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8BitRat

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Everything posted by 8BitRat

  1. Atari Jaguar: Do the Math. The year was 1991, and it was a great time for video game consoles. The Sega Genesis was selling like mad and the Super Nintendo was gearing up to be released later that year, and there was talk of a new Atari system called the Panther. However, with a change in plans, Atari cancelled the Panther to focus on a new system: The Jaguar. When they began sending out press releases about the product, they revealed that it would have a 64-bit processor, making it more advanced than all other gaming machines. In addition, the price would be very affordable, at only $100 or $150. The final price, however, was $200. The machine launched in November of 1993 as a fifth generation console. The reaction of consumers was varied, with some very excited about the increased power and some unimpressed by the difference that power made. Some made the criticism that the system was not in fact 64-bit, but was instead working with two parallel 32-bit processors. Packed in with the system was the game Cybermorph, which was quickly followed by the title Trevor McFur in the Crescent Galaxy. These games, as well as the following two games, Raiden and Dino Dudes, were met with much criticism for not living up to the powerful 64-bit promise. The first game that was widely praised was Temptest 2000, which won several major awards. Other popular games included Doom, Wolfenstein 3D and Alien vs Predator, which was the best selling game for the system. Unfortunately, the new Jaguar console would not fare well against its main competitors, the Super Nintendo, the Sony Playstation. Atari’s Jaguar had only sold $3 million worth of their product, and when it was clear they would not receive the needed boost for Christmas 1995, they began firing staff and announced they were merging with JTS. Though the Jaguar wasn’t wildly popular in the market and among casual gamers, there is still to this day a following among hardcore retro gamers. The license to be able to create new games for the Jaguar was lifted several years ago, allowing third party developers to create new games. In this sense, the Jaguar is far from dead, and remains a marvel among a small but dedicated group. ~Vic ATARI JAGUAR - Model: ??? ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: 1993 Original Release - Unit Lifetime: 1993 - 1996 Units Sold (Worldwide): 250+ Thousand Games Released (Worldwide): 67 Backwards Compatibility: N/A Media Type: Cartridge Resolution: 800 x 576 Colors Available: 16.8 Million Colors on Screen: 16+ Million Sound Output (All Models): 16-Bit Stereo Power Requirements (All Models): 9 v - 1.2 amps Best A/V Cables Available (All Models): S-Video (If you see anything incorrect or that you want added, feel free to comment below and the posting will be edited to reflect the corrections.)
  2. Atari 7800: A Brief History Atari released a new generation of the video game consoles in 1986 after their last model, the Atari 5200, was met with less-than-great reviews. Unlike earlier models, this was the first console from Atari Inc. which was designed by an outside company: General Computer Corporation. They attempted to correct several of the marketing mistakes of the Atari 5200, such as not making the new console compatible with the previous console’s games and overpricing the unit. The 7800 was designed to be backward compatible with the Atari 2600, and was the first console to do so without additional modules. Also, it was seen as highly affordable with a price of just $140 when released. At the time of its release, 13 game titles were announced: Ms. Pac-Man, Pale Position II, Centipede, Joust, Dig Dug, Desert Falcon, Robotron: 2084, Galaga, Zevious, Food Fight, Ballblazer, Rescue on Fractalus! and Track & Field. Many of these titles were wildly popular and expanded on for years after the console’s release for other consoles as well, despite the humble reception of the 7800 system. As time went on, eleven more titles would be developed by third party companies. Though the plan was to aggressively push the Atari 7800 in time for Christmas that year, the marketing budget of the Atari 7800 was severely limited at only $300,000. Additionally, several key features of the original design were left out, including a high score cartridge and extra pieces, such as a keyboard and disk drive, that could have converted the product into a home compute. By the end of 1986, only 100,000 units had been produced and sold, underperforming their competition of the Sega Master System at 125,000 and the Nintendo Entertainment System at 1.1 million. The console remained active in the market until 1992 when Atari Corp. announced production of the Atari 7800, the Atari 2600, the Atari 8-bit computer line and the Atari XE Game System would stop. At this point in the market, Nintendo had control of 80% of the North American video game market with Atari only claiming 12%. A common criticism of the Atari was the limited game titles and the long release periods for new games to come out. ~Vic ATARI 7800 - Model: CX-7800 ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: 19?? Original Release - This model includes two joysticks on the lower front panel and a side expansion port for add-ons. It also comes with several bundled accessories such as two proline joysticks, an AC adapter, a switchbox, and RCA connecting cable and Pole Position II. ATARI 7800 - Model: CX-7800 ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: 19?? Variation #1 - This version is has a revised motherboard which includes an added timing circuit. In addition, an expansion port connector is removed from the motherboard. The Shell has an indentation of the previous expansion port spot. ATARI 7800 - Model: CX7800 ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: 19?? Essentially the same as the previous model, but includes a blemish where the expansion port used to be on the shell. Unit Lifetime: 1984 - 1992 Units Sold (Worldwide): 3.5+ Million Games Released (Worldwide): 90+ Backwards Compatibility: Atari 2600 Media Type: Cartridge Resolution: 160 x 240 or 320 x 240 Colors Available: 256 Colors on Screen: 25 Sound Output (All Models): 2 Channel Power Requirements (All Models): 9 v - 1 amp Best A/V Cables Available (All Models): External Phono Cable w/Gold Plated "F" Jack to Phono Adapter (If you see anything incorrect or that you want added, feel free to comment below and the posting will be edited to reflect the corrections.)
  3. Atari 5200: A Brief History Several years after successfully launching the home video game console industry with Atari Pong and Atari 2600, Atari Inc. designed their next console, the Atari 5200 Supersystem, as a complementary product to the 2600 in 1982. Several improvements were made on the console, including a non-centering joystick rather than the 8 way joystick. In addition, the 5200 Supersystem could support four controller ports as opposed to the typical two port system. The prototype was known as “Pam”, which was either a name of a female coworker or stood for “Personal Arcade Machine”. Compared to the Atari 2600, the 5200 did not fare as well against its competition. The system was designed to compete with the Intellivision and boasted better graphics than the new system. However, many market analysts speculated that, because Atari 2600 games were incompatible with the new system, this hurt sales. By contrast, the Intellivision II had an adapter for Atari 2600 games, making the system more attractive to many. More directly, the Atari 5200 competed with the ColecoVision. Many analysts say that the ColecoVision did better than the Atari 5200 because the included game, Donkey Kong, did a supreme job of showing off the console’s capability. By contrast, the Super Breakout game which came with the Atari 5200 was seen as unimpressive. In addition, not nearly as many games were released for the Atari 5200 due to a lack of funding. Only 69 games were introduced, with the most popular titles being games such as Super Breakout, Galaxian and Space Invaders. Many of the games for the 5200 were simply updated versions of the games for the 2600, further hurting their market value. After just two years on the market, the Atari 5200 was discontinued. It was widely criticized for being too overpriced and having a sloppy, non-centering analog controller design. Ranked 24 in IGN’s 25 best video game consoles of all time, released in 2009, the Atari 5200 ranked behind both is predecessor and successor, the Atari 7800. ~Vic ATARI 5200 - Model: 2 Port ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: 1982 Original Release - The 2-joystick port model differs from the 4-port model in that it does not include the automated RF switch box. The 4-port was realized with additional capabilities. ATARI 5200 - Model: 4 Port ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: ??? Variation #1 - The 4-port model has a unique power supply which plus into the TV switch-box. In addition, this model is not capable of using the VCS cartridge adapter. Unit Lifetime: 1982 - 1984 Units Sold (Worldwide): 1+ Million Games Released (Worldwide): 69 Backwards Compatibility: Compatible with the 2600 through the use of the CX-55 Cartridge Adapter Media Type: Cartridge Resolution: 320 x 192 Colors Available: 256 Colors on Screen: 16 Sound Output (All Models): 4 Channel Programmable Sound Generator (PSG) Power Requirements (2 Port): 9.3 v - 1.95 amps Power Requirements (4 Port): 11.5 v - 1.95 amps Best A/V Cables Available (All Models): ??? (If you see anything incorrect or that you want added, feel free to comment below and the posting will be edited to reflect the corrections.)
  4. Atari 2600: Have You Played Atari Today? Released several years after Atari’s Home Pong, the Atari 2600 was released in September of 1977 by Atari Inc. It was one of the first video game consoles to use the microprocessor and ROM cartridges as part of their hardware, and were credited with popularizing the practice. The first version of the 2600 was called the Atari VCS (Video Computer System), and was sold with two joystick controllers, a pair of paddle controllers and a game cartridge. The original price of the system was $199, or $777 in modern US dollars. The original system was sold with a Combat cartridge, but 8 other games were available and sold separately. Atari continued their partnership with Sears by selling the VCS as the Sears Video Arcade in Sears and Roebuck ad Company stores. At this point, many clones of the Pong game were making their rounds across the market, and the public was getting burned out with the game. As a result of people realizing there were options other than Pong, Atari Inc. was able to sell 250,000 of their products in 1977 alone. Other video game console companies, worried about the slack on sales of Pong, had largely dismissed the industry, leaving all profit from innovation to Atari Inc. Atari released many smash hit games that revitalized the public’s interest in gaming on the Atari 2600 such as Space Invaders and Pac-Man. Space Invaders greatly increased the sale of the console with its release in 1980, doubling overall sales. Pac-Man became the best-selling game for the system, selling 7 million copies total. In addition, through a legal loophole, competitive versions of 7 Nintendo Entertainment System games, such as Mario Bros and Commando, were released for the Atari 7800. One of the major breakthroughs of the Atari 2600 which would forever influence video game consoles was the invention of a computer opponent. In the past, people were only able to play against other humans on controllers, but this could make for asymmetric game play between people of varying skills. The 1982 version of the Atari 2600 would be nicknamed “Darth Vader” for its dark appearance, and it was yet another example of Atari redefining, after defining, the video game console industry. ~Vic ATARI 2600 - Model: CS-2600 ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: 1977 Original Release - The original "Heavy Sixer" Atari 2600 featured 6 switches, has heavy internal RF Shielding (a little more than 2mm thick), and is noticeable heavier than the later models of the 2600. Cosmetically these units look a lot like the later "Sixer" but there are slight changes to the casing that you can see. The model was only produced for 1 year and has a tag on the underside that indicates that it was produced in Sunnyvale, California. Due to its very limited run it is considered a rare piece to own. Variation #1 - The first variant of the Atari 2600, the "Light Sixer", was Cosmetically similar to the original but has reduced RF shielding along with reduced side trim, and a less rounded front curvature of the bottom half of the shell. Rather than continuing to make the unit in Sunnyvale, California they made this variation in Hong Kong. To view a detailed description of the internal and external differences between the Heavy and Light Sixer click HERE. Details courtesy of Atariluvr77. ATARI 2600 - Model: CS-2600A ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: 1980 Variation #3 - This revision of the Atari 2600 is similar in most ways to the "Light Sixer" in appearances but moves two switches and the controller ports. The 2 difficulty switches were moved from the front of the console to the upper back, controller ports were moved higher on the back. The channel selection switch was added to both CX-2600A versions. This model also has one motherboard as opposed to the "Sixer" models that had two separate boards connected by a ribbon cable. Variation #4 - This model was introduced in 1982 and officially uses the "2600" name for the first time. Its form and layout look the same as variation 3 but is primarily black. This unit is commonly referred to as the "Vader" unit. ATARI 2600 - Model: CS-2600 Jr. ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: 1986 Variation #5 - This model was often referred to as the "Short Rainbow" variation due to the rainbow bar being shorter than all of the variations that followed. Released as a budget model during the life span of the Atari 5200. This model introduced a new ad line up and much smaller design. Variation #6 - This variation is virtually identical to variation 5 but the rainbow bar is wider than other variation. Variation #7 - Variation was the all black version of the Atari 2600 Jr console. This model was only sold in Ireland. Unit Lifetime: 1977 - 1992 (Including Jr.) Units Sold (Worldwide): 30+ Million Games Released (Worldwide): 510+ Backwards Compatibility: N/A Media Type: Cartridge Resolution: 192 x 160 Colors Available: 16 Colors on Screen: 4 Sound Output (All Models): 4-Channel Mono Power Requirements (All Models): 9 v - 500 ma Best A/V Cables Available (6 & 4 Switch Models): Built-in cable with gold plated "F" Jack to Phono Adapter Best A/V Cables Available (Jr.): External Phono cable with gold plated "F" Jack to Phono Adapter (If you see anything incorrect or that you want added, feel free to comment below and the posting will be edited to reflect the corrections.)
  5. Atari Pong: In the Beginning There Was Pong. One of the earliest arcade video games to reach mainstream popularity was Pong, the two-dimensional tennis game. Originally released by Atari Incorporated in 1972, the game was based on another electronic ping pong ball game by Magnavox Odyssey. In fact, the similarities were so noticeable that it eventually turned into a lawsuit against Atari. They reached a settlement in this case, paying Magnavox $700,000 to become a licensee. Despite the drawback, the success of Pong led to the development of a home version of the game: a Pong video game console. The prototype was developed under the name “Darlene”, named after an attractive female worker in the company. Though the arcade version of the game was wildly popular, the salesmen of the product, Bushnell and Gene Lipkin, were not able to get a bite out of retailers and toy companies in order to sell their product. Eventually, they found luck with Sears Sporting Goods who also began selling Magnavox Odyssey products. Like the arcade version, Home Pong found instant success in the market. In fact, it quickly became Sears most successful product after a limited release in 1975. The success gained the attention of many competitors, many of whom began building upon the game’s theme. Magnavox re-released their own Odyssey system, Coleco entered the gaming market with a variation of pong and Nintendo entered the video game market with the Color TV Game 15 which featured six variations on electronic tennis. Without a doubt, the entrance of Pong into the electronic market brought with it great historical significance for the video gaming industry. There are several well-respected publications which call Pong the product which launched the video game industry. In addition, the game has been called the cornerstone of the arcade movement. Bill Loguidice and Matt Barton of Gamasutra hypothesize that the game’s great success and precedent were due to its simple, intuitive game play style. The Pong model would go on to have many variations, and the success of Home Pong led to many other companies moving into the video game console industry. ~Vic ATARI PONG - Model: C-100 ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: 1976 As Atari’s first home Pong model, this system was only capable of playing one game. ATARI SUPER PONG - Model: C-140 ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: 1976 Atari added this system which is able to play up to four games. ATARI PONG DOUBLES - Model: C-160 ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: 1976 The C-160 Model is a four player version of the original pong. It was also released as Pong IV. ATARI SUPER PONG TEN - Model: C-180 ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: 1976 This was a four player version of the updated Super Pong game. ATARI SUPER PONG PRO-AM - Model: C-200 ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: 1977 The C-200 brought consumers Super PONG with Pro and AM modes. SUPER PONG PRO-AM TEN - Model: C-202 ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: 1977 This version had a total of ten games which could be played by one to four players. ATARI VIDEO PINBALL - Model: C-380 ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: 1977 Video Pinball supports seven games and one player. ATARI ULTRA PONG - Model: C-402(S) ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: 1977 This system includes 16 games which can be played by two players. ATARI ULTRA PONG DOUBLES - Model: C-402(D) ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: 1977 The C-402(D) is the same as the C-402 with 16 games, except it can support up to four players rather than two. ATARI STUNT CYCLE - Model: C-450 ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: 1977 The Stunt Cycle has four games which can only be played by one player. Unit Lifetime: 1976 - 1977 Units Sold (Worldwide): ??? Games Released (Worldwide): ??? Backwards Compatibility: ??? Media Type: ??? Resolution: ??? Colors Available: ??? Colors on Screen: ??? Sound Output (All Models): ??? Power Requirements (All Models): ??? Best A/V Cables Available (All Models): ??? (If you see anything incorrect or that you want added, feel free to comment below and the posting will be edited to reflect the corrections.)
  6. Atari: Classics Only Get Better with Age Atari was born out of a passion for old-school arcade style computer gaming. Nolan Bushnell was attending the University of Utah in the 1960s, where a young MIT computer programmer had developed a game called “Space War”. The early game consisted of a two-player model where each player had a space ship they used to attack each other, and both were constantly pulled by a star in the middle of the screen. This is where Bushnell’s passion for video gaming began, and in 1972, he partnered with Ted Dabney to create Atari. Danny was actually the first to invent technology that could make dots move on the screen without the use of a large computer, which sparked a revolution in gaming that they could base their product on. One of the first games they developed was Pong, which wasn’t the first tennis game of its time, but improved upon the original model. In total, Atari would produce about 565 games for the Atari 2600 and just 69 for the 5200. Despite their relative success and popularity, Bushell left the company in 1978 to create the Pizza Time Theatre which would eventually become Chuck E. Cheese Pizza. The rumor is that Bushell left the company because he preferred a more fun-loving, relaxed work environment and Warner wanted a serious business. Atari went through a number of shifts and changes in management after the “Video Game Crash” of 1983 when they lost $310 million. The company was broken up and sold, with Atari Games going to a number of employees who created late-era arcade games. The founder of Commodore International, Jacek Trzmiel, obtained Atari, creating the 7800, an innovative console which touted famous names like “Ms. Pac-Man” and “Robotron: 2084”. By 1996, the Atari name was nowhere to be found until the 2000s when nostalgic products were released with the old, and even some new, games. ~Vic (If you see anything incorrect or that you want added, feel free to comment below and the posting will be edited to reflect the corrections.)
  7. Took a couple days but it looked like new when it was done.

    © 8BitRat Consoles

  8. The "Before" picture is after a little cleaning so you can see there was a board there. Ended up looking decent but I had to work on it to remove a small shadow when playing.

    © 8BitRat Consoles

  9. My first Sega Genesis A/V Mod.

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  10. Some custom SNES systems I made for a couple friends.... Not the best work but they loved them.

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  11. Started working on no drill mods only around the middle of 2016... Can't stand not being able to reverse work someone has done.

    © 8BitRat Consoles

  12. My first Atari 2600 A/V mod.

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  13. This board was yellow/orange before I started and didn't work at all. Works better than my old one after a couple hours worth of cleaning.

    © 8BitRat Consoles

  14. My son finished a softmod so he had to "test" it.

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  15. Installed a blue LED and disabled the lockout chip.

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  16. 8BitRat

    August 2015

    I decided to remove the towers since they didn't really help with the dust an these shelves hold more anyway.

    © 8BitRat Consoles

  17. 8BitRat

    July 2015

    Both shelves are rather barren but it was time to start up on my personal "Cover Project".

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  18. 8BitRat

    July 2015

    Finished 2 more shelves but now it looks a little barren.

    © 8BitRat Consoles

  19. 8BitRat

    April 2015

    Added a CRT to my collection but I'm not that hot for how everything looks yet.

    © 8BitRat Consoles

  20. 8BitRat

    March 2015

    Well I ran out of room on my junk shelves so I build my own...

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  21. 8BitRat

    March 2015

    I had to replace the small TVs for a large plasma... sadly my lights have to be turned off to really see anything well while playing.

    © 8BitRat Consoles

  22. 8BitRat

    February 2015

    Found some decent towers and a old box of games at my parents house... It was great finding all the goodies when I thought all I had left was a JVC X'Eye, NES, and a handful of games.

    © 8BitRat Consoles

  23. 8BitRat

    January 2015

    I had just returned from Korea, most of my collection had been sold, but My kiddos still got to "test" every consoles I fixed for a friend.

    © 8BitRat Consoles

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