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The ADAM killed the ColecoVision


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#1 opcode ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 19, 2009 12:47 PM

I was checking some New York Times articles and I found this very interesting piece of information:

... Coleco, at a news conference, also said it halted one month ago its United States production of Colecovision, the company's popular home video game, to make room for production of the Adam, which is Coleco's first computer. But the company said it planned to resume production of Colecovision early next year.

The production halt for Colecovision surprised analysts. For the last six months, it has outsold other home video games. Coleco has been the only major video game manufacturer to avoid losses as demand has fallen sharply for the games. About 500,000 of the $150 video games were sold last year.

Morton E. Handel, Coleco's executive vice president for investor relations, said sales of Colecovision remain strong. But he said production of the game had to be halted so the company could focus its manufacturing efforts on Adam. Because of Coleco's limited production capacity, Mr. Handel said, the company is using the same production lines for Adam that it has been using for Colecovision.

''This was a plan we had set up in the second quarter to accelerate production of Colecovision and stockpile the machine to accommodate our needs in the third quarter for Adam,'' Mr. Handel said. ''We simply didn't have any other space.''...


ADAM, you bastard, you killed Kenny, I mean, the CV!! :x

Seriously, I still have to find a trustable piece of information saying that Coleco was loosing money with the ColecoVision, and now I found this, which would confirm that perhaps they never did. So I suppose they just panicked like the rest of the market about video games being a fad and risked everything with the ADAM without actually having a good reason for that... What bunch of dumb heads...

EDIT: BTW, the article was published on September 7, 1983.

Edited by opcode, Mon Oct 19, 2009 12:55 PM.


#2 Pixelboy OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 19, 2009 1:14 PM

Well, that's just one more piece of proof that Coleco bit on more than it could ever chew with the ADAM. With a fraction of the money they invested into the ADAM, they could've probably created a 16K RAM expansion cartridge to go into the CV's front expansion port, and broken the 32K ROM barrier with a new bankswitched cartridge PCB, and that would have been enough to support a new wave of bigger CV games.

#3 Jess Ragan ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 19, 2009 1:37 PM

They jumped the gun on the video game crash. A lot of stupid mistakes were made during that period, and it wasn't just Coleco that was responsible for them. They made a clunky computer that looked like it would have been right at home on the set of Lost in Space, and Atari pressed more copies of a crummy game cartridge than it could possibly sell. AstroVision made the opposite mistake, not making any software at all for its Astrocade. Even a child could have told all of these companies what they were doing wrong, but that was how big business in the 1980s worked. They took big, dumb risks and sometimes suffered big, dumb losses. Now such mistakes are rare... you've got the Gizmondo (which was basically a scam to rob investors, so it was a success in that respect), the PSP Go (dropped to $200 already!), and the N-Gage, but none of these systems were disasters on the same scale.

#4 Paranoid OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 19, 2009 1:44 PM

The thing is, it wasn't like people were going, "I can't get a Colecovision" while Adam computers were collecting dust on store shelves. There were never any "Wii"-like shortages of production. I'll tell you what though, I never saw *either* the Colecovision or the 5200 on "KB closeout" shelves marked down to a fraction of their original price. The Colecovision was not going to survive the crash, with our without the Adam.

Finally, these kind of stories are always a little... mmmn, historically inaccurate. The Adam *was* a Colecovision. The idea was you could buy an "upgrade kit" that included all the parts of an Adam except the Coleco, or you could buy the entire Adam, which simply was a bigger box that also included a Colecovision too. So, they didn't "stop" making the Colecovision. All an Adam is - was a Coleco-vision hooked up to a high speed cassette tape, a keyboard, and a daisy wheel printer.

It seems to me that it has been pretty widely acknowledged that the crash, along with an unrelated crash in demand for the Cabbage Patch Kids which Coleco had invested hugely in, were what caused Coleco's failure.

Coleco stands for Connecticut Leather Company, BTW. I'm sure some would argue that their biggest mis-step was getting out of making horse bridles, chaps and bomber jackets and getting into video games and toys.

If you ask me, looking back, these companies went into the crash and just folded up before they ever hit the bargain basement bin. All of their stock sold out at going prices - It was on the other side that you saw stacks of Atari 7800s drop down to $19.99 for a complete console at KB. In that period in between the crash and the bottom, it was a nuclear winter for gaming.

#5 else OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 19, 2009 2:11 PM

IMHO... It wasn't so much that Coleco stopped production of the Colecovision for a period. As others have noted, it didn't lead to massive hardware shortages.

It was that they basically stopped (or at least severely slowed down) developing new Colecovision games to concentrate on more "serious" software for the Adam. Such as stupid "productivity" programs like ExperType and RecipeFiler and Address Book Filer. Other wastes were "edu-games" like Telly Turtle, Smurf Paint n Play, and CPK Picture Show.

All this time and energy should have been spent developing new GAMES! Note to Coleco: its the GAMES, stupid!!!!

Edited by else, Mon Oct 19, 2009 2:18 PM.


#6 Jess Ragan ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 19, 2009 2:48 PM

All this time and energy should have been spent developing new GAMES! Note to Coleco: its the GAMES, stupid!!!!


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#7 opcode ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 19, 2009 5:58 PM

IMHO... It wasn't so much that Coleco stopped production of the Colecovision for a period. As others have noted, it didn't lead to massive hardware shortages.


First, there is no indication that the ColecoVision was ever produced again once they stopped it in 83. I remember reading somewhere that Coleco officially pulled the plug on the CV in early 84, so basically what we have here is a company that pulled the plug on its most profitable product during its popularity peak. While perhaps it didn't cause shortages, I can tell you that a company that does that is sending a message to the consumer: "forget about the CV, the ADAM is the future". But once consumers realize that they have got a dud, all credibility, momentum, etc will be gone.
Fact is, while I wouldn't go as far as saying that the CV could have survived the crash no matter what, I believe it had a pretty good chance, had Coleco kept focusing on the machine and games.

It was that they basically stopped (or at least severely slowed down) developing new Colecovision games to concentrate on more "serious" software for the Adam. Such as stupid "productivity" programs like ExperType and RecipeFiler and Address Book Filer. Other wastes were "edu-games" like Telly Turtle, Smurf Paint n Play, and CPK Picture Show.

All this time and energy should have been spent developing new GAMES! Note to Coleco: its the GAMES, stupid!!!!


I agree 100%. They diverged resources and that reduced not just quantity but also quality.

BTW, according to The New York Times Coleco posted its first loss since the CV was introduced during the 4th quarter of 1983. "The loss, it said, arose from high start-up and overhead costs for the Adam."

Edited by opcode, Mon Oct 19, 2009 6:12 PM.


#8 else OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 19, 2009 7:48 PM

All this time and energy should have been spent developing new GAMES! Note to Coleco: its the GAMES, stupid!!!!


(Psst. They can't hear you... they're dead!)


Only in this universe, my friend. Only in this universe....

#9 Retro Rogue OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 19, 2009 8:24 PM

Eduardo, I have to assume some of what you're typing are typos, because the dates are way off.

First, there is no indication that the ColecoVision was ever produced again once they stopped it in 83.


I'm not sure where you get there was no indication, you might want to look through more of the articles at the new york times site. There was a temporary production stop in that year, and as the next sentence in your article states: "But the company said it planned to resume production of Colecovision early next year." Which it did until well in to 1985:

http://www.nytimes.c...covision&st=cse
January 3, 1985 - "Coleco said it would continue to manufacture its Colecovision video game units, which company officials have previously described as ''marginally profitable,''"

From the Jan 3rd 1985 Chicago Tribune (pg B1) announcement of killing the Adam:
"Last year, Coleco reported losses of $7.4 million on sales of the $596.5 million, largely because of dealys and returns on Adam computers. The company will continue its Colecovision video-game unit."

And when they were deciding whether to stop manufacturing the Colecovision:
http://www.nytimes.c...covision&st=cse
June 13, 1985 - Coleco Industries is assessing its continuing commitment to the video game business, company executives told the annual meeting. Arnold C. Greenberg, the chief executive, said no timetable had been set for a decision on continuing or dropping the Colecovision products or on whether the software for the games would continue to be produced if hardware production was discontinued.

And still debating a month later:
http://www.nytimes.c...l?&pagewanted=3
July 21, 1985 - At the beginning of January, Coleco said that it was abandoning the tainted Adam. It wrote off $118 million. Coleco is now debating whether to withdraw from electronics altogether. Colecovision still sells, but it is a shadow of its former self. Mr. Greenberg expects electronics, once the heart of Coleco, to be less than 10 percent of sales this year.

And gone...
http://www.nytimes.c...covision&st=cse
October 19, 1985 - Thursday, Coleco said the entire inventory of its troubled Adam personal computer has been sold, along with much of its Colecovision inventory. The company's chairman, Arnold Greenberg, said Coleco expects no more charges against earnings from the two discontinued products.

I remember reading somewhere that Coleco officially pulled the plug on the CV in early 84, so basically what we have here is a company that pulled the plug on its most profitable product during its popularity peak.


I've read that as well in someone's book, but that never happened. The irony is that what you actually have is a situation that if they could of held on for another 6 or so months they would have seen the revitilization of the industry by Nintendo, Atari, and Sega.

Fact is, while I wouldn't go as far as saying that the CV could have survived the crash no matter what, I believe it had a pretty good chance, had Coleco kept focusing on the machine and games.


But it did survive the crash as shown. What it didn't survive was Coleco's management.


BTW, according to The New York Times Coleco posted its first loss since the CV was introduced during the 4th quarter of 1983. "The loss, it said, arose from high start-up and overhead costs for the Adam."


CV was introduced in August of 1982, not the 4th quarter of '83.

Edited by wgungfu, Mon Oct 19, 2009 8:43 PM.


#10 opcode ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 19, 2009 9:27 PM

[quote][quote]
BTW, according to The New York Times Coleco posted its first loss since the CV was introduced during the 4th quarter of 1983. "The loss, it said, arose from high start-up and overhead costs for the Adam."
[/quote]

CV was introduced in August of 1982, not the 4th quarter of '83.
[/quote][/quote]

Ouch, my bad English. I was trying to mean that Coleco posted during the 4th quarter of 1983 its first loss since the CV had been introduced (in 82). The loss was $35 millions.
Here are sales and net income since the CV introduction:

3rd quarter 82: $165M, $17.6M
4th quarter 82: $203M, $15.3M
1st quarter 83: $180M, $16.2M
2nd quarter 83: $126M, $9.1M (got a hit here, but still profitable. ADAM was announced during the 1st quarter, expected to be released in August)
3rd quarter 83: $114M, $2.3M (another hit. ADAM was delayed several times during this period. Company was obviously focusing on the ADAM during this period and diverging resources)
4th quarter 83: $175M, -$35M (huge hit, according to TNYT, losses came mostly from "high start-up and overhead costs for the Adam"
1st quarter 84: $186M, $4.4M (the Cabbage Patch Kids effect here probably...)

About typos, the article was published by TNYT on September 7, 1983, that is clear. The article was mainly about the introduction of the Digital Datapacks or whatever they called the tape devices.
"Coleco Industries formally presented today the final version of its long-awaited home computer system and said it would sell for a somewhat higher price than analysts had been estimating."

And finally about Coleco producing the CV up until 1985, what good was that if they weren't releasing any more games by then.
Truth is, they abandoned their most profitable product during its popularity peak and changed their focus to a computer system that failed miserably. After that they never really returned to the CV. I donít think holding on 6 more months in 85 would have made any difference, they had killed the machine already.
I find it ironic that the two consoles that could have survived the crash were killed by their respective companies, the CV and the 7800.

#11 JamesD ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 19, 2009 11:29 PM

I was checking some New York Times articles and I found this very interesting piece of information:

... Coleco, at a news conference, also said it halted one month ago its United States production of Colecovision, the company's popular home video game, to make room for production of the Adam, which is Coleco's first computer. But the company said it planned to resume production of Colecovision early next year.

The production halt for Colecovision surprised analysts. For the last six months, it has outsold other home video games. Coleco has been the only major video game manufacturer to avoid losses as demand has fallen sharply for the games. About 500,000 of the $150 video games were sold last year.

Morton E. Handel, Coleco's executive vice president for investor relations, said sales of Colecovision remain strong. But he said production of the game had to be halted so the company could focus its manufacturing efforts on Adam. Because of Coleco's limited production capacity, Mr. Handel said, the company is using the same production lines for Adam that it has been using for Colecovision.

''This was a plan we had set up in the second quarter to accelerate production of Colecovision and stockpile the machine to accommodate our needs in the third quarter for Adam,'' Mr. Handel said. ''We simply didn't have any other space.''...


ADAM, you bastard, you killed Kenny, I mean, the CV!! :x

Seriously, I still have to find a trustable piece of information saying that Coleco was loosing money with the ColecoVision, and now I found this, which would confirm that perhaps they never did. So I suppose they just panicked like the rest of the market about video games being a fad and risked everything with the ADAM without actually having a good reason for that... What bunch of dumb heads...

EDIT: BTW, the article was published on September 7, 1983.


Notice this part of the article:

''This was a plan we had set up in the second quarter to accelerate production of Colecovision and stockpile the machine to accommodate our needs in the third quarter for Adam,''

They made sure they produced enough Colecovisions to meet expected demand.
THAT may have had as much to do with what happened to Coleco as the Adam.
If demand for the Colecovision dropped that Christmas season, then they would have a large stockpile of unsold machines.
Add to that Adam issues, Crappy Patch Kids popularity dropping, a bad economy, etc... the board of directors had tough choices to make.
The biggest losses were the most obvious things for the chopping block.
I think if they had continued support of the Colecovision any drop in sales would have reversed for a year or two.
The NES would have eventually done it in anyway though.

Funny how two leather companies ended up in the computer business.

#12 Allan OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 20, 2009 6:55 AM

And then three more years later....

http://www.highbeam....-158409970.html

Allan

#13 Rik OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 20, 2009 8:15 AM

It was a mad dash back then for who could beat who to the market,who could out do who.Lots just bit off more than they can chew.The gaming market was so friggin huge back then,competition was the biggest id ever seen,for anything.Back then i hated,no, hated is not the word,i didn't really hate,was more pissed off at Coleco for putting out such a problematic project like ADAM.I used to hear kids say"COLECO SUCKS",disgruntled ADAM owners?more than likely.I used to say to myself,"WAY TO GO COLECO" you guys really f#$%%d up this one,and your reputation.The ADAM better not be the reason all the supposed great games that were going to be released didn't see the light of day now would it?,games like DRACULA?.Now im really mad. :x :x :D This is what i was thinking back then.

Edited by Rik, Tue Oct 20, 2009 8:29 AM.


#14 Paranoid OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 20, 2009 8:58 AM

Again, I think wgungfu puts up the best time-line and analysis of events. In particular, the arrival of the NES wouldn't have "revitalized" Coleco sales, or 7800 sales. The 7800 arrived stillborn, in the middle of the meltdown, with a horrible design and titles that were hot BEFORE the meltdown but were past their shelf-life by release. The 7800 was the console that ended up in stacks at KB for $49 and still wouldn't sell (although admittedly, it seems to me the 7800 ended up here around 1986 or even 87. But it never did well). This is where the Coleco would have ended up, had they kept trying to manufacture and market it against the NES. The NES revitalized gaming through proprietary, non-licensed characters. It was an entirely different market-approach than what the Coleco and 7800 targeted (which was delivering "arcade quality" games to the home experience). I don't see how Coleco could have feasibly competed with the Super Mario World franchise (and the other, later Nintendo owned franchises like Zelda) - when their core gaming competency was delivering home adpations of arcade hits. They didn't have the stable of creative game designers necessary to do something like this, and they certainly didn't have the money to hire those kinds of programmers.

I'm not denying that the Adam played a part, but there were a lot of other issues going on here. Coleco was in on a trend - and honestly, that trend had passed - NES gaming was clearly a departure from the previous gaming experience (and in my mind, something I associate with my nieces, who are in their 30s now, as opposed to me and my nephew, Coleco generation gamers, who are on the edge of our 40s. We were first generation gamers... they (my nieces) were 2nd generation gamers (and really, the first generation that supported a growing number of girl gamers, again, through NES franchises that were more girl friendly). The NES really had a small domestic window as a "premier" gaming system before the arrival of 16 bit PC gaming (ST and Amiga) dragged most BOY gamers away from console games, by and large - especially 1st generation gamers). I always saw NES console gaming as "kids" gaming. I spent a good deal of time running along horizontally bouncing my head on blocks and shooting fireballs out of my nose - but really, I guess the most fitting comparison for me would be comparing the Wii to an Xbox 360 or PS3. I see the Wii as the domain of my 8 year old daughter. I see the Xbox 360 and PS3 as the arena of dudes between about 14 and 40-ish. The NES is where this division began.

Where Coleco went on as a viable gaming company through this, with or without the Adam, is beyond me.

Oddly enough, the Adam, executed right, was probably the ONLY thing that could have allowed them to remain viable through the crash and the emerging Commodore 64 8 bit gaming market that dominated in the interim, in my opinion. If they hadn't put the power transformer inside a giant, clunky, daisy wheel printer and had offered *either* the high speed tape OR a disk drive as separate peripherals - well... they would have probably had a formula that could have competed with the C-64 more effectively. But I don't think they had the resources, at any time, to deliver something like that. Falling short of that, an exit from gaming was the BEST that Coleco could have hoped for. The subsequent collapse of the Cabbage Patch Kids trend was what did them in. They were like Jakk's Pacific, only less adept at quickly taking gimmicky, cheap, trends to market and dumping them quickly once the trend had crested. (Funny that Jakk's Pacific really executes on the Coleco model, just... better than Coleco ever did, and ironic that they brought the Cabbage Patch Kids v 2.0 *back* to market, as well).

#15 opcode ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 20, 2009 9:58 AM

Paranoid, I disagree in many points. First, saying that the NES was destined to win no matter what is as non-sense as saying that if isnít for Atari we would never be playing video games today, or that Coleco would still be around if it isnít for the ADAM. We don't know that, we will never know. Companies change, they adapt, or they get out of the game. Both Atari and Coleco pulled the plug on video games, so we don't know what they could have done in order to keep selling had they decided to stay. Atari was already taking actions when the Tramiels bought them, creating the 7800 and including mechanisms to prevent 3rd parties of creating games for it without a license. Arcade games, which also took a hit starting in late 82, were also changing. Sure, arcade never saw the same success again, but business improved during the 2nd half of the 80s.
About Nintendo, while I am also a big fan, I think there is a kind of overstatement about their merits during the 80s. Were they doing a lot of right things? Sure, they were. They came with a healthy business model for licensing, they had great titles, but I don't think they could have succeeded or survived if it wasn't for 3rd party support. As important as SMB or Zelda were, also were Castlevania, MegaMan, Ninja Gaiden and many others. And the question is which company would be getting which 3rd party in case Atari and Coleco stayed in the game? We don't know that. Konami was showing some early support to the CV (they stayed loyal to the MSX in Japan for a while); Atari could have got Namco as they already had ties, and so on, so we don't know.
My point when I created this thread was, there are some indications that during the CV's peak of popularity, when the CV was still doing good for Coleco, while Atari and Mattel were already loosing tons of money with their machines (as early as last quarter of 82), Coleco decided to change their focus to a home computer system, perhaps fearing that video games were indeed a fad. Fast forward 5 years in the future and it became clear that inexpensive home computers were the fad and video games were here to stay (so donít tell me the ADAM was ONLY thing that could have allowed them to remain viable). The market just needed/wanted a company with a strong focus on games.

#16 VectorGamer OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 20, 2009 11:33 AM

Coleco stands for Connecticut Leather Company, BTW. I'm sure some would argue that their biggest mis-step was getting out of making horse bridles, chaps and bomber jackets and getting into video games and toys.


I disagree - Coleco was a very big name in handheld electronic toys back in the day and they were on a roll with the ColecoVision and Cabbage Patch kids...

#17 Paranoid OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 20, 2009 12:03 PM

OpCode. We're not talking about alternate histories. the NES *did* win. Therefore, it *was* destined to win. Hindsight being 20/20, we can say, for a fact, that the NES was destined to win. Because. It. Did. There wasn't a stage where the NES competed with the Atari 7800, Coleco or Atari 5200. They were all dead in the water when the NES revitalized the console gaming market.

As I read the rest of your response, I guess *you* are talking "what-if" alternative realities. There are a bunch of what-ifs involved in your ideas, though. What if Coleco STAYED in the gaming business, what IF Atari had... I dunno... done something other than fail miserably and be completely mismanaged. But that isn't what happened. What happened was what I stated above.

So the original thesis you were making, that the Adam destroyed Colecovision and if not for that, Coleco could have stayed in the game, isn't historically factual and doesn't work unless you introduce "what-if" scenarios.

What IF the Nazis won the war and engineered uber-consoles that opened up space-time portals that allowed demons to invade this reality and we were all now NES light-gun wielding freedom fighters trying to ward off Nazi demon zombie soldiers...

:)

That might be kinda cool, but it wouldn't have kept Coleco from going broke in the crash of 1983.

#18 Paranoid OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 20, 2009 12:16 PM


Coleco stands for Connecticut Leather Company, BTW. I'm sure some would argue that their biggest mis-step was getting out of making horse bridles, chaps and bomber jackets and getting into video games and toys.


I disagree - Coleco was a very big name in handheld electronic toys back in the day and they were on a roll with the ColecoVision and Cabbage Patch kids...


Coleco's rise and fall was meteoric. They had an early, "successful" Pong machine (pong machines were a weird niche. My GRANDMOTHER had one) - then they had some handheld football (Electronic Quarterback) game that EVERYONE had - but neither of these gave Coleco itself any huge brand name recognition. Coleco competed with Mattel (a HUGE name in games and toys, period), Tiger, Tomy and probably a couple other bit players I can't remember in the handheld and electronic games market at the time, which was "fledgling" . Milton Bradley... I can rattle off games. Simon, Mastermind, The Dark Tower, Big Trak, StarBird (not games, but the first of a wave of electronic toys, the Big Trak was arguably programmable) - 2XL.... Every kid in the late 70s and early 80s had these games or knew someone who had them. Coleco didn't become a household name until the Colecovision... and that rise and fall was *quick*.

Really. Pong, Electronic Quarterback, Colecovision and Atari 2600 carts, (PacMan, Galaxian, Frogger, Donkey Kong Jr. and Donkey Kong table top LCD games), Cabbage Patch Kids, Adam - out of business.

There is your Coleco timeline. Everything really significant happens in a 3 year timeline between "Colecovision" and "out of business".

Unless you are disagreeing with me about what Coleco stands for...

Just curious, rmaerz... just how old were you... "back in the day"?

Edited by Paranoid, Tue Oct 20, 2009 12:17 PM.


#19 opcode ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 20, 2009 1:17 PM

Paranoid, you started the what-if thing:

I don't see how Coleco could have feasibly competed with the Super Mario World franchise (and the other, later Nintendo owned franchises like Zelda) - when their core gaming competency was delivering home adpations of arcade hits. They didn't have the stable of creative game designers necessary to do something like this, and they certainly didn't have the money to hire those kinds of programmers.


You supposed those things, I supposed back... :)
You create the scenario where Coleco was going against the NES, and you said Coleco could not compete. All your opinion, not facts since that didn't happen.
Fact is that Nintendo was very small back in 1982/1983, while Coleco and specially Atari were big companies, Atari with annual sales of more than a billion in their heydays. So how can you say they didn't have the money?
You are also implying that Nintendo won exclusively by their own merits, which isn't true, they had the help of a lot of 3rd parties, the same 3rd parties that helped Sony becoming #1 years later.

Once again I will say, from the articles I posted here I got the very strong impression that Coleco jumped the boat before the water was in, and while there is no way to say if the CV would have survived the crash had Coleco kept their focus on it, I can say that was a crucial mistake, and they killed the CV the day the ADAM was conceived. And I say that not as a fanboy trying to create a good excuse for why his favorite company failed, because that is completely irrelevant now, but as someone that is fascinated by the history of those things and wouldnít like to see false myths perpetuated as facts. Myths like the crash was inevitable or a glut of bad software created it. All BS. The crash is very interesting and complex period of the video game history and as such should be better comprehended and studied. As I see it, Coleco (not the crash) killed the CV (because of the ADAM).

#20 VectorGamer OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 20, 2009 1:41 PM

Coleco didn't become a household name until the Colecovision... and that rise and fall was *quick*.

Just curious, rmaerz... just how old were you... "back in the day"?


Coleco was already a household name with their handheld electronic games. So, when ColecoVision hit the market in '82 (when I was 12) I was already familiar with their products. All the ones you mentioned: Tomy, Tiger, Milton Bradley and (the biggest) Mattel all saw varying degrees of success in the handheld market of that era.

#21 DracIsBack ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 20, 2009 1:43 PM

The 7800 was the console that ended up in stacks at KB for $49 and still wouldn't sell (although admittedly, it seems to me the 7800 ended up here around 1986 or even 87. But it never did well).


Um - did you see the sales figures that Curt Vendel dug up from Atari's records? It sold a pile better than you think. I think your points are valid, but this whole thing about it "never selling" is not true.









#22 akator OFFLINE  

akator

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Posted Tue Oct 20, 2009 3:02 PM

Coleco's rise and fall was meteoric. They had an early, "successful" Pong machine (pong machines were a weird niche. My GRANDMOTHER had one) - then they had some handheld football (Electronic Quarterback) game that EVERYONE had - but neither of these gave Coleco itself any huge brand name recognition. Coleco competed with Mattel (a HUGE name in games and toys, period), Tiger, Tomy and probably a couple other bit players I can't remember in the handheld and electronic games market at the time, which was "fledgling" . Milton Bradley... I can rattle off games. Simon, Mastermind, The Dark Tower, Big Trak, StarBird (not games, but the first of a wave of electronic toys, the Big Trak was arguably programmable) - 2XL.... Every kid in the late 70s and early 80s had these games or knew someone who had them. Coleco didn't become a household name until the Colecovision... and that rise and fall was *quick*.


I completely disagree with your supposition. Because you didn't think much of the Coleco brand, you assume no one else did. Your whole train of logic is based upon your personal perception, but your statement fails if other people recognized and valued the Coleco brand and products.

I saw Coleco as a big name, not as big as Atari, but definitely up there. So did my friends. Coleco was a name brand for years before the ColecoVision and CPKs hit the market. Hell, several of my friends even had the plastic swimming pools with COLECO stamped across them in the back yard. It was a brand that we recognized.

Coleco's electronic games were a big deal, first the handhelds and then the tabletops. Back then most households still made the kids go outside in the afternoon. No consoles for us. The electronic games kept us busy in our tree forts and hideouts, that is when we weren't beating the shit out of each other or trying to kill ourselves doing stunts.

#23 else OFFLINE  

else

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Posted Tue Oct 20, 2009 3:32 PM

OpCode. We're not talking about alternate histories. the NES *did* win. Therefore, it *was* destined to win.


Destined means that it was predetermined, i.e. unstoppable. Unless there was some video game cartel operating behind the scenes picking winners and losers that I'm not aware of, I don't see any way it could have been destined (predetermined) that the NES would win?

Edited by else, Tue Oct 20, 2009 3:36 PM.


#24 Bruce Tomlin OFFLINE  

Bruce Tomlin

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Posted Tue Oct 20, 2009 4:03 PM

As I've said before, Nintendo won out because they were the only company "stupid" enough to believe anyone still wanted home video game consoles. Everybody else "knew" that it was a fad that had ended, and nobody with money would have wasted it on trying to sell the things when everyone knew they were dead. Nintendo even had to go to an effort of making it not looking like a video game console (the "toaster" design that hid the cartridge like some kind of dirty underwear).

#25 Rik OFFLINE  

Rik

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Posted Tue Oct 20, 2009 4:51 PM

Someone mentioned the Coleco hand helds,i just have to say,they were the coolest things.I have Bowling,Baseball,the huge one,shaped like a Baseball diamond,all the Head to Head titles,all of them.I'm talking about the original hand helds,not the crappy re-issued ones.




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