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Why is the importance of ColecoVision almost never brought up historically?


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#26 high voltage OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 23, 2017 9:03 AM

It's your own fault, you guys are not even interested of making the WRONG entrees of 'second gen' right, even with proof provided. See prove from magazines below, Colecovision is THIRD GEN:

 

 

normal_3_gen2.jpgnormal_3_gen.jpgnormal_3_gen5.jpg

normal_3_gen6.jpgnormal_3_gen3.jpg


Edited by high voltage, Mon Oct 23, 2017 9:04 AM.


#27 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 23, 2017 9:37 AM

As time goes, as consoles become more numerous, as history of gaming becomes longer - there will be an inevitable compression and consolidation of generations.

 

Because if there isn't, we'll have 20th generation consoles soon enough. That's too deep for the marketing simpletons and public masses. And TBH, it's unwieldy, clumsy. Push the concept of generations far enough and you'd need a number for each and every console!

 

Perhaps in another 10 years, anything pre-CD will be considered 1st generation. And then anything pre-online will be 1st gen. Heh calling BBSes to get Doom wads doesn't count!

 

I don't think it was the most important game system.

 

-but-

 

It definately doesn't get the recognition it deserves.   For instance when CV and 5200 came out, they were heralded as "3rd wave" games systems.   Nowadays they get lumped in with the 2nd Generation systems like Channel F.  SERIOUSLY?  CV is clearly a generational leap over the Channel F and VCS.   It's closer to an NES than it is to the late 70s systems it gets lumped in as.

 

When it comes to retrogaming and the media, there's a tendancy to gloss over anything pre-NES, unless it's to talk about how ET allegedly destroyed the entire industry, or how bad the 5200 controllers were  


Edited by Keatah, Mon Oct 23, 2017 9:46 AM.


#28 Cynicaster OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 23, 2017 10:25 AM

I think if the Colecovision didn't exist in the slot that it did, things would have progressed in a similar fashion anyway.  The show must go on.  Somebody would have looked at the limited number of processors and chips available at the time and built a console that nudged the bar a little bit higher.  If it wasn't the CV, then it would have been something else; I don't see how there is anything singular about the CV specifically. 

 

I think commercial performance drives historical significance more than technical nitty-gritty does.  That is why systems like Atari 2600 and NES and Game Boy (for example) enjoy "historic industry landmark" status, while the likes of Colecovision and Lynx are relegated to footnote status.



#29 zzip OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 23, 2017 10:37 AM

As time goes, as consoles become more numerous, as history of gaming becomes longer - there will be an inevitable compression and consolidation of generations.
 
Because if there isn't, we'll have 20th generation consoles soon enough. That's too deep for the marketing simpletons and public masses. And TBH, it's unwieldy, clumsy. Push the concept of generations far enough and you'd need a number for each and every console!


Yeah but so far, this is the only gen that gets this treatment. I would argue that then didn't even need to create a new gen for them, just put CV and 5200 in the same Gen as the NES. NES was introduced in 1983, CV+5200 82. NES is 6502-based, like the 5200. It makes sense they all belong in the same 3rd generation.
 

Perhaps in another 10 years, anything pre-CD will be considered 1st generation. And then anything pre-online will be 1st gen. Heh calling BBSes to get Doom wads doesn't count!


More likely it will be pre-Ataribox generation and post-Ataribox generation...   :P



#30 HoshiChiri OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 23, 2017 10:44 AM

I find your mention of the Channel F in the opening line interesting- becuase it too is little more than a footnote in history now.

 

We can argue about system power an industry influence all we want, but what makes a system stand out in our collective memory is cultural influence. That's why the pre-NES era is basically 'Atari 2600 and friends' to most people- that's the only system that really took hold back in the day. It was the one the non-techies knew about. So when people turn back to remember those early machines, more people are remembering the 2600. That's the one with the most parents & grandparents sharing stories with their kids. So, that's the one the kids know to look for. They'll always be people who either grew up with or were raised by someone who knew a more obscure system. They'll always be people like us, intentionally seeking out the forgotten machines and seeing what the people who enjoyed them had going for them. But without a cultural shakeup to make a larger body of people aware of the systems, they'll always be just a thing some people used to like.

 

That last bit is actually something we can watch happen right now. If you grew up/lived through the 90s, you know Genesis & SNES were somewhat even in people's mindspace, but Genesis got the edge for being the "cool" system, with its blast processing & whatnots. But today? Sega is a shell of its former self, while Nintendo is still doing pretty well & set itself up to ram nostalgia down our throats. Between the classic minis and the virtual console, we have a great deal of opportunity to share our Nintendo nostalgia, but less so with Sega. End result? You can see the narrative shifting- the Genesis is disappearing from the collective consciousness. Kids growing up now see Nintendo as the great force of Ye Olden Times, trampling its competitors with its superior games. Sega doesn't have enough reach left to really assert its proper place in history. Even the N64 is getting more credit than really deserves against the juggernaut of the PlayStation, since Sony seems uninterested in milking its nostalgia factor. And they really should- you'd think the success of the Crash refresh might show them the market is ripe for it.

 

As far as the media lumping these clearly more powerful '2.5 gen' systems in with the other 70s machines... as gaming history grows, more condensing of history is going to happen. No one's gonna want to spend too much on the 'old junk', after all. Super Mario Bros. and Starfox are worlds apart, but we're already seeing 8 & 16 bit start smushing together. After awhile only the huge, HUGE console will really "matter". Pretty soon it'll be "Atari introduced gaming, then imploded on itself, Nintendo saved gaming, Sony took over for awhile, Xbox did a thing briefly, then Nintendo came back." (that's 2600, NES, PS1 & 2, 360, Wii/Switch for those keeping track.) And it'll be up to us to grab kids speeding around the Videogame Museum and go "Hey, wanna learn about Sega?" or anything else we want to give more time to.

 

I like to show off Coleco these days as the 'missing link', if you will- proof that no, Nintendo did not 'save' gaming, gaming was evolving on its own anyway. They were just the next company to really get the formula right.



#31 Pixelboy ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 23, 2017 10:50 AM

The historical significance of the ColecoVision? Really? :ponder:

Look, I don't think I need to prove to anyone here just how much I'm a fan of the ColecoVision, but come on, let's put things into perspective: The ColecoVision's only "historical significance" lies in how it stood its ground against the juggernaut that was Atari at the time.

The ColecoVision was the next logical step for a company that had already dabbled relatively successfully into video games (with the Coleco TelStar line, and some lesser-known Pong clones), it was made from off-the-shelves electronic parts, following a design that was good in some ways (good graphic chip for the time, well-designed front expansion port) and bad in others (cramp-inducing controllers, steering wheel controller that required batteries).

The one thing that gave the ColecoVision an edge was the excellent lot of arcade conversions at the beginning of the machine's lifespan, beginning with Donkey Kong as the pack-in game, which could be compared favorably to its arcade counterpart at the time. That was enough to show the power of the machine and win over a lot of kids who could plainly see that it was technologically superior to the Atari 2600 (although there are a few technical things that the 2600 did better, when put in the hands of expert programmers).

And that's about it. Some (like me) have vivid memories of the ColecoVision from their childhood, while others can't even remember ever holding a ColecoVision controller in their hands. I definitely wouldn't classify the ColecoVision as a "footnote in history", it was just part of a larger whole, a race to build bigger and better gaming computers while computing was still in its infancy and pushing its envelope as far as the "current commercial tech" could carry it.

#32 mbd30 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 23, 2017 10:51 AM

Yeah but so far, this is the only gen that gets this treatment. I would argue that then didn't even need to create a new gen for them, just put CV and 5200 in the same Gen as the NES. NES was introduced in 1983, CV+5200 82. NES is 6502-based, like the 5200. It makes sense they all belong in the same 3rd generation.
 


More likely it will be pre-Ataribox generation and post-Ataribox generation...   :P

 

The NES didn't even compete against the CV and 5200. Those systems were basically dead by the time the NES took off. Earlier Famicom games were closer to Colecovision... simple arcade type games... but by the time of SMB, Zelda, Metroid, Punch-Out, Contra, etc. the games crushed what previous consoles could do.

 

It's a little messy, but the Atari 7800, SMS and NES were the next console generation after the 5200 and Colecovision.



#33 spacecadet OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 23, 2017 11:28 AM

None of this "generation" nonsense is at all official anyway...



#34 Bill Loguidice OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 23, 2017 1:09 PM

None of this "generation" nonsense is at all official anyway...

 

Exactly. There is no definitive - or even mostly agreed upon - "generation" designation. The main problem with doing so is that there is a lot of overlap and systems that were early/late to a particular generation, as well as distinct territorial differences that really only resolved themselves in the past few decades.

 

As someone who has explored the subject in various ways, all that I personally really care about is whether or not a particular examination is internally consistent and has good reasons for categorizing things the way it does. In any case, most of the time, putting a system in a particular generational box has no real value anyway, even if there was something of a consensus on how to do it. And frankly, I can't think of too many other things/media/what-have-you that are commonly referred to by generation, so I don't really see why some are so determined to do so with videogame consoles.

 

In terms of using Electronic Games magazine as a reference, it's important to keep in mind that they were making stuff up as they went along, just like the rest of the industry, which didn't really start to stabilize until the latter part of the 1980s. And it's not out of place to say they got a lot right and influenced a lot of people (including me), but it's important to acknowledge they did some questionable things as well.



#35 zzip OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 23, 2017 1:15 PM

The NES didn't even compete against the CV and 5200. Those systems were basically dead by the time the NES took off. Earlier Famicom games were closer to Colecovision... simple arcade type games... but by the time of SMB, Zelda, Metroid, Punch-Out, Contra, etc. the games crushed what previous consoles could do.


It was supposed to. Atari was talking to Nintendo about marketing the NES, so it would have presumably been a contemporary with the CV. But the crash created a chasm that cause us now to think of the two as different generations
 

It's a little messy, but the Atari 7800, SMS and NES were the next console generation after the 5200 and Colecovision.


The 7800 complicates things, but in reality, it did not leapfrog the 5200, it had a much better sprite chip, but much worse sound than the 5200. And they are only designed two years apart. So I'd say they both should belong to the same generation technically speaking. They are closer to each other than the 5200 is to the 2600 anyway. Lumping the 2600 and 5200 in the same gen is just absurd!

And the forgotten "game console" of the 3rd gen that spanned the entire generation, including the chasm between the CV and the NES was the C64! :P

#36 H.E.R.O. OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 23, 2017 1:20 PM

It was supposed to. Atari was talking to Nintendo about marketing the NES, so it would have presumably been a contemporary with the CV. But the crash created a chasm that cause us now to think of the two as different generations
 

The 7800 complicates things, but in reality, it did not leapfrog the 5200, it had a much better sprite chip, but much worse sound than the 5200. And they are only designed two years apart. So I'd say they both should belong to the same generation technically speaking. They are closer to each other than the 5200 is to the 2600 anyway. Lumping the 2600 and 5200 in the same gen is just absurd!

And the forgotten "game console" of the 3rd gen that spanned the entire generation, including the chasm between the CV and the NES was the C64! :P

 

Very true about the C64. In fact, I stayed on the Commodore path with the Amiga 500 then eventually getting a DOS PC (33 mhz TURBOOOOO!) & finally going the console route again not only bringing my Atari consoles & Colecovision from the deep, dark dangerous depths of my childhood home's basement but picking up a Sega Genesis (with my beloved Speedball II Brutal Deluxe). 



#37 zzip OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 23, 2017 1:21 PM

And frankly, I can't think of too many other things/media/what-have-you that are commonly referred to by generation, so I don't really see why some are so determined to do so with videogame consoles.


I can think of lots of things that are. Maybe they don't use the term 'generation', but music has its 'eras', cars have their 'engines' and 'platforms'. Computers have their CPU generations. Mobile devices have generations, etc.

#38 Bill Loguidice OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 23, 2017 1:27 PM

I can think of lots of things that are. Maybe they don't use the term 'generation', but music has its 'eras', cars have their 'engines' and 'platforms'. Computers have their CPU generations. Mobile devices have generations, etc.

 

I disagree. At best those are broad categorizations over large periods of time, while the others are definitely not thought of in the same sense as a generation, nor are they discussed in that manner. 



#39 zzip OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 23, 2017 1:30 PM

I disagree. At best those are broad categorizations over large periods of time, while the others are definitely not thought of in the same sense as a generation, nor are they discussed in that manner.


I disagree too, people categorize everything imaginable. People like to talk tech and the merits of this vs that, and categorizing helps facilitate that discussion. I see this happen literally everywhere.

#40 mbd30 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 23, 2017 1:50 PM

It was supposed to. Atari was talking to Nintendo about marketing the NES, so it would have presumably been a contemporary with the CV. But the crash created a chasm that cause us now to think of the two as different generations
 

The 7800 complicates things, but in reality, it did not leapfrog the 5200, it had a much better sprite chip, but much worse sound than the 5200. And they are only designed two years apart. So I'd say they both should belong to the same generation technically speaking. They are closer to each other than the 5200 is to the 2600 anyway. Lumping the 2600 and 5200 in the same gen is just absurd!

And the forgotten "game console" of the 3rd gen that spanned the entire generation, including the chasm between the CV and the NES was the C64! :P

 

It's amusing that the Atari 2600 actually survived into the NES and SMS gen, competing with those consoles, after the Atari 5200 was dead.

 

https://en.wikipedia...0#Atari_2600_Jr.



#41 Bill Loguidice OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 23, 2017 2:01 PM

I disagree too, people categorize everything imaginable. People like to talk tech and the merits of this vs that, and categorizing helps facilitate that discussion. I see this happen literally everywhere.

 

Of course everything is categorized, but not like we're talking about here. Give me an example or two of what you think is equivalent to placing videogame consoles into distinct generations that happens to be widely accepted. 



#42 save2600 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 23, 2017 2:05 PM

Oh boy, the generation or era thing again. Speaking of which, graphics chip designed at the peak of Disco... I can forgive the TI when it does single color sprites, but when I see the same thing on a console like the CV, just feels "cheap" to me somehow.

I like what Bill said about being careful in overstating its -edit- signifigance. And what Keatah said about MAME as an alternative today. Back then, it may have been more desirable to achieve closer to arcade "perfection", but you still had the very un-arcade coiled controllers to contend with. Atari had playability AND superior controllers... in the CX40 and paddles anyway. And more than good enough graphics and sounds for most. If this isn't obvious enough, neither Coleco or Mattel would have had VCS adapters to play Atari videogames on their "superior" systems.

Yes, CV is a cool system with *some* very good games, but I think most people recognize it for what it was relevant to the times and have it pigeon-holed right where it belongs today - as a transitional system of sorts.

#43 spacecadet OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 23, 2017 2:12 PM

 

Of course everything is categorized, but not like we're talking about here. Give me an example or two of what you think is equivalent to placing videogame consoles into distinct generations that happens to be widely accepted. 

 

I didn't write what you're replying to but the only one that comes to my mind is fighter jets: https://en.wikipedia...ter_generations

 

People do like to categorize things when they can, it's just that often they can't so they give up. I feel like game consoles are this thing that really *just* defies categorization by generation like that, but not enough to discourage people from doing it. So you get all these awkward overlaps and talks of certain systems being in a certain generation when nobody ever thought of them that way at the time.

 

I personally hate the term; I've said this before in other threads. I hate reading about how such and such console was "3rd generation" or whatever. Nobody ever said that back then; I know somebody posted EGM articles but I remember literally no one actually using that terminology in real life. Like you said, they were just making stuff up. It didn't even stick until much later. They may have said it first but that's not where our terminology today comes from. I don't know where today's terminology comes from, but I'm 100% sure that the first time I remember seeing regular people and the press actually using these numbered generations commonly was in the mid to late 90's. It coincided with the rise of the internet. Somebody probably said it first in some discussion forum or on Usenet and it caught on, probably as an easy way for people who *didn't* grow up with these machines to categorize them in their heads.


Edited by spacecadet, Mon Oct 23, 2017 2:12 PM.


#44 Bill Loguidice OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 23, 2017 2:16 PM

I like what Bill said about being careful in overstating it's abilities or importance. And what Keatah said about MAME as an alternative today. Back then, it may have been more desirable to achieve closer to arcade "perfection", but you still had the very un-arcade like controllers to contend with. Atari had playability AND superior controllers... in the CX40 and paddles anyway. And more than good enough graphics and sounds for most. 
 

 

I've long made the point that since the creation of MAME and related emulation that gives us a "perfect" arcade experience, we no longer need to hold arcade ports on classic systems to the "arcade quality" standard. We can now enjoy them as the unique creations that they are, and they can more easily succeed or fail on their own merits without the undue burden of matching the arcade machine.

 

 

 

If this isn't obvious enough, neither Coleco or Mattel would have had VCS adapters to play Atari videogames on their "superior" systems.

 

Let's not fall into a trap here. Again, it was very different times. Many companies were making stuff for their competitors' systems or were planning to. In addition, there were lots of strategies being tried out (like computer add-ons), because there was no pre-defined blueprint for success to follow. In specific regard to the VCS adapter thing, let's not forget Atari themselves were all but forced to create an adapter of their own for the 5200.



#45 iesposta OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 23, 2017 2:17 PM

It was supposed to. Atari was talking to Nintendo about marketing the NES, so it would have presumably been a contemporary with the CV. But the crash created a chasm that cause us now to think of the two as different generations
 

The 7800 complicates things, but in reality, it did not leapfrog the 5200, it had a much better sprite chip, but much worse sound than the 5200. And they are only designed two years apart. So I'd say they both should belong to the same generation technically speaking. They are closer to each other than the 5200 is to the 2600 anyway. Lumping the 2600 and 5200 in the same gen is just absurd!

And the forgotten "game console" of the 3rd gen that spanned the entire generation, including the chasm between the CV and the NES was the C64! :P

 

I agree with all you've said, EXCEPT "5200 and 7800... only designed two years apart."

The 5200 IS a 1979 Atari 400. There was no improvement over the 400/800 computer in the 5200. The fact that they can't run Atari Computer Code remains a mystery to me because it has the same chips that the Atari 400 computer from 1979 has.

The 7800 was made for Atari with a custom, very 1984 tech Maria graphics chip, plus the ability to use other sound hardware in the carts (that only 2 games, Ballblazer and Commando happened to use POKEY - which is the 1979 Atari Computer's sound chip.)

The 7800 Ballblazer is graphically a little bit better than the Atari Computer version due to the Maria chip.



#46 iesposta OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 23, 2017 2:21 PM

The Colecovision was brilliant because Expansion Module #1 played Atari 2600 games, and allowed game play of new Colecovision Arcade-like games, as well as your entire existing 2600 library.

I was still very much into Atari Supercharger games when we sold our 4-swich woody and I bought the Colecovision with Expansion Module #1 (which the opening needs to be enlarged a bit to fit the larger Supercharger RAM-cart).

 

After 1985 I had graduated high school, and home TV video games weren't as important as working a job and playing real arcade games.



#47 Flojomojo ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 23, 2017 2:23 PM

And more that I am missing.

 

The ColecoVision was also:

  • one of the last systems to use the antiquated "phone coiled" cables for controllers
  • one of the last systems old enough to think that every game needed a joystick controller, even though it was basically a D-pad inside
  • mostly dead air inside, because of the retro idea that the console had to house the game controllers, too
  • one of the last systems to use phone-style keypad controllers with overlays (Atari Jaguar was the last one to my knowledge)
  • from an era when toy companies thought they needed to make their machine "expandable" into a rudimentary computer
  • infamous for inserting lengthy , unstoppable pauses at boot time to show licensing and trademark information
  • disappointing because it has very few original games, almost completely reliant on arcade ports for its library
  • leaning hard on the Atari VCS expansion module to pad out its library
  • very expensive, especially considering it launched into a soft market that only got worse over the next year or two the system received new software

It's a transitional system, and it looks backwards more than forward. It's "fine." It's the Washington Generals to Nintendo's Harlem Globetrotters

 

From 1953 until 1995, the Generals played exhibitions against the Globetrotters, winning only six games, the last in 1971, and losing more than 13,000.

 

^ That's ColecoVision. It's nice to have an opponent, but as EVERYone has already said, it's not like the achievements of Nintendo or even Atari owe anything to Coleco. 

 

It had THE BEST Smurf game ever made, which is really saying something, and even so, it wasn't very good. 



#48 save2600 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 23, 2017 2:24 PM

Let's not fall into a trap here. Again, it was very different times. Many companies were making stuff for their competitors' systems or were planning to. In addition, there were lots of strategies being tried out (like computer add-ons), because there was no pre-defined blueprint for success to follow. In specific regard to the VCS adapter thing, let's not forget Atari themselves were all but forced to create an adapter of their own for the 5200.


Testament to just how popular VCS games were and by that time, *still* were. First (is it not?) reason for backwards compatibility! :grin:

#49 Bill Loguidice OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 23, 2017 2:26 PM

 

People do like to categorize things when they can, it's just that often they can't so they give up. I feel like game consoles are this thing that really *just* defies categorization by generation like that, but not enough to discourage people from doing it. So you get all these awkward overlaps and talks of certain systems being in a certain generation when nobody ever thought of them that way at the time.

 

I personally hate the term; I've said this before in other threads. I hate reading about how such and such console was "3rd generation" or whatever. Nobody ever said that back then; I know somebody posted EGM articles but I remember literally no one actually using that terminology in real life. Like you said, they were just making stuff up. It didn't even stick until much later. They may have said it first but that's not where our terminology today comes from. I don't know where today's terminology comes from, but I'm 100% sure that the first time I remember seeing regular people and the press actually using these numbered generations commonly was in the mid to late 90's. It coincided with the rise of the internet. Somebody probably said it first in some discussion forum or on Usenet and it caught on, probably as an easy way for people who *didn't* grow up with these machines to categorize them in their heads.

 

I agree 100%. People love to categorize things, make lists, etc. The difference is categorizations becoming common enough to be somewhat agreed upon. To take pop music, while there are loose categorizations like "British Invasion," "Motown Era," "Disco Era," "Hair Metal," etc. (probably off on those, but you get what I'm going after there), it's just as convenient and probably more accepted to simply say "the 60s", "the 70s", "the 80s". Although that's not perfect, people at least get a general sense of what you're talking about. Of course, some things like music, are probably a lot easier to categorize than others, like videogame consoles. 

 

At least in terms of my own work, I've tended to favor grouping stuff into years. For instance, in "Vintage Game Consoles," I went 1971 - 1984, 1985 - 1994, etc. The logic is internally consistent. In the upcoming "Atari Flashback" book, I grouped the first party games basically by density, going "1977", "1978", "1979", etc., through later on when single years no longer made sense, e.g., "1981 - 1982," "1983 - 1987," etc. The point is, division and categorization is natural and often desirable, but it's almost impossible to be definitive, and I think the problem is even worse with videogame consoles for the reasons previously stated.



#50 Flojomojo ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 23, 2017 2:37 PM

Yeah, I think along the same lines. You could of course subdivide those music genres into something like http://everynoise.com/(very cool site, check it out), but to most people, I think video games would fall into a few simple categories.

 

Ancient

Like silent movies, they represent the earliest days of the medium, and with few exceptions, are only interesting to historians. I would put 1970s games like Computer Space and Pong-era stuff into this category. Not much fun.

 

Classic

Some Atari, Intellivision, ColecoVision games go here. For most people, NES. Yeah, I put the unremarkable ColecoVision in the came category as Intellivision and Atari. Deal with it. Some of them are still fun. 

 

Retro

I would put SNES and Playstation stuff here, along with modern things with a simpler aesthetic. We no longer worry about technical specs, most things run decently from this point on.

 

Current

Anything that requires more than 2 buttons, 3D acceleration, internet access, or can be downloaded from a digital store. 

 

A kid of today would probably just need 3 categories: Old, Current, and Minecraft. 






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