Overachieving and Underachieving consoles

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djc
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Re: Overachieving and Underachieving consoles

Postby djc » January 7th, 2021, 12:12 am

mbd36 wrote:...
Sega Master System
More powerful hardware than the NES but that doesn't matter when the games aren't there. At least it got better support outside of the US such as the UK.


This is a bit of an understatement.

I always felt the Master System had better graphic capabilities than the NES.

Outside of the US/Japan, the Master System completely crushed the NES. There are a lot of reasons why this happened (e.g. market penetration, licensing agreements, etc...). New games were produced on the Master System well into the mid-to-late 90's in areas like Brazil - many of them ports of Genesis and Game Gear games.

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pacman000
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Re: Overachieving and Underachieving consoles

Postby pacman000 » January 7th, 2021, 8:01 am

Overachieving: Atari Jaguar

It wasn't designed to produce texture mapped 3D, but by the end of the system's life companies were releasing some decent 3D games with texture maps.

Underachieving: Atari Jaguar

It was supposed to be a 2D powerhouse, but most developers just ported 16-bit Amiga & Genesis games.

ThePixelatedGenocide
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Re: Overachieving and Underachieving consoles

Postby ThePixelatedGenocide » January 8th, 2021, 1:44 pm

Overachieving: The Neo Geo Pocket library.

Very little in the way of bad games, and if it wasn't for audio/video limitations, some of these games would still be remembered as classics in their genres.

The critic has yet to give a single F grade, and it's one of the few consoles where he has to knock decent games down to a D grade simply for not featuring enough bells and whistles, in order to rate their quality against the overall library.

Underachieving: The Neo Geo Pocket's sales figures and lifespan.

Nothing was going to make a dent in the Gameboy's sales, but SNK's quick exit from the portable market? It was the only time a console death felt like a gut punch.

Unlike the Lynx and Game Gear, it did everything right. And it still wasn't enough.

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VideoGameCritic
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Re: Overachieving and Underachieving consoles

Postby VideoGameCritic » January 8th, 2021, 3:32 pm

Yeah I was thinking we almost need to rate the systems on technical achievement and commercial achievement. Often they went hand in hand (PS1) but not always (Dreamcast).

goldenband
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Re: Overachieving and Underachieving consoles

Postby goldenband » January 8th, 2021, 3:49 pm

I think the Intellivision could be credited as an overachieving console. Some of those late games, especially Tower of Doom, are bordering on NES-like quality. It helps that it has hardware support for multidirectional scrolling, something absent from some of its competitors and even successors. And it stayed on the market for over a decade, which is no small feat.

Underachieving? Relative to its potential, I might say the Vectrex. Between its powerful 6809 processor and the vector graphics, we could've seen really spectacular games on that thing -- 3D wireframe games that went beyond anything possible on almost any other 1980s hardware. What we got was still good, but generally not as astonishing as it could have been, especially if you contemplate the possibility of games with large ROM sizes, added RAM, etc. Of course the crash killed off those hopes.

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Retro STrife
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Re: Overachieving and Underachieving consoles

Postby Retro STrife » January 8th, 2021, 5:35 pm

VideoGameCritic wrote:Yeah I was thinking we almost need to rate the systems on technical achievement and commercial achievement. Often they went hand in hand (PS1) but not always (Dreamcast).


Yeah, I notice now that your original post was more about technical achievement. I originally read it more generally, and focused more on commercial achievement (picking Wii and Dreamcast).

For technical achievement.. I'll throw a new name in the ring and pick the Philips CD-i. As one of the earliest CD systems, that one always surprises me - especially with the quality of its FMV and audio, its ability to play movies, and its other features. Not bad when you consider the specs. I like the Atari 2600 pick by the VGC too. The Neo Geo is another - bringing home really impressive arcade-quality visuals in the early 90s, despite 16-bit hardware.

For an underachiever, I have to agree about Atari Jaguar. For a system marketed entirely on being 64-bits and supposedly the most powerful system ever, its games sure look like crap. The Sega 32X and Atari 7800 are a couple other dishonorable mentions.

strat
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Re: Overachieving and Underachieving consoles

Postby strat » January 9th, 2021, 9:30 pm

The Sega 32X and Atari 7800 are a couple other dishonorable mentions.


Thinking about it, Atari 7800 is probably the most underachieving console during its commercial lifespan. There's not one breakthrough piece of software that invented a new genre (weird stuff like Ninja Golf doesn't count), nothing that provides a lengthy, engaging play experience like a good deal of the NES and SMS library. It's all microwaved leftovers: Old computer and arcade ports, some weak rip-offs and a few curios. Even the Lynx and Jaguar were kinda, sorta high-tech for when they came out - 7800 was sitting in the warehouse for 2 years before its retail release.

More dishonorable mentions might go to SG-1000 (but that could be dismissed as Sega getting its feet wet in the console business), FM Towns Marty, Pioneer Laseractive, and maybe those console-ized computers C64GS, Amstrad GX4000 and Amiga CD32 if they count (probably not, you need to have potential to underachieve).


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