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Atari Box?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by RichardKain, Jun 17, 2017.

  1. FMark92

    FMark92

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    Thank you. That was the word I was looking for (english 3rd language and stuff)
     
  2. Arowx

    Arowx

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    Is that a mirco SD card or a giant joystick and why 3 ports and why wood grain?
     
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  3. tswalk

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    my grandmother passed away last August.. when going through a few things at her home I found an Atari 2600, in the box with the original pac-man game... the controllers indicated it may have been used once.
     
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  4. RichardKain

    RichardKain

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    Well, you can surmise a few things from the nature of this announcement.

    1. It is highly unlikely that this product is going to be punching in the same weight class as the "Big 3" console manufacturers.

    They didn't acquire booth space at E3, which happened the same week as the AtariBox teaser website went up. If they were looking to promote this sort of thing heavily, they would have made certain to have some manner of announcement at E3. They didn't even make any big media announcement or push regarding the teaser itself, allowing word-of-mouth and social media to spread the word naturally. While there is a certain wisdom to this, it also means that the marketing budget they have for promoting the project is likely quite small. Hence a teaser instead of a more grandiose hoopla. In order to be anywhere close to the "Big 3," you would have to be slinging around an enormous war-chest of investment. No media spend means no war-chest, which means everyone should prep themselves for a much more constrained scope to this project.

    2. Whatever it is, it will likely have to be sold for a profit, not a loss, and not a break-even.

    This extends naturally from some of the conclusions of the first point. Microsoft is planning on selling the Xbox One X at a break-even or even a slight loss, despite the fact that they have priced it at $500. (I still can't believe that anyone expected it to be less than that) If Atari isn't drowning in cash (and I believe they aren't), they will have to sell whatever product they're making for a profit. They can't rely on a questionable software market to bolster whatever it ends up being. The video game industry has subsidized many modern consoles on the backs of software licensing. That can't happen with an unproven system from a console designer that has been out of the business for decades. The current competition in the console space won't allow for such a system to be subsidized through software, especially if it doesn't have extremely strong investor backing. (and again, I don't think it will)

    3. Whatever it is, it will have to either be weak, or expensive.

    Without the financial support of reliable software licensing, the mystery AtariBox will either have to have under-powered specs, or just be very pricey. They could go either route. In fact, they could technically take both routes, allowing consumers tiered options as far as the physical product is concerned. But we should be expecting conservative estimates for processing power on whatever this device ends up being.
     
  5. derf

    derf

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    Some say yes, they are attempting to get into the ring with the big 3 (Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft).

    Yes to this again.

    However, they are actually going to be banking on nostalgia. Their first X amount of units in the initial product run will be like their original Atari 2600. Black plastic frame with real wood trim.



    Obviously will not look exactly like this, but the general idea. The Atari symbol will light up when you power the unit up. Instead of switches it will have a couple buttons (power, reset, etc.)

    Later production runs will be like the 3rd generation 2600 all black plastic or commonly referred too as the Darth Vader unit.



    The first production run will be the determining factor if they continue with it (black plastic with wooden trim). It will be well above its unit cost to produce by a large factor. If it sells, they will continue with it and will eventually switch to the cheaper all plastic no wooden trim look. I have no idea on retail cost but I would assume anywhere from $399 too $599.

    Not sure on how many games will be available at launch, but whispers it will be just like Nintendo when it first launched back in the eighties. A handful of games with a mascot game or two.

    The cartridges will be like they used to be too. They are going the route of flash card memory for storing the games (like Nintendo Switch) and they will be encased in the large square cartridge like they used too be. Costs are similar to current trends, anywhere from 39.99 to 69.99.



    Also in stores will be the beautiful art work boxes like before. This I gotta see.



    This will quite LITERALLY be their Hail Mary pass. IF it succeeds Atari "could" potentially and fundamentally change the console market.

    Atari sort of created the console market for the home when they first released the Atari in the seventies, so this could be huge if it works out.

    Supposedly this will be coming out in second quarter of 2018. However take all of this with a grain of salt. One cannot verify the info with 100% certainty; I don't even trust the sources too begin with; BUT it kinda of makes sense and is quite believable in a way and I would like to offer it up to debate and discussion.

    A part of me is excited if this is true and another part of me is like "meh".
     
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  6. theANMATOR2b

    theANMATOR2b

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    This will be the fail point IF this is true. Are any Atari era games worth more than $5.00 compared to today's intermediate level indie titles?
     
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  7. wccrawford

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    I guess you're assuming they'll just put out their old games again?

    For the prices he's suggesting, it'd have to be a modern console with modern games.
     
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  8. theANMATOR2b

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    Just guessing because if Nintendo can we can! :D
     
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  9. zenGarden

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    Considering what happened to Ouya console, it's risky if you don't have many unique exclusives and appealing games; and lot of developpers support.
    The Switch sells are amazing because of the exceptionnal Nintendo games.
     
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  10. EvalDaemon

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    I am going to make a prediction that this is going to be like the Commodore system branding, just a PC with a custom case and nostalgic logo. Would they dare then add their own Game portal to go up against Steam? Oooooo.
     
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  11. GarBenjamin

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    What an awesome sight that would be. Gone all of these boring modern game boxes striving to look like photos from National Geographic and war zone coverage... and replaced with a bunch of very colorful interesting... FUN looking game boxes. Boxes that look like they actually have fun games inside.

    It'd be very cool. Kind of doubt it will happen but I'd like to see it. :)
     
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  12. GarBenjamin

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    I guess I may need to pick up some shares. Would have been nice to bought in last month. 50% in a month... yeah I'd take that. Had no idea their stock was that low now. Crazy.
     
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  13. Kiwasi

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    Most low value stocks show similar volitility. Pick anything small right before a big industry announcement, and you'll see similar jumps and falls.
     
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  14. Ryiah

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    Back in Feb 2016 AMD was about $2. They're now sitting at $14. Ryzen brought their value up considerably.
     
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  15. Arowx

    Arowx

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    What if Atari did a dedicated VR HMD or a CastAR style AR system with 3D voxel versions of it's classics just for fun?


    OR

     
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  16. GarBenjamin

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    Agreed I used to play penny stocks but never thought about game companies. Just found it interesting there for a few minutes.
     
  17. GarBenjamin

    GarBenjamin

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    That is sweet. 7x. I haven't played the market in many years. The last time was when economy was very bad here back when some state governments were barely able to function due to lack of money.

    Near the end of that I kind of "woke up" and noticed it all and knew that was an ideal time to buy (anything... even blue chips at that time). Everytime prices dropped I bought a little more. They started back up just a couple of months later. As soon as I was able to sell at double I did.

    The best thing for making money is a disaster. Creates opportunity.
     
  18. GarBenjamin

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    It's possible that we are thinking they will come out with a little retro gaming console and they might have something cutting edge to show off. I don't think much if anything is left of the original Atari these days but they were very innovative long ago. Not just with their consoles and home computers but also Battlezone with the 3D vectors and later I am pretty sure they made the first 3D polygon-based driving game with Hard Drivin. If it wasn't the very first one it was close to it.

    Maybe some of that spirit survived. How about a combo? Retro games in VR.

    Personally I don't have any interest in the VR but if they did something like retro games in VR that might make me become interested in VR.
     
  19. Kiwasi

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    Trouble is patents only last 20 years. I dot think Atari has done anything worth patenting in the last 20 years.
     
  20. Murgilod

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    I'm not sure they've done anything they could patent, I'd wager. They don't seem to be doing anything that interesting that they could even get a software patent going, honestly.
     
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  21. Murgilod

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  22. zombiegorilla

    zombiegorilla

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    The casino stuff was really a last ditch effort to generate quick income off the brand following bankruptcy. The folks running Atari aren't the same ones who make it great back in the day. Much like acclaim, the name has been bought and sold in an effort to cash in on nostalgia. It's not so much interesting as sad. I suspect the Atari box will suffer the same fate.
     
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  23. Murgilod

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    I didn't know and, frankly, I don't care because the casino industry is the least interesting thing in the world unless you like security protocols for handling money a whole bunch. This isn't "interesting" in the least.
     
  24. LaneFox

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    Not really into trying to relive the nostalgia in the modern day myself, rather just enjoy the memories of it and leave them untainted.

    I hope its something practical for the modern gaming scene, otherwise it's probably just going to tank.
     
  25. Ryiah

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    You'd end up with a whole bunch of old gamers grumbling about how you ruined their nostalgia. :p
     
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  26. GarBenjamin

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    Hopefully they'll either make something revolutionary VR related (since that seems to be what all the modern "cool kids" want) or make the end all be all retro gaming console that gets all devs making retro style games to sign up and they open their own version of Steam where folks go to find nothing but those kind of games. Basically whatever they do they need to go

    BIG!
     
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  27. Kiwasi

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    We said nothing patentable, reffering to someone's earlier comment on their being a potential patent and IP goldmine.

    They have also done nothing interesting, but that's besides the point.
     
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  28. Ryiah

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    Most recent patent I was able to find was July 9th 2002. Almost fifteen years with nothing patentable.

    http://www.jmargolin.com/patents/ataripats/pat6416412.pdf
     
  29. Murgilod

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    Never in my life would I have predicted seein as goddamn rabid Atari fan in 2017.

    Why should I, a developer, give half a turd about a console that's only selling a million units a year when the PS4 and Xbone both dramatically outsell it? Why would I ever give a flip about that when the alternatives are so much better?

    First off, hardly anyone is using Android as a desktop environment. Less people use it than Linux. Also, people buy Apple products because they offer a dramatically different and some would say improved user experience. Whether you agree with that or not is fine, but there's a reason Apple has its marketshare.

    Except, again, you need to give developers a reason to care, and "it's like the Ouya, but with woodgrain" is not a good reason

    The only person demonstrating a clear lack of chill here is you.
     
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  30. zombiegorilla

    zombiegorilla

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    In case you missed the description of the forum, it is for unity game development. One thread in general discussion about speculation of developing for is perfectly fine. Multiple threads about what is essentially vapor at this point is pointless. I suggest you check Reddit or an Atari based forum for more in depth speculation. Until there is something relevant, a single thread more than enough.
     
  31. FMark92

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    I'll let you go this time.

    But this is outright heresy. Everybody knows Spectrums were superior.
     
  32. Ryiah

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    For giggles I decided to check Reddit myself to see how popular the topic is. The /r/Atari forum has exactly one thread with one comment, /r/Gaming has several threads but most of them are below 20 comments. Ironically /r/PCMasterRace has a thread with over one hundred comments and they're not entirely focused on mocking it.

    Don't expect anything useful from /r/AtariBox either. It's almost entirely redirects to the news articles and YouTubers.
     
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  33. FrankenCreations

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    Atari could always come up with some silly gimmick to hide substandard hardware and appeal to the nintendo market. Then they wouldn't need to compete so heavily with sony and microsoft consoles. Just a thought. I am actually sort of curious I want to see what they do.
     
  34. wccrawford

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    It didn't work for Ouya.

    The problem with selling only 1 million units is that the big game developers won't even consider making a game for it or porting games to it. That means all the games have to be first-party or indie games, and a lot of indies can't afford the time and money to port to it, either.

    And if the machine isn't going to have good games, who is going to buy it?

    In the end, if they manage to sell a million units, the machine will probably die there, disappointing everyone involved, Atari, developers, and customers alike.
     
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  35. imaginaryhuman

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    I don't think there is any way that a re-made ancient console, which looks ancient, and plays ancient games, will in any way profoundly shake up the console market. It's far too niche and novelty. If the hardware is barely needing to be more capable than any of those old games require, it's going to be even slower than an Ouya. The only reason for more hardware would be to support modern games of some kind. I'm not buying it.
     
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  36. Ryiah

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    Best case if they did get companies and indie developers supporting the platform they wouldn't have any exclusives to encourage people to buy the console over the far more popular and successful choices.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2017
  37. GarBenjamin

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    Maybe check the many retro communities out there and see if there is any buzz about it. I haven't looked yet but I know a main site for Atari stuff is...

    AtariAge

    That's basically the central hub of all modern Atari fanatics (covers some other machines as well), home brew developers and so forth. Although there are other communities and sites scattered around.

    The forums there may have something on it. Although people are mainly focused on the classic games & systems and the development of modern home brew games they did cover those Flashback consoles.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2017
  38. Ryiah

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    There are a few threads at AtariAge with too many pages for me to bother reading too deeply, but I did stumble upon a post by someone who is apparently in the know to some degree. If it has nothing to do with legacy hardware or traditional consoles then it's very likely a SteamBox or equivalent like others have been saying.

    http://atariage.com/forums/topic/266465-ataribox/page-1#entry3782545
     
  39. GarBenjamin

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    Ha ha. Thanks for doing the digging. That was a good read for a laugh.

    I noticed a mention in there about all of these people trying to cash in on the retro thing in recent years and had to laugh... yep. I think a lot of retro gamers hate that. People that seemed to never have any interest / involvement in retro gaming all of these many years but yet they are trying to make games / consoles whatever because you know... $$$$ I actually think it is easy to spot such folks... because they are the ones who can only come up with "nostalgia" as the reason for people being into it. End of rant.
     
  40. RichardKain

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    Well, you could level the same complaint at almost any platform that isn't currently sitting at #1. But we still see quite a few games coming to multiple platforms. For any indie developer trying to make their way in the world, the answer is obvious. Get your game on as many platforms as possible. That's a big part of why the multi-platform support of Unity is so important. It allows developers to get their games on as many hardware platforms and digital services as possible.

    Your argument holds water in the case of exclusive titles. But the vast majority of developers don't make exclusives any more. Unless you are outright owned by a platform holder, you shoot for multi-platform releases. Any exclusivity is usually just a contract obligation or a matter of time until the port for a different platform is finished.

    Of course, a platform with virtually no exclusive titles does beg the question of "why even bother?" There does need to be some manner of hook. The theoretical Atari Box will need to provide something of value aside from simply having the Atari logo on it.

    I can say with relative certainty that if this Atari Box doesn't support engines like Unity, it might as well pack it in. A platform that doesn't support major cross platform engines will never get the development support it needs to establish anything approaching a decent library of titles.
     
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  41. Murgilod

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    More like every profitable platform. Not every platform will turn a profit for its developers. The Ouya and Wii U both come to mind, both having their own unique failures but above all else, install bases that just didn't make them worth the time spent porting to them when, as an indie, your choices are pretty limited by that. If I have a choice to release my game on two or three platforms, I'm not going to go with the Wii U, Ouya, and Ataribox. I'm going to go with PC, PS4, and maybe the Xbone because those have significant install bases with paying customers.

    I see literally zero reason to assume that the Ataribox will be any different from the Ouya, aside from hopefully not having the "every game must have a demo" component.
     
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  42. Ryiah

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    It allows developers to get their games on them but the developer will still need to acquire the necessary licenses, integrate the necessary APIs, perform the necessary QA to ensure it works since every platform has different specs, and so on.

    Just look at the Digital Foundry videos for Breath of the Wild. There were visible differences in performance in certain locations. Some were shared between the Wii U and the Switch but many of them were in different locations for different reasons.
     
  43. RichardKain

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    It's only natural that you see no reason, as no reason has been given. We don't know what the Atari Box even is at this point. This is the whole purpose of this thread, speculation. At present, we essentially have almost no details about what the Atari Box is.

    When they do get around to actually revealing what it is, perhaps there will be some reasons. For now, you are basing all of your speculation on commercially failed systems. But some of the other posters are postulating based on platforms that have not failed, and still turn a profit, despite having smaller install bases or less successful development.

    Not every product has to conform to the same business model. Look at the Analogue NT. That thing turns a profit by being a premium platform that is sold for a mark-up. Its business model is not based around selling or licensing software, so they have to charge more for it to turn a profit off of the unit itself. And yet, they sell out of every production run they make. You've only ever been able to order their products through pre-orders. They've created a sustainable business model around a niche product, without focusing on the traditional monetization that major platforms employ.

    It could be that the Atari Box will take a similar approach, or perhaps not. We don't know. You can't just base all of your assumptions on a narrow sub-set of examples. Not in this crazy, chaotic, and dynamic field of game development.
     
  44. Murgilod

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    And if they said that the Ataribox was an FPGA based retro console but they've come out and said it's based on PC technology, which comes with a reasonable amount of assumptions. It's not like this is an FPGA based total emulation system that plays literally every NES game, some with outright improvements, it's what will very likely be a PC in a box, which places it into a pretty specific niche, which is already occupied by

    well

    PCs.
     
  45. RichardKain

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    Well, saying PC technology is actually pretty broad. The PS4 and XBone are both based on PC technology. What that generally means is that it will likely have some manner of x86 processor. But with the more mobile-focus of a lot of modern x86 processor development, this isn't really that surprising. (a lot of modern processor development has focused on making processors smaller, more power efficient, and produce less heat, to make them more friendly for mobile devices like phones and tablets)

    So only a small amount can be inferred from that comment. It could be an Atari-themed tablet for all we know. It could be an Atari-branded netbook.
     
  46. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    Considering the announcement timing and the fact that Nintendo brought out it's official mini nes a while ago and now has announced the snes version I'd expect to see a mini atari console with most if not all the games.

    Original joysticks would please me.
     
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  47. RichardKain

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    Those original Atari joysticks are not as good as you remember. There's a nostalgia factor, sure, but they do not hold up very well. I've been meaning to cook up an arcade-control style Atari controller, but I think I would be better off just making a Genesis version, and use that on the original Atari.
     
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  48. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    Really? I used them on every machine and console I had that would fit RS232! So that's Atari, Amstrad, Spectrum, C64, Amiga and just for giggles, the megadrive (but need more than one fire button for that!) Surprisingly, it worked like a champ on all of them.

    I did grip it differently though (just forefinger + thumb at base).

    So I did use it way, way, way past it's sell by date. And yeah, used it recently. Love it.

    <3
     
  49. Kiwasi

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    You say that like competing with Nintendo is an easy thing...
     
  50. Murgilod

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    Even Nintendo has trouble with it sometimes, and they're kinda the experts on being Nintendo.
     
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