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7800 graphics showcase - NES competitor


Tidus79001
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Was just looking at 7800 games on youtube and these feel that games show what the 7800 is capable in compassion to the NES. So often looking at 7800 games compared to the NES is painful but I feel these games here really make a case that the 7800 could have competed well if Atari wasn't so broken by the time the 7800 went to market. Well done Atari.

 

Sirius
Toki
Plutos
Ninja Golf
Tower Toppler
Midnight Mutants
Sentinel
Alien Brigade
Fatal Run
Motor Psycho

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Was just looking at 7800 games on youtube and these feel that games show what the 7800 is capable in compassion to the NES. So often looking at 7800 games compared to the NES is painful but I feel these games here really make a case that the 7800 could have competed well if Atari wasn't so broken by the time the 7800 went to market. Well done Atari.

 

Sirius

Toki

Plutos

Ninja Golf

Tower Toppler

Midnight Mutants

Sentinel

Alien Brigade

Fatal Run

Motor Psycho

 

 

Atari made what 3 of those games? I get what your saying tho..
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I have a bit different view of things now then I did a few years ago.

Reality is Atari just couldn't afford to go "all out" on the 7800. They contracted most of the game development work out. They couldn't afford A+ developers. They couldn't afford to pay for long development cycles. They couldn't afford to pay for the big giant cartridges (2 megabit, 3 megabit, 4 megabit) to store the games that competitors had. They really couldn't afford to spend extra for enhancements in the cartridges either. They couldn't even really delve a lot into expensive licenses.

Almost all the released NES games had MMC chips in them providing various enhancements that the stock NES couldn't do. Only a couple of 7800 games had POKEY sound, only a few more had on board RAM and none had things like battery saves etc.

 

I used to call it Tramiel cheapness. But now I think a lot of it was simply necessity. Jack needed to keep the company afloat and used the game division to fund expensive R&D which meant it had to be run leanly.

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I have a bit different view of things now then I did a few years ago.

 

Reality is Atari just couldn't afford to go "all out" on the 7800. They contracted most of the game development work out. They couldn't afford A+ developers. They couldn't afford to pay for long development cycles. They couldn't afford to pay for the big giant cartridges (2 megabit, 3 megabit, 4 megabit) to store the games that competitors had. They really couldn't afford to spend extra for enhancements in the cartridges either. They couldn't even really delve a lot into expensive licenses.

 

Almost all the released NES games had MMC chips in them providing various enhancements that the stock NES couldn't do. Only a couple of 7800 games had POKEY sound, only a few more had on board RAM and none had things like battery saves etc.

 

I used to call it Tramiel cheapness. But now I think a lot of it was simply necessity. Jack needed to keep the company afloat and used the game division to fund expensive R&D which meant it had to be run leanly.

Yes, I think as well that Atari suffered from not being able to spend as much on proper development of titles as would have been preferable. That and as you said that Nintendo had added chips into the cartridges to enhance the capabilities of the console. It is unfortunate that they didn't have enough money for top not development of titles and R&D efforts. All that being said I do think the titles I mentioned still do show that the 7800 had untapped potential to compete with NES.

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I have a bit different view of things now then I did a few years ago.

 

Reality is Atari just couldn't afford to go "all out" on the 7800. They contracted most of the game development work out. They couldn't afford A+ developers. They couldn't afford to pay for long development cycles. They couldn't afford to pay for the big giant cartridges (2 megabit, 3 megabit, 4 megabit) to store the games that competitors had. They really couldn't afford to spend extra for enhancements in the cartridges either. They couldn't even really delve a lot into expensive licenses.

 

Almost all the released NES games had MMC chips in them providing various enhancements that the stock NES couldn't do. Only a couple of 7800 games had POKEY sound, only a few more had on board RAM and none had things like battery saves etc.

 

I used to call it Tramiel cheapness. But now I think a lot of it was simply necessity. Jack needed to keep the company afloat and used the game division to fund expensive R&D which meant it had to be run leanly.

Well said. This has been my belief for some time. I agree completely with all of this. Had Atari known where the industry was heading, and what a goldmine that market was going to become then and into the next 30 years, could they have afforded to risk it all spending like drunken sailors? Possibly. But they didn't know that, and couldn't. They were trying to dig out of a huge hole, and the idea they should dig deeper first based on a market that had been dead recently, and considered a fad at the previous height, was not something many people would have done at the time.

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Atari also had THREE systems on the market, 2600jr, 7800, and the XE game system!

 

Atari was competing with themselves! How confusing for the consumer!

 

Take your money and resources and DIVIDE by THREE and see how far you can go!(?)!

 

Did Nintendo or Sega have three mouths to feed?

 

No, they were business smart!

Exactly, they were competing with themselves. The First rule of business is to do one thing and do it well. The 2600 had its day and they should have put it to bed and focus 100% effort on making the 7800 their flagship system. Unfortunately Atari couldn't let things go but maybe that was more of the Tramiel's doing as they were all over the map with their business strategy for Atari and what it was focused on.

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Atari also had THREE systems on the market, 2600jr, 7800, and the XE game system!

 

Atari was competing with themselves! How confusing for the consumer!

 

Take your money and resources and DIVIDE by THREE and see how far you can go!(?)!

 

Did Nintendo or Sega have three mouths to feed?

 

No, they were business smart!

Nintendo had games on the 2600 and 7800 from old contracts, supported the Gameboy and NES from 1989 on, and launched a new system in 1991. By 1994, the SNES was already playing Gameboy games, helping the SNES cut its own sales of software for cheaper portable games, with the same characters. Sega had the Master System, Genesis, and Gamegear all on the market and supported across multiple markets by 1991. By 1994, Sega would have no less than the Sega Genesis, Sega CD, 32X, and Game Gear being supported in North America, with the Saturn already out in Japan (check an old Gamepro and see how much Sega stuff was going on in any issue).

Edited by Atarifever
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Atari also had THREE systems on the market, 2600jr, 7800, and the XE game system!

 

Atari was competing with themselves! How confusing for the consumer!

 

Take your money and resources and DIVIDE by THREE and see how far you can go!(?)!

 

Did Nintendo or Sega have three mouths to feed?

 

No, they were business smart!

 

Agree that it was very confusing for the consumer. Especially when you had the same titles on the 2600 advertised as "for 2600 and 7800". I still remember plugging in Winter Games (2600 version), expecting it to transform into the game I saw on the back of the 7800 box and being surprised that it was still the 2600 game.

 

That said, I can kind of see how it happened. And again, it ties back to what Tramiel inherited .... warehouses upon warehouses of unsold 2600 games, parts and accessories, and unsold Atari 8bit games, parts and accessories.

 

They sold everything they could to keep the company afloat.

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Nintendo had games on the 2600 and 7800 from old contracts, supported the Gameboy and NES from 1989 on, and launched a new system in 1991. By 1994, the SNES was already playing Gameboy games, helping the SNES cut its own sales of software for cheaper portable games, with the same characters. Sega had the Master System, Genesis, and Gamegear all on the market and supported across multiple markets by 1991. By 1994, Sega would have no less than the Sega Genesis, Sega CD, 32X, and Game Gear being supported in North America, with the Saturn already out in Japan (check an old Gamepro and see how much Sega stuff was going on in any issue).

Nintendo and Sega offered up newer, more powerful systems, 16bit. Atari brings out the XE game system that was old 1979 hardware. One could basically say it was a 5200 with a keyboard! They did have warehouses of 8-bit stuff that they thought they could fool the buying public by calling it a game system! In the music business, it'd be the same song played on a different format!

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Nintendo and Sega offered up newer, more powerful systems, 16bit. Atari brings out the XE game system that was old 1979 hardware. One could basically say it was a 5200 with a keyboard! They did have warehouses of 8-bit stuff that they thought they could fool the buying public by calling it a game system! In the music business, it'd be the same song played on a different format!

No, Nintendo and Sega had no old systems out in 1986, because they were just getting started and had no previous hardware. As they both went on to show, as soon as they were old enough in the industry to have old hardware, they sold it and new hardware together, just like Atari did. Also, they were only in one market in 1986, while Atari already was a computer company, so they had computer stuff to sell too. As soon as Nintendo and Sega found another market (handhelds) they went in two markets too.

 

In 1986, Atari and Sega had only one new console each. By 1992, they are both supporting an old system, a new system, and a handheld. As soon as they were able to do what Atari did, they did it. It was not "being focused" that stopped them in 1986. It was having no options.

 

As for the computer comparison, have you looked at Atari computer games from that time? Computers had been well ahead of consoles (as they still are today). A slightly old computer in a new form factor actually was a really good console when the XEGS came out. Computers were Atari's biggest market at that time, and made them a lot of money. Your theory is that they should have completely ignored their biggest (possibly only) competitive advantage in favour of not doing what Nintendo and Sega weren't doing simply because they didn't have computers?

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Was just looking at 7800 games on youtube and these feel that games show what the 7800 is capable in compassion to the NES. So often looking at 7800 games compared to the NES is painful but I feel these games here really make a case that the 7800 could have competed well if Atari wasn't so broken by the time the 7800 went to market. Well done Atari.

 

Sirius

Toki

Plutos

Ninja Golf

Tower Toppler

Midnight Mutants

Sentinel

Alien Brigade

Fatal Run

Motor Psycho

 

 

To the main post here, I agree with the listed games as impressive. In particular, I think Motor Psycho is overlooked. It moves at a great clip, has some nice graphics, and, I think, is actually a lot of fun. I also really wish Plutos and Sirius could have made it out in the day so I could actually get my hands on them. They're great looking games.

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Was just looking at 7800 games on youtube and these feel that games show what the 7800 is capable in compassion to the NES. So often looking at 7800 games compared to the NES is painful but I feel these games here really make a case that the 7800 could have competed well if Atari wasn't so broken by the time the 7800 went to market. Well done Atari.

 

Sirius

Toki

Plutos

Ninja Golf

Tower Toppler

Midnight Mutants

Sentinel

Alien Brigade

Fatal Run

Motor Psycho

 

 

My original intent for starting this topic was to discuss the games that showed some of the potential the 7800 showed in comparison to the NES. Often the 7800 is looked down upon as greatly inferior to the NES and at times I am guilty of having felt that as well as seeing Atari fail again and again (post 5200) despite how hard I was rooting for them during all those years up until they closed their doors (not entirely Atari's fault as Nintendo was using some very dirty tactics to control the market, but that is a whole other topic for discussion). Seeing these games has helped to adjust my assessment of the 7800 to one of putting it on a more level playing field with the NES. I think the 7800 like it all of Atari's systems past the 2600 is a story of unrealized potential. Just saying I hope we can get his discussion back on topic of 7800 then showed the potential of the system as I didn't intend for this to be a discussion of every move that Atari made leading to their downfall. This topic wasn't mean to be a downer and I hoped it would serve to give us some pride about the the 7800.

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Was just looking at 7800 games on youtube and these feel that games show what the 7800 is capable in compassion to the NES. So often looking at 7800 games compared to the NES is painful but I feel these games here really make a case that the 7800 could have competed well if Atari wasn't so broken by the time the 7800 went to market. Well done Atari.

 

Sirius

Toki

Plutos

Ninja Golf

Tower Toppler

Midnight Mutants

Sentinel

Alien Brigade

Fatal Run

Motor Psycho

 

 

I am going to add Commando to my list as well. :)

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. I think the 7800 like it all of Atari's systems past the 2600 is a story of unrealized potential. Just saying I hope we can get his discussion back on topic of 7800 then showed the potential of the system as I didn't intend for this to be a discussion of every move that Atari made leading to their downfall. This topic wasn't mean to be a downer and I hoped it would serve to give us some pride about the the 7800.

 

I think this is a natural product of where they sat in the marketplace, unfortunately. The big developers weren't interested in developing games for them (especially in that era when you either made NES games or nothing else due to Nintendo's policy). And if they were, they weren't investing big bugs in long dev cycles, big carts or other things to try and be competitive.

 

For example, look at Activision's Double Dragon. The work was contracted to Imagineering, a firm with 7800 experience, a small number of employees and likely agreed to a good price.

 

Whereas the SMS and NES versions of the game are 256K, the 7800 is half the size at 128K. There are elements in the cartridge that suggest pieces of the game were left out due to space reasons. For example, there is artwork for boulders to be thrown, but no throwing ability. The backgrounds are ok - good (depending on where in the game you are), but the sprites are pretty limited. The Abobo sprites are variations of another game by Imagineering called "Title Match Wrestling" with little effort to change them. It feels like the whole game was given a tight deadline, to fit on a small cart, so the devs did what they could to get it done quickly.

 

Now imagine if Tradewest did the game, was given a year and a 256K cart to work with? And allowed to put hardware in it like a POKEY? (The NES game has an MMC 1 chip)

 

A more subtle aspect is you also didn't have developers coming back for round 2, 3, 4 5 etc, learning the system, trying new tricks etc. For example, what if Radioactive Software made a Midnight Mutants 2? Or Midnight Mutants 3.

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