More than 2 and a half years after backers ordered a first production run Vega+, the first few units were received on Monday the 30th of July 2018, and the reviews have been terrible. The units have been shipped out in a plain box without any protection other than a piece of paper either side of the device. The units have arrived scratched and the buttons are awful.
This information is being made available to download. Keeping it green. The first batch were also shipped in ethical packaging without any additional plastic.
we tested the packaging and it is appropriately protected. I am waiting on a third party for the other material. I can only apologise
— Suzanne Martin
4. Patrick van der Poel
Patrick van der Poel posted on Indiegogo after receiving his device on 31/07/2018:
Received the Vega+ today. But what an awfull piece of shit it is. I want to send it back and demand a refund. I was already on the clivehelpus refund list. Can there be some extra list for people who received their device, but still want their money back and return the device. There is nothing positive about the device. Full of bugs, no manual, no games, Fuse emulation, ugly looking cheap device. Very bad build quality. English made they claim? Yeah, right! Chinese garbage you mean!
Fuse is open source right? So shouldn’t RCL make all source code available?
When replying to a question from Stephen: "Did it come with a return address? Good luck if you do decide to go down that route."
@Stephen. No it didn’t. I emailed RCL about it, but off course I won’t get a reply. Still I’m very unhappy with the device. Just wondering what I can do to get my money back and return the device. It realy is a terrible crappy device. There must be a way to take legal actions against RCL. However it’s probably almost impossible if you are living in the Netherlands like me. How can I sue a foreign company.
After a few hours of trying I have given up. I can’t get games on my micro-SD card working on the vega+. Despite Lee’s instructions.
Also noticed some nasty bugs. Volume, contrast and brightness settings aren't stored, so you have to set them again after every reboot. Also the screen can only be used on the maximum brightness level of 7. Any lower level results in a flickering screen. So what's the point of a brightness setting then? Probably some el cheapo screen.
The buttons are driving me insane. They have to be pushed so hard my fingers hurt. Totally unplayable this way. So it's worthless. Also the micro-SD slot has no spring mechanism, making it very hard to get the ad card out once it's in. The hall of fame is a giant mess. Also the top of my screen looks a bit curved. Like it's a bit folded somehow. Anything positive: Unfortunately no!
The vega+ is totally unplayable in this state. Priority 1: Fix the buttons!
Thanks to some very helpful people here, I finally got some games working. Put because of the problem with the buttons (you need to press very hard) it’s hardly playable and certainly not enjoyable. Also the vega+ is very unstable. Some times games just freeze and I have to reset the Vega+ to get back in the menu and start the game again.
— Patrick van der Poel
@Patrick – I am really sorry for you – these are among the nearly 50 bugs reported a year ago, but the testers were instructed to stop contacting private planet, and work stopped on the FW. It seems you have the 2nd version we were sent that didn’t fix any issues, but created a load more. You would have been better having the first version of the FW.
— Lee Fogarty
5. Lee Spinks
Lee Spinks posted the following on Indiegogo after receiving his Vega+ on 31/07/2018:
Oh dear lord … Mine turned up today. I paid for ‘The Clive’ and … It’s utter poo. Trust me when I say the feel, build and response of the buttons fuels my two year waiting anger. I won’t Kickstart any campaign again. Fingers burned to the bone. The packaging is a disgrace (it was wrapped in paper), no manual, no charging cable, no thought or regard to the people who funded this disgrace. My wife laughed long and hard at my face. My advice, refuse delivery and fight for your refund.
Things that remind you of your childhood and arrive by mail, I had my first spectrum with my brothers in 1984, and since then video games are part of my life
It is not worth more than by collecting, to play spectrum in a portable way nothing better than a Nintendo DS
You can check my facebook, I've posted some, the device came without any cables or booklet, just inside a black box, is a little bulky, buttons are hard to press and the only way to turn it off is from a menu and looks like only does it if is not charging, but hey, it does work and exist
I know that it's no psp or nine do quality but the speccy was also abit rough round the edges aswell lol
Can't fault the retro throwback ok the buttons could be better maybe it's v1 used but they did deliver ok in the end so thanks to SMS retro computers for this. We would of hit this sooner if it was big you the 64 mini which in my eyes is cheaper build quality and breaks
Yes I must be Frank it's worth 60.00 quid not 100.00 but it's great the screen is good for the money at least battery life I don't know yet have not used it for hours but the firmware only need tweaking which can be sorted out in future updates etc. Maybe the buttons may wear in better with use but overall it's not to bad better than playing on your phone anyways
I like it because I am a collector aswell so I am happy either way at least we received in the end
Yes it's manufactured on the cheap it's no rolex quality or Japanese style quality like Sony buts good enough for a kickstarter device
As I said maybe if all this legal stuff did not go on behind the seems it may of been quality thanks
The paper is cheap I know this could be done better but I had a other consoles in the past so its on a par to them quality wise like your Chinese imports etc
Yes the battery it's abit buggy the firmware etc it's good as the next zx spectrum kickstarter made by SMS also
I got mine today. Here is a pic of the roll of honour (one page at least).
Not had much time as I am working but first impressions would be that they were very close to having something great but seemed to have rushed the final stages. For example the buttons are very stiff and unresponsive.
I got an email saying congratulations and that it would be here yesterday. I didn’t think anything would turn up.
I did ask for a blankety blank one a while ago. I thought that would improve the chances of actually getting one.
I gave it a good go last night and it’s not actually that bad. The buttons are the worst thing about it. The OS/emulator seems pretty good. At the moment though the only games on it are the ones by Mr Cauldwell so I will try the SD when I get time.
April 27, 2017 at 11:59PM This still doesn't work. I get nothing but an annoying buzz unless I pull the cable out of the unit slightly - then the buzzing stops, and I have two displays on TV using 1/4 of the screen each, and the display is unwatchable due to the low quality.That was a testing report written last year ....... It's still doing it
This one was actually mine , but after 3 days of not touching it , I picked it up to put some games on it . Only to find its died........ Thought best to take it off in the end ! I wonder how many of these will be brought on eBay then sent back as they aren't working .
I’ve received mine, sort of. I work in Saudi and I had my Vega+ delivered today. Hopefully I will get someone to bring it back to me when they return from the uk. I was one of the early backers and opted for “The Clive”
— Stan Bryan
13. Nick Symes
Nick Symes posted on the RCL facebook page on 01/08/2018:
Received my unit today and boy am I disappointed. No power supply cable, no instructions and the ‘D’ pad is absolutely useless. Feels very cheaply made. Came loose in a box and was rattling around as it was delivered. Not worth the wait.
Front face buttons defo need some extra height as they almost need to go sub-flush. I had the unit open and carefully cleared a bit of glue off the back of the conductive pads which did help. The top-most buttons seem fine. I managed to play some games without problem and as Lee mentioned the info button (top right) gave some button info to get the games started. Built in audio worked but I had no luck with the the TV trying a few AV leads. Unit survived the post but the packaging was poor.
I am yet to try the SD card and see if there is any kind of Keyboard support via the micro USB... I will try later. As a side note...The front buttons might be easily improved by carefully pushing a ball of 'sugru' of the appropriate colour on to each one (clean first) and let it set.... (and it should peel off should you ever want to restore the unit. Good Luck
@Lee.. Cheers for the bug report info, it look likes most of the bugs probably still exist. I had a play with the TV out and also got 2 screens with odd color(with the audio in the video socket mind). I did get some games to work off the sd card eventually but had trouble. I used a 16Gb SD card, (I tried a 512MB card that didn’t seem to load the same working files) Still having some issues. I see that the unit doesn’t correctly fill the game.dat file for you so it needs to be done manually.
Also my unit would only read the SD after a reset (no hot swap) I have only managed to get the SD card working with a pre-built example... but had no luck with my own files yet. .......Throw in some new software (debugged), tweak the hardware and it could be a nice little product.......hopefully the next revision will be much much better
Also the keyboard i tried didn’t seem to repeat key presses correctly during game play. For example if i try to walk left if would take only one step then cease. Although I will try another Keyboard. I haven’t left mine on charge yet but might open it up again and see if there is anything obvious that might damage it. If someone has killed there unit on charge it might be worth disconnecting the battery(2 wires) and powering it via the USB only…to see if it comes up…?
If you are having trouble pulling out the SD cards just cut n fold a bit of tape back on itself over the top of you SD card to give it a flap. Makes it easier to pull out.
Sorry ...The battery is the internal 3 wire connector PL1.... ( not 2 wires - as that is the speaker!)
Well mine came today, will see what it’s like tomorrow, when Kevin Galvayne is around! As has been said by others, came in a plain box etc, that’s the first picture.
Better picture of the front, the Sinclair logo is cut out of a sticker used to mask the transition of the LCD to the case, the clear plastic screen cover is over the top of this.
When replying to the question "What's the line across the bottom I keep seeing in the photos, is it a screen protector?" It’s the plastic front cover, there appears to be a formed lip on the backside of it, I have taken a picture from a different angle.
I think it should have been built in two parts with a black plastic surround with a clear screen mounted into it.
It is what it is, I will give it a good test tomorrow.
It may also be rare as hen’s teeth, reading the flurry of recent press releases!
on the delivery paperwork it’s order number 55 if that’s any help?
Ok I got bored, here’s what’s inside!
When replying to "Does the sd card eject?" No, it just pushes in, which is fine if it would actually read the card!
When replying to "Is it easy to remove again?" it is with a small screwdriver :)
Having spent the morning using it I can say that I will now play portable spectrum games on my GP2X CAANOO, touch screen and tilt sensors enabled :) :)
I can't believe that I got mine!! I didn't expect to be included in the lottery of who got one since I was a really late backer (Jan 2017). I received an email on Saturday and received it yesterday by Royal Mail. Serial number is 18305000036. And though I am really happy to finally have it in my hands, I still believe that the managers at RCL are a bunch of crooks and idiots. I've never seen a company behaving in such an appalling and disgusting manner, with such disregard for their customers.
It's not too bad. Screen will flicker unless contrast and brightness are at the top level and the buttons are a bit hard to press, but games are playable and look really nice (I have just played a couple of the 20 or so included games)
I only played the games that come with it, so I did not need to write a config file. No bend
Sorry guys but your machine is I will be positive first, the machine is nice to look at, screen arrived unscratched is clear and bright, sound is good, games are good even though they seem to be all by Jonathon Caldwell be it doesn't matter one bit as the d pad is absolutely rubbish, the most unresponsive I have ever come across, when you think that last year we had a large delay because you wasn't happy with the buttons, I've stayed loyal all the way but I have to tell it as I find.
Mine just arrived, same packaging as everyone else. Quick review, the initial rcl logo flickers horribly but the screen when playing games is not bad at all. The unit feels nice to hold with a bit of weight and the sound is good. The facia is not a nice design at all..it looks messy..The controls however are absolutely terrible..buttons are supposed to travel. It's supposed to feel like you are pressing something and feel a reaction. This feels horrible to play, the spacing between the joypad buttons is just enough that if you don't have huge thumbs there is no way you will be able to move anything diagonally. "ByteMe" One of the installed games is impossible to move diagonally without using two fingers or hurting your thumb. This is just an unforgivable design flaw. I haven't added any new games to it. It's not worth it. It's not fun to play in my humble opinion. And just to add...its the controls that let it down the most. I could forgive the other design issues(obviously I wont forgive RCL anything at this point) but if you are going to make a games console it needs to be useable. This is not.
I got my unit but it won’t turn on after like 30 mins of charging...... who said it was broken. No manual to tell me what I should be doing. I’ll tell you when they print one. It’s new out the box. Prob just flat. Comes with no manual or any cables. Blank box too. Not seen a single thing on the screen. It’s like there is no screen. Only a green and red light. Rst does nothing. Tried a new cable now it’s showing red when charging. Was green before. Sounds better to me. Green when fully charged right? It’s alive! Must have been wrong cable. Got menu now
The d pad and buttons need a right shove to work. No sd card games show up either I used no folders. Tap and z80 files don’t work.
— Andrew Whyles
ringwaldmolly posted on Indiegogo after receiving serial number 1830500082.
Well – it just arrived. Serial number ending 082… will check it out tonight but am I correct to say this is basically a prototype without the promised remodelled buttons or software updates?
Not sure whether to laugh or cry, but this is number 160.
I can’t confess to being an early backer 4000ish don’t know why I have been sent one, it’s going on EBay as I run my games off my old PSP. Run fine on there and is more responsive, this Vega has the build quality of something from Poundland.
Mine too. I’ve got many micro usb chargers already. It’s really brilliant! I’m so happy I kept the faith all this time. Just need the instructions to download games now when you are able to and it will be perfect!
seems like my little black box of joy has arrived???? Not opened it yet
it rattles when shaked, is it a brick inside? wonder what the serial is?
i collect retro, so its for my own collection, even though it seems that other 'owners' report it as pants, its all mine now, better than getting nothing i suppose
I got a very sparse two line email from Suzanne to say delivery at latest Tuesday. Funny, mine seems to be Royal Mail and direct from retro rather than the electronics company every one else’s seems to be sent from???
Graham - You made the Hall of Fame twice! I didn't make the cut in the end!
Buttons are insane - not usable! Definitely better to stick with my PSP or Gpd.
Here's a weird thing. There seems to be no back button, so if you go into a menu option, the only way to get back seems to be to reset the device. Very strange!
Replying to the question "Re buttons - is it the travel or pressure needed to make contact on the pcb...?" Pressure. I used it for about 10 minutes to play Egghead and Haunted Houses, and my fingers were numb. I struggled to type on my phone afterwards.
— Ronan McEvoy
41. William Thomas
William Thomas posted on Indiegogo on 02/08/2018 after receiving his Vega+ in the USA with serial number 1830500107:
I received my Vega+ today. As with everyone else , it just had the system in the box with black paper. Good news is no scratched screen or anything. Btw , I live in the States and the serial number ends with 107.
— William Thomas
hpprivat posted on Indiegogo on 03/08/2018 after receiving a Vega+ in Hungary with serial number 1830500035:
Believe or not – I have received my Vega+ in Hungary too.. Serial No. ends with 035. It has successfully survived the long journey in that black box.. I cannot switch the unit off while it is being charged, at the moment I can’t play with it (none of the few pre- installed games are known to me), but I am.. happy, having all these conditions, at least finally to get one. Thanks to all advices from all of you, especially from Lee, I will test them in the weekend.
I have to agree. I think the buttons should be a whole lot better than they are. I feel as though I need to push through the unit before they do anything... Other than that it's OK, nothing more though.
One of two anticipated units came today, arrived with the front body scratched top to bottom with a scuff across the left button of the D Pad. Tested in so far as checking it turns on and already worried about how bad the buttons feel / respond. I have replied to RCL’s email confirming delivery and complaining about the damage (with photos), thus giving them the chance to rectify the problem. Serial ends 207.
Just received mine. Boy, what a disappointment. It came in a large box with no protection. What’s to protect, I guess. The finish is super cheap. The buttons are horrible, you have to force push them to get any response. The software is even worse. Push the wrong button and the device just shuts down. The few games there are hard to control (due to the horrible buttons) and sprites flicker. Really couldn’t be much worse (well, other than getting nothing at all, I guess).
I received my unit yesterday and like everyone else was disgusted with it from the box to the product. This isn’t what we ordered or what is show in the photos. It’s pretty much useless as is with those buttons.Very much a disappointment and I’d not have paid £10 for this, it feels about that sort of level.
Mine arrived today. Seems to work fine so far. Can't wait for the instructions. OK so the quality is not the best but I'm impressed that @retrocomptersltd have managed to ship them at all after all the issues and negative publicity.
Got mine, but I'm not home to unpack it at the moment. Shipment day is July 30, but I got the RCL congratulatory mail om July 28. UPS with tracking number and delivered to my mailbox without notification.
Good afternoon everyone - just to let you all know.. my ZX Vega + arrived earlier today.. I appear to have serial; 138... First impressions.. it looks ok.. not sure about the d-pad controller yet.. but I guess it is what is is really... obviously the free games included are absolute rubbish, so I'm gonna load on a couple of my favourites.. onto SD card.. Commando and Atic Atac to start with! Lets go..
So, 2 long-awaited new toys arrived in our household at the start of our weekend, one a large dumb plastic non-functional model with painful edges, ........ the other was the new Lego 007 DB5 :-) ;-) Have a guess which was more fun for me and kids.....
— Pat Hills
59. Steven Beales
Steven Beales posted on facebook on 04/08/2018 after receiving serial number 1830500164:
Miracles do happen. Postie dropped off number 164 this afternoon. Had a quick go on Egghead but had to stop as those buttons make my thumb ache!
Got an email last Saturday saying it would be here by ‘Tuesday at the latest’. Turned up today via Royal Mail signed for.
well, it arrived. for all of its faults, I think the fact the sd card does not work on my unit is exceptionally poor…. if they do manage to work out their problems with the software, I won’t be able to update anyway!!! Unhappy with a lot of it…
I was backer number 2 and originally pledged for "The Red One" but ended up opting for a "Blankety Blank" just so I could get my hands on something. It arrived last Thursday (#155) in the "ethical" packaging.
I only played a couple of games for a few minutes (Egg Head & Haunted House) as I immediately became frustrated by the shockingly crap buttons. They look and feel awful. Some of them aren't even straight - check out the pic.
I tried loading up Manic Miner from an SD card but that didn't seem to work. I think it may be losing some juice too but I'm not sure I even want to charge it up in case it breaks for good!
I'll probably wait until there's a firm wear update with proper instructions (like that'll ever happen) before I switch on again!
Although I'm massively disappointed with the end result I still feel like one of the lucky ones.
In the meantime I might dig out my original Vega for a quick blast of Manic Miner - at least that actually works and the buttons feel nice.
Mine arrived last week. Same issues as everyone else. Cheaply made, wrapped in paper to post it (surprised it made it in one piece.) No charging cable or instructions. Buttons very poor. Gave them the benefit of the doubt so many times but delivering this was so beyond the teams limits. Very disappointed.
— Dan Wise
d_leefootballaf7c has put the Vega+ with serial number 1830500147 for sale on EBay.
Ian Rowe posted on the World of Spectrum facebook group.
72. Sven Vogelgesang
Sven Vogelgesang posted on facebook.
73. George Birkinshaw
George Birkinshaw from Gibraltar posted on Indiegogo:
I would have never realized not even in my widest dreams how bad the Vega Plus is. I am very disappointed!!
I requested a “blankety blank” and what I got it’s a nightmare. The Vega plus is so bad that the games are unplayable. The Buttons are to hard to press. Maybe if the playing experience was good Maybe I wouldn’t mind how cheaply it has been made, plastic screen and poor sound quality to today’s standards. Anyway now what RCL because I should send the Vega plus back to you and ask for a refund!!!!
Received My Vega+ yesterday, very happy with it Thanks
Cant get the sd card games to work using TAP and S80 not even detecting them. Need help please.
@Gary Mind blown, I am not tech savvy, I expected this to work straight out of the box, with support for the fore mentioned files, I have tried connecting my Vega to the PC and its not detectable. I only received the unit, no instructions or power supply, the 10 or so games loaded on the system run great. Thankyou for your help, appreciated.
— Lee Todd
Bigbaddaddyvader has put the Vega+ with serial number 1830500182 for sale on EBay.
martianoids has put the Vega+ with serial number 1830500093 and a case for sale on EBay.
Lee Fogarty banned
Lee Fogarty posted several comments on the Indiegogo campaign attempting to help Craig out with the keymapping for games before he was banned on 31/07/2018:
@Craig – it looks like you’ve got the “updated” firmware I was sent – this didn’t fix anything but added a lot more options that don’t work – the keymap screen being one of them – ignore it!
The information key is the one on the top right – load a game up and press that – on the pre-loaded ones you’ll see what the screen should look like. I believe there is a keymap tool written by a community member for PC – I’ll ask if he will release it and put it up for download.
@Craig – some tips (assuming you do have the same firmware I got lumbered with).
Sub folders won’t work on the SD card
Don’t load too many – it will take forever to boot, or just crash
Don’t add more than one game per card. Seriously. Only the first alphabetical keymap ever gets loaded.
It is remotely possible the firmware is more up to date than the one I have, but you never know….
— Lee Fogarty
Ronan McEnvoy then passes on a message and posts an Indiegogo comment to say that Lee Fogarty has been banned:
From Lee – He can’t post on IGG now!
If there is anyone here registered on indiegogo for the Vega+, could someone make a post apologising that I can no longer comment? My last reply was going to be:-
@Ryan – I did suggest that the files should have an option to default to kempston, or no keymap defaults to QAOPM, but unfortunately it fell on deaf ears.
If anyone wants any further assistance, they will have to contact me directly.
— Ronan McEnvoy
The ban on Lee Fogarty being able to post has been removed as of 31/07/2018.