A Video Game POD

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by loneranger, Aug 25, 2009.

  1. loneranger Well-Known Member

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    Haven't seen many of these:

    What if the 360 had a blu-ray, and the PS3 a hd-dvd player?

    How would the industry look today?
     
  2. Sachyriel Banned

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    Not that much of a change, the N-Wii still outsells both.

    How about if Sega teamed up with Playstation in order to maintain dominance?
     
  3. loneranger Well-Known Member

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    I wonder what an Apple-Sega merger in '91 would look like?
     
  4. Nicole Parallel Universe Imajin

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    You'd have to change the entire development path of Blu-ray and HD-DVD... considering that a large part of the Blu-ray development was done by Sony.

    Though the interesting thing here is that both consoles come with HD media- this drives up the cost of the Xbox. If they're the same price, this could help Sony, as the "Playstation" brand would still have some strength... though, does MS still have its headstart?

    A huge mess that could threaten to bring down both companies, I would fear...
     
  5. loneranger Well-Known Member

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    After looking it up, Microsoft is the only non-Japanese company in the gaming business :p:D:confused:;)
    Neways, maybe with enough financial turmoil, we could have a POD bring in some new company that buys the good parts of the other companies we know today. In the spirit of "Wonder Comics" probably.
     
  6. Sachyriel Banned

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    Well, in the third-party game console business. There are hundreds of consoles that play games like video poker and stuff.
     
  7. loneranger Well-Known Member

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    What about this idea?
     
  8. loneranger Well-Known Member

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    bumpity quit ignoring my threads, assholes!!! :mad::mad::mad:
     
  9. The Kiat I'm going to Nixonland!

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    1984: No video game crash. Atari maintains control over what is published for their.. ah-hem... "console" if that is what one can call the 2600.
     
  10. Sachyriel Banned

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    You mean how Microsoft bought Bungie?;)
     
  11. Nicole Parallel Universe Imajin

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    I don't understand the hatred for the 2600... Atari had already came out with the 5200 (much like the original Xbox, it was in fact a repackaged PC- in this case an Atari 400/800) and was working on the 7800. (The 7800 we got in OTL was limited compared to what was planned- Jack Tramiel killed it and then brought it back at the bare minimum to get some more money to prop up his PC business)

    Anyway, you can't just say "No video game crash", you have to look at the causes of the crash. Which was in part way too much crappy software- Atari actually wanted to prevent all other companies from making software for their console, (there's an interesting POD right there, I think...) but ended up with no control at all. But even the non-Atari consoles were hit hard, Coleco and Mattel left the business entirely.
     
  12. Pepper13 Active Member

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    Wellllllll

    Halo 3 would be thousands of times better. Fallout three would be insane and Microsof twould be so rich that they could buy the United States Government and the rest of America and make it thousands of times better.
     
  13. loneranger Well-Known Member

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    I take offense to that statement :mad:
     
  14. loneranger Well-Known Member

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    Seriously, though, that Sony-Sega thing sounds cool.
     
  15. Nicole Parallel Universe Imajin

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    It's a decent enough idea, but would Sony be willing to partner with another video game console maker after the SNES CD disaster?
     
  16. Sideshowbob78 Well-Known Member

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    Sony did try to partner with Sega or at least Sega of America. Problem was that Sega of America didn't tell the home office ahead of time that they were interested in working with Sony and when they finally did the home office of Sega said no to the deal. As such Sony wasn't just burned by Nintendo they were also burned by Sega its just that the deal with Sega isn't well known.
     
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  17. Emperor Norton I Calbear's Love Child

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    Woah, the X-Box 360 has an HD-DVD player? Hot damn, I can watch my Star Trek DVDs now!

    But...uh...anyway, I don't see much changing.
     
  18. Torqumada Breast Man and urban legend

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    You could buy an external HD-DVD drive.

    Torqumada
     
  19. Sigma7 Foe of The Fates

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    I wouldn't call the 5200 a repackaged computer, at least, not in the sense where it would have been a true repackage of the existing Atari 800. There were serious design flaws that made the system totally incompatible with cartridge based 800 software, for example, rather than using a cutdown pure 800 board, they altered a cutdown 800 board that created a total mess and shrank the pool of available software down to a pathetic level. Couple that with it's incompatibility to the 800 computer and game development is not only overly-complicated for the guys who already did work for Atari Games but also discourages prospective programmers who would either one day work for them or set up third party studios to enlarge the pool of available games. Now, Warner not wanting third party developers to produce software for their machines was stupidity defined anyway, but that speaks to the very heart of Atari's problems during the Warner period: Warner was an entertainment media company, not a tech firm. They didn't run Atari very well at all and totally squandered a veritable monopoly of the industry through holding up innovation and development of successor products, then rushing to release the successor products to the point of putting pure garbage on the shelves to replace the old products.

    The result was the release of two of the best examples of the proverbial Epic Fail: the aforementioned 5200 and the 1200 home computer (which was such a colossal dissaster it would take it's own post just to explain) that caused sales of the new merchandice to stagnate while increasing the sales of reduced price but outdated models (2600 and 800).

    The POD you need for Atari survival are:

    1. Nolan Bushnell sells Atari earlier and to a tech firm, rather than Warner Communications. Best time to do this is 1975 and to Motorola.

    Here's why:

    Motorola wasn't just a tech firm, more importantly, besides communications electronics, Motorola was a major producer of computer chips, specifically, the far mar capable 6800 series of 8 bit processors and the exquisite 68000 series processors (which become more important long term).

    Bushnell sells to Motorola, Atari machines will be built with in-house Motorola chips far more capable than the MOS Tech chips everyone else was using (without the price tag that other firms would have to pay, a big reason the MOS 6502s were used in the first place).

    As a tech firm, they're way more likely to give Bushnell and more importantly, Jay Miner, far more lattitude in what they can do.

    Warner fired Bushnell in 1978 after two years of arguments between Warner management and Bushnell over the 2600. Bushnell estimated by 1976 that the 2600 would become obsolete within three years of it's release and as such, began developing it's replacement before the 2600 even hit store shelves. Warner management wasn't buying it and it created constant tension between the engineers at Atari and their bosses at Warner.

    Motorola, by contrast would totally understand the rapidly evolving technological landscape and greenlight Bushnell's projects and, most importantly, not interfere in the process. Besides, the new units create more consumer need for Motorola chips and also, with Jay Miner developing the custom chipsets like ANTIC, POKEY and TIA, etc...Atari's creating new technology in their labs for Motorola to sell elsewhere to other clients. This is good buisness for Motorola.

    Figure that, if the purchase goes down in 1975, Atari gets a better 2600 to market by 1977/78. Three year life span estimated by Bushnell puts them on track to release a much better 5200 in 1980/81.

    Where the consoles go from there, on what development or release shedule, I can't say. I know that Bushnell saw the 2600 as only having a three year shelf life, but it's unclear as to how long he thought it's successor system would hold up. I would presume that Atari beats Sega to market with a 16 bit console, due to the fact that:

    A. The MCP68000 that powered the Sega Genesis is made by Motorola and would be accessable to Atari for development much sooner and far more cheaply.

    and

    B. Said system would probably be a cutdown ST board (which would, ITTL be developed by Jay Miner) in a console casing with game-specific custom hardware and chips (with either Marble Madness or Gauntlet as the pack-in) and probably ready for release not long after the first ST series of computers become available in 1983/84 (bumped up from OTL 1985 as, without Warner driving Miner out, no interference, etc... the development process is probably accelerated, especially when Miner gets his hands on the 68000 proto-type chips a year or two sooner than their 1979 general market release OTL) figure 1985/86. What a 16 bit game console does to the NES and Sega Master System in such a TL could be devestating.

    Another interesting butterfly of a 1975 sale to Motorola would involve an Atari employee and his genius friend in 1976 when they present their proto-type home computer to Bushnell.

    OTL, Bushnell was trying to broker the sale of Atari and felt that such a machine (built from parts scavenged from Atari) wouldn't be of much interest to the market Atari was gunning for.

    ITTL, the duo show their machine to Bushnell and now Bushnell has to consider the fact that their machine uses Motorola chips and, even if HE doesn't see a market for it, the guys upstairs might be interested in adding another outlet for chips to their product line.

    The Atari employee?

    Steve Jobs.

    His genius friend?

    Steve "The Woz" Wozniak.

    The Machine: the Apple I.

    ITTL, 1976: the Motorola guys see the potential and, most importantly, the expansion of the chip market into the home market, an inroad nobody else really has and an opprotunity to capitalize and grab early market share.

    Jobs and Woz get their own lab to further develop their home computer in conjunction with Jay Miner's lab where Miner's developing custom chipsets. Possibly, the project bleeds over into the 2600 development, when someone figures out that total compatibility between the two machines encourages third party software development by providing prospective software engineers with a tool for creating that software.

    End result: The Atari 800 ends up being a beautiful fusion of the best aspects of the Apple II and Atari 800 OTL with a far more capable processor than either machine had OTL and much better graphics and sound than Apple ever had.

    Prediction:

    With all that talent and potential for inovation under one roof, Atari's producing consoles and computers that none of the early comeptitors could even touch. The 8 bit era forrays of Commodore, Tandy, Texas Instruments, etc..are either short or abandoned completely.

    Mighty IBM feels the heat once the Miner/Jobs designed ST (think of it as a hybrid of the best aspects of the Mac and Amiga only at a lower consumer cost) hits the market not long after the original IBM 51/50 PC.
    Atari tees off on the IBM PC with the slogan "The Atari ST: Twice their power. Half their price." along with the early introduction of the GUI (Graphical User Interface) Operating System, known as GEM (Graphical Environment Manager) which is kinda like Windows...except two to three years earlier and without the frequent crashes.

    From 1985 on, things are less clear. There's a possibility that, if Atari releases a 16 bit system in 1985, the NES isn't released as an 8-bit, it's released as a 16-bit console, or there's no way they can compete. Same goes for Sega, either kick out a Genesis five years sooner or forget about it.

    If that happens (and it's a good chance it does), then you've got a real console war as Sega and Nintendo, who would have made fortunes off home ports of their popular arcade games for the earlier Atari systems cease porting for Atari.

    Initially, Sega will suffer and Nintendo will give Atari a run for their money riding the heady tide of their popular franchise titles (Super Mario Bros., Zelda, Metroid) that are only available for the NES. Third party development evens the field though as Atari's 16 bit series of consoles are totally compatible with their ST computers, thus making console ports of ST games very easy to make. Atari Games also has some games of their own to lean back on; Gauntlet, Marble Madness, Paper Boy, perhaps they buy out Midway which gives them exclusivity to games like Spy Hunter.

    Beyond the console wars of the second half of the 80's, it becomes less clear. A lot of things can happen and go wrong, so scrying past the probable introduction of the first 32-bit systems in 1989/90 is impossible.

    But if you want to save Atari, you have to POD a lot sooner than The Crash or even the 5200/1200 mess.

    You need Atari to be owned by a tech concern, rather than an entertainment media concern.
     
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  20. Nicole Parallel Universe Imajin

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    Very interesting post! I'm not going to quote it because it's so long...

    I think TTL's "ST" would have more in common with the Miner-designed Amiga than the OTL ST, wouldn't it? Not sure the ST brand would be used, as that's rumored to be a subtle reference to "Sam Tramiel"... though of course it officially meant "16/32" in reference to the mentioned Motorola chips.

    Your Motorola-Atari sounds rather like Commodore International, which acquired MOS and used that to great success with the C64- they dropped that business model in favor of the Motorola chips, though.

    If all Nintendo has is the 8-bit Famicom in 1985, they may decide to not enter the US market at all at that point...