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Things Atari nailed.... and then screwed up.


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#21 Lost Dragon

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 05:06 AM

From a UK Perspective, the A8 owning days were something of a bloody nightmare...you'd see UK Publishers like Elite..really fobbing A8 owners off...

 

We were promised A8 Paperboy, it never arrived.

 

A8 Airwolf was NOT Airwolf at all, just the awful Blue Thunder, repackaged.

 

We never had A8 versions of:1942 or Ghosts 'N'' Goblins, so instead had to make do with things like Screaming Wings, Domain Of The Undead and Hobgoblin.

 

A8 Commando (Elite's version):Got as far as a title screen being done, artist paid, then what do you know, it's turned into budget release, Gun law by Mastertonic, we had that or Tynesoft's Who Dares Wins 2....

 

 

I see Sculptured Software's 1989 prototype mentioned a lot in UK circles, appears in conversion box outs in likes of RetroGamer magazine, but whilst it's fantastic for today's Retro Collector, it was of sod all use to any A8 owner at the time.

 

 

From a commercial point of view:Space Harrier was never on the cards back then for the A8, Elite didn't have the coding skills of Chris Hutt, nor the luxury of a Flashcart, nor could they have afforded years of development time.

 

 

It really winds me up to see UK writers going in with massive blinkers on, declaring Atari the superior version/format etc with no real understanding of how the games came about and brushing aside fact titles were never commercially released, as you can get them easily now.

 

 

We needed flagship titles there and then, things might have gone a damn sight better for Atari IF they had released titles of worth, in numbers...rather than have then sat in storage or unfinished etc.


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#22 Lost Dragon

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 07:32 AM

Another example of 'Blink and you'd of missed it' Atari UK advertising (that yet again never gets reported on), when Atari decided to re-release the 130XE, this time as an entry level machine for those new to computing, they sponsored Touring Car racer, David Brodies BMW Starion Turbo Car.....

 

Ok, so it's something and yes, working within a very limited budget, but other than a few lines of text and a photo in Atari Press, i didn't see it mentioned in any mainstream games press etc.

 

It's yet another example of the very niche advertising ventures Atari were trying and there was no way these were going to reach the masses the way TV advertising had, nor the tie-in's with Walls with the VCS or Kellogs with the Lynx etc.

 

How on earth people were supposed to be made aware of the 8bit Atari Micro range with such limited marketing cross-overs is beyond me.


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#23 nosweargamer

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 09:43 AM

In regards to Atari Games doing well in the arcade, I won't argue that as I was focusing on the home division.

 

And yes, Atari Corp did not do well with advertising.  Jack was a big believer in print ads over TV ads, but to give him some credit, Atari did well against the Master System (who had a lot more TV exposure) in the states using his method. Also, we got this gem:

 

 

Atari also did a poor job communicating with stores from what I understand post 1984, especially with the Jag. Hugues from the Retro League Podcast worked at EB during the time and mentioned how when it was released, they got a couple Jaguars out of the blue with no heads up and many people not knowing what it was. I've also heard stories of UK stores barely getting any systems to sell during the holiday system, even though they had customers who wanted them.


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#24 Lost Dragon

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 06:55 PM

The UK stores not gettiong enough Jaguars to meet Pre-Orders is true, it did happen and did lead to  a good few dissapointed parents and did Atari NO favours with some of the BIG NAME high Street retailers, but the reaction was overblown by likes of Edge magazine at the time and by moronic writers since then, who'd have you good folks in the USA believe IF Atari had only gotten more units in for the pre-official launch, things would of been oh so much different.

 

Sorry but this usually goes hand in hand with the following claims:

 

1)The ST was still strong in UK by time of Jaguar..Utter, utter claptrap...as i've stated so many times you've only to ask where ST versions of things like:Chuck Rock II, Jaguar XJ220, Xmas Lemmings, New world Of Lemmings, Holiday Lemmings, Mortal Kombat, Desert Strike, Eye Of The Beholder, Cannon Fodder 2, Turrican III, Wings, Banshee, Alien Breed, Micro Machines, Nebulus II, Uridium II, Dune II, Myth, Sensible world Of Soccer, Walker, Flashback, Litil Divil etc etc..were.

 

 

2)If Atari had only gottren the Panther out it could of bought time to properly bug test the Jaguar, get more games signed up and developed.

 

Wretched hardware with little in way of software support was only going to make things WORSE for Atari, NOT better.

 

To get a far more realistic idea of just how much damage the lack of 1st wave Jaguar consoles did to Atari, we'd need to see some certified Pre-Order figures, something The UK Bleaters can never come up with.

 

People saying they worked in a store and had to turn away customers is not a full UK account.


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#25 Lost Dragon

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 07:01 PM

Just to clarify on this claimed UK Jaguar shortage:

 

Yes BIG NAME stores like VIRGIN Megastores, GAME etc did only recieve a handful (try single digit numbers) of consoles per store, so IF they had 15 per-orders but only 5 consoles then yes, 2/3 WERE left high and dry..

 

 

Yes Atari UK's Marketing manager has SPECULATED he could of sold anything upto 20X the numbers of Jaguars he had avaiable to him, had atari been given more of a Lions share.....

 

 

However to get any real chance of any REAL UK publisher support, prior to developers signing up in droves to the PS1, let alone Saturn, 32X etc, Atari needed to sell 1st wave units in the THOUSANDS, not the few hundreds.

 

Talk of 'Massive numbers' of dissapointed customers has NO biasis in reality unless people give specific figures...10 people? 20? 50 maybe? for 1 store?

 

You'd of needed to be turning away 100's up and down the country and a true media panic.


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#26 Lost Dragon

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 06:43 AM

Getting back onto subject of earlier Atari hardware, it really cannot be stressed enough just how short sighted Atari's (under Jack Tramiel) approach of cheaper means it will sell more, really was. Cheap only gets you so far, if your 1010 Data recorder has a major design flaw..where the very buttons were prone to snapping off, after a period of use, your customer isn't going to be thanking you, for corners cut. 

 

You can brag that your Console System (the XEGS) will launch cheaper (£89.95) than it's rivals: (£99 for the Sega Master System) and (£130 for the NES under Mattel) and has an existing software libary of over 400 games ready to be played compared to the 12 games the MS would launch with and expected 27 the NES would have... 

 

But these 400 software titles were years old and whilst might appeal to 1st time users looking for something a bit more graphically up market from the 2600 Jr, they weren't going to capture the attention the way SMB, Wonderboy, Afterburner etc were. 

 

Plus to brag about how cheap your 65XE was at the very time you hiked the price UP for the 130XE by £30, was not a genius move Atari was it?.

 

 

Again something UK RG writers fail to point out when covering the system...

 

 

 

Plus i think back to Beach Head II on A8, another prime example of a title that would of benifited from being put on Cart.Could of had all the speech which would bring it in line with the C64 version. Bundling software with the ST..great move, but whilst the 520ST £449.95 came with a decent selection of games: Gauntlet, Tai Pan, Metrocross, Star Raiders etc you were talking upgraded 8 bit title, plus better than 8 bit Arcade conversions, nothing in there that really showcased what only ST could do... Flight sim II faster than 8 bit sims yes, but again just upgraded genre.

 

 And again on A8, having to make do with just Tomahawk (if you had a 64K machine) where as C64 etc owners had choice between Tomahawk or Gunship for their Apache flight sims...Tramiel really shouldn't of boasted of huge range of existing games.


Edited by Lost Dragon, 09 May 2017 - 06:50 AM.

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#27 Lost Dragon

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 07:30 AM

Atari under Tramiel would of had us believe that the launch of the 65XE meant a flurry of software development from UK software houses..

Quotes appeared from budget games publishers, Mastertronic and Codemasters..

Full price publishers Tynesoft and Mirrorsoft..but where we're the flood if titles?.

Games wise on A8 Mirrorsoft published Boulderdash and Spitfire 40..that was it.

 

 

Meanwhilke Atari UK seemed hellbent on creating Customer confusion at retail, wanting the big name UK High street stores to to stock:

 

The ST-understandable, flagship 16 bit home micro.

 

But 8 bit wise:

 

The 130XE.

 

The 65XEwhich could be turned into a home micro, but wouldn't that pitch it agains't the 130XE?

 

The 2600, but erm, your pitching that at same under 10 age group, the 65XE is aimed at, so basically your flagship 8 bit games console is aimed at same user groups your best selling 2600 is and your aiming your 130XE at?

 

 

Fantastic plan Atari, just utter brillance, taking into account limited shelf space in UK stores i'm sure..

 

 

It's about time the REAL UK situation was told by those of us who lived through it.


Edited by Lost Dragon, 09 May 2017 - 07:38 AM.

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#28 Lost Dragon

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 10:11 AM

:) I honestly could create an entire thread based purely around the real side of the A8 era in the UK under Tramiel's and put to bed all the false claims that have appeared in UK press the past few years, but this thread is as good a place as any to paint the picture.

 

 

Ok..we continue.

 

Looking back, it appears Atari felt rather pleased with themselves having offloaded old stocks of 800XL's, sat gathering dust in warehouses (around 100,000 units, supposedly pretty much the entire stocks they had been sat on), to high street stores:

 

Dixons and Currys...this was supposed to of seen the UK A8 User Base jump to 300,000 though i've never seen confirmed figures myself.

 

It looks like in Atari's eyes, the fact this 'spike' saw an increase in BUDGET software being produced (whilst UK full price titles remained a mere trickle), this was great, as this made the hardware more attractive to parents looking to get their kids a home micro..they see the 800XL package being sold cheap, they see the games priced at £1.99, £2.99 etc..800XL seems a bloody bargin.

 

Atari itself having now phased out the 800XL, sees the road ahead for the 130 XE as it being the idea machine to take Amstrad head on, with it's PCW 8256 hardware and try and capture the small buisness and hobbyist market, so of course atari weren't going to encourage developers produce 128K GAMES...as the 130 XE clearly not intended for that sector.

 

Meanwhile we loyal 800XL owners could only pray to false gods we'd see more full price software now User Base had increased.


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#29 Lost Dragon

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Posted 13 May 2017 - 01:11 PM

Should of mentioned this earlier, but what those crying..Ohhh IF ONLY Atari UK had more Jaguar units avaiable at Launch for UK Stores..things could of been so different...FAIL to tell you...is what happened when UK Stores DID get more than enough Jaguars in...

 

 

Atari managed to convince major UK High Street chain, Dixons, to carry the Jaguar in it's top 50 stores, with Dixon's agreeing to do it on a strict trial basis..ie IF it performed well, they'd re-stock and roll Jaguar out across the smaller stores as well....

 

It was such a poor seller, Dixons ended up removing it from shelves sooner than expected.

 

 

As for the STE...i appreciate Atari UK trying to provide a bundle for every user out there..The gamer, the Musician, The Serious User and those coming to a home Micro for the 1st time ever, but the STe starter pack, having such creaky old games as Missile Command, Crystal Castles, Super Breakout and Battlezone (all from the STFM era) really wasn't going to showcase the hardware in any way, shape or form.

 

Yet another cost cutting measure by Atari


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#30 Lost Dragon

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 03:29 PM

Communication with the press....

 

 

ATARI LOVED to use the press-When it suited THEM.

 

Annoucing hardware that would never see the bloody light of day in the UK (1200XL, 5200 etc) or at all (CDST, Panther etc) yet when Jack tramiel took over Atari in the USA, loyal UK owners were left pretty much being given the proverbial 'Mushroom Treatment' (left in the dark and fed a load of P.R bullsh*t)...

 

 

People were wondering just WTF it meant for the future of their hardware as Tramiel had arrived, shelved plans for the 7800 launch (this coming after UK owners had been promised a launch for the 5200 previousily only to see that go the way of Disco)...Jack instead seeming to make the Home computer side his focus...slashing £90 off the RRP of the 800XL (much needed but too little, too late...)

 

 

So Atari UK were doing what they could to calm fears, right? NO...nothing concrete was coming from Slough HQ, so UK Press turn instead to Atari USA..they'd have some answers, could give a degree of clarity, put some focus on Atari's plan for the future, which included the 7800...

 

NO..they simply refused to answer any/all Q's about what was to become of the 7800 now..when UK Jurno's asked, instead they simply stated Atari would now become a lot more 'agressive' in the market place...

 

 

Way to go Atari....that helped a lot, i'm soo sure....Sheesh.



#31 Clint Thompson

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Posted 21 May 2017 - 12:57 AM

In the end and while I'm grateful for all the fascinting different designs and computers/systems that emerged from Atari, they just seriously had too much fucking hardware and serious lack of focus and commitment. All the hardware in the world and not a real single in-house triple A title worthy of screaming "I've got to get another Atari!" 

 

I find the reasons for the Lynx not succeeding nothing but an excuse. Even if they got screwed on the LCD prices, they ultimately dropped the ball. That handheld could have lived well into the late 90s had it been properly supported but the dropped it sometime in 89 it seemed only to re-emerge with it and release a few new titles to bring more attention back to them but by then it was too late obviously becuse everyone knew they had just dropped the Lynx. It's weird for a company to come back years later and surprise everyone with a re-launch with a few new titles - Missile Command, Jimmy Connors Tennis. 

 

They rushed everything with the Jaguar across the board and there was simply no way it was going to end well for them. I know they were hurting for money and time was against them but you either do it right the first time around or do it wrong by rushing it being entirely flawed and then dying out that way instead. I don't even think the Jaguar needed more time, it just needed more engineers thrown at it to ensure it was going to be right 100% before it left the facility.

 

It's sad to learn about the massive amount of hardware bugs that hindered performance as a result. They also cheapened the hardware too much to the point of making it incapable of keeping up with the upcoming generation of consoles or even worse, a way to upgrade like the other consoles had. While it would have been nice to have a CD unit from the onset, 4MB of RAM would have been far more important IMO and hardware bugs fixed from the onset. If they could have just put it off a single year and released it at $299, it could have possibly afforded them to go a JagDuo route with the bugs fixed, CD hardware included and increased RAM size... not to mention ample time for developers to actually have decent titles to launch with the console. Checkered Flag could have been playable, imagine that! But no.... they rushed it all and the consumers ultimately got screwed in the end. 

 

It's insane to think that 2 people - just two people, developed the Jaguar itself. As if it's any wonder why they had the issues they did...


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#32 Lost Dragon

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Posted 21 May 2017 - 12:13 PM

The more we, as a community, delve deeper into the broad canvas that is simply how Atari treated the consumer...i'm actually amazed i stuck with the company as long as i did.

 

In hindsight, i wish i had taken the plunge and put that extra £100 down on an Amiga, rather than be swayed by the cheaper price of the 520STFM and all that bundled software.

 

I'm not someone who's wowed by hardware to the point i must have THE BEST....i loved the Genesis far more than the SNES wowed me, ditto Playstation over N64....

 

Own a std PS4 rather than Pro model etc...

 

But there's simply no overcoming the ST's crippling shortcomings as a gaming platform, it was a step back, soundchip wise from my 800XL, had no hardware scrolling, the faster CPU made for minimal faster Polygon 3D over the Amiga at times, but the Amiga always felt like the true evolution of hardware like the C64 and A800XL.

 

The ST always a halfway house.

 

 

Jack himself made me feel i'd bought the wrong machine as mere months later? STFM=Yesterdays news, Atari were now all about the STE..yet another stop gap, hardware shy of what was promised.

 

I knew then i'd never buy another Atari Micro...the 800XL support i'd been promised never arrived, the STFM phased out mere months after purchase and The Falcon? pull the other 1 Jack, promises of the CD ST and Jack happy to launch that with no software ready for it set alarm bells ringing.

 

Over the years Atari came to be known to me as simply doing anything to shift old stocks of hardware...

 

 

Drop a price here, offload old stocks to UK Stores there...repackage it and aim it at a younger market, what ever it took to ensure atari stayed in the news, had a retail presence and goods were shifted.

 

 

I was a Game Gear owner during the Hand Held wars, only getting into Lynx once likes of Telegames selling new, boxed units for £35, software was cheap as chips.

 

Looking into the promised Lynx games...Cabal...mock up screens?

 

Rolling Thunder:coders in way over their heads...

 

Vindicators...720 etc etc let alone trash like Strider II (coding 50% done but better it was never finished), Hellraiser (advertised but never started i bet), there's not even 10 titles that would of done a damn thing to slow the Lynx's fall from grace.

 

 

Atari and the more rabid fanboys can point to original design being too large and that being result of focus groups etc, Nintendo, Sega etc having the lions share of developers tied up, price of LCD screens being what they were etc etc....

 

But you cannot escape the fact that even before Epyx signed the deal to give the HANDY to Atari, they themselves were NOT the once great developer they were...

 

C64 titles like:

 

4X4 Off-Road Racing, California Games 2, The Games:Winter and Summer Editions, Street Sports Baseball/Basketball/football etc...simply weren't doing it.

 

 

Things like Eypx World Of Games on Amstrad GX4000 (BMX Riding, Surfing, Cliff Diving and Downhill Salom) and Cal. Games on the Lynx lacking as many events as Tape based series from them was astounding to me.OIt honestly seemed i was being asked to pay more for less.

 

 

When i heard of possible re-launch alongside the Jaguar, i knew it's intentions were never anything more than shifting old stocks, Atari had no serious plans to make a go of it, all the talk of Lynx being used to link up to Jaguar we'd heard in UK as part of potential for the Panther, another overly hyped 'Super Console' Atari would talk a good game on, yet fail to deliver.

 

 

Atari having an exclusive version of Batman Returns should of been a chance for Atari to deliver a Killer App, espically given the Lynx Hardware....but instead by playing to it's strengths, Atari seemed to highlight it's (as a developer) real weaknesses...

 

Nice big sprites..but lacking the animation to do them justice...

 

Big but not that detailed sprites..

 

Stiff controls, crippling difficulty level until it dawns on you all you need do is simply run like hell through the levels, but that doesn't help when your faced with precision jumps, goons that can knock you off before you can stop them, windows blowing up sapping your energy levels..

 

Yet Atari decided THIS was the game to put in as the In-Game pack at 1 point, hoping to shift hardware on name alone.

 

 

Shadow Of The beast..an old, Linear ST/Amiga game, tarted up (over ST version), but still retaining the tedious gameplay, not something suited to handheld play...

 

 

HMS designing Dracula to be full interpretation of the book, but that would mean big old cart, instead Atari say chop it till it'll fit on this megre cart instead

 

 

Atari assigning Project Managers who said Atari fans didn't want SHIT like a true Polygon 3D version of Battlezone on Lynx, with upto 6 player multiplayer, over 2000 levels etc...so it ends up hidden as an easter egg.

 

 

Developers going to Atari and telling them your Panther/Jaguar Chipsetts are bugged..Atari turning around and saying, no, it's you..your tools, methods etc, not our hardware.

 

 

Developers saying to atari..you want want? full texture-mapping, you know that'll kill the frame rate, right? Atari saying yes, we are well aware, just do it, we need to compete with 3DO, PS1 and Saturn.

 

 

Jack etc telling press or being briefed to tell Press Jaguar was more powerful than Sega Saturn, how the Jag CD drive would prove this...

 

Lets see Deep Fear, let alone Resident Evil Vs Highlander

 

VF Remix Vs F.F.L

 

Daytona USa (let alone revamped engine C.E version) of Daytona USA Vs World Tour Racing

 

Street Racer Vs Atari Karts...

 

Your left with a better version of Tempest 2000 and doom on Jaguar, the latter itself being phased out by Exhumed on Saturn.

 

 

Bullfrog etc telling Atari they needed far more than 2Mb Ram for PC conversions...

 

As cliff has said, the Jaguar would of benifitted far more from more ram, far better toolsets, chips that didn't have crippling flaws etc than a late release CD add-on.

 

As for C.Flag II, Rebellion were never the team to do a Virtua Racing clone, they themselves admit they struggled like hell with finding a control system that worked.

 

Imagine IF they'd done AVP from the start, Skyhammer had a commercial release and Legions Of The Undead was finished.

 

The original concept for WTR (Plain polygons) could of been the Jaguar Virtua Racing game and the texture mapped WTR been held as a CD game to entice existing owners to upgrade.

 

 

I really struggle to find anything to praise atari for in the long run, these days.


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#33 Clint Thompson

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Posted 21 May 2017 - 02:44 PM

Strangely enough, while Batman on the Lynx wasn't the greatest, I played it as a kid and wasn't a huge fan of the series but still mostly enjoyed it for what it was. It was a pack-in along with Hard Drivin', Ninja Gaiden and Tecmo Super Bowl and even tho I wasn't much of a football fan, found myself enjoying that game quite a bit as well too! Really makes me miss the potential the Lynx had and that maybe I should have focused more on Lynx games at the time than really shitty Jaguar games.
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#34 Justin

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Posted 21 May 2017 - 02:52 PM

Strangely enough, while Batman on the Lynx wasn't the greatest, I played it as a kid and wasn't a huge fan of the series but still mostly enjoyed it for what it was. It was a pack-in along with Hard Drivin', Ninja Gaiden and Tecmo Super Bowl and even tho I wasn't much of a football fan, found myself enjoying that game quite a bit as well too! Really makes me miss the potential the Lynx had and that maybe I should have focused more on Lynx games at the time than really shitty Jaguar games.

 

 

I totally agree. I had very much the same experience as a kid. Atari Lynx really opened my mind to these things. 


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#35 Lost Dragon

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Posted 21 May 2017 - 05:52 PM

For myself, Lynx was Blue Lightning, Crystal Mines II,Rampart, Toki,Rygar, Ninja Gaiden.

Things like Hard Drivin simply didn't work on the small screen..

Lemmings needed a mouse and Lynx version broke the flow by having a separate screen to pull up for icons..

Gates Of Zendocon..whilst graphically very impressive was too slow..

Electrocop too confusing..

Gauntlet 3 not a true Gauntlet game.

Switchblade 2 solid..but no Strider..

Warbirds technically impressive but wasn't Wings..

Dirty Larry fun for a while..

Desert Strike something i would much rather play on Genesis or Amiga.

The Game Gear by comparison had 2 Shinobi games i loved, Prince Of Persia, Sonic, Wonderboy,Dragons Trap,Castle Of Illusion,Terminator etc.

With Lynx Batman Returns..it just felt such a wasted opportunity.

Even as it stood in dire need of more play testing etc.

I just got more from the technically inferior..resolution aside, Game Gear..
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#36 RickR

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Posted 22 May 2017 - 12:20 PM

I had neither a Lynx (didn't even know it existed) or a Game Gear when they were new...but I had friends that had Gameboy, which I thought was really cool. 

 

As a collector for Lynx and GG now...I'd say they are both fun to own.  Game Gear has such a large library of games.  They are a lot that are similar (platform game, fighting games, etc), but the sheer volume of titles and their low prices make it a great system to collect for.  The problem is that the caps almost always have to be replaced to get a nice working console.

 

Lynx is a lot of fun with some really great games and some real duds.  The main issue with Lynx is price.  A nice working Lynx is hard to find, and games can be costly.  Still, it's fun and worthy.  But as I said...i didn't know it existed then, and that's a marketing failure.  Same for 7800. 

 


Gameboy still remains the king, sorry to say.  The consoles were simpler, but they tend to still work great.  And so many of them available.  And so many great games. 


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#37 Lost Dragon

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Posted 23 May 2017 - 05:47 AM

https://www.acast.co...retro-hour-ep71

 

Some very interesting stuff brought upo in this podcast...lot of it well known material and Darryl's PERSONAL feelings, but if you listen carefully to the FULL story of the Jaguar could of sold 20X the amount it did at UK Launch..what Darryl is actually saying is that there was a lot of Pre-Launch hype here in UK, which is true, magazines like C+VG did dedicated features bigging up the hardware and games, it was hot property...so i've no doubt there were a lot of pre-orders...Atari USa only giving Atari UK a mere trickle of consoles, which meant the biggest UK stores only had 5 consoles per store was always going to result in dissapointments..cue the old old tale of the mother and the dustbin...

 

 

But what Darryl is really getting across is simply IF Atari UK had more stocks avaiable, he's confident they could of sold them and fullfilled pre-orders, THAT XMAS.

 

 

However he himself openly admits, by March the following year, people had 'moved on'..parents had bought kids a replacement console or item that Xmas, Jaguar was no longer the hot device-people gearing up for saturn, PS1, Ultra 64 etc which Press were now hyping the ass off.

 

It's that simple..fanboy writers here in UK simply took the 20X comment and either couldn't grasp the context or twisted it to suit a personal bias.

 

 

Darryl is also firmly in the camp that agress scrapping Panther was the best move-pointless to have it on sale before Jaguar rendered it obsolete 18 months later.

 

It was interesting to hear his frustration about Atari showcasing new hardware time and time again, but it never going beyond Prototype stages...

 

 

I was a little surprised to hear the amiga superiority (tech spec wise) played down SO MUCH..The Amiga soundchip alone was streets ahead of the St's as was the graphics hardware..he said 15% graphical difference...bloody hell, try playing Amiga versions of things like Midnight resistance then try ST version and notice no 2Player mode, push scrolling, lack of animated background objects etc.

 

And also felt he downplayed the threat Amiga was to ST, Games wise, instead Darryl saw the PC as the real threat....yet UK developers like Team 17 ignored the ST totally in favour of the Amiga.

 

 

There were some very confusing comments..talks of being involved in CD duplication before working for Atari UK thus ready to produce games on ST, Acorn etc..erm..these were Floppy Disk based machines?

 

 

Talked of people played games on Atari, NOT Consoles....WTF? the 2600 was MASSIVE here, he went onto admit just how well it kept selling.

 

Claims of selling MASSIVE amounts of 2600+7800 consoles, espically in North Of England, via Home shopping firms...bit too throw away for me, you need some sort of numbers, not statements like massive, to put comment in perspective...

 

 

Nice to hear Bob Gleadow PRAISED...he's been unfairly treated by USA based Atari sherrif's dept...


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#38 Lost Dragon

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Posted 23 May 2017 - 06:03 AM

I also raised an eyebrow at Darryl's thoughts on Lynx software..he seemed to think it had plenty of games, fault lay with people expecting more?

 

Sorry Darryl, but Lynx had a mere trickle of software compared to GB/GG and a lot of it was old titles, people were after far hotter titles than Paperboy or ST conversions like Viking Child, Switchblade 2 etc

 

Lynx Mk II not entirely fixing battery life issue? understatement of the year.

 

Recharageables not a big thing back then? sorry, not true..my friends and i who had the game gear, Lynx etc used recharagable batts galore, they and the units were easily avaiable, cheap and a life saver for portable handheld gaming back then.

 

 

 

Falcon-No debut from Jeff Minter? Ertm Llamazzap Darryl?

 

He mentions other games taking inspiration from Jaguar Attack of The Mutant Penguins-yet doesn't name any...

 

 

Failed to understand reason Jaguar libary takes so much flak is that for all the great work:AVP, T2K, I.S, Doom, Wolfenstien 3D etc did for Jaguar, the vast % of the libary, commercial release wise was SNES/MD ports...Atari's own exclusives..Supercross 3D, Club Drive, Crescent Galaxy, C.Flag, Kasumi Ninja, WMCJ, Atari Karts, FFL, AirCars, Val D.Skiing, etc did the system NO favours.

 

 

The bad software drowns out the good.

 

 

Jaguar a TRUE 64 bit system? debatable, yes 64 bit bus, other aspects processing 64 bits so it's 64 bits where needed, but still using 16 bit CPU and 32 bit RISC Chips...i think most folks see the N64 as 1st TRUE 64 bit system, Jaguar a hybrid.

 

I like Darryl, he's very down to earth, keen to help etc, spoken to him via RVG interview and again for ST Gamer, but i do feel likes of RetroGamer tend to rely on him a bit too much...and as this podcast shows his memory is stasrting to get vague in too many areas at times.,,to be your only source.

 

Hence i contacted Les Player, Mike Fulton, Martin Walker, Bob Katz etc to get fuller look at Atari UK.

 

Anywho back to the 7800:

 

Mark Cerny interviewed in this months Retro Gamer Magazine, talks about working for Sega during the Master System Vs NES era...

 

Interesting thoughts, espically concerning the hardware, Mark thinks MS as good if not better than the NES..

 

But more so how SEGA failed to understand what Nintendo were doing with the NES to sell it..i.e it was the QUALITY not QUANITY of games that was selling NES hardware.

 

He talks of sega showing off a few dozen titles on MS at the 1986 CES, but only 2 out of all those having really strong gameplay and NONE having gameplay quality of SMB.

 

He say's Sega's thinking was in order for Master System to become a succcess was simply to have more games than the NES.

 

Ie Sega could say NES has 40 games, but Master System has 80...

 

But with then only 1 3rd party developer making Sega MS games, at that time, it was a sweat shop internal development wise so a lot of those games were shovelware.

 

 

Atari seemed to think releasing old games onto XEGS/7800, making them cheaper, boasting of existing A8 titles for XEGS etc was the way to combat Nintendo.

 

Interesting i thought to hear how sega were as blind to what was really shifting the NES as Atari...


Edited by Lost Dragon, 23 May 2017 - 11:41 AM.

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#39 Lost Dragon

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Posted 28 May 2017 - 03:19 PM

Total UK viewpoint here but 1 worth pointing out:

 

I was an AVID Eagle Comics reader:Dan Dare, Doomlord etc etc, loved it.

 

Atari with VCS? Everywhere..full page, colour ads for:Moon Patrol, Galaxian, Battlezone etc, 2600 consoles being given away as prizes for firms making shoes etc..the VCS presence was huge.

 

Come to the A8 home micro side of things, bloody hell.No adverts for the games, never saw an 800XL or XEGS etc offered as a prize, the occ.A8 game joined the C64, Zx Spectrum and Amstrad CPC reviews...(Max's Micro vault page)..i did spot Dropzone and archon, but the A8 seemed to fight it out with the BBc B and MSX for coverage, with MSX winning at times.

 

Same issue come 2000AD Comic..Sega, Nintendo mentioned on tech page with NES and Master System..Atari? nowhere to be seen.No XE GS, no 7800.

 

I might of missed the issues, but they should of been there alongside their rivals.

 

 

To go from such a presence in UK Comics to simply nothing...just WOW..for all the wrong reasons.



#40 Lost Dragon

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Posted 31 May 2017 - 03:10 PM

From what my good friend, Frank Gasking over at GTW tells me, atari were well on the way to screwing up VCS Combat II.

 

slighttly improved visuals, but game itself far slower paced? Tanks moved by themselves, player merely controlling speed and rotation?

 

3 lives?

 

Wasn't sounding like the sequel i had hoped for.






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