Retro Gamer - Issue 124

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Lost Dragon
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Re: Retro Gamer - Issue 124

Post by Lost Dragon » Wed Jan 29, 2014 8:38 pm

Mayhem wrote:
Lost Dragon wrote:but if you cannot understand my point of view that there's a massive gulf between writing a forum post and that of writing for a professional publication
There is, and I agree. Where I see Marty coming from, and I do see his PoV, is that people can and will read what people post on forums, and take that as fact, when there may actually be a degree of uncertainty about it. Propagation of incorrect information. Dress a lie up convincingly, and people think it's real, even if it's later proven to be false. They've forgotten by that point, and don't care. It's how many tabloids get their sales, and the later retractions are in a small box that nobody reads or recalls in the future.

Yes, I know that's definitely not what you're doing here, but having tried to cut through enough misinformation in pursuit of the Atari book, Marty still has his cautious hat on, it appears to me. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong here Marty.
I totally see where your coming from Mayhem, but where i would draw a distinct line between the 2 is somewhere like this:

I post something on a forum, which to best of my knowledge is 'true', i feel it's reasonable to put up, as i know it's source, unlike say something a quick Goggle search might throw up and i know it was made at that point, in realation to that incident, so by the by bloody good chance it's real.However, if it's not, by the very nature of the forum, others can say hang on, your almost right or...you don't want to believe that, here's 'proof' of what really happened and here's 2 accounts to 'prove it'.

Now, with a forum, an incorrect fact or statement can be ammended, very easily and a wealth of resources brought to bear to make a case.


On the flipside, i as a subscriber to RetroGamer magazine, paid my money, mag pops through door, ahhh article on Myth (sorry JD :oops: ) a game i know pretty damn well, now researcher has done his/her bit, tracked down publisher etc, but, oops, said publisher gets bit confused, gives a false claim (here ST Myth was finished and released), in it goes to the article, readers think it must be 100% correct as look, publishers named, spoken to directly, it's 'in' the magazine, it must be right...

Said magazine gets read by far, far greater % than the mags forum and there's no physical way to correct that error, unless following months issue prints a correction, (other than fact being corrected on forum and even then the magazine readership won't all be reading the post, let alone the forum), so falsehood is out in the wild.

Now Marty was kind enough to say he was taken on by RG as a 'fact checker' but is that just in terms of the magazine articles, or does it also include the forum? and (please DO NOT take offence at this Marty...) whilst Marty is, without question an expert in his field, from personal observations, i guess he's far more an expert on Atari in terms of the US side and not so much the UK side, as if he were, he'd perhaps have been aware of what the likes of Bob Gleadow were telling the UK press back in the day?.

I've seen this 1st hand on Atari Age forum, where US posters were totally unaware of things like the System 3 adverts in UK magazines proclaiming Last Nija coming soon on Atari 800/130 XL/XE and when it's mentioned, initally there's uproar.It's almost as if they panic as there's gasp, stuff..they were not aware of....hence the defensive approach i've encountered and it's only once likes of myself explain sources, things calm down.

Basically the door swings both ways, no-one, least of all myself is trying to disprove anyones claims or put ourselves in same league as Marty G and say we're resident Atari experts, as that'd be laughable and brings me back to difference between throw away forum posts and paid for work.

I've not read Marty (and Curt's) book,on Atari, but quick look at the blurb on Amazon talks of it being:nearly 8 years in the making, thousands of documents, 100's of interviews etc etc, which is fantastic, researched to the hilt, but then it's for a paid for product so as a potential buyer, i'd expect research of this type and the book to deliver articles with depth not found elsewhere, but you cannot seriousily expect anywhere near that level of research for a forum post, let alone an article in RG magazine, that'd just be crazy, the articles/post's just are'nt expected to stand up to that level of examination.Using the System 3/Myth feature again, researcher did everything he needed to do for that article, spoke to the right people etc, but errors still crept in and he was'nt aware of the C64 cartridge release either, until i mentioned it.

The simple fact is, if you go back a few years, RG lacked enough people with A8 knowledge and it showed.A8 versions of games at best got a mention, i saw more detailed looks at C16/BBc versions of games than the A8 in cases, the A8 version left off formats a game appeared on etc etc as the writers simply were not aware of them in any detail, if at all.Thankfully the situation has greatly improved, but it's clear there's still a lack of knowledge in terms of the UK side of Atari, be it from the corporation or gamers point of view as some of the staff writers only now discovering the hardware in any real depth (which is great) and did'nt own hardware at the time or are far more USA based in areas of expertise, which you need also as RG is sold overseas.

The forum allows likes of myself to post up extra layers of info to the articles in RG.The information is freely given, for benifit of all.As far as i'm aware no-one has yet mentioned Atari's UK TV ad.falling foul at a crucial time and the huge impact the delay had, there's unreported material on other Atari formats i've put up, people enjoyed (Jaguar 20 thread) got even more to come and yes, sources will be named.



Yapping about Atari UK claims/quotes etc is just a time killer for myself, harmless, i like to get debates going, shed new light on subjects, whatever, but it's not, nor do i intend it to become, my day job, or a source of any income, so no, i'm not, in a month of sundays going to do more than i currently do, when posting:Name the source and the time quote was made and let people decide for themselves if it was worth beliving.


Think Marty was a little 'harsh' on UK magazines as, along with Atari Uk figures being interviewed, they'd also interview and get the story from retailers and dealerships.Silica shop (main UK Atari dealer) often interviewed with it's MD, Tony Deane talking about A8 sales, along with marketing manager John Arundel, so the news articles always had balance, it was'nt just Atari UK's side of the story.

Other than Atari UK figures mentioned so far, you'd also find quotes from Atari V.P Sig Hartman, UK sales/marketing manager Paul Welch, etc so it was'nt just Bob Gleadow and Bob Katz who gave the interviews.So, you see there were multiple sources to these claims i've put up Marty.

Fact is, at time Atari said they were looking to replace the 7800 with the 65XE, there were around 350,000 A8 users in UK, if figures are to be believed (early'87) and by Autumn of 1987, the 2600 had a R.R.P of £49.99 here in UK and Atari UK saw it as a low end product, one aimed at the younger end of the market, the 65 XE was intended to replace it (or as Atari UK said, carry the flame for the A8 range), as the flagship A8 product.Atari Uk were hoping it'd revitalise theat sector of the UK market for them.So i'm more than happy to stand by claims i've made regarding the UK scene, based on research and multiple sources or accounts, i've to hand.If you or anyone else has differing material, please post it up.



:D Plus, if the claim made in the quote is wrong, i've told those who might want to correct it, just who said it, so they can track'em down, interview them and ask them just why they said it, rather than ask me to name source material, era quotes were made etc, so kinda baffled why they (who have the resources to find and interview Ex-Atari staff/coders etc for books and RG articles) are'nt jumping on Skype/Facebook/whatever else whizzkids use these days and asking the industry figures themselves...could be good few future articles in those themselves....

If i had the tools to track down these figures i'd search'em out and put the questions..so over to our Atari writers and fact finders to do just that.I've given you the quotes, you've the ball, run with it...

Lost Dragon
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Re: Retro Gamer - Issue 124

Post by Lost Dragon » Thu Jan 30, 2014 10:30 am

:wink: One for Marty G, who might not be aware of how some UK software houses treated arrival of Atari's 8-bit games console, The XE:

Ocean Chairman, David ward said although Ocean's existing A8 games were compatiable with the 65XE (not that they were in huge numbers!), Ocean had no plans to convert them to cartridge and talking about bringing it's NES games over from USA etc said it depended on how many machines were sold over the Xmas period and that as a publisher, Ocean did'nt need to predict what would happen in the market, just wait for the 'boom' to happen, then respond.

US Gold M.D said the up-front investment required, to make cartridge games was phenomenal, so this goes hand in hand with what Bob Gleadow was saying.In terms of UK support, you needed to be releasing a machine that catered for UK publishers, thus played tape and disk games.No-one was going to invest in cartridge production unless the user base was massive and as Ocean said, the Xmas sales period was essential to publishers and thus Atari UK loosing that TV advertising slot, must have had a big impact on sales.

Atari Uk knew there was already a large software base out there for the existing A8 owners and that needed to be avaiable to new console owners, as UK software support for a new Atari console was always going to be lukewarm at best, initally at least.

The 2600 at this time (Oct/Nov'87) was as i said earlier, retailing for £50 and Atari had set up 3 price groups for it's games (£6.99, £9.99 and £12.99 with likes of Pacman Jr and Solaris at the highest group, Stargate, Joust, Moon Patrol etc in mid-range and Defender, Space Invaders etc at lowest end).

The 2600 hardware redesign might have made it look more stylish, but there was no escaping fact it was by then archaic and in need of replacing here in UK as Atari's flagship games console.


This was message from Atari Uk in April 1987:Ronald Whitehouse, manager of marketing and software: 'We need and are actively looking for, more cartridge based software for the 65XE.The response has been excellent'.

May 87 saw Roland Whitehouse saying that he was reciving assurances from UK software houses that there would be plenty of software for the A8 range, espically the 65XE games machine...

Kinda went again'st what actual UK software houses appeared to be saying, judging by interviews and actual games converted....



Atari's pricing of the 65XE was'nt exactly genius either, given that little under a year before, you could buy a brand new Atari 800 and disk drive for less than the cost of a 65XE disk drive and the classified adverts were usually full of people selling A8 computers with stacks of games as they were looking to upgrade to say the ST or pick up a Master system ,C64 or something that had new, exciting games coming out, (something the A8 range and 65XE lacked).Oh and i believe Sam Tramiel singled out the 65XE as Atari's flagship product in it's games machine range at an '87 Hanover show, saying it's introduction would drive the company's growth in 1987.


Hopefully this has shed some light on the A8 scene in the UK for Marty and others, at the time the 65XE hit and i'm spoiling you now Marty, stacks of sources named and quoted from the 1987 period at Atari UK.

:lol:

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gman72
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Re: Retro Gamer - Issue 124

Post by gman72 » Fri Jan 31, 2014 8:26 am

All this fuss over bloody Atari.
“To gain your own voice, you have to forget about having it heard.” —Allen Ginsberg, WD

Lost Dragon
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Re: Retro Gamer - Issue 124

Post by Lost Dragon » Fri Jan 31, 2014 9:20 am

gman72 wrote:All this fuss over bloody Atari.

:wink: And a few principles....

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gman72
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Re: Retro Gamer - Issue 124

Post by gman72 » Fri Jan 31, 2014 2:50 pm

indeed :D
“To gain your own voice, you have to forget about having it heard.” —Allen Ginsberg, WD

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RuySan
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Re: Retro Gamer - Issue 124

Post by RuySan » Fri Jan 31, 2014 5:36 pm

I don't know if this has already been brought up, but i was quite disappointed with the claim that Virtua Racing was the first racing game that offered multiple camera views. I remember clearly that 4D Sports driving also had multiple cameras and that came out 2 years earlier.

The point is, it would have been nice to give some credit to some of these cult underdogs, like Lotus or Vroom, instead of always talking about the same games.
Image

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markopoloman
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Re: Retro Gamer - Issue 124

Post by markopoloman » Fri Jan 31, 2014 7:03 pm

Just read the last 3 pages and I think my head is going to implode :shock:

Deep breaths and long pauses needed from the Atari info chaps :wink:
OFF TOPIC DISCUSSIONS - http://retrocanteen.boards.net/

Lost Dragon
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Re: Retro Gamer - Issue 124

Post by Lost Dragon » Sat Feb 01, 2014 5:02 am

RuySan wrote:I don't know if this has already been brought up, but i was quite disappointed with the claim that Virtua Racing was the first racing game that offered multiple camera views. I remember clearly that 4D Sports driving also had multiple cameras and that came out 2 years earlier.

The point is, it would have been nice to give some credit to some of these cult underdogs, like Lotus or Vroom, instead of always talking about the same games.

Good point!.The 4D Sports games are often over-looked. 4D Sports Boxing came out in 1991? and was a polygon-based fighter with motion-capture etc, 2 areas next-gen consoles etc would go to great lengths to boast about in their games.

psj3809
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Re: Retro Gamer - Issue 124

Post by psj3809 » Sat Feb 01, 2014 5:32 am

markopoloman wrote:Just read the last 3 pages and I think my head is going to implode :shock:

Deep breaths and long pauses needed from the Atari info chaps :wink:
Ditto ! Come back fun articles about something like Space Harrier rather than some long winded 48 page chat about Atari !! ;)

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The Laird
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Re: Retro Gamer - Issue 124

Post by The Laird » Sat Feb 01, 2014 6:04 am

And it didn't involve me! :lol:

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gman72
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Re: Retro Gamer - Issue 124

Post by gman72 » Sun Feb 02, 2014 12:59 pm

WHO KNOWS THE MOST ABOUT ATARI?
Please Choose One Option.


1. The Laird

2. Lost Dragon

3. Marty G

:wink:
“To gain your own voice, you have to forget about having it heard.” —Allen Ginsberg, WD

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RodimusPrime
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Re: Retro Gamer - Issue 124

Post by RodimusPrime » Sun Feb 02, 2014 1:21 pm

Who cares the least about ATARI

1. ME

2. ME

3. OR ME

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The Laird
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Re: Retro Gamer - Issue 124

Post by The Laird » Sun Feb 02, 2014 2:44 pm

gman72 wrote:WHO KNOWS THE MOST ABOUT ATARI?
Please Choose One Option.


1. The Laird

2. Lost Dragon

3. Marty G

:wink:
Marty G - not even a valid question. But also - who cares?

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HalcyonDaze00
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Re: Retro Gamer - Issue 124

Post by HalcyonDaze00 » Sun Feb 02, 2014 2:51 pm

gman72 wrote:WHO KNOWS THE MOST ABOUT ATARI?
Please Choose One Option.


1. The Laird

2. Lost Dragon

3. Marty G

:wink:
Lost Dragon, no question about that, his stuff can be pretty interesting to read too, which makes a nice change.

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gman72
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Re: Retro Gamer - Issue 124

Post by gman72 » Tue Feb 04, 2014 5:58 pm

HalcyonDaze00 wrote:
gman72 wrote:WHO KNOWS THE MOST ABOUT ATARI?
Please Choose One Option.


1. The Laird

2. Lost Dragon

3. Marty G

:wink:
Lost Dragon, no question about that, his stuff can be pretty interesting to read too, which makes a nice change.
Pretty much agree with that. I would love to see Lost Dragon let loose in RG with an original Playstation article... class... he does have an interesting way of laying down the facts, not to do the other guys any disservice but to my mind he could inject something different than Atari this and Atari that. :D
“To gain your own voice, you have to forget about having it heard.” —Allen Ginsberg, WD

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