WPTV and WSM to become ABC affiliation in the 80s

Chapter 323: ABC sells videogame unit
January 15, 1987

ABC/Hearst said that they agreed to sell the videogame division of ABC Video Enterprises, ABC Software Inc., to Acclaim Entertainment, Inc., a company that was founded by Greg Fischbach in 1983.

Some of ABC's key employees joined Acclaim.

Acclaim will have five Nintendo titles a year, a title previously inherited by ABC when it set up the game division.

ABC said that they had to exit the video game business to focus on more activity.
Late January 1987: Despite his Success of Composing the theme music to the Game Show Finders Keepers, Mike Post has plans to release a CD which includes the themes to Finders Keepers, Hunter, The Phil Donahue show and the theme to the NBC legal drama LA Law which premiered in September of last year, The CD will be released in the Fall along with the LP and Cassette Tape Versions.
Chapter 324: Taito took full control of the unit
January 19, 1987

Taito America Inc. announced that they would took over control of Zenith and General Electric's shares in the Nintendo-bound company VideoGroup Inc., which would be absorbed into Taito America Corporation.

VideoGroup had a strong start with five games on the Nintendo Entertainment System, most notably Space Invaders.

General Electric and Zenith however pulled out of the videogame business.

VideoGroup Inc. was formed in early 1986 as a consortium consisting of Zenith and General Electric (both 25% each) and Taito America Inc. (both 50% interest) in the group to sell Nintendo games.
Chapter 325: Sega Disk System to be released
January 21, 1987

Sega Enterprises Ltd. has announced the release of a floppy disk add-on, Sega Mark III Floppy Disk-Drive, which consists to run 3 and a half inch floppy disks, which was a spiritual successor to the Super Control Station SF-7000.

The United States Department of Justice had approved Sega's acquisition of the Coleco video game division.

Atari and Hasbro quickly signed negotiations to release the Control Vision in 1988, to be demonstrated at the Summer CES 1987, under the name Atari 10400, a reference to the past Atari consoles.

Nintendo of Japan also announced plans to launch a VHS-based add-on in collaboration with Sony Corporation, Famicom Cassette System, being able to run VHS tapes, as a companion add-on to the Famicom and the Famicom Disk System.
Chapter 326: This just in!
January 26, 1987

Harmony Gold USA, Inc. has cleared Robotech III: The Odyssey for all stations who had already cleared Robotech and Robotech II: The Sentinels. The Odyssey will have 65 episodes each, like The Sentinels.

It is reported that Robotech IV would come out in the fall of 1988 (ultimately, Streamline Pictures has been butterflied away).

Harmony Gold has plans to produce ten games, five for the Nintendo Disk System and five for the Nintendo Entertainment System. These originally came out in Japan.

Nintendo agreed to Sony that they would stop censoring any titles, so Sony decided to let Nintendo to release the titles on the Nintendo Disk System uncut. It is reported that Nintendo of America and Sony would collaborate on the Nintendo Cassette System, an addon for the Nintendo Entertainment System that plays VHS tapes instead of floppy disks or cartridges. It would compete with the Atari 10400.
Chapter 327: Sega/Coleco is done
January 30, 1987

Sega of America, Inc. has officially completed its acquisition of Coleco's video game division as well as its stake in MasterVision. Sega is ready to rebrand the MasterVision as the Sega Master System.

Sega pulled out the original MasterVision from store shelfs and began inserting the Sega Master System in its place.

Coleco began divesting most of the assets that led to its demise in 1988.

Coleco felt hurt that they lost the video game business, but Sega is more than pleased by launching their own video game consoles.
Chapter 328: More prospects
February 2, 1987

Nintendo of America, Inc. said that the Nintendo Disk System had gained high sales, so Nintendo had to prepare the disk-based save state titles The Legend of Zelda, and Metroid, both are slated for release later that year.

Nintendo has an ongoing contract with Rare, Ltd. to distribute their game titles.

The original five Disk System titles were the bestsellers that Billboard gave them number one.

It is dictated that newer albums have been sold on the Billboard Top 100, so there is speculation that the Nintendo Cassette System, a VHS-based console developed by Sony would gain high sales, and will be announced at the Summer CES 1987.
Chapter 329: Jacksonville station swap frequencies
February 6, 1987

WJCT-TV, the community PBS station in Jacksonville, and WJKS, the NBC affiliate in Jacksonville announced that they would swap frequencies, with WJCT moving to channel 17 and WJKS moving to channel 7.

It is reported that channel 17 was converted to a non-commercial license, while channel 7 is converting to a commercial license.

WJKS-TV was a NBC affiliate since 1980 when WTLV moved to ABC.

The reason why the frequency swap cited that they wanted to get NBC back to VHF in the Jacksonville market to increase ratings and transmitter booth towards the Jacksonville metropolitan area.
Sega Enterprises Ltd. has announced the release of a floppy disk add-on, Sega Mark III Floppy Disk-Drive, which consists to run 3 and a half inch floppy disks, which was a spiritual successor to the Super Control Station SF-7000.

Nintendo of Japan also announced plans to launch a VHS-based add-on in collaboration with Sony Corporation, Famicom Cassette System, being able to run VHS tapes, as a companion add-on to the Famicom and the Famicom Disk System.
Like the idea of Sega releasing a floppy disk add-on for the Sega Mark III to compete with the Famicom Disk System.

A VHS-based add-on for the Famicom? Now that's a cool idea! I wonder how and if it would be possible to emulate Famicom Cassette System games.
Chapter 330: Game events just in!
February 13, 1987

As the proposed Sega/Nintendo signing was to be demonstrated at the Summer CES 1987, Atari had extended its Nintendo license for about five more years left on its contract. Atari would develop another big title for the NES.

Atari Games got the rights to the pre-1984 Atari library to the consoles with the permission of Atari Corporation.

It is reported that Atari Corporation was in trouble of facing Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and considered it merging with Atari Games Corporation, reversing a split that took place in 1984.

Millipede and Centipede were due to be out in the April of 1987 for the NES.
Chapter 331: New videogames is in!
February 17, 1987

Trojan for the NES is out this month, and new videogamers, most notably from the Computer Entertainer revealed it. It is revelaed that a new Disk System game, Super Mario Bros. 2, a new selection of levels from Super Mario Bros. is out and got positive reception.

Super Mario Bros. 2 (IOTL it was The Lost Levels) was released first in Japan on June 3, 1986, and it was out today.

Nintendo planned a compilation for the Disk System called The Super Mario Bros. Saga comprising the first two games, all for two players each.

The Super Mario Bros. Saga will be demonstrated at the Summer CES 1987, and side A comprising the Super Mario Bros. game and side B comprising the Super Mario Bros. 2 game, with loads and loads of levels and content merged together.
Chapter 332: Floppy disks more profitable
February 20, 1987

It is reported that Nintendo that the Famicom Disk System is more profitable than the Family Computer, as floppy disk drives are more popular than cartridge game titles, so it was easier to produce.

Sega is officially releasing a competitor to the Famicom Disk System, the Sega Mark III Floppy Disk Drive, and has plans to go to the Summer CES 1987, where it was planned for release this summer as the Master System Floppy Disk Drive.

The Disk Drive's launch games were Action Fighter, World Grand Prix, The Ninja and Rambo: First Blood Part II, which were ports of cartridge games, and has plans for Sega to release Phantasy Star to the Disk Drive in the fall of 1987.

A planned release of the Nintendo/Sony collaborated Famicom Cassette System VHS adapter was proposed for the summer of 1987, with a US release this fall, that marked the beginning of a Nintendo/Sony relationship (the PlayStation is butterflied away, so we got the Super Nintendo CD). Other competing systems include Action Max and the Atari 10400.
Chapter 333: Details of new VHS systems unveiled
February 23, 1987

Sega Enterprises, Ltd., a Japanese game company announced its plans to launch a Mark III Cassette Adapter, along with a North American counterpart, the Master System Cassette Adapter, a VHS recorder/cassette player, designed to compete with the Famicom Cassette System, as well as Atari 10400 and Action Max. The details were exactly like the Disk one, except with a VHS recorder instead of a floppy disk.

Nintendo talked to Sony reps to develop the previously lost 1974 game Fasincation, which was an adult version of Wild Gunman, which had a cartridge version on the NES recently. The arcade prototype was at Shinjuku, and Sony will produce the cassette version of the game from the 16mm reels. Although first and second party Cassette System and regular NES games would remain subject to Nintendo of America's censorship guidelines in the West, while third-party Cassette System and Sony-produced games would be exempt.

The project was led by Sony reps, which include Norio Ohga and Ken Kutaragi, along with the help of Nintendo R&D1 and reps including Hiroshi Yamauchi and Minoru Arakawa, who helped with the design of the console. The details said it was like the Famicom Disk System, except with a VHS player.

Nintendo Co., Ltd and Sony Corporation officially signed a deal, with conversions of Laser Clay titles, as well as a full-motion video interactive game for the cassette system, Serve & Protect, which was produced by Sony. Both Square and Konami demanded to Sony to create mature-themed games without the censorship guidelines ere given to them by Nintendo. Sony and Nintendo would collaborate on future systems.


"Sony had a terrific job producing their own VHS players, and we had a deal with Nintendo to do a VHS cassette player, and VHS was popular around 12 million homes, and will be the best deal, and for the next ten months, we did" - Ken Kutaragi, Japan Tech News, December 3, 2001, about the earliest history of Sony systems.
Chapter 334: Sony to buy Harmony Gold
February 27, 1987

Sony Corporation of America announced a $965 million intent to purchase distributor Harmony Gold USA, Inc., owners of the Robotech franchise, including the highly successful Robotech anime series and Robotech II: The Sentinels.

Harmony Gold has just recently launched its videogame division (it would eventually evolve into Sony Interactive Entertainment). Clients include Square Co., Ltd., based in Japan, and plans to work on The Crystal Dragon for the Nintendo Disk System.

Carl Macek still ran Harmony Gold, albeit with animation veterans Jerry Beck and Fred Patten joining in to distribute more anime. It is widely expected that Harmony Gold product would become the centerpiece of the Nintendo Cassette System.

This predated Sony's purchase of Columbia Pictures Entertainment two years later, as well as its acquisition of CBS Records later that year. The Sega Graphic Board is out next Tuesday.