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Arcade ROMs for Download, Legally

simoniker posted about 11 years ago | from the could-be-a-constructive-step? dept.

Classic Games (Games) 338

jgoeres writes "StarROMs, Inc. has just launched a pay-per-download service for classic arcade ROM sets. These are what you need to make your emulator fun and legal. This aims to bring ROM collection & emulator use out of the semi-underground and turn it into profit, but will it fly? They currently have about 60 games, all from the various incarnations of Atari over the years, with more on the way. Prices range from about $2 to about $6 per game. And no, they don't have Marble Man."

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$2-$6 a game!? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7108694)

I can go to the video game store and buy used games cheaper.

Re:$2-$6 a game!? (-1, Troll)

Doomrat (615771) | about 11 years ago | (#7108766)

StarROMS = Starfuckers Inc.

Not a troll (2, Insightful)

Compact Dick (518888) | about 11 years ago | (#7109051)

Starfuckers Inc. is a reference to a Nine Inch Nails song.

Re:$2-$6 a game!? (2, Insightful)

SweetAndSourJesus (555410) | about 11 years ago | (#7108785)

I can go to the video game store and buy used games cheaper.

And you can spend all day blowing on your cartidges trying to get them to work in your aging console.

Part of the beauty of ROM images is that they don't wear out like our favorite cartidges and consoles do.

Re:$2-$6 a game!? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7108807)

Yes, but why do these cost MORE? They don't even have the physical costs associated with cartridges, etc. These things aren't huge downloads, so even bandwidth costs should be minimal.

because (3, Insightful)

SweetAndSourJesus (555410) | about 11 years ago | (#7108849)

Businesses like to make as much money as they can.

Shocking, I know.

Re:$2-$6 a game!? (3, Insightful)

JVert (578547) | about 11 years ago | (#7108873)

gah...
Ok, parent established the benefit that roms have over cartiges, yet you want it to be cheaper because... it doesn't cost them as much? Frankly you need to charge at least $2 a game so people take you seriously. Would I feel bad about pirating a $.50 game? at all?

Re:$2-$6 a game!? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7108898)

What's wrong with $1 a ROM? It's a nice round number, and people like buying things for a dollar.

Re:$2-$6 a game!? (3, Insightful)

SenorMooCow (541070) | about 11 years ago | (#7109066)

people like buying things for a dollar

Apple did it with iTunes, why can't they do it with these ROMs?

Re:$2-$6 a game!? (2, Insightful)

Bendebecker (633126) | about 11 years ago | (#7108912)

Considering most atari games average a size of 6k (this webpage alone is probably somewhere around 20-30k), I don't think $2 is a reasonable price at all. They must be charging a dollar a k! They should sell them for the old arcade prices - 25cents a rom.

Re:$2-$6 a game!? (1)

typobox43 (677545) | about 11 years ago | (#7108997)

Another fine advantage of ROMs: your money gets you free plays for life, not just one game.

Re:$2-$6 a game!? (3, Insightful)

Acidic_Diarrhea (641390) | about 11 years ago | (#7108941)

Steve Jobs would disagree regarding your price point. I believe that pay for download music sites and pay for download ROM sites have very similar markets and Mr. Jobs believes that $1 is okay. At least two dollars? I don't know - it seems like people are buying into the idea of iTunes.

Re:$2-$6 a game!? (2, Interesting)

NanoGator (522640) | about 11 years ago | (#7109044)

"I can go to the video game store and buy used games cheaper."

It's a combination of the cartridges being used and demand being nil. Frankly, the ROM is more useful than the cartridge anyway.

$2 is quite reasonable.

pardon my errant html, by the way (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7108832)

Damn you </i>!

Re:$2-$6 a game!? (4, Informative)

Blondie-Wan (559212) | about 11 years ago | (#7108894)

I can go to the video game store and buy used games cheaper.

Used home console games, yes. Not used coin-op arcade games. Yeah, I know, these aren't full games, but just the ROM images - but then, you're not paying the $25 to $2000 or whatever you might pay for the actual physical machine, either.

Re:$2-$6 a game!? (1)

edwdig (47888) | about 11 years ago | (#7108897)

I can go to the video game store and buy used games cheaper.

Sure, for say the Super Mario Bros/Duck Hunt cartridge. But not for stuff that's less common that that (read: every other game ever made).

Re:$2-$6 a game!? (1)

Bendebecker (633126) | about 11 years ago | (#7109028)

You obviously didn't spend your youth like I did running to flea markets and buying old atari carts. I can still find a good selection if I look hard enough. Been a long time since I've seen c64 carts and vectrex requires you to go to shows but you can still get most of em. Still looking for a virtual boy and a jaguar though...

Re:$2-$6 a game!? (0, Troll)

NanoGator (522640) | about 11 years ago | (#7109029)

"I can go to the video game store and buy used games cheaper."

How are you going to play them on your PocketPC?

Well way to generate stories from reply threads! (4, Funny)

inteller (599544) | about 11 years ago | (#7108696)

If only I didn't already have all the ROMs I might be inclined to buy some!

Re:Well way to generate stories from reply threads (1)

Logicdisorder (686635) | about 11 years ago | (#7108740)

I guess better late than never for this, but as you pointed it out most people I know got hold of ROMS years ago. You might even see Amiga ROMS on there as well which I a few of.

I hope this works... (5, Insightful)

chosen_my_foot (677867) | about 11 years ago | (#7108711)

It'd be nice if this stayed legal and we could all get ROMs for unattainable games in a legal way. Somehow I feel that there's going to be one bad company that will ruin it for everyone.

Hmmm... (5, Funny)

SugoiMonkey (648879) | about 11 years ago | (#7108719)

This is like that iTunes store Apple is trying to pull on us, isn't it? HA, I'm not going to fall for that.

Re:Hmmm... (1)

nitrocloud (706140) | about 11 years ago | (#7108946)

iTunes will be crapped out since CD's are FINALLY going down... then again, I don't own any CD's, tapes, 8 tracks, records, recorded music. Between the local radio stations and web radio, why pay? why pirate? Why do we exist? what are we here for? Hell.... I don't know, but to me, free radio still owns.

classic games? (2, Flamebait)

ctour (645366) | about 11 years ago | (#7108720)

What about Mame and http://www.classicgaming.com ? That's pretty free...

Re:classic games? (3, Informative)

Bill Quayle (712339) | about 11 years ago | (#7108842)

What about Mame and http://www.classicgaming.com ? That's pretty free...

true, but I think that the sales pitch here is that it's legal to buy roms from StarRoms.

Now personally, I think that it *should* be legal to get old roms from classicgaming.com, but unless they've signed some sort of royalty agreement with atari (or whoever) they probably won't be able to legally distribute that Asteroids rom for another 99 years (+ life of author) at least. But then again, I'm not a lawer...

-Bill

Re:classic games? (2, Informative)

frankthechicken (607647) | about 11 years ago | (#7108872)

Or even classic free pc games [the-underdogs.org] . And for modern free classics, give Soldat [soldat.prv.pl] a try, it's pretty damn good.

Good :-) (1)

gibbdog (551209) | about 11 years ago | (#7108722)

There is a want out there, and someone finally realised it and looks like they will be able to make it legal and profitable. Good job guys

It's a good idea... (5, Insightful)

The Human Cow (646609) | about 11 years ago | (#7108724)

I like this idea, but until there's a reason (lawsuits or whatever) for people to be scared of illegally downloading ROMs, they're not going to want to pay for them. In the public's eyes there's nothing wrong with downloading a 15+ year old game because many of the companies are defunct now, and if they're not they probably won't care anyway.

Re:It's a good idea... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7108796)

In the public's eyes there is nothing wrong with downloading MP3s, either.

Re:It's a good idea... (2)

Bonker (243350) | about 11 years ago | (#7108805)

I'll give you a good reason that at least some people will want to pay for them:

The conditions of use for the site (http://www.starroms.com/about/condofuse.php [starroms.com] ) make no indication of any limits on how you use the games. The Roms themselves may contain licenses, but I haven't bought one to find out.

If you buy the rom, chances are you can legally set it up for for-profit play... IE, set up a MAME console in your place of business and charge people 25cents per credit.

Not for Commercial Use (5, Informative)

Milky28 (659738) | about 11 years ago | (#7108837)

Here's [starroms.com] a sample of the software license. "This License allows you to use the Software on a single personal computer for non-commercial entertainment purposes only..."

Re:It's a good idea... (1)

Bendebecker (633126) | about 11 years ago | (#7108878)

Still I don't think IMagic (went out of busniess in '84) is really going to care if I set up a pay-per-play box with demon attack on it. I'm not even sure the guys who founded the company are still alive...
Anyway, I doubt Nolan Bushnell will sue me if I pirate pong.

Re:It's a good idea... (1)

jensend (71114) | about 11 years ago | (#7108855)

Some people actually try to be ethical, and there are even those who do so when they can see how they would be benefitted by an unethical action and can't see who would be harmed by it. I know it boggles the average slashdotter's mind, but try to imagine it.

Re:It's a good idea... (3, Insightful)

L-Train8 (70991) | about 11 years ago | (#7108957)

It seems to me that sometimes there is a difference between being ethical and acting legally. Is it ethical for the law to limit my rights, if I am not harming anyone?

The issue of arcade ROMs illustrates perfectly the problem with our messed up copyright system. We can't legally play many old games because they are not for sale, nor will they ever be. The companies that made them are out of business, and their copyrights are either lost or packed away in some warehouse. They won't be dusted off and offered to the public, because it's not financially worth the trouble. This keeps ideas and information, in the form of old games, legally out of the public's hands. These ideas and information are roped off from the public not to benifit the creators of the games, the ostensible reason for copyright, but to protect the status quo of copyright in general, and keep "piracy" in all it's forms outside the law. This is not confined to old video games, but books, movies, recordings, and almost any form of expression.

Re:It's a good idea... (1)

Dark Paladin (116525) | about 11 years ago | (#7108902)

I can think of one good reason why I'd use this:

Just finding a old game is friggin' hard.

Even with Google, trying to find a ROM to an old game can take some time. But if I knew that I could go to a place where I could legally buy the ROM, know it was a good quality one and not full of a virus or weird messages or something, I'd have no problem plunking down $6 for a game.

I've been wondering how long it would take for some publishers to realize the potential profits. Is $10 a good price to play "Super Mario RPG"? How about to find a copy of "Chrono Trigger" (yes, I know it's out for the Playstation One, it's an example).

I still hope for a day where publishers will have older games to order on demand. I go to a website, pay $30 - $50, and I can get a newly minted working version of Panzer Dragoon Saga - it's selling on eBay for $150, and that's money the publisher isn't getting.

So I wish these guys all the luck, because I know I would use them if they have a game I wanted. Hey - they've got Klax! Cool!

Now to find an Atari emualtor for OS X....

Re:It's a good idea... (4, Interesting)

xkenny13 (309849) | about 11 years ago | (#7109039)

I'd have no problem plunking down $6 for a game.

Actually, neither would I. My next question is ... is this "Play at your own risk?" Does this fall under the same rules as any other software (CD/DVD, etc) that once you bought it, it's yours? What if the ROM has defects? Do you get your money back?

For instance, the copy of Galaga I have doesn't include the sound when your ship blows up. One could argue that it's a pretty minor point, but if I'm paying cold, hard cash, I'd want a *perfect* copy.

Do I have a right to complain about the bug, and for a measly $6, will anyone listen?

Oh boy! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7108728)

Or you could just go to usenet where they're ALL posted pretty much on a weekly basis. Or any of the 2 dozen other sites there they don't cost a cent.

Nintendo (1)

jonfelder (669529) | about 11 years ago | (#7108729)

Maybe Nintendo should take notice of this for original nes games.

Re:Nintendo (1)

Gr33nNight (679837) | about 11 years ago | (#7108836)

Yeah, right. Nintendo doesnt give anything away for free. They will either remake/re-release it as a GBA game, or put it on a pre-order cd.

If Nintendo is good at one thing, its making money.

Re:Nintendo (1)

jonfelder (669529) | about 11 years ago | (#7108933)

Perhaps selling old roms may be a good way to make money. I see no reason why Nintendo couldn't sell the old roms and make a gba game out of them.

Re:Nintendo (1)

Bendebecker (633126) | about 11 years ago | (#7108939)

Forget GBA. Why not just make a cd with the entire library of NES games on it for use with the computer? I wouldn't mind paying $20 bucks for that.

Re:Nintendo (2, Interesting)

Acidic_Diarrhea (641390) | about 11 years ago | (#7108977)

Nintendo doesn't own the rights to the entire library of NES games, remember? Third party developers created quite a bit Nintendo hits. You can't have Nintendo making money off of Mega Man or the folks at Capcom will get very angry.

And the reason Nintendo doesn't do this with their own library of games is because they don't publish games for any platforms other than their own. And the reason you haven't seen a release like this for the Gamecube is because it has a limited market (nostalgia only sells so many copies) and it would cut into their eReader cards and classic ports to the GBA. Any other suggestions?

I played Jumpman Lives just the other day (3, Funny)

saskboy (600063) | about 11 years ago | (#7108739)

It seems almost wrong to play Jumpan on an AMD 1800+, but it is such a pain to plug in the 386, or Commodore 64.

Good luck with the ROM plan. I hope it fares better than the "legal MP3" industry.

Games industry copies music industry? (4, Funny)

gilesjuk (604902) | about 11 years ago | (#7108742)

By making even more money out of old back catalogue technology that broke even a couple of decades ago.

ok... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Custard (587661) | about 11 years ago | (#7108744)

Okay, I DARE someone to come up with a "Well, I for one welcome our new ________ overloards" post for this story.

Double-dare!

no problemo (1)

Tumbleweed (3706) | about 11 years ago | (#7108754)

I, for one, welcome our new Galaxian overlords! ;^)

Re:ok... (5, Funny)

kryptkpr (180196) | about 11 years ago | (#7108757)

Well I, for one, welcome our old, pixelated overlords.

Re:ok... (1)

ColaMan (37550) | about 11 years ago | (#7108797)

Accepted :-)

"I, for one, welcome our new legal-ROM-supplying overlords, and would like to point out that as a trusted Slashdot Identity with low userid and Excellent karma, I would be useful in helping to round up the trolls to toil in your underground bit-mines."

Re:ok... (1)

Anonymous Custard (587661) | about 11 years ago | (#7108867)

Fine fine...never again will I underestimate a slashdotter's ability to bend a simpsons' quote to the topic at hand :-)

Re:ok... (1)

rampant mac (561036) | about 11 years ago | (#7108904)

Well, I for one welcome our...

Wait!

Someone set us up the bomb!

Gentlemen!

Mark your time...

Re:ok... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7108915)

I, for one, welcome our new Mooninite overlords. ... Number 1 in the 'hood G.

Re:ok... (1)

Bendebecker (633126) | about 11 years ago | (#7108961)

Well, I for one welcome our new single-pixel overlords.

holy shit! (-1, Offtopic)

Your Worst Fear (712532) | about 11 years ago | (#7108746)

what!? did all the trolls fall down on the job...not one FP in at least 8 posts...

shame on you all!

Please (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7108753)

Slashdot readers don't like doing anything legal on the computer. Fuck copyright!

Re:Please (1)

grub (11606) | about 11 years ago | (#7108863)


Slashdot readers don't like doing anything legal on the computer. Fuck copyright!

..Slashdot readers except you, right?

Why do I care if it's legal? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7108761)

It's already moral, what with them being 20 years old and generating no revenue for the original coders, artists and musicians, which is all I care about. Whether the company which bought up the company which bought up the company which did the work makes any money from their sale is not interesting to me.

Re:Why do I care if it's legal? (1)

Pharmboy (216950) | about 11 years ago | (#7108865)

It's already moral, what with them being 20 years old and generating no revenue for the original coders, artists and musicians, which is all I care about. Whether the company which bought up the company which bought up the company which did the work makes any money from their sale is not interesting to me.

Actually, you can BUY these as games still now, true to the original. Yes, Microsoft sells "Arcade Classics" with several. I got mine free with a new computer. But yea, someone is still paying for it.

Re:Why do I care if it's legal? (1)

JayBlalock (635935) | about 11 years ago | (#7108870)

Unfortunately that's a flawed argument. Most of these old Atari games were considered work for hire - the programmers got paid a flat fee, and *never* saw a percentage of the profits. There's little point in trying to take a moral stand on it NOW.

Now, I notice that Tetris is on that list. Anyone know if Pazitnov gets a cut from this?

Re:Why do I care if it's legal? (1)

kirkb (158552) | about 11 years ago | (#7109011)

20 years ago the coder usually was the artist and the musician also.

But yes, your point still stands -- he's not making a dime from these games anymore.

Re:Why do I care if it's legal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7109073)

" It's already moral, what with them being 20 years old and generating no revenue for the original coders, artists and musicians, which is all I care about. Whether the company which bought up the company which bought up the company which did the work makes any money from their sale is not interesting to me."

Your staement shows a lack of understanding of business, and in the end punishes the people you claim to care about, by not caring about the people who risk capital to allow them to be creative.

Legal console emulation (4, Informative)

extrarice (212683) | about 11 years ago | (#7108774)

Console Classix (www.consoleclassix.com) has a legal console emulation service, offering titles for the NES, SNES, Genesis and Atari 2600.

Re:Legal console emulation (4, Insightful)

JayBlalock (635935) | about 11 years ago | (#7108919)

That's actually a very interesting test of legal theory. Go read their FAQ [consoleclassix.com] on how their setup works. Apparently Nintendo considered their claim, while a bit shaky, stable enough to not be worth going after.

On the other hand, it seems like, if they get too many users, the service would become useless.

Smart Move - Nostagia Games! (1)

Rathian (187923) | about 11 years ago | (#7108775)

This is a great smart move and I really wish more companies would understand that there a lot of nostalgic gamers out here who recall the heyday of the arcades.

We need Sega, Midway, Nintendo, Namco, et al to get on this. I would love to have a 100% true version of the old Space Harrier, After Burner 2 and OutRun.

I remember back in the day getting After Burner and OutRun for my Sega Master System.. I could've cried. Definitely NOT up to par with the arcades, but then again the old SMS was a pretty limited system. They made up for it (some) with the later versions that came out on the Genny.

Bravo Atari - I'm sure there are more than a few gamers out here that'll be playing Gauntlet with a broad smile on their face.

Re:Smart Move - Nostagia Games! (1)

Bendebecker (633126) | about 11 years ago | (#7108979)

I'm sorry but I always thought guantlet sucked. Give me Haunted House or Tutenkamen any day.

Supporting MAME? (4, Interesting)

pavon (30274) | about 11 years ago | (#7108779)

The site mentions that a portion of their profits goes towards supporting unnamed emulators. On a different page explaining how to play the game, the only emulator they link to is MAME. Does this mean that they are supporting MAME?

(sorry I don't have url's to the specific pages - the site is slashdoted)

Tetris et al? (0, Flamebait)

maliabu (665176) | about 11 years ago | (#7108780)

why would anyone want to pay more than 0 cent to download Atari's Tetris to play on an emulator, when there are many Tetris games freely available that works on more common and recent technology?

if it's for hardcore Atari fans, they SHOULD still have a real Atari at home.

Re:Tetris et al? (5, Informative)

The Lynxpro (657990) | about 11 years ago | (#7108909)

>why would anyone want to pay more than 0 cent to download Atari's Tetris to play on an emulator
>if it's for hardcore Atari fans, they SHOULD still have a real Atari at home.

Explain your statement, please. The *real* Atari version of Tetris is a port of the Atari Games Corp. arcade edition. It was marketed by Tengen, the subsidiary of Atari Games Corp. The game never appeared on any "Atari" branded console because the consols were marketed by Atari Corp. which was a separate company. Atari Inc. was split up in 1984 by Warner Communications (the owners since 1976) with the consumer videogame and computer division being sold off to ex-Commodore founder Jack Tramiel & Co. with a 75% stake, and the arcade division was labelled as Atari Games Corp. and the majority stake sold off to Namco of Japan until Time Warner regained control ala 1991. The home division became known as Atari Corp., Atari Computer Corp., and Atari Entertainment Electronics Corp through various stages. Atari Corp. had exclusive rights to the name "Atari" for the home market. Atari Games Corp. had the rights to "Atari" for the arcades. Thus when Atari Games decided to get a piece of the home videogame industry, they created the brand "Tengen." Thus you must be speaking of the infamous Tengen Tetris edition for the NES which was later yanked from the market when Nintendo proved nobody but them owned the actual rights to the game. The Nintendo version was inferior and was the reason why dealers were able to charge $90 and more for the contraband Tengen edition.

The one similar Tetris game made in the arcade by Atari Games that did appear on Atari Corp.'s Lynx game system was "Klax." This was because Time Warner forced Atari Games and Atari Corp. to make up with each other and sign a cross-licensing deal to port post-1984 Atari Games arcade titles over to Atari Corp. game consoles. And for an Atari fan, it was a great time since the 1984 Atari Schism/Diaspora (sic)...

Re:Tetris et al? (1)

Omestes (471991) | about 11 years ago | (#7109020)

the geek is now on you!

I thought I was bad...

Absolutely wonderful (1)

vslashg (209560) | about 11 years ago | (#7108784)

I'm so glad to finally have a chance to put my money where my mouth is. A lot of these games are classics. Gauntlet, Gauntlet II, and APB can be had for $15 total. This is a dream come true -- I loved all of these games! Now I get to play them again and feel good about it. (I would blow more than $15 if these games were at my local arcade. :-)

Of course, the question is, how many people will actually pay for them? All of these files are quite easy to find online for free.

No no no! (1)

Anonvmous Coward (589068) | about 11 years ago | (#7108801)

Don't sell people digital content! It'll turn everybody into a pirate and put you out of business! You must DRM it to the point that nobody can use it.

Hey.. that was pretty good. I'm gunnin for Jack Valenti's job now.

Re:No no no! (-1, Troll)

YOUR SIG SUCKS! (712500) | about 11 years ago | (#7108859)

"Linux: Where do you want to stay today?"


YOUR SIG SUCKS!

Be more creative!!!

Linux: Where do you want to go TOMORROW!!!!

YOUR SIG SUCKS!

wow, that's not a lotta games! (2, Insightful)

Tumbleweed (3706) | about 11 years ago | (#7108806)

Though some of these are just simply fantastic games. 720 Degrees - I dunno WHAT kind of controller you'd be able to find to play it like the original. And who has a dual joystick setup to play Battlezone with? :) The Griffin PowerMate is just _made_ for games like Tempest, though. I'll take one in black, thanks.

Re:wow, that's not a lotta games! (2, Informative)

bogie (31020) | about 11 years ago | (#7109010)

"And who has a dual joystick setup to play Battlezone with? "

$15 for PSX to USB convertor and your all set.

Robotron, Smash TV etc play perfectly. In fact beyond building your own from real arcade controls the DualShock is the best Mame gaming control going IMO.

If you have more money you can easily buy something like the X-Arcade stick.
http://www.x-arcade.com/pc.shtml

That or just build your own with some happ controls like many people have.

I don't give a FF. Theirs is a doomed cause. (0, Flamebait)

gd23ka (324741) | about 11 years ago | (#7108811)

With 4 gigs chock full of arcade machine roms I don't give a flying fuck, and neither do you, I suppose.

Good Stuff! (2, Insightful)

-Grover (105474) | about 11 years ago | (#7108813)

Kind of a cool idea to legalize the ROM's of your favorite derelict console. My biggest problem with it is that they don't supply or support an emulator. It's basically all at your own risk, and if it doesn't work, too bad.

On the flip side I'd love to actually see this sort of thing take off and, get licenses out for games and emulators for other systems. Not to mention it's nice to have a piece of history without the ritual blowing, rubbing alcohol, smashing and praying for hours, for one round of Double Dragon ;)

As a gamer sometimes all the new fancy-smancy graphics from the X-Box and PS2 and the like are cool, but dammit, sometimes Gannon or Bowser just need to get owned!

There's a song to describe what's happening here.. (0, Flamebait)

AtariKee (455870) | about 11 years ago | (#7108814)

As the (still) great Pat Benatar once sang:

"It's a little too little, it's a little too late."

While noble, I'm afraid the proverbial cat has shredded the FUCK out of this bag...

What? (1)

contrasutra (640313) | about 11 years ago | (#7108844)

But why would I go and buy legitamite ROM? I would really miss all the free pr0n ads you get from going down the warez root. Oh, and don't forget viruses,everyone loves viruses.

I actually learned how to speak spanish from illegal ROM sites.

Do you consider "illegal" ROMS, WAREZ? I mean,this isn't photoshop.

custom controls (1)

L-Train8 (70991) | about 11 years ago | (#7108852)

It seems to me that many of these games do not use the standard joystick configuration. I don't have a spinner or a track ball, let alone something weird like Warlords 4 spinners, set up on my MAME machine. Games like Battlezone, Marble Madness, Missle Command, Millipede (hmm, lots of the 'M' games) Super Breakout, some of the driving games, etc., all require different controller layouts. Someday I hope to have a trackball control shelf for my game, and a spinner one, too. I'd like to see more available games with a standard joystick and buttons control layout.

Re:custom controls (1)

Tumbleweed (3706) | about 11 years ago | (#7108928)

Welcome to the world of the emulator - where controller issues are thought of FOR you. :)

Get yourself a trackball, dude. And a Griffin PowerMate for the Tempest-like games, and you should be All Set(tm).

Re:custom controls (1)

Bendebecker (633126) | about 11 years ago | (#7109006)

What about games like aliens 3 which required a light gun? Ever try to play those with a controller?

hmm (4, Insightful)

dtfinch (661405) | about 11 years ago | (#7108868)

Would the extreme gamer rather sign up, hand out their credit card number, and buy 60 Atari 2600 games for a sum price of about $320, or illegally download a small zip file containing 500 of them in about 30 seconds after 2 minutes of searching on Google?

I don't condone piracy but that's the reality of the situation. Same with music & such. The problem with media sales nowadays is that there are no bulk discounts, in a time where reproduction costs nothing and the aim should be to get the max of price time quantity from each consumer. Someone who wants 60 games rather than 6 is willing to pay more than the person who wants 6, but not 10 times more, because the average enjoyment they'll get out of each is less. So that kind of person, though willing to spend more than the average consumer, is completely cut out of the market and has to resort to more extreme measures like piracy to get what they want.

Re:hmm (1)

JayBlalock (635935) | about 11 years ago | (#7108935)

Not only that, most of these games have been released in legitimate format at some point in the past. (sort of like those "2600 Action Packs" with 20 games each) With a little hunting and gathering you could probably legally get their collection at a fraction of the asking price.

You could always download legally. (1)

El_Smack (267329) | about 11 years ago | (#7108887)

You just have to own the original boardset, and it doesn't have to work, either. You can get a busted Asteroids board on ebay for $10, and a broken Street Fighter will run you $5. So really, for a small sum, you can download *any* game legally, already.

Re:You could always download legally. (2, Informative)

JayBlalock (635935) | about 11 years ago | (#7108954)

Strictly speaking, that's not legal. You're only allowed to make your own copy of the work, not download someone else's. That one court decision against MP3.com, although silly, sort of cemented that one until a better challenge comes along.

Re:You could always download legally. (0)

mrnobo1024 (464702) | about 11 years ago | (#7108966)

You just have to own the original boardset, and it doesn't have to work, either. You can get a busted Asteroids board on ebay for $10, and a broken Street Fighter will run you $5.

Actually, making "backups" like that is only legal if you copy them yourself.

No prob... (1)

MoeMoe (659154) | about 11 years ago | (#7108890)

As long as they eventually get Zero Wing, I will be happy and all your base are belong to us.

Marble Man - Shmarble Man - give me Karateka! (0)

kaseyH (649717) | about 11 years ago | (#7108891)

Who cares about Marble Man....will the have Karateka [classicgaming.com] is the real question.

The grandfather to Prince of Persia has to be the hardest *stable* ROM to find of all time. How many times must I download another copy that gets me to the basement and then I can't go through the door to the final level?

IMHO it is hands-down the greatest game ever and I will easily pay $7.50 for the whole thing.

Karateka! Why have you foresaken me!

Sorry about the rant :-]

mame.dk ?!? (1)

mrj73 (712539) | about 11 years ago | (#7108918)

i know it's not about the topic... sorry! ...but what happened to mame.dk???? :(((

In case of Slashdotting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7108927)

List of games:

720 Degrees, A.P.B., Arcade Classics, Asteroids, Asteroids Deluxe, Atari Baseball, Atari Football, Atari Soccer, Avalanche, Batman, Battlezone, Beat Head, Black Widow, Blasteroids, Centipede, Championship Sprint, Cloak & Dagger, Cloud 9, Crystal Castles, Cyberball, Escape From The Planet Of The Robot Monsters, Gauntlet, Gauntlet II, Gravitar, I, Robot, Klax, Liberator, Lunar Lander, Major Havoc, Marble Madness, Millipede, Missile Command, Monte Carlo, Off The Wall (1991), Paperboy, Peter Packrat, Quantum, Qwak, Rampart, Red Baron, Relief Pitcher, Road Blasters, Road Riot's Revenge, Road Runner, S.T.U.N. Runner, Shuuz, Skull & Crossbones, Space Duel, Sparkz, Super Breakout, Super Sprint, Tempest, Tetris, ThunderJaws, Toobin', Vindicators, Vindicators Part II, Warlords and Xybots.

We need compulsory licensing (4, Interesting)

CoughDropAddict (40792) | about 11 years ago | (#7108984)

Imagine how useful services like this or the iTunes store could be if they were more comprehensive in the titles they carry.

Imagine how easy it would be to make them comprehensive if the copyright holders were forced to offer you a license at a predetermined rate, instead of having to negotiate deals with everyone separately.

Imagine how much revenue filesharing could generate for copyright holders if it was easy to purchase legal licenses for the files being shared at a reasonable rate. On our own terms (for example; MP3 and AAC are not a formats I wish to purchase music in).

I haven't thought about this terribly much, but compulsory licensing seems like it could be a solution to the standoff that currently exists between filesharers who won't give up filesharing and the industry that refuses to make it easy to legally purchase digital content.

What about "Vectrix"? (0)

NoSuchGuy (308510) | about 11 years ago | (#7108985)

That was one hell of a game. I would like to play it again.

NoSuchGuy

More on Marble Man... (4, Informative)

Schlemphfer (556732) | about 11 years ago | (#7108989)

From the summary: And no, they don't have Marble Man.

Wow. That was definitely an out-of-the-blue observation.

As far as I'm concerned, Marble Madness was the supreme mid-1980s arcade game. I played that game hundreds of times in high school, and won it at least a dozen times. A couple things set it apart. It had a cool 3D-style isometric viewpoint, which was done infinitely more convincingly than similar presentations like Zaxxon. Plus, given how hard you had to throw that trackball around, you could get a legitimate workout playing Marble Madness.

I think Marble Madness was sort of a smart person's Donkey Kong. It had a great subtle sense of humor, and a Steve Jobsian attention to detail. Like, fr'instance, the marble you controlled had glitter in it that would roll around as the ball rolled. And it could die in several twisted ways, from shattering to getting eaten by acid. The graphics were some of the best yet for 1980s videogames, and the music was likewise sensational.

After Marble Madness' success, a sequel was inevitable. The trouble was, some genius in marketing thought that for people to identify with our beloved marble, it had to assume human qualities. Thus, Marble Man was born.

Unfortunately, Marble Man never quite got out of testing before the crashing arcade scene made Atari withdraw it from market. I'm not sure if anyone knows where the few original ROM's are anymore. But one thing's for sure...there are thousands of Marble Maniacs out there who would buy it in a heartbeat, just to see if the original was surpassed.

One last note. The creator of Marble Madness programmed the game at the tender age of about twenty. He's since gone on to do a number of successful games, including Ratchet & Clank [ign.com] on the Playstation 2.

Re:More on Marble Man... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7109030)

He was younger than that, I thought, IIRC he was in high school and submitted marble madness as an entry in a "write your own game" contest atari was running..

They jumped the gun (1)

JayBlalock (635935) | about 11 years ago | (#7108990)

Like a lot of .com startups, it's too little, TOO SOON. I look over that list of games, and there are only a few I might possibly want, and they're the "expensive" ones. (considering the cost of "production" and "distribution" is nonexistant, it strikes me as slightly cynical that they priced the games solely according to which ones history has judged "best") They should have waited, and built up more contacts than JUST Atari. Maybe branched out a bit, roped in, say, whoever currently owns the Infocom archives, and other similar classic games.

Unfortuantely, I'm afraid while this is overall a noble attempt, it's going to go down in flames quickly just because, right now, there's just not enough there to attract enough people to get their business going.

wow, nice start. but.. (1)

stratjakt (596332) | about 11 years ago | (#7109008)

As others have noted, the price is kind of silly. I mean you can get a copy of one of those "arcade classics" games for your console or PC and end up with a dozen games for under 10 bucks.

The newest title is 1992, and is Relief Pitcher, an utterly forgettable baseball game. I was hoping to see some of the good titles, like the capcom titles that ship with the Hot Rod joysticks..

Actually they're all atari games now that I look twice. I'm sure Capcom and others would be willing to talk turkey, all those old SNK titles might be worth a few bucks.

Though, emulators aren't the real thing. I like my full sized bad dudes and SFII machines.

DRM Warning, Dr. Smith... (3, Informative)

inertia@yahoo.com (156602) | about 11 years ago | (#7109037)

From the EULA:

You acknowledge that the Software in source
code form remains a confidential trade
secret of Atari and/or its suppliers and
therefore you agree not to attempt to
decipher, decompile, disassemble or
reverse engineer the Software or allow
others to do so, except to the extent
applicable laws specifically prohibit
such restriction. You further agree not
to modify or create derivative works of
the Software.


Me no like. But for two bucks, who's going to care?

gimme Gyruss.... (2, Insightful)

The Lynxpro (657990) | about 11 years ago | (#7109042)

...and a 360 degree joystick....that was quite a game...one of the best non-Atari arcade games from the early 80s...

Vector games on Raster monitors (4, Interesting)

El_Smack (267329) | about 11 years ago | (#7109058)

Vector games are the least satisfing games to play on MAME. Raster games look great on a 19" Wells Gardner 4900 or Electrohome G07 and crappy on your PC monitor, but MAME can fake the scanlines and pixelization to a point where it's OK. But vector games look *TERRIBLE* compared to a real G05 (for Asteroids) or G08 (For Tempest). And to play Star Wars on a med res, 25" Amplifone in the cockpit version is to see the face of God, whilst playing it on MAME with the mouse is to follow Lucifer down to Hell.
MAME is a good "gateway" drug though. I started with it, and now I own 7 dedicated full size classic video games.

A Question.... (1)

stratjakt (596332) | about 11 years ago | (#7109061)

These are still the main dumps, or are they official 100% dumps from atari?

Or, in other words, what happens when the copy of Batman you downloaded is redumped, and no longer works in the latest release of MAME?

What about changes in emulators? (1)

Rai (524476) | about 11 years ago | (#7109062)

I haven't used MAME in a while, but one of the more annoying issues I had with it is the changes in ROMs from version to version. The ROMs that work with a current version may change with the new version (or maybe they've fixed this since I last used it.) I realize the MAME team is always changing things to get emulation as close to the original as possible, but I'd hate to pay for a ROM pack that wouldn't work with the next version.
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