Join Date: Nov 2005
Yes, they could have. Back when the thread started preferably, i guess. Those that preordered back then, wouldn't be the least bit upset 2.5 years later when there still isn't a product in their hands. I said 2.5 years, since i don't think we'll see this before the end of the year, and thats not to criticize the developers. This a spare time, homebrew hardware project. It's going to take time, and thats all there is to it.
"Selling" pre-orders, while giving additional funds for research and development also means you actually have to provide those units at some point, and preferably before the buyer gets completely feed up with it.
Look at a similar situation, that actually had company backing, even if smalltime... Open Pandora. As far as i know there are still pre-order's not filled. It pretty much seams the only way to get those filled is to "upgrade" and pay 100-200euro more for one of the later breed pandas, something a lot of people did, just to get something out of the deal at all. This device started out at $329, and today, several revisions later it's 499euro.
For the small fee of 200Euro pre-orders can have their unit supplied from the company based in Germany, through community support, and goodwill of the owner, since the UK based company that was supposed to deliver the pre-orders in the first place is defunct. The company based in germany has no ties other then the console to the UK venture, and as such had no responsibility to offer the discount in the first place. And, quite frankly... Would you put down another 200euro on top of the 329USD you already paid, to get something that has a "market value" of 499euro?
All in all, no, i think it's a good idea to stay away from pre-orders until there is a product ready for production.
Heard at an internal meeting:
Skinny bald guy: (He was a short fat bloke with lots of hair when this started. Hey, i'm imagining things, create your own characters) Hey, we finalized everything, and we are ready for production. If we can make 1K units in a batch, we get a great price, how do we found this...
Freckled redhead: Um, guys, how about a kickstarter?
Skinny bald guy: Nah, they take a huge cut of the totals... I know, Pre-orders! We can fill em in about 6 months, we should be able to give everyone a set date...
Accountant cutie: It's a done deal. I'll set up the webpage, and the info. You guys spread the word on the forums. Make it happen in a hurry, we need the bulk of pre-orders in a short timewindow, so we can make it happen.
What i mean is... Having a solid product, and knowing you can actually make it, is a HUGE comfort for a venture such as this. Taking peoples money, and hoping you can pull a rabbit out of your ass, to save the hat... No, wait, thats backwards. Anyway, you don't want to have to enter panic mode where you need to sell everything, and move back home to your mother, while still not being able to deliver the pre-orders.