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BassGuitari

The Pong Console Challenge

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Imagine your only source of video game entertainment was...a pong system?

 

No programmable consoles*. No handhelds or plug-and-plays. No mobile/phone games. No PCs or computers or emulators. No flash games (do people even actually play those anymore?). Not even Video Pinball or Stunt Cycle or gray area systems like the Telstar Arcade. Just good old-fashioned ball-and-paddle sports simulations and the gun/target games that sometimes accompanied them. How long would you last before you threw in the towel and *had* to play something else? And which console would you choose?

 

(*I'd allow the following on these conditions: Channel F--built-in Hockey/Tennis only; Studio II--TV Arcade III Tennis/Squash cartridge only.)

 

I'd probably roll with my Super Pong Pro-Am Ten or TV Scoreboard and I could probably last three or four days. 😅

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Posted (edited)

Would a breakout game be allowed? (turns out that was on video pinball, dammit lol)

 

Though I do have a Colorsport VIII, but two controllers were destroyed (it's a 4 player system) and it's missing the lightgun. I'd last about 2 mins. Especially if I had no second player.

Edited by DragonGrafx-16

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3 minutes ago, DragonGrafx-16 said:

Would a breakout game be allowed? (turns out that was on video pinball, dammit lol)

Nope, nice try. 😛😄

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Pong...the only time where it's not fun to play with yourself. :ponder:

  • Haha 2

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1 minute ago, MrMaddog said:

Pong...the only time where it's not fun to play with yourself. :ponder:

Flip the P upside down and then... um... lol

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56 minutes ago, MrMaddog said:

Pong...the only time where it's not fun to play with yourself. :ponder:

 

Nobody said you had to play by yourself. :)

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14 minutes ago, BassGuitari said:

 

Nobody said you had to play by yourself. :)

The Colorsport VIII actually had a one player racquetball mode... I mean if you were desperate to play video games in 1976 and you had no friends I guess it could work (also the lightgun game might be better though lol)... eh.

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8 minutes ago, DragonGrafx-16 said:

(also the lightgun game might be better though lol)

If it's like other lightgun games I've seen on dedicated games of the era, I don't know how much better it would be, unfortunately. On my Color TV Scoreboard (with the awesome modular pistol/carbine!), the targets always appear in the same place, so you can just fix your aim on the one spot on the screen and instantly pick every target off as it appears. 😕

 

I seem to recall that the gun games on the "regular" TV Scoreboard (an AY-3-8500 system, so dozens of others will be exactly the same) were slightly more interesting, though.

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The Color TV Scoreboard I had, had two gun games, skeet and moving target.  The gun became unreliable, I never really used it.  I did play pong in practice mode, it was like playing tennis against a wall.

 

In the pong era we did have handheld electronic games.  They were very popular.  We also played outside a lot, but at the time pong was great fun, especially hockey/soccer pong.

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Posted (edited)

My first thought was "not very long". I loved Pong when it was popular, especially the coin-ops. But it slowly faded as new games came out.

Then I realized that what really makes Pong fun is the two player aspect. This led to the realization that ANY two player game expands to fill the "fun space" when you build a social event around it. Other games, that seem a bit boring at first, become exciting when you create competition and social structure around it. Other examples can be found in just about any bar I've ever seen: darts, liars dice, fooseball, pool, etc.

With tourneys and staged rounds and, of course free-flowing drinks and good conversation, I think enjoyment of Pong could last indefinitely.

Edited by fiddlepaddle
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I'd just give up playing all together.  Pong is boring, I don't care if I were alone or not.  Unless someone could think up some kind of decent drinking game and both parties were fine getting fall down drunk being the loser, there's really no value or fun there.

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Posted (edited)

 

--------

I'm too young to have played pong in a bar.  Maybe it was like this.

 

Edited by mr_me
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The problem with the single-player "practice" games that a lot of consoles had, at least from a modern perspective, is that there's no game objective. I guess they succeed in the literal sense of letting players practice their ball-and-paddle handling, but I haven't run across one that keeps a score. They only count misses. The closest I've found is the Radio Shack Color TV Scoreboard* (the one that I think is a rebranded Hanimex system; the one with the pistol/rifle), which will count the number of volleys per ball, but doesn't total them.

 

This is where the RCA Studio II is actually really nice. Its Squash game (on the TV Arcade III cartridge) counts your hits as well as misses--up to 200, at which point the game crashes! (The manual plays it off as a feature! 😄)

 

Regardless, these things are definitely best enjoyed with other players.

 

(*There is another Color TV Scoreboard system from Radio Shack that is completely different, and actually quite interesting among dedicated consoles for a number of reasons...not the least of which being that a legitimate 1-player game can be eked out of its Hockey game in two-player mode! 😂)

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On 7/16/2019 at 10:36 PM, BassGuitari said:

Imagine your only source of video game entertainment was...a pong system?

 

No programmable consoles*. No handhelds or plug-and-plays. No mobile/phone games. No PCs or computers or emulators. No flash games (do people even actually play those anymore?). Not even Video Pinball or Stunt Cycle or gray area systems like the Telstar Arcade. Just good old-fashioned ball-and-paddle sports simulations and the gun/target games that sometimes accompanied them. How long would you last before you threw in the towel and *had* to play something else? And which console would you choose?

 

(*I'd allow the following on these conditions: Channel F--built-in Hockey/Tennis only; Studio II--TV Arcade III Tennis/Squash cartridge only.)

 

I'd probably roll with my Super Pong Pro-Am Ten or TV Scoreboard and I could probably last three or four days. 😅

I'd probably last at least a week before I either have a mental breakdown or I accept it and become "Pong master" XD. Speaking of Pong master,  is there any "Pong tournaments"?

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Good question. I could probably get my wife to play for a bit but my kids...fuggetabowdit. I found when it comes to games not in their interest range (specific titles or series, not really "genre"- Legend of Zeldas, Mario Karts, Minecraft, Amazing Frog?, Skylanders, etc.), they play it a bit and then ask for another game. They have no patience to play and pass then wait their turn.

 

Pong would last 5 minutes. Then the room would clear.

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Posted (edited)

I guess. IF that is all the games there was, so NO ONE had a choice of other games or consoles. I guess the appeal would be very limited after a year or 2. It was always fun playing a pong type game (and we all know there is a billion of them),  with a friend, while drinking, it could be a good hour long thing. Just after a while, you get really good, and then it's not much fun any more... 

 

It's just like my first game system... I had only 2 games for it, an Atari 2600 with Air-sea-battle (Sears one) and Space Invaders... Space Invaders was great... till I got on it one day at 8am... and I was still playing the same game at 6pm...(man, I had to pee, I remember that) after that I kind of lost interest in it... 

 

As I was only 8 then... getting another game was not easy and didn't happen for another year... 

Edited by TheCoolDave

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