Monday, October 28, 2013

Hardware Collecting, Part 2

So... yeah, I might be a little obsessed with this little hobby of mine.  But before I launch into an update on the status of my collection, I'm going to revise my classification scheme here.  It strikes me as a little odd that both the Atari 2600 and the Atari 5200 are considered "2nd generation" game consoles.  It's the sort of thing that makes you go, "wuh?" because of how counter-intuitive it is.  Besides, properly speaking, Pong consoles (like Atari Pong, Coleco Telstar, and Magnavox Odyssey) aren't true home computer games, so calling them "1st console generation" doesn't make any kind of sense to me.  These are proto video game consoles, a primitive ancestor of the real thing.  I would rather exclude these consoles from the classification system altogether, and split what's currently called the 2nd generation into 1st generation (1977-1979) home computer games and 2nd generation home computers games (1980-1983).  It makes more sense: this way, the 1st generation of game consoles includes the Atari 2600 and its similar contemporaries, the Fairchild Channel F, Bally Astrocade, and Maganvox Odyssey 2.  The 2nd generation includes all of those systems with improved graphics and keypad controllers (or some other gimmick) meant to compete with the Atari 2600: the Intellivision, Colecovision, Emerson Arcadia, Atari's own 5200, and the MB Vectrex.  (The RCA Studio II is so shitty that it probably belongs in the 0th generation category along with Pong and Telstar machines.)

That would make the breakdown look like this:

1st Gen: Atari 2600, Bally Astrocade, Fairchild Channel F, Magnavox Odyssey 2 (I now have all of these).
2nd Gen: Atari 5200, Mattel Intellivision, ColecoVision, MB Vectrex, Emerson Arcadia 2001 (I have all of these too).
3rd Gen: Atari 7800, Nintendo NES, Sega SMS (got 'em).
4th Gen: Nintendo SNES, Sega Genesis, NEC TurboGrafx-16, SNK Neo Geo, Nintendo Gameboy, Sega Game Gear, Atari Lynx (I still need the CD add-on for the TG-16 or the Duo model that includes it built in, and of course I don't have a Neo Geo system).
5th Gen: Nintendo N64, Sega Saturn, Sony PS1, 3DO Interactive Multiplayer, Atari Jaguar, Nintendo Virtual Boy, Neo Geo Pocket Color (I still don't have a Jaguar, Virtual Boy, or Neo Geo Pocket).
6th Gen: Nintendo Gamecube, Sega Dreamcast, Sony PS2, Microsoft XBOX, Nintendo Gameboy Advance (all set here).

Early Home Computers: I've so far collected a Commodore VIC-20, C64, and C128; Atari 800 and XE, Apple II, TI-99/4A, and Tandy CoCo2.  I'll probably want to get a CoCo3 at some point too, since that has some games that won't run on the earlier model (whereas the CoCo2 is fully compatible with the CoCo1, so that one isn't needed, and the earlier TRS-80 machines aren't really gaming platforms at all).  And, yes, there are other 8-bit gaming computers out there (Sinclair Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, Acorn Atom), but those are all just too, well, British and quite off my Yankee radar.  And since I have all the 8-bit game consoles, that means that the CoCo3 is the sole remaining 8-bit platform that I don't have yet!  :)

Later Home Computers: Here, I have a classic Macintosh and an iMac, and several iterations of the PC lineage (an XT, a Tandy 1000, 286 and i386 and a couple of Pentium machines... plus enough parts that I could probably cobble together a working i486 if I had to).  The Mac and PC platforms are well-covered.  But I still have plenty of holes in the 16-bit computing area: Apple IIgs, Commodore Amiga (gotta have both the A500 and A1200 eventually), and Atari ST (the 1040STE being the best model to get here).  These four computers are my holy grail machines now... someday... someday...

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