Jump to content
JaguarVision

Why is the importance of ColecoVision almost never brought up historically?

Recommended Posts

But that goes back to the point I was trying to make... the generation system is artificial, and exists only because wIkipedia says it's true. Saying people have a solid understanding of it is like saying people have a solid understanding of Phrenology... it might be a detailed and widely-distributed theory, on the minds of every media outlet, but that doesn't change the truth that it's bupkiss at its foundation.

Well most categorization systems are artificial, but that doesn't stop them from being widely used.

 

Like look at all the music genres people have defined. Or just subgenres of heavy metal

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heavy_metal_genres

 

I couldn't tell you what the difference between "Death Metal", "Doom Metal", "Blackened Death Metal" or "Death/Doom metal" is, but I'm sure any metal fans here could. But this is just an example of an artificial categorization system someone invented, but is used by metal fans to make discussions of their interest easier.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's a way for the cognoscenti and hipsters to show that they know more about the topic at hand than the common people.

 

"I was into ColecoVision before you ever heard of it."

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well most categorization systems are artificial, but that doesn't stop them from being widely used.

 

 

Yes, but I'm completely okay with that, as long as the artificial distinction makes sense. Separating 2D and 3D systems is a meaningful distinction, as is single-screen from scrolling games, or 70s games from 80s games. They may not be perfect divisions, but they form a basis to start a conversation. But if you ask if the Atari 5200 is a third- or fourth-generation system? Who the frak cares? Nothing changes no matter what number you slap on it. To use your music analogy, I might not be able to articulate the difference between hair metal and death metal, but at least both are descriptive enough to start a discussion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's a way for the cognoscenti and hipsters to show that they know more about the topic at hand than the common people.

 

"I was into ColecoVision before you ever heard of it."

 

I hope Coleco's next business venture is making over the hill cards with quotes like that in it.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What was that console back in the 80's that they said you would never need to replace because you could keep upgrading it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What was that console back in the 80's that they said you would never need to replace because you could keep upgrading it?

 

The PC?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Generation categorization can be useful, but simplifying them down doesn't help. Just like video game genres and music genres, categorization is up for debate and disagreements are not necessarily wrong. You can't always go by hard rules to categorize these things. Wikipedia has the Sega SG-1000 as third gen and the coleco vision as second gen; they essentially have identical tech (cv slightly better). Nintendo improved on the design with more colours, more sprites, some scrolling, and better expandability. The SG-1000 couldn't compete and Sega had to cut it short and come up with a replacement. Similarly Atari did not want to be number two with the 5200 and cut it short with a replacement.

 

When the coleco vision came out in 1982, along with the Atari 5200, it was clearly the next generation; relegating the Intellivision and the Atari 2600 to legacy, "budget" systems. At the time graphics were everything and the coleco vision's high resolution graphics along with unbelievable pricing distinguished itself from Intellivision. Yes, it's library was uninteresting but by 1983 it established itself as the leader and third party developers were just beginning to make original games for coleco vision. With better programming could coleco vision have competed with Nintendo? Unfortunately, it's life was cut short. So Atari 2600 -> coleco vision -> NES; are they three different generations or two? If anything coleco vision is closer to NES than the 2600.

Edited by mr_me

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Generation categorization can be useful, but simplifying them down doesn't help. Just like video game genres and music genres, categorization is up for debate and disagreements are not necessarily wrong. You can't always go by hard rules to categorize these things. Wikipedia has the Sega SG-1000 as third gen and the coleco vision as second gen; they essentially have identical tech (cv slightly better). Nintendo improved on the design with more colours, more sprites, some scrolling, and better expandability. The SG-1000 couldn't compete and Sega had to cut it short and come up with a replacement. Similarly Atari did not want to be number two with the 5200 and cut it short with a replacement.

 

When the coleco vision came out in 1982, along with the Atari 5200, it was clearly the next generation; relegating the Intellivision and the Atari 2600 to legacy, "budget" systems. At the time graphics were everything and the coleco vision's high resolution graphics along with unbelievable pricing distinguished itself from Intellivision. Yes, it's library was uninteresting but by 1983 it established itself as the leader and third party developers were just beginning to make original games for coleco vision. With better programming could coleco vision have competed with Nintendo? Unfortunately, it's life was cut short. So Atari 2600 -> coleco vision -> NES; are they three different generations or two? If anything coleco vision is closer to NES than the 2600.

The Category system is created by consensus, basically. While you and I can disagree with that consensus, it's difficult to overturn it. For instance, if we went to the Wikipedia 3rd Gen page and added CV and 5200 and, gave as sources, the numerous references in EG magazine where they are called 3rd gen (or 3rd wave in the terminology of the time), I would bet the articles got rolled back within an hour because it goes against consensus.

 

Whoever decided the consensus thought that the 'crash' made a better dividing line than it did to group similar tech.

 

Like I said before, I don't agree with this decision, but if I discuss consoles on a gaming site and used my own generation numbering system instead of the agreed upon one, I would probably end up derailing the thread with needless disputes. Hell, look how much it has derailed this thread! lol.

Edited by zzip

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, it's library was uninteresting

 

puh-leeze

 

It's library was well diversified from arcade hits, to not as well known arcade titles, to originals.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

puh-leeze

 

It's library was well diversified from arcade hits, to not as well known arcade titles, to originals.

Yes; the library of games is an important part of the discussion.

Fortune Builder and Alcazar are interesting; original to coleco vision.

Edited by mr_me

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well there's definitely hard generations, and sub generations. Everybody remembers would be the generation. Everybody remembers SNES vs genesis. Everybody remembers psx, vs 64, vs saturn. Lots of people have no clue if you mention 3do, cdi, or jaguar, which is a sub gen between the others.

 

Intv and odyssey2 were direct competition to the 2600 and part of that generation. Coleco and 5200 were intended to replace that generation and ended up failing. Not till NES vs ms did the next gen start.

 

And no, I don't count NES as an 83 console, hindsight is 2020 sure, but back then nobody knew what Famicom was, its still an 86 console. Also, look at games. Compare the pre NES launch and post NES launch games, it may be the same hardware, but its like a totally different system to that point.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And no, I don't count NES as an 83 console, hindsight is 2020 sure, but back then nobody knew what Famicom was, its still an 86 console. Also, look at games. Compare the pre NES launch and post NES launch games, it may be the same hardware, but its like a totally different system to that point.

By the same argument the games produced on the 2600 in 77 were quite different from the games produced on the 2600 in '82. If you took other failed '77 era consoles like say the Channel F or RCA Studio II, and say it can't be of the same generation as the 2600 because their games are nothing like ET or Tunnel Runner or whatever. Perhaps if they had succeeded they would have those games as well. If CV or 5200 succeeded, they likely would have jumped on the side scrolling platformer genre too

 

Just because it took Nintendo until 85/86 to finally convince retailers in the West to sell the thing doesn't mean it wasn't built on 1983 technology. It may seem more advanced to you, but I was gaming on 16-bit computers in the late 80s and the NES felt archaic to me.

 

The NES has a number of arcade ports that are also on CV/5200 as well as 2600/INTV. If you compared them all side by side, I think you'd find the CV/5200 versions were much closer to the NES versions than they were to the 2600/INTV version. Pacman/Donkey Kong/Popeye, etc. No contest. If the CV/5200 survived and got NES-style games made, Maybe they wouldn't have quite matched the NES on graphics/music, but I doubt the difference would be as huge as going from 2600 to CV, or NES to Genesis. Within a gen some systems are always more powerful than others

 

If you want to say CV/5200 are 3rd gen and NES 4th gen, fine, although that would seriously disrupt the generation system. I'm just saying it's a disservice to drop these systems in the 2nd gen category, when they are nothing like true 2nd gen systems.

Edited by zzip
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

By the same argument the games produced on the 2600 in 77 were quite different from the games produced on the 2600 in '82. If you took other failed '77 era consoles like say the Channel F or RCA Studio II, and say it can't be of the same generation as the 2600 because their games are nothing like ET or Tunnel Runner or whatever. Perhaps if they had succeeded they would have those games as well. If CV or 5200 succeeded, they likely would have jumped on the side scrolling platformer genre too

 

Just because it took Nintendo until 85/86 to finally convince retailers in the West to sell the thing doesn't mean it wasn't built on 1983 technology. It may seem more advanced to you, but I was gaming on 16-bit computers in the late 80s and the NES felt archaic to me.

 

The NES has a number of arcade ports that are also on CV/5200 as well as 2600/INTV. If you compared them all side by side, I think you'd find the CV/5200 versions were much closer to the NES versions than they were to the 2600/INTV version. Pacman/Donkey Kong/Popeye, etc. No contest. If the CV/5200 survived and got NES-style games made, Maybe they wouldn't have quite matched the NES on graphics/music, but I doubt the difference would be as huge as going from 2600 to CV, or NES to Genesis. Within a gen some systems are always more powerful than others

 

If you want to say CV/5200 are 3rd gen and NES 4th gen, fine, although that would seriously disrupt the generation system. I'm just saying it's a disservice to drop these systems in the 2nd gen category, when they are nothing like true 2nd gen systems.

 

Let's ignore the RCA Studio II, since that was outdated before it was released. There's just no way to make it competitive for a variety of reasons.

 

We can turn to the Pac-Man homebrew to see how the VES/Channel F would have fared. It would still have only been viable through roughly 1980, but that homebrew demonstrates it could definitely play host to more sophisticated games than it got.

 

Again turning to homebrews and/or how similar systems evolved, it's clear that the ColecoVision and 5200 could have played host to better, more sophisticated games over time, but they'd still be lacking in comparison to at least some of the types of games that appeared on the NES, which was able to be easily augmented through in-cartridge helper chips. It also helped that its base hardware made things like scrolling games, which became increasingly important as the 80s wore on, much easier to handle. And there's no two ways about it, the NES in its original Famicom form was available by the middle of 1983 in Japan, so it really is not from a different generation. It's an early 80s system, period. Just because it was released in other territories later on does not change that fact. In any case, if the argument is could the ColecoVision and 5200 have continued to compete through most of the rest of the 80s, absolutely, even if it was similar to the relatively modest ways the Atari 2600 and Intellivision platforms stayed relevant.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

By the same argument the games produced on the 2600 in 77 were quite different from the games produced on the 2600 in '82. If you took other failed '77 era consoles like say the Channel F or RCA Studio II, and say it can't be of the same generation as the 2600 because their games are nothing like ET or Tunnel Runner or whatever. Perhaps if they had succeeded they would have those games as well. If CV or 5200 succeeded, they likely would have jumped on the side scrolling platformer genre too

 

Just because it took Nintendo until 85/86 to finally convince retailers in the West to sell the thing doesn't mean it wasn't built on 1983 technology. It may seem more advanced to you, but I was gaming on 16-bit computers in the late 80s and the NES felt archaic to me.

 

The NES has a number of arcade ports that are also on CV/5200 as well as 2600/INTV. If you compared them all side by side, I think you'd find the CV/5200 versions were much closer to the NES versions than they were to the 2600/INTV version. Pacman/Donkey Kong/Popeye, etc. No contest. If the CV/5200 survived and got NES-style games made, Maybe they wouldn't have quite matched the NES on graphics/music, but I doubt the difference would be as huge as going from 2600 to CV, or NES to Genesis. Within a gen some systems are always more powerful than others

 

If you want to say CV/5200 are 3rd gen and NES 4th gen, fine, although that would seriously disrupt the generation system. I'm just saying it's a disservice to drop these systems in the 2nd gen category, when they are nothing like true 2nd gen systems.

 

Of course the NES is less advanced than late 80s computers, but more advanced than any other consoles until the Turbografx and Master System. It blows the Colecovision and Atari 5200 out of the water. Colecovision doesn't have smooth scrolling or decent sprites to rival the NES. Sega initially tried to compete with Famicom by releasing the SG-1000 based on Colecovision hardware (which is kind of like CV competing with NES) and the games look like crap by comparison.

Edited by mbd30

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well there's definitely hard generations, and sub generations. Everybody remembers would be the generation. Everybody remembers SNES vs genesis. Everybody remembers psx, vs 64, vs saturn. Lots of people have no clue if you mention 3do, cdi, or jaguar, which is a sub gen between the others.

 

Intv and odyssey2 were direct competition to the 2600 and part of that generation. Coleco and 5200 were intended to replace that generation and ended up failing. Not till NES vs ms did the next gen start.

 

And no, I don't count NES as an 83 console, hindsight is 2020 sure, but back then nobody knew what Famicom was, its still an 86 console. Also, look at games. Compare the pre NES launch and post NES launch games, it may be the same hardware, but its like a totally different system to that point.

Millions of people new exactly what a Famicom was.

 

Coleco vision did not fail, it was very successfull. The Atari 5200 would have done okay as number two, once they tweaked the hardware, but they wanted to beat Coleco. The systems didn't fail but Coleco, Atari, Mattel Electronics all failed.

 

People get hung up on categorizing with hard rules like year ranges and technologies when you really need to use some judgement. The Sega SG-1000 and Famicom/NES came out at the same time but Sega used older tech where Nintendo took that same tech and made significant improvements. The Arcadia came out in 1982 but it was old generation upon release. Intellivision had advanced features like a direction pad controller and tile maps with hardware 2-way scrolling but had to compromise ram and graphic resolution.

 

First gen: TTL based video games.

Second gen: (microprocessor programmable) Atari 2600, Intellivision, Odyssey2, Astrocade, Channel F, Arcadia 2001

Generation 3a: (higher res) Coleco vision, Atari 5200, Vectrex, Sega SG-1000

Generation 3b: (more colours/sprites) Famicom/NES, SMS, Atari 7800

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

there's only 2 generations of video game consoles

 

gen1, video game consoles

gen2, janky pc's in a video game console box

 

I do have a bit of a fuzzy line tween the gen's though, even with that binary distinction, like XBOX and GAMEPUBE, ok intel + nvidia vs PPC + ATI ok not so hard, what about PS2 which used vomit processing design (aka lets throw up a bunch of spec's and hope) or Dreamcast which uses some screwball, no one cares CPU paired with a NEC PowerVR2, which the later was available on pc (though not all that widly known unlike the PVR1 that matrox sold for a bit or the countless generations since that's been in tablets and phones)

 

see its not even that easy to chuck consoles into 2 damn buckets, let alone organizing them like james may's spanner collection

Edited by Osgeld
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First: the Colecovision was and IS a milestone of a system. I hate to break it to the kids that weren't around at the time, but simply put, you actually did have to be there. You can look at it retrospectively all you want, but if all you're basing things on is wikipedia or forum posts from people who largely weren't there, you are missing the point of how huge the CV was. The fact that arcade games were it's forte is the main reason, and that's enough. Why? Because EVERYBODY was trying to replicate the arcade back then. That was the whole damn reason of owning a CV, so you didn't have to go to the sketchy arcades :D (I loved sketchy arcades, but that's another thread). The fact it didn't have many of its own games outside of ports (which is also kinda misleading, when you look at the entire library of games) does nothing to detract from this.

 

The fact that the CV and NES had only a couple years between then completely unfairly puts them in 'competition'...but only on wikipedia and among hipsters. There was no competition. The NES blew the CV out of the water, and those who owned both and could compare knew this. Which leads me to two things: the crash, and these 'generations' that everyone seems to ignore. Today, the generations seem pretty pointless. But they did serve a purpose in categorizing what kind of machine firepower you had at the time.

 

I consider the CV a 3rd gen console from that era. The fact that magazines reported this is actually a very realistic way to delineating what was what, and it's totally legit in my eyes. The CV was a HUGE leap in tech over the VCS, and quite a bit higher than the Inty. That's just the way it was. Every kid who had these systems back then knew the pecking order. The only thing that happened was the crash, which dethroned the CV along with everyone else. The next gen systems, the NES and Master System, were a night and day difference from the CV...just as the next gen after that, the 16 bit systems were to the 8 bits. And the 32 bits after. By the time the Dreamcast and PS2 showed up, things started getting a bit goofy. But it's all about time, and when they were released. I largely group the generations by when they were released.

 

Before you ask, 'but what about the 5200? And 7800?' Their stats are secondary to WHEN they were released. 5200 belonged to the same generation as the CV, and went down with the ship. Had the 7800 been released when it should, it would have also clearly topped the CV in terms of power and arcade ports. And it would have blurred the lines between the NES and MS releases. But that didn't happen, so there's no need to worry about where it sits: it was released in the NES era, so it belongs to that generation.

 

To me, it makes perfect sense. And all my friends from those days look back at the generations in the same way, those who lived through it. We knew that the 3D0 was leagues above an SNES in terms of power, and that's all you needed to know. But then came the Saturn and PS1, and you get similar viewpoints on the transitory nature of the 3DO. The only thing going for those systems was there was no crash to deal with. The crash (and yes, it did happen, you Crash Deniers) marked a good signpost for the generations before and after it.

 

When you think of generation terms, you always have to keep in mind WHEN they were released. Then imagine yourself pitting those machines against the ones that were its contemporaries, and how well it did in the market. Neo Geo was vastly superior for years when it was released, but it's still considered (IMO) part of the 16 bit generation of systems. And the PC Engine was a hugely influential system in Japan, and globally fit in between the NES and the Genesis eras (closer to the Genesis era in NA, but anybody could see that it wasn't quite a 16 bit system).

 

All this stuff makes sense to me as I lived through it. To explain it now, as Bill says, is kinda pointless because it's almost entirely based on subjective info, with a smattering of processing power to indicate how advanced they were compared to their contemporaries.

 

Bottom line: Colecovision was a hugely important and influential system. Keetah was right: anybody who had one at the time was the SHIT and knew it...it was the Ferrari back then, and you couldn't believe your eyes how much better Donkey Kong was on that system than anything the VCS or Inty had at the time. And from there it was just an onslaught of arcade titles that made people drool. That the arcade was dying out was a harbinger of the times, but the CV was still the home console of choice for any console gamer at the time. You may have had fun playing your VCS, but the CV was the king. Too bad the kingdom went to shit shortly thereafter. That the internet has something different to say about it?...who f'ing cares. Those that lived it know how important it was.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

my dad bought one before I can remember (though I did exist) and it was my first game machine, I always call it, the neo-geo of its time

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

there's only 2 generations of video game consoles

 

gen1, video game consoles

gen2, janky pc's in a video game console box

 

I do have a bit of a fuzzy line tween the gen's though, even with that binary distinction, like XBOX and GAMEPUBE, ok intel + nvidia vs PPC + ATI ok not so hard, what about PS2 which used vomit processing design (aka lets throw up a bunch of spec's and hope) or Dreamcast which uses some screwball, no one cares CPU paired with a NEC PowerVR2, which the later was available on pc (though not all that widly known unlike the PVR1 that matrox sold for a bit or the countless generations since that's been in tablets and phones)

 

see its not even that easy to chuck consoles into 2 damn buckets, let alone organizing them like james may's spanner collection

 

Well I don't see why not.

A pc is a CPU, video chip, and a storage.

Odyssey isn't that, Pong chips aren't that, Channel F is that (CPU, video chip, storage on ROM) case closed, gen 2 is ALL consoles that aren't based on TTL tech.

Or you need to refine your definition.

The Colecovision (since we talk about it) used of-the-shelf chips that were used in computers of the era.

Hell, the Intellivision use a MAINFRAME CPU!

In fact it would be easier to list consoles that did not used CPU found in computers. And well, that would be the Microvision (it use pocket calculator CPU) the Odyssey2 (it use a microcontroller, not used in personnal computers, but it was used in several light electronic devices) the Epoch Cassette Vision (few infos on the CPU but it seems to come from pocket calculators too). I think the 32/64 bits consoles use ARM CPU... Used in the Archimedes computer.

Consoles since 1976 are fancy computers, specialized in one task. Up until the Xbox and PS3 that started to offer more functions, consoles were and still are specialized computers. But until that gen, they had the advantage over computers... now they no longer have it :D

Edited by CatPix
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First: the Colecovision was and IS a milestone of a system. I hate to break it to the kids that weren't around at the time, but simply put, you actually did have to be there. You can look at it retrospectively all you want, but if all you're basing things on is wikipedia or forum posts from people who largely weren't there, you are missing the point of how huge the CV was. The fact that arcade games were it's forte is the main reason, and that's enough. Why? Because EVERYBODY was trying to replicate the arcade back then. That was the whole damn reason of owning a CV, so you didn't have to go to the sketchy arcades :D (I loved sketchy arcades, but that's another thread). The fact it didn't have many of its own games outside of ports (which is also kinda misleading, when you look at the entire library of games) does nothing to detract from this.

 

...

^^^ THIS ^^^

 

... can we sticky it?

  • Like 1

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.

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...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...