27 days.. That’s all that’s left in the month of April.
In fact to be more precise that’s 23 postal days left where the backers of the long overdue Sinclair Vega Plus ‘should’ receive their Rick Dickinson designed case containing a mini marvel that is a handheld spectrum containing no less than 1000 games..
You would imagine the community to be feverish in the countdown, ticking down the days until the knock on the door by the postie hands them the keys to a digital marvel where games that once took 45mins to load now boot and play in less than 45secs. But alas, this doesn’t seem to be the case.
Retro Computers Limited seem to have gone off grid again in regards to updates for what must be the umpteenth time in the last 12months, only surfacing when media attention draws them out to defend their position. Yet with the latest promise, albeit a forced hand by Indigogo. The product in question will complete orders by April.
So where is it?
Well the last update showed the cases being manufactured, or at least the plastic screen cover. With around 6 cases being shown strewn across a plastic injection machine in various conditions (Broken to Scuffed). We also saw bags of the newly redesigned buttons which have been told alongside the case mod, fix the design flaw that has been persistent for the best part of a year, but taken till now to address. I can only imaging Nintendo are sh*tt*ng themselves in the speed of action taken to address this R&D fault, which means the non ejecting microSD card slot must be high up the lists of repair once it’s acknowledged…
As yet we’ve never seen more than 3 machines working at any one time, and likewise we have been advised that there are in fact 10,000 cases for the machines ready for assembly. I recently requested via their official pages for a visual image of these along side the long awaited box design in the hopes a reply would be public proof enough that we had all been paranoid and that the ongoing feud between the current and former directors had in fact been the cause of the delays..
Immediate suspension from posting on their official pages, and all comment/questions removed. Likewise it also appears any other comments requesting imagery is being deleted, with only a “coming soon” or “we expect to ship April” response being met to backers eyes.
The social media pages linked to the company and the console itself all read like the opening 5mins of a ‘Don’t get done get Dom’ episode with countless unanswered refund requests, and a lot of confused people who want to get a response to a clearly requested order.
So what happens if they don’t release it?
Well in this case since a recent county court case won in favour of the backer and not Retro Computers Limited, despite appealing. all backers orders are in fact.. considered just that! As a genuine order from a company with a prior track record of delivering a similar device which played the same software using the same interface, this should have been a quick win, easy money in the bank and a excellent PR exercise in how older technology can find a new home in this century.
All orders are covered by distance selling regulations and the sales of goods act, which given they were all described as ‘orders’ by Indigogo is probably the reason this US heavyweight decided to give the team the ultimatum..
Produce and ship the project by the end of April or face the legal end of a very large company recovering funds directly (and from a PR standpoint, recover faith in their investors) from campaign owners.
Indigogo won’t back down on this matter, in light of recent media, they’ll be looking to set an example of the wayward project that’s been spending funds on extravagancies outside of the original project remit without substantial evidence to prove backers money is ring-fenced (although apparent official banking documents relating to the company have been placed in public view to disclose funds have been spent in entirety).
So either by end of April we should have either a brand new console to play with, or everyone who pre-purchased will be provided by Indigogo a refund on the project.
So in a way… it’s win, win.
Except for the current team behind Retro Computers Ltd.. and their former web provider/social media manager.
Just 23 days….