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(Ars Technica)   Remember the NES launching after the video game crash in the 80s? Gail Tilden, head of Nintendo of America marketing at the time, certainly does - especially how much effort was needed behind the scenes   (arstechnica.com) divider line
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466 clicks; posted to Fandom » on 30 Oct 2020 at 1:30 AM (4 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2020-10-29 10:53:58 PM  
ET phone home
 
2020-10-30 1:50:28 AM  
The problem was that Atari was acting like the 70s-era General Motors of game consoles. They tried to sue Activision for their 2600-compatible cartridges and lost. Thing was that the Activision games were better looking and better coded than the DGAF games that Atari was cranking out.

Atari tried to make itself look like a Progressive company on the outside, but behind closed doors it was doing secret projects for the Pentagon.

In the end, Atari was secretly burying their unsold ET carts & other hardware in the desert like it was a mafia hit.

Atari may have made the video game industry, but they also crashed & burned it in the early 80's by their hubris.
 
2020-10-30 1:59:20 AM  

AAAAGGGGHHHH: The problem was that Atari was acting like the 70s-era General Motors of game consoles. They tried to sue Activision for their 2600-compatible cartridges and lost. Thing was that the Activision games were better looking and better coded than the DGAF games that Atari was cranking out.

Atari tried to make itself look like a Progressive company on the outside, but behind closed doors it was doing secret projects for the Pentagon.

In the end, Atari was secretly burying their unsold ET carts & other hardware in the desert like it was a mafia hit.

Atari may have made the video game industry, but they also crashed & burned it in the early 80's by their hubris.


Nintendo learned a lot from Atari's misfortunes, though.

They controlled the NES software market with an iron grip, with lockout chips that prevented unauthorized games (at least until Atari of all companies figured out a way to defeat the 10NES chip). You couldn't even sell a Nintendo game without buying the cartridge from Nintendo, unless you were a company that had some clout like Konami.
 
2020-10-30 2:15:59 AM  
When I was a kid I missed out on the whole NES era because I asked my parents for a Sega Master System instead.

No regrets, because the SMS had a lot of great games of its own. I even had Power Strike (the US version of Aleste) that I got as a mail-order offer from the Sega Magazine, which was a great game. I just had a lot fewer people I could trade games with.

By the time the Genesis era rolled around, I was feeling a lot less left out being a Sega fan.
 
2020-10-30 5:24:02 AM  
As fun side projects, I work on back-porting (coding fresh) classic games to older systems. For the personal challenge of it in limited constants with hardware and game re-design.

SotC

You have been warned.
 
2020-10-30 5:38:11 AM  
ROB the Robot was vaporware intended to market the system as more like a toy than a game system.  And it worked.  ROB never worked right, and it was only used for a couple of very bad games, but it looked cool and it sold consoles.

NES games weren't called cartridges.   They were called GamePaks.  They needed to differentiate themselves from Atari, even the way the games loaded.  The insertion of games horizonally killed the game chip but hey, it wasn't a top loader like Atari and that was all that mattered.
 
2020-10-30 6:39:09 AM  
Rygar on nes was the first video game I ever played
 
2020-10-30 6:59:33 AM  

Mad_Radhu: When I was a kid I missed out on the whole NES era because I asked my parents for a Sega Master System instead.

No regrets, because the SMS had a lot of great games of its own. I even had Power Strike (the US version of Aleste) that I got as a mail-order offer from the Sega Magazine, which was a great game. I just had a lot fewer people I could trade games with.

By the time the Genesis era rolled around, I was feeling a lot less left out being a Sega fan.


That's awesome I was a genesis kid too. Funny story, I bought xbox one to get back into gaming, and I find myself only buying "classic" shiat like old Halo and REAL old castlevania. I just beat bloodlines for the first time :)
 
2020-10-30 7:25:39 AM  
If you haven't seen the documentary "Atari: Game Over" you should.
 
2020-10-30 7:43:42 AM  
By time someone in my small circle got one, we'd already pumped much more than its cost into the super Mario brothers at the local circle k in our tiny town. The good times centered around that game where we could do what we wanted when not playing was bliss.
 
2020-10-30 7:56:07 AM  

JJRRutgers: ROB the Robot was vaporware intended to market the system as more like a toy than a game system.  And it worked.  ROB never worked right, and it was only used for a couple of very bad games, but it looked cool and it sold consoles.


Gryomite has some of the raddest farking music on the system you go to hell

Gyromite Music (NES) - Game A BGM
Youtube f1YmeZs91bs

/Stack-up or Robot Block, not so much
 
2020-10-30 8:04:51 AM  

KingBiefWhistle: JJRRutgers: ROB the Robot was vaporware intended to market the system as more like a toy than a game system.  And it worked.  ROB never worked right, and it was only used for a couple of very bad games, but it looked cool and it sold consoles.

Gryomite has some of the raddest farking music on the system you go to hell

[YouTube video: Gyromite Music (NES) - Game A BGM]
/Stack-up or Robot Block, not so much


The music was awesome but Jesus christ they were on some acid when they came up with the gameplay
 
2020-10-30 8:22:14 AM  

Marcos P: KingBiefWhistle: JJRRutgers: ROB the Robot was vaporware intended to market the system as more like a toy than a game system.  And it worked.  ROB never worked right, and it was only used for a couple of very bad games, but it looked cool and it sold consoles.

Gryomite has some of the raddest farking music on the system you go to hell

[YouTube video: Gyromite Music (NES) - Game A BGM]
/Stack-up or Robot Block, not so much

The music was awesome but Jesus christ they were on some acid when they came up with the gameplay


The basic premise isn't bad, and could be easily incorporated into an updated game (and honestly probably has many, many times since it's just a platformer where you open doors/move elevators to get around) but yeah, forcing ROB's integration makes it incredibly slow and clunky. We usually just had someone else man the second pad for Game A, which also added in the extra fun/terror of your co-op player occasionally killing Professor Hector out of spite


Gyromite Music (NES) - Game B BGM
Youtube sHo0jSUO4jU

/Game B music now because fark yeah
//Gail Tilden also appears in Ep 2 of Netflix's High Score documentary, cool lady, cool series
///It's narrated by some has-been named Charles Martinet
 
2020-10-30 8:34:31 AM  

KingBiefWhistle: Marcos P: KingBiefWhistle: JJRRutgers: ROB the Robot was vaporware intended to market the system as more like a toy than a game system.  And it worked.  ROB never worked right, and it was only used for a couple of very bad games, but it looked cool and it sold consoles.

Gryomite has some of the raddest farking music on the system you go to hell

[YouTube video: Gyromite Music (NES) - Game A BGM]
/Stack-up or Robot Block, not so much

The music was awesome but Jesus christ they were on some acid when they came up with the gameplay

The basic premise isn't bad, and could be easily incorporated into an updated game (and honestly probably has many, many times since it's just a platformer where you open doors/move elevators to get around) but yeah, forcing ROB's integration makes it incredibly slow and clunky. We usually just had someone else man the second pad for Game A, which also added in the extra fun/terror of your co-op player occasionally killing Professor Hector out of spite


[YouTube video: Gyromite Music (NES) - Game B BGM]
/Game B music now because fark yeah
//Gail Tilden also appears in Ep 2 of Netflix's High Score documentary, cool lady, cool series
///It's narrated by some has-been named Charles Martinet


Well I will say it makes more sense than farkin Clu-Clu land. I dont even know where to begin with that one.

Fark user imageView Full Size

I miss that old box style
 
2020-10-30 8:57:02 AM  
I was a TRS 80 Color Computer kid.

Most of the games I had to type in manually, in BASIC, most from Rainbow magazine.

I still have the color computer, but I don't remember how to program in BASIC anymore
 
2020-10-30 9:01:10 AM  

JJRRutgers: The insertion of games horizonally killed the game chip but hey, it wasn't a top loader like Atari and that was all that mattered.


I had some extra cash after my birthday and Christmas one winter day, and my local toy store was selling the 2nd-model top-loading NES for $40 on clearance.  I thought about it for several days, and decided to wait and use that money upgrading my computer (I needed about $150 to upgrade my RAM from 4MB to 8MB).

I kind of wish I had bought it, because those systems are apparently rock solid, and had/have an insanely low failure rate.
 
2020-10-30 9:48:35 AM  

UNC_Samurai: JJRRutgers: The insertion of games horizonally killed the game chip but hey, it wasn't a top loader like Atari and that was all that mattered.

I had some extra cash after my birthday and Christmas one winter day, and my local toy store was selling the 2nd-model top-loading NES for $40 on clearance.  I thought about it for several days, and decided to wait and use that money upgrading my computer (I needed about $150 to upgrade my RAM from 4MB to 8MB).

I kind of wish I had bought it, because those systems are apparently rock solid, and had/have an insanely low failure rate.


Depends. The American top loader does get rid of the janky flexible 72 pin connector of the front loader, but it also lacks the separate composite video output.
 
2020-10-30 9:59:10 AM  

KingBiefWhistle: UNC_Samurai: JJRRutgers: The insertion of games horizonally killed the game chip but hey, it wasn't a top loader like Atari and that was all that mattered.

I had some extra cash after my birthday and Christmas one winter day, and my local toy store was selling the 2nd-model top-loading NES for $40 on clearance.  I thought about it for several days, and decided to wait and use that money upgrading my computer (I needed about $150 to upgrade my RAM from 4MB to 8MB).

I kind of wish I had bought it, because those systems are apparently rock solid, and had/have an insanely low failure rate.

Depends. The American top loader does get rid of the janky flexible 72 pin connector of the front loader, but it also lacks the separate composite video output.


I mean, if you have that system you're probably going to keep a CRT with a coax port, vintage systems don't play nice with LCDs sometimes.
 
2020-10-30 11:07:10 AM  

NINEv2: Mad_Radhu: When I was a kid I missed out on the whole NES era because I asked my parents for a Sega Master System instead.

No regrets, because the SMS had a lot of great games of its own. I even had Power Strike (the US version of Aleste) that I got as a mail-order offer from the Sega Magazine, which was a great game. I just had a lot fewer people I could trade games with.

By the time the Genesis era rolled around, I was feeling a lot less left out being a Sega fan.

That's awesome I was a genesis kid too. Funny story, I bought xbox one to get back into gaming, and I find myself only buying "classic" shiat like old Halo and REAL old castlevania. I just beat bloodlines for the first time :)


My brother got me a PC Engine Mini earlier this year, so I've been playing "The Rondo of Blood" on it.
 
2020-10-30 11:44:24 AM  

UNC_Samurai: I mean, if you have that system you're probably going to keep a CRT with a coax port, vintage systems don't play nice with LCDs sometimes.


True, but just about anything that isn't a super ancient mid 80s set or earlier will have it and Composite is going to look a hell of a lot cleaner than RF, and also you can also pipe your bleeps and bloops into a receiver

/because using the built-in speaker is for plebs
 
2020-10-30 11:49:40 AM  

KingBiefWhistle: JJRRutgers: ROB the Robot was vaporware intended to market the system as more like a toy than a game system.  And it worked.  ROB never worked right, and it was only used for a couple of very bad games, but it looked cool and it sold consoles.

Gryomite has some of the raddest farking music on the system you go to hell

[YouTube video: Gyromite Music (NES) - Game A BGM]
/Stack-up or Robot Block, not so much


Gyromite was also fun if you didn't use Rob. Torturing the green guys in slow motion with the crushing pipes
 
2020-10-30 12:02:34 PM  
Never had a console as a kid; I had a Commodore 64 instead.  So many pirated/shareware games, plus those typed from Compute! Gazette.  Literally that magazine had a custom machine language entry program where you would type six pages of numbers into it (lucky with a checksum to make sure no typos) and then you'd get a free game.

https://www.commodore.ca/commodore-ga​l​lery/compute-gazette-magazines-issue-1​-through-43/
http://www.commodore.ca/gallery/magaz​i​nes/gazette/Compute-Gazette-Issue-23.p​df (for an example, go to page 140 or so to see the wall of numbers you'd have to type in)
 
2020-10-30 2:54:47 PM  

Geotpf: Never had a console as a kid; I had a Commodore 64 instead.  So many pirated/shareware games, plus those typed from Compute! Gazette.  Literally that magazine had a custom machine language entry program where you would type six pages of numbers into it (lucky with a checksum to make sure no typos) and then you'd get a free game.

https://www.commodore.ca/commodore-gal​lery/compute-gazette-magazines-issue-1​-through-43/
http://www.commodore.ca/gallery/magazi​nes/gazette/Compute-Gazette-Issue-23.p​df (for an example, go to page 140 or so to see the wall of numbers you'd have to type in)


Side note, but I think the fall of Commodore is a bit more interesting. Even IBM compatibles were extremely expensive, and something like a 64 or its follow ups could have been a staple of home computing and gaming. Instead by the mid 1990s, they and others aiming at a similar market had all gone belly up or moved on to other products, with only Apple and IBM compatibles (both still extremely expensive) to control the market.
 
DVD
2020-10-30 4:08:38 PM  

Electrify: Geotpf: Never had a console as a kid; I had a Commodore 64 instead.  So many pirated/shareware games, plus those typed from Compute! Gazette.  Literally that magazine had a custom machine language entry program where you would type six pages of numbers into it (lucky with a checksum to make sure no typos) and then you'd get a free game.

https://www.commodore.ca/commodore-gal​lery/compute-gazette-magazines-issue-1​-through-43/
http://www.commodore.ca/gallery/magazi​nes/gazette/Compute-Gazette-Issue-23.p​df (for an example, go to page 140 or so to see the wall of numbers you'd have to type in)

Side note, but I think the fall of Commodore is a bit more interesting. Even IBM compatibles were extremely expensive, and something like a 64 or its follow ups could have been a staple of home computing and gaming. Instead by the mid 1990s, they and others aiming at a similar market had all gone belly up or moved on to other products, with only Apple and IBM compatibles (both still extremely expensive) to control the market.



Even the Amiga chapter of Commodore is a lesson in "what might have been".  The graphics for it in 1994 were something that weren't really reached again till the late 2000s.

In spite of how much I curse marketing departments, the utter lack of an effective one will kill your product dead.
 
2020-10-30 6:26:04 PM  

Electrify: Geotpf: Never had a console as a kid; I had a Commodore 64 instead.  So many pirated/shareware games, plus those typed from Compute! Gazette.  Literally that magazine had a custom machine language entry program where you would type six pages of numbers into it (lucky with a checksum to make sure no typos) and then you'd get a free game.

https://www.commodore.ca/commodore-gal​lery/compute-gazette-magazines-issue-1​-through-43/
http://www.commodore.ca/gallery/magazi​nes/gazette/Compute-Gazette-Issue-23.p​df (for an example, go to page 140 or so to see the wall of numbers you'd have to type in)

Side note, but I think the fall of Commodore is a bit more interesting. Even IBM compatibles were extremely expensive, and something like a 64 or its follow ups could have been a staple of home computing and gaming. Instead by the mid 1990s, they and others aiming at a similar market had all gone belly up or moved on to other products, with only Apple and IBM compatibles (both still extremely expensive) to control the market.


The Commodore 64 was a staple of home computing.  They sold approximately 20 million units over the years.  That's a huge farkton for something that was not yet common beyond families with school age kids and a few nerds.

They also rigged the game for awhile.  Commodore owned CMOS, which was a chipmaker that not only made every chip inside the C64, but also made the CPU, the 6502 (and variants), that many of its competitors (such as Atari and Apple) used.  Imagine if Intel made actual PCs and you'd see the vertical integration here.

They therefore started the price war which took out half their competitors in 1983/1984.  If your costs are half that of everybody else, you will be the last man standing.

Problem is, they didn't really have a follow up.  The 128 was too much of a minor step up, and the Plus/4 was actually a step backwards.  The Amiga was their real follow up, but they concentrated too much on Europe by that point (because they could get away charging more there) and neglected the US market, and the PC clones just wiped them out.
 
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