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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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1 hour ago, The Usotsuki said:

Gateway merged with eMachines and then got bought up by Acer.

Amiga Inc, I believe, was formed to split out the IP stuff from Gateway before they merged with eMachines.  A case of someone convincing Gateway to buy it from Escom, and then they didn't know what to do with it.  And then just let Amiga Inc form.

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9 minutes ago, leech said:

Escom

The first (and only) PC I bought pre-assembled came from Escom.

 

So glad they got what they deserved, and every PC I've had since then has come in pieces and been built out.

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I had a nice eMachine from Best Buy that I bought in '00 right as Windows Me was released.  I think I paid $400 and got a $100 rebate.  Time went on and I gave it to a relative.  Never had a complaint and I actually liked Me.

About 15 years later I got a postcard in the mail over an eMachine class action lawsuit.  Thought it was a scam since I thought eMachines went out of business ages ago and wasn't sure how they found my address as I had moved 15 years earlier.

It has something to do with a defective floppy disk drive...never had any issues with mine.  For the heck of it I filled it out and sent it back.

Maybe 2 years later I got another post card giving me two choices.  Take a $50 payout or go to a website, put in a PIN and select a new computer.  Website contained Gateway computers.  I picked out a kick ass quadcore desktop with 8gb RAM, DVD drive, 1TB HD, keyboard, etc. Brand new and shipped to me for free. 

Crazy how Gateway got nailed for something dating back to 1997.  I'm guessing the class action started when eMachines was still in business and went along with them when sold.

 

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3 hours ago, x=usr(1536) said:

The first (and only) PC I bought pre-assembled came from Escom.

 

So glad they got what they deserved, and every PC I've had since then has come in pieces and been built out.

Ha, I honestly don't know how so many companies ended up surviving that made prebuilts.  Most of them were so terrible!  Besides the prebuilt that I was forced to buy or wait another 8 months for a video card, I think the last prebuilt PC (outside of laptops) that I had to use was the Packard Bell P75 that my parents bought in 1995... which I rapidly ended up seapping out parts until eventually replacing the whole thing...

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On 9/14/2021 at 3:36 PM, zzip said:

Apart from that, what about someone like RCA? 

RCA was too big, bloated, & indecisive to make Atari a success; that’s why their own console failed; they released it 2-3 years after it was designed, then discontinued it’s already-developed successors when it wasn’t an immediate success.

Edited by pacman000

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On 8/10/2021 at 11:06 AM, Lord Mushroom said:

I didn´t know that. But the theory that interest in video games dropped largely due to poor console games remains.

 

I agree that the quality of games on offer was extra high shortly before the crash. But it doesn´t explain why console game sales went down by 97%. 

Cheap computers. Plain and simple. A VIC20 cost $100-1030, about what a 2600 cost. Eventually a C64 cost $159. The 400 was getting cheaper by the week. The Apple II was what the "rich" kids got and an IBM PC was what kids who's dads were Engineers got. I gave my 2600 to my sister when I got my 64. I eventually got it back when they got a Sega Genesis and I put it into the closet for years to come. I got new interest when I found this thing called a 7800 at a swap meet in 1993, but I already had a 386 Based PC by then.

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On 9/10/2021 at 6:33 AM, zzip said:

yeah, the only reason I even knew about Channel F was my friend got one cheap at a yard sale (about 1981ish).  I had never seen ads for it, don't recall seeing it in stores.  The kids at school never talked about it at recess.   It just seemed like a really obscure system that we made fun of a lot.   Still we did have some fun playing it, even though the games & graphics were basic compared to even the 2600. 

I had a friend who had one and all the cartridges. Some of the more wealthy families would buy the console and all available carts and his dad was a homebuilder so had tons of cash to burn. Another friend who's dad was a doctor had a 2600 and all the carts at launch. I was intrigued by the Channel F even though I had a 2600. The controllers were fun, and there was a drawing game We played with a lot.

 

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On 9/17/2021 at 11:11 AM, James Vontor said:

Or Sears which already make their own 2600 and publish their own games, they understood how industry worked. Bally Williams also big contender.

Sears didn't make the console. Atari did. It was just branded a Telegames for Sears. Like Sears' Kennmore appliances are made by GE and Whirlpool, etc.

Edited by Zonie
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Sears actually owned a lot of different things in the 80's. Coldwell Banker, Discover Card, part of Prodigy, etc. I could see Sears being a good fit for Atari, for awhile. Sears lost focus, & that kinda led to their decline. 

 

If Sears bought Atari, they probably would've sold it off in the 90's, or it would be another brand which got auctioned off right before their bankruptcy, like Craftsman.

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12 hours ago, Zonie said:

I was intrigued by the Channel F even though I had a 2600. The controllers were fun, and there was a drawing game We played with a lot.

Yeah. there was a two-player drawing game,  and it was much more fun than it ought to have been!   I think a lot of the fun was that it was a blank slate that allowed us to invent our own gameplay :)

 

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2 hours ago, pacman000 said:

Sears actually owned a lot of different things in the 80's. Coldwell Banker, Discover Card, part of Prodigy, etc. I could see Sears being a good fit for Atari, for awhile. Sears lost focus, & that kinda led to their decline. 

 

If Sears bought Atari, they probably would've sold it off in the 90's, or it would be another brand which got auctioned off right before their bankruptcy, like Craftsman.

Did Sears start to fall apart before or after online retail showed up?

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2 hours ago, zzip said:

Did Sears start to fall apart before or after online retail showed up?

Sears' decline was long & slow, & it doesn't have a single cause.

 

They invested in a bunch of side businesses in the 80's which split their focus, & made them ill-prepared for the changing retail environment of the 90's.

 

They began falling apart in the 90's, when Walmart became the dominate retailer in the U.S. Consumers wanted lower prices, & consumers didn't want to travel to malls. 

 

Then Sears got rid of their catalog program, right as online sales became possible. Classic "dodged when you should've weaved; hindsight is 20/20" move.

 

There were a few other things, but these are what began their fall. It'll take too long to list everything, & it would be outside the scope of this forum.

Edited by pacman000
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Mattel, Milton Bradley, Parker Brothers, Tonka, Hasbro, Tandy, Commodore, Apple, Coleco bally, Texas Instruments, and Exidy, are all companies that made electronic games, computers that played games, or/and dealt with arcades.

 

Either before, during, or shortly after the VCS. I'd say Exidy and Bally were the most video gammy companies on this list followed by Coleco and Commodore.

 

 

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33 minutes ago, pacman000 said:

Then Sears got rid of their catalog program, right as online sales became possible. Classic "dodged when you should've weaved; hindsight is 20/20" move.

 

There were a few other things, but these are what began their fall. It'll take too long to list everything, & it would be outside the scope of this forum.

There were other "catalog showrooms" like Service Merchandise and Best that went under in the 90s even though in theory they all had the infrastructure in place to make it big the online sales era, even the order online, pickup at store that became so popular in these covid times.    But looking what happened to them, I see a common theme.   They were all worried about Walmart, changing their business models to try to be more competitive with Walmart while ignoring the bigger, growing threat from Amazon.

 

But I also think that an organization that has been around as long as Sears becomes overly bureaucratic and slow to respond, while a young nimble company like Amazon can run circles around them,  so even if they had successfully transitioned their catalog online, it may not have been enough.

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5 hours ago, zzip said:

There were other "catalog showrooms" like Service Merchandise and Best that went under in the 90s even though in theory they all had the infrastructure in place to make it big the online sales era, even the order online, pickup at store that became so popular in these covid times.    But looking what happened to them, I see a common theme.   They were all worried about Walmart, changing their business models to try to be more competitive with Walmart while ignoring the bigger, growing threat from Amazon.

 

But I also think that an organization that has been around as long as Sears becomes overly bureaucratic and slow to respond, while a young nimble company like Amazon can run circles around them,  so even if they had successfully transitioned their catalog online, it may not have been enough.

Walmart did way more damage than Amazon for many of those companies that ended up struggling and dying the last 15 years or more.

 

You are effectively saying they should have ignored or limited focus on Walmart. Problem is Walmart already did big damage before Amazon reached the point of being an issue, so that wasn't an option.

 

The issue was poor management that wanted to compete with better organized megacorps. Even Kmart and Target had their own kills in retail, taking out struggling companies just like Walmart.

 

Really the solution was retaining their existing audiences and grabbing niches and expanding from there. Kmart for example did the former but never did the latter so over time the base shrink smaller and smaller until recently when it finally cratered. It was basically running on brand name since 2000 but barely having anything to offer, same with Sears. Bad financial decisions made things even worse.

 

The only thing they both had that wasn't properly leveraged past the 90's to early 2000s was layaway. Which would still work now in today's climate.

 

Though the other Sears (Sears outlet) which isn't the same company, did better. But they were recently brought out by some company.

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Leeroy ST said:

Walmart did way more damage than Amazon for many of those companies that ended up struggling and dying the last 15 years or more.

 

You are effectively saying they should have ignored or limited focus on Walmart. Problem is Walmart already did big damage before Amazon reached the point of being an issue, so that wasn't an option.

 

The issue was poor management that wanted to compete with better organized megacorps. Even Kmart and Target had their own kills in retail, taking out struggling companies just like Walmart.

 

Really the solution was retaining their existing audiences and grabbing niches and expanding from there. Kmart for example did the former but never did the latter so over time the base shrink smaller and smaller until recently when it finally cratered. It was basically running on brand name since 2000 but barely having anything to offer, same with Sears. Bad financial decisions made things even worse.

 

The only thing they both had that wasn't properly leveraged past the 90's to early 2000s was layaway. Which would still work now in today's climate.

 

Though the other Sears (Sears outlet) which isn't the same company, did better. But they were recently brought out by some company.

 

 

 

Kind of a shame that Sears died off.  Would have been rather nostalgic to see the new VCS being sold in Sears like the olden days of the 2600.  A nice big full circle sort of thing. 

But for sure Sears died off with the popularity and numbers of Wal-Mart everywhere.  

These days are just strange.  So many businesses that were huge when I was a kid have just disappeared,
Or consumed by other things.  I don't quite understand how Toys R Us disappeared, yet somehow Gamestop survives... Or Sears and K-Mart go bankrupt, while Wal-Mart thrives. 

Strange Days indeed.  (Now we just need the head pieces to record experiences)

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9 hours ago, leech said:

Or Sears and K-Mart go bankrupt, while Wal-Mart thrives. 

K-mart was a big deal when I was growing up.   But it seems like they really went downhill over the years.   Like there was no reason to shop there anymore because I couldn't find anything I'd want there, and I remember a lot of empty shelves in recent years which probably indicates problems with creditors.  

 

It seems like at some point they got rid of the things that made them unique-  the blue light specials, the cafeterias and became extremely bland and generic.

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30 minutes ago, zzip said:

K-mart was a big deal when I was growing up.   But it seems like they really went downhill over the years.   Like there was no reason to shop there anymore because I couldn't find anything I'd want there, and I remember a lot of empty shelves in recent years which probably indicates problems with creditors.  

 

It seems like at some point they got rid of the things that made them unique-  the blue light specials, the cafeterias and became extremely bland and generic.

Being in Utah, we have the Deseret Industries stores, that are like Goodwill elsewhere, that people donate their old crap to and they sell it.  Got a lot of Atari 8bit stuff there for cheap, including my 130xe and XEGS.  But the stores used to be pretty messy, like everyday looked like after a crazy sale of whatever thing kids wanted that Christmas... that is exactly how K-Mart looked the last 3 or 4 times I had been in it, and that was a time stretching across a decade or two...

 

So for sure they lost everything they had been good for.  We used to call them K-Mart-Fall-apart, as I got a bicycle there as a kid, and was riding it and it literally fell apart in half while I was on it.  Caused me to crash.

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18 minutes ago, leech said:

Being in Utah, we have the Deseret Industries stores, that are like Goodwill elsewhere, that people donate their old crap to and they sell it.  Got a lot of Atari 8bit stuff there for cheap, including my 130xe and XEGS.  But the stores used to be pretty messy, like everyday looked like after a crazy sale of whatever thing kids wanted that Christmas... that is exactly how K-Mart looked the last 3 or 4 times I had been in it, and that was a time stretching across a decade or two...

Our Kmart looked like that before it closed.  But during the same period the Kmarts that weren't dumps seemed to sell nothing but Martha Stewart-branded items.  Probably took a big sales hit when she went to jail for Securities Fraud..

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K-mart had been struggling against Wal-Mart for years by that point. A lot of discount chains sprang up in the 60's & 70's which went bust in the 80's & 90's. Kmart was just the biggest to fail. (Tho technically they're still around, like Ben Franklins & Sears are still around.)

 

In my opinion, K-Mart was over when Wal-Mart started adding full grocery stores to all their stores. K-Mart couldn't afford that, so they only added an aisle or two of cold goods to most their stores.

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2 hours ago, zzip said:

K-mart was a big deal when I was growing up.   But it seems like they really went downhill over the years.   Like there was no reason to shop there anymore because I couldn't find anything I'd want there, and I remember a lot of empty shelves in recent years which probably indicates problems with creditors.  

 

It seems like at some point they got rid of the things that made them unique-  the blue light specials, the cafeterias and became extremely bland and generic.

Some still had cafeterias but they had issues hiring for them in many cases and they closed them.

 

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2 hours ago, leech said:

Being in Utah, we have the Deseret Industries stores, that are like Goodwill elsewhere, that people donate their old crap to and they sell it.  Got a lot of Atari 8bit stuff there for cheap, including my 130xe and XEGS.  But the stores used to be pretty messy, like everyday looked like after a crazy sale of whatever thing kids wanted that Christmas... that is exactly how K-Mart looked the last 3 or 4 times I had been in it, and that was a time stretching across a decade or two...

 

So for sure they lost everything they had been good for.  We used to call them K-Mart-Fall-apart, as I got a bicycle there as a kid, and was riding it and it literally fell apart in half while I was on it.  Caused me to crash.

Honestly a lot of the strange decision making and poor adaption came after the Sears merger.

 

 

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When Sears and Kameapart merged, that was the end. Cheap K mart brands like champion tools ended up in Sears next to Craftsman, and the clothing, which was never really great, ended up being nothing anyone but the poorest of the poor wanted. Sears did try online, and for a little bit looks like it may have worked, but retail doesn't do online well, and the stores make terrible warehouses as the employees don't get the shipping thing, and products on the shelf when you order can disappear due to a customer picking it off the shelf. Home Depot fails miserably here. It is sad, because the stores were all over the place and you'd think it would have been an advantage.

Best/Labell's and service merchandise died too soon for online sales. If one or both had still been around, we may have seen something different.

We have a Deseret in Mesa AZ, smack dab in the middle of LDS territory. Mormons do donate good stuff. I used to go there at least once a week when it was near my workplace and I got nearly all my 5200 stuff there. But yeah, the stores were a mess.

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22 minutes ago, Zonie said:

We have a Deseret in Mesa AZ, smack dab in the middle of LDS territory. Mormons do donate good stuff. I used to go there at least once a week when it was near my workplace and I got nearly all my 5200 stuff there. But yeah, the stores were a mess.

I just wished I had gotten a ton of the 2600 carts that showed up there for 25 to 50 cents a pop back in the day.  They had shelves of them.  Instead I plucked through and myself and some friends bought a bunch of Atari 8bit stuff. 

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9 hours ago, Zonie said:

When Sears and Kameapart merged, that was the end. Cheap K mart brands like champion tools ended up in Sears next to Craftsman, and the clothing, which was never really great, ended up being nothing anyone but the poorest of the poor wanted. Sears did try online, and for a little bit looks like it may have worked, but retail doesn't do online well, and the stores make terrible warehouses as the employees don't get the shipping thing, and products on the shelf when you order can disappear due to a customer picking it off the shelf. Home Depot fails miserably here. It is sad, because the stores were all over the place and you'd think it would have been an advantage.

Best/Labell's and service merchandise died too soon for online sales. If one or both had still been around, we may have seen something different.

We have a Deseret in Mesa AZ, smack dab in the middle of LDS territory. Mormons do donate good stuff. I used to go there at least once a week when it was near my workplace and I got nearly all my 5200 stuff there. But yeah, the stores were a mess.

Well other than crazy guys being put in charge after the merger, Sears also let their auto and maintenance division fall behind while other auto garage brands rushed in front of them.

 

The last recent years however was a scam upfront. Some crook got in a high position hurting Sears and Kmart's reputation while giving trash pay to everyone below department managers. In the DMV area even with experience you were looking $6 an hour full time which hurt the type of employees they did get, among a general shortage. Crap commissions don't make up for it. Then let the stores run in bad condition.

 

Then the same crook had a private firm "support sears" lying to investors and regular joe's that he will so everything to "save" Sears just to slowly have the firm "pay for" Sears brands for itself, in order to "keep them afloat" (hmm?) only to devalue Sears so much his "firm" basically took over the company on the cheap. Same with Kmart didn't even update how the stores were run.

 

The guy technically should be in jail but something tells me that won't be happening.

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