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Lord Mushroom

Would Atari had been better off if Bushnell hadn´t sold it?

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124 members have voted

  1. 1. Would Atari had been better off if Bushnell hadn´t sold it to Warner?

    • Probably yes
      49
    • Probably no
      38
    • I have no idea
      37


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33 minutes ago, Leeroy ST said:

You're grasping, those are the vast majority of the libraries listed for all 3. Notice how you only went for the small group genres missing on the NES and not the other two. How curious I wonder why you did that. Hmmm.

 

Lack Variety was the point and this showcases it. The ratio is lopsided. Especially if we talk about what was actually pushed and known to most consumers.

 

 

Well, you just ignored like 50 or more titles while listing even 1-2 titles for niche genres on the Atari and CV systems. 

 

Maniac Mansion, Silent Service 2, Tetris, Lemmings...just to name a few games that are missing for the NES list.

 

Your way of manipulating and spinning facts does not do your argument any favour.  Or for your character you try to communicate here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by agradeneu
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1 minute ago, agradeneu said:

Well, you just ignored like 50 or more titles while listing even 1-2 titles for niche genres on the Atari and CV systems. 

 

Not a single genre was 1-2 titles.

 

There are just as many if not more missing for the other two. All I did was list the majority of each consoles library clearly showing the ratio is more lopsided on the NES.

 

No matter whats included there's less variety ratio. When you realize what was readily available things become more slanted.

 

The NES has more games total but that doesn't change the ratio. Also since this was in response to someone talking about the US market a chunk of those games in many cases were not on shelves most of the time (Jrpgs come to mind) which skews things farther.

 

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5 minutes ago, Leeroy ST said:

Not a single genre was 1-2 titles.

 

There are just as many if not more missing for the other two. All I did was list the majority of each consoles library clearly showing the ratio is more lopsided on the NES.

 

No matter whats included there's less variety ratio. When you realize what was readily available things become more slanted.

 

The NES has more games total but that doesn't change the ratio. Also since this was in response to someone talking about the US market a chunk of those games in many cases were not on shelves most of the time (Jrpgs come to mind) which skews things farther.

 

Well, you listed 3 titles for CV RPGs. Sorry I was shy of 1.

But  0 puzzle games for NES is quite an omission. 

Can you tell me your motivation for that?

 

 

Edited by agradeneu
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I just did a quick look at atari 2600 games list, using only the common (and therefore most readily available) titles. According to my calculations, Atari games are 82% arcade ports, 6% sports, 6% space sims, and 6% E. T.

 

VERY LITTLE VARIETY.

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12 minutes ago, toiletunes said:

I just did a quick look at atari 2600 games list, using only the common (and therefore most readily available) titles. According to my calculations, Atari games are 82% arcade ports, 6% sports, 6% space sims, and 6% E. T.

 

VERY LITTLE VARIETY.

Arcade ports are various game types but nice try though. You can pull the same stunt with the NES.

 

Sarcasm aside no one's actually going to disprove the ratio, nitpicking (or pretending I'm omitting games on NES when more games were missing on the others) is the only option. There were less variety in game types on NES in the US than the previous consoles. Especially when accounting for what was pushed and was knowledgeable to the casual userbase.

 

I'm open to an actual response of substance if there's a "real" disagreement.

Edited by Leeroy ST
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2 hours ago, Leeroy ST said:

Arcade ports are various game types but nice try though.

 

no one's actually going to disprove the ratio...

...nitpicking is the only option.

 

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9 hours ago, roots.genoa said:

Absolutely not. Steve Jobs was hired because people at Atari thought he made Wozniak's Pong clone. The problem is, Jobs had no competence in electronics, so he basically asked Woz to do part of his work in secret, but Wozniak was never an Atari employee. Also Wozniak's Breakout design was never used (it cost too much), even though it might have won the internal competition. Finally, Woz made the Apple I & II without Jobs knowing about them until they were completed.

 

I know because I had to write a short bio of Woz and he correct several of my mistakes.

Right, I posted that and then went reading.  It was Jobs that worked there, he manipulated Woz into building a cheaper Breakout with less chips, and only paid hom a small amount of the bonus that Atari had paid Jobs.  Talk about a dick move.

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12 hours ago, roots.genoa said:

Absolutely not. Steve Jobs was hired because people at Atari thought he made Wozniak's Pong clone. The problem is, Jobs had no competence in electronics, so he basically asked Woz to do part of his work in secret, but Wozniak was never an Atari employee.

In fairness, he didn´t say he was hired, just that he worked there. Here is part of an interview were he mentions hiring Jobs, among other things:

 

 

 

Edited by Lord Mushroom

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22 hours ago, Leeroy ST said:

These aren't 100% accurate but just using quick lists.

 

NES: 1380 games

400 are scrolling platformers

255 are shooters (most scrolling)

165 are sports

127 rpgs (chunk of them actually action adventure titles)

46 racers

35 are scrolling beat em ups

 

I don't think this is a necessarily accurate list.  I can't believe I'm doing this, but... I'm going through the list all all 670-ish North American licensed releases and splitting them up into the categories you used across the systems.  I'm really curious what the breakdown is -- although, again, a lot of genre breakdown is somewhat subjective.

 

Edit: This is going slowly.  There are a LOT more western RPGs on the NES than I remember there being, and some stuff is really hard to classify.  I'll be back later for anxiously-awaited update.


(I do feel the need to point out that when I asked whether you meant there was a lack of genres OR that there was a preponderance of certain genres, you seemed to imply the former.  If that's the case, it doesn't matter what the majority of any system's library is -- only what was actually available, even if a small portion.  Yes, yes, I know -- pedantic.)

Edited by DavidD
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26 minutes ago, DavidD said:

I don't think this is a necessarily accurate list.  I can't believe I'm doing this, but... I'm going through the list all all 670-ish North American licensed releases and splitting them up into the categories you used across the systems.  I'm really curious what the breakdown is -- although, again, a lot of genre breakdown is somewhat subjective.


(I do feel the need to point out that when I asked whether you meant there was a lack of genres OR that there was a preponderance of certain genres, you seemed to imply the former.  If that's the case, it doesn't matter what the majority of any system's library is -- only what was actually available, even if a small portion.  Yes, yes, I know -- pedantic.)

I never said there were less "genres" I said there was less variety to library ratio.

 

If we include what US consumers generally have access too it's even more lopsided.

 

Quantity of Genre categories isn't the issue. Jrpgs is a perfect example of that. NES has them, but the average consumer in the US likely didn't see near all of them outside a few games, if that.

 

Since you bring up availability you should agree with the above. 

 

(Also I said the lists were not 100% accurate.)

 

I dont see the point of splitting games in categories unless you think I'm comparing genre counts. Im not.

 

Scrolling platformers and shooters are way over represented and that's just looking at a list but when you look at US market availability to average joe casual, it's more lopsided than that.

 

But if Average Joe went to a CV or 2600 shelf he would have more access to a higher variety by ratio on a list or in real life, subjectivity aside. 

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

I never said there were less "genres" I said there was less variety to library ratio.

 

 

Sorry, but when I asked you for clarification, it sounded like that was what you meant:

 

On 9/5/2021 at 4:05 AM, DavidD said:

This is somewhat subjective, but "lack of variety" seems to be a somewhat difficult charge to make... do you mean that there was a greater variety of gameplay types on pre-Famicom home game systems, or do you mean that you feel "most Famicom/NES games were the same kind of game"?  Those are rather different points -- I feel like you mean the second, but I could be wrong.

On 9/5/2021 at 6:05 AM, Leeroy ST said:

I posted articles that showed this that you conveniently skipped. There's no bias involved with an easily searchable library of titles and counting which game types. Considering I mentioned game types multiple times it should be obvious I meant the former.

 

"Greater variety" would be "greater number of genres."  Most titles available being of the same genre might make the platform's library more homogeneous, but it doesn't lessen the variety available.  Of course, we might just be meaning the same thing but presenting it in different ways.

 

(One other issue here is that "side scrolling platformer" is a problematic category -- I mean, one could lump Super Mario Bros., Mega Man, and Contra all into that group if one wanted to.)

 

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34 minutes ago, DavidD said:

(One other issue here is that "side scrolling platformer" is a problematic category -- I mean, one could lump Super Mario Bros., Mega Man, and Contra all into that group if one wanted to.)

 

Which is what people do and what I did. Shooters is a different category for games like Gradius and run guns without substantial jumping.

 

34 minutes ago, DavidD said:

"Greater variety" would be "greater number of genres."  

And yet the original conversation piece was about variety whether NES had computer ports or not, throwing that assumption out the window, along with that news article about a person being annoyed NES games were "repeating themselves" with similar games. Despite what you say you did skip that part.

 

It was never about genre count. It was about variety in access and representation from the start.

 

Scrolling platformers (or left to right scrolling games in general) are over represented in US NES releases more so than any lopsided game type of previous consoles. The casual NES buyer was also over exposed to them, NOT so much simulators or Jrpgs etc. Even though it had those genres.

 

You got shooters in there, which was also big too, and sports etc. But there were clearly two genres that were massively over represented and had the highest access to the consumer.

 

If said player in the previously shown article, who was annoyed by repeating gameplay experiences, had better access to a higher variety of game types, maybe he would not have been as irritated.

 

That was part of the stagnation issue brought up in the press bringing up the possibility of another shake out, and also used it to explain why the Genesis and TG16 were slow to take off. 

 

As posted before this led the industry toward the 1993 collapse 

 

 

 

Edited by Leeroy ST

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1 hour ago, Leeroy ST said:

And yet the original conversation piece was about variety whether NES had computer ports or not, throwing that assumption out the window, along with that news article about a person being annoyed NES games were "repeating themselves" with similar games. Despite what you say you did skip that part.

 

It was never about genre count. It was about variety in access and representation from the start.

 

Scrolling platformers (or left to right scrolling games in general) are over represented in US NES releases more so than any lopsided game type of previous consoles. The casual NES buyer was also over exposed to them, NOT so much simulators or Jrpgs etc. Even though it had those genres.

 

So, to make a long story short, what you are arguing is that even though the NES had access to a greater number of genres and playtypes than the 2600/5200/Intellivision/Colecovision, gamers were "burned out" by a repetition of gameplay experiences available in the best-selling/most popular NES titles, and that the library makeup of prior generations might have led to less burn-out.  Correct?

 

I pointed out that there were a large number of unique titles for the NES, but if we're talking about genres being "overexposed", then I suppose you don't mean the total variety, but the most commonly available titles, right?  If that's the case, then it would seem that comparing the top 50 or so best selling NES titles to those of other platforms would tell us about the relative makeup of the "most exposed" genres.

 

I haven't been able to find an entirely trustworthy source for this data, mind you, but the (ugh) Wikipedia entry for top-selling NES titles does appear to give a reference for each number and is sorted by number from those references.  While it is surely lacking in many ways, it seems like it MIGHT be possible to ESTIMATE the best selling titles using that list.

 

Given that, using the (ugh) Wikipedia list, the genre breakdown for top 50 NES titles is as follows:

 

  • Platformer - 24%
  • Sports -24%
  • Action adventure - 8%
  • Racing - 8%
  • RPG - 8%
  • Board Game/Classical - 6%
  • Arcade - 4%
  • Shooter - 4%
  • Beat 'em Up - 2%
  • Shooting - 2%

 

Now, keep in mind that this chart lumps Mega Man and Super Mario Bros. together, which is (quite frankly) silly, as they aren't the same genre -- just as Pac-Man Jr. and Gauntlet aren't the same genres even though both use an overhead view and a scrolling maze.

 

Tied to all this -- when dealing with the article interview thing ... again, I don't see how one kid complaining about similarities between a games can be used as evidence that the game library didn't have much variety, especially if we're trying to connect that logic to "pre-NES game libraries might have offered more variety."  (As an aside, I'm trying to think of a normally accepted game genre that was on the Colecovision, Intellivision, or Atari 2600 but not the NES... I know there must be some, but I struggle to think of an example.)

 

 

Edited by DavidD
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As an aside, my only real points of contention in this are that I believe:

  • The NES outsold the Atari and Sega products due to consumer preference, not sneaky shelving opportunities.
    • Atari and Sega's own incompetence helped, as did retailer burn-out with Atari.
  • The NES game library offered far larger variety of games/genres/playtypes than the 2600/5200/Intellivision/Colecovision/etc., even if certain genres had larger number of releases than other genres.

I don't see any way in which the NES would have been countered by the Atari products that actually shipped -- nor do I see how those products would have offered "more variety" than the titles available on the NES.

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34 minutes ago, DavidD said:

what you are arguing is that even though the NES had access to a greater number of genres 

No that's a different topic.

 

34 minutes ago, DavidD said:

I haven't been able to find an entirely trustworthy source for this data, mind you, but the (ugh) Wikipedia entry for top-selling NES titles does appear to give a reference for each number and is sorted by number from those references.  While it is surely lacking in many ways, it seems like it MIGHT be possible to ESTIMATE the best selling titles using that list.

 

Given that, using the (ugh) Wikipedia list, the genre breakdown for top 50 NES titles is as 

 

No that doesn't make sense at all. We are talking about the US not world wide figures. Wikipedia isn't helpful here 

 

Example, Dragon Quest III is on the wikipedia best seller list with 3,895,000.

 

In Japan according to media create it sold 3.8 million there.

 

That leaves 95,000 for the rest of the markets and we still dont know the US numbers. (But in this case it's clear people likely rarely if ever saw the game on shelves in the US.)

 

34 minutes ago, DavidD said:

Now, keep in mind that this chart lumps Mega Man and Super Mario Bros. together, which is (quite frankly) silly, 

Capcom said Mega Man is a platformer.

 

What genre is SMB?

 

Edited by Leeroy ST
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13 minutes ago, DavidD said:

As an aside, my only real points of contention in this are that I believe:

  • The NES outsold the Atari and Sega products due to consumer preference, not sneaky shelving opportunities.

Except the shelf space take over and stuffing (and the third party jp lockdowns) were all before all 3 consoles launched nationally in 86. In fact before 86 in general it started.

 

Hard to have a preference for something over something else when you dont know that something else exists. That just means you chose what was available.

 

16 minutes ago, DavidD said:

The NES game library offered far larger variety genres/playtypes than the 2600/Intellivision/Colecovision

Doubtful in US. 

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1 minute ago, Leeroy ST said:

No that doesn't make sense at all. We are talking about the US not world wide figures. 

 

Example, Dragon Quest III is on the list with 3,895,000.

 

In Japan according to media create it sold 3.8 million there.

 

That leaves 95,000 for the rest of the markets and we still dont know the US numbers. (But in this case it's clear people likely rarely if ever saw the game on shelves in the US.)

 

Capcom said Mega Man is a platformer.

 

What genre is SMB?

 

Indeed -- if someone can FIND a good list of top selling NES titles in North America, I'd appreciate it.  I'm merely saying it's a helpful start!

 

...and I know it's anecdotal, but I do remember seeing the Dragon Warrior games on store shelves, heh.

 

Mega Man is a platformer.  Super Mario Bros. is a platformer.  However, they are not the same genre, if only because those genre descriptions don't really describe the gameplay.  Mega Man is a shooting platformer (and, quite frankly, a mix of standard platforming and the "run and gun" term Europeans like so much), whereas Super Mario Bros. isn't.  Again, I don't really see how lumping them together is helpful except in an extremely cursory way.

 

I guess I'm just not really sure what your ultimate point here really is.  It sounds like it's ultimately that "the NES had too many games of the same type"?  Not that there weren't many other options, just that you feel it was flooded by the same kind of game, and that this led to burn-out?

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1 minute ago, Leeroy ST said:

Except the shelf space take over and stuffing (and the third party jp lockdowns) were all before all 3 consoles launched nationally in 86. In fact before 86 in general it started.

 

... which, to beat a dead horse, still sounds like "most stores didn't want Atari products" and "stores were open to Nintendo products," short of a smoking gun showing something else.  I mean, at the BEST, it sounds like Nintendo took advantage of retailer distrust to sell their products as something OTHER than "video games like Atari."

 

22 minutes ago, DavidD said:

The NES game library offered far larger variety genres/playtypes than the 2600/Intellivision/Colecovision

1 minute ago, Leeroy ST said:

Doubtful in US.

I'll finish going through the NES release list later this week and hopefully have a fun, easy to read genre list for the entire catalog. 

 

Out of curiosity, are there specific genres you're thinking of that were on the 2600/Intellivision/Colecovision that weren't present on the NES?  I'm sure we could come up with some the other way around with a bit of thinking, but it would make thing easier.

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3 minutes ago, DavidD said:

Indeed -- if someone can FIND a good list of top selling NES titles in North America, I'd appreciate it.  I'm merely saying it's a helpful start!

It's not helpful  though for the example made with DQ3 shows. Those show several different countries numbers when we just need the US. That only 95,000 copies is split among all of them except japan.

 

It also indicates how uncommon the game was outside japan. 

 

5 minutes ago, DavidD said:

Mega Man is a platformer.  Super Mario Bros. is a platformer.  However, they are not the same genre, if only because those genre descriptions don't really describe the gameplay.  

They are the same genre.

 

What you're thinking of is they are different archetypes, or maybe different sub-genres is better.

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12 minutes ago, Leeroy ST said:

They are the same genre.

 

What you're thinking of is they are different archetypes, or maybe different sub-genres is better.

Eh, the problem here is that "genres" for video games have never been well defined. 

 

I mean, Metroid, Super Mario Bros., and Zelda 2 could all be called "platformers" or "side scrolling platformers" -- but that's not really a useful designation.  "Genres" are generally very broad classifications that lump together games based on tertiary characteristics -- like "sports" games, which isn't a useful genre designation at all.  I mean, it's TRUE, but you need a subclassification for it to be meaningful.

 

I mean, DOOM and Metroid Prime are both part of the same genre (first person shooter) while being radically different and needing meaning subclassifications to make any sense.  Let's not forget "SPORTS," "ARCADE," and "PUZZLE" -- genre tags that, while they may be true in some way, are almost meaningless in classifying games.

Edited by DavidD

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2 minutes ago, DavidD said:

... which, to beat a dead horse, still sounds like "most stores didn't want Atari products" and "stores were open to Nintendo products," 

But the 2600, a cheaper not direct competitors, was happily carried to help sell another 10 million units since 1985? Still games on shelves for it being carried?

 

And what about Sega? 

 

5 minutes ago, DavidD said:

Out of curiosity, are there specific genres you're thinking of that were on the 2600/Intellivision/Colecovision.

 

Yes originally, however I crossed checked the list sites I was looking at with the NES MMC chip list and saw games that werent in them.

 

After looking them up I now say neither likely have a genre "count" advantage at all. But of course that's a different subject. 

 

There's also the issue of if we are using today's genres or only the ones used back then.

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8 minutes ago, DavidD said:

I mean, DOOM and Metroid Prime are both part of the same genre (first person shooter) while being radically different and needing meaning subclassifications to make any sense.  Let's not forget "SPORTS," "ARCADE," and "PUZZLE" -- genre tags that, while they may be true in some way, are almost meaningless in classifying games.

Yeah but there's a much closer similarity between say Mega Man 3 and SMB3, than between Doom and Metroid Prime. Or Dishonored and COD.

 

I mean, I'm not disagreeing with you that it's not perfect. I still refuse to use that "character action game" silliness for example.

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Pretty sure there is tons of evidence for Nintendo requiring X amount of shelf space.  Back in the mid-80s it was everywhere.   Yet none of the other systems were available unless you specifically went to game stores.  but I think their licensing shenanigans are really what did in the other systems.  Nintendo has never been about the best hardware, or even games.  But about the greatest marketing.  They are, overall the Microsoft of console companies.

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38 minutes ago, leech said:

They are, overall the Microsoft of console companies.

Microsoft would probably take exception to that, seeing  as they've been making consoles for a couple of decades now. 😃

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1 hour ago, leech said:

Pretty sure there is tons of evidence for Nintendo requiring X amount of shelf space.  Back in the mid-80s it was everywhere.   Yet none of the other systems were available unless you specifically went to game stores.  but I think their licensing shenanigans are really what did in the other systems.  Nintendo has never been about the best hardware, or even games.  But about the greatest marketing.  They are, overall the Microsoft of console companies.

They behaved like old Microsoft in the 80's and early 90's.

 

Their fans act like Apple fans in the 80's, and now.

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