Possible MSX Kickstart Project ?

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Par madscient

Master (179)

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25-02-2016, 09:14

maxis wrote:

Electronics & FW dev is my "bread and butter" (as for many others). Therefore, the time is the only requirement.

Unfortunately, most of people on this planet will not become as you. LOL!
If there are many people like you as you said, crowdfunding business should not be needed.

Par zPasi

Champion (495)

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25-02-2016, 12:18

maxis wrote:

Also she had a classical approach by replacing chip by chip by the small FPGA board on the real C64 in order to get the cycle accurate model for her DTV C64 in joystick ASIC. What stops us from doing the same?

Money. I see on the page that first production run of 250,000 was units. If you can convince investors that you can sell 250,000 units, maybe you can do the same :D

The other thing is now is over ten years later. If that DTV C64 thing was done know, with todays cheaper an more capable FPGA's, maybe they would skip that ASIC phase altogether.

Quote:

Now days, IMHO, we don't even need the CPU slot any more. Just a bare machine with the logic analyzer hooked up and the FPGA board.

The slots are needed for perfectionists and hardware hackers. And maybe developers, who want to verify their software will run on real, classic MSX machines. For most of us, bare FPGA implementation would be enough, if it just runs (almost) all the favourite classic and new MSX games and softs.

Par maxis

Champion (512)

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25-02-2016, 15:43

madscient wrote:

If there are many people like you as you said, crowdfunding business should not be needed.

This is normal since the whole MSX community is not even in 1 ppm out of 7 billion people Wink

See, there is no BUSINESS as such in MSX amateur scene. Otherwise, you would already have 100+ startups buying and selling the HW/FW/SW. Even Raspberry PI is not a big "business", despite its popularity and almost de-facto being as the UK school hacking computer (government support).

To start any kind of Kickstarter thing, the sales channel has to be identified at first with a good idea of the 4 quarters sales. Business plan first.

Nevertheless, MSX is a scene for the amateurs, enthusiasts and lovers. Buying time back is not serious (way too expensive). Simply sacrificing the time for hobby requires only a time, no money.

Even the top notch professional equipment you can get now days for less than 1K USD.

Par maxis

Champion (512)

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25-02-2016, 15:47

zPasi wrote:
maxis wrote:

Also she had a classical approach by replacing chip by chip by the small FPGA board on the real C64 in order to get the cycle accurate model for her DTV C64 in joystick ASIC. What stops us from doing the same?

Money. I see on the page that first production run of 250,000 was units. If you can convince investors that you can sell 250,000 units, maybe you can do the same :D

Well, I would rephrase it: the reason is in the absence of Market. Money is the by-product of the realizing the niche market potential. For that one will need quite a bit of luck and a chance despite all the ultra hard work.

Par madscient

Master (179)

Portrait de madscient

25-02-2016, 17:25

maxis wrote:

See, there is no BUSINESS as such in MSX amateur scene.

I disagree.
To make a good product of quality, business scheme is necessary sometimes.
Ability, effort, budget, and time, are not infinite on the individual.

Par maxis

Champion (512)

Portrait de maxis

25-02-2016, 20:46

madscient wrote:
maxis wrote:

See, there is no BUSINESS as such in MSX amateur scene.

I disagree.
To make a good product of quality, business scheme is necessary sometimes.
Ability, effort, budget, and time, are not infinite on the individual.

See, business means production volume and a good price margin. Bigger the volume is, lower the margin will be and vice versa.
Say, you have a wunder machine MSX3+ and everyone on the forum wants to buy one. What volume are we talking about? 1000 units, 5000? What price margin would you have and what NRE (non-recurring engineering). Would it pay back the NREs?
And to get the ability, you need to pay a lot, or maybe none if you don't buy it but just get it for free. Apple I and Apple ][ are created solely by Wozniak (ex HP employee) for no money (he was still employed). MOS 6502 processor was created by Chuck Peddle and Bill Mensch (ex Motorola employees, worked there when started drafting the architecture) or RISC processor pioneers.

Bottom line, there are many examples to get a free talent working on a subject. But the talent also has to come with great experience. Usually companies paying $$$$$ for such person. Hiring - no chance, budget is too short. Hence, only the personally interested individual(s) could make it as a hobby project. No commercial interest.

Par madscient

Master (179)

Portrait de madscient

26-02-2016, 02:56

No need to make a profit on hobby project?
Absolutely no. We are not an oil tycoon of Arab.
No profit means no continuous.
Nowadays we have the way to distribute small lot product in proper price with proper profit.
In order to do that, business scheme will help us to management the project properly.

Par raymond

Champion (462)

Portrait de raymond

26-02-2016, 10:19

I do like the thought of having more new MSX machines available, and when sombody is thinking of building one it should be fully backwards compatible and easily be connected to the modern TV's (e.g. HDMI connection). It would be fantastic if it could be realised with some games as an experience to get more people in buying it. Make it ease expandable for the people who want to have a cartridge slot etc. by using an expansion bay.

However, there are already two people who sell new MSX machines. One is in Brazil with the Zemmix Neo and the other is from Russia with the GR8BIT that requires a bit of soldering. Both are very nice machines and perhaps already bring the experience you are looking for.

Par ivke2006

Resident (53)

Portrait de ivke2006

26-02-2016, 10:43

Quote:

Say, you have a wunder machine MSX3+ and everyone on the forum wants to buy one. What volume are we talking about? 1000 units, 5000?

' everyone on the forum wants to buy one' ...IMHO this proposition would be a 100% failure for sure.
I said it before, this way we keep fishing in the same small pool. We need to extend to a sea (or at least a big lake :-) ). The user base should be extended if we want the MSX scene to survive.
Business not hobby perspective is needed!

I doubt that you are able to sell your new MSX a few thousand times and even if you did, it would be a nice hobby project but from a bigger picture (survival MSX), it would still be a big failure.

Par Hydlide

Master (171)

Portrait de Hydlide

26-02-2016, 10:53

Please have a look at other vintage/retro kickstarter/indiegogo projects.

i think for this to work you should make something product-like, not a bag of parts. The ZX Spectrum Vega+ is such an example. If you go for the full retro option the project should have licenses for a lot of games as well - there are your cost - because you (or the people behind the project) need to get those games licensed.
hardware wise, as I said, it should be a finished product. And it shouldn't be a replica MSX, it should be something more modern but with the MSX software and possibilities.

I'm happy to pledge 150, 200 or maybe even 300 euro for such a device, provided it is a finished product and doesn't involve soldering and/or programming in some weird ass FPGA code.

The biggest disadvantage that MSX has is that is essentially only a trademark. There is no real MSX maker, like there was for C64 and the Spectrums. So people don't identify with it as much as with these computers. Your kickstart shouldn't attract the die-hard MSX fans (which are on this forum) but also people from outside the community to work.

But hey, I applaud the idea, and provided the above are true, happy to pledge!

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