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Keatah

Computers and the videogame crash of the 80's.

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15 minutes ago, zzip said:

Donkey Kong.   It's not technically on the 5200, but the 8-bit version is much better. 

Although I haven't played Donkey Kong on 5200, 7800, or 8 bit, the 8 bit version has less detail to graphics but looks to have a more refined look when the 7800 version does have better graphics it seems like a work in progress.

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2 hours ago, bluejay said:

The 5200 however, I'm not sure where to put. It's obviously better than other 2nd gen consoles, but I don't find anything as good as 3rd gen consoles. The graphics as certainly better than the 2600, but much worse than the 7800, NES, etc. The sound is still very 1970s, and the controllers are more 2nd gen. So I classify the 5200 as the latest/most advanced 2nd gen console.

 

The 5200 had GREAT sound, if you consider the 7800 went back to using the same sound as the 2600.

Might have been a necessary evil for backwards compatibility, but I find that is the consoles biggest problem.

The games look great, but sound terrible (Except for the few that had POKEY chips.... that should have just been put it right in the system)

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4 hours ago, Torr said:

 

The 5200 had GREAT sound, if you consider the 7800 went back to using the same sound as the 2600.

Might have been a necessary evil for backwards compatibility, but I find that is the consoles biggest problem.

The games look great, but sound terrible (Except for the few that had POKEY chips.... that should have just been put it right in the system)

but compared to what I consider 3rd gen consoles(C64, NES, etc.) the sound isn't quite as good.

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13 hours ago, bluejay said:

but compared to what I consider 3rd gen consoles(C64, NES, etc.) the sound isn't quite as good.

I'm not a 5200 guy, but from what I understand it used a Pokey chip?

If so, that's a pretty good sound chip...  As a Commodore kid, I prefer the SID, but the Pokey can produce great music/sound.

Now, it is possible the 5200 library didn't take good advantage of that chip, not sure.  But I'd class the sound hardware right up there with the SID and NES capability-wise..  Or at least really close.. ;-)  IMHO

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16 minutes ago, desiv said:

I'm not a 5200 guy, but from what I understand it used a Pokey chip?

If so, that's a pretty good sound chip...  As a Commodore kid, I prefer the SID, but the Pokey can produce great music/sound.

Now, it is possible the 5200 library didn't take good advantage of that chip, not sure.  But I'd class the sound hardware right up there with the SID and NES capability-wise..  Or at least really close.. ;-)  IMHO

Yes it was a Pokey,  and it was decent enough for it's era.  It was good at making arcade-type sound effects.   It was adequate at making music..   a bit harsh sounding compared to other chips like SID.   Some 5200 games even had speech, which was a big deal back then.

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1230353616_3gen1.thumb.jpg.b871f77e9b3e959893fc6f93db25073b.jpg337130325_3gen7.thumb.jpg.08dd131f605058fe149e9583345cb4e9.jpg

 

Third Wave = Third Gen...………….Even Germany knew it: Dritte Generation = Third Gen

 

Nes was released in July 1983 (Famicom), 2nd Gen?

Edited by high voltage
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On 8/28/2020 at 4:57 PM, desiv said:

I'm not a 5200 guy, but from what I understand it used a Pokey chip?

If so, that's a pretty good sound chip...  As a Commodore kid, I prefer the SID, but the Pokey can produce great music/sound.

Now, it is possible the 5200 library didn't take good advantage of that chip, not sure.  But I'd class the sound hardware right up there with the SID and NES capability-wise..  Or at least really close.. ;-)  IMHO

Pokey was also Ataris Arcade coin-op sound chip (and Atari 8 bit), so yes, it is very good. It is on-par with Sid

Edited by high voltage
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6 hours ago, high voltage said:

879859568_videogamecrashof1984GarryKitchen.thumb.jpg.8617a7b3094986ddd1729e37665b4c45.jpg696000988_videogamecrashof1984AlanMiller.thumb.jpg.a074ab9b10b42de336aebbb2e5b25d54.jpg

 

The 'crash' started in late 1983, reached its peak in 1984

84 and 85 were clearly the worst years of the crash, but it seems the early warning signs were there at Christmas 82, when ET flopped and the CV and 5200 didn't exactly set the world on fire as much as it was hoped.

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Okay, but this is about computers? In the videogame crash years computer games and micros were booming.

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3 hours ago, youxia said:

Okay, but this is about computers? In the videogame crash years computer games and micros were booming.

Yes

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Well as a naive kid back then, all I remember was the market was becoming saturated. Systems were becoming numerous and less unique. No longer did you have disparate libraries of Intellivision and Atari. What was made for one system was now made for the other. When those two consoles came out, I had to have them both. But not with later consoles.

 

The 5200 was redundant because it didn't do anything more than the 8-bit computers. The 7800 wasn't exciting either, despite having a higher model number (or 5200+2600), it was duplicitous.
 

 

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34 minutes ago, Keatah said:

The 5200 was redundant because it didn't do anything more than the 8-bit computers. The 7800 wasn't exciting either, despite having a higher model number (or 5200+2600), it was duplicitous.

The Atari Computers were kind of pricey before the 5200,  but when the 600XL came out the next year, I believe it was around half the original 5200 price, and could do virtually everything the 5200 could do.   The 5200 was dead in the water by then.

Edited by zzip
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12 hours ago, high voltage said:

The 'crash' started in late 1983, reached its peak in 1984

 

A review of the contemporary business press supports this. 

 

There were many articles about the video game industry throughout 1983 (including some expressing concern about market saturation and declining margins). The volume was much less in 1984, and there was virtually nothing published after about June of that year. I did not continue my research into 1985, so I cannot comment when it picked-up again.

 

The volume of lawsuits (including those brought by shareholders and distributors stuck with unsold inventory) against video game companies also increased sharply in 1984. 

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19 hours ago, zzip said:

The Atari Computers were kind of pricey before the 5200,  but when the 600XL came out the next year, I believe it was around half the original 5200 price, and could do virtually everything the 5200 could do.   The 5200 was dead in the water by then.

I believe the 800XL was cheaper too, but I could be wrong on that.  Regardless, definitely the computer price war that broke out between Commodore and TI spread and caused computers to be sold at and/or below the prices of dedicated gaming consoles that could play as good of games, if not better, than those on dedicated video game consoles.  That, the glut of crap software, and lots of competing gaming systems (Atari, Coleco, Mattel, Zircon, Magnavox, Emerson, etc.) lead to the crash here in the States.  Obviously, that didn't happen in Japan and/or Europe.

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4 minutes ago, Hwlngmad said:

I believe the 800XL was cheaper too, but I could be wrong on that.  Regardless, definitely the computer price war that broke out between Commodore and TI spread and caused computers to be sold at and/or below the prices of dedicated gaming consoles that could play as good of games, if not better, than those on dedicated video game consoles.  That, the glut of crap software, and lots of competing gaming systems (Atari, Coleco, Mattel, Zircon, Magnavox, Emerson, etc.) lead to the crash here in the States.  Obviously, that didn't happen in Japan and/or Europe.

 

My memory was that when the XLs arrived, the 600XL was selling for something like $139, and the 800XL was well over $200.  But after Tramiel bought Atari,  800XLs were going for $150ish, and soon the 1050's were going for the same price.  That's when I got both.

 

Cheap computers definitely killed my interest in consoles.  Also Computers allowed us to play deeper more complex games.   Consoles were all about having the "hottest arcade ports" at a time that even arcades were dying.   They simply weren't ready for the shift.

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1 hour ago, zzip said:

Cheap computers definitely killed my interest in consoles.  Also Computers allowed us to play deeper more complex games.

I agree 100% here.  No doubt about it.  I would say cheap computers killed a lot of other people's interest in consoles.  Also, like you said, the games you could finds were deeper and more complex.  Once computers stopped being super cheap (and just cheap in general) and consoles caught up gaming wise, then it was a quick shift back to consoles being the primary way to play games.

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On 8/27/2020 at 1:17 PM, zzip said:

This is true,  I always say there was a "lost" console generation that consisted of the Colecovision, 5200, and COMMODORE 64 / Atari 8bit.  Gaming historians tend to write-off this generation because the CV/5200 failed, and they don't consider home computers to count as "consoles" no matter how many people used them as one.

The CV failed?

  

On 9/2/2020 at 11:10 AM, zzip said:

 

My memory was that when the XLs arrived, the 600XL was selling for something like $139, and the 800XL was well over $200.  But after Tramiel bought Atari,  800XLs were going for $150ish, and soon the 1050's were going for the same price.  That's when I got both.

 

Cheap computers definitely killed my interest in consoles.  Also Computers allowed us to play deeper more complex games.   Consoles were all about having the "hottest arcade ports" at a time that even arcades were dying.   They simply weren't ready for the shift.

 

Computer price war was the best thing to ever happen to the consumer. I had a friend who's boss finally were able to upgrade all their businesses machines for their company and catch up in the market place due t how low the prices were.

Edited by Leeroy ST
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27 minutes ago, Leeroy ST said:

The CV failed?

Coleco gave up on it after only 3 years and exited the market, so not exactly a success.

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4 minutes ago, zzip said:

Coleco gave up on it after only 3 years and exited the market, so not exactly a success.

Coleco didn't give up on the CV, Coleco exited electronics due to Adam losses and issues with banks on electronic entertainment, as banks were less likely to loan out money for such a purpose.

 

CV was supported after the crash and until the spring of 1985 swapping electronics for toys, which would kill them. The whole reason the 7800 was made in the first place due to the CV gobbling up marketshare like hotcakes.

 

I'd say it was a success for the time it was relevant. At the very least I'm arguing it wasn't a commercial failure.

Edited by Leeroy ST
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24 minutes ago, Leeroy ST said:

Coleco didn't give up on the CV, Coleco exited electronics due to Adam losses and issues with banks on electronic entertainment, as banks were less likely to loan out money for such a purpose.

 

CV was supported after the crash and until the spring of 1985 swapping electronics for toys, which would kill them. The whole reason the 7800 was made in the first place due to the CV gobbling up marketshare like hotcakes.

 

I'd say it was a success for the time it was relevant. At the very least I'm arguing it wasn't a commercial failure.

I would agree it was a success for a short period of time.   But ultimately, a successful console should have a shelf life longer than it did.

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2 minutes ago, zzip said:

I would agree it was a success for a short period of time.   But ultimately, a successful console should have a shelf life longer than it did.

I think the ColecoVision could have survived the crash by the skin of its teeth had it not been for other factors not directly involved.  It might not have survived competition from the NES, but we will never know.  I grant the ColecoVision a reprieve on its cancellation in the same vein as the Amiga would have had a little more staying power had it not been for Commodore vs. the patent.  (Not so much the CD32, no matter how much my friends and I desperately wanted on, as it had relatively poor titles at its introduction -- mostly just re-vamped Amiga releases with CDDA tracks.)

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29 minutes ago, zzip said:

I would agree it was a success for a short period of time.   But ultimately, a successful console should have a shelf life longer than it did.

That's not how it works, it was not a commercial failure, it shifted the industry was in, and arguably the last to still be alive in its original form after the market shake up. 

 

22 minutes ago, OLD CS1 said:

I think the ColecoVision could have survived the crash by the skin of its teeth had it not been for other factors not directly involved.  It might not have survived competition from the NES, but we will never know.  I grant the ColecoVision a reprieve on its cancellation in the same vein as the Amiga would have had a little more staying power had it not been for Commodore vs. the patent.  (Not so much the CD32, no matter how much my friends and I desperately wanted on, as it had relatively poor titles at its introduction -- mostly just re-vamped Amiga releases with CDDA tracks.)

It did survive the crash, Adam is a pretty big factor. to its discontinuation.

 

Really if Coleco outsources some of Adams hardware or software to experienced developers and really put in polish but still went for a cheap entry-level price they could have grabbed a bigger piece of the market than people think. Especially once computer manufacturers started raising the prices again. The software, printer, and unreliable add-ons really put a number on the company.

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2 hours ago, Leeroy ST said:

It did survive the crash

That depends upon when you would exactly mark the end of the crash.  Sales analysis would put the end of the crash in 1986, as that was the first year sales figures trended upward after 1983, 3/4 of that, according to Nintendo, being sales of the NES.  The ColecoVision was discontinued in October 1985, the same month the NES was released in North America.  One could speculate that without the NES in 1985, second generation console sales in 1986 would have only just eked above 1985 numbers, or perhaps not at all.

 

2 hours ago, Leeroy ST said:

Adam is a pretty big factor. to its discontinuation.

Precisely my point.  But considering combined sales in 1986 of $120 million, again giving credibility to Nintendo's analysis, having to divide that pie with Atari probably was likely not looked upon favorably by Coleco.

 

Back to my point, the ColecoVision was discontinued in the same month as the NES NA release.  Makes me wonder if the ColecoVision could have stood up to the NES, and perhaps rode the wave brought in with it.

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13 hours ago, OLD CS1 said:

That depends upon when you would exactly mark the end of the crash.  Sales analysis would put the end of the crash in 1986, as that was the first year sales figures trended upward after 1983, 3/4 of that, according to Nintendo, being sales of the NES.  The ColecoVision was discontinued in October 1985, the same month the NES was released in North America.  One could speculate that without the NES in 1985, second generation console sales in 1986 would have only just eked above 1985 numbers, or perhaps not at all.

 

 

First year but sales were trending upward in 1985 by the second half of the year as purchases increased and more players on the industry side were pushing output, and don't forget that $800 game system that came out that same year because they though it was an ideal time. RDI something. 

 

Also the NES didn't release in 1985 it was test marketed in 1985, and a couple sources said it was lukewarm while some said it did well. Regardless it was test marketed by 1 state I doubt the NES was a facotr, also the same year as RDI machine, Ghostbusters video game iirc, and 1 million 2600's sold with no marketing.

 

13 hours ago, OLD CS1 said:

Precisely my point.  But considering combined sales in 1986 of $120 million, again giving credibility to Nintendo's analysis, having to divide that pie with Atari probably was likely not looked upon favorably by Coleco.

Your skipping ahead a year. Coleco actually had money in 1985, and thinking they ould be scared to share a pie for Atari in 1986 based on an ASSUMPTION doesn't make sense.

 

13 hours ago, OLD CS1 said:

Back to my point, the ColecoVision was discontinued in the same month as the NES NA release.  Makes me wonder if the ColecoVision could have stood up to the NES, and perhaps rode the wave brought in with it.

NES would be riding Coleco's wave not the other way around, they were the leading console at the time. Also the NES came out in nationwide in Sept 1986. Adam is a major part of why the CV was discontinued because of a general company shift they didn't "give up on it".

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