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Skippy B. Coyote

Do you collect for any "failed" systems?

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ColecoVision was also competing against the Intellivision and Atari 2600, which were all on the market at the same time.

Yes, but in the sense of transitioning between one generation to another kind of like how the Wii U was competing against the PS3 and XBOX 360 because they were still out but their direct competition has been the PS4 and XBOX ONE.

 

The Intellivision was released to compete against the Atari 2600. That is why their commercials would show side by side comparisons. Then later Atari released its next-gen console the Atari 5200 and Coleco released the ColecoVision to compete against that. And like with Intellivision, they had commercials comparing each others like these:

 

 

 

Mattel released the Intellivision II as a slim model but it was going to be the unreleased Intellivision III that was going to be made to compete with the Atari 5200 and ColecoVision. But Mattel cancelled it because the Atari 5200 wasn't doing well, the ColecoVision was already dominating, and because computers were getting as cheap as consoles.

 

Even if you want to argue that the 2600 was too old to be considered direct competition by that point,

Not too old but already replaced with their next-gen console(5200).

 

the Intellivision most certainly was

No, the cancelled Intellivision III was or would have been if it wasn't cancelled. In other words, Mattel opted out of competing.

 

and it outsold the CV by about 1 million units (and that at a time when that represented probably about a 30% difference). You could say the CV was pulling away in late 82-83, but of course we all know what happened next.

It outsold it because it had a head start of being a last-gen console and the video game crash killing the ColecoVision off prematurely.

 

I actually consider the Intellivision to be a more debatable failure, mostly because I don't really know how it sold vs. the 2600 in 1980-83.

In 1980 Atari already sold 2 million units. When Mattel got to that number in 1982 Atari was at 10 million units. The Intellivision was discontinued at the end of the next year so even if all the the rest remaining 1 million sold that year and even if Atari didn't sale one console that year that would still be 10 million vs. 3 million. The Atari 2600 ultimately sold 30 million units(10 times more than Intellivision).

 

That said, it's hard to really call any console that led directly into the crash of 1983 a "success". That's kind of like calling the 1986 Challenger launch a "success" because it cleared the tower before blowing up. I realize that's not really consistent with my own criteria, but 1983 is kind of a special year in gaming history, with its own rules.

The crash was definitely a weird part of gaming history. My theory is that what we would consider a normal transition into a next-gen of consoles with the last-gen still present while the next-gen ones are starting to replace them they would consider,"Too many consoles are flooding the market!" and what we would consider normal concerning the quality of games by knowing that there is sometimes more shovelware than the high quality games they would consider,"Too many sub-par games are flooding the market!" In other words, every time a new set of consoles are coming out and the old ones are still on the shelves we get the same kind of ,"Too many consoles are flooding the market!" and we know that the libraries are going to get the same kind of,"Too many sub-par games are flooding the market!" But we are able to avoid a crash each time because we are able to think things like,"We can now just focus on the new consoles, put the old ones to the side, and buy the one we consider the best this Christmas." and,"So what that there is shovelware? We can just buy the good games."

 

On the other hand, they couldn't avoid it because it was new to them and therefore they didn't understand it. To us it is obvious that when new consoles are being released that we shouldn't view it as them being added to our old set of choices but a new set of choices unlike,"We now have the PS2, PS3, XBOX, XBOX 360, Game Cube, and Wii! We once had 3 but now we have 6 to choose from! Which should I buy?!" And it is obvious to us that as libraries get bigger more shovelware gets added along with the good games unlike,"There are just more and more sub-par games every year as the library gets bigger! The quality of gaming is going down! Soon there won't be any good games being made! The news papers are right! Video games were just a fad!"

 

So, I think if they knew what we know now a video game crash wouldn't even have happened because it would be simple to sort through it all. For an example, if I lived back then, it was near the video game crash, and I found myself in a store with most if not all of the consoles that were on the market with a lot of games then my reasoning would be something like:

 

"Okay, I can ignore all those older consoles, at least for now, because I already chose the Atari 2600 from that group. The Arcadia 2001 doesn't look too exciting to me. Maybe later? So, that leaves me with the Atari 5200, ColecoVision, and Vectrex. The Vectrex looks bad ass with those vector graphics and overlays but I'm not sure I want that or at least not right now because I have only had my first color TV for a few years now and want another console for that but that looks better than my Atari 2600. That would bring me to the Atari 5200 and ColecoVision. I'm an Atari fan but the games coming out for it look like upgrades to games I already have. The ColecoVision has some of that but has some other games, its pack-in game is Donkey Kong instead of Super Breakout, and I like how the box art shows arcade machines. That tells me that they are likely getting licences for arcade ports that Atari won't. I can play my Atari 2600 games on both, both I can store the controllers in but the Atari 5200 looks like the door may break easily while on the ColecoVision the controllers fit in snugly without a door, and both look like they have similar controllers but the ColecoVision has a more traditional stick while the 5200 has an analog thing going on. The ColecoVision is also $70 cheaper so I could use the savings on games. So, I think I will get a ColecoVision, wait to see what the others are doing, and maybe buy some of them later at a discount. Now onto the games. I think I will still buy for my Atari 2600 along with my ColecoVision. So, I think I will stick to games from Atari, Coleco, and third parties I already trust like Activision, Imagic, Parker Bros., etc. and avoid others unless they have deep discounts on their games. If a game is on both the ColecoVision and Atari 2600 then I'll buy the ColecoVision version."

 

I think if people would have been able to think these things through something like that instead of being overwhelmed by a "flooded market" of choice then the crash probably wouldn't have happened. Maybe the NES would have came earlier but with a different look. Maybe not the Famicom but different than how it did. Still probably in first place but not dominating because there was a vacuum. Maybe Coleco and Atari competing for second place and much more successful at getting things they had planned done that the crash prevented. Then maybe SEGA in forth place because everyone is still getting used to the new guy(Nintendo) and are unsure about the new new guy.

 

Anyway, since the crash did happen I would say all the other consoles besides the Atari 2600 failed because they didn't do well enough to stay in the console market, even though Atari never fully recovered they released more consoles after the crash, and after the Atari 2600 which was very successful.

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That's one legitimate way to look at it. That said, I think some tend to classify the Sega CD as its own thing for one reason or another (despite requiring a Genesis to function, unless you have a CDX or X'Eye). I'd guess the CD audio, FMV and added hardware scaling does in many cases make Sega CD games feel fairly different from Genesis ones.

 

But wouldn't it also be fair to claim that the reason they feel fairly different from Genesis games was because that was the point because SEGA was trying to extend the life of the Genesis and therefore it is a Genesis expansion instead of a successor to the Genesis? Anyway, classifying it like that seems the same as if the PlayStation was an expansion on the SNES as originally intended. Historically what happened made the PlayStation a separate console and what could have happened would have still made the PlayStation a separate console under this way of classification.

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But wouldn't it also be fair to claim that the reason they feel fairly different from Genesis games was because that was the point because SEGA was trying to extend the life of the Genesis and therefore it is a Genesis expansion instead of a successor to the Genesis? Anyway, classifying it like that seems the same as if the PlayStation was an expansion on the SNES as originally intended. Historically what happened made the PlayStation a separate console and what could have happened would have still made the PlayStation a separate console under this way of classification.

 

If what you want people to say, is, "I collect for the Genesis, but also its failed add-on, the Sega CD", then just say it outright, man. :roll:

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If what you want people to say, is, "I collect for the Genesis, but also its failed add-on, the Sega CD", then just say it outright, man. :roll:

 

It isn't a matter of want. It is just unless the people who collect for the add-on also believe the Genesis to be a failure then they aren't talking about a failed system they collect for.

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If someone offers you a pile of free games or a console with games for $20, you take it- even if the system wasn't something you really planned on owning. That's the logic behind my Dreamcast...

Everyone should plan on owning a Dreamcast.

 

How is the SEGA CD even a console that could have failed? It is a SEGA Genesis add-on like the 32X. So, collecting for it is collecting for the SEGA Genesis which wasn't a failed console.

But what would be the point of collecting Sega CD games or 32X games if one had no intention of owning the expansions required?

 

If someone collected GameCube games, but only played them on a Wii because they didn't own a GC, would you argue that they collect games for a hugely successful console?

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But what would be the point of collecting Sega CD games or 32X games if one had no intention of owning the expansions required?

I don't think there would be a point.

 

If someone collected GameCube games, but only played them on a Wii because they didn't own a GC, would you argue that they collect games for a hugely successful console?

No.

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How is the SEGA CD even a console that could have failed? It is a SEGA Genesis add-on like the 32X. So, collecting for it is collecting for the SEGA Genesis which wasn't a failed console.

 

Defining add-ons is difficult, as few companies tried them & none of them really stuck. I mean, if we're considering them separately from consoles, then the Sega CD becomes one of the most, if not the most, successful unit of its kind.

 

I think the console definition stems mostly from two things: volume & diversity. It's easy to see something like the Intellivoice as an accessory. It only had a handful of games, and they looked & played like regular Inty games. Just with extra sound. The Sega CD & 32X had notably "large" libraries, plus (especially for the CD) games that were distinct from the main unit. Both even had a unique physical design for their games- no one would look at a genesis & 32X cart side-by-side and assume they went to the same system.

 

So, we call them add-on consoles. It's too much to just be an accessory, but it's not a stand-alone unit either. 'Round these parts we drop the qualifier because everybody here knows what we're talking about.

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Do you collect for any "failed" system add ons? That's the fringe of failure collecting. It's like being retro to the extreme!!

Edited by adamchevy

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I collect MOSTLY for failed systems, and i find them far more interesting perhaps because of the fact that they failed commercially.

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Question: Where do we draw the distinction between "underdog" and "failed" console?

 

Many of the underdogs, TG-16/PCe for instance, have excellent libraries.

 

Wii-U is an "underdog" for instance, but I hardly consider it a commercial failure. I don't consider SMS, 7800, or Tufbografx to be outright "failures" either. I think there's a fine distinction between "underdog" and "failed console" that a lot of people aren't making.

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I guess it depends if you look locally or internationnally, or if you consider something else than just the sales figures.

 

The PC-Engine was the second console in Japan, and the Megadrive was the underdog there. On the Japanese market, the PC-Engine is a shining success, with the last game released as late as 1998 (that's 2 years after Sega stopped to support the Megadrive in Japan, for reference...)

So maybe the TG16 in the US is a failure, but the global market success of the PC-Engine is putting it beign a major success.

The Neo Geo, considering the sales only was a miserable failure - sold for 14 years, and merely one million units sold? That's the Atari Jaguar level of failure we have here! (quite true : the Jaguar sold 250 000 units on 3 years :

250 000/3 : 83 333. 83 333X 14 : 1 166 662!). But there is something that make the Jaguar and the Neo Geo very different in that regard, and that make the Neo Geo a successful, if a bit hard to come by, system, compared to the Jaguar.

 

A more or soo agreed definition of failed versus underdog is the success of the console and games. For example, the Vectrex is certainly an underdog console, but not a failed one : for the little time is sold, it sold like hot cakes.

The Wii U sell relatively good, but not quite to the expected levels - it's certainly not an underdog, as lots of people can experiment it - it's more of a failure, as it fail to attract a fanbase and more sell "because it's Nintendo".

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As much as I love the WiiU, I feel like we can call it a failure when Nintendo pulls the plug on it and says "We give up, please look forward to the Switch!"

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The Wii U sell relatively good, but not quite to the expected levels - it's certainly not an underdog, as lots of people can experiment it - it's more of a failure, as it fail to attract a fanbase and more sell "because it's Nintendo".

I'm a bit confused by this statement. "sell relatively good" and "it's more of a failure" sound mutually exclusive to me. Nintendo did start turning quarterly profits midway through the Wii-U's lifetime, and games like Splatoon, MK8, and Smash Bros were pretty hot sellers.

 

Here are the top Wii-U selling titles according to Google, and likely does not account for digital sales. These are extremely high attach rates compared to the 13 million or so actual console sales. Mario Kart 8 sold more than 50% of he entire console. That's huge, and slightly exceeds the top selling 7 million copies each of Smash Bros Melee and Double Dash for Game Cube.

  • Mario Kart 8 -- 7.5 million.
  • New Super Mario Bros. U -- 5..19 million.
  • Nintendo Land -- 5.07 million.
  • Super Mario 3D World -- 4.82 million.
  • Super Smash Bros. Wii U -- 4.8 million.
  • Splatoon -- 4.27 million.
  • Super Mario Maker -- 3.52 million.
  • New Super Luigi U -- 2.49 million.

 

So to say that the games did not come or that Wii-U owners were not satisfied with the small but excellent software library. So if only the Nintendo diehards purchased the Wii-U, they also bought tons more games than casuals or any other consumer base. Apples to Oranges, but Wii-U also outsold every pre-crash video game system besides Atari 2600 and in many cases stayed on the market longer.

 

I do agree however that sales numbers alone do not indicate success or failure. AVS probably sells orders of magnitude lower numbers than the NES Mini or any modern NOAC / emulator clones, but for the creator, RetroUSB, it's a smashing hit. Poor example but you get my drift.

 

Was Ouya a failure? I imagine so. It was never meant to sell in PS4/XB1/Wii-U numbers, but sadly the vast majority of gamers who bought one used it for a cheap emulator box or the smorgasbord of free games, and never spent a red cent in the online shop.

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It's more of a failure in that the sales are not on par with what Nintendo expected, and that while the games sells good, it's not a console that most people want.

Comparing to pre-crash systems is a bit excessive - BITD selling more than 1 million units was a success.

 

I didn't mentionned anything about the games, tho it could be a good indicator, too. The Wii come to mind, with an amazing number of unit sold, but games selling comparatively poorly, and the number of games per console being extremely low.

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It's hard for me to really truly define what's a "failed" system. For instance, I've heard people say the Dreamcast was a failed system, and while it's true that Sega exited the hardware market after the Dreamcast was beaten at market by the PS2, Gamecube and Xbox, I don't feel very comfortable calling it a failure exactly. It enjoyed a fair amount of support prior to those other machines, and saw some success in its earlier days, to the point where many of its best games saw ports to other consoles later.

 

For me, a "failed" system is a system that never received any commercial success to speak of, and was utterly doomed from the beginning. Things like the 32x, Jaguar, and Virtual Boy. Even with the Neo Geo Pocket Color, I could see a case being made for it either way. Commercially it was a flop, but there were several titles released for it.

 

All of these systems I collect for, incidentally.

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For me, I think it's the 3DO system. I'll never forget how advanced it was at the time, compared to what most people were playing. No matter what console, I only collect games I truly love or "want" to play, or games that I had as a kid and sadly got rid of in the past. And of course, the games that I'm nostalgic for, even if they're "bad but good". The odd-shaped big 3DO boxes are fun to collect, when I can find them. I don't care about the shovelware, but man, that Road Rash is still the best version of that game ever! And all those FMV games.. a lot of the best-looking versions are on that system. I'd play Sewer Shark on the 3DO over the Sega-CD version any day, even though I happen to own them both. :) The early CD-era was a charming time. They were experimenting with different ways to use the tech, and as far as game music, some of the best was during that time. Especially Shmups... I was literally listening to the Robo Aleste sega CD soundtrack yesterday in my car. Wow, i'm a nerd.

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I collect for the Saturn, which of course is a failed system with a fantastic library of games. I only buy imports though. In fact, I just got rid of my small collection of NA releases mainly because I hate those flimsy, oversized cases so much.

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I don't think you can log into one without having an old account and it is a brick without logging in.

So a really useless console really. They have thought this through for sure. And people donated money for that?

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So a really useless console really. They have thought this through for sure. And people donated money for that?

 

It was Razer who purchased them that isn't allowing new accounts unless you get a Razer Forge TV. They also stopped devs from submitting games to the OUYA but they can still do so for the Razer Forge TV. In other words, the new owners are trying to force OUYA owners to "upgrade" to the Razer Forge TV. What Razer is doing is nowhere close to what people donated money for but the money was never donated to them anyway.

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Man. Back in the day, I had a ton of different things. I really thought the Jag was cool, and had a decent Lynx collection. Also had an ok PC Engine/TG16 collection (both consoles). I miss those. A LOT.

The closest thing I have to a failed system now is, what, the 7800? In terms of real hardware. Mega Drive might have been the underdog to Nintendo after the SNES, but it certainly sold a lot of systems, and has a very respectable library. Otherwise, I'm pretty mainstream regarding consoles these days. Mostly because what I sold off, is either hard to find now, or prohibitively expensive to replace.

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