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Underrepresentation for the 7800 at shows?

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One thing I noticed about Midwest Gaming Classic in the last few years is that the Atari 7800 is severely lacking presence. Is it like that at all the big video game shows???

 

The only 7800 stuff I saw this year at MGC:

- My 7800 stuff: literally my entire homebrew collection (software AND hardware) and my 7800 on display for people to demo

- A small batch of still-sealed Ball Blazer carts

- a 7800 in Guys Games & Beer's room set up specifically for light gun games

 

That was IT.

 

I really think for next year I want to do something special to get the 7800 out there. Just wondering if anybody has any suggestions. We typically get a 64-square-foot space for Jim and me to share. frankodragon on AtariAge already reached out to us about possibly sharing our space so he can demo his homebrews, and we're both open to that idea. But what else can we do??? The tricky thing is that we're truly representing Pie Factory Podcast, which is an arcade game podcast...

 

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It's the same deal at Portland Retro Gaming Expo.  The 7800 has never had a big presence, and it's diminishing over time.  A lot of the older systems are the same.  2600 stuff, for example, is no longer plentiful.  And the 2600 stuff they do put out for shows is dirt cheap, but no one buys it. 

 

The AtariAge booth is usually the one place where the 7800 really shines.  And their secret is to have systems out to play and a lot of new games to play and buy. 

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I think the most 7800 I saw was at PRGE in 2016 because the guys from GCC were there and talked all the stuff that was planned for the console when it was meant to be launched.  The console would have been a game changer at the time if things had gone that way.  I do agree that the Atari Age booth is probably where you see most of the 7800 action and that's because of the consoles there to play. 

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its the same for VGS since the only 7800 is mine since I use it mostly to show homebrew games via the harmony cart,it depends who can bring what same for the jaguar at vgs since the only jag is mine, except for this year I only plan on bringing my 7800 and I have somebody else handle the jaguar (we did have few people in past help with jaguar,but it has dwindled down, so hopefully we can do more jag and other systems in near future)

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While I can't comment on the 7800s presence at shows I would agree with what others have already mentioned. Maybe setup more systems on display with various games to play. It really never got the spotlight it deserves then or now.

 

If Atari would have brought it to market before the NES came out and before Jack got his hands on the company it might have done extremely well. But we also need to be honest here as well because for the 7800 to have been different it would have needed games that were fresh as well and not tired titles. Even when it was released if the 7800 could have got games similar to then current arcades and home titles it would have set itself apart from the rest. Graphically speaking the 7800 was a powerhouse of a console and doing things no other console available at the time was capable of doing.

 

Any machine that could handle over 100 multicolored sprites without breaking a sweat was astounding then and still is today because not a single 8 or 16 bit console could do such a thing without slowdown. Sonic's speed does not count because when moving fast there is usually only him in the screen. Robotron remains the system's true test of Maria's abilities and others like Ikari Warriors remain a testimate that Atari was at least listening. If Tengen, Konami, and others would have jumped onboard there's no telling what would have happened.

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My guess is that since only 5% of gamers had one when it came out, unfortunately there just isn't much demand to see 7800 stuff at shows, despite all the wonderful efforts a couple of podcasters have done to give both the original releases and homebrews more attention.

 

Out of curiosity, what retro systems get the most attention at these shows?

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Currently that would be the NES by a huge margin... sad to say...

Yep, very true.  It seems that's the Nintendo consoles that you see the most of at all these events.  Followed by Xbox and PlayStation games for the original systems.  While you do see Atari and Intellivision systems and games, they are just a fraction of the games and systems represented. 

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I can understand the NES having the bigger presence at these shows. I mean look at what all it did compared to those before and after it. I had it, a 7800, and SMS at the same time. The NES did get more attention mainly because the games for it were fresh. I played both 7800 and SMS consoles when I wanted an arcade experience. If I wanted to play Asteroids I would play the 7800, if I wanted to play OutRun I would play the SMS. These two combined, however, got maybe 20% of playtime. As much as I liked the games on the 7800, and the machine itself, I was afraid to use it much due to the controllers as they were never comfortable unless I was playing Ms. Pac-Man.

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I never owned an NES bitd, but my step brother who came to our house every other week, did and he frequently brought it with him. When it was in the house, that was all we would play on. When it wasn't I went back to my 2600 games and eventually to my 7800 when I got that in '88. 

 

But the truth is that the current largest generation of collectors now getting into the hobby are the NES generation that came after many of us here. So it doesn't surprise me that the NES and SNES have the largest presence at the shows I've attended including my own events I was hosting for over 10 years locally. 

 

It will be a VERY weird experience for me when I start to see things like the PS2, DC, and original XBOX become the dominant represented systems at these shows in the not all that distant future.

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Wheres all the Atari pong and video pinball consoles at the shows :)

 

I would love to be able to have a booth that is themed Atari that has  the line of systems hooked up, maybe a couple classic Atari arcade games and whatever Atari related items.  With a custom banner Arcade USA presents AtariTopia!  :)  

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I think the AtariAge booth shows that if it's done right, there is still viability to older stuff at shows.  But it's not easy.  As I said, most games are $1 or less and just sit there with no buyers. 

 

Still, a booth dedicated to Pong consoles (like Willie mentioned) would be unique and cool, and probably do well.  Especially if they are set up to demo and play. 

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I don't see much 5200 either but the Jaguar and the Lynx do make more of an appearance as there are other products with their branding being sold.  For example, you'll easily find folks selling t-shirts and posters related to both consoles.  There's a vendor in PRGE who makes these t-shirts that have shiny printing that looks really cool. 

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Hmmm...now I'm considering starting some kind if 7800 user group in the Chicago area...very tempting. :) (Especially since there was a hint that Midwest Gaming Classic might not happen next year. :( )

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Dan loosen posted on facebook because of the snow storm on sunday the show took a major hit and to make up for it they are going try sell of t-shirts and hoodies on the site. the future of the show is up in the air for 2019 *hopefully it will be back and back at the center I could see my self return

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Same similar thing happened to a large retro convention here in my home state that took place in Oklahoma City during the April timeframe. The last even they held (Only their 4th year..) a Tornado blew through the night before and while minor damage was done to the building, the event had to be cancelled for their Saturday main day show as there wasn't any power and the police had the area closed off etc. They were able to get power restored and host the event for Sunday, but by then most of the attendance they would have had, left to go back home. It was a big financial blow for them and they even had Marc Summers of Double Dare fame there to attend as a celebrity and had planned to host a mini double dare like event. 

 

The biggest issue with hosting events like these, is always the money aspect required to do it. I was lucky in that many times, my much smaller event usually would pay for itself. But then once much larger events cropped up in the neighboring states...etc. The interest in this area faded quickly for people wanting to attend smaller events like mine. So it was lack of interest from vendors and exhibitors along with a stagnated attendance that made me stop hosting the OVGE. 

 

I have thought about starting it up again but purposely manage the exhibitions in such a way that we would have stronger variety. So I would limit how many Nintendo centric type stuff would be there. Maybe limit it so that exhibitors focus their booths on just one system or something to keep duplication of what is being shown and on hand to buy at a minimum. I wouldn't mind having vintage computers, or pong clones exhibited more at such an event.

Edited by CrossBow

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I agree about the  cost issues VGS was lucky enough to have enough to cover for this years after last years profit but wasn't enough to move to larger area.
my early shows was mostly funded by my work vacation checks when I lost my job when the parent company closed the store I worked at had  raise prices

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