• Famicom was the most powerful console system to date, with a dedicated chip to process graphics • They approached Atari to manufacture and distribute the Famicom • Atari declined to get into business with Nintendo, in part due to the Coleco Adam dispute • Nintendo decided to launch it in North America themselves, but they renamed it first
Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) • Had a new innovative controller designed by Gunpei Yokoi, a light gun, and a “Robot Operating Buddy” • 500, 000 systems sold in Japan within 2 months of release • By 1990, Nintendo ’ s earnings would be $3.34 billion, with 48 million systems sold worldwide • They would also control 90% of the international console market
How different would the videogame industry be if that deal had gone through?
The Atari Jaguar (1993) Atari releases the Jaguar console to compete with the 3DO Claimed it was 64 bit console It had two 64 bit graphic chips, but only 16 bits of RAM Launched with only five mediocre titles (Cybermorph, Evolution: Dino Dudes) Atari actually began running infomercials to try to get it to sell
1996: The End of Atari • Atari Corporation is “reversed-merged” into disk drive maker JTS • In 1998, JTS sold the Atari name and its games properties to Hasbro Interactive for $5 million
Atari Reborn • 2000: Infogrames buys the Atari name and begins releasing games under the Atari label • 2003: Infogrames renames itself to Atari
He’s Baaack • 2010: Nolan Bushnell joines Atari’s Board of Directors • 2011: Atari declares bankruptcy • 2014: Atari changes its focus to “real money gaming”
Yes. They Are Making Another Console.
The Fairchild Camera and Instruments Company’s Channel F (1976) • Engineering Jerry Lawson creates the Channel F, the first console with interchangeable game cartridges • That technology was licensed from Alpex Corporation, who held patent #4,026,555, aka The 555 Patent • Video game systems that “operate using random access memory (RAM) that creates an entire image bit-by-bit before it is displayed on the screen. “ • Console was not successful, and largely forgotten…
…Until the Mid 80s • Seeing all these companies like Atari, Coleco, etc., using game cartridges, Alpex started suing • Several, including Atari, settled out of court • One company decided to fight
Never Sue Nintendo • Cutting through the legalese and double-talk, Nintendo claimed the Ampex technology was not as advanced, in particular, NES cartridges had Picture Processing Units (PPUs) • Nintendo also said that Ampex cartridges could display “linear player images” but not “animated cartoon characters” like theirs • The judge initially ruled against Nintendo • But it was reversed when the case went to appeals court
- Spring '20
- Video game console, Nintendo Entertainment System, Atari, Atari opens