Revealed: The computer, videogame, and handheld platforms covered in the upcoming Vintage Game Consoles book!

Bill Loguidice's picture

Vintage Game ConsolesVintage Game ConsolesAlthough we're still a few months away - February or March 2014 - from the worldwide release of Vintage Game Consoles in full color paperback and ebook formats (Amazon pre-order), our publisher's Website, Focal Press, has posted the Table of Contents. This is a big milestone because it officially publicly reveals the 20 computer, videogame, and handheld platforms we identified as most significant. As with the previous book in the series, Vintage Games, which primarily covered 35 of the most influential games (and those they influenced) of all time, from our industry's beginnings right up to the book's publication, Vintage Game Consoles does the same for the platforms they're actually played on. The only constraints we placed on our choices were that the platforms had to no longer be sold commercially (eliminating all systems released from the start of the Nintendo DS and Xbox 360 eras and beyond) so the complete story could be told (with the obvious exception being PC Windows Computers) and that we kept the focus on primarily North America (our particular expertise, though obviously we discuss all regions throughout the course of the book). This still led to some tough decisions (like not covering platforms that featured similar games to another slightly more popular platform already in the book), but I think you'll find the list fair. If not, let us know, though of course I'd love you to reserve final judgment until you actually have the book in your hands.

Here's the Table of Contents (note, there is also an extensive Forward and Preface, and each Generation sets the scene for that particular section of the book--oh, and there are 400 images as well!):

Contents

  1. Generation One (1971 – 1984)
    1. Arcade (1971)
    2. Apple II (1977)
    3. Atari 2600 VCS (1977)
    4. Atari 8-bit (1979)
    5. Mattel Intellivision (1979)
    6. PC DOS Computers (1981)
    7. Commodore 64 (1982)
    8. Coleco ColecoVision (1982)

  2. Generation Two (1985 – 1994)
    1. Nintendo Entertainment System (1985)
    2. Commodore Amiga (1985)
    3. Sega Genesis (1989)
    4. Nintendo GameBoy (1989)
    5. Nintendo Super NES (1991)

  3. Generation Three (1995 – 2001)
    1. PC Windows Computers (1995)
    2. Sony PlayStation (1995)
    3. Nintendo 64 (1996)
    4. Sega Dreamcast (1999)
    5. Sony PlayStation 2 (2000)
    6. Microsoft Xbox (2001)
    7. Nintendo GameCube (2001)

Finally, don't forget that CoCo: The Colorful History of Tandy's Underdog Computer comes out in a few weeks, so be sure to pre-order now for the best price!

Comments

Nathaniel Tolbert
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Joined: 11/06/2010
What about the Sega Saturn?

I was looking through the Generation Three consoles and noticed that the Sega Saturn is not listed. Was there no interest in covering that platform? Or was it just forgotten on the list? It was pretty impressive for it's time with the multiple processors that could be dedicated to do different tasks. It was multiprocessing on a console in a time when that was unheard of. Sure it caused the console to be difficult to program for, which more than likely caused its downfall but the console was very very good.

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Bill Loguidice
Bill Loguidice's picture
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Joined: 12/31/1969
It was a tough call, but...

Nathaniel Tolbert wrote:
I was looking through the Generation Three consoles and noticed that the Sega Saturn is not listed. Was there no interest in covering that platform? Or was it just forgotten on the list? It was pretty impressive for it's time with the multiple processors that could be dedicated to do different tasks. It was multiprocessing on a console in a time when that was unheard of. Sure it caused the console to be difficult to program for, which more than likely caused its downfall but the console was very very good.

There were slots for 20 platforms, and it just didn't make the cut. There are other obvious omissions that fall into the "second tier" category. For its era, the Saturn was significantly outsold/outclassed by both the PS1 and N64, each of which made the cut. I think you can identify most of the other platforms that would have made the cut if the list were expanded to say, 25 platforms (5 more). As it is, the book is pretty darn long and packed with images. These were not easy decisions, but I stand by the 20 we came up with, assuming you have to be limited to just 20. Naturally, platforms like the Saturn and many of the others that didn't make the cut, still get a good bit of ink in relevant chapters. Certainly the Saturn is mentioned quite a bit in all the Sega platform chapters that did make the cut, as well as a few other places like the PS1 chapter. We certainly give reasons for its demise and also its effect on the Dreamcast.

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