Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
ComputerSpaceFan

Article comparing the Wii shovelware to the 2600 crash of 1983

Recommended Posts

To me, it was a crash, a big moment in the industry that made people wonder if video games would ever be made again. It was far from "sensationalized" or "mislabeled"; it was a reality.

 

See, I guess that's what really confounds me when I hear people say things like that. It's almost

like they were programmed by the media at the time (and uber-reinforced since then.) I suppose, if you were completely unaware of other platforms that had tons of games during that time, it might seem to you that 'video games would never be made again;' but just because you aren't looking at the tree behind you doesn't mean it isn't there.

 

Sure, I certainly was saddened by the drastic reduction of console titles (though the INTV releases were great, as was building a library for my consoles on the cheap,) but like most of the kids I knew back then, we were gaming on our atari 800s or vic 20s or c=64s or (etc.) by then.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I suppose, if you were completely unaware of other platforms that had tons of games during that time, it might seem to you that 'video games would never be made again;' but just because you aren't looking at the tree behind you doesn't mean it isn't there.

 

I don't think it was clear that the market for video game consoles would ever return; it seemed they would be forever eclipsed and replaced by computers. It seemed that the hardware necessary for good video games would be to expensive to devote just to that purpose, so there wasn't really much point to pushing for game-only systems. Even in 1990, I don't think people would have expected that 15 years later standalone game machines would be the way high-end people would play games.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the reign of the PC is finally at an end. With fully capable systems like the 360 and the PS3 around, most people don't see a need for the PC, game-wise, anymore.

 

But I still love PC gaming.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I used to play a lot of games in my PC all thru the 90's. I got tired of having to upgrade my PC every time a new Quake came out, so I gave up. I still play old Microprose games and sorted abandonware.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think the reign of the PC is finally at an end. With fully capable systems like the 360 and the PS3 around, most people don't see a need for the PC, game-wise, anymore.

 

But I still love PC gaming.

 

Agreed. Worse yet, all you see on the PC gaming shelves these days are sequels.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It seems like every time I get a PC game it won't play on my computer. PCs themselves are not standardized very well which causes problems when it comes to games. By the time you upgrade your computer to play every game you want, you may as well just go buy the console instead.

Edited by accousticguitar

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I suppose, if you were completely unaware of other platforms that had tons of games during that time, it might seem to you that 'video games would never be made again;' but just because you aren't looking at the tree behind you doesn't mean it isn't there.

 

I don't think it was clear that the market for video game consoles would ever return; it seemed they would be forever eclipsed and replaced by computers. It seemed that the hardware necessary for good video games would be to expensive to devote just to that purpose, so there wasn't really much point to pushing for game-only systems. Even in 1990, I don't think people would have expected that 15 years later standalone game machines would be the way high-end people would play games.

 

When you get down to it though all those computers could be attached to a TV and act like a console. They had cartridge games, as well as disk drives to allow bigger titles. Which is not much different from add-ons seen from other dedicated consoles. The only real difference from consoles of the time was a keyboard. Hell, the 5200 is really just an Atari (400?) with the keyboard taken out? I think :ponder:

 

What people call the crash of the video game industry, was really just the crash of Atari. By all rights Atari should have been making money hand over fist in 1983-84, but by poor management they crashed instead. Everyone was shocked and surprised because a child could have managed a company in their position and made a soaring profit. All the crap about 3rd parties dragging Atari down is a load of bunk dreamed up by the failed Atari managers to cover their assess.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The crappy third-party (and first-party) games helped along the transition to computers, but cheap gaming computers were definitely the primary reason console gaming crashed. Everyone was moving to the Commodore 64 (mostly) by then.

 

And, facts have to be faced -- the rampant piracy scene for computers made them far more appealing for gaming than consoles. Pay a little more for a computer, but then get all the games for free from friends. Plus your parents think you're learning and are more likely to leave you alone.

 

By 1984 I was completely switched over to the C64. By the time the 7800 came out, I was barely aware of it.

 

The connection this article makes is tenuous at best. Shovelware was a side-issue, not the main instigator of the crash.

Edited by Mirage1972

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, hardcore gamers like most of us switched over to the computer scene, but the casual players the article is referencing just dropped out of the market. Home computer sales were only a fraction of what console sales were pre-crash and it took maybe 5 years for video game sales to really recover.

 

Anyway, I agree that the crash was caused by awful Atari management, specifically excess inventory, old catalog games, and a bungled "next gen" with the 5200. As long as Nintendo isn't repeating the same mistakes, they won't have the same problem.

Edited by flowmotion

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yes, hardcore gamers like most of us switched over to the computer scene, but the casual players the article is referencing just dropped out of the market. Home computer sales were only a fraction of what console sales were pre-crash and it took maybe 5 years for video game sales to really recover.

 

Every single kid I knew in school switched over to various computers (almost all C64) at about the same time from the Atari, INTV, etc, and I suspect the same would be true all over America. I think you have a point, but I also think that the mass exodus to computers had a huge huge huge impact. After about 1984, no one I knew was into console gaming at all... everyone was into computers. There were a ton of kids into gaming (then computer gaming) back then, and all making the switch at the same time had to hurt the console industry in a big way.

 

So yeah, I guess I'm saying they were both big reasons.

Edited by Mirage1972

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Every single kid I knew in school switched over to various computers (almost all C64) at about the same time from the Atari, INTV, etc, and I suspect the same would be true all over America. I think you have a point, but I also think that the mass exodus to computers had a huge huge huge impact. After about 1984, no one I knew was into console gaming at all... everyone was into computers. There were a ton of kids into gaming (then computer gaming) back then, and all making the switch at the same time had to hurt the console industry in a big way.

 

So yeah, I guess I'm saying they were both big reasons.

I don't disagree that a very active segment of the market moved to computer gaming, including myself and some (but not all) of my friends. Just that in terms of sales numbers it was only a small piece of the pre-crash pie. Total game software sales went from roughly $3Billion to only $100Million. (Of course many computer users found ways not to pay for games ;) ) This is because the "casual players" (adults, females) quit the video game market and it refocused on the more hardcore young male group.

 

Also it was a push-pull phenomenon. Major retailers had dumped all their console stock and Atari/Coleco/etc had canceled most of their promised titles. Many people including myself certainly would have continued purchasing new console games if they were available, but they weren't.

 

[Edit: the only reason I'm pointing this out is that it's directly relevant to the article's premise that Nintendo is creating a 'bubble']

Edited by flowmotion

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I don't disagree that a very active segment of the market moved to computer gaming, including myself and some (but not all) of my friends. Just that in terms of sales numbers it was only a small piece of the pre-crash pie. Total game software sales went from roughly $3Billion to only $100Million. (Of course many computer users found ways not to pay for games ;) ) This is because the "casual players" (adults, females) quit the video game market and it refocused on the more hardcore young male group.

 

Also it was a push-pull phenomenon. Major retailers had dumped all their console stock and Atari/Coleco/etc had canceled most of their promised titles. Many people including myself certainly would have continued purchasing new console games if they were available, but they weren't.

 

[Edit: the only reason I'm pointing this out is that it's directly relevant to the article's premise that Nintendo is creating a 'bubble']

 

You've made a strong enough point that I modified my original assertion somewhat. I agree now that it was both. What do you think about this though: so many people moved to computers that it hurt the market, retailers reduced orders, people saw this, panicked, stopped buying console games (or their interest dried up). It seems to me that it was somewhat of a domino effect of consequences. Or, at least, a number of things all happening at once. It sure was a strange time. For me, it was just characterized by the move to computers, and though I agree with your point now completely, I don't think that the move to computers should be minimized. It was definitely a huge influence on the situation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
To me, it was a crash, a big moment in the industry that made people wonder if video games would ever be made again. It was far from "sensationalized" or "mislabeled"; it was a reality.
I suppose, if you were completely unaware of other platforms that had tons of games during that time, it might seem to you that 'video games would never be made again;' but just because you aren't looking at the tree behind you doesn't mean it isn't there.
You're just saying that while the console market did crash, the computer game market didn't. Which is true. But a lot of people are talking about the console market when they talk about the crash. Sure there were other ways to play video games, but that doesn't mean there wasn't a crash. Would we be playing our 360s, Wiis and PS3s if it weren't for the NES? Who knows. IMHO the industry has gotten too big to crash again simply due to shovelware. Edited by BydoEmpire

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
To me, it was a crash, a big moment in the industry that made people wonder if video games would ever be made again. It was far from "sensationalized" or "mislabeled"; it was a reality.
I suppose, if you were completely unaware of other platforms that had tons of games during that time, it might seem to you that 'video games would never be made again;' but just because you aren't looking at the tree behind you doesn't mean it isn't there.
You're just saying that while the console market did crash, the computer game market didn't. Which is true. But a lot of people are talking about the console market when they talk about the crash. Sure there were other ways to play video games, but that doesn't mean there wasn't a crash. Would we be playing our 360s, Wiis and PS3s if it weren't for the NES? Who knows. IMHO the industry has gotten too big to crash again simply due to shovelware.

It seems to me back in 83 like others have said most people were switching to pc (though in florida mostly Atari or Apple not C64) , still saw alot of console stuff but it seemed to disappear overnight. Demand was still there I recall freinds complaining about a lack of new games etc. It's a shame Atari managed it the way they did. They had it all. I would guess the big company attitude by the new owners (Warner) really did them in. The guys they put in charge had no idea of inovation and what buyers wanted. Unlike the Nolan day. I mean even the 5200 could have done well, Atari was still the big dog, they could have licensed the best arcade titles but sadly Coleco did what Atari should have. Never really cared for the NES. The company I worked for got a few in and we all laughed, nobody bought one for several months,then bam it took off. History now... 7800 could have done it, especially with good titles and in 84 they still could have had them if they had stuck with it. The system was done and ready to ship. Hard to complain that it would also run the 2600 stuff. Parents still gripe about having to buy the latest system and have to buy new software again while the last 2 years stuff that would still be fun rots in the closet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You've made a strong enough point that I modified my original assertion somewhat. I agree now that it was both. What do you think about this though: so many people moved to computers that it hurt the market, retailers reduced orders, people saw this, panicked, stopped buying console games (or their interest dried up). It seems to me that it was somewhat of a domino effect of consequences. Or, at least, a number of things all happening at once. It sure was a strange time. For me, it was just characterized by the move to computers, and though I agree with your point now completely, I don't think that the move to computers should be minimized. It was definitely a huge influence on the situation.

The "domino effect" theory does make sense. If the most active game players moved to platforms where they could get games without paying for them, it would have certainly affected overall demand.

 

However in modern times, you see a big demand drop-off at the end of every console lifecycle as everyone prepares for the "next generation". Everyone expects this to happen, and inventory is managed accordingly. But when Atari went from 2600 -> "next gen" (either 5200, Coleco, or computers), they didn't have any existing history to work from and made a lot of poor assumptions about continuing 2600 demand which contributed to their inventory glut.

Edited by flowmotion

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just to dredge up my old post again, I thought it interesting that Yoshiki Okamoto (maker of Gyruss, Time Pilot, 1942, Street Fighter II, amoung others) agrees on this topic.

From http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/3646...ame_.php?page=7

 

"People are talking about how the second "Atari crash" is around the corner. And Nintendo is the one that has to figure out a way to stop it. In Japan we often say that history repeats itself, and it's going to take some serious effort to keep it from happening this time."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

History proved one thing...

 

It wasn't the supposed "glut of bad games" that became the major factor leading to the console crash. We've seen such gluts for every console and handheld since then (including the infamous "Nintendo Seal Of Quality"). It was a number of things that when added together, made it impossible for many to stay in the black. Companies that diversified poorly, or simply wasted too much on anticipated profits on halfhearted attempts and failed projects were left in the dust. At the same time, new A/V products (cheaper VHS and CD hardware) were demanding more of the consumer dollar.

 

Besides that, it takes much less to market a completed program now due to digital media.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the console crash was more than just the failure of the 2600, it was also the quick demise of coleco and mattel and the arcade craze that fueled the home console boom in the first place

 

why analysts assume the current market is ripe for another total crash is puzzling, the industry is mature enough now that when there is a slowdown or downturn (this has to eventually happen, it cant keep growing at its current rate forever), gaming will survive just fine without totally collapsing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How can they honestly compare the market in 1983 to the market of today? Atari owned the industry in 1983 and most companies banked on Atari's success. Today the industry has more than one major player -- there is Microsoft with inexhaustible finances, Sony with their hands in just about every market imaginable, and Nintendo who has been flying high on handheld sales for decades. Even if WII shovelware buried the WII it would hardly affect Microsoft and Sony. Don't forget that at the time of the crash Atari was focused primarily on games and had nothing to fall back on if something happened.

 

In 2008 Microsoft has a multitude of facets available to fund their products (i.e. Windoze OS, their business software packages, etc) and Sony receives income from DVD players, TVs, Stereos, the PSP, car stereos, and who knows what else. The crash of 1983 is far from happening and I doubt seriously that shovelware will be the death of the industry. Someone has already mentioned the shovelware that suffocated the PS1 at the end of its lifespan and that did nothing to crash the market. People are far more informed today then they were in 1983, plus with the economy being as unstable as it is, people are less likely to chance a $50 purchase without knowing what they are getting into first. In my opinion, that article was a waste of bandwidth. It’s based on pure conjecture and nothing else.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well after their lackluster E3 peformance, gamers are once again declaring Nintendo the harbinger of the E.T. curse....

 

http://www.doobiwan.com/2008/07/nintendo-a...evil-again.html

 

"It's Atari all over again, and they're digging an ET sized hole in the middle of the Nevada desert that is already the industries reputation. Lets just hope that one of the other players can catch the worlds interest before we lose them again. "

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whatever. This is just another rant by an "37337" gamer who just doesn't get that the Wii is appealing because it's DIFFERENT from the crap that we're all well used to by now.

 

First:

That's all well and good, I don't have or intend getting a Wii, so why should I care?

 

Then why should I care what this guy thinks? He's worried that because "Wii is currently the ambasssador for gaming in non-gaming households," video games will never gain legitimacy. What, as if first-person shooters are going to cause parents to say "well, you know, maybe video games aren't so bad after all!" Seriously?

 

Let's look at some more:

 

They were on track with Super Mario Galaxy, it was a lead the industry could follow, but then the flags went up with the Brawl mashathon and bells started sounding at the complete skillessness of Mario Kart, and eventually I started bracing for impact when Wii Fit came out.

 

I love SMG. It's a great game. You know what I love more than that? Mario Kart Wii. This is a game that is innovative and fun. "Skillessness?" You can tell that this is written by someone who has never played the game. Plenty of skill is required.

 

Lastly, be sure to take a dig at Wii Fit. Of course. It's still hard to find, millions around the world are loving it and using it to get healthier, but, you know, it's BAD. Why, I'm not quite sure, he doesn't really make any points against it, but in conclusion:

 

"Lets just hope that one of the other players can catch the worlds interest before we lose them again. "

 

Right, because the whole world is SO not interested in what the Wii has to offer... and what's this "we lose them again" thing? Who is the "we" here... the super-nerd gamers who are somehow AGAINST people playing fun games that they enjoy? The very serious front-line defenses against the foolishness of an on-screen balance board animation waving and telling you you're overweight? Valiant defenders of rhythm games? I just don't get it.

 

 

Well after their lackluster E3 peformance, gamers are once again declaring Nintendo the harbinger of the E.T. curse....

 

http://www.doobiwan.com/2008/07/nintendo-a...evil-again.html

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This is premature.

 

There shouldn't be compared at all. Things were done differently back then and it was more shovelware back then that cause the crash of 1983.

 

There were alot of systems on the market at the time. There was the 2600, 5200, colecovision, intellivision, vectrex, and I think the Odyssey 2 was having games produced for it. The problem was there was not market for that amount of game consoles and it didn't help Atari not focusing more on the 5200. Third parties didn't know any better at the time. Atari should've been the company with some idea. Atari was competing against itself with them supporting the 2600 and 5200 a lot.

 

The other thing for the crash was computers. The c64 was one of the reasons for the crash. The c64 was a cheap computer and offered more then a game console did at the time.

 

Atari also back in the early 1980's didn't know how to handle the popularity of the 2600 despite the system was already showing its age by 1982 and having a diffiuclt to time to develop a game console correctly at the time. Atari also didn't handle their 5200 launch great either.

 

The amount of game console releasing new games at the sametime caused the problem of having to many games.

 

Shovelware existed for a long time after the crash. The Nes had Shovelware, Game Boy Color did, Ps one did, and the ps 2 did. The 16 bit also had shovelware on the Genesis and the Snes.

 

The only thing that would cause a crash is EA buying one to many companies. EA is not the same company then it was under Trip Hawkins.

 

The video game industry didn't crash when Sega had a lot of problems was a hardware developer as result of their own mistakes. That Proved that the video game industry was stronger in the late 90's than it was in 1983. The same things hold true today.

 

What I have learned over the years is history always repeats itself no matter what. Also there is never a sure thing ever. Look at Bear Sterns for Christ sake, these where the best of the best companies. Atari in in the 1980s. Sega was huge even with the Sega Dreamcast at the time broke all sales records back about 10 years ago and about soon later, Sega stopped and got out of the Console business. Coleco back in 1982 and 1983 was the hottest companie in the world with Cabbage Patch Kids and Video games. Colecos Stock price went up from close to 3000% back then until 1986 everything went down. Seems like Two many games on the market and getting lower especially the Wii games. They are in demand temporary and seemed to be overproduced greatly. What will happen when demand dies but not the severe over supplyment? Like i said before History always repeats itself and there is never a sure thing ever!!!Ask The New England Patriots!!! There is never a 100% true thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are many really good on the spot replies to this post, but I believe there is one thing that many of you have not

figured in here. The crash of the 80s(oh and by the way for those who missed it also affected the computer companies

of the time) had 2 major differences than anything today. Number one, the games of the 80s were around $30 to $40

each, not a lot less than many of todays games. Now think for a moment how much a $30 game would cost today figuring

in the actual dollars worth today. Average salaries then were probably in the $300 to $350 range. How much do you make

today. How much would a game cost you today if it was at the same percentage of your pay as a game was to your pay

then.

Secondly, do you believe there are only as many people buying games today as there were then. So the amount of buyers

today can support much much more garbage than the buyers in the 80s. I'm pulling some numbers out of the sky here so

don't attack this on the numbers I'm going to quote now. If there were 5 million people with systems buying games in the

80s and there are a 50 million buying games today, just imagine how much junk can be sold today.

The only crash coming is the crash of us consumers when we see the price of the NEXT NEW SYSTEM on the market.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...