Classic Retro Video Game Blog

8 Bit Central - Retro Gaming Blog

September 2015 Retro Gaming Article

September 19, 2015 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

The cartridge-based Retro VGS console sets out on Indiegogo to crowd fund $2 million in 45 days

We loved the concept for this video game console. Check out their Retro VGS campaign on Indiegogo.

I was excited when I first heard news of an upcoming video game console that would be cartridge-based. I grew up on carts and loved the instant-on of playing a game. We never had to experience waiting for a 60-minute system update. When I think back to my early Atari and Nintendo days, I had no idea how good we had it!

We'd insert a game and the fun began in seconds. Try that with a new game today. Between system updates and game updates (fixes) you never know if you'll even be able to play.

Retro VGS console Thus the idea of the Retro VGS console seemed to harken back to those simpler times. It was introduced as a $150 console that would play modern retro-style games. They weren't making an emulation box for all your old games.

They want to deliver a console that plays 8 & 16-bit style games made in the modern era. Certainly there is a lot of wiggle room as to the type of games that can be created, but it wasn't for those who wanted to play Defender of Berzerk. Mame satisfies that need quite well.

The Retro VGS wants to bring the joy of 80's and 90's retro gaming to those who adored that style of gaming. Fast access and no need to connect to a server for ANYTHING - ever!

As with most projects, It's scope and price began to expand. What seemed like a simple dream come true had devolved into a product that prompted a lot of questions. They takled about launching a Kickstarter campaign this Summer. That campaign launched Sept. 19 on IndieGoGo - not Kickstarter. They explained that Kickstarter required a working prototype to qualify.

Their crowd funding has begun with doubling the console's price, Indiegogo requiring payment up-front, and no working prototype. Needless to say, folks are restless, angry, and venting on the Retro VGS Facebook page.

Great Idea, Bad Timing

Retro VGS console This project has earned a lot of the anger seen online. They have been slow to communicate info and by the time they do, large changes have occurred. Like so many crowd funded projects, they've not learned how to communicate with and motivate their fans, which will make it much tougher to convert them to customers. A good PR/marketing person can be the difference between success and failure.

I think the Retro VGS is a great idea with tons of potential. I hope they succeed, but it seems like poor timing for 2 reasons. Crowd funding success is generally down in the Fall. As we head into the holiday season folks are thinking about holiday spending. The beginning of Summer may have been a better time frame. The second issue is the lack of a working prototype.

In my opinion, without a working prototype, they may not even have a proof-of-concept to demonstrate their hardware will work. Without that, how can they derive a proper price? Something as simple as an over-heating issue could set things back. Without a working prototype can they really promise this console within a year?

Again, I love the idea, but as soon as the scope expanded, they should have been more transparent with fans and realigned their timeline. Like many others, I don't feel comfortable fronting $300+ on a console that may not even be feasible.

« Return to the main Retro Gaming Blog 2015