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Strengths of the Atari 2600 over Intellivision?


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#1 rhindlethereddragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 12, 2010 7:26 PM

OK, I don't think anybody can reasonably deny that the Intellivision has far better graphics overall than the Atari 2600. In fact, I can only think of 1 or 2 cases where the Atari version of the same game has better graphics. No comparison really. But for this thread, I want to focus on the strengths of the 2600 over the Intellivision.

1. Processor speed. From what I recall, the 2600 beats the INTV in terms of processing speed.

2. Controllers. I still think the 2600 has all other systems beat with the handheld joystick. That, and the fact that the controllers are detachable, and you can use the paddle controller, and other controllers as well.

3. Game library. No comparison, the 2600 wins. One could say, "Imagine if the Intellivision had all the same games as the Atari 2600, they would be SO much better.." - but, would the games PLAY as well and fast with the slower processing speed and controllers?

Add anything else you can think of.

#2 Koopa64 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 12, 2010 7:43 PM

Would it be accurate to say the 2600 sounds better than the Intellivision?

#3 Brian R. OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 12, 2010 8:06 PM

Perhaps the 2600 has a higher quality woodgrain finish? ;)

#4 cmart604 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 12, 2010 8:09 PM

Perhaps the 2600 has a higher quality woodgrain finish? Posted Image



Posted Image I beg to differ, the dark tones of the Tandy version of the INTV can't be beat! Posted Image

#5 theloon ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 12, 2010 8:13 PM

I dunno. It's like comparing your first teddy bear to your girlfriend. Sure, she has more slots for games, but, you always have a special place for yer bear.

I personally gave up on the Girlfriend 360 as most of my friends got stuck with the red engagement ring of death!

Edited by theloon, Tue Oct 12, 2010 8:13 PM.


#6 tokumaru OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 12, 2010 8:20 PM

1. Processor speed. From what I recall, the 2600 beats the INTV in terms of processing speed.

Doesn't the fact that on the 2600 about 74% of the processing time is spent just drawing the screen (a task that in most other systems is handled by a separate video chip) kinda cancel that out? Not knowing much about the Intellivision I do not know if it requires the same sort of active video processing the 2600 does.

#7 SoulBlazer OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 12, 2010 8:25 PM

It seems like the Atari 2600 can handle and display a lot more colors at once then the Intellivision.

#8 SpaceDice2010 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 12, 2010 8:48 PM

1. Processor speed. From what I recall, the 2600 beats the INTV in terms of processing speed.

Doesn't the fact that on the 2600 about 74% of the processing time is spent just drawing the screen (a task that in most other systems is handled by a separate video chip) kinda cancel that out? Not knowing much about the Intellivision I do not know if it requires the same sort of active video processing the 2600 does.


This is not really true. The ITV has a hard time at moving objects fast. Just compare Astroblast to Astrosmash. Astrobalst is a better game imho and much faster than anything the INTV can do.

#9 SpaceDice2010 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 12, 2010 8:51 PM

It seems like the Atari 2600 can handle and display a lot more colors at once then the Intellivision.


Without tricks the INTV can only move 8 one color sprites on the screen at one time.

This is the main reason that companies like Imagic and Activision designed games that took advantage of the INTVs strengths vs. fast action space games. Beauty And The Beast and Happy Trails come to mind.

#10 rhindlethereddragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 12, 2010 10:41 PM


It seems like the Atari 2600 can handle and display a lot more colors at once then the Intellivision.


Without tricks the INTV can only move 8 one color sprites on the screen at one time.

This is the main reason that companies like Imagic and Activision designed games that took advantage of the INTVs strengths vs. fast action space games. Beauty And The Beast and Happy Trails come to mind.


And if I'm not mistaken, the 2600 can do multi-colored sprites. Look at the aliens in Galaxian and Phoenix, for example. Look et the birds in Demon Attack - all multi-colored works of art wheras in Demon attack on the INtellivision, the birds are all just one color.

#11 JayWI OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 12, 2010 10:45 PM

I dunno. It's like comparing your first teddy bear to your girlfriend. Sure, she has more slots for games, but, you always have a special place for yer bear.


:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Well played sir. Well played.

#12 revolutionika OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 12, 2010 11:03 PM

this is all i have to say:

:P :P :P :P



Posted Image

Edited by revolutionika, Tue Oct 12, 2010 11:03 PM.


#13 NE146 ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 12, 2010 11:09 PM

The speed makes all the difference. There's just such a fluidity/quickness of movement in a lot of the 2600 "twitch" games in the way it's drawn on the screen that was hard to match.

#14 SpaceDice2010 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 12, 2010 11:33 PM

this is all i have to say:

:P :P :P :P



Posted Image


lol.

Try playing one of baseball games with one player.

Edited by SpaceDice2010, Tue Oct 12, 2010 11:33 PM.


#15 rhindlethereddragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 12, 2010 11:47 PM

The speed makes all the difference. There's just such a fluidity/quickness of movement in a lot of the 2600 "twitch" games in the way it's drawn on the screen that was hard to match.


Were there any types of graphics that could be drawn that the Intellivision couldn't do, speed aside? Would Intellivision have been able to do the spider fighter sprites in the same size & shape?

#16 rhindlethereddragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 12, 2010 11:48 PM

this is all i have to say:

:P :P :P :P



Posted Image


And then they made M-Networks games that looked exactly like the Intellvision counterparts.......ironic.

#17 zylon OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 13, 2010 12:07 AM

Also ironic in that most of the M-network games were more fun than their INTV counterparts.

#18 Random Terrain OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 13, 2010 12:36 AM

OK, I don't think anybody can reasonably deny that the Intellivision has far better graphics overall than the Atari 2600.

When I saw store displays back then, Intellivision graphics just looked weird. Atari 2600 graphics looked more 'real' in a way and seemed to belong on the screen. Intellivision graphics looked 'fake' and seemed to float over the screen like it knew it was trespassing and could be chased away at any moment.

Intellivision graphics slightly remind me of a lot of online Flash games we have today where the graphics don't seem real. Flash game graphics are usually kind of stretchy, weird, and unsubstantial. I get the same kind of icky feeling from many Flash games that I got from Intellivision. Just give me good old solid, sturdy Atari 2600 graphics. Although certain Imagic games for the Atari 2600 had magical, colorful, Defender-style arcade-like graphics, they still had a substantial feel to them. They felt like they belonged on the screen.

#19 JacobZu7zu7 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 13, 2010 3:22 AM

Also ironic in that most of the M-network games were more fun than their INTV counterparts.


in my opinion, not many of them were...

Night Stalker,
Tron Deadly Discs,
Lock 'N Chase,
Space Battle.
these 4 are much better on Intellivision.

Although I really like Dark Cavern, so that gives NS a run for the money, but graphics and sound... nope.

The main 1 or 2 MATTEL games that seems a bit better on 2600 is, Astroblast and maybe Frogs 'N Flies.

Edited by JacobZu7zu7, Wed Oct 13, 2010 3:25 AM.


#20 JacobZu7zu7 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 13, 2010 3:31 AM

OK, I don't think anybody can reasonably deny that the Intellivision has far better graphics overall than the Atari 2600.

When I saw store displays back then, Intellivision graphics just looked weird.


That's how Mattel's graphics generally look... kinda weird.

But I think Intellivision games have pretty fine graphics for a console
made back in 1979.

#21 AtariLeaf OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 13, 2010 5:46 AM

A game can look fantastic but if its hard to play, forget it. I played some beamrider on the intellivision yesterday and although it looks a little better, playing an action game like beamrider sucks with that controller. The Atari wins hands down there. Its no contest really and although I've gotten used to the intellivision controller, slightly, I will never be completely happy with that style of control.

Whether its Intellivision, colecovision, 5200, I never understood the appeal of those controllers and way you're forced to hold them. Its like some kind of bizarre torture device disguised as gaming.

#22 Zwackery OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 13, 2010 6:24 AM

1. Processor speed. From what I recall, the 2600 beats the INTV in terms of processing speed.

2. Controllers. I still think the 2600 has all other systems beat with the handheld joystick. That, and the fact that the controllers are detachable, and you can use the paddle controller, and other controllers as well.

3. Game library. No comparison, the 2600 wins. One could say, "Imagine if the Intellivision had all the same games as the Atari 2600, they would be SO much better.." - but, would the games PLAY as well and fast with the slower processing speed and controllers?

Add anything else you can think of.


4. When discussing this era of video games, and the nostalgia that the ladies have for Frogger, Ms. Pac-Man, Centipede, and so on comes up, the name brand recognition of Atari is higher than INTV and more likely to lead to sweet lovin' down by the fire.

#23 OldAtarian OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 13, 2010 8:29 AM

OK, I don't think anybody can reasonably deny that the Intellivision has far better graphics overall than the Atari 2600. In fact, I can only think of 1 or 2 cases where the Atari version of the same game has better graphics. No comparison really. But for this thread, I want to focus on the strengths of the 2600 over the Intellivision.

1. Processor speed. From what I recall, the 2600 beats the INTV in terms of processing speed.

2. Controllers. I still think the 2600 has all other systems beat with the handheld joystick. That, and the fact that the controllers are detachable, and you can use the paddle controller, and other controllers as well.

3. Game library. No comparison, the 2600 wins. One could say, "Imagine if the Intellivision had all the same games as the Atari 2600, they would be SO much better.." - but, would the games PLAY as well and fast with the slower processing speed and controllers?

Add anything else you can think of.


1. You can't compare the processors. It is apples to oranges. The CP1610 in the Intellivision is a 16 bit chip so it can handle larger values than the 6507 in fewer clock cycles and clock cycles is what determines speed in a game not mhz.

2. If the controllers were so bad, why did Coleco, and later Atari themselves, go to controllers with keypads? Even the 2600 had separate keypad controllers. They must have done something right there. The flat disc controlled by the thumb could also be considered a predecessor of the D-pad, which every system from the NES/SMS onward used in some form. Atari even used a D-pad for the PAL 7800 controller.

3. The quality of the games on the Intellivision is a lot better than the games for the 2600, even though there weren't as many. You also have to consider that a large number of 2600 games that were released around the time of the crash were utter crap. So while there may have been hundreds of games released globally for the 2600 over it's life, how many of them are games you would actually want to play? I can't think of many Intellivision games I could say that about.

Another factor in favor of Intellivision is that there was a 2600 module made for it so you could play all your Intellivision and 2600 games on one system. You couldn't do that with the Atari because it couldn't play Intellivision games, even though some did go cross platform. The cross platform games never looked or played as well on the 2600, though. The Intellivision also had keyboard and voice synth modules.

The only real advantage I can see that mattered is that the 2600 was always a heck of a lot cheaper than an Intellivision. The various companies that sold Intellivisions couldn't drop prices quickly enough to keep up with Atari, apart from that Intellivision was a much better system.

Edited by OldAtarian, Wed Oct 13, 2010 8:56 AM.


#24 save2600 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 13, 2010 9:07 AM

The VCS can do speech without the use of a bulky add-on speech synthesizer and it too had a keyboard option :)

Edited by save2600, Wed Oct 13, 2010 9:08 AM.


#25 JayWI OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 13, 2010 9:53 AM

Aside from the controllers the main thing I have seen is the Atari 2600 games. There are a lot more of the them and a greater percentage seem to be really fun to play. The Intellivison had a lot of sports games, which did you no good if you were alone. Even if you had someone to play with....1 hour to play a game of football? Really? That's without stopping the clock either. When I'm in the mood to just throw a game in a play for a bit I'll pick the 2600 over the Intellivision any time.




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