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Who had one of these back when they were new?

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I knew of the 7800 in the mid 80s from the Sear's catalogs. Oh...those were awesome times to go through that catalog and circle the stuff you wanted for Christmas...etc. The 7800 to my memory was released about the same time I knew of the NES. And I do remember the commercials for the 7800 that played although there were FAR more commercials for the NES in the day. 

So why did I choose the 7800 over the NES? Well, the main issue was costs. I was still a young teen and not old enough to work yet so the 7800 was cheaper as compared to the NES. But, the one selling point that got me the 7800 for my Birthday back in '87 I believe it was, was the fact that it was backward compatible with my 30ish or so 2600 games I already owned. That was a pretty inciting and new thing for a console to have the ability to play its older generation games right out of the box like that.

First games I had for it was Xevious and Dig-Dug I think? And that was it for a while due to the games still cost about $40 each back then new. I eventually picked up Food Fight, Joust, and many others that I could find and afford. I would mow lawns in the summer and that was largely how my games were purchased back then. Once I had an actual job just about 2 years later, I also had my 286 gaming beast PC that my entire family went in on to purchase. I basically didn't touch the 7800 or even care much about console games for another 10 years.

But at the time, I thought the 7800 had better graphics on most of the games compared to the NES because I did have the advantage that my Step-Brother would come over ever other week and bring his NES with him. Of the games that had arcade ports on them, he and I both found that the 7800 versions of the games were better. But the 7800 didn't have SMB, it didn't have Metroid, it didn't have Zelda and it sure as heck didn't have Batman. But again once, I got my first real PC I abandoned the console scene and wouldn't come back until I discovered emulation in the very late 90s. That sparked my interest in wanting to play my old 7800 games etc again and I went home (Now married and with my first son on the way) to retrieve my 7800 from the garage and all the games I still had for it at the time. 

Of all of my consoles, my favorites always has the 7800 in the top 5 somewhere. It is also amazing to see what the home brew community has managed to create for the system and really show with games like Rikki & Vikki, the upcoming Knight Guy game and others that it had and still has some very untapped potential that would have been still impressive in the late 80s had it been fully utilized and would have been game changing in the early 80s.

 

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On 10/13/2020 at 1:31 PM, CrossBow said:

Of all of my consoles, my favorites always has the 7800 in the top 5 somewhere.

You know, I have to agree with that. I only have six 7800 games so far (and one of them is Karateka), and I still think that. The 2600 is a really good console, but the 7800 can play all of those games (with a few exceptions) PLUS Food Fight. People always talk about how amazing that game is and it still managed to exceed my expectations.

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Well there are some 7800s like the 2 I own that can play all the games just fine without issues. But they are both older model 7800s too.

The other consoles it moves around depending on what I'm currently playing. Of my modern consoles I can state I prefer my PS4 Pro, but I don't actually game on it that much. But I also enjoy my Dreamcast quite a bit, my Genesis setup (Has been my #1 for some time now), the 5200, the 7800, and PC Gaming.

 

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2 hours ago, CrossBow said:

Well there are some 7800s like the 2 I own that can play all the games just fine without issues. But they are both older model 7800s too.

The other consoles it moves around depending on what I'm currently playing. Of my modern consoles I can state I prefer my PS4 Pro, but I don't actually game on it that much. But I also enjoy my Dreamcast quite a bit, my Genesis setup (Has been my #1 for some time now), the 5200, the 7800, and PC Gaming.

 

I respect the Genesis a lot more than I used to, though when compared to the SNES it's no contest. I freaking love the SNES. It might be my favorite system of all time and is for sure my favorite home system. It has the best library of any console, hands down, at-home or portable. 

For some reference on what I'm talking about, my favorite game on the Genesis is Columns III. Really fun game, great multiplayer action, all around spectacular package. But my favorite SNES game? Super Metroid. A fenomenal game, an undisputed masterpiece, the single best video game of all time. Not that I hate the Genesis, it's just the Super Nintendo is soooo much better. I might pick up a Genesis someday; they're only about $30 at my local game store. The cheapest model is the model 2, though this is a rare case where I'd spend a couple extra bucks for the model 1 system. It looks cooler and better fits with the Power Base Converter which is the main reason I would like to get a Genesis someday.

Play Columns III and Super Metroid sometime if you haven't already, Crossbow.

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On 10/13/2020 at 10:30 AM, RickR said:

As someone who "fixes" systems, I can tell you the XE systems are pretty bad internally.  Cheap, cheap, cheap.  Just like the C64.  The XL line (and the old 400/800) are mostly socketed and built to last. 

 

Can the XE systems be reinforced by re-soldering the components so they have a stronger hold in the sockets. I didn't know that about the XE/GS. Interesting.

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14 hours ago, HDN said:

Play Columns III and Super Metroid sometime if you haven't already, Crossbow.

Yes I own both games and have played them multiple times. The truth is that for the games I prefer to play being mostly arcade style, the Genesis does that better in my eyes. For RPGs of the day, the SNES is where it was at and that is why I own both systems and have a decent SNES library of games and a vast library of Genesis games. So they both have their strengths and weakness. Although I'm the only one in the world that would feel this way, I also prefer the audio of most Genesis games as the wavetable from the SNES just sounds very muddied and weak compared to the wavetable audio I was used to back then. I had a Roland sound canvas add-in board in my PC during the SNES time of reign and so it just sounded on most games like the little engine that could but really couldn't. The Genesis on the other hand had some excellent FM tracks for many of its also unique games of the time. Matt Furniss was a master of the Genesis YM2612 and his compositions on his Genesis/Megadrive games are some of my favorites of the 16-bit era.

14 hours ago, DegasElite said:

Can the XE systems be reinforced by re-soldering the components so they have a stronger hold in the sockets. I didn't know that about the XE/GS. Interesting.

Of course you can do this. You can de-solder any through hole IC from these classic systems and install sockets for them to use. In fact it is considered standard practice that anytime you find that you have a replace a faulty IC chip that is soldered to a board, that you install a socket and then install the replacement IC into the socket. There are other slightly more expensive options that can be used also for when a socket might add too much height to the overall setup making it not practical for use. But generally, I always install a socket on an IC, especially if it is one that is prone to failure often. Examples are the 4013 chips that control the power on/off in the 5200 and the 4052 MUX chips in then 5200 in charge of the controller matrix.

 

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14 hours ago, DegasElite said:

Can the XE systems be reinforced by re-soldering the components so they have a stronger hold in the sockets. I didn't know that about the XE/GS. Interesting.

Ideally, when chips need to be replaced in an XE system, you will put a socket in.  But it's delicate work.  The pads are easily ruined because of the cheapness.  Keyboards have a mylar that's also easily broken or worn out.   If the system works, don't touch it!

My advice to anyone that wants to get an Atari 8-bit computer is to find a nice 800XL.  Those ones are the perfect mix of longevity and good design.  Also, skip the Atari power supply and buy a modern one (or a USB cable) instead. 

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I did not have one. Video games weren't top of mind for me from about '84-'87. I was all baseball cards during that time until I played an NES in 1987. That dark period is when I gave away my 2600.

I did have a friend who had one but the only game I can recall playing with him was One on One, Dr. J vs. Larry Bird.

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