I’m sure this is considered “old news” in terms of tech blogs, but I wanted to wait for the whole situation to settle before posting an overview. Apparently, AtGames sent John Hancock a review unit of their latest
piece of shit emulation box, which used arcade ROMs as the games. John reviewed it and people purchased as a result of his positive feedback. Then, at the last minute, AtGames found an issue with one of the ROMs, so they swapped all 8 games with the NES ROM version before they shipped to stores.
From the company’s point of view, I completely understand the scramble: You need to make the holiday deadline for the devices to reach stores and fixing the arcade ROM might take weeks, so just load the NES ROM and ship em. I mean, it’s not like
people actually expect these to work serious gamers will be purchasing and Pac Man is just Pac Man, right? Ugh.
I also completely sympathize with John, as his review was his opinion of the device they sent him. Things like this could ruin someone’s reputation and AtGames should have contacted each and every reviewer as soon as they knew what was happening.
Overall, this is an excellent reminder of a few extremely important lessons we all should have learned already in the retro gaming world:
- Companies like AtGames don’t understand what quality is and will never put an effort into improving any of their products.
- All of these all-in-one emulation boxes are garbage, marketing towards people who’d play Pac Man on it once, then never use it again. They should never be taken seriously and avoided at all costs.
While it’d be easy to tease John for reviewing this crap at all, people want to see reviews of this stuff. Your average person sees “Pac Man” for $30 and thinks it’s a fun idea. They won’t go to the lengths we will for an accurate experience and since there isn’t a good, cheap, plug-and-play solution, crap like this is their only option.
Maybe we as a community can do something about that? Anyone want to start a company and do this stuff right?