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What was up with Froggo?

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On 8/18/2020 at 4:24 PM, nosweargamer said:

I never realize Froggo made controllers for the NES. I wonder if they did anything else I'm unaware of.

froggo1.jpg.5df7c120d564d5eb3d4c7a67a61a8b3d.jpgFroggo2.jpg.271db83dd9042f6e57c5b5c4d0f61b4d.jpg

 

17 hours ago, Video 61 said:

hi justin,

 i meant if froggo had licensed their controllers to atari.

 

lance

www.atarisales.com

 

 

 

18 hours ago, atarilbc said:

I just want to say this is such an interesting discussion. Thanks @Video 61 for sharing some insight into your direct dealings with Jack's Atari from a vendor perspective. 

 

7 hours ago, Atari 5200 Guy said:

It is a shame Froggo didn't buy a standard 7800 and try to make controller options for it.  He could have made decent money from doing so.  I never seen any of Froggo's 7800 games.  Has any one here ever seen one?

I just think if Froggo had taken their NES Control Pads and released Atari-compatible versions of them, as unlicensed 3rd Party aftermarket products the way Wico did with their joysticks, that would have been a terrific move. Froggo would've been a dominant player in the 7800 aftermarket category, and clearly Froggo had manufacturing lined up as they were already producing the unlicensed NES controllers. Minor changes and a different cord would've been enough to give them a new product of their own, and 7800 players in the U.S. an actual control pad to play with. Can you imagine how well those would've sold when the 7800 was at its apex and Nintendo was selling like hotcakes? :nintendo_mario_fireball: :nintendo_mario_fireball: :nintendo_mario_fireball: 

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9 hours ago, Atari 5200 Guy said:

It is a shame Froggo didn't buy a standard 7800 and try to make controller options for it.  He could have made decent money from doing so.  I never seen any of Froggo's 7800 games.  Has any one here ever seen one?

Owned, covered and reviewed both.

 

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15 hours ago, Atari 5200 Guy said:

It is a shame Froggo didn't buy a standard 7800 and try to make controller options for it.  He could have made decent money from doing so.  I never seen any of Froggo's 7800 games.  Has any one here ever seen one?

hi 5200 guy,

 

i used to carry them, tank command and water ski. hard but fun games.

 

lance

www.atarisales.com

 

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6 minutes ago, Atari 5200 Guy said:

They look like fun games but looks can be deceiving.  

WHEN KOOPAS ARE INVOLVED.

 

Sorry. CD-I Harry talking there. I've heard Water Ski is actually pretty fun, but I don't know much about Tank Command.

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1 minute ago, Justin said:

I didn't think they were anything competitive with the NES in 1990.

No, but what on the 7800 was? Maybe Commando? Ikari Warriors? Poor system. A great little machine in retrospect, but it never stood a chance in its own time.

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1 hour ago, HDN said:

No, but what on the 7800 was? Maybe Commando? Ikari Warriors? Poor system. A great little machine in retrospect, but it never stood a chance in its own time.

Not Froggo games.

 

1 hour ago, HDN said:

Maybe Commando? Ikari Warriors?

Bingo. 1990.

 

1 hour ago, HDN said:

it never stood a chance in its own time.

It's own time was 1984. Continued development ceased beyond that point. Keyboard, Track-Ball, High Score Cartridge and other peripherals canceled. No advanced audio developed for cartridges. No extra RAM, no new coprocessors or graphics chips for more advanced games to come later in the system's lifespan the way Nintendo did with the NES to continue its life. Monochrome cartridge labels. No music. Nickel-and-diming all the coolness out of every cartridge just to save a few pennies. Atari XEGS released in 1987 to compete against the Atari 7800 and sell off warehouses worth of Atari 8-Bit overstock. Jack Tramiel didn't care about the 7800.

Additionally I would argue that Froggo 7800 games for 1990 were sub-par compared to other 7800 games for 1984.

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@Justin I would argue that the 7800s own time was in 1986, not 1984. It was test marketed in one location. It could've rolled out nationwide soon after, but it didn't. The NES was test marketed, too, in 1985. They both came out nationwide in the same year, it's just Nintendo had a huge hit on their hands with Super Mario, and Atari just had the same-old-same-old Ms. Pac-Man and Dig Dug. Not to say I don't like the same-old-same-old. I think the 7800 seems like a great system, just not competitive on the same level as the NES.

Also, @Justin, I never said Commando and Ikari Warriors were Froggo games. I was just listing two games on the 7800 that were an upgrade compared to their NES incarnations. 

 

Edited by HDN

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18 minutes ago, Justin said:

 Atari XEGS released in 1987 to compete against the Atari 7800 and sell off warehouses worth of Atari 8-Bit overstock. Jack Tramiel didn't care about the 7800.

The 7800 was treated very poorly by Jack.  The XEGS already had previous support so, in Jack's eyes, it "looked" like Jack was supporting it.  I don't understand why you would release something to compete against your own products.  Then again nothing Jack did made sense to me.  I know he treated V61 decently but everyone else he seemed to pull the rug out from under them when they were not looking.  And sometimes even when they were it seems.

10 minutes ago, HDN said:

I would argue that the 7800s own time was in 1986, not 1984.

The 7800 was actually slated to be released in 1984 in time for the holidays.  I believe it was @nosweargamer who has some original 7800 game boxes that were to be used in a 1984 7800 release.  The box art the 7800 was going to get was absolutely stunning.  But, yea, the 7800 was ready for a 1984 release before Jack bought Atari.  Jack is the reason why the 7800 didn't get released in 1984.

That PGRE video posted about the 7800's development by GCC done a LOT of explaining.  Documents to back everything up.  I'm sold.  Jack screwed the 7800 in more ways than one.

 

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30 minutes ago, HDN said:

@Justin I would argue that the 7800s own time was in 1986, not 1984.

The technology and games were two years old by 1986 and that was never intended. The technology and first wave of games were developed in 1983-1984 for a 1984 release. Atari 7800 systems and games made it out the door and were sold in the summer of 1984. The Atari 7800 was the Neo•Geo of 1984, and then they sat in a warehouse frozen in time for two years. I can't think of any other million-selling video game system with wide release that was held back for two years like that and not supported.

Even by 1986 any serious game developer would be looking at Nintendo and going toe-to-toe with Metroid, Super Mario Bros, Zelda.

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3 minutes ago, Justin said:

Even by 1986 any serious game developer would be looking at Nintendo and going toe-to-toe with Metroid, Super Mario Bros, Zelda.

Of course they did.  But not just those.  They also had to worry about Castlevania, Mega Man, Blaster Master, all of which are top-notch games on the NES.  I'm surprised to see Atari made any games for the NES considering the games being made.

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4 minutes ago, Atari 5200 Guy said:

Of course they did.  But not just those.  They also had to worry about Castlevania, Mega Man, Blaster Master, all of which are top-notch games on the NES.  I'm surprised to see Atari made any games for the NES considering the games being made.

You see what I'm saying. If you want me to list every decent game release for the NES I can. The Atari 7800 and initial lineup of games was absolutely incredible in 1984.

This perception that the 7800 began in 1986 is a fallacy. Never should've happened. By 1987 they were 4-5 years deep into the 7800 and still releasing only a handful of games that appeared dated and most paled in comparison to what was popular on the NES. PC Engine was being released that year in Japan and Genesis followed soon after. By that point the market potential for the 7800 had been pissed into the wind and it's a shame because it's a capable system, especially with RAM on the cartridge.

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8 hours ago, Atari 5200 Guy said:

The 7800 was actually slated to be released in 1984 in time for the holidays.

But it wasn't. Just because it was supposed to doesn't mean it did. It's time was supposed to be 84, but it was really 86.

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11 hours ago, HDN said:

No, but what on the 7800 was? Maybe Commando? Ikari Warriors? Poor system. A great little machine in retrospect, but it never stood a chance in its own time.

Ballblazer, Commando, Ikari Warriors, Alien Brigade, Ninja Golf, Midnight Mutants, Xenophobe, Tomcat F-14, Desert Falcon, Mean 18 Ultimate Golf and Pete Rose Baseball on the 7800 could go toe-to-toe with similar games on the NES. Of course, some of those were late releases.

And of course, the older arcade titles, like Food Fight, Ms. Pac-Man, Xevious, Robotron & Joust could also compete with similar older ports on the NES.

The 7800 was held back by lack of 3rd party support, an out of date system sound chip and a lack of more NES style games. The 7800 had enough under the hood to compete with the NES with the right support. Most NES games were handheld by teams of programmers, many of whom learned how to get the most out of the system with companies who would spend extra money for more memory and sometimes even special chips. Most 7800 games were contracted to a single programmer on the cheap. Just imagine if the same teams that made NES games invested just as much into 7800 games.

Support is huge. The Atari 2600 was able to out sell systems like the Intellivision, despite having less horsepower. The Sega Master system, which in many ways was superior to the NES hardware-wise, was fighting with the 7800 for a very distant 2nd place behind the NES. 

Nintendo has made an art out of the this. Their systems are often not as powerful as the competition, but they still stay competitive. 

 

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29 minutes ago, HDN said:

But it wasn't. Just because it was supposed to doesn't mean it did. It's time was supposed to be 84, but it was really 86.

Btw, the Famicom (Aka NES) debuted in 83 in Japan. The technology between the two systems is closer than many give credit for.  It's just the dominance of the NES have given a false perception that the NES was vastly superior under the hood compared to the 7800.

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11 minutes ago, nosweargamer said:

Btw, the Famicom (Aka NES) debuted in 83 in Japan. The technology between the two systems is closer than many give credit for.  It's just the dominance of the NES have given a false perception that the NES was vastly superior under the hood compared to the 7800.

I never said the NES was superior hardware-wise. The 7800 had more colors and hardware sprites, but a weaker sound chip and slightly lower resolution. Plus, you're right. Many NES games used the MMC chips. Those made it superior to the 7800; on its own it's arguably a weaker system. Super Mario Bros. 3 and Joust is not a fair comparison. But I think you're right. What really killed the 7800 was a lack of support. Barely any third parties, and Atari obviously neglected it.

But, in America, both of them launched nationwide in the same year, 1986. Sure, Famicom was out in Japan in 83, and 7800 was out in 84 in Sunnyvale, and arguably their respective "own times" were at their initial launches, but for my purposes they're both 1986 children.

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9 hours ago, Justin said:

Dave Needle, co-creator of the Atari Lynx:

 

 

Wow. The more I here about Jack, the more respect I lose for how he handled business, assuming this is all true. 

On one hand I'm greatful for him owning Atari. If not, we may have never had the 7800, Lynx and Jaguar. On the other hand, if the reports are true, I don't like how he manipulated others for his own gain.

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26 minutes ago, HDN said:

I never said the NES was superior hardware-wise. The 7800 had more colors and hardware sprites, but a weaker sound chip and slightly lower resolution. Plus, you're right. Many NES games used the MMC chips. Those made it superior to the 7800; on its own it's arguably a weaker system. Super Mario Bros. 3 and Joust is not a fair comparison. But I think you're right. What really killed the 7800 was a lack of support. Barely any third parties, and Atari obviously neglected it.

But, in America, both of them launched nationwide in the same year, 1986. Sure, Famicom was out in Japan in 83, and 7800 was out in 84 in Sunnyvale, and arguably their respective "own times" were at their initial launches, but for my purposes they're both 1986 children.

Sorry if I misunderstood. If you're saying that early 7800 games fit better in the early 80s than in 86, I 100% agree.

To be fair, a lot of early NES games also fit better in the early 80s, but they caught fire with Super Mario and were smart enough to shift focus more on games that had different levels and could be beat, rather than high score only games.

Of course I've always believed that Super Mario in particular was the reason games rebounded in the US. Without that game, even the Nes may have failed here.

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17 minutes ago, nosweargamer said:

To be fair, a lot of early NES games also fit better in the early 80s, but they caught fire with Super Mario and were smart enough to shift focus more on games that had different levels and could be beat, rather than high score only games.

You're correct about many games belonging to a different era on the NES. Just look at the black box games! Clu-Clu Land, Donkey Kong, Balloon Fight, Excite Bike... No wonder the Nintendo Versus System exists! These games feel right at home in an arcade setting.

20 minutes ago, nosweargamer said:

Of course I've always believed that Super Mario in particular was the reason games rebounded in the US. Without that game, even the Nes may have failed here.

I believe that as well. Without it, the NES really had nothing new to bring to the table. SMB made it stand out. No console before had anything quite like Super Mario Brothers.

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9 hours ago, nosweargamer said:

Ballblazer, Commando, Ikari Warriors, Alien Brigade, Ninja Golf, Midnight Mutants, Xenophobe, Tomcat F-14, Desert Falcon, Mean 18 Ultimate Golf and Pete Rose Baseball on the 7800 could go toe-to-toe with similar games on the NES. Of course, some of those were late releases.

And of course, the older arcade titles, like Food Fight, Ms. Pac-Man, Xevious, Robotron & Joust could also compete with similar older ports on the NES.

The 7800 was held back by lack of 3rd party support, an out of date system sound chip and a lack of more NES style games. The 7800 had enough under the hood to compete with the NES with the right support. Most NES games were handheld by teams of programmers, many of whom learned how to get the most out of the system with companies who would spend extra money for more memory and sometimes even special chips. Most 7800 games were contracted to a single programmer on the cheap. Just imagine if the same teams that made NES games invested just as much into 7800 games.

Support is huge. The Atari 2600 was able to out sell systems like the Intellivision, despite having less horsepower. The Sega Master system, which in many ways was superior to the NES hardware-wise, was fighting with the 7800 for a very distant 2nd place behind the NES. 

Nintendo has made an art out of the this. Their systems are often not as powerful as the competition, but they still stay competitive. 

 

hi noswear,

you forgot super skateboardin, and tomcat f-14. i sold the living daylights out of those games. they were fun to.

 

lance

www.atarisales.com

 

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19 hours ago, Justin said:

Not Froggo games.

 

Bingo. 1990.

 

It's own time was 1984. Continued development ceased beyond that point. Keyboard, Track-Ball, High Score Cartridge and other peripherals canceled. No advanced audio developed for cartridges. No extra RAM, no new coprocessors or graphics chips for more advanced games to come later in the system's lifespan the way Nintendo did with the NES to continue its life. Monochrome cartridge labels. No music. Nickel-and-diming all the coolness out of every cartridge just to save a few pennies. Atari XEGS released in 1987 to compete against the Atari 7800 and sell off warehouses worth of Atari 8-Bit overstock. Jack Tramiel didn't care about the 7800.

Additionally I would argue that Froggo 7800 games for 1990 were sub-par compared to other 7800 games for 1984.

hi justin,

 

 true, they were. but, a small operation did them. so what was jacks excuse? also, i completely sold out of the froggo 7800 games repeatedly. they sold as well as double dragon and rampage for me.

 

lance

www.atarisales.com

 

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