"Smach Z is Back!" ...?

vcoleiro1

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At $699 or $899 , I can't see many people at all buying it. It's literally twice to three times the price of the WIN.
There is also a very good chance the WIN 2 will be out before the Smach Z. Rumours have it that the WIN2 will be crowdfunded in March and delivered late 2018. But that can change, I have a distinct feeling the WIN2 was being pushed out due to fears of the Smach Z being a competitor - so slips in that could affect the push for the WIN2.

And to be honest, I have my doubts the Smach Z will ever see the light of day. Especially since they spent 280K with Imasd
 
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Hello everyone! I'm the creator of the Smach Z exposé. I joined this forum just because it seems to be one of the best places to discuss and speculate about the Smach Z project.

I didn't notice this before, but the Smach Z Kickstarter page mantions they have investors. So even though they lost a bit of money in the failed Imasd venture, they should have investor funding that hopefully covers it and more.
This is a big unknown for several reasons. Of course we don't know anything about the investor side of things, but we can speculate what's most likely. I find the idea of investors pumping money into the Smach Z to be extremely unlikely for the most obvious reasons. Investors are not philanthropists. They throw money at something only when they think they can recover more than they put in. Considering the problems the campaign is having and the recent astronomical new price, ask yourself- would you invest your money in Smach Z right now? I didn't think so. Even if they made a substantial investment in the past which hasn't been repaid, I think any experienced investor would know now is the time to cut your losses and move on.

But there's been so many critical twists and turns that it really does make me wonder how the investors operated. It's clear by now that there was some major misrepresentation, if not outright fraud that occurred with this campaign. Were the investors in on it? It's one of the biggest mysteries which we might never know the answer to. I have a few theories about where the investors stand:

1) The Innocent Investors

This would be the theory that the investors were just as clueless as the backers. They went into this thinking the Smach Z was well in development, that the campaign launched with a working prototype of their own design, and the original in the Kickstarter price was well researched and calculated to make sure they could deliver to backers. This is how you would hope an investment firm would operate, that if there was any foul play they didn't know about it and they invested in good faith.

Problems with this theory: it seems really far fetched that a "tech venture" would be as clueless as Kickstarter backers, you would hope that they would do some deep research into figuring out what was running in the prototypes. After all, they paid for them:
Thanks to Mola, SMACH Z received the necessary capital to finance the first prototype of the console.
Source: October 26, 2016 public update

And if they knew something was wrong I would hope they wouldn't go along with it unless...


2) The Crooked Investors

This would mean the investors knew it was sketchy from the beginning but went along with it because there was money to be made. This could be plausible because assuming they were innocent investors that were lied to- wouldn't they go after Smach Z for essentially robbing them? But if they're crooked then that would explain why the investors don't care that the project is going up in flames, they're in the same boat and have a guilty conscience.

Problems with this theory: what was the end game then? Were they betting that Smach Z could fake their way onto Kickstarter but actually deliver after receiving the funds and they would get a cut of the units sold to the public? That seems like a really bad bet to make. You're investing in some people pulling a con in the hopes that they'll eventually fly straight and make it all right.


3) The Loan Shark "Investors"

This is the thought that the "investors" aren't investors at all, they just provided Smach Z with a loan which was to be repaid immediately from the Kickstarter funds. This is corroborated by the quote above. It would also explain why we haven't heard anything from the investors anymore. They're gone. They already got their money back plus interest, and they don't have a dog in this fight so they couldn't care less. So the investors are out of the picture because they were never a real investment partner to begin with. They just provided necessary initial funding (which was footed by the backers in repayment) as well as credibility for being able to claim investors are on board.

Problems with this theory: ... nothing I can think of. We know they did in fact pay for the prototypes. It answers why we haven't heard from them since and why they won't go after Smach Z for luring them into a bad investment using fake development hardware.


The real answer could be a combination of any of these three possibilities. I'm pretty sure 3 is true, then it's just a matter of whether they knew about the wider scheme as a whole, which would be theory 1 or 2. We'll probably never know because the only one they could ever admit to would be #1 but that seems to be the most far fetched a requires a lot of trust to believe they would be so absent minded.

What do you guys think?
 
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levi

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Having seen the odd episode of Dragon's Den where they have four or five millionaires invest based on a pitch, has led me to believe that it's very easy to hoodwink investors. I guess those guys aren't known for the technical prowess, but I'm not sure how common that sort of investor is.

As an aside, it always makes me wonder why anyone takes up the investor. They only invest in something that's basically already returning a profit (or at least that's what they claim) - if so then appearing on the programme is going to be the thing that actually does ramp up your orders. Getting millions from some chump and sacrificing ownership in return sounds like almost the worst thing you could do from there on. Getting an offer and turning it down rarely happens, so if you could do that you'd probably get even more publicity.
 

pmprog

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As an aside, it always makes me wonder why anyone takes up the investor. They only invest in something that's basically already returning a profit (or at least that's what they claim) - if so then appearing on the programme is going to be the thing that actually does ramp up your orders. Getting millions from some chump and sacrificing ownership in return sounds like almost the worst thing you could do from there on. Getting an offer and turning it down rarely happens, so if you could do that you'd probably get even more publicity.
It depends, but some investors aren't strictly about the money. Take your Dragon's Den comment. Those dragons (at least the ones when I used to watch it, I have no idea who's on there now) generally have a fields of expertise, some are in events/accomodation, others are retail etc. They bring expertise in marketing those particular products; and can even provide retail space in well known stores. etc. etc.

So sometimes you take the hit on ownership to get the publicity and market share increase.
 

vcoleiro1

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Now that they are working with a new company, they have revised their project plan with the following new milestones:

  • May 2018 is the new delivery date for backers

  • They will be able to show a first working version ~ January-February 2018.

  • The final version and development will be completed in April 2018
Thye are aiming to be at E3 in June and Gamescom in August with a final console . This will start their marketing towards a market release in Q4 2018.
 

rygD

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Is a "first working version" the same as a prototype? Not that the term "prototype" holds much meaning anymore based on loose use of it in recent years...
 

levi

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I'd say in common parlance, 'first working version' allies more closely with the concept of RC1 - the first release candidate. These days with devices commonly consisting of hardware and plenty software, sometimes hardware is quite developed in a lot of those prototypes, and they can later be updated to released software, but at the time they were made they were made to test out hardware and software features.

But in the same breath, these labels especially when expressed in common english phrasology can be quite mobile, and may not always align to a standard label, or be especially clear what they stand for in the real world.
 

vcoleiro1

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Yeah he pre-emptively took it down to avoid any trake down notice from Smach and becuase he didn't like how it was interpreted.

He loaded a new video which is below:

 

levi

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Heh, that's quite some humble pie there versus the older video. If it is a 25W part as previously speculated, and that's presumably not including the LCD budget, or running the cooling system itself, or other bits and bobs, how big a battery is that going to have to pack to run for any length of time. Say it actually hits that 25W on average thanks to underclocking when idle and such like if it had the Pyra battery I make that to be about a 30Wh battery assuming it eats 8000mAh at 3.7V, it'd only run for just over an hour. Of course they'll specify a larger battery but there are apparently limits for a worldwide shippable device, so I don't think they'll hit 3h of runtime even with the biggest battery they can fit. I guess that's moderate to fair for a laptop class device (except this thing doesn't even have a keyboard, but that's perhaps better reserved for a different argument), but it does for me makes this usable for different use cases than the standard devices discussed around these parts. And what sort of charge socket is it going to have? USB PD can deliver 25W at little over 1A if it wanted to I guess, but I have no experience of that technology yet, and have read a few horror stories about early USB PD chargers pumping the wrong voltage into things with the expected disastrous consequences.
 

vcoleiro1

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Heh, that's quite some humble pie there versus the older video. If it is a 25W part as previously speculated, and that's presumably not including the LCD budget, or running the cooling system itself, or other bits and bobs, how big a battery is that going to have to pack to run for any length of time. Say it actually hits that 25W on average thanks to underclocking when idle and such like if it had the Pyra battery I make that to be about a 30Wh battery assuming it eats 8000mAh at 3.7V, it'd only run for just over an hour. Of course they'll specify a larger battery but there are apparently limits for a worldwide shippable device, so I don't think they'll hit 3h of runtime even with the biggest battery they can fit. I guess that's moderate to fair for a laptop class device (except this thing doesn't even have a keyboard, but that's perhaps better reserved for a different argument), but it does for me makes this usable for different use cases than the standard devices discussed around these parts. And what sort of charge socket is it going to have? USB PD can deliver 25W at little over 1A if it wanted to I guess, but I have no experience of that technology yet, and have read a few horror stories about early USB PD chargers pumping the wrong voltage into things with the expected disastrous consequences.

They are targeting 15W, apparently it may even go down to 12w
 

EvilDragon

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100Wh is possible per battery and 20Wh per cell to be able to ship it internationally.
So yeah, they can put quite a bit of a battery in there.

Sent from my XT1650-03 using Tapatalk
 

Failbert

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Sorry for the slightest derail, but I just want to say that all the news we get about these pocket devices are speculation, speculation, speculation... "Unrecognized CPU", "probably 2 sodimm slots", "probably they didn't agree on x, y and z with key partners". Transparent, "open" development process like in the case of the pyra seems just so much more exciting, and I see that although sometimes some really stressful obstacles arise, and our little computer is almost twice as expensive... The clarity of the process seems well worth the price :)
 

kracken34

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Good to see there ist at least "something" happening regarding the SmachZ.
Not sure yet how usable this machine will be. But it would be nice anyway to have another small unit to choose from.
 
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