What Platforms Did You Envy Back In The Day?

Mark Vergeer's picture

Back in the day one often didn't have access to all current platforms that were out there, especially in the 80s en 90s. Often we were limited to a single specific system in the home or we dreamt about owning a system/console/platform that seemed beyond our reach. A lot of people made up for that by creating a collection of things we did and didn't have access to back in the day just to fulfill those dreams and hopes of days gone past. A games-room or home-computer collection is the net result of that.

Still it is interesting to see what were the systems you longed for/ wanted to own but didn't back in the day or even today? This video is my answer to this question.
An open TAG by Rhydermike which can be found here.

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davyK
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Joined: 05/21/2006
Yeah - its toughess is truly

Yeah - its toughess is truly epic. I quite like the music on the PS1 version as well as the graphics. Pity to hear about the original having slowdown too - didn't know that.

It is odd though that this excellent game has had so little exposure.

Bill Loguidice
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Difficulty

davyK wrote:
Yeah - its toughess is truly epic. I quite like the music on the PS1 version as well as the graphics. Pity to hear about the original having slowdown too - didn't know that. It is odd though that this excellent game has had so little exposure.

I suspect that the slowdown may have been a design feature to help with the difficulty, but who knows? I imagine the only reason why it wasn't more successful (though the PS1 port was a nice surprise) was that masochistic difficulty. I know I would have loved to advanced further. Reminds of wanting so badly to advance further in Blood Money on the Amiga and never being able to pull it off...

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Matt Barton
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Joined: 01/16/2006
I thought of another one: the

I thought of another one: the lynx. I would have loved one of those.

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Bill Loguidice
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Older tech

Matt Barton wrote:
I thought of another one: the lynx. I would have loved one of those.

I'm happy I had one when it was still active. There were some truly impressive games for it. It's actually harder to use these old handhelds now because their screens are so washed out and smeary (motion blur) in comparison to what we have now/are used to now. Ideally, if you get a classic handheld you want someone to do an LCD screen mod (new, modern screen) to make it a more pleasant experience for modern eyes. I know I have a modded Sega Nomad and the difference is night and day between the original LCD screen that was on there (brighter and almost no blur). I'd love the same done to my Turbo Express, Game Gear, Lynx 1 and 2, etc. Maybe in time...

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clok1966
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Joined: 01/21/2009
so many you kinda forget you

so many you kinda forget you had lust for.. I got a 3DO when it was dying hard, but still in stores.. still paid way to much for it. My memory is bad but Im pretty sure I bought one when it was like $499 and had 7 games, it had 1 pack (madden) in and by that time they gave you 3 more so-so games (crash n Burn (which I loved) and some others, Jurassic park? some Tennis game?) and then they let you pick any 3.. most expensive system i ever bought (till the PS3). I know i had many nights with 3-4 friends over and ROAD RASH marathons.. and the RPG'ers of my group .. we had many nights of Guardian Wars (some novel golum (class changing basically) system).. The Hype of Way of the Warrior.. and it was not a good game. I bought a LYNX on release and it was by far the most used handheld I ever had.. hardly ever on batteries though. It had some almost prefect ports, and stuff like SLIME WORLD and a few others where quite fun. I spent hours beating Toki, and Rygar (arcade version).. its packed away in a drawer with about 30 games.. NEO-GEO was the one I never owned. I know have an MVS with a 161 cart (that surprisingly every game works on ). I was lucky enouhgt to ahve a friend who had one when they where new though.. So I did get hte joy of hanging with him for hours and playing it. He had a kid and got married and wife made him sell it...

Rowdy Rob
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Jealous of the C64.

I was jealous of pretty much every platform! I only had an Atari 800, which had a good selection of (pirated) games, but there were games coming out for all these other computers and platforms that I couldn’t play. Colecovision, NES, Sega Master System, Apple II, and so forth. Heck, I was even jealous of some of the Atari 2600 games.

Okay, those were mild jealousies, but my real jealousy was for, of course, the Commodore 64! How could you not be jealous of the C64? It was getting all the great games and development, and my poor Atari 8-bit platform was languishing, and it’s capabilities were not being developed and pushed.

Nowadays, I’m glad I had the experiences I had, and have nothing but respect for the C64 platform and the great software developers for that system.

Thanks to the “diehard” underground, the Atari is finally showing some of it’s true capabilities. Check out these images that can be displayed on a stock Atari 8-bit, demonstrating its great (for the time) color capabilities:

babajaga_atari_piesiubabajaga_atari_piesiu

susanne_atari_irwinsusanne_atari_irwin

dinner_atari_piesiudinner_atari_piesiu


Here's a video slideshow for some great images. (Note: image transitions were not done on the Atari, just the images themselves)

Yeah, I'm still proud of the Atari 8-bit!

Bill Loguidice
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Wow!

Rowdy Rob wrote:

Thanks to the “diehard” underground, the Atari is finally showing some of it’s true capabilities. Check out these images that can be displayed on a stock Atari 8-bit, demonstrating its great (for the time) color capabilities:

Those really are stunning. It is criminal how Atari mismanaged the Atari 8-bit line as they really had a genuine advantage in technology from 1979 - 1982, and arguably a bit longer, though, to be fair, much like the Apple II series, they did receive a bump up in graphics capabilities from the original models within that time period. If they were able to establish themselves early on, they could have easily been the Commodore 64 of the 80s, never allowing Commodore's machine to take hold the way it did. Commodore had the advantage though in just having the one model and having the ideal 8-bit memory spec of 64K. Atari shot themselves in the foot by having the less expensive 8K Atari 400 as an option, so that was a favorite target of both consumers and developers, as was 16K and 48K later on. Myself and others often talk about Commodore's supply chain advantage and its effect on the C-64's pricing - and that was very real and was what helped them decimate even giants like Texas Instruments - but having 64K and only 64K as the standard was definitely right up there as a key advantage versus the competition. That's one of the few times where releasing later than the competition paid off. Of course, even if Atari had a strict focus on a 48K 800 with the updated graphics set, there would still be the issue of price and getting it down to mass market levels (and this would have been key in places like the UK as well, which was very price sensitive). Then of course Atari would have had to have had a change of heart in welcoming third party developers early on too. Anyway, lots of scenarios there, but the bottom line is you couldn't really fault the platform, which is rare...

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Rowdy Rob
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Atari??? Can they really be blamed?

Bill Loguidice wrote:
Those really are stunning.

I think so too! If I'd have seen anything like this during the Atari's heyday, I'd have exclaimed "WTF?!?!?" But believe it or not, I knew it was possible, even back in the 80's. I just didn't have the programming ability (or the friends/crew), or the "infrastructure" to see it to fruition. I actually DID program some comparable graphics routines back then, which would have made me a STAR in the Atari 8-bit community, back in the 80's, but alas, I didn't have the Internet to promote my routines/techniques. They're actually pretty simple in concept. My graphics images/routines/programs are locked away on Atari 8-bit floppies, but I haven't had an Atari 8-bit machine for almost 25 years........

Bill Loguidice wrote:
It is criminal how Atari mismanaged the Atari 8-bit line as they really had a genuine advantage in technology from 1979 - 1982, and arguably a bit longer, though, to be fair, much like the Apple II series, they did receive a bump up in graphics capabilities from the original models within that time period.

Atari's marketing failures were frustrating to the Atari faithful back then. To be fair, though... how do you market "tech" in an era when "tech" was new to the masses?

"Ok, they know 'Star Wars' and 'Pong.' Now what?"

The average person was absolutely clueless on the idea of "personal computers" in the late 70's/mid-80's. Civilization had managed without personal computers for thousands of years, then all of a sudden.... welcome to the personal computer era. Huh?!?!?! WTF?!?

We take "tech" for granted nowadays, especially we of "Armchair Arcade" who made "tech" integral to our lives from our youth. But no way was the idea of owning a personal computer a considerable thought to the average Joe in the late 70's/mid-80's (and beyond). I KNOW that you older geeks know this. I can tell by observing the residual welts on your faces for being beaten up because you were "nerds."

How do you market "tech" to a generation like that? Especially if your name is "Atari," a game company? The unfortunate fact is that it was difficult to explain to people that I was an enthusiat of the Atari 800, a then (for the time) advanced personal computer, and not the Atari 2600, a "lowly" game machine. Not to mention the fact that "Atari" was also famous for arcade games a well. Yes, the name "Atari" made it hard to be taken seriously as a personal computer. I imagine "Mattel" and "Coleco" had similar problems, but not quite as severe.

Bill Loguidice wrote:
If they were able to establish themselves early on, they could have easily been the Commodore 64 of the 80s, never allowing Commodore's machine to take hold the way it did.

My recollection is that the Atari 8-bits had overtaken, and was outselling, the Apple II series, and was well on their way to owning the home computer market, until the Commodore 64's introduction. This frustrated me to no end back then. But, as I'm a lot older now, I can look back in retrospect and say that Atari didn't know how to market their computers because NO ONE knew how to market home computers at the time. There was no precedent. It was new territory. Heck, even in the 16-bit era, Commodore couldn't figure out how to market the Amiga, so I have to give Atari some slack for trying to market this new-fangled "car" to the "horse-and-buggy" crowd. And again, their name was "Atari."

Bill Loguidice wrote:
Commodore had the advantage though in just having the one model and having the ideal 8-bit memory spec of 64K. Atari shot themselves in the foot by having the less expensive 8K Atari 400 as an option, so that was a favorite target of both consumers and developers, as was 16K and 48K later on.. Anyway, lots of scenarios there, but the bottom line is you couldn't really fault the platform, which is rare...

The Atari was perhaps the most "well-balanced" machine of it's era, but let's be fair.... the C64 had more than acceptable (arguably superior) capabilities that made it more palatable to masses. It had amazing sprite and sound capabilities for its time. And it was at least two-hundred dollars cheaper than it's nearest competitor (initially). Was the Atari worth two-hundred dollars more than a C64? I don't think so, not any more than the Playstation 3 is worth $200 more than an XBox360. Especially in 1980's money!

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