Jump to content

Photo

Was there a personal computer market crash (or correction) in the mid 80s


118 replies to this topic

#101 AtariLeaf OFFLINE  

AtariLeaf

    Epic Godlike Canadian

  • 11,303 posts
  • Location:Ontario Canada

Posted Tue Jan 14, 2014 5:19 PM

The Nintendo Entertainment System is nothing to joke about! ;-)

 

It does get some riled up, you're right ;)



#102 Rhomaios OFFLINE  

Rhomaios

    Stargunner

  • 1,735 posts

Posted Tue Jan 14, 2014 5:37 PM

 

That's exactly who my 'tongue-in-cheek' comment was directed to. I certainly hope you could tell I wasn't serious. 

 

My comment wasn't directed at you specifically (the joking is obvious!), but rather I've been hearing people make serious comments like yours. I was just wondering if there was actually anyone saying such a thing, because, let's face it, there will always be idiots whose opinions need to be ignored.



#103 am1933 OFFLINE  

am1933

    Stargunner

  • 1,039 posts
  • Location:U.K

Posted Tue Jan 14, 2014 6:02 PM

Wether there was a crash or not, it was by and large not noticed in the UK. There had been a fairly linear progression away from consoles towards home computers since the early eighties and it continued pretty much seamlessly through to the early/mid nineties. The only problem we had here was that we probably had too many hardware developers as can be seen if you look at some of the ads in old UK computer magazines, the choice was ridiculous and something had to give. If you wanted to purchase a home system you could negotiate a proverbial minefield of machines,"yes sir!-would you like a Spectrum,BBC,Amstrad,Memotech,Jupiter ace,Sord M5,Dragon32,Atari,Tandy,Commodore,Newbrain,Electron,Lynx,Oric,Colour Genie,Spectravideo,MSX,Adam or Sharp?".

 

The N.E.S was never that highly regarded here as you could probably see from the fact that most of the ST's and Amigas were actually being sold on this side of the pond at the expense of the 8bit Sega/Nintendo consoles It did however change when the 16 bit platforms arrived and started chipping away at the ST/Amiga market.



#104 Seob OFFLINE  

Seob

    River Patroller

  • 2,510 posts
  • Location:Netherlands

Posted Wed Jan 15, 2014 10:13 AM

I think it wasn't until the ps1 that more people started to shift back to the console market here in the Netherlands.
Mainly because upgrading you're pc every few months was getting to expensive.

#105 high voltage OFFLINE  

high voltage

    Quadrunner

  • 6,855 posts
  • Location:europe

Posted Wed Jan 15, 2014 11:18 AM

Just read the (UK) Gallup computer and software statistics from 1987:

 

Software:

27% software is made for Spectrum

23% for C64

18% for Amstrad CPC

5% Atari ST

5% for C16

 

Hardware market share:

42% Spectrum

24% C64

18% Amstrad CPC

4% Atari ST

3% C16

 

no Amiga 500, no NES, no SMS


Edited by high voltage, Wed Jan 15, 2014 11:33 AM.


#106 Rhomaios OFFLINE  

Rhomaios

    Stargunner

  • 1,735 posts

Posted Wed Jan 15, 2014 12:15 PM

Just read the (UK) Gallup computer and software statistics from 1987:

 

Software:

27% software is made for Spectrum

23% for C64

18% for Amstrad CPC

5% Atari ST

5% for C16

 

Hardware market share:

42% Spectrum

24% C64

18% Amstrad CPC

4% Atari ST

3% C16

 

no Amiga 500, no NES, no SMS

 

Depending on when this was, the NES might not even have been launched yet, or just barely out the door. In America it didn't start getting huge until 1988. I can't imagine that it would have been big in UK at 1987 at all. Likewise, the Master System only was released at the end of 1987 in the EU.

 

Those numbers are pointless if you're trying to make a point.



#107 almightytodd OFFLINE  

almightytodd

    Dragonstomper

  • 844 posts
  • Infrequent Poster
  • Location:Orlando, Florida

Posted Sat Jan 18, 2014 12:19 PM

I've been following this thread for the past week. It's interesting how our perspectives are different depending on what part of the world we live in, and what the circumstances of our lives were during the 1980s through the mid 1990s. I'd like to say, "thanks" to everyone who has contributed to this discussion. There is a lot of valuable historical information in this thread.



#108 JamesD OFFLINE  

JamesD

    Quadrunner

  • 8,478 posts
  • Location:Flyover State

Posted Wed Mar 25, 2015 11:19 PM

Arise dead topic and live again!  Yeah... I should let the topic rest in piece but I ran across this tidbit yesterday.
The VZ300 was supposedly introduced to China according to the VTech wepsite so who knows how many of those little beasts they actually sold.
I have my doubts there was a crash in China so companies that produced for that market probably did alright and it might explain why VTech kept introducing so many new computers.
Machines like the Laser 500 that isn't MSX compatible but is similar kinda make sense.  MSX like capability without the license fee.
It would be interesting to find out what machines were popular there.  I would guess Apple clones or Spectrum clones might make it there.
Just a thought. 



#109 doctorclu OFFLINE  

doctorclu

    ***Moon Patrol 5200*** *Moon Master2015* *Blue Max:Class 4*

  • 7,790 posts
  • *Star Raiders 2* **Captain -CL 2**
  • Location:*Star Raiders * *Star Commander -CL 1*

Posted Wed Mar 25, 2015 11:36 PM

One thing I will add to this:   My Dad tells me about a time when the early early computer (Processor Technology, North Star, etc) were trucking along in the early kit computer market.  during this 1976-1979 era Texas Instruments (TI) was well known as a great calculator company.   As the story goes, when TI announced they were getting into the computer market, a lot of the early computer companies closed up shop, seeing the writing on the wall.

 

That might be a type of crash, or at least a thinning of the herd.



#110 JamesD OFFLINE  

JamesD

    Quadrunner

  • 8,478 posts
  • Location:Flyover State

Posted Thu Mar 26, 2015 12:21 AM

Now that I think about it, weren't there export restrictions to Russia and China during this period?
With VTec located in Taiwan, it might have left them in a rather unique position to supply machines to China.
They obviously weren't on an export restriction list or they couldn't buy parts, but they probably didn't restrict exports to China.
Or were export restrictions only on faster machines by then?


Edited by JamesD, Thu Mar 26, 2015 12:21 AM.


#111 carlsson OFFLINE  

carlsson

    Metagalactic Mule

  • 8,964 posts
  • Location:Västerås, Sweden

Posted Thu Mar 26, 2015 2:36 AM

Taiwan? Don't you mean Hong Kong? I always thought VTech was a HK company. For that matter, I have understood that Acorn also had a bit of market in HK, much due to it still being a British colony.

 

No idea about mainland China, whether it at all was an important market for consumer electronics in the 1980's or in that case what came to use. Lack of licensing usually isn't a matter over there, so in that respect they could've run their clone MSX'es, Apples or of course Famiclones with the possibility of an added keyboard for extra functionality. However I doubt the ZX Spectrum clones that took off in the Soviet Union spread as far east as China.



#112 JamesD OFFLINE  

JamesD

    Quadrunner

  • 8,478 posts
  • Location:Flyover State

Posted Thu Mar 26, 2015 11:54 AM

Taiwan? Don't you mean Hong Kong? I always thought VTech was a HK company. For that matter, I have understood that Acorn also had a bit of market in HK, much due to it still being a British colony.

 

No idea about mainland China, whether it at all was an important market for consumer electronics in the 1980's or in that case what came to use. Lack of licensing usually isn't a matter over there, so in that respect they could've run their clone MSX'es, Apples or of course Famiclones with the possibility of an added keyboard for extra functionality. However I doubt the ZX Spectrum clones that took off in the Soviet Union spread as far east as China.

Yup... I was thinking Hong Kong and wrote Taiwan.



#113 kiwilove OFFLINE  

kiwilove

    Dragonstomper

  • 958 posts
  • Location:Dunedin, New Zealand

Posted Fri Apr 3, 2015 8:25 PM

Of course there are many differing factors involved - as to what people purchased what?  in the 80s' etc period as to home computer or videogames console...

 

According to what criteria you set down as being important to you - and whether you've done any research into what is available - what budget you are sticking to, etc.

 

Kids may say to their parents - Oh, Dad, Mum I need a computer for my school work - maybe citing programming as being the new field of study opening up?  But really all they wanted to do, was to play games on it?  Try saying that you wanted a videogames console - just to play games solely on it.

 

But if you looked into the quality of the games present - you could see that the videogames console games were of much higher quality - than the home computer version(s).  And naturally this is because they were commercially produced by professional/etc programmers/etc and not by some school kid who just picked up how to program.  Of course the price difference was considerable with ROM carts costing a whole lot more than a floppy disk or cassette tape game.

 

The UK market particularly demanded lower priced games and you can say why Spectrum computer sales took off in this market because of this single factor.  And it was available.

 

The consumer has little knowledge about distribution and how retailers actually work - nor know what kind of profit they make for what computer/etc...  Naturally they can sell only what they stock - so they'll push/rave about whatever they are currently selling.

 

Looking at the actual games closely - it has to be said that Nintendo was particularly leading the videogames market in terms of design - you have only to look at their Super Mario Brothers game - that started very simple at first, and got to be more and more involved/detailed.  The best example is their SNES version - called Super Mario World - which contained 96 levels of which some are hidden.  But to be fair - look at the 8-bit game of Super Mario Brothers 3 - is there anything equivalent to that on the home computers?  The Atari 400/800/etc as well as C-64 had their Miner 2049'er which was different and interesting - with the follow up game Bounty Bob having more levels...  I don't know the Spectrum much at all - but I'll guess Manic Miner? in which the graphics does look like it was drawn by a school boy, and probably programmed by one too.  Doesn't compare well at all.

 

Other Nintendo games - noteworthy too - being Legend of Zelda (never played the NES game), Castlevania, Metroid, Megaman, Kirby - show likewise attention to detail.  Were there other such showcase games on the home computers?

 

The plus side for the home computers - is that because school boys and the like (older folk) could program/write their own game on these systems - they could show off what could they do?  And some really innovative games did appear (which never appeared on the NES and other consoles) - a slew of such titles for the Atari 400/800 are:  Drelbs, Necromancer, Sea Dragon, Bristles, Blue Max, Encounter, Boulderdash - and other computers will have their special titles which stood out...

(Note- that previous list were not by school boys as such, but independent programmers who took to games programming -  I'd guess).

 

Anyway it's always up to buyer to be sure of what they are buying and why...

 

Harvey



#114 Keatah OFFLINE  

Keatah

    Missile Commander

  • 22,174 posts

Posted Fri Apr 3, 2015 8:57 PM

Overall, wherever you were, I think the market was moving too quickly for there to be a big crash like there was for videogames. There may have been many small micro-crashes every time a different platform gained dominance, but nothing like the games. Nothing industry wide.



#115 high voltage OFFLINE  

high voltage

    Quadrunner

  • 6,855 posts
  • Location:europe

Posted Sat Apr 4, 2015 2:08 AM

Me, arriving from Germany in UK with my English wife, I was very happy finally getting cheap A8 games. Cheap? Yes, compared with German price factors, the games in UK were at least half of that.

In Germany, The Halley Project (Mindscape) for A8/C64 flippy cost DM150,00 (which I purchased), in UK the same game was GBP29,99. And English made software for my C64 was even cheaper still.

Of course, I knew about the cheap software in UK, I had already read C&VG and Atari User way back in Germany. I always thought these guys are so lucky.

The even cheaper Spectrum software was for me always the third rate software, for the really poor people. Looking at it, and later my neighbour had a Spectrum, it didn't look of quality. I stayed well clear of Spectrum (Didn't even had a FDD).



#116 high voltage OFFLINE  

high voltage

    Quadrunner

  • 6,855 posts
  • Location:europe

Posted Sat Apr 4, 2015 2:15 AM

 

Depending on when this was, the NES might not even have been launched yet, or just barely out the door. In America it didn't start getting huge until 1988. I can't imagine that it would have been big in UK at 1987 at all. Likewise, the Master System only was released at the end of 1987 in the EU.

 

Those numbers are pointless if you're trying to make a point.

 

You're right about the NES and SMS of course ( I obviously meant, not released yet, I never even seen the Amiga 500 in 1987).

About those numbers, they're Gallups, not mine, but as it was found out in the later years, Gallup fiddled numbers (be it records, or software or whatever) anyway.


Edited by high voltage, Sat Apr 4, 2015 2:16 AM.


#117 Seob OFFLINE  

Seob

    River Patroller

  • 2,510 posts
  • Location:Netherlands

Posted Sat Apr 4, 2015 10:08 AM

Of course there are many differing factors involved - as to what people purchased what?  in the 80s' etc period as to home computer or videogames console...
But if you looked into the quality of the games present - you could see that the videogames console games were of much higher quality - than the home computer version(s).  And naturally this is because they were commercially produced by professional/etc programmers/etc and not by some school kid who just picked up how to program.  Of course the price difference was considerable with ROM carts costing a whole lot more than a floppy disk or cassette tape game.

Looking at the actual games closely - it has to be said that Nintendo was particularly leading the videogames market in terms of design - you have only to look at their Super Mario Brothers game - that started very simple at first, and got to be more and more involved/detailed.  The best example is their SNES version - called Super Mario World - which contained 96 levels of which some are hidden.  But to be fair - look at the 8-bit game of Super Mario Brothers 3 - is there anything equivalent to that on the home computers?  The Atari 400/800/etc as well as C-64 had their Miner 2049'er which was different and interesting - with the follow up game Bounty Bob having more levels...  I don't know the Spectrum much at all - but I'll guess Manic Miner? in which the graphics does look like it was drawn by a school boy, and probably programmed by one too.  Doesn't compare well at all.
 
Other Nintendo games - noteworthy too - being Legend of Zelda (never played the NES game), Castlevania, Metroid, Megaman, Kirby - show likewise attention to detail.  Were there other such showcase games on the home computers?
 
The plus side for the home computers - is that because school boys and the like (older folk) could program/write their own game on these systems - they could show off what could they do?  And some really innovative games did appear (which never appeared on the NES and other consoles) - a slew of such titles for the Atari 400/800 are:  Drelbs, Necromancer, Sea Dragon, Bristles, Blue Max, Encounter, Boulderdash - and other computers will have their special titles which stood out...
(Note- that previous list were not by school boys as such, but independent programmers who took to games programming -  I'd guess).
 
Anyway it's always up to buyer to be sure of what they are buying and why...
 
Harvey

Maybe you should look better? The home computers did have pretty advanced games, programmed by big companies. Take a look at the MSX. Great games from konami like Metal Gear, Vampire Killer( castlevania).

Edited by Seob, Sat Apr 4, 2015 10:12 AM.


#118 high voltage OFFLINE  

high voltage

    Quadrunner

  • 6,855 posts
  • Location:europe

Posted Sat Apr 4, 2015 10:49 AM

Or companies like EA, Synapse, Broderbund, Mindscape, SSI, Origin, Sir Tech, Microprose, Cosmi, Access, Sirius Software, those guys written the classics.

And by the time the NES arrived, people in Europe were already 16-bit gaming, eg Atari ST and a bit later the Amiga 500. Those computers had quality games which the NES couldn't match.


Edited by high voltage, Sat Apr 4, 2015 10:52 AM.


#119 carlsson OFFLINE  

carlsson

    Metagalactic Mule

  • 8,964 posts
  • Location:Västerås, Sweden

Posted Sat Apr 4, 2015 5:10 PM

I think it is a little unfair to compare Super Mario Bros 3 from 1988 with Miner 2049'er and Manic Miner, both from 1983. Not sure about the Atari 8-bit library, but on the C64 I'd rather compare SMB3 with games like Rick Dangerous (1989), Flimbo's Quest (1990), The Newzealand Story (1989).






0 user(s) are browsing this forum

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users