Retro Gaming

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Re: Retro Gaming

Post by Orwell on Wed Apr 12, 2017 7:32 am

... actually, I remember a laundromat across the road from the pub.... I got very consistent washing clothes at one time in my life.. Thursday nights... like clockwork... pay day... thanks to space invaders and the pub (or the pub and space invaders?) I often had clean clothes back then... once a week, that is.... that was before I had a girlfriend and clean clothes weren't as fashionable... but space invaders, pubs and laundromats became three important facets of life... I set my own fashion... before girlfriends became fashionable.. at least, to me...

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Re: Retro Gaming

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Apr 12, 2017 4:30 pm

{{A very strange thing abut invaders from space in the late 70's and early 80's- they did spend a lot of time in laundries, must require regular clean underwear invading- shows how backwards they really are- wearing pants at all! Mad }}}

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Re: Retro Gaming

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Apr 21, 2017 5:56 pm

{{ OK here we go one last nostalgia era to get through.
We now enter what at the time were called 'the next-gen' era of consoles.

First out the blocks, as previously mentioned was SEGA with what would turn out to be their last roll of the dice. But why? Following the relative failure of their previous system to compete with Sony, SEGA tried to learn the lessons of the past. The Saturn had been expensive to manufacture because of custom hardware and so also difficult to program for. The Dreamcast on the otherhand was made from common components used throughout the industry, greatly reducing costs and difficulties.

It was released in  America and Europe in 1999, several months before Sony could get their Playstation 2 to the shelves.

At time of launch the competition was the PlayStation 1 and the N64 from Nintendo, as the first next gen console the Dreamcast initially sold well.

But there were problems in one of the crucial areas of selling a console- the games. The initial line up was supposed to feature SEGA's leading mascot Sonic, and a lot of pre-launch publicity had focused on the Sonic game- but it failed to meet the launch date, or indeed some substantial time after launch. Further, unwilling to give exclusive rights to one company to make all Dreamcast sports games SEGA declined to work with emerging publisher EA Games, whose line of sports titles would come to dominate on playstation and xbox systems. Leaving the Dreamcast out of several hugely popular franchises, including two of the top selling sports titles in the world, the FIFA and Madden series.



Adding to SEGA's woes was the release of the much anticipated ps2- which had some huge advantages over the Dreamcast, not least shipping with a DVD  drive over the Dreamcasts CD based system.

There were other problems too, the dreamcast controller had only one analog stick compared to the two on both playstation and xbox controllers, making it difficult for third party companies to port over games designed for two sticks and not giving players the same control as on rival systems.

And lastly but not least the machine did not sell well in Japan putting SEGA in a bad financial position. When sales began to fall against the ps2 and then xbox SEGA responded with a series of price cuts to their machine, eventually selling at a loss.

The writing was on the wall and SEGA withdrew from the market beaten.

Next up was Sony. As mentioned above they released not long after the Dreamcast, hitting shelves the following year in 2000.

Unlike everyone else who had being going down the cd-rom route for cost purposes Sony had an ace in the hole. They had a whole part of their company who had nothing to do with console manufacturing but who were making the new fangled home entertainment technology- DVD players. Not only were Sony making and selling dvd players, they also had amassed a large back catalogue of films on the Sony Pictures label ready to release on the new format.

Sticking a dvd drive in their new console not only gave it  huge edge over its competitors in terms of storage, video playback, sound ect but also put millions of dvd's in peoples homes- an instant costumer base to sell their dvd's too making it possible to sell the dvd drive bit of the console at a loss and still rake the money in later.

The very good reason no other console had a dvd drive was cost. The technology was still too expensive to sell in the console price bracket.

In the US at the time of the ps2 release the average cost of a dvd player was between $250-$500.

The ps2, with not only the dvd drive but all the other components like video, audio, graphics card, ram, rom ect needed to make it a games console would have a price tag of just $299

Coming complete with a good buzz from consumers over their experience of the playstaiton 1 and a long line of games at launch, with third party support Sony had fostered long before the launch date the ps2 was pretty damn much the perfect console launch- and as a result it sold 3 million units in its first year and went on to be, and to remain, the top selling console of all time.



But whilst it did see off SEGA into the dust it was not without both competition and issues.
The issues were mainly hardware related. To keep costs down some of the soldering in early models was poor and was often a cause of machines failing to work.
Another issue, and one that is still a tech headache for consoles to this day was overheating. Gaming sessions lasting hours could easily see components hitting melting point, and those dodgy solders were a particular likely thing to melt under the blaze.

The competition would come in the form of the surviving rival console manufactures, or rather one survivor, Nintendo, and one newcomer, Microsoft.

Nintendo came to the market with their successor to the N64, the Gamecube. It was released in Europe in 2001 and in America in 2002.

Nintendo had survived this long for four main reasons- they had a solid home base in Japan tha kept them financially afloat regardless of western sales, they had a not sizeable but loyal following in the US going back to the NES days, they had a series of successful handheld games systems and they had a solid line of easily accessible, family friendly, playable games with wide appeal and brand recognition, such as Mario Kart.

Where Sony were brash, in your face, and edgy, Nintendo were colourful, friendly and safe.



This was not to say that there were not games on either system aimed at more mature audiences, the Resident Evil series of zombie games would see a remake for the Gamecube showing of its powers and impressing gamers, and they would not be alone in representing mature gamers on gamecube, but nevertheless the overwhelming majority of gamecube games would still be closer to the Mario kart instantly accessible quickly addictive gameplay Nintendo were known for.

Nintendo began life as toy makers and the sensibility has never really left them. And whilst the gamecube sold well enough to count as successful Nintendo were focusing more and more of their attention on the emerging 'casual gamer' market.
This direction of travel would eventually lead to them stepping almost sideways out of the straight dogfight for top console between Sony and Microsoft and setting up their own niche market with the Wii. Producing lots of pick up and play intuitive game styles, dance programs, keep fit ect suited to the casual gaming experience.

Something that was never going to appear on a Nintendo machine was a franchise of the like of the very adult Grand Theft Auto series. Love or loathe Nintendo for their casual gamer appeal but they know what their brand is and stick to it.

The last to enter the arena were the new boys on the block- Microsoft launched the xbox at the end of 2001 in America and the beginning of 2002 in Europe (missing the xmas market).

The xbox has been called by some 'a pc in a box' and there is some truth to this- especially at its inception. The reason Microsoft entered the market at all was because the playstation was taking people from pc to consoles and away from the Windows platform.

The initial plan was more 'directx in a box' directx being a pc application which basically makes games know how to run on your pc and make best use of the capabilities of the graphics hardware. And indeed the machines first name was 'directxbox' after Microsoft agreed to the idea of a pc directx based console system.



As a result on release the xbox was not only graphically superior to its rivals it had another couple of tricks up its sleeve. It had a built in hard drive like a pc, a first for consoles. And perhaps more crucially to the machines long term success and for finding a foothold ahead of the competition, it had an Ethernet connection so you could game online against your friends with ease, and of course via the xbox online service which you paid extra for. And paving the way for the current market of online multimedia available through your console.

Whilst the playstation still outsold the xbox for almost its entire run due to a massive consumer base already existing, xbox nevertheless made its mark on gamers minds. Down to those unique features and some top titles that caught the public imagination, chief (pun intended) among them the Halo series of games.


And so there you have it.

The last era of nostalgia and the last that counts as retro, well for a few years yet!

So what about emulators for this lot then?

It should be noted that for these emulators things can get a bit heavy for your pc at times. And if you dont have a gaming set up you will most likely have frame rate issues on some games. Also I am afraid there is still sadly, after all this time, no emulator for the xbox.

So lets start with the end of SEGA and the Dreamcast. So off to our usual source for that-

https://www.emuparadise.me/Sega_Dreamcast_Emulators/1

You will need to get the bios for it, which you can get here-

https://www.emuparadise.me/biosfiles/Dreamcast.zip

and the games here-

https://www.emuparadise.me/Sega_Dreamcast_ISOs/1

Now for the mighty playstation 2. As usual we can use or handy retro emulator site-

https://www.emuparadise.me/Sony_Playstation_2_Emulators/41

get the latest version of psx2

Now you will need to get the the bios for it elsewhere.

So head over to -

https://www.loveroms.com/extras/ps2-bios.php

and follow the instructions (basically download it, unzip it, pop all the files in a folder, if there isnt one called bios in the ps directory just make one and put them in there.)

Run psx2 go to the config panel/pluginbios selector and then just browse to the bios folder.

You will see a list of bios available, probably one maybe two for europe, one for US and one for Japan.

These are handy as some games are region locked, and you need the right bios selected to play them.

You can come here and switch between bios anytime you need to.

All you need now are some games so back to our usual site-

https://www.emuparadise.me/Sony_Playstation_2_ISOs/41

And thats you- have fun!

For the Gamecube you want to head over here-

https://www.emuparadise.me/Nintendo_Gamecube_Emulators/42

I personally use dolphin.

Download and run it and thats you ready for a game!

https://www.emuparadise.me/Nintendo_Gamecube_ISOs/42

For ps2 and Gamecube you will need to extract the files once downloaded before you can use them.


Game recommendations-

ps2- Burnout 3 Takedown, GTA San Andreas, Metal Gear Solid 3, Resident Evil 4, Time Splitters, Call of Duty Finest Hour, Devil May Cry, Ico, Medal of Honour European Assualt, Outrun 2006 Coast to Coast, Shadow of the Colossus, Silent Hill 2, SSX Tricky, Time Splitters

Gamecube-

Supermario Sunshine, Super Smash Bros, Legend of Zelda, Paper Marion, Soul Caliber 2, Star Wars Rogue Squadron, Beyond Good and Evil, Resident Evil, Resident Evil Zero, Metroid Prime


And thats the end- the end of my brief, short hand version of the history of home computers and consoles. Hope folks enjoyed the read and happy gaming!  }}}}


Last edited by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:17 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Retro Gaming

Post by azriel on Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:15 pm

Brief ! ? Actually I sent this lot to my vampyric son, direct into the bat cave in which he lives Smile Smile He found it interesting, I got lost after the 1st cheese sandwich & last cup of tea Smile

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Re: Retro Gaming

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:18 pm

{{well at least someone is reading it Azriel!!  Very Happy }}}

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Re: Retro Gaming

Post by Eldorion on Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:20 pm

Cheers, Petty! Very Happy This was a great read and quite informative. I never knew about the "DirextXbox" name origin though that seems kinda obvious now that you explain it. Thanks for all of your posts in this thread!
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Re: Retro Gaming

Post by azriel on Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:21 pm

Nod

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Re: Retro Gaming

Post by Lancebloke on Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:31 pm

Petty - haven't replied yet but have been digesting when I can. I owned a master system and Atari 800 so This charts most of my gaming history!

Just the PS2 era to read up on.
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Re: Retro Gaming

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Apr 21, 2017 7:26 pm

and quite informative.- Eldo

{{I always have to bear this in mind when reading something like this from an American! Very Happy

(skip to 3.38)



Glad you are reading along Lance.

I was toying with covering a bit more in depth the fascinating cutthroat world of the big game companies of the periods. Your Gremlin, Ocean, Mastertronic, Melbourne House, DMA Designs, Imagine ect
Lot of good stories there for corporate skulduggery, overzealous 80's yuppies and how some of them eventually emerged from the smouldering flames as the massive games publishers and makers we have today. }}

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Re: Retro Gaming

Post by Lancebloke on Fri Apr 21, 2017 7:46 pm

There are plenty of dodgy stories form there and companies that created big games disappearing... Bullfrog, Microprose, Westwood, Cavedog to name a few.
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Re: Retro Gaming

Post by Eldorion on Fri Apr 21, 2017 7:57 pm

Er, yeah, hopefully my intent was clear enough from context but I had the American meaning in mind. Actually didn't know this was an example of British and American connotations diverging. This is the meaning I've always known:

http://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/quite

quite
adverb

to a large degree:
School is quite different from what it once was.

completely:
Quite frankly, the thought of performing terrifies me.
I’m not quite done yet.
I’m not quite sure I understand.


really or truly:
Winning this contest was quite an accomplishment.
It was quite a remarkable speech.
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Re: Retro Gaming

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:07 pm

{{ Ah but then there is its use in phrases such as 'not quite there' 'not quite good enough' 'not quite up to scratch'.

Just to note in that interview when he asks her what do English people say if they like something and she replies 'good' in Scotland an extreme liking for something would be expressed by something like, "well at least you didn't make an arse of yourself." That's high praise indeed from a Scot Nod }}

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Re: Retro Gaming

Post by Eldorion on Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:25 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:Ah but then there is its use in phrases such as 'not quite there' 'not quite good enough' 'not quite up to scratch'.

I'm not sure I see how the meaning is different. scratch If you say something is quite good, then you're saying it's very good. If you say something is not quite good, then you're saying it's not very good, which is often a more polite way of saying it's not good at all. So there's a difference in connotation but the literal meaning is the same. [Edit: actually, I don't think "not quite" is always that negative. Sometimes it's meaning is more straightforward: close, but not exactly on the mark.]

That's how it works in my experience of American English, anyway. Shrugging
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Re: Retro Gaming

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:54 pm

{{Its born out of politeness you see, it would be obviously rude and impolite to say to someones face, 'that was rubbish'- that sort of thing might cause social embarrassment to all concerned  Embarassed - what you need is a polite way to convey the same meaning, hence 'that was quite good'. It doesn't sound as bad as that was crap, but it carries in the UK essentially the same meaning. If you are in the UK and want an exemplifier use 'very' or 'really' good. But definitely not 'quite good'.}}}

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Re: Retro Gaming

Post by Eldorion on Sat Apr 22, 2017 12:09 am

I will have to keep that in mind. Smile
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Re: Retro Gaming

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat Apr 22, 2017 12:35 am

{{ If you have access to my onedrive online I have uploaded some of the emulators there,

So far you can download the amiga emulator (which saves you hunting down the roms for it) and a selection of classic Amiga games- the 2 folders are amiga.rar and amigagames.rar.
zsnew151-761 is the SNES emulator and the SNES folder is some games to try out on it.
The Genesis folder is the mega-drive/genesis emulator and the meagadrive folder some games for it.

Ptv0.95 is the jaguar emulator and the jaguar folder the game roms.

Project64 is the N64 emulator and epsxe is the playstation 1 emulator.

I have not included games for these (see above for where to get those) as from this gen on the file size for games becomes a pain in the arse to upload.

If you dont have acces to my online drive and want it just pm me an email address to send you a link. }}}

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Re: Retro Gaming

Post by halfwise on Sat Apr 22, 2017 2:07 pm

Shocked  I wonder how many Brits I've offended by complement?   (And how many ex-pat Americans have driven their companions crazy in Karaoke bars by never taking the hint it's time to give up the mike).


Pettytyrant101 wrote:and quite informative.- Eldo

{{I always have to bear this in mind when reading something like this from an American! Very Happy

(skip to 3.38)




I'm reminded of being in grad school and telling a British professor that I was going to England for a wedding.  He got a very concerned look on his face: "Oh don't go there!" putting a friendly hand on my shoulder and shaking his head, "don't go there....they don't speak the language, you see!"

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