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ATARI 7800 Pack In Game: Asteroids or Pole Position II?

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Poll: ATARI 7800 Pack In Game: Asteroids or Pole Position II? (95 member(s) have cast votes)

ATARI 7800 Pack In Game: Asteroids or Pole Position II?

  1. Asteroids (52 votes [54.74%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 54.74%

  2. Pole Position II (43 votes [45.26%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 45.26%

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#26 save2600 OFFLINE  



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Posted Wed Aug 12, 2015 1:00 PM

I don't buy into the idea people didn't know about the 7800 here in the US. It was in the Sears catalogs. It was prominently carried in Toys R Us and Kay Bee. Atari Corp did advertise it on television albeit not as much as Nintendo with the NES.


Hate to say it, but I think I was one of those that was unaware of the 7800… until I sold them at Montgomery Wards in the very early 90's! 


Trying hard to recollect any memories or even a vague general awareness of the system in the 80's, but can't. During my high school years (85-89), wasn't reading Sears catalogs or doing much shopping if at all, at the toy stores. High school years were spent playing sports outside with my friends, playing computer games (TI, C64 & Amiga primarily), working and dating. The 2600 was relegated to the closet and the only other console I had back then was an NES when it *first* came out and the few games I had, were all bought at the same place - Highland Superstores, with no 7800's in sight. Traded my NES ROB system for a complete C64 system very soon after, so didn't get a chance to shop at TRU all throughout the 80's for NES games, which is where you'd think I would have seen 7800 stuff. Wasn't shopping at Kay*Bee any longer either since the 2600 was stuffed in the closet and I had "moved on" so to speak. So there you have it… the reason why even a "gamer" like myself BITD, could have accidentally skated around the 7800 for so long.   :lol:


When I first saw the 7800 at Montgomery Ward (90-91), thought it was kinda cool (not enough to purchase though - ha!), but thought it was kinda funny that it was yet another Atari machine that was *still* 2600 compatible. Shortly after, acquired another NES, shopped at TRU and the like, saw the XEGS… but NOT the 7800 in any store other than the Montgomery Ward I worked at. We had a very small selection of games too that we kept locked behind glass with the NES, Lynx, Genesis and TG-16 games. Rare was the day we actually sold any 7800's then, but they either eventually did all sell or were sent back to wherever. Galaga was definitely the reason people were buying systems too btw, pretty much a 1:1 ratio.   ;)


Believe the system was $70 and games were between $20-$30ea. back then. So for about $100, you could have an Atari system with enhanced graphics, was backwards compatible with the 2600 AND played one of the greatest arcade games ever released! TG-16 with Galaga '90 would have been about $250, but *that* system couldn't play 2600 games. I'm poking fun of course. None of us were *that* excited about selling the 7800 back then. :rolling:


Still trying to remember the system being sold *anywhere* else, but can't. By '90-'91, I brought the 2600 out of retirement and was purchasing some of the mid to late 80's stuff I had missed out on; like Ghostbusters, Solaris, Jr. Pac-Man and Midnight Magic. The places I was seeing these games heavily discounted were at music/video stores in the malls. Remember seeing small bulk stacks of the Atari red box titles, Activision and Absolute titles, but again - no 7800 games or systems! Would also frequent Child World and TRU during this time and for the life of me, do not recall seeing any 7800 stuff. Guess I was either totally blind to it for whatever reason (doubtful) or simply wasn't around in numbers for me to notice. 

#27 Shawn OFFLINE  


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Posted Fri Aug 14, 2015 10:38 PM


Hate to say it, but I think I was one of those that was unaware of the 7800… until I sold them at Montgomery Wards in the very early 90's! 



I didn't know about the 7800 until around 2002 TBH. I went from the 2600 to the NES blindly.

#28 Lauren Tyler OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 17, 2015 9:17 PM

Pole Position II!

#29 BydoEmpire OFFLINE  


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Posted Fri Aug 21, 2015 8:37 AM

Even though I voted Asteroids, the arguments for Pole Position 2 are interesting and I can see where people are coming from. +1 on Xevious - I think that would have been good.

#30 wongojack OFFLINE  


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Posted Sun Aug 23, 2015 1:03 PM


Of course, to do justice to Gauntlet on the 7800, they would've had to have figured out how to add 2 more joysticks to the system. I wonder if that would've required a cart-based POKEY and 2 DB9s added to the cartridge itself...


4 Player would've been for Gauntlet 2!

#31 swlovinist OFFLINE  


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Posted Wed Aug 26, 2015 8:00 AM

I prefer the asteroids game over Pole Position II.  Agree with the previous comments that Pole Position II was not the best pack in game to show the capabilities of what the system could do.  Part of the problem for the 7800 was while it showcased a strong arcade port lineup, the market was hungry for different types of games.    

#32 jetset OFFLINE  



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Posted Wed Aug 26, 2015 8:30 AM

Asteroids. A case could be made for either being the "better game", but for a pack in Asteroids wins by a mile. The pack in game should have an appeal to everyone and be pretty straight-forward. PPII is pretty complex, and it's only one player. Asteroids has regular two player and co-op. I'm speaking from a "whole family" kind of thing, which is what we got the 2600 & 5200 as at Xmas. I suppose if it were a single gift or purchase just for myself or one person I could see PPII being a good choice as well.




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Posted Thu Aug 27, 2015 3:27 PM

Between PPII and Asteroids, Asteroids would be my choice.

I remember seeing the 7800 in the Sears catalogs. Back then, I didn't buy a 7800 because I already had a 2600 and an 800XL. The 7800 library looked small and dated and didn't seem to be growing. The one title I was interested in that would have sold me a system as a pack in was Galaga.

I really regret not buying a new 7800 when they were available.

These days I am really enjoying my 7800 because I have come to appreciate it for what it is - an enhanced 2600 that can play the old library but also play new 2600 styled games faster, in more color and detail and without flicker.

#34 Emehr OFFLINE  


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Posted Thu Aug 27, 2015 5:59 PM

Asteroids. I loved the asteroid graphics and their animation. It's very satisfying shooting them and watching them turn to dust. The slower, more ominous music gives the game some atmosphere and the "phase in" sound effect when you regenerate is great. The co-op modes are a lot of fun as well. They're like the whipped topping on the Asteroids ice cream. Pie co-op mode.


As for marketing, yeah, Atari really needed to step up their game against Nintendo. I only knew about the 7800 because a friend had one. I then saw them in Sears catalogs and that was all I saw of the 7800 in print or media or anything for that matter. Meanwhile, Nintendo was asserting their presence everywhere. Once I played Super Mario Bros, Legend of Zelda, Metroid, and Mike Tyson's Punch-Out at my friend's house, there was no way I was asking for a 7800 for Xmas. That said, I love my 7800 and NES equally. I ended up buying that 7800 from my friend and still have it.

#35 Austin OFFLINE  



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Posted Mon Aug 31, 2015 9:28 PM

I picked Pole Position II because it just seems like it would have been more impressive at the time. Not as much of a, "Been there, done that" kind of feeling. I just wish there was a little more meat to the game overall.

#36 Bill Loguidice OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 1, 2015 7:59 AM

Asteroids is the superior game for a variety of reasons, but neither title had any business being a pack-in for a system released when it actually did (versus when originally intended; if it did see wide release in 1984, I think Pole Position II would have been the better choice).

#37 Schmudde OFFLINE  


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Posted Sat Sep 5, 2015 11:53 AM

After playing a wood grained 2600 we got from a garage sale, I was pretty hooked, and wanted the 7800 that was on display at the Children's Palace. I hadn't played a whole lot of NES by that time. This was probably around 1987.


I loved the 7800 and its pack in, Pole Position II. In the end, I probably played PPII more than Asteroids. I agree that Asteroids on the 7800 is excellent, and probably a better game, but I had more fun with PPII.


I was a little jealous of Super Mario Bros. but the game that really made me sway away from the 7800 was Zelda. After that, Asteroids or Pole Position II was mostly a moot point.


In total, the 7800 had a longer life (I still have it, unlike the NES) and ultimately got more playing time. I got pretty heavily into PCs in the late 80s to satisfy many of my other gaming needs.


Edited by Schmudde, Sat Sep 5, 2015 11:55 AM.

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