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spacecadet

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  1. That was what we call a necrobump... but I'll go with it. I think you're asking a variation on a question people often ask, but I don't hear this variation very often, which is what if Apple *discontinued* the already-existing Mac line in favor of re-focusing on the Apple II. That's more interesting to think about than the more common "what if Apple never introduced the Mac, and just kept upgrading the II?" question, which has been discussed a lot already. The original Mac was a disaster. It sold very poorly, far below expectations, and was generally reviewed unfavorably compared to its competitors, including the IIgs at that time. The obsolete IIe outsold it by a large margin. It was also Steve Jobs' second high profile commercial failure, after the Lisa. If he wasn't one of the company's co-founders, he may not have even gotten that second chance, much less been allowed to stay around as long as he did. Steve Jobs never designed or even approved a commercially successful computing line during his original time at Apple. (The IIc was his, but that was an individual product, not a line.) If he had been anybody else, the company likely would have dropped the Mac and refocused on the II after a few months of those poor sales. (This was also back when Apple was a lot smaller, and wasn't as easily able to absorb losses like that *without* subsidizing them with Apple II sales. So why not just refocus on the II?) Ultimately I think this would have made for a stronger computer line that was kind of a hybrid of the two. Apple would have been able to learn what did work with the Mac and incorporate those things into the II. I've long heard people say the II line was a "dead end" because of its 8 bit architecture - but that's just an engineering problem. Woz solved it originally with the 65C816 - he wasn't looking to make a 32 bit computer, he was looking to make a 16 bit one to compete with the likes of the ST and Amiga. If Apple *had* wanted to make a 32 bit Apple II, there's no reason to think it wouldn't have eventually happened. Imagine a successor to the original Mac and IIgs that ran Apple II software and had full expansion slots like the IIe and IIgs but had a color GUI and a 32 bit CPU that wasn't artificially clock limited. Basically the best of both worlds. I think that if Apple had discontinued the Mac after its initial market failure, it actually would have jump-started II development in a way that simply never having produced the Mac would not have done. And Apple would have been in a stronger position throughout the 90's as a result. Of course you can only predict out to a certain point, and at this point Apple is, as far as I know, the biggest tech company in the world. So it's hard to argue they'd be in a better position *now* if they'd discontinued the Mac, because would Jobs have ever come back, would we have ever gotten the iPod and iPhone, etc. But I definitely think they'd have been better off in the late 80's and 90's, and I'd have stuck with them through that period, which I didn't after the II line was abandoned.
  2. The original Test Drive is an obvious one: It wasn't what you'd call fast or smooth today, but it was probably more complex graphically than Pole Position was (a cockpit that actually worked, etc.), and at the time it was more than acceptable. There were other first person games that were not necessarily driving games but that did the same types of things, and ran smoother than TD, like Skyfox: So I don't see why Pole Position couldn't have been made for the Apple II. It may not have been the best version, but it would have been fine, especially for those who already owned Apple II's and understood the system's limitations. I don't see why anyone would think it just couldn't be done, or that it'd even be a bad game. Not many ports are arcade perfect, and an Apple II version of Pole Position almost certainly would have been as good as or better than the Vic-20, TI-99/4A or ZX Spectrum ports.
  3. Bad battery life, bad screen, way too big, no Tetris. I'm not a fan of the original Game Boy and didn't really like handhelds in general until the NGPC. But it's pretty easy for me to see why the GB beat the Lynx and even the Game Gear (even though the GG had Sonic and other popular icons of the day).
  4. Coming at you from a slightly different perspective, as a customer but also as a former retail store owner for 10 years. I'll give you whatever retail advice I can, plus what I like to see as a customer in classic game stores. First, the #1 thing I think you should be worrying about it inventory management, and constantly adding to your inventory. That means both replenishing what you sell and getting more on top of that. At the end of every month, your inventory should be worth more than it was the month before. This is literally the only way to grow your business and keep paying the bills. It's harder to do than it sounds, especially with a store like this where you're probably thinking a lot of your inventory's going to come from people walking in and selling you stuff. Some months, that might just not happen very often. You still need to get more inventory, however you can get it. With a small store like this operating either at a loss (as you probably will be at first) or just on the edge of profitability (as you probably will be eventually, if you stick around long enough), even a single month where your inventory drops below what it was the previous month can literally mean the end of your business. It will start you into a vicious cycle that's almost impossible to recover from - you'll be able to afford less new inventory the next month, meaning you'll sell less, meaning you can afford even less the month after that, etc. Eventually you will have nothing to sell and no money to pay the bills or buy new inventory. That's when you close! The rule of thumb is that you're going to go through about 1/4 of your inventory every month, and that was typically my experience as well. You can use this, along with your expenses, to figure out in advance approximately how much you're going to need to buy. So if you have $20,000 in inventory, you're going to sell about $5,000 worth of it. Let's say your cost on that was $2,500. So you know at the beginning of the month that you will need to buy *at least* $2,500 worth of more stuff (at your cost) just to have approximately the same sales the following month. But could you pay all your salaries, rent, utilities, etc. out of that remaining $2,500 "profit"? Depending on where you are, maybe, but I'd suggest adding at least another $1,000 in inventory every month anyway (more if you can afford it) until you start hitting diminishing returns. At some point your customers just won't buy anymore, or more likely you physically won't have any more room in the store. At that point you can think of whether it's worth expanding somehow, or you're happy with where you are. Inventory management is easily the biggest issue for *any* store, and especially the kind of store where your inventory supply is somewhat unpredictable. You need to stay on top of this, every day. If more stuff's not coming in, find a way to get some. If you go more than a couple of days without knowing when or how you're going to get some new stock, hit the panic button and figure it out. If you get to the end of the month and realize you've got $7,000 in sales but have only spent $500 on inventory, *really* hit the panic button. You will be surprised how quickly business drops off when you haven't gotten anything new for a little while. Even if you need to buy a few lots on Ebay occasionally, do it. Whatever you have to do. I'd also recommend having a decent supply of *new* inventory just to fill in those gaps and help hit those inventory targets every month. You can carry anything that you think gamers like; action figures, strategy guides, or certainly any of those new retro game systems, handhelds, etc. I see you have a few things like that now, but I'd get more. You can't rely on random customer sales. I also think you're going to need some kind of security system. You're in a mall so you're going to get a lot of walk-by traffic. It looks pretty easy to just quickly open the door, grab something near it and then walk out. Loss prevention is pretty quickly going to become another big issue for you, and if you're like me you are going to be enraged whenever you see or notice something get stolen. I really took it personally - I mean I was the store owner, so it was literally *my* stuff they were stealing. My employees all felt the same way and while I discouraged them from ever running after anybody, a couple of times they did on their own. I almost felt kind of touched that they did that but it is very dangerous and as an owner you probably want to minimize any risk like that. (You also of course want to minimize the monetary loss from theft.) Well this is long enough so I'll probably just end it here rather than start now going into my thoughts as a customer like I'd originally planned.
  5. Well there's this whole other site called NintendoAge; I always assumed that was the reason. There are also a lot of other resources for Nintendo products. This is AtariAge. There's a SegaAge but it's small and I don't believe it existed when those forums on this site started up - 2011 is the first real hit for it that the Wayback Machine has. There's also Sega-16.com, but their forums have kind of a nasty reputation around here and that may even be why the Genesis forum exists here, for refugees from Sega-16. NintendoAge goes back to 2008, but before that I don't think there was a lot of demand for a Nintendo forum on an Atari site. Maybe this site could have an SNES forum to be more all encompassing, but I personally feel like it's not that necessary and kind of detracts from what the site's supposed to be. There are so many more Nintendo fans than Atari fans nowadays that I feel like there's a good chance of Nintendo fans overrunning the site if there were dedicated forums for all of Nintendo's consoles. I feel like the site really should be mostly about pre-crash, pre-Nintendo gaming, with some modern stuff thrown in so it's not just stuck in the past. But not necessarily trying to cater to every system ever made.
  6. I think you're being optimistic.
  7. I ordered yellow. I don't know why, but I always like yellow game systems. They usually either look weird and kind of nasty, in which case I like the fact that the manufacturer had the balls to release such an ugly system, or they look like a banana. The Switch Lite in yellow looks like a banana. It's got those rounded corners and just looks like if someone put a mold around a banana while it was growing on the tree. I went back and forth on yellow and turquoise but I just felt like for me, turquoise would seem a little "loud" to look at all the time while I was playing. Yellow is more soothing to me. I'll probably still order some kind of new game to go with mine... I'm thinking about Astral Chain.
  8. It may be a little different in the modern era, I don't know. But I worked at Rockstar Games for several years and most of the guys and girls there and in the actual development divisions were pretty good at the games. One of the reasons for playtesting is that developers kind of lose sight of how difficult parts of the game can be. My department (marketing) was often pressed into informal playtesting so we could give feedback on whether some missions were too difficult. A lot of stuff is too difficult before it's playtested by people other than those designing and coding it. That said, most of these guys weren't the *best* I'd eventually see after each game was released, but they played pretty effortlessly. Parts of the game that normal people would think were really hard, they'd just sail through like it was nothing. Like they didn't even need to concentrate on it (probably because they knew where all the bad guys were, what the right strategy was, etc.). That *can* be ok if a game is consistently difficult, like I've heard about a game like Cuphead. But the kinds of games we were working on had a lot of different types of missions and the guys doing the programming honestly could not tell that some missions were super-easy while others were borderline impossible, almost regardless of where you were in the game. To them, all the missions were pretty easy because they knew how to beat them from the beginning. So we all had to pitch in to help get every game into a state where it would ramp up in difficulty in some kind of logical way, which meant people other than the programmers playing them.
  9. This looks a lot like how I remember playing too... on the floor, right in front of the console TV, with the system and games also on the floor. Except I remember having either a giant stack of games and other crap, or having them all spread out so I could easily pick and choose among them One thing I think was different about gaming in those days is that it was both easier to switch between games (modern games often require you to learn the intricacies of how to play them well, and I always forget where I even am if I don't play for a couple weeks) and the games stayed fun in short bursts for longer. I was still playing Horse Racing and MLB Baseball, which were two games I got with the system or shortly after, in 1983. I'd just go back and forth between all my games. Regarding the controller, I never had a problem with it. All the controllers back then sucked in some way, and it was just a question of what you were used to. Modern controllers are all pretty good and we just argue over dumb stuff like whether one's slightly too small or another has the thumbstick in the most ergonomic position. But back then, every system's controllers had significant problems. Between the Atari 2600, Intellivision, ColecoVision and Atari 5200, I'd put the Intellivision's controllers at or near the top of that list. The discs made it possible to do smooth movements and had 16 possible directions, the keypad made more complex, computer-style games possible (and the overlays were actually useful), and they were very light. They were uncomfortable after long periods of gameplay but so was every other controller at the time. The Intellivision II controllers were slightly worse but they were also detachable, which was a plus. The big negative to the Intellivision II controllers for me was always the keypad, which had zero tactile feedback to tell you that you'd pressed the right key, or any key. The original controllers had a "dome" for each key that worked just like a rubber dome keyboard, so you could at least feel when you'd pressed a key.
  10. I was all in with Intellivision from the day they announced it. I wanted one really badly, and got one in Christmas 1980. I had begged my parents for it. I was like the kid in "A Christmas Story" only my ask was the Intellivision. I loved the system and everything about it. I played it a *lot*. I can remember many Saturday mornings when I'd be up by myself with the system and all my games spread out all over the floor of our living room. I got really good at playing the multiplayer sports games by myself, with a controller in each hand. That was one weird thing about the original Intellivision; a lot of the sports games were two player only, I'm guessing because programming actual AI was either too difficult or would have required more chips and therefore greater cost. Later INTV versions of those games generally had single player modes added. I then asked for, and also got, an Intellivision II in either 1982 or 1983. I remember my mom asking "are you sure you really want that?" both because I *had* an Intellivision already and because it had been a couple years and she probably thought I'd lost interest. But I played the hell out of that thing too. I played it through most of the crash of 1983 and 84. To me the system was the first to show that game consoles could have complex games that were more than just "shoot this rock" or "shoot these aliens", although it had its share of games like that too. But my favorite game on the system is probably still Microsurgeon, which has a lot of different elements and is still unlike anything you're likely to see on a modern console. It definitely would not have been possible on earlier consoles. I was a little jealous of one of my friends when she got a ColecoVision, though it still didn't have games like Microsurgeon or Utopia on it (that I knew of). It was mostly arcade games, though I had to admit it did those better than the Intellivision did, and I liked arcade games back then too. But I still kept playing my Intellivision until I got myself an Apple II and then an NES in 1985. My favorite games were probably Microsurgeon, Demon Attack, B-17 Bomber, Star Strike, Burgertime, Auto Racing, Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, Major League Baseball, Pitfall!, Atlantis, and Demon Attack. One thing about the Intellivision is that its library is actually pretty small for a successful console, so most people who had one had a *lot* of the same games, and today it's probably one of the easier systems to get a complete collection for too.
  11. I can pinpoint peak game console for me in 1999/2000. I was playing a ton of PS1 games, had just bought myself an N64 and was looking forward to the Dreamcast's release... then when it was launched, it quickly became my favorite game console of all time (and still is). I was also writing about video games for a living by 2000, so started going to things like E3, a lot of smaller industry events and then got sent on my first two trips to Japan to cover both the Tokyo Game Show and Nintendo Spaceworld. At the time, most of my favorite games were Japanese so this was like finally visiting the motherland, and seeing all the Japanese games that we either hadn't gotten yet or never would was like a whole other world of console gaming had opened up for me. (I of course *knew* this other world existed, and regularly looked at Weekly Famitsu and other gaming publications from Japan, but to actually see it in person was a whole different thing.) By around mid-2000, I was pretty much living, sleeping, eating and breathing game consoles - there weren't enough hours in the day for me to play everything I wanted, and it was both my job *and* my only hobby. I'd spend all day playing games and writing about them for work, then come home and play more games until I went to bed. And there were just *so* many great games coming out, for every current system. It was like 1983 except there was a glut of *good* games. Tooooo many good games. I probably wore myself out on games. A few things happened after that to start pulling me away. First, the Dreamcast was discontinued. I owned a PS2 by then as well and I have a lot of games for it, but it just didn't have a soul to me. There was no "house style" like any Sega or Nintendo console had. And while I've always respected Nintendo for still sticking with their house style, it's just not really my thing - Sega's style was my thing, and that was gone. Second, the dot-com crash happened, I lost my job (my company closed) and got another one working at Rockstar Games. You'd think that would pull me closer to game consoles but it had the opposite effect. Whereas before, I enjoyed my work so much that I wanted to continue it even after hours, while at Rockstar all I wanted to do was go home and forget about video games until the next day. And third, this is going to sound weird but 9/11 changed a lot of things for me for a while... I lived in NYC at the time and watched that in person, then had smoke actually blowing directly over my house for months afterwards. Playing video games while all that was going on just seemed a little strange, so I just didn't. I do remember playing Silent Hill 2 one night in maybe October/November and we had a minor earthquake, and my wife (then-girlfriend) and I actually ran out of the house where we could see the skyline better to make sure all the other buildings were still there (we thought it was another attack). But I think SH2 was maybe all I played that wasn't work-related for like 6 months or so. After the Dreamcast I feel like game consoles definitively changed. Nintendo still has their house style but everyone else is just making basically generic "platforms" that are pretty much just small PC's with walled gardens. I've bought fewer games in the current generation than any other, probably ever. I'm looking at my PS4, Switch and Xbox One library right now and it looks like I have about 25 games total split between them. And that's over the 5 or 6 years that the earliest of these systems has been on the market.
  12. Well I preordered one as well. I totally don't mind if it has no docking functionality; I still have my original one and will probably just leave that one docked. The one thing I don't know is how they'll both work with one account. I don't own more than one of any other Nintendo system but I have heard they are not usually very good about that kind of thing. But all my games are on cartridge (no downloads except Bayonetta 1, because that was the only way to get it), so hopefully it'll be mostly fine. Still feels like it looks a little big in the pics for being a dedicated portable, but maybe it'll seem smaller in person and in my giant spider crab hands. I'm kind of annoyed that the new regular Switch seems to have the same battery life improvement as the Lite, though. It's probably not worth upgrading since I'll have the Switch Lite but the resale value on those original Switches is going to be crap. I was thinking I might eventually sell my original Switch once I had the Lite, but no one's going to want an original model with the crap battery life unless it's super cheap.
  13. There were pretty much always kids who'd berate other kids for having a different system than they did, so that negative aspect I'd say has been around since the beginning. Everything else has kind of grown out of that, especially with the rise of the internet. I'd say I first noticed it getting really bad in the early 2000's, which was about when the internet hit critical mass. The gaming press at the time didn't help, especially as the dot com crash of that time made a lot of the remaining sites kind of desperate, so they started turning every headline into clickbait and fanning controversy whenever possible. Nowadays it seems like the outrage culture that was also borne from the internet has kind of crossed over to gaming, so you've got that too. It all grew out of the internet, from the seeds of the tribalism that existed even before the internet existed.
  14. Best Electronics, which is where that image came from AFAIK, was still selling *new* examples of the original big, black power supply (lower left) last I checked. I bought one myself. This was just a year or so ago. Always amazes me the stuff they have. Even knowing they bought out an Atari warehouse or whatever, why did *Atari* still have those at that time? They weren't packaging them with new XL's...
  15. The Jaguar's most lasting legacy is that it was the last Atari game console.
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