Retro VGS

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    Nah, unless it was Mike himself manning the table (can that guy even show his face at retrogaming event anymore?), I think the unit Ubik spotted was probably some kind of a joke made for display/giggles purposes only.

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    No, it was totally a joke set up and we all had a good laugh. I think it was some kind of emulator on a single board computer.

    My second thought on the subject:

    So this guy is trying to tell us that he was the one who was conned by the hardware guy (Sean). That he was unable to see that the hardware was fake. And, by giving even more money to Sean after critics were yelling fraud, that all the hardware problems would go away. If that is his story then, what he is saying is that he is really really stupid.

    I think his story only holds water if you believe that Mike Kennedy knows absolutely nothing about hardware and that he is completely trusting of someone he doesn’t really know. You’ll also have to believe that he willingly ignores red flags like the “instructions to NOT SHOW the back of the unit no matter what.” He also ignored other red flags like “sure, I can fix those problems if you give me $7K monies.”.

    I’m not buying it because there are too many things to ignore or believe from Mike. It’s possible that Mike was conned by Sean but I think it is more likely that Mike is doing nothing more than covering himself when his scheme went pear shaped before he could reap in any money on the new Kickstarter he started.

    I’m not accusing Mike of being a con artist but I don’t think he’s as innocent as he claims.

    Now it is clear to me that this Sean character is not the hardware expert he claims to be. That’s because hardware is usually the easiest thing to make nowadays. There are lots and lots of templates that can be easily downloaded and stored on a standard FPGA board. Heck you could just run an SNES emulator on a Raspberry Pi or other small computer. Instead, he strips down an old SNES board and tries to pass it off as the Retro VGS (or Coleco Chameleon). No one fooled at the Toy Fair and, as soon as they saw the hardware, they cried foul.

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    And now…someone’s written the book. And, ironically enough, is trying to Kickstart it. [LINK]

    This is an official account of events that led to the evolution of GameGavel, RETRO magazine, the RETRO VGS, and the Coleco Chameleon written by somebody who was involved and had inside information that has never been published before.

    The funds raised will pay the legal fees to make sure that my book can be published. The book is fully written but has some legal questions about whether certain content can be included. Once the legal process has been completed, in an estimated 3 weeks, the final manuscript will be sent for publication.

    It is a factual account of events, but more than that, it is a human story of the man behind the GameGavel Network and the Retro VGS / Coleco Chameleon and shows how one man’s dream can quickly become a nightmare. Mike Kennedy set out with good intentions and wanted to produce a video game console but somewhere along the way he lost control of his vision, his empire, and his livelihood.

    At any stage, he could have stopped the descent into madness but he chose to double down and forge ahead.

    The result of 23 hours of interviews, 10 years in the making and 2 years of writing, the book is a 600+ page journalistic investigation into a $2,000,000 crowd-funding scam and a roller coaster ride through the life of the man behind it, Mike Kennedy. Containing never before released emails, text messages and behind the scenes accounts about Retro Magazine, the Retro VGS and the Coleco Chameleon, this book is the definitive account of the whole story.

    Having twice successfully crowd-funded, via Kickstarter, a magazine called “Retro” Mike Kennedy attempted to bring a video game console to market via the same method. Not having the knowledge or the funds to do so, he approached industry professionals to obtain a realistic timescale and cost. Not willing to wait for either, he asked “What can we do with Smoke and Mirrors?”

    As respected professionals walked away, he turned to lesser able and less scrupulous engineers to help him defraud his way to $2,000,000 in crowd-funding revenue.

    FWIW, you have to pledge at least ten bucks to even get an ebook out of the deal, and a whopping $300 to get the actual printed book. I think I’ll pass.

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