As much as I hate long, tedious research, I'm afraid you've forced my hand. A few selections from The Ultimate History of Video Games...
Jess, be as dramatic as you want, none of this is personal. I forced your hand to open Kent's book and look up a few quotes and statements you're trying to interpret incorrectly? Ultimate history is a good book, but full of anecdotal stories and inaccuracies. Steve's book is notorious for that, I've talked to him about it and he's acknowledged that, but that unfortunately he doesn't own the rights to it anymore and can't correct it. And I hardly call running to that book "long, tedious research", it seriously downplays all the long, expensive, and extensive research Curt and I have been doing. And so far, none of what you've shown below contradicts or disproves anything.
AMERICAN REACTIONS TO NINTENDO'S ATTEMPT TO REVIVE THE VIDEO GAME MARKET IN THE MID 1980s
"All the headlines said, 'Video games are dead,' and here was this little upstart company that no one had heard of called Nintendo that said they were going to bring video games back again. Everybody seemed to think that it was a joke. 'Oh yeah, they say they can bring video games back again."
- Herb Weisbam, consumer affairs correspondent, CBS News
Great, a random quote given on a chapter intro regarding hindsite compared to actual headlines from the time I've provided copies of in the other posts in this thread.
"Retailers took a tremendous financial beating because of the way the Atari business had fallen apart. I mean, with the demise of the old 2600 business, you wouldn't even try bringing up the words video game with some of these buyers. It was like they were going to pull you out to the parking lot and shoot you if you said the words video game."
- Jim Whims, former vice president, Worlds of Wonder
Which would be an inaccuracy by someone not involved at Atari Corporation. As shown, the 2600 business continued and 2600jr project continued.
"We kind of all looked at it and chuckled as we walked through the show because we all knew that video games were dead. This was the age of the floppy disk, the Commodore 64, the Apple IIc, the IBM PC, and the little one, what did they call it?... it was PC Junior. Everybody was talking about the Amiga and the Atari ST. That was where everybody thought the business was, really. Nobody thought that Nintendo had much of a chance, and they kind of all laughed at what [Nintendo was] doing."
- Greg Fischbach, founder, Acclaim Entertainment
"In January 1985 we introduced the Advance Video System [prototype name for the NES] with the music keyboard and the keyboard and computer exercise, and it wasn't popular at all. Everybody really thought we were crazy or dumb."
- Minoru Arakawa, Nintendo
"We spent a lot of time in the spring of 1986 trying to convince American software publishers, Electronic Arts, Broderbund, and Activison as an example, [to make games for the NES]. We were trying to say, 'Hey, we got this great licensing program, and we want you to be a part of it. This is the deal.' And none of them took it. We ended up with four companies, all of whom were actually subsidiaries of Japanese companies."
- Howard Lincoln, Nintendo
See above, none of this contradicts anything being said.
THE REAL STORY ON THE TEST LAUNCH OF THE NES
Or "Jess' selective interpretation"
"The NES was not a smash hit, but Nintendo did manage to sell 50,000 units, about half of the systems that had been shipped from Japan. It was enough to prove Yamauchi's point that video games were not dead. Amazingly, a large percentage of the retailers that carried the NES decided to continue carrying it after the holidays."
- Steven Kent, describing the initial test run of the NES in New York in the holiday season of 1985
Again, all that shows is the same thing I already stated - The New York test was not a success, they only managed to sell half of their consoles. If you read the rest of Kent's material in that chapter, he states Yamauchi's unwillingness to accept defeat, which was the reason for doing the '85 test market - he wanted to "let the market decide". Selling half the systems showed that they would still sell in that market climate, hence it was considered a success for them *in regards to that goal*. That is the point and context of "success" that Kent is talking about. 50,000 consoles in all of New York state was considered dismal by retailers however, as shown already in the news article from the time I posted.
"A large number of local department stores, electronics stores, and several toy stores began carrying the NES at that time. Though the system only sold moderately well, Arakawa interpreted retailers' willingness to stock his product as a sign of future success and expanded his tests to include Chicago and San Francisco."
- Steven Kent, describing the early 1986 test run of the NES in Los Angeles
That's referring to the Los Angeles test, which as previously stated was more successful.
"Americans purchased three million NES consoles in 1986."
- Steven Kent
Anecdotal statement by Kent which has no source, and which certainly doesn't support any of your claims regarding Sega and Atari jumping on after the NES was a success. One would expect the NES to sell more and be a success *after* a national launch. As Curt has even shown now, it has nothing to do with the release of the 7800.
I haven't found details on the Atari 7800s in a hidden warehouse, but I will continue to search for it and will post the direct quotes here once I've found it.
What would Atari Corp. having the '84 stock of 7800's stored in a warehouse during it's on again and off again negotiations with GCC be evidence of, other than what Curt and I have already stated?
However, I'm already starting to demonstrate that your messianic view of Atari clashes with the cold, hard facts.
Hardly. If anything, you've simply regurgitated material that enhances and supports it, compared to the actual cold hard facts already provided by us. Once again, none of what Curt and I have presented is going by gossip, anecdotal evidence, or "messianic" fanboyism. Besides taking the time to post actual articles and such from the time (that I actually paid for) which are "cold hard facts", we're going by legitimate resources - business documentation, internal emails, direct interviews we've conducted, actual press and other media, etc., etc.
Once again, I'll spell it out - nobody is stating the NES didn't become a wild success totally reinventing the market. It just didn't happen as soon as some have tried to portray it as. As has already been demonstrated by the articles from the time posted, in 1986 the three were all being treated as equal and all three as signs the market was reviving - it wasn't until 1987 through '88 that Nintendo was being touted as out in front and such.