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How come a lot getting into retro games skip Atari?

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I think alot has to do with nostalgia. If you did not grow up with a system, then you do not have a personal connection to it. Sure, you can like something that you did not grow up with, but it is different. I think that it is harder to like Atari style games when growing up with Nes. I guess the same can be said if you grew up with Atari, and did not prefer the "newer game types". They ware totally different types of game style, graphics, etc. Personally I am a huge fan of Atari, Nes, and Sega, but I think that SOME people here are kind of funny on their perspective of the Nes. I compare it to "rooting for the other team" or being a Democrat and trying to like something Republican. I always can tune in somewhere for a good laugh when it comes to all the terrible shortcomings of one of the more successful classic systems.

I think you nailed it.

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swlovinist, on 15 Nov 2015 - 08:36 AM, said:snapback.png

I think alot has to do with nostalgia. If you did not grow up with a system, then you do not have a personal connection to it. Sure, you can like something that you did not grow up with, but it is different. I think that it is harder to like Atari style games when growing up with Nes. I guess the same can be said if you grew up with Atari, and did not prefer the "newer game types". They ware totally different types of game style, graphics, etc. Personally I am a huge fan of Atari, Nes, and Sega, but I think that SOME people here are kind of funny on their perspective of the Nes. I compare it to "rooting for the other team" or being a Democrat and trying to like something Republican. I always can tune in somewhere for a good laugh when it comes to all the terrible shortcomings of one of the more successful classic systems.

I think you nailed it.

 

"Rooting for the other team," LOL! I thought I was somehow "cheating" on Nintendo somehow when I first picked up Genesis and later Atari. :P

 

And I've been a Cowboys fan since late 1995 before they won Super Bowl XXX, and used to hate the Saints with a passion. Then in 2009 when the Saints were winning ballgames, I realised how awesome they were and finally started rooting for my state's home team. And cheered them to victory in Super Bowl XLIV. But Cowboys are still my #1, and they seem poised to win this year. So yeah, it's totally okay to like more than one sports team / rock band / game console / etc...

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I probably already said this, but I was born in late 1995 and didn't have regular internet access until I was in First Form.

 

I went to a website for Jimmy Neutron, a TV series I was into back then, and it had games, which turned out to be clones of retro games. This made the first video games I had contact with retro games. As someone who always want to find out the source of something, Atari 2600 and NES games were among the first bunch of games I found online, so I grew up playing 2600 and NES games on the internet. While definitely not as mainstream as the NES for "retro" circles, I think Atari still holds its ground.

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True, some us came up with NES (or even later) and still enjoy and/or appreciated the Atari. But I think we're exceptions more than the rule. I learned to stop getting annoying years ago when inferences were made--or when it was said outright--that Atari games and others of that generation could, and were only appreciated by people who grew up with them. (Similarly, there's the opposite attitude as well: "you're a Nintendo kid, what do YOU know about Atari?" I see the same thing in music scenes--older guys deride all popular music made after 1980, yet shit on teenagers with Pink Floyd t-shirts as posers. But I digress.)

For me, I was drawn to Atari and pre-NES stuff in general because I was fascinated by anything that wasn't Nintendo or Sega. The Bit Wars--that's the era I grew up in, and Nintendo and Sega were so big and so entrenched that the idea that there could be anything else was incredibly interesting. And at that point, that usually meant going back in time. Sure, there was the TurboGrafx and NeoGeo and 3DO and such, but that stuff basically didn't exist in my area. So I spent a lot of time in arcades jamming on the old Galaga and Ms. Pac-Man games languishing in the back, and the likes of Kung-Fu, Mario Bros., Donkey Kong Jr., and Galaga on my Nintendo. Even got Space Invaders and Pac-Man for Game Boy some time later. Of course I liked the new games that were out too, but I had an affinity for the oldies. Somewhere in there I'd heard about "The Atari" and it became this kind of mythical thing, and pretty much set me on my present course. :)

(I also heard a lot of patently incorrect information, like how it was the first system ever, only had black and white graphics, etc. :P )

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Atari was mostly dead when you were little, that's cool that you found it. Speaking of patently incorrect, I'll bet you can find someone calling Atari "4-bit" if you look hard enough.

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Atari was mostly dead when you were little, that's cool that you found it. Speaking of patently incorrect, I'll bet you can find someone calling Atari "4-bit" if you look hard enough.

I used to be one of them. "bits" were something that increased with each generation. NES was 8-bit, Genesis/SNES was 16-bit, so it made sense that the Atari must have somehow been "4-bits" because it was half the console the NES was. Those were the theories inside my head about video game generations when I was a teen in the mid 90s. It still didn't explain what happened to the "32-bit" console generation, which Nintendo skipped over with their emphasis on "64-bits" with the N64. I also naturally assumed later on when the Dreamcast and the Game Cube came out, they had to be "128-bit" consoles because the graphics looked twice as good as the N64. I was so naive then... :P

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I probably already said this, but I was born in late 1995 and didn't have regular internet access until I was in First Form.

 

I went to a website for Jimmy Neutron, a TV series I was into back then, and it had games, which turned out to be clones of retro games. This made the first video games I had contact with retro games. As someone who always want to find out the source of something, Atari 2600 and NES games were among the first bunch of games I found online, so I grew up playing 2600 and NES games on the internet. While definitely not as mainstream as the NES for "retro" circles, I think Atari still holds its ground.

Jimmy Neutron was a pretty good show.

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Atari was mostly dead when you were little, that's cool that you found it. Speaking of patently incorrect, I'll bet you can find someone calling Atari "4-bit" if you look hard enough.

Oh, I have no doubt my friends and I talked about Atari being "4-bit" or whatever. To piggyback on what Kosmic Stardust said, we were 6- or 7-year-old kids who A) didn't know any better and had basically zero idea of how computers actually worked, and B) were being constantly blitzed with advertising like that "blast processing" nonsense. For all we knew, if the Nintendo was 8-bit and the Super Nintendo and Sega were 16-bit, it stood reason that the Atari would be "4-bit."

 

As far as me "finding" Atari, one thing that probably helped was that for a brief time before I had a Nintendo, my parents had an ancient Commodore 64 and a couple of games that I would occasionally get to play, and the neighbor kid had an Apple IIc with some games (an possibly an Odyssey 2 but I may be misremembering that). I know I'd seen Super Mario Bros. by then but I still loved Blue Max and Beach Head II, even though I didn't really understand how to play them (I thought it was sheer chance that I found "the road" in Blue Max; I played for hours trying to find it again...never did until 25 years later :P ). I guess I just liked games? I remember being enamored with Asteroids and Space Invaders when my dad took me bowling at the local Elk's Lodge, even right after I dorked out on then-current Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Street Fighter II at the arcade at the mall. :)

Edited by BassGuitari
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I always figured the more chips were in a game console the smarter it was. And it was really really smart if the chips were "rom sized" or "cpu sized". That was serious brainage right there.

 

It was fun arbitrarily assigning functions of the chips based on their size and position on the motherboard.

 

This chip:

is the brain and MCP and watches over everything

does the color

does the sound

handles the controllers

takes care of the switches

controls the speed and helps with the chess game

makes fake gravity in videopinball

..and so on and so forth.

 

And yup! I even envisioned a chip made from alien technology that could re-wire itself if you put certain kinds of 'lectrizity into it. And we wondered if we had a computer "good enough" if it could run games not made for it. The first inklings of a modern-day emulator I suppose. Me and my buddies dismissed the idea and revisited it again and again. Over and over. We realized we needed hi-res graphics and sub-pixel resolution. And we knew we had to take the original parts out of the (to be simulated console) and wire them into the new bigger console. Loved it all!

 

And the Odyssey^2 was an intimidating game console to me. The keyboard was an impressive step up from the simple 8-way joystick and fire button of the VCS. I played many an O2 game and never really figured out the keyboard. It was there, staring me in the face, beckoning. But pressing the keys didn't do much. So I relegated myself to being retarded and stuck with less-sophisticated joystick-only games.

 

And it only took my buying 20+ games to realize the graphics would never look like anything on the box! I understood the artwork on the VCS to be implied or assumed that it wasn't what the game was supposed to look like. And that was ok. But for some inexplicable(then) reason I expected the O2 to have graphics like on the boxes. Multi-shades of color, flying 3-D perspectives.. Wow! Maybe had to do with the O2 art actually having a synthetic look futuristic look - unlike the "old style" pencil artwork.

 

O2 was the only system that fooled me in that way. All other systems were "understood" to have artwork as artwork and that was that. Eventually I discovered screen shots! I presumed they were stylized representations of the games done up in a simple way to save space and artist's time. Yup, I believed the screenshots on the back of the VCS games were simplified because they couldn't print color pictures that small, yet. Never mind the stack of RadioShack catalogs piled next to me, or EGM and the WishBooks.

 

My line of reasoning was that they only made big color TVs. And if you wanted something small it had to be B&W!

 

I think later on one of the bigger kids explained to me that this was how the game was supposed to look! And a lightbulb went on inside my head. I even wrote a Pulitzer Prize winning 100 word essay for school on the importance of looking at the screenshot on the back of the box prior to buying it!

 

The best of times!

Edited by Keatah

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Oh, I have no doubt my friends and I talked about Atari being "4-bit" or whatever. To piggyback on what Kosmic Stardust said, we were 6- or 7-year-old kids who A) didn't know any better and had basically zero idea of how computers actually worked, and B) were being constantly blitzed with advertising like that "blast processing" nonsense. For all we knew, if the Nintendo was 8-bit and the Super Nintendo and Sega were 16-bit, it stood reason that the Atari would be "4-bit."

 

"Bits" doubled with each console generation. It was pretty basic math. My Game-n-watch LCD handhelds and Tiger Electronics games were arbitrarily designated "1-bit." LOL! :P

 

I mean heck, "bitness" was such a huge issue in the public eye that NEC advertised the Turbografx console as a "16-bit" system when in reality the CPU was the same 8-bit 6502 architecture that Atari and NES were based off of.

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We used to argue about how many bits were in the quintessential Casio LCD watches that were so popular back then.

 

I even argued that my TRS-80 pocket computer was 8-bits when in reality it's 4-bits. My reasoning was that the dual-CPU combo worked as a whole. It was actually 2x 4-bit chips. 1 chip ran the keyboard and the display. The other did the BASIC interpretation and program computation. All at a marvelous 250KHz!

 

And yes we tried connecting the VCS cartridge port to the expansion connector on the PC-1 with less than stellar results. In fact it was a black hole, nothing happened. I had visions of making my own "Super Keyboard" with interactive LCD display for things like ship status and fuel level display. And even hoping to program the VCS in TRS-80 Pocket Computer BASIC.

 

We gave up rather quickly. But I assume that if I kept at it I might have fried something. Not knowing VCC and GND and logic levels was pure bliss!

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The first time I remember "bitness" being a thing was when it was put on the SEGA Genesis as "16-bit" along with "High Definition Graphics". I knew that the Super NES was also 16-bit and the NES was 8-bit. So, I understood it had something to do with increased graphics but not exactly in which way because I thought the Genesis had superior graphics to the Super NES. The TurboGrafx 16 added to my confusion because I didn't know if 16-bit was both turbo and high definition graphics or different types of 16-bit graphics. I didn't think of the Atari 2600 as 4-bit or even 8-bit because I thought "bitness" only applied to consoles I heard it stated for and thought something along the lines of the 2600 having 2,600 of something, the 5200 having 5,200 of something, and the 7800 having 7,800 of something. So, I thought "bitness" had something to do with increased graphics somehow but I didn't think of it in terms of increasing with generations because before the Internet I had no such concept of generations. I only thought of generations as applying to successors and predecessors from the same console maker instead of a line placed somewhere for all consoles. For all consoles the only thing close to "next gen" was more like "next Christmas" which was something like: We have an Atari 2600 and now Santa brought an NES, we have an NES and now Santa brought a Game Boy, we have an NES, Atari 2600, and Game Boy and now Santa brought a Super NES, we have all of that and now Santa brought a SEGA Genesis,etc. In other words, I thought companies, Santa, Jesus, Ronald Reagan, and all the powers that be released consoles and games in an overlapping way that made me hope for a "next Christmas" console. And commies never got any of them because they were on the naughty list. icon_mrgreen.gif

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And yup! I even envisioned a chip made from alien technology that could re-wire itself if you put certain kinds of 'lectrizity into it.

 

You envisioned FPGA.

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And commies never got any of them because they were on the naughty list. icon_mrgreen.gif

Naughty indeed. The Russians just copied whatever Japan did, with Dendy et al. Ditto for China and Brazil! :evil: :ahoy:

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Naughty indeed. The Russians just copied whatever Japan did, with Dendy et al. Ditto for China and Brazil! :evil: :ahoy:

And thats why many systems would skip Canastan. Comrade we have fully accepted communisim today north of the US of A.

The 5200 was just for Merica. No dirty commie countries allowed.

Is there a confederate flag 5200 model?

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You envisioned FPGA.

Just the natural evolution of sorts. Before Microprocessors, everything was programmed in "discrete" logic. To change the program, you had to rewire the entire machine.

 

Then microprocessors came about. To change the program, you just swap out the software.

 

But what to do about software written for incompatible platforms? Run an emulator to allow software written for other (mostly obsolete) platform to run on non-native hardware. Now you can run anything on any platform, albeit with severe performance penatly.

 

But that is not acceptible in all circumstances. So we go back to dicrete reconfigurable logic, only the wiring is not physical but contained in the software. Thus FPGA is born. Programming has come full circle with a recomfigurable CPU that can run programs written for any platform.

 

Next step: somebody please write a "cycle accurate" FPGA emulator! :grin:

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The problem was the video game crash. There were just a lot of shitty games. NES took over and pretty much made everything before it irrelevant and forgotten. I am the only one in my circle who knew of an entire world before Nintendo. Everyone I know either thinks the NES was first or Atari 2600 was the only thing prior.

 

I got into Atari when I was 12, late 90's. I found out about Halloween, raiders of the lost ark and missing in action. Had to play those games. I didnt even know 7800 existed. I thought it ended at 5200. So I got 7800 to play both games. I'm a huge fan but can admit It takes a certai type of gamer to appreciate Atari. Nntendo beats Atari hands down because it had better games. If you don't admit its because you are a biased fan boy.

 

I got love for almost all consoles. I've got most of em. I really do love my Atari and strongly believe if 7800 had come out at the same time and released Missing in Action as well as other types of games that were on the NES. It would have stood a chance. It had the graphics.

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Nintendo beats Atari hands down because it had better games. If you don't admit its because you are a biased fan boy.

Or you just like Atari's style of games better and find them more fun to play. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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I am not saying the OP is a troll, from his replies in this thread he seems genuine and sincere. However, IMHO these sort of questions usually have a bit of a troll smell to them. The question is asking you to defend your interest in Atari despite it being a supposedly unpopular system? Just because some smug millennials have a negative opinion about Atari does not mean it needs an explanation as to why that is, especially from people who do love the system.


Considering this entire site is mostly dedicated to Atari, that there are a ton of homebrews coming out all the time, a store to buy them in, not to mention a vibrant programming community, the question seems odd to ask here. Better to ask in a Nintendo forum, as to why THEY don't like Atari. I am sure you will find lots of deep intellectual fodder in which to chew on :-)


Even if a lot of people do skip Atari, which I am not even sure is true, enough people don't skip Atari as evidenced by this site being in existence.

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I think it's just an age thing for the most part. Remember that Atari collecting had a huge surge around the turn of the millennium which coincided with the time that most of the Gen X guys who grew up with the 2600 were entering their 30s. That's a correlation in my opinion. NES collecting saw a big surge around 10 years later (so 2010ish) which coincided with that generation coming of age, and subsequently we've seen a surge in 16-bit collecting the last few years. I think that nostalgia for youth culture is generally the catalyst for these spikes.

 

But with Atari, the company is just an old name now whereas Nintendo is still out there making new consoles and games keeping the name and franchises relevant (as has been mentioned). That's certainly a big factor. But it isn't as if Atari hasn't tried to stay relevant. I mean, how many versions of those AT Games Flashbacks are out there? If people want to revisit or be introduced to Atari, the opportunity is there. Also, there are numerous compilations out there seemingly every console generation, including the current one with the 2 volume set on the XB1 and PS4. There just doesn't seem to be as much interest anymore.

 

We who grew up playing the classic arcade games understand them and can be captivated by them. I can spend hours at a time playing a Space Invaders cab or Stampede on my 2600 for instance. But for most younger gamers, these older games are seen as antiquities with little to offer. Part of it is surely the simpler graphical style which requires more imagination. But most of these classic games require a different mindset to play well, one that requires intense concentration. Someone who grew up with something like Mario 64 would likely grow frustrated with Kaboom after a short time and give up. They prefer games based on exploration and adventure.

 

It doesn't make us right and them wrong or vice versa, we all like what we like. But there is such a distinct difference in the mindset required to play classic arcade games vs most of the 90s console games vs the majority of modern games today. And with few exceptions, unless one grew up playing the classic arcade games, it's likely a near impossible hurdle to embrace them now after growing up on more modern games.

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Even if a lot of people do skip Atari, which I am not even sure is true, enough people don't skip Atari as evidenced by this site being in existence.

I've seen plenty of "best of" lists that ignore anything pre-NES.

 

Even the console generation numbering screws over this era. Back then, Electronic Games magazine referred to Colecovision and 5200 as 'third wave' systems. But now they are considered 2nd gen. By what logic does the CV and 5200 belong to the same generation as the 2600 and Channel F?

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I've seen plenty of "best of" lists that ignore anything pre-NES.

 

That's always bugged me too. I mean yes, the NES was far more advanced than the 2600 and it's contemporaries, and yes, many of the games are objectively "better" than anything before, but that doesn't in any way mean that anything that came before was primitive, archaic, or unplayable. I never played a 2600 until around the turn of the century, but I've had a blast discovering the games I missed out on because I grew up a bit later on. Would any of them make my top 10 all time list? Probably not, but there's a few that would definitely hit top 50. And having played thousands of games over the years for all consoles, that says something. And that doesn't even factor in the Intellivision, Colecovision, or other systems from the same era. Hell, I'd even add an Odyssey 2 game to my top 100, and I only played that for the first time 3 years ago! I feel like more gamers need to take a look at the history of games because they're definitely missing out on some real gems!

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