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CGE2K Recap

Intellivision Productions BoothExcept for the blazing heat of Las Vegas (110 degrees, no kidding), the show went off without a hitch.  Although there seemed to be fewer vendors and booths than last year, other areas of the show were improved.  There was a greater number of arcade machines, newly released games, guest speakers, and much more.  Next year's show is already being planned, and the countdown has begun on the CGE site.  This recap will focus on the 2600, as there are many other sites twill cover the show in its entirety.  I also was not able to cover the show as thoroughly as I would have liked due to time constraints, so be sure and check the other links for more information.  I especially recommend Classic Gaming's coverage, as it seems to be the most in-depth.

CGE2K Web Coverage:

New Games!New Games
The Intellivision Productions booth featured the sale of two new games for the 2600, Sea Battle and Swordfight.  Both retail for $24.95 and include labels, instructions, and a simple box.  Both titles sold out at the show, but they should be available at the Intellivision Productions web site as soon as they can restock them.

Sea Battle is a port of the fine Intellivision game of the same name, and it plays very well.  There is a map screen and battle screen, and each player attempts to get a ship in the other player's harbor, either by sneaking one in or destroying all the other player's defenses.  Apparently, Mattel was set to release this game until they decided that they would no longer sell 2-player-only games.

Swordfight, by Stephen Tatsumi, is another 2-player game in which combatants face each other on hovering platforms.  Several defensive and offensive moves are available in this game that seems more like a Jedi Battle than the actual Jedi Battle (see box art).

Also announced and shown was Escape from Supercade!, a new game from Ebivision set to be released in conjunction with Van Burnham's forthcoming book, Supercade: A Visual History of the Videogame Age 1971-1984. This game will not be available for sale in cartridge format, as most of them will be sent out to the media in promotion of the book.  However, 24 copies will be raffled off to convention goers who entered their name in a drawing.  You will be able to download the ROM for emulation once the game and book are released however.

Stella at 20Stella at 20
Cyberpunks had a booth where they were selling Stella Gets a New Brain, Stella at 20 Vol. 2, and the newly released Stella at 20 Vol. 1 (yes, released in reverse order).  The new tape features some fantastic interviews with Atari legends such as Nolan Bushnell, Joe Decuir, and Ron Milner.  Great stuff, and highly recommended.  If you purchased Vol. 2 already and enjoyed it, I think you will be even more impressed with volume 1.  $20 from Cyberpunks.

Keynote SpeakersKeynote Speakers
The best keynote address for 2600 fans was early Saturday morning, when a gang of 2600 programmers and designers addressed the crowd and answered questions.  On hand were Rob Fulop, Howard Scott Warshaw, Bob Polaro, Steve Cartwright, Bob Smith, Steve Woita, and Andy Fuchs.  Seated in the audience but also speaking were Joe Decuir and Brad Stewart.  All were available after the address for autographs and further questions.  Interestingly, Bob Smith (Star Wars: The Arcade Game, Riddle of the Sphinx, Dragonfire) expressed his desire to make a new 2600 game.  While I wouldn't expect anything in the immediate future, perhaps we will see something from him next year.

While Curt Vendel and his prototypes were once again absent from the museum and the show, there were still many cool items on display.  Rare carts, hardware, and prototypes filled the museum area.  I'll have pictures up next week in the prototype gallery of items such as the Atari 2700, Atari 2000, Personal Game Programmer, and more.

Classic Gamer Magazine was present, showing off the cover of their new issue which should be out shortly.  This magazine just gets better every issue, and I'm really looking forward to the next one.  ResQSoft was there as well, selling Worship the Woodgrain as well as a number of other goodies.  They also had some very cool label mock-ups for prototype games.  Digital Press had a booth with back issues of their magazine available, and they were also taking pre-orders for the next edition of the Digital Press Guide, the collector's bible for classic video games.  Twin Galaxies was holding high-score contests, and anyone who brought their 2600 skillz with them could get into the book with the right numbers.  There were fewer vendors than last year as I mentioned, but those that were in attendance sold a lot of games and made many friends.

Overall I really enjoyed the show, although I was not able to spend as much time there as I would have liked.  I hope the organizers can figure out a way to lower booth costs next year, and I think that would really flesh out the show.  We should all thank John, Sean, Joe, Tom, Clint, and all the others who contributed to putting on the event.  I hope they have the energy to do it all again next year!