In the 1977 to 1979 era of text computers - I can't recall the computers having much in the way of graphics? Was it the Pet and the TRS-80s the popular computers at this time? Then the Apple II appeared - was this the first to have some half-way decent graphics? But with an expensive price tag for it. While the Atari 400/800 computers were announced in 1979? I'd guess they were on sale from 1980? And probably widely available from 1981? Then the question becomes - what games did they have - that would have sold the computer? Atari did have Star Raiders available - and anyone who saw this running - would gasp and say - Why it's Star Trek (or rather Star Wars) with 3D graphics and played in real time. What was running on the Apple II - that showed it could do arcade games? I think it's about 1983? That a decent number of outstanding titles did show up for the Atari 400/800 computers that did show what this computer was capable of. When the C-64 first went on sale - I don't think there were that much of titles that showed the power of this computer - A football game, Impossible Mission and maybe a Jeff Minter game were available in the first year? Exactly when did a lot of titles start appearing - 1985 was when Way of the Exploding Fist appeared - so maybe around 1984?
The TRS-80 Model I, PET, and Apple II (the "trinity") all came out the same year.
There were games, but some companies even wrote them in BASIC, and most were even all text.
The intro machines came with as little as 4K, so you aren't going to do a lot with them.
It's pretty easy to see why Star Trek was so popular in the early microcomputer years.
You also have to remember that arcade games were pretty simple in the early 8 bit years.
Arcade games were Pong, Breakout, Gunfight... and Space Invaders didn't even come out until 1978.
The Atari VCS didn't even come out until 1977, and what were the early titles for it? Basketball, Baseball, Football, Combat...
Space invaders clones started hitting computers in late 1978 or early 1979.
Asteroids and Tail Gunner hit the arcades in 1979 and started making their way onto computers shortly afterwords
I think it was about 1980 when the glut of arcade games started to hit.
Star Raiders was revolutionary at the time, but titles with out the cockpit views started to appear on other machines within a year.
Project Nebula appeared on the CoCo in 1981 and it's a blatant ripoff of Star Raiders.
I'm sure Star Raiders continued to sell Ataris, but the game play wasn't as exclusive anymore, and games like Donkey Kong, PacMan, Frogger, etc... started to be more important.
The Apple II had Space Invaders, Asteroids, Galaxians, and a lot of arcade like titles from companies like Sirius Software in the early 80s.
Edited by JamesD, Sat May 6, 2017 9:28 PM.