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donjn

Worth owning Atari 2600 when you have an 800xl and C64?

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I have a pretty good setup.

 

An Ultimate 64 (Commodore 64), Atari 800xl with Unocart both hooked up to my Commodore 1702 monitor via s-video (chrona/luma).

 

I just got an Atari 2600 with s-video now and I am thinking it might be overkill. So many of my favorites are better on the C64 and 800xl...Montezumas Revenge, Hero, Super Breakout, all Pac Mans, DKs, etc etc.

 

I do enjoy the 2600 but only a handful of games are either better or ONLY available on the 2600 like Astroblast, Beany Bopper, etc.

 

I know these are first world problems. I have a switch box connecting all three to the 1702. It's a dream setup, paddles too. But part of me thinks it's too much.

 

Should I ditch the 2600?

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13 minutes ago, Sugarland said:

If you need to ask then probably yes sell it. 😃 

The 2600's are fetching good money at the moment. If you feel like it's going to be underutilized, I say sell it to someone that really wants one.

 

You don't have to sell it right away, perhaps baby steps are best so you can be sure it's a decision you won't regret?

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I agree with ClausB ;)

Contrary to appearances, the 2600 is a pretty cool console. Try playing newer titles such as Scramble or Mappy - you will be honestly surprised.
I do not have the C64, I have never been attracted to it, I really like 2600. If it's the NTSC version with AV Modem and you really want to get rid of it - if shipping to Poland doesn't kill me, I would gladly buy it at a reasonable price, because I only have one 2600jr NTSC without any modifications, and the AV version would be usefuln (I want keep ones in original). But, as I write - do not regret the sale later, because the new games are really good (of course not all), and you will also find several dozen pearls from the era.

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There's not a great deal that the 2600 has that's better or not available on the 2 computers.

 

Coming to mind - Space Invaders (IMO better than the 800 version), Chopper Command (though I believe is homebrewed to C64 and likely to appear on the A8).

Likely there's more but not forgetting there's emulation - in the case of computers the real deal is often more desirable since hardware exploits on demos and the like are better for real then under emulation.

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Posted (edited)

Sprite Invaders n the C64 is pretty good. Best of all, on a 4:3 monitor the image fills the entire screen.

 

 

I dunno, there's a lot of nostalgia surrounding the 2600, making such decisions difficult. The other two devices are without a doubt more capable machines. I know I definitely wouldn't be flogging off the Ultimate 64.

Edited by Mazzspeed
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Really should trade the 2600 for a 7800.  7800 will play *nearly* all the 2600 games and there are some amazing AtariAge releases specifically for the 7800!

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There a quite a few homebrew games that really show off the 2600, and new games are constantly coming out.

Some are amazing on standard hardware, other can really be astounding with newer cartridges and add ons...

Melody, Harmony, Hamony Encore and games that take advantage of their abilities kick some *ss

 

check out the AtariAge store for new stuff, and add ons, storage, and voice toys..

don't forget returning legends these days... people are coming home to Atari for some fun.

 

https://www.audacitygames.com/

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1 hour ago, nadir said:

Really should trade the 2600 for a 7800.  7800 will play *nearly* all the 2600 games and there are some amazing AtariAge releases specifically for the 7800!

Depends on the 7800. Earlier produced units will play them all. Later machines added a ceramic capacitor to fix a compatibility issue with 2600 Dark Chambers but in turn that broke compatibility with a handful of titles, most notably Activision’s Robot Tank and Pitfall II. That was a very dumb call as the 7800 version of Dark Chambers is much better anyway. Clip off that cap and problem solved. :)

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Not sure this is really about "which system has better game versions". After all, most of the notable games from C64 are better on Amiga, SNES versions are better than Amiga, and so on. To me it's more about how much I like and are interested in the original hardware. It is a piece of history after all, and it's nice to own and use the real thing (which is why some of us have different versions of the same platform).

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From a personal POV I'd get rid of the 2600, I had one briefly and I found it ok but not amazing whereas on the Atari and the C64 I had a computer as well as a games machine. I don't think the 2600 was horrible but I'd rather have a NES than a 2600.

 

Houses for courses but s said, if you have to ask you probably have your answer already..Gut feeling..

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5 hours ago, Rybags said:

There's not a great deal that the 2600 has that's better or not available on the 2 computers.

 

Coming to mind - Space Invaders (IMO better than the 800 version), Chopper Command (though I believe is homebrewed to C64 and likely to appear on the A8).

Likely there's more but not forgetting there's emulation - in the case of computers the real deal is often more desirable since hardware exploits on demos and the like are better for real then under emulation.

It now has Galaga and will soon have the ultimate version of Gorf, complete with all 5 levels.

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, donjn said:

I have a pretty good setup.

 

An Ultimate 64 (Commodore 64), Atari 800xl with Unocart both hooked up to my Commodore 1702 monitor via s-video (chrona/luma).

 

I just got an Atari 2600 with s-video now and I am thinking it might be overkill. So many of my favorites are better on the C64 and 800xl...Montezumas Revenge, Hero, Super Breakout, all Pac Mans, DKs, etc etc.

 

I do enjoy the 2600 but only a handful of games are either better or ONLY available on the 2600 like Astroblast, Beany Bopper, etc.

 

I know these are first world problems. I have a switch box connecting all three to the 1702. It's a dream setup, paddles too. But part of me thinks it's too much.

 

Should I ditch the 2600?

Even though the 2600 was my first console,  I find that 95% of the games don't really hold my attention anymore-- they are too basic.  So it's not something I play much and don't consider it necessary.

Edited by zzip
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Posted (edited)

I still have a 2600, and I say yes, for at least one reason: SOLARIS. Though I would love to see an updated version of this game made for the Atari 8-bits. Otherwise it's just a bit too primitive for me, and most of my classic gaming is on the Atari 8-bit. I do plan on getting a C64 system soon though too.

 

Of course a 7800 might be a better idea, as it can play 2600 SOLARIS plus it has some incredible titles of it's own as good or better than the C64 and A8 versions, and some exclusives.

Edited by Gunstar
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I completely missed the 2600 experience in the 80’s since my family had an 800 computer. When I heard people playing “this” game or “that” game I thought they saw and experienced whatever I saw and experienced n the 800. One day a friend from school came over and wanted to play Pac-Man. He was shocked at the 800 version vs. his 2600 version! Ever since then I have always been curious about the 2600.

 

I finally bought my first 2600 a week or so ago. It took me well over 35 years to finally get one. Even though the games are “better” on the computer I am still intrigued by the 2600’s unique experience. Now I can share in it with others. That sharing means more to me than something being “better” or “worse”. I am also a bit of a collector so having a 2600 makes my Atari feel more complete. Heck ... I’m still itching for an Amiga 500 to complete my 80’s experience but that’s a different topic. :) 

 

I agree with @Sugarland. If you are doubting your ownership then maybe it is time to sell it. Ownership does not give you pleasure or satisfaction in this case. Remember, for as cool something may be it’s still just a “thing”. It doesn’t love you, it doesn’t care about you. It won’t feed you when you’re hungry or clothe you when you are naked (at least not very well). If you sell it and want it back then another will be available for you when you are ready. 

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TL;DR If you need the money or shelf space, sell it. If not, keep it.

 

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8 hours ago, youxia said:

Not sure this is really about "which system has better game versions". After all, most of the notable games from C64 are better on Amiga.

I would say some, definitely not most. But it's all subjective really. 

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11 hours ago, nadir said:

Really should trade the 2600 for a 7800.  7800 will play *nearly* all the 2600 games and there are some amazing AtariAge releases specifically for the 7800!

Hats sound advice baby pac man alone is a nice one

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Here is my updated list of MUST plays on the 2600.

 

These games either have versions on the Atari 800 or C64 that I don't like, are just exclusives, or I dont like the input delay from modern emulation:

 

Adventures of Tron
Aquaventure
Astroblast
Beany Bopper

Colony 7
Fast Eddiie
Gravitar
Maurauder
Osytron

Phoenix (is there a better version somewhere else?)

Pitfall 2 (somehow Atari 2600 magicians nailed this)
Planet Patrol
Robot Tank

Seaquest (tried the Atari 800 conversion it is not bad)
Secret Quest

Solaris
Spider Fighter
Super Breakout (still torn if the Atari computer version is better or not)
Video Pinball (yes, love this game)
Yars Revenge

 

There are also about 10 to 15 other games that I sometimes play.

Is this enough to justify keeping the 2600? I am beginning to think so.
 

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The 2600 has a very vibrant home-brew scene - there seem to be even more new games than for the 8-bits. I'd keep it, maybe more for sentimental reasons than for actual play value. 

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If you have room, keep it -- it should continue to increase in value.  But I sold my 2600 in '82? and got a Colecovision. I thought the games were immensely better. Then I gave away the Colecovision when I got my 800.  I've wished for my Colecovision several times, but never wanted another 2600 (or Replay).  

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Thought this topic  was interesting.  I just did the opposite.   I have a 2600 that I obtained in the last 2 years but just purchased an 800XL.  I grew on a 1200XL and many 8bit games, playing 2600 only at a few friends. 

 

There are games such as many of the Activision ones like Enduro that are great that are not on the 8bit line. In fact that was what got me back into Atari in the past year was Enduro.  Loved the experience. 

 

As was mentioned the many new and existing Homebrews also make the 2600 worth it.

 

Yes there are games on 2600 (I am looking at you Miner49er) that are very inferior to 8bit but even ones that are on both are fun/challenging/worth to play on 2600 (example Joust with different mechanics of how eggs float around).  

 

I also enjoy seeing how the programmers worked with the limitations of the system to get some of the games on 8bit to 2600.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, AtariSphinx said:

There are games such as many of the Activision ones like Enduro that are great that are not on the 8bit line. In fact that was what got me back into Atari in the past year was Enduro.  Loved the experience. 

Enduro is just a cut-down version of the Great American Cross-Country Road Race, which is awesome on the 8-bits.

 

1 hour ago, AtariSphinx said:

I also enjoy seeing how the programmers worked with the limitations of the system to get some of the games on 8bit to 2600.

The way they're getting around the limitations these days -- in the case of these so-called "amazing" conversions -- is by leveraging onboard processing from the cartridge. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with it; but it needs to be put into proper perspective; the same way on-cartridge processing/features for NES games need to be looked at.

 

Edited by MrFish
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On 3/12/2021 at 3:17 AM, donjn said:

I just got an Atari 2600 with s-video now and I am thinking it might be overkill.

...or underkill. :D

 

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