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How 2600 reaches 90s when better consoles fail


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#51 Video OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Nov 18, 2017 1:59 AM

Wii had WiFi? I never used internet so I don't know what it did.

I know the last $50 console I got was n64 INI think 02, aside from blow out getting rid of it consdoles, of course it was around only a year after that I think instead of years to a decade like Atari. I imagine my Vader was sub $100, but that was 84isf.

I think there a market for a sub 100s console, but I don't think people are as enthused about DL boxes as companies wish they were, does addind a disc drive really add that much price?

#52 Jinks OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Nov 18, 2017 11:10 PM

Define "better console"
FAIL!!!:P

#53 Kosmic Stardust OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Nov 18, 2017 11:27 PM

arguing over whether NES or Atari were better consoles is a moot discussion. They were both products of their time. One could make the same argument about NES vs Genesis. Generational leaps and bounds but that doesn't make it better. I like all consoles. NES/SNES era (sprite based systems) is definitely a "golden age" romanticized by fanboys including my own generation. I love Atari for the "rawness" of it's graphics and it's refusal to die, even into the 20-teens. And am very much a fan of the homebrews that exploit the system in ways the creators could only dream of.



#54 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Nov 19, 2017 1:16 AM

arguing over whether NES or Atari were better consoles is a moot discussion. They were both products of their time.

 

Absolutely. And these both these consoles did many things for the first-time-ever. And that is another reason why they are so long-lived.



#55 CDS Games OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Nov 19, 2017 3:56 AM

 

It didn't really. Nobody was making the choice between those two. I'm sure I didn't even know the 2600 was still on sale in the late 80's, and I was a heavy console gamer at the time.

 

And on the flip side the 2600 was my last console. We transitioned right to the C64 and from then on all our games were on personal computers. I had no interest in a Nintendo. Still don't. :D



#56 SpiceWare OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Nov 19, 2017 8:52 AM

Define "better console"
FAIL!!!:P


Yep, hear that all the time in Beta vs. VHS and how much better Beta was. Thing is, it wasn't better in one key point that mattered to most people - the recording time. When they first came out VHS could record 2 hours, Beta only 1. If you wanted to record "the Friday Night Movie" while you were out for dinner, Beta couldn't do it so it didn't matter one bit that it had a marginally better picture. Sure later incarnations of Beta could record longer times, by giving up some picture quality, but by then VHS could record 4 hours per tape(and later 6 hours).

#57 Thomas Jentzsch OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Nov 19, 2017 9:55 AM

Recording time played a major role in the format war initially. But later on it was more about marketing, availability and costs. There VHS won the war, because JVC licensed VHS to everyone and the devices and tapes were cheaper. Also the consumers were irritated by bad marketing and decisions of the Sony and the European Video 2000 manufacturers. 



#58 Osgeld OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:12 AM

Wii had WiFi? I never used internet so I don't know what it did.


Ya that was a good selling point as when you tire of the gimmick at least you had a sd streaming box

#59 Harrison OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Nov 19, 2017 12:30 PM

No denying the 2600's mostly awesome and compelling library that has stood the test of time. As if that's not enough, the system and its games continue to get better and better, thanks to a vibrant homebrew scene, replacement controller options, competent a/v boards, etc. And with products like the Flashback units, people are (re)discovering how excellent the system really is and was.    :love:

I love this about the 2600. After 40 years, it's still got new games coming out. What I find interesting about the 2600 in particular, compared to so many other consoles where the games had to be licensed by the console maker, is that anyone could release games for the system. All kinds of companies were releasing things. It's an incredible adventure learning and discovering what this system is about. If you think about it, the homebrew of today isn't really any different than the third party 2600 releases back in the day in terms of being "legit". NES collecting can separate the unlicensed Color Dreams games from the main library, but no one would dream of doing that with Activision and the 2600. I think collecting for 2600 has to include homebrew, because they are just as much a part of the "official" library as anything released back in the day by third parties. I see it as a living library that is still growing, rather than an aging static library with a separate homebrew scene. I guess it's just semantics, but it's fun to think that a 40 year old console is still getting third party releases, complete with professionally printed labels, boxes, and manuals. Owning a 2600 is still an adventure in 2017.


Edited by Harrison, Sun Nov 19, 2017 12:35 PM.


#60 Shawn OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Nov 19, 2017 12:31 PM

Ya that was a good selling point as when you tire of the gimmick at least you had a sd streaming box

 

An SD Streaming box is now it's primary function at my house. They make for really cheap Netflix enablers for bedrooms sporting "unsmart" TVs. 



#61 AW127 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Nov 19, 2017 7:37 PM

When a console has a good game-range, than it can stay long time on the market, even when there are newer and technically better consoles came into the market. And the Atari2600 had and still has a very good game-range.

 

Other examples for this theory are the "Gameboy", which had the leading-position when it comes to sales in the 90`s, although there was better handhelds on the market, like the Lynx or the Game-Gear. This two handhelds  had some good games in the range, but not so many like the Gameboy had. Therefore people still bought Game-Boys at that time.

 

Another example is the SNES in the years, when the 32bit consoles appeared. Saturn and Playstation was there, but because of superb new SNES-games that looked like 32bit ("Donkey Kong Country" for example) the SNES was capable to live alot longer on the market like many people thought.

 

A good game-range is the most imnportant thing in my opinion. When this is the case, then customers even accept the fact, that their console is not the best when it comes to the technical side. And in this way, the Atari2600 made in in the 90`s and this is also the reason why the retro-wave is on the way since some years. People remember their good games from the childhood, no matter if they played them on hardware which is technically totally outdated today. But good games are good games,no matter on which hardware they was played.  :)



#62 Serguei2 ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Nov 19, 2017 9:09 PM

Good point.

 

River Raid 2 looks closer to NES than 1977 Combat when 2600 is introduced.



#63 zzip OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 20, 2017 9:08 AM

Freedom of the Framebuffer, a dangerous thing. Framebuffers allow the programmer to update the screen whenever they want and that is detrimental to smooth action unless some mechanism enforces and ensures updates occur on schedule. I'm sure you don't have to "update" the VCS screen at 60FPS, but then you get visible flicker. And both gamers and developers alike avoid it like the plague.

 

Programs began to get larger and larger and it started taking real visible and noticeable time for the CPU to work through computing game elements and activity.

 

And the VCS had only one thing going on. Running the game itself in binary. No other interpreted languages to get in the way or steal time away. No complex BIOS or babysitting of custom chips.

 

This.  The VCS forced your game loop to run exactly once per video refresh.   This guaranteed consistent performance always.   The downside is it will inherently limit game complexity. 



#64 Thomas Jentzsch OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:07 AM

The VCS forced your game loop to run exactly once per video refresh.  

This is not true. In many games a lot of computing is executed e.g. only every 2nd or 4th frame. If done right, the player won't notice. 



#65 sramirez2008 ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:13 AM

 

An SD Streaming box is now it's primary function at my house. They make for really cheap Netflix enablers for bedrooms sporting "unsmart" TVs. 

 

This and I use my Wii for Wii2600.  



#66 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 20, 2017 11:58 AM

I see it as a living library that is still growing, rather than an aging static library with a separate homebrew scene. I guess it's just semantics, but it's fun to think that a 40 year old console is still getting third party releases, complete with professionally printed labels, boxes, and manuals. Owning a 2600 is still an adventure in 2017.

When a console has a good game-range, than it can stay long time on the market, even when there are newer and technically better consoles came into the market. And the Atari2600 had and still has a very good game-range.[..]

 

A good game-range is the most imnportant thing in my opinion. When this is the case, then customers even accept the fact, that their console is not the best when it comes to the technical side. And in this way, the Atari2600 made in in the 90`s and this is also the reason why the retro-wave is on the way since some years. People remember their good games from the childhood, no matter if they played them on hardware which is technically totally outdated today. But good games are good games,no matter on which hardware they was played.  :)

 

Both are good points.

 

Among other things that made the VCS successful was the simple user interface, it was all controlled by the same set of switches on the front panel. Some switches may have been re-assigned new meanings, but that in and of itself made the game feel special. Today we have some games with complete menu screens reminiscent of early 90's PC games. But getting into the action of the game is still only one or two operations away.



#67 vidak OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:37 PM

I think maybe the reason the 2600 lasted so long was because of the infancy of the industry. By the early nineties the home console market was still only in its second decade. A lot of the metaphors and genres that are now rigidly defined in game libraries hadn't really solidified. So the games that people had played in the 70s and 80s were still relevant and not considered "retro".

The another effect of the infancy of the market was that planned obsolescence hadn't really kicked in. New consoles are so finnicky and break so easily. I can't think of many Xbox 360s now that received heavy use that are still working. My PS3 will probably die soon because it is so clogged with dust.

The level of care and attention that was still going into hardware and software at that time was still very high. There wasn't a huge Hollywood industry for games in the early 90s, not like now anyway, and we weren't being told to buy a new console if we didn't want to look like an idiot.

There are hardware reasons for this move, but look at the "mid-generation" refreshes of the Xbox One and PS4. It's ludicrous how short the generation cycle of consoles is getting.

The reason for console generations like the 2600 and NES lasting longer is because newer industries have higher profit. As the industry grows older competition makes it harder and harder to make the same level of profit.

So I guess the symptom of the Atari 2600 being around longer is simply because it was still profitable.

New console generations are now like...3 or 4 years because the industry just can't keep making profit off them, so they have to convince people that a new console will be an advantage to them.

Edited by vidak, Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:38 PM.







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By Serguei2 in Robin Gravel's Blog, on Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:10 AM


 
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It's awesome when a 1977 console is still popular in 1990s.

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