"Who Killed the Atari ST?" 1989 Article

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pacman000
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"Who Killed the Atari ST?" 1989 Article

Postby pacman000 » February 28th, 2018, 4:07 pm

http://www.technofileonline.com/texts/stdoom89.html

While trying to find info on Atari's PC clones, I stumbled upon this. Interesting read, if a bit choppy.

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Stalvern
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Re: "Who Killed the Atari ST?" 1989 Article

Postby Stalvern » February 28th, 2018, 6:58 pm

Same story as the (far superior and even more unjustly treated) Amiga. Horrible, horrible management, with even less of an excuse - this from the guy who sold America the C64?

On the other hand, my dad had an ST in the '80s (his favorite game: Silent Service), so it's always felt less "snubbed" to me, however parochial the reason.

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Re: "Who Killed the Atari ST?" 1989 Article

Postby VideoGameCritic » February 28th, 2018, 8:03 pm

Former Atari ST owner here. Probably the last computer I ever really loved. After that was just utilitarian PCs and Apples.

As much as I enjoyed my Atari 1040ST (with 1MB RAM), the ST always seemed to play second fiddle to the Amiga. Quite simply, the Amiga had much better graphics. The ST had better sound, but unless you were a musician, who cares? The Amiga is what the guys in college were doing graphic simulations with.

Still, I would love to revisit some of the great ST games I had: Double Dragon, StarGlider, Time Bandit, and Winter Games are just a few that come to mind.

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Stalvern
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Re: "Who Killed the Atari ST?" 1989 Article

Postby Stalvern » February 28th, 2018, 8:43 pm

VideoGameCritic wrote:The ST had better sound, but unless you were a musician, who cares?

The ST had the same dinky sound chip as the Master System. The Amiga had a sample-based chip similar to the SNES's, albeit with only half the channels. Musicians used the ST as a MIDI controller to play synthesizers, not for its own sound capabilities.

pacman000
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Re: "Who Killed the Atari ST?" 1989 Article

Postby pacman000 » February 28th, 2018, 9:01 pm

Keep in mind this is a 1989 article; the author doesn't know everything which was happening with Atari.

Jack Tramiel did sell the US the C64...through K-Mart. Computer dealers did NOT like that. When he took over Atari few dealers wanted to deal with him again, and mass merchants had given up on computer sales. And that's just one of half a dozen different problems Atari faced when marketing the ST. Can't list 'em all now; maybe later.

Antic did publish some graphics software: http://doudoroff.com/atari/index.html Looks pretty cool. :) Fairly sure the Amiga was still better; didn't Babalyon 5 use Amigas to render their FX? A home computer which could stand toe-to-toe with a Quantel PaintBox is very cool. :)

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Stalvern
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Re: "Who Killed the Atari ST?" 1989 Article

Postby Stalvern » February 28th, 2018, 11:50 pm

pacman000 wrote:Fairly sure the Amiga was still better; didn't Babalyon 5 use Amigas to render their FX? A home computer which could stand toe-to-toe with a Quantel PaintBox is very cool. :)

Much like synthesizers and the ST, the Video Toaster was a separate piece of hardware that the Amiga was used to control.

Regardless, the Amiga's graphics far surpassed the ST's in every way.

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Re: "Who Killed the Atari ST?" 1989 Article

Postby Sut » March 7th, 2018, 6:42 am

Psygnosis killed the ST (from a gamer’s point of view).
Sometimes history gets revised that the Amiga was always the leading platform.
However this certainly wasn’t the case, you look at both systems libraries for the first couple of years, the ST was the lead platform. Companies like Core and Gremlin developed games for the ST first and then ported to the Amiga.
So bar improvements to the sound, both versions were usually pretty much identical as it was ST code running on the Amiga as they shared the same CPU.

With Amiga games often running at a slower frame rate than the ST version due to CPU clock speed. It was usually a case of the Amiga version with better sound or ST version with better frame rates. The difference was negliable.

This is where Psygnosis come in with Shadow of the Beast.
I blame this one game for the sea change from ST to Amiga. Psygnosis realised it may be a good idea to take advantage of the Amiga’s custom chips (which the ST lacked) and design a game around the Amiga.

Now the game wasn’t that good, but by George was it gorgeous. Suddenly we saw for the first time a huge disparity between the Amiga and ST.

The ST version of Shadow of the Beast was released shortly after and... oh dear ! At this point people who still wanted computers rather than consoles started jumping from the ST to the Amiga. And rather than the Amiga getting the lazy port treatment, it was the ST.

So at least I’m my mind, Psygnosis you killed the ST.

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Re: "Who Killed the Atari ST?" 1989 Article

Postby pacman000 » March 7th, 2018, 9:10 am

http://www.dadhacker.com/blog/?p=995

The Atari ST's history from a former Atari employee. I'd imagine this explains a lot; reading it now.

pacman000
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Re: "Who Killed the Atari ST?" 1989 Article

Postby pacman000 » March 7th, 2018, 12:27 pm

http://www.dadhacker.com/blog/?p=1000#comment-476799

Part 2 of the above article. Really interesting stuff. Sadly, it sounds like he left Atari in 86 or 87, when the ST was still doing well, so no inside info on its demise.

He does have a neat sounding collection of Atari articles tho: http://www.dadhacker.com/blog/?s=atari

pacman000
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Re: "Who Killed the Atari ST?" 1989 Article

Postby pacman000 » March 7th, 2018, 1:12 pm

https://www.atarimagazines.com/startv3n ... sofst.html

Just one more, an '88 article outlining the ST's development & some of the problems it faced in the U.S.

(In the U.S. it arrived too late; Apple & IBM already had most of the market/public's mind share, & fewer software companies developed for it. At this point there was still a chance to turn it around, but Atari had just made a really bad deal, as I mentioned earlier. Atari also had less money to work with than IBM & Apple.)


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