
If I were given the choice of playing Super Mario Bros 3 on the NES with the original cart or playing it on a Wii U or 3DS with the perks of having it look better, save states, and in the case of the 3DS playing it anywhere I wanted, I would pick the modern versions every time.
Why would I go back?
My dear, I have known many surprises in my time. And this... was not surprising in the least!
People already have a huge array of genuine retro gaming to choose from, both in original hardware and virtual console style services. Why would you pay current-gen prices for something that pretends to be retro?
Well lets see.
> Cartridge games mean no updates or free DLC, so for example Shovel Knight owners would have never got the Plague of Shadows if they got it for the VGS.
> Patching exists for a reason. Not everybody is the cynical "Release it now patch it later" triple A gaming company. Not every bug can be checked. It is a fact of life
> The creators literally have no idea (or at least were not listing) what speed of processor they even need.
> They marketed it based on collectors, not gamers. Putting more thought into case/cartridge color design than the actual system is bad.
> The default controller they were listing was a third party Wii U Pro controller with poor Amazon reviews. Seriously?
> As someone with some game design experience of my own, why would I release my game at a higher cost point (Cartridges, remember) with no updates or DLC when I can just release it on Steam for a fraction of the price, get more sales, and be able to fix issues I missed in testing?
With these issues and a bunch of others... Remind me why this had any chance in World 8 to succeed? This thing just screamed bad idea.
Edit: Formatting too hard.
The fact there was no prototype and they are asking for €350 up front? That's a mega failure right there.
The way the gaming world works now (including Nintendo) is that devs can fix bugs in their games well after release. With this, you would have to wait at least 6 months after an indie game is released on every other system and phone to get it on cart bug free (which is pretty much impossible, sure look at all nes snes Megadrive etc games with bugs, and they had loads of people testing those games before release back then). And even then you'd miss out on any DLC released after you get it on cart.
Very bad idea overall. I listened to gamester81 talking to the guy (can't think of his name) and it just sounded all bad. Pat the nes punk talked about it too in-depth and just, no.
Glad it failed. People learned with the OUYA. And in reality it's the big 3 and pc. No room for anything else sadly.
I was hoping somebody would make a new TG16. This seems to have its own software which is cool. They could probably cut costs by putting games on CDROM and switching to a CDROM format. Seems a bit pricey though to play some retro looking games.
They could have use the Sega Genesis or Super NES console design and cartridge style, that will sell it for me but the Jaguar. Not a fan of that console, both its design and cartridge.
Waste of perfectly good Jaguars. Honestly, why would anyone prefer this over a cheap and convenient download on their PS4, Wii U, etc.?
I would have loved this thing (I pledged over $500), but I can't say I'm surprised. This was always a pipe dream at best, but I'll still support it in whatever form their next crowdfunding attempt takes.
@ElkinFencer10 do you know what processor they are using? I'm wondering if they are slapping the old Atari jaguar processor in there since they are using the case. Really it wouldn't be bad the Jaguar had outstanding 2d power but Atari kept pushing this crappy 3d engine. Heck maybe they put a Raspberry Pi in there. I heard it was hard as heck programming for the jaguar. I just just didn't get what kind of power this thing had from the videos they posted
"Cartridge games mean no updates or free DLC"
3DS games get updates and DLC don't they? How would this be any different to discs? To be honest, I really hope the gaming industry goes back to cartridges really... or at least those released physical games simply because cartridges are so much better than discs in every way except for the price.
I don't know, and I think one of their problems was that they weren't sure at the end, either, but it's not like most people think and that they were just sloppy; one of the backer e-mails said something about a problem with the company's production being halted for that model, forcing them to go back and do another round of cost/benefit analysis for other processors and make a determination for where to go. I do know, however, that it was going to be at least as strong as the Jaguar (overall, anyway; again, I don't know specifics) because they said that they had plans to - if the demand ended up being there (which I doubt but still hoped) - released add-ons to play the actual cartridges from old systems without the need for emulation. They never released specifics since that was an "maybe hopefully in the future" sort of goal, but still, they'd need to have some decently versatile hardware in there for that.
It cost $10 more than my PC and video card, which are faster than a PS4...
@ikki5 the Retro VGS would have absolutely no internet connectivity, at all. So, no updates, no patches, no DLC. It's physically impossible. If a game ships with a bug, it's broken forever. If you want DLC... well, you need to buy another cartridge.
@Chaotic_Eevee "Putting more thought into case/cartridge color design than the actual system is bad."
I don't think they really put much time into their design for the system actually, considering that it's the exact same design as the Atari Jaguar for the console shell and cartridges. I was always skeptical of their sales pitch for reasons which you mentioned. I like retro games, but the concept of a retro system without many modern features was definitely flawed and doomed from the start.
Way too expensive and some of the proposed games could be had cheaper digitally on other devices. It's a nice, nostalgia-filled project, but I don't see this ever being a success.
It's good that they decided to go through Indiegogo's support team to provide everyone with refunds, because they're not obligated to provide refunds if an Indiegogo project fails. There will probably be some people who have issues, which could get messy for those who contributed $100s toward the project.
This project was doomed from the start. The high pricing is the most glaring issue, of course. On the other hand, though, you can't succeed with a modern console platform fielding just games like Shovel Knight, Freedom Planet, and Shantae. Good games they all are, but PC offers much cheaper and more convenient ways of acquiring them.
If they're truly dead set on going all in with 2D gaming, they have to set themselves apart from the competition somehow. SNK did that successfully with the Neo-Geo due to it's arcade-perfect ports and arcade quality exclusives, which the 3D consoles at the time were not so well-suited for. (Except the Sega Saturn, arguably.) This console would similarly need to find some niche that no one else provides- simply providing retro style games is not enough.
You know what the more I hear about this the stupider it sounds, I like cartridges but this is horribly laid out, they've got at the high end 15 staff members and claim they'll play test all the games to ensure there is no bugs.
No prototype and price. What exclusive games would they have had?
Retro games, and retro styled games, do exactly zero for me. Im 27 and have no nostalgia for that. When Indies use retro pixel art for their games today, that also turns me off of those projects
@2xDair From what I understand they were making a huge deal about limited edition case colors such as gold for certain tier rewards. Perhaps I'm the only one that thinks so, but I'd be worrying about having a working prototype before working on special case modifications for high-tier backers.
Whoa this was looking pretty sick never seen this til now. Hdmi's and everything huh ? The beats in those games were on point ! Hmm very interesting wish i seen this earlier.
"Was it the basic-looking games, the high cost or the fugly Atari Jaguar casing?"
All of the above.
From a retrogaming perspective, I think the bulk of the comments here will serve as amazing market research for the folks behind the Retro VGS, so hopefully they are reading each of these comments. From a crowdfunding perspective, which is where I come from mostly, there are actually quite a few reasons the VGS didn't do very well (too high a goal, no real marketing spend that I could see, and little community support for it.) This is the kind of console that will need to be crowdfunded in stages, involving the retrogaming community every step of the way, in order to get it to ultimately reach anywhere near the target that was initially set.
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