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SeanR

Another ZX Spectrum device indiegogo fundraiser

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I think you're right. It may have ignited some interest in the Spectrum with some people, but I can't imagine a load of people willing to part with 100 smackers just for a short nostalgia trip. In it's current form it would need to be around £30 for the mass-market to take it seriously (IMO). I don't expect them to deliver anywhere near the 1,000 games included they're promising either.

It would have to be some super-cheap (less than £30) toy, just a bit of fun. The company clearly thinks mentioning Sir Clive is going to shift units but anyone who would have their interest piqued by the mention of his name would have a Speccy already.

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There's no way that any Ultimate games are going to be on there, so no Jetpac, no sale.

I wonder if they'll load it up with games, THEN worry about paying royalties when people complain. I can't see them getting the rights to a 1000 games sorted out in time for launch.

Maybe they're frantically going through old copies of C&VG and Sinclair User and typing in the list-ins? (obviously not with that keyboard)

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I realise that the software rights owners now have the choice of royalties or charitable donation but how many will take the money? I guess the potential of them being exposed as "miserly and uncharitable" will definitely work in the hardware manufacturers favour.

Gaining the rights to games by what appears to be emotional blackmail seems like a right c**t's trick. How much of the hardware profits are being donated?

EDIT - Found my answer, looks like none to me. Quote from the website is:

Retro Computers Ltd is making arrangements with the owners of the software rights to Spectrum games to donate a combined software royalty to a charity – Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children.

Also, that prototype is pretty poor, and done on the cheapest 3d printer you can possibly find. Personally, I wish that these half arsed cash-ins would just go away. Why make a Spectrum that doesn't look like a Spectrum?

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Probably a way to keep costs down, while attempting to scratch that nostalgia itch.

I also think it's a good point about them shouting about rights they did have - if they had them. If they'd got Ocean's back catalogue or similar, that'd be all over the press release. The fact that they haven't come forward and named a single game is a concern.

I imagine any licensed games would be a no-go? How does it work in terms of rights and licensed games? Would they need permission not only from, say Ocean, but also from the film studio for something like Robocop? Would the same apply to arcade conversions?

I wish they'd just release a complete spectrum with HDMI and maybe a memory slot. Go the whole way or don't bother.

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I wish they'd just release a complete spectrum with HDMI and maybe a memory slot. Go the whole way or don't bother.

With an SD memory slot, it would be pretty much perfect. Add in a USB port for an emulated Kempston or Interface II joystick and 128K emulation, then you're talking. Really talking.

I'd pay £100 for that.

£100 for a shitty looking joypad, that would be unbearably awful to hold? Nah...

Honestly, would it not be easier to do the full spectrum version than a cut down joypad?

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Sir Clive Sinclair was on the BBC's Click programme this week, with a brief look at the Vega (although he doesn't mention it himself - just that he never played any Spectrum games).

The full show will still be on iPlayer, but the relevant clip is here:

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He said it was "a bicycle for the mind. A car battery powered bicycle for the mind."

Steve Jobs nicked that quote, but dropped the reference to the C5.

Wait.. Did he say "it's a rubber keyed beermat"??

I don't know.

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So they introduce the piece by mentioning the Vega, get him in a room for an interview and then don't even mention it? :huh: Was he asked about it and then he skirted around the issue so gave them nothing to use? "So, how many of the one-thousand games promised have you secured rights to Sir Clive?" "Oh I don't know anything about that, I'm just putting my name to the thing to sell it. Wait, don't use that." is how I would imagine the conversation to have gone.

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I've asked them who they have on board so far but they're not saying who they have so far. They are waiting for their final list... They're also being very vague about how they are getting around the keyboard issues.

Are you planning to cover this at all in RG? It could be written from a neutral viewpoint (to give them the benefit of the doubt) but highlight the concerns and perhaps give them a platform to talk to part of their intended audience?

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I don't see how they are going to solve the two key issues - the lack of keys for certain games, and getting the rights to the games people want to play.

I've spoken to quite a few people who have struggled over rights to games they made years ago - either to regain the property, or to help people making remakes - and they walked into a legal minefield. Either that, or the companies involved didn't realise they held certain rights. When you add in arcade conversions or movie tie-ins I cannot see how the Vega can be launched with a desirable line-up of well-known games.

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They should just include the hewson catalogue like the C64DTV did and 'encourage' use of the speccy 99 cd-rom, as it were. Ahem.

Is it a 'real spectrum on a chip' thing or some sort of emulator?

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Are you planning to cover this at all in RG? It could be written from a neutral viewpoint (to give them the benefit of the doubt) but highlight the concerns and perhaps give them a platform to talk to part of their intended audience?

As you say, any such piece would walk a tight rope between RG's desire to know more and them providing a platform for the makers to harangue/unfairly influence copyright owners? I'd feel quite uneasy about giving them a platform to speak on, given what we've heard so far.

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As you say, any such piece would walk a tight rope between RG's desire to know more and them providing a platform for the makers to harangue/unfairly influence copyright owners? I'd feel quite uneasy about giving them a platform to speak on, given what we've heard so far.

Well that's precisely the point - RG could ask the important questions and give them the opportunity to answer them without PR fluff - or they'll do a 'no comment' which would be in the editorial so people could make up their own minds. It seem to me that RG would have some clout in the market they would probably like to get on side, and judging from the comments made on the Elite System Kickstarter, a number of people were commenting and comparing the two machines, specifically buying into the whole '1000 games' claim.

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We're running an interview next issue.

Developers are being paid for the use of their games. It's either 1% to a charity of their choice or to themselves. I'll try and find out why it's such a tiny amount.

And I've just been told that developers are collectively receiving 10% which suggests they only have 10 developers on board...

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I've been asked, via the coder of the game, if I was okay to let Vega use a game I was involved with. Seeing as I only created the loading screen, I wasn't that bothered, so any money is going to GOSH. As for the other 3 games I've worked on, we've heard absolute nothing.

I'm more than happy to allow them use the games, with the money going to charity, but just feel the way they are going about it is just rubbish and it's that that's putting me off.

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I don't think including the games is even that important. Sure it pushes it into the realms of those retro toys you can buy preloaded with old Atari games or whatever. But I would have thought most people wanting these are going to be enthusiasts, not impulse-buyers looking for a retro fix or a quirky present for a geek they know.

So why not just make it a working replica ZX Spectrum 48K, with Sir Clive approval, and a 2GB memory card which can probably hold every speccy game ever released?

Most people who would buy something like this could competently fill it with games themselves, I would think.

I suppose that would mean a slightly more complex OS and emulator integration, because it would have to cope with new games being loaded on by the user - but it would be a far superior project I reckon.

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It's supposedly already possible to load your own games from an SD card, although the details are vague; it's just one of the things covered in the FAQs. It says in two separate parts that you can play your own games and it will load tap files. The inclusion of the 1,000 games seems to be to justify the initial cost rather than a necessity to be able to play anything on it.

Personally I'd have made it a replica ZX Spectrum with HDMI out, included about 10 games and made it £40-£50 with optional compilations of games made available for a reasonable price with the choice of loading games from SD card still available. But hey, I'm no businessman. I'm sure they already explored this avenue before taking the route they did. Maybe about after the subsequent runs and price decrease they'll do something like that for v2?

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We're running an interview next issue.

Developers are being paid for the use of their games. It's either 1% to a charity of their choice or to themselves. I'll try and find out why it's such a tiny amount.

And I've just been told that developers are collectively receiving 10% which suggests they only have 10 developers on board...

The way I read the press release the company were earmarking 10% of the profits to be shared amongst the charity donations AND royalties.

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I'm going out on a limb but I don't think anyone asked for four more buttons. Maybe they miss heard, and people were actually asking for forTY more?

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Have they gone into any detail at all as to the hardware that's inside this thing? I know they've given a definite 'no' on it being Android based, but I'm having a hard time imagining it as anything other than a Raspberry Pi style SoC running an emulator (much like the Retron 5, only without the Android).

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I suppose they could be going for a C64 DTV kind of thing, if they've got the resources and are able to fabricate the custom hardware. It would make a change, after the Neo Geo X and Retron emulation systems.

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