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The "8bit boom"


wiseguyusa
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How common were 8bits after the video game crash?

 

I got my first "computer" (as the 2600 is a "console") a 400 in 1983 when it appeared that consoles were dead and the computer was the next logical step.

It seemed odd then (and still does now) that more people didn't.

 

"Electronic Games" magazine had become "Computer Games"

 

Now, my personal middle school experience was that almost everyone in my class had an Atari 2600, but very few went on to get a computer after the crash.

 

Those that did, couldn't agree on a system, so we could no longer share games or "train" at home for competition.

It also seemed that was when bashing the other guys system or brand began happening more, the SIG's had divided us.

 

So numbers and demographics wise, If you added up all of the Commodore, Atari, TI, TRS-80, Apple, Adam etc how many households had an 8bit computer in the early to mid 1980's? Significantly less than had 2600's, Intellivisions and Colecovisions just a few years earlier.... right?

Edited by wiseguyusa
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Consoles or computers? The consoles took the brunt of the crash. It took the NES to bring people back to them. Mid 80's saw the computers move into the 16 bit relm but I think 8 bits sold pretty well past that due to the low prices.

Edited by Justin Payne
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Commodores, Atari 8-bits, TRS-80s, IBM clones, Apple 8-bit were all the rage from 82 forward. I believe the Nintendo 8-bit and beyond kept the console concept alive until the Playstation came along and the rest is history. I have a friend that refuses to buy a dedicated console, even with all their power. He is a computer guy and thinks those have all the power of consoles and then some. But, consoles still sell well today.

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Like the race to the moon - it was a technology race.

 

You could say that 1980 was the year in which the 2600 was in it's phasing out stage - it's certain decline when the 400/800/5200 showed up. The 400 is very much a 5200 with a keyboard (almost).

 

The mass market wants better and better graphics - this is what history proves - not blocky stick like graphics - which is of the 2600 era.

 

Atari has only Atari to blame for it's crash. Nintendo took the right route - to ensure quality software was being produced for it's hardware - sure there were crap titles as well but they were in the minority.

 

When computers came along and created their own mass market - and programmers got to play with the hardware (amateur and professional alike) new categories of games appeared - whereas previously the coin-op market drove the creation of home computer/arcade games.

 

If you were a frequent visitor to the coin-op arcades - you wanted a home version, as close as to the arcade as possible - and you buy the hardware (no matter who made it) that could do that.

 

Computers created new types of games - that of simulation/strategy games and of 3D games. Coin-op games were created to be action packed short term games - designed not to be long playing games, so as to grab your quarters as quickly as possible.

 

Of course, you would buy the hardware that provided the quality games of the type you were interested in playing.

Computers were sold on the premise that it would help your children in their education, if you purchased the education programs for them - but boys knew it was really for them to get into computer gaming as a new pastime.

 

Common sense was thrown out the window as far as the history of Atari is concerned. The rise of Nintendo and Sega with their games consoles addressed what Atari neglected - authentic home versions of coin-op games.

Nintendo in particular developed it's own kind of games that gave hours of play time - the likes of Super Mario Bros, Legend of Zelda, Metro, Mega Man, etc.

They made a smooth transition from 8-bit to 16-bit graphics smoothly.

 

This is a one sided simplistic view - but you can see that Atari did not value what programming talent it had nor ensure it had a programming team capable of delivering what quality titles it needed to keep it's gamers happy.

 

Besides going into 16-bit computing - I also went into 16-bit games consoles because the computers did not deliver coin-op games - wheras the consoles did.

 

Harvey

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Most people I knew had some form of computer in those days. I moved from the 2600 to the Tandy Color Computer while friends, neighbors and classmates had either C64's, Atari 400/800's, or Apple II's, and everyone gamed on their machine. In those days, the ideas of a "crash" seemed foreign and distant to me. As far as I could see in my small corner of the world, gaming never stopped, it just moved to other machines.

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Waaa... could you rename the title of the Tread please? First I read " 8 Bit Doom " , I thought , whether someone did one of the missing games for the A8... ;)

I thought there was a homebrew of Doom for the 2600 a scroller similar to "Frenzy"

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Interesting thing I find is.. in my area.. Although C64s did kill ataris in sales.. 30 years later the atari retro scene is stronger than the Commodore.. in Kijiji around here no one seems to feel the C64 or associated items have value, except maybe the monitors. I do find Atari stuff for sale quite often though.

 

James

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My own experience was that myself and a large portion of my friends got computers in the '82, '83 time period. About half of us went Atari 400/800. So when the console crash came around we didn't really much notice or care because by then none of us were using our 2600s, intellivisions, and colecovisions.....we were tinkering with our computers, learning programming and trading games on them.

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My own experience was that myself and a large portion of my friends got computers in the '82, '83 time period. About half of us went Atari 400/800. So when the console crash came around we didn't really much notice or care because by then none of us were using our 2600s, intellivisions, and colecovisions.....we were tinkering with our computers, learning programming and trading games on them.

Wish I went to your school LOL

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