Author Topic: ZX Spectrum Next - Kickstarter goes live  (Read 7525 times)

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Offline TotO

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Re: ZX Spectrum Next - Kickstarter goes live
« Reply #25 on: 19:27, 08 September 20 »
It indeed does. It has been very succesful campaign, I believe thet originally didn't have that many stretch goals and added them when pledges continued to pour in.
The first campaign has the same pledges and the Spectrum Next prise was 50£ cheaper. So, that not explain the success, except the product already exist.

Production runs would be still quite low and retail price with the profits would probably 200£/equivalent higher and it would look even sillier with that shiny new 8 core laptop. But through crowdfunding, there are enough people in the world to make this thing happen and devs know exactly how many units they need to make  for each batch.
The plastic cases/keys mold and the PCB design was already profitable by the first campaign. So this second batch is pure profit (PCB  and parts are cheap) and a great business opportunity with not really valuable pledge rewards.
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Offline tjohnson

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Re: ZX Spectrum Next - Kickstarter goes live
« Reply #26 on: 20:43, 08 September 20 »
The first campaign has the same pledges and the Spectrum Next prise was 50£ cheaper. So, that not explain the success, except the product already exist.
The plastic cases/keys mold and the PCB design was already profitable by the first campaign. So this second batch is pure profit (PCB  and parts are cheap) and a great business opportunity with not really valuable pledge rewards.
You're not suggesting this is about putting £1m into someones pocket are you?
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Offline TotO

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Re: ZX Spectrum Next - Kickstarter goes live
« Reply #27 on: 20:49, 08 September 20 »
You're not suggesting this is about putting £1m into someones pocket are you?
What I'm sure it is that second batch is more expensive for the final user.
I can't said if profits are 500K, 1M ... as I'm not into the project team.
« Last Edit: 21:15, 08 September 20 by TotO »
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Offline arkive

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Re: ZX Spectrum Next - Kickstarter goes live
« Reply #28 on: 22:09, 08 September 20 »
I would've probably backed it if it was somewhere in the 250-270 range but when I saw the 300+ quid price (plus a big chunk fro delivery) I've decided to pass. I've got too much gear as it is already, nmy other micros are on rotation (no space on th desk), and also got MiSTer recently so for once I managed to restrain myself :)

Admittedly the one year waiting period is also bit of a bummer.

I wish them all the best though and I'm happy it was such a success. Hopefully it will result in more quality soft for this fun machine. Of course, I'm also looking forward to the Next core on MiSTer :P

Mega65 looks interesting but I'm pretty sure it will be even more expensive than Next, and as such will probably have very limited user base.
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Offline CFox

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Re: ZX Spectrum Next - Kickstarter goes live
« Reply #29 on: 22:28, 08 September 20 »
I can't said if profits are 500K, 1M ... as I'm not into the project team.

That is just silly.

You literally think that they get everything there for pretty much free: FPGA, components, motherboard, keyboard, thick color manual, box, manufacturing and logistics.

I think I am not that far off the mark if I say that FPGA and motherboard alone is 3-5 the price of the RPi, which has far cheaper processing unit and MB and which is known to be sold in next to nothing margins and manufactured in astronomical numbers compared to Next, which brings the unit cost to manufacture considerably down compared to the Next. A lot.

Keyboard cheap? Well, you can try to order a small batch of custom keycaps and see what it is, but it isn’t cheap even if molding is standard for mechanical keyboards, for example. $50-$100 for set is totally normal. While I think they can get keycaps cheaper for Next, the case, custom keycaps and such are easily dozens of dollars. I’d say that the whole deal including components, manufacturing of electronics, plastics, printing of box, colour manual and logistics can’t be much, if any, below £200 for few thousand unit batch. Then reduce taxes, count the work including continued support of the product and divide that money between several people, I don’t think it is such a money making scheme you want to see it.

And the first kickstarter was at loss. They threw their own money into it to pull it through and it was apparently because they had some bad tax advice which caused some unpleasant surprise for their economics. They have also stated that the price is higher, because some component prices have gone a bit up.

Is Next pricey? IMO not, that’s why I pledged it and I know I’m having tons of fun with it for years. But it isn’t definitely for everyone and it is not worth just for retrogaming. Incidentally it costs pretty close the same as original ZX Spectrum back in the day (inflation adjusted price).
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Offline TotO

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Re: ZX Spectrum Next - Kickstarter goes live
« Reply #30 on: 22:35, 08 September 20 »
You literally think that they get everything there for pretty much free
You think that, not me. The second batch has a cost, but it is less than the first one.

I think I am not that far off the mark if I say that FPGA and motherboard alone is 3-5 the price of the RPi
You are free to think what you want to be comforted with your pledge.

Just in example, the FPGA used is XC6SLX9-2FTG256C, the more common and cheapest XILINX version, cost 3USD each for 1000pcs. They will need close to 5000. The memory used is the cheapest 512K SRAM AS7C34096A-10JCN IC, cost 2.5USD each for 1000pcs. They will need close to 20000. (so, they will probably have extra discount on the quantity)
« Last Edit: 23:13, 08 September 20 by TotO »
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Offline CFox

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Re: ZX Spectrum Next - Kickstarter goes live
« Reply #31 on: 23:43, 08 September 20 »
The FPGA used is XC6SLX9-2FTG256C
No it isn’t.


And if I may ask where you can get even that particular FPGA for $3 for 1000 units, because that sounds like a terrific deal. I didn’t find any sellers pricing them by 1000 units online (which isn’t unusual), but using single unit price as a starting point and usual ball parks reductions I really can’t get to that $3 price for that FPGA unless it is a long term contract, that is annually few thousand units for several years. Single batch purchase $3 a pop: hard to believe.


But what do I know. I can very well just admit that the Next is your typical $20 china box. Hopefully someone else produces them and similar systems for the community more cheaply in the future! At least it looks like then lucrative business, so it is strange that kickstarter isn’t full of similar projects if production costs can be as low as 10-20% of the pledge and it still sells like hot cake.
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Offline TotO

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Re: ZX Spectrum Next - Kickstarter goes live
« Reply #32 on: 00:06, 09 September 20 »
No it isn’t.
Playing on words... Is-it a XILINX Spartan 6 LX9 FTG256 BGA FPGA ... Yes or yes?

« Last Edit: 00:08, 09 September 20 by TotO »
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Offline CFox

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Re: ZX Spectrum Next - Kickstarter goes live
« Reply #33 on: 07:04, 09 September 20 »
Playing on words... Is-it a XILINX Spartan 6 LX9 FTG256 BGA FPGA ... Yes or yes?
I’m not playing anything, it isn’t that FPGA. You also by the way claimed LX9 is cheapest Spartan FPGA model, which isn’t true (You said Xilinx version, which is the manufacturer but I take you mean the Spartan series, because I’m not playing with words). Nevertheless, Next doesn’t have LX9.


But hey, could you tell me where I can get that LX9 for $3 a piece for thousand unit?
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Offline pelrun

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Re: ZX Spectrum Next - Kickstarter goes live
« Reply #34 on: 09:23, 09 September 20 »
What I'm sure it is that second batch is more expensive for the final user.
I can't said if profits are 500K, 1M ... as I'm not into the project team.
Quote
The Kickstarter Issue 2’s prices are higher than the original for a few (very reasonable) reasons:
Taxes. While we didn’t charge taxes on the first campaign following advice that crowdfunding was exempt, the taxman said we owed them. The team footed the bill themselves at huge personal cost. This time around we’ve added tax to the price, which is the lion’s share of the price difference.
Components. Some of the parts employed on the Next have gone up in price in the past three years, in particular the FPGA and the RAM chips. This is the second factor composing the price.
Yup, lots of profit for the taxman!
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Offline TotO

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Re: ZX Spectrum Next - Kickstarter goes live
« Reply #35 on: 09:28, 09 September 20 »
I’m not playing anything, it isn’t that FPGA
Hey guy, this is the official picture of the ZX Spectrum NEXT CPU took from the Kick Starter page!  ;D 


https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/spectrumnext/zx-spectrum-next

May be it was upgraded for the second campaign? So, let us know was is the new one? LX16?
In any case, the extra 50£ will cover more than twice its cost and VAT...

But hey, could you tell me where I can get that LX9 for $3 a piece for thousand unit?
Don't care if you think that is not the good CPU... Peoples from the ZX Spectrum Next Team know well how to do, else they can stop the campaign now!  :-\
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Offline TotO

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Re: ZX Spectrum Next - Kickstarter goes live
« Reply #36 on: 09:58, 09 September 20 »
Yup, lots of profit for the taxman!
Yes, I have read that... Funny to expect that you can do something serious and thinking that you don't have to pay tax... Worst, thinking that you can use this argument (and the fpga/ram price) to increase the price for the second batch, while all the fixed costs was already payed.
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Offline CFox

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Re: ZX Spectrum Next - Kickstarter goes live
« Reply #37 on: 10:06, 09 September 20 »
Hey guy, this is the official picture of the ZX Spectrum NEXT CPU took from the Kick Starter page!  ;D 


https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/spectrumnext/zx-spectrum-next

May be it was upgraded for the second campaign?
It was upgraded already during the first campaign.



Quote
So, let us know was is the new one? LX16?
It isn’t a new one. Every production Next has been with LX16, it was a stretch goal in the original kickstarter. You linked the old kickstarter page, where there is a photo of preproduction MB and if you would’ve done even a bit research on the subject, you would’ve known what is in the machine. This all can be found on the internet with simple google search which takes about 3 seconds.

Quote
In any case, the extra 50£ will cover more than twice its cost and VAT...
Don't care if you think that is not the good CPU... Peoples from the ZX Spectrum Next Team know well how to do, else they can stop the campaign now!  :-\
I don’t understand this sentence (really I’m not trying to be mean, I’m not also native english speaker and really don’t understand what you are saying.


But, I’ve said it before. They made loss with the first campaign because of some tax issue they didn’t take into account and they needed to shell their own money to fulfill the campaign. Search it yourself if you don’t believe. It wasn’t a commercial success, but they made loss with it. They remedied that with this campaign and also stated that some prices of components have gone up. These are the reasons for higher price.


And I guess no LX9 for $3 then? Just FYI, that I’ve never seen a fixed price batch pricing for any FPGA. They are usually negotiated contracts and you can get prices considerably down from the single unit price when dealing with a multi year contract for thousands of units annually and relative price drops are bigger in more expensive units. This was the situation at least a year or two ago, but you may have better knowledge about the situation currently.


I don’t bother with this thread anymore as this argument brings nothing to the table. Peace and all the best to you, brother.
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Offline Sykobee (Briggsy)

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Re: ZX Spectrum Next - Kickstarter goes live
« Reply #38 on: 11:50, 09 September 20 »
You have to also pay for the time invested in the design, software and manuals, even if the people are doing it mostly out of love and taking a risk themselves. Whilst a lot of it was done for the first KS this second KS was likely anticipated and the cost is spread across both campaigns. I expect it is a significant chunk of the final price considering there are under 10k units in the end.


The cost was lower for the first campaign - not a lot cheaper once you factor in the tax issues (they should have got a second opinion there, HMRC are not a cuddly nice government organisation) - but that had higher risk for the participants.
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Offline TotO

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Re: ZX Spectrum Next - Kickstarter goes live
« Reply #39 on: 06:25, 10 September 20 »
Released in 2015, LX9/16/25 are the same based FPGA and cost in 2020 only 3$, 4$, 8$ per 1000 units respectively.
Sure, the prices are open and, in example, you can found them in other places at 4$, 6$, 10$ per 1000 units respectively.

In 2020, expensive FPGA are LX75/100/150. They cost 10 times the LX9/16/25 prices respectively!
They are probably useless for the ZX next usage, but answer to a simple question "what are cheap and expensive FPGA today?".

There are good arguments around the first campaign price (r&d, molds, prints, ...), but not for the second one.
The extra 50£ is a joke, while the goal of any second projects is to make investments profitable, not to ask to pay "forgotten TAX" for the first campaign.  :-\

By the way, this is a great project creating a new community of around 8000 peoples. There is not price for that!  :) :-*
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Offline tjohnson

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Re: ZX Spectrum Next - Kickstarter goes live
« Reply #40 on: 10:22, 10 September 20 »
Interesting views, but everyone, definitely some rose tints on by some people who have backed the thing.  I don't knew why people get so excited by the spectrum myself, I never thought much of it but then I had a cpc which was better so why would I.
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Offline Sykobee (Briggsy)

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Re: ZX Spectrum Next - Kickstarter goes live
« Reply #41 on: 15:11, 10 September 20 »
£1.7m and the rush at the end might make it hit £1.8m - so a good success for them.


TBH the hardware in the Next is kinda-Plus inspired (and all the other systems as well), but just more of it. Hardware Sprites on-chip, but 64-128 of them, same size, 16/256 colours. Rasters/copper, tilemode option, hi-res, etc. And it can run other cores, which may end up being the use I put mine to.


But the Plus has 4096 colours, and therefore still wins (using the same logic that meant the A1200 beat the Atari Falcon). It also didn't have a stupid keyboard layout with no punctuation and two columns of special function keys. What is with that, and why did they retain it for the Next?


TBH I'd base a FPGA CPC Plus on the Next's base board design (with CPC alterations for expansion port), integrated Flashfloppy, 4MB, CPC styled keyboard, and so on.
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Offline arkive

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Re: ZX Spectrum Next - Kickstarter goes live
« Reply #42 on: 12:16, 11 September 20 »
By the way, this is a great project creating a new community of around 8000 peoples. There is not price for that!  :) :-*

Cheap shot. Feels like we're getting into sour grapes territory (if in fact it wasn't the reason to start this argument in the first place). It's also incorrect, because you can also use Next as an emulator or FPGA core, thus the "community" is much bigger. And 8000 is > 0, in any case.

Personally I'm also not happy with the price, which is why I did not back it, but I don't claim to know 100% what is the reason for the hike or assume some shenanigans on the maker's part. It definitely isn't as simple as claiming that the main chip costs 3USD, because if it was true we would have a flood of similar DIY boards already, but as it is even ZX UNO costs ~100USD.

The taxman excuse is a bit daft. Maybe there are some additional covid-induced costs, who knows. The bottom line is that making these small-batch niche products is just expensive, that's all.

And overall, I don't mind them making some profit on it - why shouldn't they? I very much doubt it is a 6 figure thou and they're all building mansions in Bahamas.
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