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"What If" article on 1UP

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Anonymous
July 13, 2005 2:51:45 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.video.classic (More info?)

1UP is running an article in which they theorize what would have
happened had the Atari - Nintendo deal for the NES gone through. I'll
hold back my personal comments until later (I haven't read much of it
yet) but I thought you'd all be interested in giving it a read.
Thoughts? Opinions?

More about : article 1up

Anonymous
July 13, 2005 11:05:29 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.video.classic (More info?)

Interesting, EGM did something like this a few issues back but with not
as much detail.

I don't really buy their scenerio though. But then again, Alternate
history is supposed to help you look at actual history in a different
way.

One thing I think the slide by, is the 7800 wasn't 'blown away' by the
NES in terms of Hardware. Well, Sound.. yes. I'm not sure whose bright
idea it was to rely on 2600 sound but otherwise the 7800 had some pep,
it was just never tapped into or really pushed passed 1st generation
titles really. Compare NES Xevious to 7800 Xevious. But then again,
compare NES SMB to 7800 Junkyard Dog in terms of fun..

Anyway, who knows. I'm not sure if Atari controlling the NES would have
been such a great idea, considering how Atari was run, especially in
the later years.

= numsix
= http://www.villagebbs.com
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Anonymous
July 13, 2005 1:12:50 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.video.classic (More info?)

Dan Mazurowski wrote:
> 1UP is running an article in which they theorize what would have
> happened had the Atari - Nintendo deal for the NES gone through. I'll
> hold back my personal comments until later (I haven't read much of it
> yet) but I thought you'd all be interested in giving it a read.
> Thoughts? Opinions?

Completely rediculous.
Anonymous
July 13, 2005 6:47:52 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.video.classic (More info?)

If Warner had retained control of Atari, Warner would force the Atari
management to either prioritize itself or be replaced by management who
would be willing to prioritize itself. The Atari Famicom would have had
a better chance of success under Warner Atari.

If Tramiel-run Atari had the Famicom, the Famicom would be a success
only after because of the Tramiel spending policies (almost-nil
advertising and unwillingness to spend money on extra rom chips)
Nintendo would cancel their deal and assume full marketing
responsibilities and be willing to spend for the extra rom. As long as
the Tramiels would have the deal, the Famicom would have been a
commercial disaster.
Anonymous
July 13, 2005 11:25:10 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.video.classic (More info?)

To be honest, it would not have matter much if Atari "did" except
Nintendo's offer just after the game crash. Warner would have sold it
off anyway whether Atari's savation would come from the 7800 or the
Famicom.

In my what if, Atari would have survived the crash or even avoid it if
Bushnell never sold the company to Warner...but instead go to a venture
captialist the same way Apple did. Atari would have been able to
release the 7800 the way it was meant to be in '84 and wouldn't even
consider Nintendo's offer.

The Big N seeing no way to pentrate the North American market on it's
own goes to Mattel for distribution (which they actually did at first
for Canada). Then we would have seen a battle between old-school Atari
gamers and the younger Nintendo fans.

If anyone's interested, I'll dig up more of my What If story. :) 
Anonymous
July 14, 2005 12:25:07 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.video.classic (More info?)

OK, now I've read it. Mildly interesting, though the entire staff is
clearly painfully ignorant of gameing history prior to 1990. Numerous
factual errors in the reality side of the article, and a bit too far
fetched on the fantasy side.

What's wrong:

- The notion that hardware makers would, for some reason, suddenly
start forming major partnerships willy-nilly (as pointed out by another
poster)

- In the "what if", they completely ignore the realities of the
business situation in the USA, which is why Nintendo had to "sneak" the
NES into the US market in reality.

- They don't seem to understand that they are talking about two
different Atari's when referring back to history. Atari Inc. (the
"Warner" Atari) was a marketing powerhouse that suffered from runaway
spending and whose R&D department had imploded. Atari Corp. (the
Tramiel Atari) was a hopeful computer company that couldn't run an ad
campaign if their life depended on it. (And as it turned out, it did!)

- The NES did not have better hardware than the 7800, the Jaguar was
64-bit, and JTS did NOT buy Atari.

What's right:

- Atari was at one time courted by Nintendo regarding the Famicom.
July 14, 2005 1:00:23 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.video.classic (More info?)

Dan Mazurowski wrote:

> Thoughts? Opinions?

It's not often console competitors join together. But in that article
seems like it's Atari & Nintendo, Nintendo & Sony, then Sega & Atari
joining forces. Obviously, that totally dissolves any chance that it
would have happend that way.




--
Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall
pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend,
oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of
liberty. This much we pledge—and more.

- President John F. Kennedy, Jan. 20, 1961
Anonymous
July 14, 2005 2:59:35 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.video.classic (More info?)

I'm interested! I love these what-ifs, when they are plausible. Or at
least well thought out.
Anonymous
July 14, 2005 9:51:21 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.video.classic (More info?)

> To be honest, it would not have matter much if Atari "did" except
> Nintendo's offer just after the game crash. Warner would have sold it
> off anyway whether Atari's savation would come from the 7800 or the
> Famicom.

Yeah, I think people think of the Atari/Famicom as the 'one mistake'
that ruined Atari. For if it had gone differently, we'd all be playing
Atari GameCubes right now. I don't think so. Atari made a large number
of mistakes. And to be honest, the Famicom deal wasn't even that much
of a mistake at the time. You've spent years developing your next
platform, and somebody offers you a console that is on par with yours
hardware wise (save sound) what do you do?

Atari had many problems, inferior hardware wasn't one of them. They
didn't spend any money on programmers, advertising, etc. The NES under
their thumb probably wouldn't have done as well.

Atari was on a slide, its only really successful console was the 2600.
The 5200 never caught on, the 7800's mostly medicore software library
rightfully killed it in competition with Sega and Nintendo.. the Lynx,
while a great system was handled poorly.. and finally the Jaguar is
quite possibly the worst modern era console by a fairly large margin.
Atari killed itself, I'm not sure if you can point to any one blunder..
other than the way it was run. I think that's the problem with this
particular 'what if' scenerio. Oh and all the 'team-ups' as someone
else pointed out. Back in the 80s/90s that sort of thing was as unheard
of as Coke and Pepsi getting together. Sure, we've seen some strange
things recently.. but nobody thought of things like that back then.

= numsix
= http://www.villagebbs.com
Anonymous
July 14, 2005 3:21:32 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.video.classic (More info?)

I think if there were no crash, you would see Sega's Mark III being
sold by Coleco (provided Coleco didn't go thru with the Adam, which
would still sink the company in the ATL), Magnavox (not Mattel) selling
the Famicom (maybe as the Odyssey-8), and Atari selling the 7800. Then
Atari would introduce the 16-bit Amiga gaming system around 1987 or
1988 (and the success would give Jay Miner a high-ranking executive
title at Atari). Sega would assume all manufacturing and marketing
responsibilities in 1989 with the Genesis (perhaps in the ATL it would
be called either the Sega MegaDrive or the Sega Mega-16), and Nintendo
buying the rights to the Odyssey name and library and going alone with
the Super Famicom (which they call the Super Odyssey-16). Later in 1989
Atari and Nintendo introduce handheld systems as they did in RL. In the
ATL, the Lynx still has a color screen and runs for a few hours on 6 AA
batteries, and the Gameboy still has a monochrome screen and runs for
20 hours on 4 AA batteries, and Nintendo still outsells the Lynx.
Magnavox would make one last stab with the CDI system, but it would be
an even bigger flop in the ATL, and it bankrupts the entire Magnavox
company (Sony buys Magnavox for a couple billion). Then around 1991
Atari would upgrade the Amiga game system to 32-bit with the Amiga32
(not only as a new system but also allow consumers to send in their
16-bit Amigas to be factory-upgraded to the 32-bit chipset), but
chances are that the mods are botched and Atari suffers losses (thanks
to lost sales and lawsuits over the botched mods...Atari stops all home
console manufacturing and relies on software sales for a while...but
lack of hardware sales causes Atari to lose their market
share...Nintendo and Sega are now on top with 45% each and Atari having
the last 10%). Around 1996, Atari gets back in the game with a new
version of the Lynx which still has color graphics but with updated
32-bit 3D graphics and sound capabilities, and the system runs for 18
hours on 2 AA batteries...the Lynx3 outsells the Gameboy, and Nintendo
is forced to design a 32-bit color system. However, they can't agree on
a common design, so they decide to develop for the original Gameboy
until 1997, cease all Gameboy software/hardware
development/publishment, and agree to become a 3rd-party
publisher/developer for the Lynx 3D. The hottest titles on the Lynx 3D
become Tempest 2000, John Madden Realsports NFL Football, Mark McGwire
Realsports Major League Baseball, Michael Jordan Realsports NBA
Basketball, Tiger Woods Realsports PGA Golf, Realsports Major League
Soccer, Realsports Indoor Soccer, Pete Sampras Realsports WTA Tennis,
Mario Kart 3D, Atari Karts, Super Smash Bros., Super Mario 3D, Metroid
3D, and The Legend Of Zelda : The Ocarina Of Time. Atari also allows
Nintendo to make games based on Atari games which include Nintendo
characters...Mario Pong, Luigi Vs The Millipede, Realsports Tennis 3D
(including Atari and Nintendo characters), Realsports Golf 3D
(including Atari and Nintendo characters), Realsports Volleyball (with
Atari and Nintendo characters), Realsports Boxing (with Atari and
Nintendo characters), Super Smash Bros. : Atari Vs Nintendo (with Atari
and Nintendo characters), Link's Adventure (Ganon brings in Yorgle,
Grindle, and Rhindle to kidnap Zelda and steal the Triforce...and yes,
the bat would be in the game), Wario Breakout, Mario Kart Vs Atari
Karts (all the Super Mario Kart characters plus Atari characters such
as Bentley Bear, Major Havoc, Trevor McFur, and included as hidden
characters would be Shigeru Miyamoto and Nolan Bushnell), and Starfox :
Qotile Assault). Then Microsoft would ask Atari to sell the
XBox...Atari would call it the Atari X.

BTW, Nintendo would still sell the Gamecube and N64, but poor sales of
the Gamecube would convince Nintendo to stop with hardware development
and concentrate on software development...Nintendo would be an
exclusive 3rd-party developer/publisher for the Atari X and the LynX
(next gen Lynx which would hook up to the Atari X). Sony would still
have strong sales with the PSO [PlayStation Odyssey] and the PS2...the
PSP would be a major threat to the Atari LynX. Sega would still fail
with the SegaCD, 32X, and Saturn...they would have moderate success for
a while with the Dreamcast but the DC would still end up failing, and
Sega ends up being an exclusive 3rd-party publisher/developer for
Sony's systems.
Anonymous
July 14, 2005 4:26:17 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.video.classic (More info?)

In article <1121263528.968501.7400@g43g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
"Jack (www.villagebbs.com)" <lupin3@planetjurai.com> wrote:

> One thing I think the slide by, is the 7800 wasn't 'blown away' by the
> NES in terms of Hardware. Well, Sound.. yes. I'm not sure whose bright
> idea it was to rely on 2600 sound but otherwise the 7800 had some pep,
> it was just never tapped into or really pushed passed 1st generation
> titles really. Compare NES Xevious to 7800 Xevious. But then again,
> compare NES SMB to 7800 Junkyard Dog in terms of fun..

The 7800 could do some things better than the NES, but in addition to
the lack of decent sound, it had a major weakness in bus throughput.
The Maria chip DMA could easily steal 75% of the CPU time with
complicated displays, while the NES had its video chip on a separate bus
like the Colecovision and let the CPU run at full speed.

The Maria also had a problem in the video modes it supported. 160
pixels was too few to look really good, and the 320 pixel modes didn't
have enough colors (partly because of how it was a hack on the 160 pixel
modes) and took up too much bus bandwidth. A 256 pixel mode like the
NES had would have been a good compromise.

Still, the 7800 was pretty good considering its design predated the NES
by a year or two, and it did relatively well in '86 even without any
support from Atari.
Anonymous
July 21, 2005 1:41:47 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.video.classic (More info?)

Much of the early stuff you speculate is pretty plausible. I especially
like the bit about Sega marketing the SMS, since the two companies had
such close ties, and it was after all in many ways a similair design
to the ColecoVision. In fact, I could easily envision this being
released as the fabled "Super ColecoVision" and even it would even be
backwards compatible.

However I cannot see Jay Miner accepting an executive position at
Atari, since the whole reason he left Atari was so he could continue
doing the kind of R&D work he wanted to pursue. If they did lure him
back, it would probably be as an engineer.

And why on earth would Nintendo hook up with Magnavox?!? At that point
in time they had no connection with the company at all.

BTW, you failed to mention what would happen to Atari early in the
timeline. Specifically, does Warner still sell the company? And if so,
to who? (Obviously not Tramiel, since you're theorizing a timely launch
of the 7800, not a delayed one as in RL.)
!