Which was really better - 64 or ZX?

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Which was better?

The 64. SID power!
28
41%
The ZX. Cheaper and cooler.
28
41%
I was the odd CPC kid
8
12%
Atari forever!
4
6%
Something else entirely
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 68

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Matt_B
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Re: Which was really better - 64 or ZX?

Post by Matt_B » Wed May 04, 2016 8:33 am

smila wrote:TIME magazine's 50 most influential gadgets
The c64 is #26
http://time.com/4309573/most-influential-gadgets/
Yes, but that only puts it 16 places on the list below a vibrator. :lol:

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smila
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Re: Which was really better - 64 or ZX?

Post by smila » Wed May 04, 2016 8:36 am

pretty important to the ladies tho innit ;)
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joefish
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Re: Which was really better - 64 or ZX?

Post by joefish » Wed May 04, 2016 9:06 am

And tell me the #1 device on that list isn't the result of a tech-journalist's own little w*nk-fest...

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Re: Which was really better - 64 or ZX?

Post by Antiriad2097 » Wed May 04, 2016 6:14 pm

It's also a US mag. In terms of influence in the UK, Sinclair's machines were unbeatable. Their low price got so many people into programming/gaming back when it was a new and exciting unknown. By the time the C64 arrived the dust had settled and computers had become much less of an oddity in the home. Sinclair took things from the hobbyist with the ZX80, to a wider area of less technical but intrigued people with the ZX81, then went mass market consumer with the Spectrum.
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Re: Which was really better - 64 or ZX?

Post by outdated_gamer » Wed May 04, 2016 6:37 pm

^It's a good question why the Speccy never did well in the US, despite attempts to bring it over. There ought to be a market niche for a lower cost alternative to Commodore over there too. Here's the Timex Sinclair 2068, a pretty neat looking Speccy-based computer intended for US audiences:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTsTdPh7ZJU

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Re: Which was really better - 64 or ZX?

Post by Matt_B » Wed May 04, 2016 7:35 pm

Timex made a number of mistakes. They were slow to get the Spectrum to market due to differing regulations on electrical interference between the US and UK, and compounded that by introducing a model that was incompatible with most of the existing software. You could buy a cartridge that replaced it's ROM with the original Spectrum one, but by that time the damage had been done.

They'd also developed a reputation for unreliability and poor customer service with the ZX81, which they had managed to sell in large numbers, so comparatively few of the people who'd bought that wanted to stick with them. Many instead took advantage of a trade-in deal from Commodore that offered them pretty much the full price of the ZX81 off a C64 when they upgraded, and the rest is pretty much history.

Given the ferocity of the price wars in the US in the early 80s, I suppose there was only going to be one winner. However, given Commodore's brushes with bankruptcy and the relatively high component cost of their machines - up until the C16 at least - it wasn't necessarily going to be them. There was always the potential for someone who could undercut them while remaining profitable, so long as they got the marketing and support right; suffice it to say that Timex didn't, and neither did Atari, Texas Instruments, Mattel or Coleco.

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Re: Which was really better - 64 or ZX?

Post by Antiriad2097 » Wed May 04, 2016 10:04 pm

How's the TRS80 regarded in the US? We had it as the Dragon 32 but it became something of an outsider here, yet the TRS80 seems to turn up in many coder's histories.
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Re: Which was really better - 64 or ZX?

Post by mjkerpan » Wed May 04, 2016 10:50 pm

Hardware-wise, the C64 wins hands-down. While the Spectrum had a somewhat faster CPU (it was clocked about 3x higher IIRC, but was also less efficient per-clock) and looked better in pictures, the C64 was better-built and the custom chips helped take some load off the CPU. The C64's built-in Atari/Commodore/Sega-standard joystick ports are also a plus. Software-wise, it's a harder call, but the C64 wins too. There are some amazing Spectrum games, but the C64's extra hardware abilities means that its best games are even better.

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Re: Which was really better - 64 or ZX?

Post by ivarf » Thu May 05, 2016 2:02 am

paranoid marvin wrote: For every Kung Fu Master there's a Chase HQ.
So what does this mean then? For every average C64 game there is a crap one?

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Re: Which was really better - 64 or ZX?

Post by killbot » Thu May 05, 2016 5:05 am

I had an Acorn Electron at the time but of the two computers being talked about here I would probably prefer the Spectrum.

In terms of the playing experience, a lot of the time it comes down to what you prefer - hi-res graphics in monochrome or blocky, low-res graphics in colour.
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Re: Which was really better - 64 or ZX?

Post by paranoid marvin » Thu May 05, 2016 9:02 am

ivarf wrote:
paranoid marvin wrote: For every Kung Fu Master there's a Chase HQ.
So what does this mean then? For every average C64 game there is a crap one?

It was in relation to arcade conversions. Kung Fu Master is a decent conversion on the C64 whilst the Speccy version is absolutely rubbish. Other way around, Chase HQ was a fab conversion for the Speccy where the C64 version is utterly awful.

Basically both machines had their fair share of decent and poor conversions, which is why I can't place either machine above the other.
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Re: Which was really better - 64 or ZX?

Post by paranoid marvin » Thu May 05, 2016 9:17 am

killbot wrote:I had an Acorn Electron at the time but of the two computers being talked about here I would probably prefer the Spectrum.

In terms of the playing experience, a lot of the time it comes down to what you prefer - hi-res graphics in monochrome or blocky, low-res graphics in colour.

Not all C64 games had blocky, lo-res colour compared to the Speccy. Ace of Aces and Infiltrator both look and play much better on the C64 (esp with a disk drive) than they do on the Spectrum.

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Re: Which was really better - 64 or ZX?

Post by AceGrace » Thu May 05, 2016 9:34 am

I love the Dragon with its 6809 processor. But.... so much green!

Still, have fantastic versions of Donkey Kong and Pitfall.

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Re: Which was really better - 64 or ZX?

Post by adippm82 » Thu May 05, 2016 10:12 am

If you really think about it though, the whole which is better argument should be mute where these two machines are concerned, the C64 cost way more than the Spectrum did, and I did not know a single person back in the day who had a disk drive, they were so expensive, and to add insult to injury, were pretty slow as well.

There was no way my family could afford a C64, but a Spectrum was just about affordable, and that was the beauty of it, a simple cheap machine that had a library of quality software behind it, it may have been monochrome with a fleshy keyboard, and poor sound in the beginning, but how many people got to experience computing and gaming who would have missed out if it had not come along, my answer is the same to anyone who tries to tell me how superior the C64 is over the Spectrum, and that is it bloody well should be with the price difference!

The Commodore 64 did drop in price of course, but by then I was enjoying my Spectrum 128k +2 with it's new sound and memory capabilities, and cared even less!

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Re: Which was really better - 64 or ZX?

Post by outdated_gamer » Sat May 07, 2016 11:53 am

Voted for the Speccy. The reasons are:

1. It was what I had.
2. While it's very clear that the C=64 was the technically better system, the ZX produced more impressive things, considering the memory, sound and graphical limitations (although I'm not a fan of colour clash and the improved sound, memory and keyboard of the 128K model were good things).
3. I like the colour palette it has, it feels a lot more vibrant than the C=64's one if done right and the look and feel of the base system is just iconic to say the least.
4. While I personally was not part of "the scene", it's pretty apparent that the Speccy was the cheapest way to learn coding on and the result is thousands of games, even more than the C=64 had.

With that said, both systems have their qualities so which was "better" is more a matter of perspective/preference. Of course we can discuss the technical things, but in the end it comes down to personal reasons, which the poll votes and opinions shared in the thread also reflect.

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