We learned several things this morning at Nintendo's big Wii U Preview Event. One, Nintendo of America President and COO, Reggie Fils-Aime, does not appear to be a happy man; two, Nintendo still needs to work on their presentation skills at these events--it was pretty dull overall with not enough meat and too much focus on the wrong things; and three, and most importantly, we got the long awaited hard info on US launch date and system pricing.
You'll have two major system options on November 18, 2012: the Wii U Basic Set, which features 8GB of storage, for $299.99; and the Wii U Deluxe Set, which features 32GB of storage plus the Nintendo Land pack-in game. Besides me correctly predicting all of this back in June (not exactly hard), I still stand by my statement that the pricing is right where it needs to be. Naturally, the Deluxe Set is by far the best value, but Nintendo clearly wanted the sub-$300 talking point. Hopefully, not too many people will lose out either by decision or lack of stock for the Deluxe in getting the Basic.
Anyway, I also predicted that a second Wii U controller would run as high as $149.99. It looks like I was off a bit on that, as reports seems to indicate as much as $170 or so. The Pro Controller - the Xbox 360-like screen-less controller - looks like it will sell for around $65. Again, that seems a bit higher than many of us would have liked (in this case, $49.99 for me). At least the system bundles represent what we can perceive as fair pricing.
In part 2, RadioShack enthusiast Boisy Pitre and RadioShack engineer of over 30 years, Jerry Heep, sit down and chat about the upcoming book on the history of the Color Computer, which I'm helping to co-author. According to RadioShack, "this book is for people who love the Color Computer and will give them a true and accurate view on how the CoCo came to be."
In this video, Boisy Pitre is joined by engineering legend, Jerry Heep, at RadioShack headquarters, where they discuss the venerable Tandy Color Computer (CoCo). This is part one of three. Boisy and I are still hard at work on what we hope will be the definitive CoCo history book, so stay tuned...
In this video, I continue (part 1) my exclusive early look at the Sega Arcade Classic wireless game console and Sega Arcade Ultimate Portable handheld player from AtGames, both of which will be released in the US in time for the holidays. The new wired six button controller is also discussed.
Download the video here (has center watermark due to needing to compress file for download).
In this video, I continue (part one) my exclusive early look at the Atari Flashback 4 from AtGames, which will be released in the US in time for the holidays. Look for part 2 of Armchair Arcade's other exclusive video review, coming soon, on several new Sega-related products from AtGames, which will also be released in time for the US holiday season.
EDIT: I mistakenly said 80 games with the Flashback 4. It's 75 games. The YouTube video has been updated with an annotation.
Download the video here (no annotation).
A new Atari-themed CHRISTMAS BYTES Kickstarter has been launched, and one of the reward tiers features a special bundle with a copy of our hit book Vintage Games. There are four such rewards available. When you're on their Kickstarter page, be sure to click on their YouTube link to watch some reminiscing from yours truly and some of the other partners and fans. Oh, and don't forget to pledge your support!
In this video, I take an exclusive early look at the Sega Arcade Classic wireless game console and Sega Arcade Ultimate Portable handheld player from AtGames, both of which will be released in the US in time for the holidays. This is part 1. Part 2, which will be released a week or so after, will feature more live footage to get an even better sense of the quality of the systems and their capabilities.
In this video, I take an exclusive early look at the Atari Flashback 4 from AtGames, which will be released in the US in time for the holidays. This is part 1. Part 2, which will be released a week or so after, will feature more live footage to get an even better sense of the quality of the system and its capabilities. Look for part 1 of 2 of Armchair Arcade's next exclusive video review, coming soon, on several new Sega-related products from AtGames, which will also be released in time for the US holiday season.
As mentioned previously, I've been re-thinking my collecting activities, including selling off the non-working and duplicate portions of my collection, which presently consists of over 430 videogame and computer systems and countless thousands of related software, accessories, and literature. Naturally, part of that reasoning was "thinning the herd" after all these years, because - even though I am thankful to have a relatively generous amount of space for these types of activities - it has long since reached the point where I well and truly have too much to handle. Why has this become an issue? There's simply too much stuff, there's no time to use it (that would need to be my full-time job), and, when I do want to use it, it takes up most of my available time just setting something up, only to have to break it down and put it back on the shelf again. It's innefficient, and frankly, no fun anymore.
With that in mind, in addition to the thinning - which will take a very, very long time of course in a collection I've been cultivating for over 30 years now - I've been plotting how I can make better use of what I have. Like I said, I am thankful to have a relatively generous amount of space. I have a large basement area, with about half unfinished, which is used for storage, and the other, finished half, consisting of an office room, hallway, workout area, and den area. The main floors of our house contain our active systems, including the Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, Co-Star, various computers and handhelds, etc., but they are not an option for me to make use of for classic items, other than on an occasional basis. That just leaves the basement, which is, of course, fine, but also limits my flexibility.
Anyway, even though each area of the basement is brimming with stuff and each section serves a specific purpose, either on a permanent or temporary basis, I decided that my best course of action is to pull out the truly must-have-accessible systems from the hundreds available and make them accessible at a moment's notice. This was not easy to do, as I have a genuine passion for each and every system I own, but the bottom line is is that some systems are more interesting, more "useful," or I simply have a critical mass of items for them that they can't be ignored. I decided I'd tackle that task with my classic computers first, followed by my classic videogame systems at a later date. I cleared space on my big L-shaped computer desk in the office area and proceeded to select the systems that met my criteria and would fit on the desk (I'll have some flexibility when I set up the classic videogame consoles to make a little use of the den area as well).
While I have many different models in most of the specific computer series I selected, I tried to choose the one model in my collection that would give me the most bang-for-the-buck. This in and of itself was not easy, as there's rarely a "most perfect" choice when it comes to choosing the ideal model in a series, which in this case also involved being a good fit for the available space. The systems I chose were as follows: TI-99/4a, Apple IIgs, Atari 600XL, Atari Falcon, Commodore Amiga 2000HD, and Commodore 128DCR, with a special appearance by the Radio Shack Color Computer series, which I'll explain at the end. So yeah, as hard as it was, no Sinclair Spectrum, BBC, IBM PCjr, Coleco Adam, Imagination Machine, MSX, Interact, Exidy, etc., etc., items, even though I'd love to have those out and ready to go as much as the others.
My initial goal - which I was able to accomplish - was to set up a basic system configuration for each and make sure it was working properly. I actually had a slightly different mix of specific systems, but, after testing, found some things didn't function as expected or didn't work at all. Over time, I'll add to each system I've set up (and address the other stuff that's not working) until each and every one is set up properly with their respective disk drives, flash cards, transfer cables, etc., to be fully usable with all of the stuff I have available. At the very least, with these minimum configurations, they're ready to go for most quick usage scenarios. I also decided it was important not to have any of them plugged in full-time, so everything gets hooked up and powered up on demand. This is actually simple and will not delay my usage in any way. In fact, the way I have the various monitors and TV's set up, I can hook up other systems as needed without too much fuss, which is another bonus. Anyway, here are the photos and additional explanation:
Yes, the 1986 Intellivision game, Hover Force, can now be played while viewing it in its original 3D, just by using a simple Crayola toy. Check out the video overview and the links below for more details!
Click here for the original AtariAge forum topic discussing the discovery.
Click here for the full YouTube video for Hover Force for Intellivision.
Click here for the Hover Force Wikipedia page.
Click here to purchase the Crayola 3D Chalk with glasses from Amazon (just one of many options to get the required glasses).