400

warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/buckman/public_html/neo/modules/taxonomy/taxonomy.pages.inc on line 33.
Bill Loguidice's picture

Why did the Commodore 64 succeed where the Atari 8-bit didn't?

Atari 800XLAfter seeing yet another topic on AtariAge about why the Commodore 64 (C-64), released in 1982, succeeded in both sales and software support, where the Atari 8-bit series, released in 1979, didn't, I thought I'd offer up my usual thoughts on the matter in a more formal manner. To my mind, it's pretty simple. While the Atari 8-bits had a roughly three year headstart, in those three years, Atari wasn't able to make much headway in the market despite having the best audio-visual potential of the time, bar-none. The missteps with the lovely, but initially flawed, Atari 1200XL, didn't do them any favors, and by the time the C-64 started picking up significant momentum in 1983 when its retail price started dropping to the point where no one was able to compete effectively with its value proposition and still turn a profit, Atari was already done, particularly since they lacked Commodore's supply chain advantages.

Certainly price was a factor in the C-64's success in the US, but in the rest of the world, particularly Europe, price was often the primary driver (e.g., long after the US standardized on reliable, but expensive disks and drives, Europeans were still using unreliable, but cheap cassettes and tape decks), making Atari's inability to produce a low cost 8-bit in a timely manner particularly devastating. The influx of talented European programmers to the C-64's software pool can't be underestimated as the Atari 8-bit line struggled to make it into homes there. It also didn't do Atari any favors that they had multiple models out in the wild with 16K - 64K of memory at that time, making it difficult to target the higher spec. We can't underestimate the value of every Commodore 64 having 64K from its first day on the market to its last, making ports to platforms without a significant user base of guaranteed 64K-spec machines less likely. [Read more]

Bill Loguidice's picture

Dungeon Master for Atari 8-bit = Dungeon Monster

It looks like yet another incredible homebrew game is in development, this time an Atari 8-bit computer port of the classic 16-bit RPG, Dungeon Master, which made its way to many computers and consoles in the late 1980's through early 1990's.

Check out some of a mock-up and video of the conversion below, and be sure to visit the AtariAge forum post announcing the game's development:

Dungeon Monster (Atari 8-bit preview build)Dungeon Monster (Atari 8-bit preview build)

Syndicate content