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The ZX Spectrum Next - Kickstarter Now Live! : Now Funded!


Robo_1
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I can understand them fixing things like the HDMI issue, but I'm not sure I see the point of offering the machine with an extra meg or RAM over the first machine, they're not seriously going to split the user base of an already niche platform are they? It would be a nightmare for game sales and I wouldn't be thrilled at getting any sort of downgraded version given the original machine only came out last year!

 

I was toying with backing it again, but given the price hike I don't think I can justify it. Totally understand their reasons but it's hard to justify.

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25 minutes ago, Robo_1 said:

I can understand them fixing things like the HDMI issue, but I'm not sure I see the point of offering the machine with an extra meg or RAM over the first machine, they're not seriously going to split the user base of an already niche platform are they? It would be a nightmare for game sales and I wouldn't be thrilled at getting any sort of downgraded version given the original machine only came out last year!

 

I was toying with backing it again, but given the price hike I don't think I can justify it. Totally understand their reasons but it's hard to justify.

 

You can quite easily upgrade the old ones though can't you? They've already split possible userbase with the Acellerated units so not anything new.

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29 minutes ago, Robo_1 said:

I can understand them fixing things like the HDMI issue, but I'm not sure I see the point of offering the machine with an extra meg or RAM over the first machine, they're not seriously going to split the user base of an already niche platform are they? It would be a nightmare for game sales and I wouldn't be thrilled at getting any sort of downgraded version given the original machine only came out last year!

 

I was toying with backing it again, but given the price hike I don't think I can justify it. Totally understand their reasons but it's hard to justify.

 

Its only a couple of weeks ago people were saying that the Analogue Pocket was overpriced at £150.

 

Its a real shame that the prices have effectively gone up by 50%, especially as the r&d costs must be significantly lower. Has there been any reasons to justify this, is it at cost and still kind of a hobby project (which i could understand the increase) or has it now become a business that makes profits?

 

Its a great bit of kit, but its almost next-gen pricing then FGPA solutions have been coming down in price. 

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15 minutes ago, ulala said:

 

Its only a couple of weeks ago people were saying that the Analogue Pocket was overpriced at £150.

 

Its a real shame that the prices have effectively gone up by 50%, especially as the r&d costs must be significantly lower. Has there been any reasons to justify this, is it at cost and still kind of a hobby project (which i could understand the increase) or has it now become a business that makes profits?

 

Its a great bit of kit, but its almost next-gen pricing then FGPA solutions have been coming down in price. 

A lot of the costs are due to Brexit apparently as the cost of the components has shot up.

This is according to Jim on Facebook - apparent there's s more detailed explanation on the Kickstarter FAQ but I haven't read it yet. 

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5 minutes ago, Anne Summers said:

A lot of the costs are due to Brexit apparently as the cost of the components has shot up.

This is according to Jim on Facebook - apparent there's s more detailed explanation on the Kickstarter FAQ but I haven't read it yet. 

 

thanks, i'll check it out

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26 minutes ago, ulala said:

 

Its only a couple of weeks ago people were saying that the Analogue Pocket was overpriced at £150.

 

Its a real shame that the prices have effectively gone up by 50%, especially as the r&d costs must be significantly lower. Has there been any reasons to justify this, is it at cost and still kind of a hobby project (which i could understand the increase) or has it now become a business that makes profits?

 

Its a great bit of kit, but its almost next-gen pricing then FGPA solutions have been coming down in price. 

 

It's China being out of the mix, really difficult to get mass orders of anything especially components. We are ordering loads of IT bits, Desktops and laptops at work during the summer hols (it's a sec. school) but whereas a bit of kit would have been £330 before it's now pushing £500-£600 because its so hard to source.  We were promised an order of around 60 monitors but they've been delayed indefintely with everything going on, crazy times with no real end in sight. It isn't until something like all this happens that you realise just how dependent we are on China for stuff.

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46 minutes ago, Lorfarius said:

 

You can quite easily upgrade the old ones though can't you? They've already split possible userbase with the Acellerated units so not anything new.

 

Oh can you upgrade the first version to 2mb? That's cool, I didn't know that. How much of a challenge is it, I haven't held a soldering iron in 30 yrs, haha. 

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47 minutes ago, ulala said:

 

Its only a couple of weeks ago people were saying that the Analogue Pocket was overpriced at £150.

 

Its a real shame that the prices have effectively gone up by 50%, especially as the r&d costs must be significantly lower. Has there been any reasons to justify this, is it at cost and still kind of a hobby project (which i could understand the increase) or has it now become a business that makes profits?

 

Its a great bit of kit, but its almost next-gen pricing then FGPA solutions have been coming down in price. 

 

From what I've read, they were misinformed about crowd funding ventures being tax exempt and didn't factor it into their initial calculations. Apparently they have had to pay the tax obligations personally last time and a big part of the cost going up for this second run is factoring that back in.

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16 minutes ago, Robo_1 said:

 

Oh can you upgrade the first version to 2mb? That's cool, I didn't know that. How much of a challenge is it, I haven't held a soldering iron in 30 yrs, haha. 

 You don’t solider anything, push the memory in and away you go.

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Second stretch goal hit -full colour manual.

 

11 hours ago, Anne Summers said:

I want one and was planning on backing this day one, but now I'm not so sure. £300 is a lot for a machine to play Baggers in Space and (possibly) a new Dizzy game. 

Any other games on this that are any good?

 

*cough* Melkhior's Mansion...

 

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1 hour ago, Lorfarius said:

 

You can quite easily upgrade the old ones though can't you? They've already split possible userbase with the Acellerated units so not anything new.

 

You can add everything that's in the accelerated version too.

 

Is there anything released so far that requires more RAM? I don't think there is.

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13 minutes ago, Camel said:

 

You can add everything that's in the accelerated version too.

 

Is there anything released so far that requires more RAM? I don't think there is.

Not yet but I’m sure that there are a few games in development that will benefit from the extra ram.

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36 minutes ago, Swainy said:

Not yet but I’m sure that there are a few games in development that will benefit from the extra ram.

 

Does make me wonder if it will end up a bit like the 128K and 48K market. Lesser versions available of the same game.

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2 hours ago, Anne Summers said:

A lot of the costs are due to Brexit apparently as the cost of the components has shot up.

This is according to Jim on Facebook - apparent there's s more detailed explanation on the Kickstarter FAQ but I haven't read it yet. 

 

The FAQ is blank. Maybe it's the app...

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2 hours ago, Lorfarius said:

 

Does make me wonder if it will end up a bit like the 128K and 48K market. Lesser versions available of the same game.

Maybe, however the good thing is that the lower cost models can all be upgraded.

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7 hours ago, Robo_1 said:

 

Oh can you upgrade the first version to 2mb? That's cool, I didn't know that. How much of a challenge is it, I haven't held a soldering iron in 30 yrs, haha. 

No, you can only upgrade the original to 1MB by adding in one 512KB memory module in the spare slot, although it doesn’t need soldered and it’s fairly easy. It sounds like they’ve upgraded the internal 512KB memory chip to 2MB, I’m not sure if you can remove that memory in the original Next and simply replace with a 2MB chip, but yes it’s a shitty move upgrading the standard onboard memory to 2MB and fragmenting the already low user base further.
 

While I understand costs were higher than expected for the first Next, including taxes they weren’t aware of, but the price hike confirms that the Next is likely to be stuck as a niche machine. There was a lot of fanfare about the number of backers in the first hour for this, but it’s currently at just over 2,000 backers, which is surprisingly much lower than the first one (over 3,300 backers IIRC) - plus it would be interested how many of these second backers already own one from the first Campaign. 
 

I think the price hike will have put off a lot of people, which is a shame as with more streamlined manufacturing processes, it should be cheaper to make than the first (they should literally just be making more of the same). But the nonsense of having increased memory as a stretch goal just adds more potential problems in the testing and manufacturing (IIRC the original memory was an issue due to supply problems, because the memory had to be specific timing to make it compatible, so if they sourced a good replacement that worked, why change it?) That and the increased costs highlight that the Next is a bit of a home brew project and way off commercial manufacturing, which again is a shame as the potential for a much bigger audience is there. 
 

My Next has been sat in a drawer for the past few weeks, I use it mostly for Spectrum gaming but the number of new Next games has been really disappointing. So many of the games mentioned during the first campaign still haven’t been released - Arc of Yesod, Rex Next, Dizzy amongst others and even Baggers in Space hasn’t been released and it was being shown at retro fairs nearly 12 months ago. What’s worse is a special edition of it is now being promoted as a stretch goal!
 

While I suppose it’s OK to spend £175 for the original Next to play Spectrum games, I think £300+ to essentially replace a Spectrum and DivMMC (which costs about £120 for both ) is probably too much, especially when there’s so little specific Next titles available. For that amount you could probably even stretch to a toast rack 128k and a DivMMC. 
 

 

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32 minutes ago, gone fishin' said:

No, you can only upgrade the original to 1MB by adding in one 512KB memory module in the spare slot, although it doesn’t need soldered and it’s fairly easy. It sounds like they’ve upgraded the internal 512KB memory chip to 2MB, I’m not sure if you can remove that memory in the original Next and simply replace with a 2MB chip, but yes it’s a shitty move upgrading the standard onboard memory to 2MB and fragmenting the already low user base further.

 

You can upgrade the original to 2MB but.

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51 minutes ago, gone fishin' said:

While I suppose it’s OK to spend £175 for the original Next to play Spectrum games, I think £300+ to essentially replace a Spectrum and DivMMC (which costs about £120 for both ) is probably too much, especially when there’s so little specific Next titles available. For that amount you could probably even stretch to a toast rack 128k and a DivMMC. 

 

 

if that is all you are using for then I'd argue that it is overkill to have a Next.

 

This is a hobbyists machine. I got in at 175 but didnt use it so sold it on. Buying it to just play spectrum games is quite the niche thing to do.

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1 hour ago, gone fishin' said:

No, you can only upgrade the original to 1MB by adding in one 512KB memory module in the spare slot, although it doesn’t need soldered and it’s fairly easy. It sounds like they’ve upgraded the internal 512KB memory chip to 2MB, I’m not sure if you can remove that memory in the original Next and simply replace with a 2MB chip, but yes it’s a shitty move upgrading the standard onboard memory to 2MB and fragmenting the already low user base further.
 

While I understand costs were higher than expected for the first Next, including taxes they weren’t aware of, but the price hike confirms that the Next is likely to be stuck as a niche machine. There was a lot of fanfare about the number of backers in the first hour for this, but it’s currently at just over 2,000 backers, which is surprisingly much lower than the first one (over 3,300 backers IIRC) - plus it would be interested how many of these second backers already own one from the first Campaign. 
 

I think the price hike will have put off a lot of people, which is a shame as with more streamlined manufacturing processes, it should be cheaper to make than the first (they should literally just be making more of the same). But the nonsense of having increased memory as a stretch goal just adds more potential problems in the testing and manufacturing (IIRC the original memory was an issue due to supply problems, because the memory had to be specific timing to make it compatible, so if they sourced a good replacement that worked, why change it?) That and the increased costs highlight that the Next is a bit of a home brew project and way off commercial manufacturing, which again is a shame as the potential for a much bigger audience is there. 
 

My Next has been sat in a drawer for the past few weeks, I use it mostly for Spectrum gaming but the number of new Next games has been really disappointing. So many of the games mentioned during the first campaign still haven’t been released - Arc of Yesod, Rex Next, Dizzy amongst others and even Baggers in Space hasn’t been released and it was being shown at retro fairs nearly 12 months ago. What’s worse is a special edition of it is now being promoted as a stretch goal!
 

While I suppose it’s OK to spend £175 for the original Next to play Spectrum games, I think £300+ to essentially replace a Spectrum and DivMMC (which costs about £120 for both ) is probably too much, especially when there’s so little specific Next titles available. For that amount you could probably even stretch to a toast rack 128k and a DivMMC. 
 

 


Baggers In Space, Warhawk, Q*Bee and  Tyvarian are all out now.

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4 minutes ago, Swainy said:

They’ve gone back onto pre order for the next batch. I’ve got all of the games sitting in front of me right now :)

 

In fact, here is my review of Baggers In Space:

 

 

Oh, I must have missed the release, I’ll have to keep an eye on when it’s available again.

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22 hours ago, Camel said:

 

Mine is still in its most basic form. I've got a Pi but haven't fitted it yet. I'll probably get round to it at some point, but I don't feel like I'm missing out on anything.

 

I bought a Pi Zero from ebay where the seller had already soldered the connector to it so it was just plug it in. I also got the extra RAM (which just went into the slots). I also got the Wifi module and real time clock.

 

The crystal for the clock had to be soldered in as well as the battery holder. My first time soldering and I did it in a few minutes. 

 

All working fine.

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2 hours ago, gone fishin' said:

No, you can only upgrade the original to 1MB by adding in one 512KB memory module in the spare slot, although it doesn’t need soldered and it’s fairly easy. It sounds like they’ve upgraded the internal 512KB memory chip to 2MB, I’m not sure if you can remove that memory in the original Next and simply replace with a 2MB chip, but yes it’s a shitty move upgrading the standard onboard memory to 2MB and fragmenting the already low user base further.
 

 

As I understand it, any of the models can be upgraded to be at the same spec. So not a shitty move at all.

 

3 hours ago, gone fishin' said:

While I understand costs were higher than expected for the first Next, including taxes they weren’t aware of, but the price hike confirms that the Next is likely to be stuck as a niche machine. There was a lot of fanfare about the number of backers in the first hour for this, but it’s currently at just over 2,000 backers, which is surprisingly much lower than the first one (over 3,300 backers IIRC) - plus it would be interested how many of these second backers already own one from the first Campaign. 

 

This isn't just a case of 'ooh, taxes were a bit higher than we thought, we'll jack the price up!', the people responsible for delivering the Next had to make up the shortfall themselves. So the first round of Nexts were delivered despite it being produced at a loss. Just think about that for a moment. In this thread there was speculation about money being "lost" when in fact, the Next team have delivered something pretty astounding despite having to foot a hefty tax bill themselves. I was surprised the prices were so much higher this time around but I 100% believe the reasons given; productions costs are going to be higher because sourcing the components is now more expensive and this unforeseen tax needs to be taken into account.

 

There are 2,308 backers so far with 29 days to go. They're at triple the target a day in and you're moaning about the low numbers. I mean.

 

tbh this is such a niche machine, I'm happy that the numbers are in the thousands. 

 

3 hours ago, gone fishin' said:

I think the price hike will have put off a lot of people, which is a shame as with more streamlined manufacturing processes, it should be cheaper to make than the first (they should literally just be making more of the same). But the nonsense of having increased memory as a stretch goal just adds more potential problems in the testing and manufacturing (IIRC the original memory was an issue due to supply problems, because the memory had to be specific timing to make it compatible, so if they sourced a good replacement that worked, why change it?) That and the increased costs highlight that the Next is a bit of a home brew project and way off commercial manufacturing, which again is a shame as the potential for a much bigger audience is there. 

 

I think the price hike is putting off lots of people, yes. Given your expertise in the field of manufacturing niche micro computers, I'm surprised you haven't offered to help these guys out so they can get costs down and make the Next even more of a success. 

 

3 hours ago, gone fishin' said:

My Next has been sat in a drawer for the past few weeks, I use it mostly for Spectrum gaming but the number of new Next games has been really disappointing. So many of the games mentioned during the first campaign still haven’t been released - Arc of Yesod, Rex Next, Dizzy amongst others and even Baggers in Space hasn’t been released and it was being shown at retro fairs nearly 12 months ago. What’s worse is a special edition of it is now being promoted as a stretch goal!

 

 

As mentioned, I have Baggers sitting here. And Warhawk. Tyvarian was released too. These three games are up for pre-order again I believe. Q-Bee came out too but is no longer available. There are a ton of games in development, but remember, this is a niche platform. Nobody is throwing money at games on the Next to get stuff out, so it's mostly hobbyists and homebrew coders. I didn't expect any different from the platform tbh. Buying a Spectrum Next in order to access a slew of new commercial games is asking for disappointment. I believe the platform will truly shine and become home to lots of excellent games eventually, but that was never going to happen instantly.

 

I too use it a lot as a really good Spectrum gaming machine. Its BASIC is really fun to use and surprisingly powerful so I'll be delving into that more as well as adventures in assembly.

 

3 hours ago, gone fishin' said:

While I suppose it’s OK to spend £175 for the original Next to play Spectrum games, I think £300+ to essentially replace a Spectrum and DivMMC (which costs about £120 for both ) is probably too much, especially when there’s so little specific Next titles available. For that amount you could probably even stretch to a toast rack 128k and a DivMMC. 

 

Part of the problem is there isn't an equivalent of the £175 model this time round.

 

 

 

I still can't get my head around so much (often baseless) negativity toward an actual new model of Sinclair Spectrum in 2020 which is really, really, surprisingly good. I mean that this thing actually even happened is ridiculous. 

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22 hours ago, Camel said:

 

Mine is still in its most basic form. I've got a Pi but haven't fitted it yet. I'll probably get round to it at some point, but I don't feel like I'm missing out on anything.

 

I bought a Pi Zero from ebay where the seller had already soldered the connector to it so it was just plug it in. I also got the extra RAM  to take it up to 2mb (which just went into the slots). I also got the Wifi module and real time clock.

 

The crystal for the clock had to be soldered in as well as the battery holder. My first time soldering and I did it in a few minutes. 

 

All working fine.

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