I fail to see the advantages of getting indie games at $20 versus Humble Bundle or GOG. And getting AA games released in cartridge on 2015 is science fiction. Pier Solar for Genesis/Megadrive took ages to materialized, and that was with a good team and a solid, doable single project, for a system with many sold units. Even Sturmwind for Dreamcast, which used simple CDs for production was a nightmare for everybody involved, including the purchasers (luckily it turned out to be a masterpiece with rock-solid production values). Project Eternity almost the same, even if it was done by Obsidian.
Actually, AA titles do get physical releases. I signed up for IndieBox and I absolutely love their service. The price averages to about $16 a month and they come with really cool extras. Consider this- Risk of Rain started off as a Kickstarter with no reward tier that gave you a physical copy of the game. I got a physical copy of it for $16, it also came with a journal, brooch pin, stickers, instruction booklet and socks! I'm not kidding.
If they even had a reward tier with all of that on their Kickstarter, it would easily cost $40-60. Indiebox was able to make it for about $16. So my point is- if they have an organized operation that knows what they're doing, instead of just a few guys in their shed out back because they don't trust anyone and think they're saving money that way, then they could get a good operation going. Not to say that I think they'll succeed, which I'll get into in a second....
Well, I don't see how any big name publisher would want to make games for this thing and have to deal with costly cart manufacturing. They'd have to open up a factory or warehouse or something for that, wouldn't they?
It's a catch-22. The company would need to see a demand for it, but potential buyers would want to see that there's going to be a library for it before shelling out $150 to $180 for a 16-bit system with an ugly Jaguar housing.
If they were smart, what they would do is make it possible to play Jaguar games on it, exactly like a clone system. Atari Jaguars are going for like $100-130 right now. If I could buy a new Jaguar that plays all the old games, I would be tempted to get on board with this. And how about the infamous Jaguar CD? Anyone who watches AVGN (a lot of people) knows those are rare, expensive and prone to break. How about they find a way to add a USB connection to their Retro VGS so the user can connect just a regular CD drive to play Jaguar CD games?
I don't have a lot of faith in the project though. The guy who's doing this and bought the molds to make them is the guy who made Retro magazine. I backed that Kickstarter and it's the only one I regret so far. I only got 4 out of the 6 issues I was supposed to get and I'm not the only one that this happened to. The magazine is also consistently late. A full year was supposed to have 6 issues and that year turned in to almost 15 months.
I will say though, he is able to round up a lot of talented people. But he really overestimates how many people will buy this thing and how many AAA publishers will license out their games to be released on it. He was on the AllGenGamers podcast (which has Gamester81 as a host) they did a whole episode about this console, here's the link
. He talks about the possibility of selling 50,000 or so, which I would be surprised if even the Ouya has been able to do. Plus, after working with GCW I can tell you that there are people who sit on the rights to obscure, classic game franchises and all they do is sit on them. It's strange because you would think that if they're sitting on the rights and not releasing anything it's because no one has approached them before or something. But no, even after showing initial interest, they would rather just sit on the rights and have them make no money than release the game anywhere else.
So yeah, I don't see this succeeding. I predict it's going to fail at the Kickstarter level, which is probably best for it. With a price tag of at least $150, that is a tough Kickstarter to back. Think about it like this- you're asking people to pay $150 for a VCR that doesn't play their old movies but might
have some independent films released later on. There, I just wrote their Kickstarter pitch.Other obvious points worth mentioning:
-No indie studio is going to develop for this because 1) it doesn't run on iOS or Android; 2) the small install base is going to make it worthless; 3) they don't want to have to factor in the cost of manufacturing cartridges and even if they did, whatever they don't sell they have to eat
-$150 to buy this thing?? Yeah, right.
-With a three horse race for the home console market and with Amazon and Nvidia trying to turn Android boxes into viable competition, who's in the market for this?
-Seriously. How many people are regulars
in the Atari Jaguar forums? Take that number, cut it in half, cut it in half again and that's your market for this console. I can't imagine anyone else being sold on this. It's purely a novelty for Jaguar collectors.