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4cade

The Story of the Expansion Module & Gemini - & the Myth Coleco Beat Atari

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It was one of the most audacious moves in video game history - when Coleco commandeered Atari's massive game library, giving the already attractive console an even stronger position in the marketplace, challenging the very concept of "console exclusive games". The common belief is that in the ensuing legal battle, Coleco won in court, due to the Atari VCS being built from standard "off the shelf" parts, and thus there was nothing to infringe upon. However, it's a misconception that isn't true. In this video, I tried to correct the record regarding the myth, and to tell the story of Coleco's multiple variations on Atari hardware. 

 

 

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I thought the video was pretty well done, but I have to be honest, I actually stopped watching after the part where they "called out" the other YouTubers. I get the part about debunking a myth, and I for one appreciated that completely, but there was really no reason to call out those other content creators as I'm sure they weren't spreading that information on purpose, and including those clips didn't actually add anything to the video other than making the creator look kind of obnoxious. If I was one of those other content creators that had their footage used (I'm assuming) without permission in this video, I would consider giving a copyright strike to take that down or have the guy re-edit the video without those clips.  

 

It's a shame, because I actually really liked the video up until that part.

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1 hour ago, TPR said:

I thought the video was pretty well done, but I have to be honest, I actually stopped watching after the part where they "called out" the other YouTubers. I get the part about debunking a myth, and I for one appreciated that completely, but there was really no reason to call out those other content creators as I'm sure they weren't spreading that information on purpose, and including those clips didn't actually add anything to the video other than making the creator look kind of obnoxious. If I was one of those other content creators that had their footage used (I'm assuming) without permission in this video, I would consider giving a copyright strike to take that down or have the guy re-edit the video without those clips.  

 

It's a shame, because I actually really liked the video up until that part.

Thanks for giving it a chance, and I'm sorry you feel that way. After their clips, I went out of my way to say that I wasn't attacking their channels - that I believed the same thing, and that I recommended people checking out their channels and provided links to do so in the description and pinned comment. Also, I reached out to all of them to make them aware of the video and that it wasn't intended as an attack on their work. I thought that would be obvious, I mean one of them is Norm, the Gaming Historian - the dean of YT video game history docs. So far, three of the youtubers in question have responded to me, all three of them positively. Still, you're entitled to your opinion, and I thank you for sharing it. However, the clips I used were short and clearly qualify for Fair Use copyright exception, so a copyright strike would be a violation of youtubes TOS. But again, thanks for giving it a chance.

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1 minute ago, 4cade said:

Thanks for giving it a chance, and I'm sorry you feel that way. After their clips, I went out of my way to say that I wasn't attacking their channels - that I believed the same thing, and that I recommended people checking out their channels and provided links to do so in the description and pinned comment. Also, I reached out to all of them to make them aware of the video and that it wasn't intended as an attack on their work. I thought that would be obvious, I mean one of them is Norm, the Gaming Historian - the dean of YT video game history docs. So far, three of the youtubers in question have responded to me, all three of them positively. Still, you're entitled to your opinion, and I thank you for sharing it. However, the clips I used were short and clearly qualify for Fair Use copyright exception, so a copyright strike would be a violation of youtubes TOS. But again, thanks for giving it a chance.

Yep. It's just my opinion.  It turned me off from your videos.  Just being honest.  You didn't get a sub out of me.  But I'm just one person so hopefully that won't matter too much in the grand scheme of things.  

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2 minutes ago, TPR said:

Yep. It's just my opinion.  It turned me off from your videos.  Just being honest.  You didn't get a sub out of me.  But I'm just one person so hopefully that won't matter too much in the grand scheme of things.  

Fair enough, TPR - I appreciate you giving critical feedback without attacking me personally, so I do appreciate your thoughts; sorry it didn't live up to your expectations, maybe I'll be able to earn that 'sub' another time.

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5 hours ago, 4cade said:

The common belief is that in the ensuing legal battle, Coleco won in court, due to the Atari VCS being built from standard "off the shelf" parts, and thus there was nothing to infringe upon.

Im not so sure that it is “common belief” seeing as it is widely known and has been reported on both BITD and more currently that Coleco and Atari settled instead of going thru a long and protracted legal battle. Seems more like just some misinformed information being passed on by those that you detail.

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Interesting video. i liked a lot the part on the Ultra-vision.    I did not like the part on the other youtubers also.

 

But i think few consoles compatible VCS are missing in your list :)   Or may be you cover only the US market?

 

 

 

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Just as an aside I was one of the "called out" YouTubers and I can confirm I was contacted first about being in the video and I was fine with it. If I was wrong I was wrong and correction is natural and necessary. 

 

I'm not going to cling to a narrative I know is false. What am I, mainstream media? 🤣

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I liked the quick look at the Intellivision system changer, but it might just be because i have one

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17 hours ago, NIAD said:

Im not so sure that it is “common belief” seeing as it is widely known and has been reported on both BITD and more currently that Coleco and Atari settled instead of going thru a long and protracted legal battle. Seems more like just some misinformed information being passed on by those that you detail.

Well, you raise a valid point - I don't have a source for that, and don't know of any way to find it in a statistical sense. So, this was based off of my personal experience of sources I found, and gamers I've talked to (in person, in forums like this, and in FB groups), and how commonly I heard the misconception. I'm not saying no one knew the truth - even Wikipedia is technically correct - they mention the TIA chip, and that Atari/Coleco settled, and Coleco became a licensee - but they omit the context of Coleco claiming it was off the shelf parts, and that the TIA was not off the shelf but custom-designed. One more note - I've posted this in some FB groups, and I've had two replies of "that's what Atari gets for using of the shelf parts" (I'm assuming they just commented and hadn't watched the video). But I'm sure to more knowledgeable retro gamers, it may seem like old news.

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12 hours ago, youki said:

Interesting video. i liked a lot the part on the Ultra-vision.    I did not like the part on the other youtubers also.

 

But i think few consoles compatible VCS are missing in your list :)   Or may be you cover only the US market?

 

 

 

Glad you liked it, youki. I was really jazzed to do the Ultravision section, and I think that broke some news as well, as I wasn't able to find any other sources that linked it to the CreatiVision. And you are certainly correct, there are consoles missing from the list - my original idea was about how many of these options were in competition with each other - that the same consumer could've bought so many VCS options in different sizes, shapes, brands and such. Since some of these variations likely didn't make it out of the US, I focused on that market; for example, the Intellivision System Changer was cancelled so quickly, I doubt it had much or any international presence. Also, as it's not an area I've explored much, it felt like another huge chunk of research an running time on an already long video - and it seemed to me that international variations was a big enough topic to possibly be it's own video down the road. 

 

As for the youtubers, as I said to TPR above, I respect your thoughts and appreciate the feedback, even if negative. I'll just make two points - first, to reiterate what I said - it was not a call-out. I admitted the same thing myself, so I wasn't calling them out anymore than I was myself; I encouraged viewers to check them out. I'll add that I'm subscribed to all of them - I've been watching Gaming Historian for years and hardly find this one error to be a blemish on his body of work. Everyone makes mistakes - I've already posted a correction to the pinned comment of my video (I mistakenly said the 7800 came out in 1987 when it came out in 1986). But I'll add that more importantly, it was relevant to the story as it illustrates just how common the misconception was. I'd seen the "Atari was made from off the shelf parts" long ago and like many others, took it for granted and mistakenly believed it for years. But if that doesn't sway you, no problem - sorry if it detracted from the video for you.

 

And thanks for your positive comments, as well as the question on international variations - during my research, I stumbled on a 2600 from Ireland and was surprised to see it was the 2800/Video Arcade II design, so yeah, looking at the int'l variants could be cool. But with the amount of countries/regions to research, it seems like it'd be a little tough to do.

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1 hour ago, 4cade said:

As for the youtubers, as I said to TPR above, I respect your thoughts and appreciate the feedback, even if negative. I'll just make two points - first, to reiterate what I said - it was not a call-out. I admitted the same thing myself, so I wasn't calling them out anymore than I was myself; I encouraged viewers to check them out. I'll add that I'm subscribed to all of them - I've been watching Gaming Historian for years and hardly find this one error to be a blemish on his body of work. Everyone makes mistakes

You can label it however you want, but IMO you could have reached the same conclusion without calling out those other people or including their clips of "misinformation" in your video.  To me you just came off like you wanted to purposely put those other people down to even further justify how "right" you were.  You called them out.  Period.  As a content creator myself, I'd be pretty annoyed if someone else included a clip in some roller coaster video of me saying something and then bragging about how wrong I was and how right they were with the information. It just comes off as petty and obnoxious. 

 

Maybe you don't think that's how you came off, but that's how it appeared **to me.**

 

As I said, I actually thought the video was very well done and it's a shame you felt the need to include that part.  But I'm just one voice (however it seems not the only person who felt this way) and perhaps we are in the minority and our thoughts and musing really just don't matter. 

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I dont know if i should fell good or bad that my channel was not sampled.  i have a few videos of my atari expansion modules for the Colecovision and Intellivision as well as the Gemini and Sears knockoffs.

 

Here is my INTV atari setup

 

Best way to play Atari 2600 https://imgur.com/gallery/FVmf07x

 

Here is my Colecovision/Adam atari setup

 

Playing Atari 2600 games on the Colecovision Adam using the UnoCart 2600 https://imgur.com/gallery/MeBKUMB

 

 

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, rietveld said:

I liked the quick look at the Intellivision system changer, but it might just be because i have one

 

5 hours ago, rietveld said:

I dont know if i should fell good or bad that my channel was not sampled.  i have a few videos of my atari expansion modules for the Colecovision and Intellivision as well as the Gemini and Sears knockoffs.

 

Here is my INTV atari setup

Best way to play Atari 2600 https://imgur.com/gallery/FVmf07x

 

Here is my Colecovision/Adam atari setup

Playing Atari 2600 games on the Colecovision Adam using the UnoCart 2600 https://imgur.com/gallery/MeBKUMB

 

 

Hey, not only do you have a pretty sweet set-up, I found your channel on YT and was kinda blown away to see GALAGA! being played on the PET computer! I assume that's modern homebrew? Dude, give me more info! As for the Intellivision System Changer - sorry I didn't see yours but I was happy to include that, as it was a small but critical element of the history of the time. It really added to the anger at the time of the lack of the 5200 adapter.

Edited by 4cade

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19 hours ago, AtariLeaf said:

Just as an aside I was one of the "called out" YouTubers and I can confirm I was contacted first about being in the video and I was fine with it. If I was wrong I was wrong and correction is natural and necessary. 

 

I'm not going to cling to a narrative I know is false. What am I, mainstream media? 🤣

Hey, AtariLeaf - I really appreciate you speaking up and your comments. You were one of the channels smaller than me, and I was hoping you wouldn't think I was a bigger channel trying to pile-on to you (though it's bizarre for me to realize I'm a 'bigger channel' at all). When I got responses from you and another of the small channels, it really made me feel better, both of you were very understanding and did not take it personally, I really appreciate your understanding, and also that it wasn't an attack on you. 

 

And I'm also glad you replied here - now I finally know the origin of your name - raised in MN but now living in CA, I always tell Canadians that as a Minnesotan, I'm an honorary Canadian, as we share so much in culture, and I've spent several trips up across the border. Thank you again, appreciate your support.

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23 hours ago, AtariLeaf said:

Just as an aside I was one of the "called out" YouTubers and I can confirm I was contacted first about being in the video and I was fine with it. If I was wrong I was wrong and correction is natural and necessary. 

 

I'm not going to cling to a narrative I know is false. What am I, mainstream media? 🤣

Hey, thank you AtariLeaf - I really appreciate your understanding, and your general stance on corrections. I have actually already had to issue a correction to my video, and I can tell you that I hate it, I hate when I work on something so long, and a detail slips through the cracks - but it's there. 

 

But more importantly, I appreciate you realizing I wasn't "coming after you". Some of the clips I used were BIG youtubers; but some were small youtubers, and that was actually what worried me the most, I am not going to have any impact on those big channels, but I was worried about the smaller channel - I also am a smaller channel, so I can imagine it, and I'm just thankful you saw I wasn't trying to troll you or anything. 

 

I'm also glad you replied here because now I finally know the story behind your NAME - dude, I'm from MN - I tell every Canadian I meet in California that "I consider myself an honorary Canadian" because in MN we share so much culture with Canada, and I've made it north of the border a few times. I live in southern Cal now, but I STILL have people pick up on my accent which I've always said is a shared Canadian thing. Anyways, thanks, much appreciated, I'm really glad my vid didn't upset you

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On 7/3/2021 at 7:14 PM, 4cade said:

It was one of the most audacious moves in video game history - when Coleco commandeered Atari's massive game library, giving the already attractive console an even stronger position in the marketplace, challenging the very concept of "console exclusive games". The common belief is that in the ensuing legal battle, Coleco won in court, due to the Atari VCS being built from standard "off the shelf" parts, and thus there was nothing to infringe upon. However, it's a misconception that isn't true. In this video, I tried to correct the record regarding the myth, and to tell the story of Coleco's multiple variations on Atari hardware. 

 

 

Awesome video my friend.  I left you a comment on the page itself which I could repeat here if necessary.  Suffice it to say I love these deep dives into the real story type things as a genre, and now combined with one of my favorite topics, old hardware.

 

Bravo!

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20 hours ago, mozartpc27 said:

Awesome video my friend.  I left you a comment on the page itself which I could repeat here if necessary.  Suffice it to say I love these deep dives into the real story type things as a genre, and now combined with one of my favorite topics, old hardware.

 

Bravo!

Thank you very much, mozartpc27, really cool to hear your comments - comments like that are why I made it! Really appreciate your thoughts and support; especially as a small channel, just fricking awesome. And always nice to meet a fellow enthusiast of this old hardware

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