That whole thing about the NES being marketed as a toy and not a console...I don't buy it.

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Calavera
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That whole thing about the NES being marketed as a toy and not a console...I don't buy it.

Post by Calavera »

I was watching a video where yet again they repeated that story about how stores didn't want to carry game consoles but the NES was marketed as a toy with ROB the robot and not a games console. I don't really believe that. People and retailers aren't that stupid.

No this isn't a game console! It's a toy. Yeah you can buy game cartridges for it just like the previous game consoles but it's a Control Deck for ROB not a console!

Maybe there is some truth to that story but idk. Also if ROB was only made to pass the NES off as a toy then why did they make a Famicom version too? Gaming was doing fine in Japan in 83-84 unlike the US.
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Re: That whole thing about the NES being marketed as a toy and not a console...I don't buy it.

Post by pixel »

Calavera wrote: Wed Feb 21, 2024 6:46 am People and retailers aren't that stupid.
You give people too much credit. :owink: I wasn't around when the NES launched, but I assume R.O.B. was a marketing trojan horse. Nintendo held him up in the first months before the wider U.S. launch to get attention at CES and in the California/NYC test markets. The bar was pretty low back then for interactive entertainment, so "slow-moving robot that's barely connected to a video game" was enough to get some hype. Super Mario Bros. was the killer app, and to a lesser extent Duck Hunt.

The Gaming Historian's video on R.O.B. feels the most accurate for context.


Funnily enough, the Gaming Historian used an article from my hometown's newspaper. The photographer even taught my photojournalism class in college. But it does show that even in South Dakota, the video game crash did exist to some extent. But even amidst the whole thing, arcade vendors figured sales would pick up again.

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Re: That whole thing about the NES being marketed as a toy and not a console...I don't buy it.

Post by Calavera »

pixel wrote: Wed Feb 21, 2024 7:17 am But it does show that even in South Dakota, the video game crash did exist to some extent. But even amidst the whole thing, arcade vendors figured sales would pick up again.
I'd like to hear about the video game crash of 1983 from someone who was around when it happened. I just get tired of people born in the 90s and heck even the 2000s nowadays repeating the same thing about how ET is the worst game ever and caused the video game crash.

I feel like if you were a kid who was into video games at that time you probably wouldn't have known or noticed any kind of videogame crash. I looked up some of the consoles of the time to see what games were released in 1984 because that is supposed to be the worst year. Tons of games were still released in 1983. In 1984 there were

7 games for the Atari 2600. While the small number of games could be blamed on the crash it could also be because the 2600 was looking pretty outdated by 1984. Only 26 games were released on the 2600 from 1985-1991.

16 games for the Atari 5200

And a whopping 66 games for the Colecovision

So while there a crash in the videogame market I'm not sure it affected the average consumer as much as people on Youtube would like you to believe. I only looked up consoles there were also tons of games coming out for computers at the time. There were probably 100s of games released for the Commodore 64 in 1984.

Was it really a videogame crash in 1983 or was it more of a crash of Atari? The way people like to tell it is like in 1983-1984 videogames were basically dead and forgotten yet there were plenty of games coming out and plenty of people buying them. They say retailers stopped carrying video games but how true is that? I wasn't around so I can't say for sure but I'd guess there were still plenty of stores selling video games. I'm gonna take a guess and say K-Mart,Toys R US and Sears never stopped carrying video games.

I'd like to hear about the crash of 1983 from a group of 20 people or so who were really into gaming during the early to late 80s. Like I said I'm not denying that was a crash of sorts I just think it has gotten blown out of proportion over the years. People act like if it wasn't for Nintendo that video games may have died out completely and I don't believe that. If the NES had never existed then the Sega Master System would have probably been as popular as the NES was. The Genesis would have most likely still came out but may have come out a few years later and been more powerful if the Master System was still selling well in 1989. My opinion is if the NES hadn't come out and dominated the market something else would have.

If the NES hadn't come out things would have went differently but overall I think would be more or less the same. If the NES or Master System had never been released then the TurboGrafx 16 would have probably been the number one console, who knows?
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Re: That whole thing about the NES being marketed as a toy and not a console...I don't buy it.

Post by pixel »

The video game crash was the crash of Atari. That's how large of a market share Atari had in the United States. There were other systems, but they paled in comparison to the 2600's success. My family had an Intellivision in the day and they'd describe it as a rarity.

The crash is a market correction to match the 2600's poor hardware capabilities, and the stagnation caused from Atari's dominance and lack of business acumen. The U.S. home market did slow down for those few years, but the arcades survived.

The NES did have a key feature over the Master System: Custom cartridge chips. The Master System annihilated the NES on stock system performance. Just look at the original NES lineup compared to the SMS, Sega out powered Nintendo out of the gate.

But those NES mapper chips allowed developers to squeeze every drop out of the system. I might be biased, but later NES titles with an MMC chip outshined any SMS title.

I also think Super Mario Bros. made the biggest difference. It was one of those games that any average person wanted to play. I don't know if the Master System had anything that equals SMB's accessibility.

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Re: That whole thing about the NES being marketed as a toy and not a console...I don't buy it.

Post by pixel »

Your question about asking people who were there made me search YouTube. I found this awesome video of someone watching his family's Christmas videos:



It made me think: People were still buying Atari games, but it just wasn't the popular craze anymore. It reminds me of the Wii. There was such a sharp drop off in popularity. There was a Wii in every house back in 2008. But by the Wii U, the bubble burst. People still played video games, just not ones like the Wii anymore.

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