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The big systems you've never used


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I sometimes followed listings in magazines - not just the huge routines to give you infinite lives in games, but the specific techy demos of various things the C64 could do - but it always felt like copying someone's homework. I'd have no chance explaining what all of the code meant.

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I used to do the same with listings but then I used other books to understand what they did and learnt how to alter them. Designing sprites on graph paper and a using a c64 utility for that later on.

 

I think I saw “gaming machines” as more hobbyist machines for doing all sorts on and so I treated consoles as a “different thing” that I wasn’t as interested in…

 

despite playing lots of games on computers 

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10 hours ago, JamesC said:

Absolute rubbish. 

The MS didn't fail. The NES wasn't well supported early on but had a bit of a late surge and was still generally well regarded. 

You've only got to look at contemporary multi-format magazines like Mean Machines to see how the NES was getting top-reviewed games released well after the MDs launch. 

As for the Amiga, anyone who played the Street Fighter 2 port wasn't looking at that machine as the high-bar! 😆 It was good for stuff like Lemmings and Cannon Fodder but console platformers and fighting games were of far higher quality (even on the humble NES). 


Yes you’re right - the Master System and NEE were massive hits over here compared with computers and no one rated the Amiga at the time.

 

Your anecdotal evidence is all we need to be convinced that the UK was a console stronghold because of review scores. Sales figures are an irrelevance of course.

 

Let’s drop this now because it’s not connected to the topic at hand. Feel free to start a “NES was bigger than the Amiga in the UK” or whatever you like thread elsewhere so we don’t clutter this one up.

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1 hour ago, Rex Grossman said:


Yes you’re right - the Master System and NEE were massive hits over here compared with computers and no one rated the Amiga at the time.

 

Your anecdotal evidence is all we need to be convinced that the UK was a console stronghold because of review scores. Sales figures are an irrelevance of course.

 

Let’s drop this now because it’s not connected to the topic at hand. Feel free to start a “NES was bigger than the Amiga in the UK” or whatever you like thread elsewhere so we don’t clutter this one up.

I was just trying to point out that 'no one had a NES' was erroneous and that later in its life it was actually quite a popular system which received a fair amount of support. I never claimed it was more popular than the Amiga (though it could certainly be argued that it was a better game machine). 

You seem to believe that consoles were an irrelevance in the UK in the early 90s which is simply not true. 

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a reminder that, iirc, 2600 games were £40 in the late 70s.

 

NES games were £40 in the mid to late 80s, and we didn't get it until 1987.

 

It was in the launch issue of ACE :blah:

 

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2 hours ago, JamesC said:

I was just trying to point out that 'no one had a NES' was erroneous and that later in its life it was actually quite a popular system which received a fair amount of support. I never claimed it was more popular than the Amiga (though it could certainly be argued that it was a better game machine). 

You seem to believe that consoles were an irrelevance in the UK in the early 90s which is simply not true. 

 

The person who said "no one had a NES" has admitted this was an exagerration for effect and should not be taken at face value. 

Sales figures show that in 1992 consoles were a very small part of the UK market.

The SNES and the Mega Drive turned the UK into a console country, maintly from 1992 onwards after the launch of the SNES. This is simply what the figures show. Before that the NES and Master System were niche systems for the very real reasons already outlined (availibity in comparison with computers, game price in comparison with computers, graphics in comparison with the Amiga/ST, games taking many years to be localised for Europe in comparison with North America).

 

Edit: side note on the ridiculous delays before NES games arrived here. When SMB3 came out in Japan the no 1 best selling game in the UK was Daley Thompson's Olympic Challege, which looked nowhere near as good as SMB3. When SMB3 came out in the UK, the best selling game over here were Streets of Rage with Sonic having dominated the UK MD chart. Both looked much better on demo screens than SMB3. A very hard sell to many gamers.

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5 hours ago, ScouserInExile said:

This is something I feel like I missed. We had a C16 then a C64 but, beyond "10 PRINT"I AM ACE!"; 20 GOTO 10" I never did any coding on them. I see loads of videos and listen to podcasts where people talk about the micros they had and they all go "... and obviously I almost immediately played around with programming on it ...".  It just wasn't something that crossed my mind to do and I kinda wish it had. Not that I'd have done anything with it, I don't think, I just wish I'd given it a go.

 

I don't think I'd have bothered either, but luckily on Amiga you kept getting full application packages on the front of a magazine so you'd be able to try your hand at everything. It all kind of clicked with AMOS. 

 

If I hadn't picked Amiga over SNES, I'd be a starving artist now rather than barely getting by games programmer. 

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Playstation 5 

Xbox Series X (Ive got a Series S though)

Xbox One (Any of them)

Either Sega Saturn or Mega CD, my mates brother had one of them but cant remember which one

I think they are the only ones from the 'Big 4' consoles Ive never used once ever since early 90s, Im not counting crap like Ngage or Barcode battler 

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On 25/07/2022 at 12:35, Rex Grossman said:

 

The person who said "no one had a NES" has admitted this was an exagerration for effect and should not be taken at face value. 

Sales figures show that in 1992 consoles were a very small part of the UK market.

The SNES and the Mega Drive turned the UK into a console country, maintly from 1992 onwards after the launch of the SNES. This is simply what the figures show. Before that the NES and Master System were niche systems for the very real reasons already outlined (availibity in comparison with computers, game price in comparison with computers, graphics in comparison with the Amiga/ST, games taking many years to be localised for Europe in comparison with North America).

 

Edit: side note on the ridiculous delays before NES games arrived here. When SMB3 came out in Japan the no 1 best selling game in the UK was Daley Thompson's Olympic Challege, which looked nowhere near as good as SMB3. When SMB3 came out in the UK, the best selling game over here were Streets of Rage with Sonic having dominated the UK MD chart. Both looked much better on demo screens than SMB3. A very hard sell to many gamers.

This article illustrates console sales figures for the early 90s.

An install base for 8bits of about 3 million by 1994, spread equally between the MS and the NES. Most of the NES sales came late in its life. https://mechafatnick.co.uk/2019/07/03/8-bit-showdown-how-popular-were-the-master-system-and-the-nes-in-the-uk/#:~:text=However a few contrarian voices,million units in the UK.

 

This site shows sales figures for the Amiga.

A user base of 1.5m in the UK, equal to the NES. 

The article does suggest that there were more sold than official sales figures indicate, but they'd have had to sell double the official number to equal the install base of the 8bit consoles combined. http://www.bambi-amiga.co.uk/amigahistory/sales.html

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2 hours ago, JamesC said:

This article illustrates console sales figures for the early 90s.

An install base for 8bits of about 3 million by 1994, spread equally between the MS and the NES. Most of the NES sales came late in its life. https://mechafatnick.co.uk/2019/07/03/8-bit-showdown-how-popular-were-the-master-system-and-the-nes-in-the-uk/#:~:text=However a few contrarian voices,million units in the UK.

 

This site shows sales figures for the Amiga.

A user base of 1.5m in the UK, equal to the NES. 

The article does suggest that there were more sold than official sales figures indicate, but they'd have had to sell double the official number to equal the install base of the 8bit consoles combined. http://www.bambi-amiga.co.uk/amigahistory/sales.html

 

Congrats on finding a blog post about some discredited sales figures someone on Neo Gaf claimed was a leaked internal memo from EA.

What's next? Someone's uncle who works at Nintendo says the NES was bigger than the Amiga in the UK?

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I was thinking that one metric you could use to determine the relative popularity of each platform was to look at the readership of single-format or single-platform magazines of the time. Amiga Format sold as many as 200,000 issues at its peak, and the various Sega mags didn't come anywhere near this as far as I can ascertain. The thing is, there weren't any NES-only mags during this era in the UK. There was Total!, whose name makes it annoyingly difficult to find information about the mag on Google, but that dealt with Game Boy games as well.

 

This is very unscientific, but I do wonder if the lack of any NES mags in that era is telling. There were Sega mags, Amiga mags, Atari ST mags, Amstrad PCW mags, and many more, but not many Nintendo mags, and nothing focused on the NES until Total! came along. Of course, you could easily argue that C&VG, Mean Machines and Gamesmaster catered for that market, and also argue that the relative surfeit of Amiga mags was just because the owners tended to be older and more able to pay £3.50 for a mag that reviewed games and another £3.50 that told you how to connect your printer, but it does strike me as odd that, say, Future didn't launch a Nintendo magazine until 1992. Total! was launched just nine months behind Super Play, apparently.

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2 hours ago, JamesC said:

This article illustrates console sales figures for the early 90s.

An install base for 8bits of about 3 million by 1994, spread equally between the MS and the NES. Most of the NES sales came late in its life. https://mechafatnick.co.uk/2019/07/03/8-bit-showdown-how-popular-were-the-master-system-and-the-nes-in-the-uk/#:~:text=However a few contrarian voices,million units in the UK.

 

This site shows sales figures for the Amiga.

A user base of 1.5m in the UK, equal to the NES. 

The article does suggest that there were more sold than official sales figures indicate, but they'd have had to sell double the official number to equal the install base of the 8bit consoles combined. http://www.bambi-amiga.co.uk/amigahistory/sales.html

 

two systems selling a combined 3 million isn't the same as 1 system selling 1.5 million

 

:coffee:

 

 

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6 minutes ago, K said:

I was thinking that one metric you could use to determine the relative popularity of each platform was to look at the readership of single-format or single-platform magazines of the time. Amiga Format sold as many as 200,000 issues at its peak, and the various Sega mags didn't come anywhere near this as far as I can ascertain. The thing is, there weren't any NES-only mags during this era in the UK. There was Total!, whose name makes it annoyingly difficult to find information about the mag on Google, and that dealt with Game Boy games as well.

 

This is very unscientific, but I do wonder if the lack of any NES mags in that era is telling. There were Sega mags, Amiga mags, Atari ST mags, Amstrad PCW mags, and many more, but not many Nintendo mags, and nothing focused on the NES until Total! came along. Of course, you could easily argue that C&VG, Mean Machines and Gamesmaster catered for that market, and also argue that the relative surfeit of Amiga mags was just because the owners tended to be older and more able to pay £3.50 for a mag that reviewed games and another £3.50 that told you how to connect your printer, but it does strike me as odd that, say, Future didn't launch a Nintendo magazine until 1992. Total! was launched just nine months behind Super Play, apparently.

 

Maybe Nintendo wouldn't let them?

 

Emap launched the official nintendo magazine in 1990-something, Future took over in 2006

 

image.thumb.png.ec6415172a57477d6a5e6e00aa9b9d5f.png

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I forgot about the Emap NMS. Again, hard to find figures, but this Eurogamer feature suggests NMS peaked at a circulation of about 170,000, but that was in 1992 and covered both the SNES and the Game Boy.

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1 hour ago, SeanR said:

 

two systems selling a combined 3 million isn't the same as 1 system selling 1.5 million

 

:coffee:

 

 

It does actually say 1.5m for the NES on that chart. Apparently those figures have been discredited though. 

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Never owned a PS anything. Had a few goes on a PS when they first came out and later on a PS2. It nothing else. Never liked the controller so always went for the X. 
Obvs there’s been a Snes, 64 and GC but that’s it.  

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Probably the Saturn for me?

Which is weird, because I do have one, a Japanese version I bought maybe 10 years ago. But I’ve basically never used it. 

Most other stuff I used a fair bit even if I didn’t own them personally. Except of course the current gen stuff, which I still don’t see the point in.

(Plus I’ve still never seen a nes in real life)

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5 hours ago, K said:

I was thinking that one metric you could use to determine the relative popularity of each platform was to look at the readership of single-format or single-platform magazines of the time. Amiga Format sold as many as 200,000 issues at its peak, and the various Sega mags didn't come anywhere near this as far as I can ascertain. The thing is, there weren't any NES-only mags during this era in the UK. There was Total!, whose name makes it annoyingly difficult to find information about the mag on Google, but that dealt with Game Boy games as well.

 

This is very unscientific, but I do wonder if the lack of any NES mags in that era is telling. There were Sega mags, Amiga mags, Atari ST mags, Amstrad PCW mags, and many more, but not many Nintendo mags, and nothing focused on the NES until Total! came along. Of course, you could easily argue that C&VG, Mean Machines and Gamesmaster catered for that market, and also argue that the relative surfeit of Amiga mags was just because the owners tended to be older and more able to pay £3.50 for a mag that reviewed games and another £3.50 that told you how to connect your printer, but it does strike me as odd that, say, Future didn't launch a Nintendo magazine until 1992. Total! was launched just nine months behind Super Play, apparently.


That’s a very interesting thought.

At the Amiga’s peak you could buy Amiga Power, Amiga Format, CU Amiga, Amiga Action, Amiga Computing, The One: Amiga and Zzap (which although still covered the C64, that format was marginalised). 
This doesn’t include Zero, CVG, The Games Machine and Ace, all of which went heavy on the Amiga at the time,

Has one machine ever had it so good in terms of print media?

 

Neither the Master System or NES ever had a single format magazine over here. Was Super Play the first single-format console magazine in the UK?

 

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2 hours ago, Rex Grossman said:

Neither the Master System or NES ever had a single format magazine over here. Was Super Play the first single-format console magazine in the UK?

 

S: The Sega Magazine (later renamed to Sega Power) was launched in Dec 1989 and focused upon SMS in early issues. I bought issue 1 in a local video shop around that time, but it must be a second-hand copy. Wikipedia suggests the first issue was only sent to owners who had registered their SMS warranty cards.

 

Sega Master Force and N-Force were launched in 1993 and are considered to be single format mags by some people, though they did have supplements that focused upon the Game Gear and Gameboy.

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10 hours ago, Rex Grossman said:

Neither the Master System or NES ever had a single format magazine over here. Was Super Play the first single-format console magazine in the UK?

 


I think Mega launched the month before Super Play. I would assume 1992 was the point where Future thought they had better get on the console bandwagon. 
 

Mega Tech (which I had forgotten existed, and had the most early nineties design it’s possible for a magazine to have) launched in December 1991. 

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7 hours ago, knightbeat said:

 

S: The Sega Magazine (later renamed to Sega Power) was launched in Dec 1989 and focused upon SMS in early issues. I bought issue 1 in a local video shop around that time, but it must be a second-hand copy. Wikipedia suggests the first issue was only sent to owners who had registered their SMS warranty cards.

 

Sega Master Force and N-Force were launched in 1993 and are considered to be single format mags by some people, though they did have supplements that focused upon the Game Gear and Gameboy.

 

Good point on S although I’m convinced it had Mega Drive stuff in the early issues. I’m sure N Force was 1992 to coincide with UK launch of the SNES. 

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I remember I got a NES when the Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles pack came out. Something that must seem bizarre to anyone in the US reading this is that I knew of only one other person who owned a NES back then. All my friends thought I had a screw loose wanting a NES for Christmas when I already owned a Sega Master System, as over here that was generally considered the superior console. And to be fair, I never ended up getting many games for it... the only ones I really ever remember owning were Turtles, Maniac Mansion, Elite and Super Mario Bros. 3. I think I may have rented Batman and Legend of Zelda at some point too.

 

In the UK the SNES was massive and I seem to remember people going crazy for the Gameboy back then too. Very few people gave a shit about the NES though - the only 8-bit home console worth owning here was the Master System.

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On 22/07/2022 at 20:42, K said:


I always forget about Oids - it seems like the main advantage the ST had over the Amiga. There must be a way of playing the Mac or ST version in a browser. 

Oids is always, always cited when someone is trying to counter the point that the ST doesn't have any games that aren't better on the Amiga.

It's just Thrust, though, FFS. 

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