Consoles vs Computers

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Consoles vs Computers

Postby Retrogamer_ST » Mon Feb 27, 2012 8:43 pm

The old consoles vs the computers, did the computers stand a chance for the hardcore gamer?

NES, a legendary console that had plenty of awesome good games. Zelda, Super Mario, Castlevania, Contra, to name a few. Some of the games was truly outstanding good on NES. Games like the Double Dragon series was way better on NES then on any other console or computer, same thing with Bionic Commando. While we often got so so conversions of the big arcade games made by european companies, NES got the real thing from the orginal company. NES hade good sound and good graphics for being an early 8bit console. Some of the game even looked better then most things on Amiga and Atari ST. The Batman series had almost unbelievable great graphics.

SEGA MEGADRIVE/GENESIS - Nothing on Amiga and ST could match the excellence of Segas 16 bit console and most of the games looked way better then anything seen on ST and Amiga. Sonic II for exemple was a masterpiece in great graphics with it's many layers of parallax both vertically and horizontal and good use of colours.

Some games on the computers was real good and could match the games on the consoles thanks to it's unique concept that had no similarity in the console world, like Carrier Command, Damocles and similar games.

But in the whole it's no question about it, the choice for pure gaming was to buy either a NES, Sega Master System, Sega Megadrive or a SNES.

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Re: Consoles vs Computers

Postby bullis1 » Mon Feb 27, 2012 10:13 pm

I never discriminated and always gamed on computers and consoles (and in arcades but that's not the scope of this thread). I never particularly enjoyed the NES for some reason (or most 8-bit computers and consoles). The 16-bit generation really grabbed me though. The Turbo Grafx 16 (aka PC-Engine) was my first console that I owned and it continued to blow me away for many years (especially once getting into the CD-ROM games and imports). SNES, Genesis/MegaDrive followed some time later along with many other consoles over the years. Consoles excelled with shmups, beat-em-ups and JRPGS for sure.

Computers were no slouch in the 16-bit era either. When it came to adventures, 3D games, simulations, western RPGs, and strategy games computers were the king. First-person games thrived in the early to mid-90s on computers (well, IBM compatibles mostly) while the consoles didn't have many of these types of games until the 32-bit era. For many years most console games were limited to 128kb-512kb in size while computer games were taking advantage of at least a whole 720kb disk (load times were of course the downside).

I always thought that platformers and racing games were done equally well (yet often differently) on computers and consoles. Puzzle games too. Of course there were games that defied their platform of choice and did things that really impressed or made you re-think what was possible on that machine.

Once the mid-90s hit the lines started to blur and I'd say neither computers or consoles had much of any kind of advantage over the other. Games were also ported between the machines very frequently and were tailored to a machine's strength. In the last 8 years or so things have gone back to the 16-bit days in a way and the computer gaming and console gaming worlds are very different.

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Re: Consoles vs Computers

Postby Retrogamer_ST » Mon Feb 27, 2012 10:42 pm

I agree, it's two different worlds even if many of the conversions are about the same games.

For fighting Neo Geo was always THE choice. ;)

I think it was several things that made quite a big difference between consoles and computers, besides the different types of games. Often much more work was done to the console version because of bigger market and much more money to make. One single licence from Nintendo could make anyone rich.

It wasn't until PC came along equipped with new powerful graphic cards that computers could match the consoles in terms of graphic and sound.

Still today i think that many games on the 16 bit consoles are still impressing in terms of graphics, playability and sound. The last games done the old way. Todays games it's just polygons rendered with specialized software on powerful hardware. Not much of "hand made" left in todays gaming world.

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Re: Consoles vs Computers

Postby nativ » Mon Feb 27, 2012 10:47 pm

what would have happened if the Neo Geo and megadrive had keyboards?
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Re: Consoles vs Computers

Postby Retrogamer_ST » Mon Feb 27, 2012 10:51 pm

nativ wrote:what would have happened if the Neo Geo and megadrive had keyboards?


Probably the same as with Amiga CD32, people bought an Amiga 1200 instead. ;)

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Re: Consoles vs Computers

Postby Retrogamer_ST » Mon Feb 27, 2012 10:54 pm

For your knowledge Naiv.

There was several attempts to bring keyboards to consoles, not a single one was successful in the console history.

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Re: Consoles vs Computers

Postby nativ » Mon Feb 27, 2012 10:58 pm

Retrogamer_ST wrote:
nativ wrote:what would have happened if the Neo Geo and megadrive had keyboards?


Probably the same as with Amiga CD32, people bought an Amiga 1200 instead. ;)


Shame the rest of the market didn't see the Falcon as a neogeo with a keyboard then ...... hopes and dreams.....

I'd happily own a dreamcast over the PC equivalent though!
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Re: Consoles vs Computers

Postby Retrogamer_ST » Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:01 pm

nativ wrote:
Retrogamer_ST wrote:
nativ wrote:what would have happened if the Neo Geo and megadrive had keyboards?


Probably the same as with Amiga CD32, people bought an Amiga 1200 instead. ;)


Shame the rest of the market didn't see the Falcon as a neogeo with a keyboard then ...... hopes and dreams.....

I'd happily own a dreamcast over the PC equivalent though!


Falcon was released too late, way too late to stand a chance on the market. Several console companies released either a keyboard to their console or a computer. Not a single attempt was successful.

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Re: Consoles vs Computers

Postby bullis1 » Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:40 am

nativ wrote:what would have happened if the Neo Geo and megadrive had keyboards?

Before SEGA made the Master System and MegaDrive, they made home computers. The original designs and plans for the Megadrive included a keyboard, mouse, floppy drive, and modem peripherals. The first production run or two of the Megadrive and Genesis had serial ports on the back. SEGA's plans for the machine obviously changed at some point and of these peripherals only the modem and mouse had wide release. The keyboard and FDD I'm not sure about. They probably only saw the light of day in Japan, if at all. No operating system was ever released for the MD/Genesis either.

edit: check this page out and be sure to enlarge the magazine scan there. In addition to the above mentioned peripherals it shows a cool drawing tablet. http://segaretro.org/Mega_Drive_Floppy_Disk_Drive
double edit: A keyboard was apparently released to the South American market eventually, but its design differs slightly to the one seen in the pics. Also, a printer peripheral was released in Japan. Crazyness! Gather all these things up and you will indeed have a personal computer on your hands.
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Re: Consoles vs Computers

Postby Retrogamer_ST » Tue Feb 28, 2012 9:41 am

At that time (1984) the computer marked practically exploded so it's not so strange that Sega released a computer. About 90% of all computers disappeared quickly after that. SNES was aimed for similar things, like a CD Rom, after some arguing Sony abandoned Nintendo and built their own console instead, Playstation.

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Re: Consoles vs Computers

Postby nativ » Tue Feb 28, 2012 10:49 am

I have seen some SEGA arcade games available on Floppy via the ROM sites...
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Re: Consoles vs Computers

Postby Retrogamer_ST » Tue Feb 28, 2012 11:14 am

MSX was very much about arcade games because Konami was the driving force behind it. But it wasn't until the consoles came around that it became real big.

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Re: Consoles vs Computers

Postby Zogging Hell » Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:55 pm

Disagree personally, at least in UK the ST and Amiga dominated the late eighties game scene. The NES looked outdated in terms of colour and games, for everyone I knew at least (it was definitely an 8bit). You only have to look at the ratio of ST to NES games mags to see it wasn't in the same ball park in the UK.
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Re: Consoles vs Computers

Postby Retrogamer_ST » Tue Feb 28, 2012 3:05 pm

Zogging Hell wrote:Disagree personally, at least in UK the ST and Amiga dominated the late eighties game scene. The NES looked outdated in terms of colour and games, for everyone I knew at least (it was definitely an 8bit). You only have to look at the ratio of ST to NES games mags to see it wasn't in the same ball park in the UK.


NES was huge in USA and Japan, it outsold both ST and Amiga together.

61.91 million units of NES was sold.

Compare that number to the most successful 8bit computer that outsold both Amiga and ST, C64 sold in 17 million units.

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Re: Consoles vs Computers

Postby nativ » Tue Feb 28, 2012 3:25 pm

Zogging Hell wrote:Disagree personally, at least in UK the ST and Amiga dominated the late eighties game scene. The NES looked outdated in terms of colour and games, for everyone I knew at least (it was definitely an 8bit). You only have to look at the ratio of ST to NES games mags to see it wasn't in the same ball park in the UK.



The only graphically decent game I saw at the time was Mario 3.

£200 Megadrive vs. £300 STe
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Re: Consoles vs Computers

Postby Dio » Tue Feb 28, 2012 3:46 pm

The most important point with the NES (and, indeed, the Master System) is that (at least in the west) it was a peroid almost completely devoid of imagination and innovation. There's nothing much in the games list, just second- and third-rate arcade ports.

In contrast, at that time the 16-bit machines were generating the likes of Time Bandit, Dungeon Master and Populous, and even arcade-style games were more likely to be original (and, therefore, much better matched to the capabilities of the hardware) than arcade ports.

The same thing was the biggest factor in the fading of custom home computers when the Megadrive, and shortly after SNES and PC, came along, because the innovation moved to those systems.

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Re: Consoles vs Computers

Postby Retrogamer_ST » Tue Feb 28, 2012 4:22 pm

There's several reasons for that.

The NES market was so much bigger and it was plenty of more money involved, which means that you couldn't take too big risks that a game became too odd and didn't sell. The ability to experiment was smaller on the consoles.

But the 8bit consoles as NES gave us new things as well. The graphical RPG genre practically exploded on NES and then on the 16 bit consoles. Games like Dragons Quest, Final Fantasy and Zelda gave us a new way of playing adventure games.

Super Mario was among the games that have done most of all for the development of new games. Super Mario Brothers was first with plenty of things that the whole gaming world copied, like secret warp zones and so on.

NES had plenty of ace titles like Blue Shadow, Batman, Shatterhand, Castlevania III, Super C and lots of awesome titles from Nintendo themselves. Sometimes the games was made especially for NES and completly different from all other versions.

Bionic Commando for exemple is totally different from the arcade orginal and a much better game. Same thing with all 3 Double Dragon games that outclasses the orginal games by miles. (including the ST versions of this game)

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Re: Consoles vs Computers

Postby Zogging Hell » Tue Feb 28, 2012 5:28 pm

Massive in the US/ Japan, tiny in Europe, something like 8 million units for the whole continent, and a tiny amount of those were in the UK or France. I suspect the Speccy and maybe even the BBC outsold it in the UK, as did the Master System (which was better hardware). So you are right (for the USA) and wrong, depending on where you lived I guess.

RPGs were around well before the NES, and yes it did great platformers, even a good example of pushing the hardware like the ones you've given look a bit old hat for the era, compared to anything for the ST or Amiga. Double Dragon isn't exactly a fine example of an ST classic (although I like it!). There are plenty of shockers on the NES as well as grade As. Where were the 3D space exploration games? NES can't do them, the strategy games? NES can't do them. First person RPGs? the NES can't do them? Flight Sims? NES can't do them and so on. It could do platformers well, due to its hardware, but lacked the sheer grunt of the ST and Amiga to cover any different tastes. This is where the boundaries were at the time. And as the NES was released at the same year as the ST (in the US) it doesn't have a good excuse for the limited colours or weedy CPU. There's no denying it sold and was really popular, but then the Neo Geo later sold in not great numbers, but was the one pushing the limits for a while and if you were a real hard core nut you brought that. Again a lot of hardcore gamers went for the Playstation and X-Box over the Wii, because although they weren't as popular they were the 'best' hardware. A lot of Europe was on a different world as far as the computer vs console thing went at the time for some reason (with notable exceptions).

The experimentation was mainly due to the cost and ease of development rather than sales here. Anyone could pump out an ST game if they wanted, they were easy to develop for, which is part of the reason for their popularity. Have assembler/ STOS/ GFA etc, have computer, have free floppy disk. Hey you can make a game. 8O
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Re: Consoles vs Computers

Postby Retrogamer_ST » Tue Feb 28, 2012 6:21 pm

NES was quite big in Sweden and the rest of the nordic countries thanks to Bergsala who imported NES to Scandinavia. I actually wanted to buy a NES more then once even when i was an ST owner. ;)

Look at it this way. The most sold computer (of the old) by far is C64 with it's 17 million units. Neither Spectrum, ST or Amiga even comes close to C64. Yet C64 sales isn't even a third of the NES sales.

NES was aimed for familys with kids in the first place and perhaps that's perhaps why we computer gamers didn't noticed NES as much as we noticed the computers. But it was plenty of NES out there.

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Re: Consoles vs Computers

Postby DarkLord » Tue Feb 28, 2012 6:36 pm

Funny thing about stats...you can throw them out there all day long. I live here in
the US, and I can tell you that me and the majority of my computer owning friends
poked fun at the NES *all day long*.

We just didn't like it. Period.
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Re: Consoles vs Computers

Postby Zogging Hell » Tue Feb 28, 2012 7:10 pm

Retrogamer_ST wrote:NES was quite big in Sweden and the rest of the nordic countries thanks to Bergsala who imported NES to Scandinavia. I actually wanted to buy a NES more then once even when i was an ST owner. ;)


Yeah I saw it was big in Sweden, it had very strange market penetration in Europe, I suppose probably down to the amount of home-grown games companies the country had. Britain had loads, that didn't fancy the NES licensing system, and it sunk like a fish. :)

And fair play, I did always think Roby the Robot (or whatever he was called) was hilarious! Beat my STs technic lego cartridge port controllers completely! :D

I think what I was trying to say was that hardcore gamers wouldn't have picked the NES, given an even playing field, with the ST or Amiga, much in the same way they seem to have picked the PS3 over the Wii

I would say that the 16bit computers are usually completely overlooked (unfairly) when it comes to the evolution of gaming. Whereas they were the ones experimenting with 3D gaming and where all the knowledge was advanced. It just wasn't there on the 8/ 16bit consoles, which did 2D well but not 3D. The leap to the 32bit consoles and their texture mapping would have been even harder without the likes of Geoff Crammonds F1, Falcon, Elite 2, Hunter, Starglider, Epic etc which are where the real evolution was taking place. These (and the later generations of arcade games) carried the mantle from the 8bits to the 32bits, whereas the consoles didn't.
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Re: Consoles vs Computers

Postby Retrogamer_ST » Tue Feb 28, 2012 8:22 pm

Zogging Hell wrote:
Retrogamer_ST wrote:NES was quite big in Sweden and the rest of the nordic countries thanks to Bergsala who imported NES to Scandinavia. I actually wanted to buy a NES more then once even when i was an ST owner. ;)


Yeah I saw it was big in Sweden, it had very strange market penetration in Europe, I suppose probably down to the amount of home-grown games companies the country had. Britain had loads, that didn't fancy the NES licensing system, and it sunk like a fish. :)

And fair play, I did always think Roby the Robot (or whatever he was called) was hilarious! Beat my STs technic lego cartridge port controllers completely! :D

I think what I was trying to say was that hardcore gamers wouldn't have picked the NES, given an even playing field, with the ST or Amiga, much in the same way they seem to have picked the PS3 over the Wii

I would say that the 16bit computers are usually completely overlooked (unfairly) when it comes to the evolution of gaming. Whereas they were the ones experimenting with 3D gaming and where all the knowledge was advanced. It just wasn't there on the 8/ 16bit consoles, which did 2D well but not 3D. The leap to the 32bit consoles and their texture mapping would have been even harder without the likes of Geoff Crammonds F1, Falcon, Elite 2, Hunter, Starglider, Epic etc which are where the real evolution was taking place. These (and the later generations of arcade games) carried the mantle from the 8bits to the 32bits, whereas the consoles didn't.


On the other hand, vector graphics was already there on the 8bit computers with games like Elite, Mercenary and several other games. The only new thing was filled vectors which the 8 bit computers had a hard time to handle. Elite and several other games was there on NES too. If you look at it, most of the stuff on Atari ST and Amiga was just the same things done better then on the 8bit computers. Not even that, some games were even better on the 8bit machines, like Boulder Dash for instance.

The new thing about 16 bit computers was the serious part that got much better with good wordprocessors, midi apps and office suits. And off course to control things using a mouse. The serious part became real usable with the 16 bit computers.

Else is wasn't much new that don't already existed on the 8bit machines. Perhaps that's why the 16 bit computers often is overlooked?

The consoles was about to perfect games and make them play flawless thanks to professional game developers using a much bigger budget.

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Re: Consoles vs Computers

Postby Shredder11 » Tue Feb 28, 2012 10:01 pm

The UK was never big on family gaming or computing; it was always kids tucked away in their bedrooms usually alone and occasionally with a friend present. Also I never ever met anyone with a NES and I doubt I even saw one in a shop. Even if I had, it would not have appealed to me in the slightest.

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Re: Consoles vs Computers

Postby Zogging Hell » Tue Feb 28, 2012 10:43 pm

Retrogamer_ST wrote:
On the other hand, vector graphics was already there on the 8bit computers with games like Elite, Mercenary and several other games. The only new thing was filled vectors which the 8 bit computers had a hard time to handle. Elite and several other games was there on NES too. If you look at it, most of the stuff on Atari ST and Amiga was just the same things done better then on the 8bit computers. Not even that, some games were even better on the 8bit machines, like Boulder Dash for instance.

Else is wasn't much new that don't already existed on the 8bit machines. Perhaps that's why the 16 bit computers often is overlooked?

The consoles was about to perfect games and make them play flawless thanks to professional game developers using a much bigger budget.


If I was to play devil's advocate here though, you could say that about the NES. Just upgraded versions of games that had been around on the 8bit for yonks. Zelda for example is nothing but a better looking Adventure with more to it. Mario is just Pitfall with better graphics and a few new gameplay elements. It didn't do anything new, although it did it well. And there is a giant leap in 3D graphics from the 8bit, sure the vectors are filled (which in itself is quite a staggering upgrade, as big as the move to texture mapping IMHO), but there is also rudimentary texture mapping itself. Corporation (although slow and not very good) was doing Doom on the 16bit well before Doom, and there was nothing on the 8bit like that (well there is now, I'll admit, Wolfenstein, but not then). Or fully 3D driving games. Robocop 3 or Hunter were a fully 3D roam and around and kill things solve puzzles, nothing like it on the NES or other 8 bits (unless you count Freescape games and they were computer games first and foremost, not console ones). And then if we get to the 16bit consoles, we see nothing but the perfection of the 2D art. Things haven't got much better looking on the 2D front than they were when they were out. But I can't think of one 'original' game on them. There is no real new game idea under the sun really. I'm pretty sure most genres had been invented in some primative form in the arcades and 8bit computers donkeys before they made it to the 8bit consoles (bar of course grandaddy 2600 and his contemporaries), and everything since has been evolution. But the 16bit computers were a much bigger leap than they are given credit for. As a reasonably seasoned gamer, starting off with a friend with a 2600 and his hand me down Vic 20 (the ST was the first computer I actually 'owned'), I can say there have been only four or five graphical upgrade events that really made me go wow. First was the Commodore 64/ Atari 800/ CPC etc improvements over the 2600 (I experienced those in a weird way by way of having two friends with their feet in two generations), second of those was the jump to 16bit computers generally, just the colour and fluidity of the graphics was at the time unbelievable compared to the 8bit systems, then SNES and Streetfighter 2, followed by PC and Doom generation of early texture mapping and finally the N64 and Goldeneye. The Megadrive, never seemed that amazing amount of an improvement over the ST/ Amiga graphics wise (better no doubt, just not enough colour to make a huge difference), the N64 at it's best could seem a whole generation beyond the PS (At its worst could seem a generation behind), and everything else after just looked slightly better looking, with slighty more polygons.
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Re: Consoles vs Computers

Postby Retrogamer_ST » Tue Feb 28, 2012 10:51 pm

In fact, most things after the 8bit computers and consoles is for the most more of the same thing, but better. And that's why so many still likes the 8bit machines so much. In that time almost everything was completly new and fresh. Most genres was invented under the 8bit period.

What maked NES unique was the professional job behind the games that maked many of them practically flawless to play. Many classic series that once started on NES is still being updated then and then. Megaman, the Castlevania series (even if the msx version was first), Final Fantasy, Dragon Warrior, Super Mario and other classic games.

NES was a very importand console for the future of gaming.

The japanese game designers and programmers has always been awesome at creating games. ;)


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