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Thread: 2nd generation console discussion(Intellivision, Colecovision, 2600, Odyssey 2)

  1. #61
    Smith's Minister of War Hero of Algol Kamahl's Avatar
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    It's a shame commodore didn't make a proper console version of the C64. Depending on how you use it, it looks like it belongs to different generations. A game like Turrican 2 is clearly 3rd gen gameplay wise, but it barely has music, it's low res (160px wide) and the colors look like dog vomit. On the other hand modern homebrew like Quod Init Exit II looks like an MSX 2 game.
    This thread needs more... ENGINEERS

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    Master of Shinobi Thenewguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yohko16 View Post
    Didn't read the thread, at least not yet, but how it is that some people class the SG-1000 as a third generation console?!! LOL, it doesn't make sense at all. The SG-1000 is basically a console counterpart to the MSX1 and both have a hardware very close to the Colecovision.

    My guess is that some people have such a narrow-minded and/or try hard logic that the SG-1000 being Sega and being released at the same time as the NES automatically means that both are direct competitors but they aren't at all.
    The way the "generations" are set-up on Wikipedia and such is a fairly recent thing, back in the day all the contemporary magazines called the Colecovision and the Atari 5200 the "Third Gen" consoles, or the "next gen" consoles, which would presumably make the NES and Master System the 4th generation and the Genesis and SNES the 5th generation, this to me makes more sense (though there's no perfect way to do this really as early systems were released in sequence quickly, not so much in groups). Its far too late to change now though.

    Basically I think there's a lost generation, which is effectively "The Crash Generation" that never went anywhere in the US
    Last edited by Thenewguy; 10-03-2019 at 05:02 PM.

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    Here are some more Intellivision works in progress:





    Quote Originally Posted by year2kill06
    everyone knows nintendo is far way cooler than sega just face it nintendo has more better games and originals

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    Master of Shinobi Thenewguy's Avatar
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    Heh, maybe the Intellivision should be upgraded to "third gen"

    Was the Intellivision really poorly utilised during its lifespan or are these new games using a lot of advanced tricks? (or is it a bit of both). I was looking through the tech specifications and it looks pretty good to be honest, 2 colour background tiles, 8 versatile sprites, scrolling.

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    Death Bringer Raging in the Streets Black_Tiger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thenewguy View Post
    Heh, maybe the Intellivision should be upgraded to "third gen"

    Was the Intellivision really poorly utilised during its lifespan or are these new games using a lot of advanced tricks? (or is it a bit of both). I was looking through the tech specifications and it looks pretty good to be honest, 2 colour background tiles, 8 versatile sprites, scrolling.
    It has a built-in OS (called EXEC) with visual and audio assets which made it easy and fast and minimized rom size. It has a lot of limitation such as framerate capped at 20fps. It was fine early on when 2600 games were still pretty crude and the bar was low.

    Once developers began progamming the hardware directly, all kinds of amazing things were achieved. Activision, Atari and Imagic all had to do it that way, as the EXEC is copyrighted property. This led to the bar being raised rapidly in a short period of time.

    Homebrew carts don't add anything special as far as increasing hardware performance, but they do have things which reduce the amount of required coding. Although there was a lot of impressive homebrew made before the current flashcart and the cart boards made by the same team, the biggest innovation is simply a great easy to use development suite called IntyBasic. People can now get a game up and running in as little as a few days.
    Quote Originally Posted by year2kill06
    everyone knows nintendo is far way cooler than sega just face it nintendo has more better games and originals

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    Raging in the Streets Yharnamresident's Avatar
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    FYI, I was eventually planning to dig up this thread(along with my BlueSky Software 7800 thread) once I started focusing on these consoles again. We could settle this generation discussion.
    Certified F-Zero GX fanboy

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    Master of Shinobi Thenewguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black_Tiger View Post
    It has a built-in OS (called EXEC) with visual and audio assets which made it easy and fast and minimized rom size. It has a lot of limitation such as framerate capped at 20fps. It was fine early on when 2600 games were still pretty crude and the bar was low.

    Once developers began programming the hardware directly, all kinds of amazing things were achieved. Activision, Atari and Imagic all had to do it that way, as the EXEC is copyrighted property. This led to the bar being raised rapidly in a short period of time.

    Homebrew carts don't add anything special as far as increasing hardware performance, but they do have things which reduce the amount of required coding. Although there was a lot of impressive homebrew made before the current flashcart and the cart boards made by the same team, the biggest innovation is simply a great easy to use development suite called IntyBasic. People can now get a game up and running in as little as a few days.
    They look higher res than the original games, but I guess this is just down to better design decisions, such as using colours that blend well together to make edges look less blocky. And they seem to be using the expanded sprites more, with more sprites overlaid for detail.

    Though I guess the higher cost of cartridge memory probably did mean fewer unique tiles and simpler environments back in the day too.
    Last edited by Thenewguy; 10-07-2019 at 12:52 PM.

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    Master of Shinobi Segadream's Avatar
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    Atari2600

    I love how the jump sounds like a
    fart on the 2600 smurf game....
    Yeah I was a 2600 kid....
    Still have 2 Darth Vader Consoles...
    1 is modded to output coax...
    The other is still in its brown suitcase....
    Last edited by Segadream; 10-09-2019 at 05:34 PM.

  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thenewguy View Post
    They look higher res than the original games, but I guess this is just down to better design decisions, such as using colours that blend well together to make edges look less blocky. And they seem to be using the expanded sprites more, with more sprites overlaid for detail.

    Though I guess the higher cost of cartridge memory probably did mean fewer unique tiles and simpler environments back in the day too.
    Early Intellivision games were 4K, which is a measurement of "words" and as I understand it, is smaller than kilobytes. Even during Mattel's run some games reached 16K. The high quality Donkey Kong homebrew "D2K Arcade" is also 16K and its speech samples are run off of the base hardware, not the Intellivoice.

    Bank switching is used for some of the more impressive homebrew, especially the Kai Magazine games, but many just make better use of assets and use modern sensibilities when deciding how much to put onscreen. Bitd publishers were very stingy and demanded devs squeeze games into the tiniest rom size possible.

    The resolution of the background tiles/"cards" is 160 x 96 pixels, but the sprites are double that resolution, which is closer to Mega Drive. But they can also be stretched vertically and horizontally, which is why some games have very sharp and detailed sprites, but others have large chunky ones or a mix of both.

    The Intellivision is good at handling animation by the standards of the early 80's, so many games use background tiles to simulate sprites. Multiplexing isn't common.

    One of the many things that gives younger generations the impression that the Intellivision is slow or underpowered is that most just hit button 1 to start games. For most titles this begins a game in slow motion and/or practice mode. Typically hitting the disc to start will begin a game at full speed, but most of the more technically advanced games continue increasing in speed and action the further you get, even past the point where it's impossible for a human to keep up. Unfirtunately videos of games reaching more intense action are rare online.
    Quote Originally Posted by year2kill06
    everyone knows nintendo is far way cooler than sega just face it nintendo has more better games and originals

  10. #70
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    Prince of Persia for Intellivision:






    The same developer's Castlevania port is now complete and will be physically published.
    Quote Originally Posted by year2kill06
    everyone knows nintendo is far way cooler than sega just face it nintendo has more better games and originals

  11. #71
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    Those Intellivision homebrews look really good for a 40 year old console. I knew it had an advanced CPU for the time but had no idea it was capable of those kinds of graphics. That Final Fantasy port looks totally playable.

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    I DON'T LIKE POKEMON Hero of Algol j_factor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thenewguy View Post
    The way the "generations" are set-up on Wikipedia and such is a fairly recent thing, back in the day all the contemporary magazines called the Colecovision and the Atari 5200 the "Third Gen" consoles, or the "next gen" consoles, which would presumably make the NES and Master System the 4th generation and the Genesis and SNES the 5th generation, this to me makes more sense (though there's no perfect way to do this really as early systems were released in sequence quickly, not so much in groups). Its far too late to change now though.

    Basically I think there's a lost generation, which is effectively "The Crash Generation" that never went anywhere in the US
    I've never seen how the Colecovision/5200 is supposed to be in the same generation as the 2600. But considering that the underlying technology in game consoles never stopped marching on, a "lost generation" is a bit of a stretch. Numbering the generations is also a "you kids" thing that I don't like -- no one was calling Dreamcast "the first 5th generation console" in 1998 -- but you don't have to recognize a new generation and re-number them, just put the 5200 and Colecovision in the following generation where they belong. These consoles came out in 1982 and Famicom came out in 1983. Japan was not "a few years ahead of us" in the 80s, or whatever BS people think. I know release date isn't the only thing to look at, but the preponderance of their technical specs also puts the 5200 and Colecovision closer to the systems that came after than the ones that came before. Especially considering the Colecovision and SG-1000 are almost identical.


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    I thought the fact the NES could handle scrolling is what separates the second and third generation ?
    Most games on second generation games are single screen games or ‘flip’ screen games.
    The SG-1000 can’t scroll for shit without it being a jerky mess so I personally would lump it in the second gen.

  14. #74
    The Future Is Yesterday Hedgehog-in-TrainingRaging in the Streets SegataS's Avatar
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    I don't think generations became truly defined until PS1. Things were much more clear. It's kinda muddled before that. I very much consider NES. 3rd Gen. Genesis 4th gen. The wrench is stuff like Jaguar and 3D0 in 1993. Even Neo Geo in 1990. 5th gen it was pretty clear. PS1, N64, and Saturn. Different hardware but none of them seemed so beyond the realm another one could not do like Neo Geo to Genesis or something. 6th Gen. PS2. Dreamcast. Xbox. Gamecube. But then Nintendo fucks it all up again. Wii. 6th gen tech selling as a 7th gen system. Wii U. Well it's better than 7th gen hardware but worse than PS4 and Xbox One with 8th gen tech. Then Switch. Where the fuck does it fit in? More powerful than Wii U but also a console and handheld and came out n 2017. Is it 9th gen? 8th gen?

    It just feels like only 1st, 5th, and 6th are the only gens where it was clearly defined. Atari throwing out 5200 and 7800. Well, 7800 was more on par with NES than 5200. That whole time period is a god damn mess.Atari and Nintendo are the assholes who screw it up. So fuck it. 5200 is 2nd gen. It was the wild west. Gen rules were not set yet. 7800 that's 3rd gen. Compete with NES and Master System. Neo Geo is a novelty so don't count it as part of gen. It's in its own market only for the rich. The 3D0 and Jaguar and CDi? Fuck em they are Steam machines of their day in terms of relevance. They no longer count. Wii. It has 6th gen CPU and GPU but it did have built in wifi. Flash memory and motion controls. That's more advanced tech than anything in 6th gen in that regard. Wii U is an 8th gen yet weaker machine but failed and like Dreamcast dropped out. Wii U is Nintendo's last home console. The switch is Nintendo's newest handheld with the added bonus of connecting to a TV-like PSP or SEGA Nomad before that.


    Gah. Defining console generations is exhausting and no one will ever agree on them. I still see people claming Genesis is 3rd gen.



    Life!? ... What console is that on?

  15. #75
    Raging in the Streets Sik's Avatar
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    One common issue in all of those is that there are always "half-generation" consoles in the way, if we are defining by hardware. I guess the reason for defining generations the way we do is that successors always seem to come every "whole" generation rather than every "half". In fact, PS4 Pro and XBox One X are the exceptions to the rule (though it's probably going to become the norm moving forward).

    Incidentally, we almost have 1˝th generation consoles too. Magnavox considered "active" cartridges for the Odyssey, with electronic components in cartridges to complement the built-in hardware (thankfully they didn't patent it, or they'd have monopolized the concept of game cartridges in later consoles).

    Atari also originally considered making a console based on those same game-in-a-chip things all 1st gen consoles were based on, but putting the chip inside the cartridge instead of the console (as there were a bunch more coming out by then). They abandoned the idea in favor of the Atari 2600 though (which I think we all can agree was a good call :​P). I need to remember what was the address of the site bringing this up but it doesn't seem like Atari had gotten very far before moving onto the 2600 anyway.

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