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7800 vs. Colecovision

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Which system was more advanced?

my guess would be from other threads here that 7800 is much more powerful espcially in sprites ..that said software is in favor of coleco.

one machine being pre crash with lots of companies to support it and the other though developed pre crash was released post crash, with a much different view of the market by companies and Atari having been sold etc. The environment radically changed. Who knows what could have been done on 7800,though our guys here on Atariage have done a fine job with it! :D

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I'm no expert, but this is what advantages and disadvantages I could see.

 

Atari 7800 has a 256 color palette while Coleco only has 15 colors

Coleco is limited to 4 sprites per scanline while Atari 7800 is only limited by the time it takes to construct one line

The background graphics is limited to 2 colors per 8 pixels on Coleco

Coleco has better sound chip (although the 7800 could have a separate chip in the game cartridge)

Coleco has separate VRAM while MARIA has to halt the cpu while reading from RAM and ROM

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Colecovision is a bit older than the 7800 though they aren't all that different in age. I've heard:

 

7800 has the edge in sprites (by a lot), hardware scrolling, on-screen colors, total colors and display tricks

 

Colecovision has the edge in sound, ease of programming and can have the edge in resolution. Technically the 7800 has higher res, but those modes are harder to take advantage of.

 

Both CV and 7800 have homebrewers really trying to push them right now, churning out games that are beyond what the original programmers were able to do. On CV, check out Opcode Games. On 7800, check out some of the stuff GroovyBee is doing.

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This comparision is quite unfair as Colecovision is console of the second generation while Atari 7800 is console of third generation. It is obvious that Atari 7800 is a much more powerful hardware. This however can not be true in terms of sound capabilities, as this is Atari 7800 weakest point, but in everything else Atari 7800 is simply better.

 

Colecovision vs Atari 5200 or XEGS would be a fair comparision.

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This comparision is quite unfair as Colecovision is console of the second generation while Atari 7800 is console of third generation. It is obvious that Atari 7800 is a much more powerful hardware. This however can not be true in terms of sound capabilities, as this is Atari 7800 weakest point, but in everything else Atari 7800 is simply better.

 

Colecovision vs Atari 5200 or XEGS would be a fair comparision.

 

Spot on. While the Coleco v. 5200 debate had been done way too much, a Coleco v. 7800 is not a fair fight. Two different generations, two different technologies.

You could compare the "fun" factor certainly, but as far as which was more advanced it's just not appropriate.

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my guess would be from other threads here that 7800 is much more powerful espcially in sprites ..that said software is in favor of coleco.

one machine being pre crash with lots of companies to support it and the other though developed pre crash was released post crash, with a much different view of the market by companies and Atari having been sold etc. The environment radically changed. Who knows what could have been done on 7800,though our guys here on Atariage have done a fine job with it! :D

 

Yeah you have no idea :P This night when I was asleep I had a strange dream about a maniac shooter that took advantage of the MARIA-chip. It was like a premake of Mushihimesama Futari and it was exciting cause no slowdowns occured during the bulletrain :)

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This comparision is quite unfair as Colecovision is console of the second generation while Atari 7800 is console of third generation. It is obvious that Atari 7800 is a much more powerful hardware. This however can not be true in terms of sound capabilities, as this is Atari 7800 weakest point, but in everything else Atari 7800 is simply better.

 

Colecovision vs Atari 5200 or XEGS would be a fair comparision.

 

Spot on. While the Coleco v. 5200 debate had been done way too much, a Coleco v. 7800 is not a fair fight. Two different generations, two different technologies.

You could compare the "fun" factor certainly, but as far as which was more advanced it's just not appropriate.

 

 

 

I don't think it's an unfair comparison the coleco was released in 82? The 7800 was finished and 83 and would have been released for christmas if the market was there. Coleco repackaged the colecovision and rereleased it in 84 as the Adam computer. Really the Nes was out in japan in 83 too. I wouldn't call those third gen systems. The coleco and the 7800 were better than the Nes in many ways None of course compared to the Sega master system.

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The 7800 was finished and 83 and would have been released for christmas if the market was there.

 

It wasn't finished until 1984. I think they got the MARIA 2 chip closed off by the end of the year, but other work on it continued into 1984, leading to the test-market mid year. Christmas 1983 was never an option.

 

 

Coleco repackaged the colecovision and rereleased it in 84 as the Adam computer. Really the Nes was out in japan in 83 too. I wouldn't call those third gen systems.

 

This is why I get irritated by the comparisons of NES and 7800 and people who refer to the 7800 as older tech thrown on market. While you can debate strengths and weaknesses, Famicom was done before MARIA was done.

 

None of course compared to the Sega master system.

 

No system is universally superior to another. Pet peeve of mine.

 

But agree ... SMS is a nice rounded machine overall. And unlike the 7800, it really was pushed by Sega and by partners over its long life.

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This comparision is quite unfair as Colecovision is console of the second generation while Atari 7800 is console of third generation. It is obvious that Atari 7800 is a much more powerful hardware. This however can not be true in terms of sound capabilities, as this is Atari 7800 weakest point, but in everything else Atari 7800 is simply better.

 

Colecovision vs Atari 5200 or XEGS would be a fair comparision.

 

Spot on. While the Coleco v. 5200 debate had been done way too much, a Coleco v. 7800 is not a fair fight. Two different generations, two different technologies.

You could compare the "fun" factor certainly, but as far as which was more advanced it's just not appropriate.

 

I don't think it's an unfair comparison the coleco was released in 82? The 7800 was finished and 83 and would have been released for christmas if the market was there. Coleco repackaged the colecovision and rereleased it in 84 as the Adam computer. Really the Nes was out in japan in 83 too. I wouldn't call those third gen systems. The coleco and the 7800 were better than the Nes in many ways None of course compared to the Sega master system.

Date of design isn't necessarily tied to capabilities but there's other trade-offs (the 7800 had a greater emphasis on low cost and was tied down by VCS compatibility).

 

But one thing important to note is the true age of the Colecovision and 5200 chipsets: both were 1979 designs from the TI99/4 and Atari 400/800 both of which having some tweaks added for more graphics modes with the TMS9928 and GTIA over 9918 and CTIA (the rarely used in game mode 2 on the 9928 with 2 colors per 8 pixels rather than 2 colors per 8 characters in mode 1 -mode 1 was the common one for games due to the speed and memory usage -both ROM and RAM- while GTIA of course added the 80 pixel wide 4-bit per pixel modes). SO both were older tech with less consolidated hardware. The Colecovision of course used a Z80 rather than the TMS9900 but the same SN76489 (somewhat weaker than the AY8910 used in the Intelly, ST, Speccy 128k, CPC, MSX, etc) and Sega's SG-1000/SC-3000 and the Sord M5 both also used the same chipset with Z80: the MSX and Spectravideo opted to use the superior AY8910/YM2149 sound/IO chip instead (actaully a bit odd that Coleco and Sega didn't opt for that as it integrated the I/O that would be useful for the controllers -basically the same I/O functionality of RIOT or PIA with dual 8-bit parallel I/O ports).

 

In any case there's a lot of trade-offs compared to the 7800 in many different respects and one that both the 5200/400/600XL and the CV/SG-1000 have over the 7800 is considerably more onboard RAM (16 kB plus another 1 or 2k in the CV/SG-100) with the TI chipsets using dedicated 16 kB DRAM for video and a chunk of SRAM for main memory but the 5200 (etc) shares the RAM/ROM bus like the 7800 with ~30% hit on CPU performance due to bus sharing I believe. The dedicated RAM potentially allows higher speed than ROM being used at the time (I'm not sure how critical that was for the TMS9918 but it was more important for some later systems for sure and should have been for the 7800 given the 7.16 MHz MARIA clock speed), but the downside of that (other than cost trade-offs) is that graphics have to be loaded into RAM before they can be used and the CPU has to load the graphics via I/O ports (I'm not sure about DMA, some later systems using that configuration had DMA though -for fast copying to RAM, not direct use of ROM) while the 7800 and 5200 could directly pull graphics from ROM. (that set-up worked well for the Master system with the same 16 kB video RAM limit as well -bumpped up to 8 kB main RAM)

 

The NES only had 4 kB like the 7800 but split to 2k for CPU and 2k for video, but the critical difference was that there were separate cartridge buses for main and video memory for full parallel access. The cost trade-offs for this are significantly greater than including the onboard RAM but flexibility is very high. (many arcade boards used multi-bus ROM carts as well) The NES had dedicated CPU ROM and VROM or in some cases expanded VRAM on the cart as well and the disadvantages are largely tied to cost: you need a much larger cartridge slot with the Famicom using 60 pins (albeit some for expansion -like an audio in line) and the NES bumping that to 72 pins with some other additions including the lockout mechanism (but oddly dropping the audio line) and on top of that required a minimum of 2 ROM chips on the cart for the separate buses. That's compared to the 32 pins of the 7800 (also including expansion and some redundant lines), 36 of the 5200, 30 of the A8, and 40 of the coloecovision. (all of the latter usually using single ROM chips though some early games on the A8 in particular used dual ROM chips for larger games before higher density ROMs became cheaper)

No other home console (unless you count the Neo Geo AES) after the NES or before would use dual cartridge buses as such.

 

And in terms of 1982/83 the C64 would be a contemporary new design. (the NES is ahead in many respects but it was also a year newer and the A8 and TMS chipsets were still surprisingly competitive considering the age)

 

 

But getting to actual performance is another matter altogether with many trade-offs on the different systems, and again, the 7800 was tied to a low-cost aim and backwards compatibility on top of development time constraints. (for the planned 1984 release the trade-offs were quite reasonable -though I think they could have made concessions to cram a POKEY in there even at the expense of another or a larger riser board on early models before more consolidation and a cut-down POKEY could be used -especially if they only used the audio hardware of POKEY it could easily be cut to 24 pins or even less -though a smaller package than a 24 pin wide DIP might need a die shrink; and if they'd had designed it in terms of being ready in 1985 or even later, there was a lot of other changes that could have been made like integrating sound with MARIA rather than bothering with POKEY or adding a small onboard custom sound chip, adding more RAM and maybe even faster RAM to allow bus interleaving for the CPU and MARIA like the Apple II, CoCo, Amiga, ST, and others did, probably with bus stealing for MARIA to use the max bandwidth when necessary -switching to DRAM could have opened up possibilities but also added to board space unless an embedded DRAM interface was added as well -and DRAM chips themselves are significantly smaller, but SRAM could be faster and with more potential for interleaved accesses and a few games already added 16 kB of SRAM on cart a bit later -switching to a single 8 kB 8-bit SRAM chip would have saved board space over the dual 2k chips and probably been a good compromise, especially in the context of a 1985 release but maybe even a good trade-off for the planned 1984 release, at very least paying off in the long run)

 

I sort of wonder why Atari Corp never implemented a cost-cut POKEY for use on 7800 carts (among other things). I understand why they dropped the additional GCC stuff (added cost for R&D and licensing), but Atari Corp already owned the IP to POKEY, and even without modifying the silicon (same chip, same masks) they could have cut it down to 24 pins quite reasonably and made it at least a moderately more feasible on-cart option than a 40-pin POKEY (again, less than 24 pins would be narrow). Sort of like the AY8913 vs the AY8910. (a shame there's no interrupt line on the cart slot as that would have been nice to tie to POKEY's timers for some interesting possibilities -and even cut to 24 pins would leave plenty of room for the IRQ line -cutting out the POT+SIO+KEY lines alone gets it down to 22 pins needed)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No system is universally superior to another. Pet peeve of mine.

 

But agree ... SMS is a nice rounded machine overall. And unlike the 7800, it really was pushed by Sega and by partners over its long life.

Well I'd say there are systems that are universally more capable than others, but generally not until full generations pass. (unless you consider things like cost)

 

SMS had the advantage of a strong 1st party developer, Atari Corp lacked the funds to really push that and Nintendo had locked out all the major arcade titles and 3rd party developers (in Japan at first and then spreading to the US -not so much to Europe but ACorp didn't seem to push for that but more for untapped US computer developers).

It seems that the 7800 may have outsold the SMS in the US though and the SMS was cut-off in the US long before Europe (ie 1991 with the rare US Sonic the Hedgehog release) and Sega did a much poorer job of marketing than Atari in the context of funds (albeit it was an uphill battle after not managing to make their mark alongside Nintendo in 1986 or even 1987 though Tonka at least bumped up marketing a good bit in '88 -especially the ads and box art- but Nintendo had a virtual monopoly by then at over 70% market share -Michael Katz really revamped Sega marketing when he came onboard just after the Genesis launch in fall of '89, he did a damn good job at Atari Corp given the limitations he had to work with too).

 

I'm not positive about the 7800 outselling the SMS though. I know Atari sold some 3.77 million 7800s in the US alone and there's the supposed 2 million SMSs sold in the US (not really reliable), but given Sega seems to have had roughly 40-50% of the relative market share in the mid/late 80s to what Atari had and given the 2600 selling notably more than the 7800 at the time (ie significantly more than 50% of ACorp's console sales), that would definitely imply the SMS outsold the 7800 by at least a small margin. (which would imply around double what the claims are for the SMS, ie more like 4 million if not more)

Edited by kool kitty89

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I sort of wonder why Atari Corp never implemented a cost-cut POKEY for use on 7800 carts (among other things). I understand why they dropped the additional GCC stuff

 

GCC was working on a low cost chip called GUMBY which was intended for this purpose. When Atari Corp took over, GUMBY disappeared. If you haven't heard this interview on Curt's site, have a listen: http://www.applefritter.com/mp3/vcf2004/atari.mp3

 

Well I'd say there are systems that are universally more capable than others, but generally not until full generations pass. (unless you consider things like cost)

 

Yes, I probably should have clarified further, though I assumed it was understood what I meant ... comparing systems of a similar timeframe. Sure, you could say that a PS3 is universally more powerful than a 2600, but that's getting into arguing for the sake of arguing.

 

I'm not positive about the 7800 outselling the SMS though. I know Atari sold some 3.77 million 7800s in the US alone and there's the supposed 2 million SMSs sold in the US (not really reliable)

 

It's possible that Sega sold more than 2 million SMSs. :-) There's also the factor of the 7800 being quite a bit cheaper, along with the games. And while Atari didn't advertise a lot in media, they did advertise a fair bit at retail, pushing compatibility.

 

 

, but given Sega seems to have had roughly 40-50% of the relative market share in the mid/late 80s to what Atari had

 

At the antitrust trial, it was revealed that Nintendo had 80%, Atari had 12%. http://query.nytimes...756C0A964958260

 

 

and given the 2600 selling notably more than the 7800 at the time (ie significantly more than 50% of ACorp's console sales),

 

Where did you get this figure?

Edited by DracIsBack

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This comparision is quite unfair as Colecovision is console of the second generation while Atari 7800 is console of third generation. It is obvious that Atari 7800 is a much more powerful hardware. This however can not be true in terms of sound capabilities, as this is Atari 7800 weakest point, but in everything else Atari 7800 is simply better.

 

Colecovision vs Atari 5200 or XEGS would be a fair comparision.

 

 

Yes and the differences between the 6502 and Z80 could also be taken into consideration. Not that it's worth debating. :P

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This comparision is quite unfair as Colecovision is console of the second generation while Atari 7800 is console of third generation. It is obvious that Atari 7800 is a much more powerful hardware. This however can not be true in terms of sound capabilities, as this is Atari 7800 weakest point, but in everything else Atari 7800 is simply better.

 

Colecovision vs Atari 5200 or XEGS would be a fair comparision.

 

Don't forget that the 7800 was held up for two years from it's originally scheduled release date, so the comparison isn't a bad one to make. The technology is actually only 2 years apart, not 4 and the 7800 contained some older tech to maintain 2600 compatibility.

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And another thing, the Famicom is a 1983 system and the Colecovision is a 1982 system, so where do you draw the line between second and third generation? Intellivision is also classified as second generation and I consider that designation shaky, as well, since Colecovision is second generation and the games look a helluva lot better than Intellivision.

 

I think we need to have mid generation designations for some systems. Intellivision might be generation 1.5 and the 7800 might be generation 2.5. I say 2.5 for the 7800 because the sound was first generation and even the graphics aren't that great. Look at games like Double Dragon which was made for 7800, Sega Master System and NES and you see a huge difference in the quality with the NES and Sega versions looking a lot better. Commando also looks better on NES than 7800. Rambo is probably the nearest thing to Commando on the Sega and even that looks better than the 7800.

Edited by OldAtarian

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Look at games like Double Dragon which was made for 7800, Sega Master System and NES and you see a huge difference in the quality with the NES and Sega versions looking a lot better.

 

Not sure it's a fair comparison as you're not only comparing different systems, but you're also comparing different developers behind the game as well.

 

Double Dragon on the 7800: Made by Imagineering/Absolute

Double Dragon on the SMS: Made by Sega themselves

Double Dragon on the NES: Made by Tradewest

 

Even among 7800 games, not sure Double Dragon is the top end of graphics in the 7800 library.

 

What about other factors? For example:

- What is the average size of a 7800 cartridge relative to an NES and SMS game?

- What was the average development cycle for a 7800 title relative to an NES and SMS game?

- How many A-list developers made 7800 games relative to the NES or SMS?

- How many 7800 games were enhanced by additional hardware in cartridge relative to NES and SMS titles?

- How many generations of software did developers make on the 7800 vs. the NES and SMS?

Edited by DracIsBack

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I sort of wonder why Atari Corp never implemented a cost-cut POKEY for use on 7800 carts (among other things). I understand why they dropped the additional GCC stuff

 

GCC was working on a low cost chip called GUMBY which was intended for this purpose. When Atari Corp took over, GUMBY disappeared. If you haven't heard this interview on Curt's site, have a listen: http://www.applefritter.com/mp3/vcf2004/atari.mp3

Yes, GUMBY then Mini GUMBY then MINI, but in case you haven't been paying attention, Curt and Marty have proved that much of that speech/presentation (not so much an interview) was not in fact what actually happened and much of the "common knowledge" on the subject was skewed and blurred to the point of barely being useful.

 

The Tramiels wanted to press forward with the 7800 right away but Warner contended ownership as the contract had never been made with Atari, but Warner themselves (indicative of some of the bureaucratic mess of Atari Inc) and thus not part of the sale of Atari's consumer properties. It went back and forth until early 1985 when Tramiel finally relented and paid GCC for the development of 10 existing games and MARIA. It makes perfect sense that they dropped the rest of the GCC stuff given the budget they were on and the frustration that had already taken place over the acquisition of the 7800 in the first place. That's the same reason they pressed forward with the XEGS later on as an entry level gaming-oriented computer rather than something like the 7800 computer expansion.

 

And thus my point was that they owned the IP for POKEY already, no licensing, no royalties, no R&D costs, and cutting that to a 24 pin package would have been very practical. (again cutting to less would mean a narrow DIP and thus likely a die shrink, and that would require more R&D costs)

 

Well I'd say there are systems that are universally more capable than others, but generally not until full generations pass. (unless you consider things like cost)

Yes, I probably should have clarified further, though I assumed it was understood what I meant ... comparing systems of a similar timeframe. Sure, you could say that a PS3 is universally more powerful than a 2600, but that's getting into arguing for the sake of arguing.

Yeah, but then you also get into the argument of what "similar timeframe" would refer to. The PC Engine only came out 2 years after the Master System (SG-1000 Mk.III), the same timeframe difference as Famicom to Mk.III, and I'd say it's universally superior in that sense. Cases with strongly differing graphics architectures and other trade-offs (CPU and sound capabilities) contend for that a lot more, but there's plenty of examples where that's not the case.

You could also compare the Famicom to the SG-1000 Mk.I in 1983, but again the SG-1000 was using 1979/1981 hardware. (though if you got down to the full capabilities of the TMS9928, you'd note that it can manage 40 column text while the FC can't ;))

 

, but given Sega seems to have had roughly 40-50% of the relative market share in the mid/late 80s to what Atari had

 

At the antitrust trial, it was revealed that Nintendo had 80%, Atari had 12%. http://query.nytimes...756C0A964958260

Yes, I wasn't referring to overall market share for the generation (Nintendo was at ~90% in '89 and '90 with a quarterly peak of 93%), but in the context of 1988 specifically, and if you compare the years the 7800 was actually most popular from 1986-1989 the numbers are more favorable ('87 and '88 had over 3/4 the US sales of the 7800 while '89 saw a decline and '90 was ~93k units, far less than even the 286k sold in '86). Atari's and Sega's market shares were far higher early on but Nintendo got higher and higher (all 3 saw sales increase though 1988 but Nintendo's growth far outpaced the others).

If you cut off sales for 1985-1988, Atari Corp (including XEGS and 2600) was probably closer to 20% of the total video game hardware sales (2600 sales picked up rapidly in 1985 while Nintendo suffered the rather poor NY test market and remained a small fish at the January '86 CES, but all that changed in spring of '86 with sales picking up considerable with the expanded test markets and release of SMB and their position at the June CES was very different). Software sales would be a bit different though.

 

But in any case I was speaking more specifically in terms of Sega vs Atari share and from the figures I've seen it was about 2:1 in favor of Atari.

 

and given the 2600 selling notably more than the 7800 at the time (ie significantly more than 50% of ACorp's console sales),

Where did you get this figure?

Curt and Marty haven't listed the sort of detailed documentation for the 2600 as they found with the 7800, but given comments from them and many other accounts, I'd gotten the impression that the 2600 Jr made up more than 1/2 their consoles sales in the late 80s (maybe more than 1/2 of Atari Corps total console sales including the Lynx and Jaguar even).

There's also anecdotal accounts of 2600 Jrs still being sold in major retail stores well after the 7800 seemed to be gone (ie '91 or '92) and some of that extends to Europe, but that isn't applicable here. Plus there's the 2600 games getting released as well.

 

The 2600 Jr was the definitive budget game console in the US and Europe (ie excluding computers) through the late 80s and extending slightly into the early 90s before being totally pushed out of that role by the NES (and SMS as well in Europe).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This comparision is quite unfair as Colecovision is console of the second generation while Atari 7800 is console of third generation. It is obvious that Atari 7800 is a much more powerful hardware. This however can not be true in terms of sound capabilities, as this is Atari 7800 weakest point, but in everything else Atari 7800 is simply better.

 

Colecovision vs Atari 5200 or XEGS would be a fair comparision.

 

Don't forget that the 7800 was held up for two years from it's originally scheduled release date, so the comparison isn't a bad one to make. The technology is actually only 2 years apart, not 4 and the 7800 contained some older tech to maintain 2600 compatibility.

Yes and also remember the Famicom was held back some 2 years (if not more) from their attempted release via Atari. (had it not been for the crash they might have successfully sourced it to Coleco or Mattel or someone else -too weak to go it alone in the US market for sure, the crash, much competition leaving, several successful years in Japan, and several years of persistent pushing and learning the nature of the US market made that a more viable option by 1986 though -they did have to build up NoA and got the deal with WoW)

 

At one point Atari Inc was seriously considering releasing the Famicom, but for a number of culminating factors they ended up favoring the 7800. (more to that story of course)

Edited by kool kitty89

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Look at games like Double Dragon which was made for 7800, Sega Master System and NES and you see a huge difference in the quality with the NES and Sega versions looking a lot better.

 

Not sure it's a fair comparison as you're not only comparing different systems, but you're also comparing different developers behind the game as well.

 

Double Dragon on the 7800: Made by Imagineering/Absolute

Double Dragon on the SMS: Made by Sega themselves

Double Dragon on the NES: Made by Tradewest

 

Even among 7800 games, not sure Double Dragon is the top end of graphics in the 7800 library.

 

What about other factors? For example:

- What is the average size of a 7800 cartridge relative to an NES and SMS game?

- What was the average development cycle for a 7800 title relative to an NES and SMS game?

- How many A-list developers made 7800 games relative to the NES or SMS?

- How many 7800 games were enhanced by additional hardware in cartridge relative to NES and SMS titles?

- How many generations of software did developers make on the 7800 vs. the NES and SMS?

 

Since there aren't that many games for the 7800 at all, most of those points are irrelevant. The only one that mitigates in favor of the 7800 in any way is the ability to add an additional sound processor to the carts but that drives up the price of the games that use it and the other systems came with better sound chips already, so it's an iffy point at best.

Edited by OldAtarian

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Since there aren't that many games for the 7800 at all, most of those points are irrelevant.

 

You missed the point entirely ....

Edited by DracIsBack
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I love the fact NES Double Dragon is one player, hardly anything like the arcade game and like the equally bad SMS version flickers so much it gives you a seizure!

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I think we need to have mid generation designations for some systems. Intellivision might be generation 1.5 and the 7800 might be generation 2.5. I say 2.5 for the 7800 because the sound was first generation and even the graphics aren't that great. Look at games like Double Dragon which was made for 7800, Sega Master System and NES and you see a huge difference in the quality with the NES and Sega versions looking a lot better. Commando also looks better on NES than 7800. Rambo is probably the nearest thing to Commando on the Sega and even that looks better than the 7800.

 

Double Dragon on 7800 is really poor conversion. But it doesn't flicker like on NES or SMS.

 

I think good games for comparision are Commando and Ikari Warriors. But remember to not compare games basing on static screenshots. In my opinion 7800 versions are better than NES versions. Commando for 7800 has a more colorful graphics and doesn't flicker at all. Nes version in comparison has a more detailed graphics as it runs in higher resolution, but has awful colors, and flickers a bit. Commando for 7800 has a Pokey chip build in, so sound is as good as NES. Result could be considered as a draw, altough I personally prefer 7800 version.

 

Ikari Warriors - NES version has better graphics, more detailed and faithful to the arcade. When you compare screenshots NES is wining wihout any doubt. But 7800 version run smoothly, without any flickering and slowdowns even when it is more than 10 enemies on the screen. Nes version when it is a lot of action on the screen, flickers as hell, making it almost unplayable in some moments. NES has much better sound as there is no Pokey chip in 7800 version. So NES has a better graphics and sound, while 7800 version runs more smoothly and is more playable. I prefer 7800 version as well.

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I love the fact NES Double Dragon is one player, hardly anything like the arcade game and like the equally bad SMS version flickers so much it gives you a seizure!

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omNFlCVbfTc

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCQ-Nbinx78

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTRMjnlBS4c

 

Sorry, but the 7800 version fails in almost all respects. The two player mode doesn't come close to making up for how horrible it looks overall, and the minimal flickering seen on the SMS version is tolerable by comparison. I can only imagine how hard it must be to play DD with the 7800 controller instead of a joypad, too.

 

and here's the arcade for comparison

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0-2xhQAO9k

Edited by OldAtarian

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That SMS video is clearly using an emulator as its not flickering and the music is slightly off.

 

Post a video of it on real hardware :roll:

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That SMS video is clearly using an emulator as its not flickering and the music is slightly off.

 

Post a video of it on real hardware :roll:

Slightly off??? You mean nothing like the normal US/EU SMS/ ;) We got deprived of the YM2413 of the Japanese SMS (and add-on for the Sega Mk.III). (though yes, it is a bit distorted compared to how it should be and flicker is disabled)

 

But let's not get into a long discussion on double dragon... that happened in a long winded fashion on Sega-16 recently... the NES is a different game and not directly comparable and the SMS game is definitely a better arcade port: the hit detection "problems" aren't problems at all, but the enemies dodging like in the arcade: the problem is the lack of animation to properly depict dodging, that and the continue system that puts you exactly where you were rather than restarting the level or having a checkpoint (thus making it too easy -granted it's like having infinite quarters at the arcade). The MD version was rather poorly done as well, Amiga and ST had no music, etc.

The SMS version had flicker like a lot of SMS games that tried to make minimum cuts, the NES game specifically limited on-screen sprites and eliminated the 2-player co-op mode for those reasons. (also note that the NES and SMS games are both 256 kB and that SMS graphics take up 2x the space on-cart as NES graphics so while you get more colors per tile you also have trade-offs for animation and number of unique background tiles compared to the NES with games of similar size -in both cases without using compression of course)

 

SMS double dragon was a sloppy port of the 8-bit computer versions made with the development budget and ROM size limits of most 7800 games. (it seems very much like a sloppy conversion of the C64 game) The 7800 could have been the one version of the time with more use of sprites, but it had far too many other issues to address before even getting to that stage...

 

2600 Double Dragon is obviously poorer still, but impressive for what it is. (the sort of case where it was really too mugh to really even try to push it onto the system, but what they did manage is pretty interesting)

 

 

And as to flicker, remember ALL flicker is more annoying on PAL TVs ad it's slower and more flickery: in NTSC you get 60 Hz flicker vs 50 Hz, or rather with alternating flicker of 2 sets of sprites you end up with 30 Hz flicker vs 25 Hz flicker, or even with 3 sets of sprites it's still 20 Hz rather than ~16.7 Hz, but normally it doesn't go below doubled flicker. So in NTSC it looks more like the sprites turn translucent than actually flickering.

 

The SMS version was pretty much the closest to the arcade that you could get at the time and that's what it focused on: cramming as much of the arcade game in as possible (arguably at the expense of performance but that's the case with a lot of arcade ports on the SMS). The ST and Amig aversions are arguably better though the lack of music hurts them (and aren't they 1-button control?) and the MD version could have been the clincher but that game was a bit screwed up too. (not just the funky remixed music either)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But back on topic: other than the tech side of things there's the realistic market comparison to consider as well:

if the Colecovision had stayed on the market in some form it would have catered better to the mass market programming standards than the 7800 for sure (the 7800 would have worked well as a direct transition from the VCS though and in 1984 that could have been very different). The CV uses conventional indexed color character based graphics and hardware sprites (albeit only 4 per line and mono, but at least 16x16 and hardware multiplexed to 32 on-screen).

One important thing would be the commonality with the SG-1000 and MSX (so much so that there was actually a dual SG-1000 and CV console released) and thus it would be relatively practical to cross-platform develop for those games with the exception of cases where the MSX's RAM made it impractical to convert to the CV (the 2 vs 1 kB for the SG-1000 shouldn't have been nearly as big a difference). Some of the sound would need to be cut back on the MSX ports as well as the AY8910/YM2149 had features the SN76489 doesn't (yes the Intellivision's sound chip is superior to the Master System and Colecovision's ;) -and it's the same as in the ST, Spectrum 128k, CPC, and several others)

 

Though it would still be a matter of licensing those games and getting interest to do such for both Japanese and European developers of the MSX and Sega's SG-1000 and SC-3000. (maybe Coleco -or whoever took over CV distribution- could make a favorable deal with Sega given they hadn't released the SG-1000 in the west at all but the CV was already there and very similar -would have been interesting if the CV got a transition to a gamepad like the SG-1000 Mk.II did)

-On a side note, the SC-3000 is more how Coleco should have made the Adam.

Edited by kool kitty89
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Sorry, but the 7800 version fails in almost all respects.

 

I agree that it fails on all respects. I don't agree with using that as an example of what the 7800 is or isn't capable of. :-)

 

I also don't think "Double Dragon" was an a+ 7800 effort either. It was done by a pretty crappy developer who also did duds like FIGHT NIGHT and SUPER HUEY on the 7800. The SMS version was done by Sega themselves (an A+ developer). The game was obviously rushed - there are moves and game elements missing and the Abobo sprites are lifted right out of TITLE MATCH PRO wrestling. The game is only 128K (I think the SMS cart is twice the size) and the art direction is pretty mixed throughout. Even as far as 7800 games go, there are titles with better graphics.

Edited by DracIsBack

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Sorry, but the 7800 version fails in almost all respects.

 

I agree that it fails on all respects. I don't agree with using that as an example of what the 7800 is or isn't capable of. :-)

 

I also don't think "Double Dragon" was an a+ 7800 effort either. It was done by a pretty crappy developer who also did duds like FIGHT NIGHT and SUPER HUEY on the 7800. The SMS version was done by Sega themselves (an A+ developer). The game was obviously rushed - there are moves and game elements missing and the Abobo sprites are lifted right out of TITLE MATCH PRO wrestling. The game is only 128K (I think the SMS cart is twice the size) and the art direction is pretty mixed throughout. Even as far as 7800 games go, there are titles with better graphics.

 

I'd agree. SEGA put a lot of work and cash into their game development. Atari didn't spend the cash or put enough effort into quality control for the 7800 releases. Planet Smashers anyone? Some of the recent home brew titles give a glimpse of what the 7800 is capable of and there is probably still a lot of potential to be tapped. All that aside, there were some cracking releases for the 7800 despite rights for most of the big titles of the time already being snapped up.

 

Tr

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