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Why did Coleco Scrap the original SGM in favor of the ADAM?

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On 7/13/2020 at 12:16 PM, Keatah said:

I am retro-impressed with how professional and extensive Tandy's software lineup was. Apple themselves didn't do nearly a fraction of what Tandy had going. And, yet, all my buddies had all other micros. Anything but TRS-80's.

 

TRS-80 software seems consistently packaged and very well documented. It was more than ready for business usage especially beginning with Model II and III.

 

The TRS-80 Color Computer 2 was actually what my family used for gaming after Coleco left the video game sector up until 88'-89' when we got an Atari 7800 and then an NES the year after.  It was also our family computer until around the same time, at which point my uncle gave my dad his old IBM PC with a couple of floppy disks like Wheel of Fortune and Hollywood Squares.

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50 minutes ago, Downland1983 said:

The TRS-80 Color Computer 2 was actually what my family used for gaming after Coleco left the video game sector up until 88'-89' when we got an Atari 7800 and then an NES the year after.  It was also our family computer until around the same time, at which point my uncle gave my dad his old IBM PC with a couple of floppy disks like Wheel of Fortune and Hollywood Squares.

Wheel of Fortune on pc is good fun still. Played it within a few months.

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Costs were the main reason. The ColecoVision was big, Coleco themselves had never had a real consequence and were always expanding going into other segments of the electronic market and having a home computer released in time to compete with what was available, and hoping the console expansion and the low price for the stand alone would give them hotcake sales was too good to pass up. So they went all in on the Adam.

 

They also had a growing toy empire with CBK which they deluded themselves into thinking it was the next Lego or Barbie and so spending more money on a SGM in what was likely on their spreadsheets the least potential market (video games) for making money (despite them making bank with it) took priority.

 

If the Adam worked out and the CBK fad continued a bit longer we would have gotten a SUPER SGM and a sequel console most likely.

 

After the ADAM failed Coleco did keepo the CV on the shelf for a few months before they announced it's cancellation, which was a combination of money losses, and them choosing toys over electronics after the Adam failure. Which of course also backfired on them, and having two major events creating negative prospects for your company and cutting your last lifeline ment that Coleco was all but doomed. 

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if you want the simple answer

 

GAMEZ AND COMPOOFERS ARE DA SHIT, OMG NABISCO SO BEHIND

 

crash

 

FAAAAAAACK

 

does it really need 10 pages of circular arguments? its happened like 3 times since then just in the tech sector

Edited by Osgeld

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16 hours ago, Leeroy ST said:

Costs were the main reason. The ColecoVision was big, Coleco themselves had never had a real consequence and were always expanding going into other segments of the electronic market and having a home computer......

Huh?

 

Living on the cusp of bankruptcy was perfected by Coleco. Just read up about their TelStar lineup.

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2 hours ago, NIAD said:

Huh?

 

Living on the cusp of bankruptcy was perfected by Coleco. Just read up about their TelStar lineup.

Initially it did well, the point I was making is that generally Coleco would branch out to other areas and generally succeeded without a real failure, the Telestar lineup doesn't really fit here because it was initially a success and the business model they went all in with ended up backfiring but they still managed to get out by way of other avenues.

 

It wasn't as if Coleco was known for not getting out of scrambles, the ADAM was a first time were a branch off completely backfired on them and their decisions as a result (such as moving from electronics) put them in an inevitable positions once the CBK fad faded and they had nothing else to branch off into. 

 

Had Coleco not made the electronics cut after the ADAM it's very likely they would have succeeded in branching off in new areas in that sector or keeping up the success of their then current CV project instead of rotting to death. The ADAM really messed up the managements sense of strategy.

 

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On 12/12/2019 at 3:32 PM, TPR said:

This is pretty much the main reason.  By mid to late 1983 most people were playing games on a number of home computers and with the popularity of the offerings from Commodore, Apple, Atari, and Texas Instruments, for example, most people were migrating from console games to home computers. The original SGM would have been pretty much DOA even if it was the greatest thing the console market had seen to date.  Everyone was just so burned out by that point, the masses wanted the "next big thing" which at the time was home computers.

I don't believe that. Yes computers started getting popular but home video games were still huge. Coleco games ceased to exist in 85 because of a no demand then why did nintendo blow up when it hit america the next year? I call bullshit on the death of the video game craze. I am defiant on this. Prove me wrong!

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2 minutes ago, CartridgeStealer said:

I don't believe that. Yes computers started getting popular but home video games were still huge. Coleco games ceased to exist in 85 because of a no demand then why did nintendo blow up when it hit america the next year? I call bullshit on the death of the video game craze. I am defiant on this. Prove me wrong!

The crash was something with the retailer channels, not consumers. Consumers were still there, but the distribution channels were cloaged with unsold stuff. Nintendo succeeded because they waited long enough until retail had got rid of most unsold stuff and made room for new stuff.

 

The other problem was value as Robb mentioned. Computers had the best gaming hardware at that point. C64, as much as I don't care about the machine, was THE best gaming hardware available. So it wasn't until the NES that we got a hardware that was better than the C64 at a very reasonable price point. 

 

But yeah, this discussion is circular at this point...

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1 minute ago, opcode said:

The crash was something with the retailer channels, not consumers. Consumers were still there, but the distribution channels were cloaged with unsold stuff. Nintendo succeeded because they waited long enough until retail had got rid of most unsold stuff and made room for new stuff.

 

The other problem was value as Robb mentioned. Computers had the best gaming hardware at that point. C64, as much as I don't care about the machine, was THE best gaming hardware available. So it wasn't until the NES that we got a hardware that was better than the C64 at a very reasonable price point. 

 

But yeah, this discussion is circular at this point...

But a game system was so much cheaper than a computer. My mom almost bought me an Adam. I couldn't believe it because it was so expensive but they were sold out by the time she wanted to get me one. But I was always in toys r us looking for the newest game for coleco. I hated the computer games on coleco because they were just boring to me.

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4 minutes ago, CartridgeStealer said:

But a game system was so much cheaper than a computer. My mom almost bought me an Adam. I couldn't believe it because it was so expensive but they were sold out by the time she wanted to get me one. But I was always in toys r us looking for the newest game for coleco. I hated the computer games on coleco because they were just boring to me.

You are thinking in terms of an Adam. By late 1983 you could get a C64 for $200, basically state of art in terms of game hardware (in the US at least) at that point. 

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On 8/25/2020 at 10:00 AM, Leeroy ST said:

Initially it did well, the point I was making is that generally Coleco would branch out to other areas and generally succeeded without a real failure, the Telestar lineup doesn't really fit here because it was initially a success and the business model they went all in with ended up backfiring but they still managed to get out by way of other avenues.

 

It wasn't as if Coleco was known for not getting out of scrambles, the ADAM was a first time were a branch off completely backfired on them and their decisions as a result (such as moving from electronics) put them in an inevitable positions once the CBK fad faded and they had nothing else to branch off into. 

 

Had Coleco not made the electronics cut after the ADAM it's very likely they would have succeeded in branching off in new areas in that sector or keeping up the success of their then current CV project instead of rotting to death. The ADAM really messed up the managements sense of strategy.

 

It wasn't coleco's decision, it was the bank's.  At that time the banks wanted nothing to do with video games and home computers.  And the 1980s banking crisis was just starting.  It was the first time coleco was refused financing.

 

8 minutes ago, CartridgeStealer said:

But a game system was so much cheaper than a computer. ...

Not if you're pirating the games.

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8 minutes ago, mr_me said:

It wasn't coleco's decision, it was the bank's.  At that time the banks wanted nothing to do with video games and home computers.  And the 1980s banking crisis was just starting.  It was the first time coleco was refused financing.

 

Not if you're pirating the games.

Yes. My friend who was huge into. Comps at the time told me they copied tons of games. Wish it was that easy with the coleco!

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I don't believe the price difference of $100 (or whatever it was exactly) between game console and computer was much a deciding factor. But games availability was. As was the ability to get copies of games.

 

Some of us got into the scene early enough - well hell - we MADE the scene from the start. Others got lucky and discovered they had a machine that everyone else had too.

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On 9/1/2020 at 11:52 AM, CartridgeStealer said:

But a game system was so much cheaper than a computer. My mom almost bought me an Adam. I couldn't believe it because it was so expensive but they were sold out by the time she wanted to get me one. But I was always in toys r us looking for the newest game for coleco. I hated the computer games on coleco because they were just boring to me.

Everyone we knew at that time was buying a home computer instead of a games machine. The Commodore 64 might have been $200 by that time, but you couldn't do anything with it much until you added a disk drive (for another $250) and at least half or more people we knew also had a printer (another $200+) for theirs. So, the ADAM wasn't exactly at a price disadvantage compared to its peers. If you could fault Coleco for anything packaging wise it was to not have a printerless option.

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On 9/22/2020 at 9:19 AM, Geoff Oltmans said:

Everyone we knew at that time was buying a home computer instead of a games machine. The Commodore 64 might have been $200 by that time, but you couldn't do anything with it much until you added a disk drive (for another $250) and at least half or more people we knew also had a printer (another $200+) for theirs. So, the ADAM wasn't exactly at a price disadvantage compared to its peers. If you could fault Coleco for anything packaging wise it was to not have a printerless option.

Yes, everyone was getting into computers but I bet you can't tell me why atari kept selling it's 2600 years after the computer crash and into the NES/Sega wars. Sure there was no competition but explain why coleco couldn't keep it going like the 2600 did for many years?

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17 hours ago, CartridgeStealer said:

Yes, everyone was getting into computers but I bet you can't tell me why atari kept selling it's 2600 years after the computer crash and into the NES/Sega wars. Sure there was no competition but explain why coleco couldn't keep it going like the 2600 did for many years?

 

Well, according to one account from someone that worked at Coleco, 6-9 months before the ADAM came out the bottom fell out of Coleco Vision sales... so there must have been a good reason.

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6 minutes ago, Geoff Oltmans said:

 

Well, according to one account from someone that worked at Coleco, 6-9 months before the ADAM came out the bottom fell out of Coleco Vision sales... so there must have been a good reason.

Source????

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29 minutes ago, Ikrananka said:

Source????

I was trying to find it, but I think it's lost to the sands of time... You've seen the email exchange I shared with Bill Rose, and that didn't encompass everything that he told me. I was thinking that he had said that but I can't find that exchange. Either him or Howard Eglowstein. I suppose we could rattle their cages again and see if they can confirm if what I'm saying is accurate.

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6 minutes ago, Geoff Oltmans said:

I was trying to find it, but I think it's lost to the sands of time... You've seen the email exchange I shared with Bill Rose, and that didn't encompass everything that he told me. I was thinking that he had said that but I can't find that exchange. Either him or Howard Eglowstein. I suppose we could rattle their cages again and see if they can confirm if what I'm saying is accurate.

I just find that estrange that AFAIK, Coleco was doing good until Q4 1983, the quarter the ADAM got released. I don’t know any specific numbers for the CV, but then which other major product did they have? So I assume that because of the crash CV sales may have taken a hit, I just wonder if it is that bad. 

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11 minutes ago, opcode said:

I just find that estrange that AFAIK, Coleco was doing good until Q4 1983, the quarter the ADAM got released. I don’t know any specific numbers for the CV, but then which other major product did they have? So I assume that because of the crash CV sales may have taken a hit, I just wonder if it is that bad. 

Yes, I find that strange too.  From page 33 of the 1983 Coleco annual report:

 

"1983 Compared with 1982
Sales of Consumer Electronics increased by $30.4million (8.1%). The increase in Consumer Electronics resulted primarily from the introduction of the ADAM Family Computer System. In addition, increased shipments of ColecoVision substantially offset lower sales of software for competing home video game systems and portable table top arcade games."

 

It wasn't until 1984 that their Consumer Electronics division took the massive hit with net sales dropping from $403.9 million in 1983 to only $98.6 million in 1984.

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Well, apparently I was mistaken. Bill says the market was doing pretty well at that time and the decision to pivot from SGM to ADAM was done before he started there.

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2 hours ago, Geoff Oltmans said:

 

Well, according to one account from someone that worked at Coleco, 6-9 months before the ADAM came out the bottom fell out of Coleco Vision sales... so there must have been a good reason.

Again, how so? Since coleco/adam bombed, the video game crash was because of them? Like I said, atari kept cranking out games for a system that as considered obsolete and coleco could have had kept going with it's colecovision. Obviously they couldn't hack it on the computer section but had they kept going for one more year, they could she run into NES. Do you think they would have backed away once nes hit? Like I said I call BS on the video game crash. Remember colecovision had it's success with arcade ports and arcade games weren't going anywhere for another 15 years. They were getting better. No arcade crash.

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I believe Coleco entered the family computer market with the ADAM without a clear understanding of what it took to succeed in that market. They seemed to have a "centralizing" philosophy where software development and publishing was concerned, and the bulk of the third-party software houses were practically an alternative underground movement that had no real voice to reach out to potential buyers of the ADAM. In other words, you had to buy an ADAM first, then have a lucky connection with someone in the "ADAM underground" to really see everything that the ADAM had to offer, beyond Coleco's slim non-gaming software. Even RAM expansions and other interesting hardware upgrades were insufficiently advertised by Coleco. It seems they just thought "Hey, we'll just cover the basics with SmartBASIC, ADAMCalc, and a few other things, and the ADAM will do fine on its own." As we know now, it takes more than that to succeed in the home computer market.

 

Coleco should have just stuck with gaming, and released a game-centric Super Game Module with some extra connectors for an optional keyboard and tape/disk drive, and they could have marketed the thing as a kid's computer, instead of overreaching their capacity by going for the "family home computer" market share, which the Commodore 64 and later the McIntosh and PC clones supported much better.

 

However, if I had been the top suit at Coleco, I'm not sure I would have jumped on the Famicom bandwagon, because then Coleco would have just been Nintendo's anchor in North-America (like CBS was Coleco's anchor in Europe) and being the "lackey distributor" of a Japanese company was not something that was palatable in the 80s.

 

Edited by Pixelboy

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4 hours ago, Geoff Oltmans said:

Well, apparently I was mistaken. Bill says the market was doing pretty well at that time and the decision to pivot from SGM to ADAM was done before he started there.

I forgot to mention that the CBS ColecoVision wasn't released in the UK, Europe and Australia until July 1983 and I'm sure that helped buoy up overall sales of the ColecoVision in that year even if North American sales had slowed down.  However, it was only the following year that the decline hit hard.

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In end Coleco should never have done Adam, just computer expansion for Coleco with basic software and Basic for new college adults and children. Most console computer hybrid failed and most popular software on them was basic so just have basic learning kit for CV maybe $100 ad you plug it in if you want basic software, allow printer input to print out stuff have basic, then that's it.

Adam was clearly a mistake Coleco company saw some demos and got off-shelf guide and parts and though just spend money on CV branded rushed computer and profit ended up losing millions. CV had Adam expansion that was reportedly unreliable that they barely made much of them and I only saw 1 in my entire life back in 1985 in bargain bin.

Coleco should have just stuck with gaming, and released a game-centric Super Game Module/quote]



I don't think Coleco sacrifice SGM for Adam? I though SGM was just cancelled because unreliable tape?

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