Thursday, August 17, 2006
Atari vs. Intellivision
I want to start this post out by saying that I do not consider myself a "gamer." I don't pay $15 a month to be on a W.O.W. or Eve server, nor do I play Unreal Tournament or Guildwars. I do, however, own a PS2, and the most recent game I played on that was Arena League football. Other than that, I might play some occasional games that do not require a minimum of 4 hours straight of play a night.
With that said, we at work had an interesting conversation about the Atari 2600 - Intellivision wars of the late 1970's and early 1980's. As you can see, we are often very busy at work. Anyway, I figured I'd share my experiences, and encourage your thoughts, opinions, and experiences (if you too are old).
I owned an Atari way back in 1980, back when it was named Atari VCS (yeah, I'm old as mud, I know). I remember being overwhelmed with surprise/happiness when I opened this particular Christmas present. I wasn't really expecting to get it, even though I had asked for it repeatedly. My mom had informed me that the $120 price-tag on this system was far too high for "Santa" to pay for. Boy, did my mom ever sucker me in with that one.
As some of you may know, Combat was the game that was included with the Atari. It was a fun 2-player game, but since it came with the Atari, most of us thought it was lame. My parents (Santa) did purchase a second game for the system - Football. Looking back, the graphics and gameplay were kind of lame, but at the time, I didn't think life could get any better. I remember the sheer jubilance that swept through my soul when buying blockbuster games like Asteroids, Space Invaders, and Pac Man. It was like having an arcade in my basement (except, the arcade games were
I became friends with someone who had an Intellivision, and immediately my heart sank. The sports games were infinitely better than anything the poor Atari had to offer. Immediately, I felt like a second-class citizen, because I wasn't able to select from a multitude of football plays, nor was I able to get put in the penalty box in Atari's version of hockey. I wanted to go over to this kid's house every day to play Intellivision sports games.
But, as bad as Atari was with sports, they did have an edge (in my humble opinion) in other games. They had the rights to games like Pac Man, Centipede, Asteroids, and Space Invaders. All Intellivision could do was offer cheap rip-offs of these classics. Plus, Atari's Pitfall and Raiders of the Lost Ark were nearly impossible to put down (there were other classics from Activision like Stampede, Kaboom, Laser Blast, and
Of course, once Collecovision came out, the argument was moot, as it blew both aging systems out of the water. I passed up the Collecovision in favor of getting the Commodore 64 - probably another great discussion would be how many games people were able to collect for this system with all of the hacker disks that came out.
Anyway, I felt like I had to "nerd-out" for just a post, so anybody who hates video games, I apologize with providing my early experiences.