Nintendo 64 vs Atari 2600


D.W.

  

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Nintendo 64

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Initial release date: June 23, 1996

Initial price: $199

Lifespan: 1996-2002

Units sold: 32.93 million

Number of games released: 387

Notable games:

Super Mario 64

Goldeneye 007

Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask

Banjo-Zazooie

Mario Kart 64

Blast Corps

WWF No Mercy

Other notes:

- Final console to use the cartridge format.

- First (and only) 64-bit home console. Sorry, Jaguar.

VS

Atari Video Computer System aka Atari 2600

Atari+2600.jpg

Initial release date: October 14, 1977

Initial price: $199

Lifespan: 1977-1991 (though homebrews are still being made)

Units sold: 30 million

Number of games released: Over 550

Notable games:

Pac-Man

Pitfall!

Missle Command

Demon Attack

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

Atlantis

Adventure

River Raid

Kaboom!

Space Invaders

Other notes:

- The dominant console of its generation.

- Popularized the concept of removable games.

- First console with detachable controllers.

- Epic wood finish.

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N64 was the better console as it had games like OOT and Goldeneye, and of course Mario 64, but it also catered to MP fans with WWF No Mercy, which is what wrestling gamer fans consider the best WWF game ever made. It also was fun to play Mario Kart with friends, and although that debuted on the SNES, it was still a good and original feeling game on the N64, although it was the last console to use carts, the games were still fun, and revolutionary for the time.

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The Atari 2600 all but created the home video game market. Yes, it's dated, but it's important in a way very few consoles can claim to be.

I won't point out the irony of Mr Toland choosing the oldest system within the tournament....

I'm going to go with the 5 criteria Dubs cited in the rules thread to help me decision, so as not to let my heart interfere with my head.

- Sales

N/A - I have no idea.

- Impact on gaming

Atari 2600 wins this. Even if the N64 did have some great games, the Atari has the most famous in gaming history.

- Longevity

6 years versus at least 15? Atari 2600, hands down.

- Quality of software

Despite what I said for Impact, I argue that the better quality games are on the N64. Ocarina of Time remains the most universally acclaimed Zelda game, the best wrestling games were all on the N64 and Goldeneye's legacy doesn't need re-stating (ugly as it is now).

- Reliability of hardware

N/A - I can't really compare the two, having never had an Atari, but my N64 did never break down.

Atari 2-1 N64

Despite being my favourite console, I don't think the N64 is a better/more important machine than the Atari.

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Just noticed I forgot to make this poll public.

Ah well.

I'm voting the 2600. The only category the N64 wins is in the games department.

The 2600 was the console that all others tried to be in the early 80s. Many consoles had to feature "plays 2600 games" as a selling point because the hold Atari had on the market was that huge. Before the NES, the Atari brand was synonymous with the industry itself. The N64, for all intents and purposes, was the Nintendo's biggest failure, aside from the Virtual Boy.

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The Atari 2600 all but created the home video game market. Yes, it's dated, but it's important in a way very few consoles can claim to be.

Before the NES, the Atari brand was synonymous with the industry itself.

That, right there.

When I wanted to play video games as a kid, I either asked to go to the arcade or "play Atari." It was video games, and, really, to me it still is. Pitfall and Pitfall II, Kaboom!, Yars' Revenge, Donkey Kong, ET (sigh), BurgerTime, Q*bert -- when I think about video games, those are the ones that come to mind. Even all these years later.

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My first console was the Atari then mine died on me. My N64 still works. I had a lot of fun with my Atari and an equal amount with the N64. While Atari made the market, is also almost killed it as well. Also, taking inflation into account, the 64 is cheaper. Sure, 3rd party games were lacking on the N64 but the first party ones more than made up for it. So, 64.

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Sales is not really apples to apples across hardware generations, IMHO of course. Things get crazy with demographics and relative cost. $199 dollars in 1977 is a whole lot more than $199 today, and you could get a Wii or a 360 for that today. TVs are also worlds cheaper today.

Anyway, the Atari 2600. The N64, while innovative in some ways (like the fact that you could "upgrade" it), was mired in the past in its format. The competition had moved to discs, and with good reason. Don't get me started on the controller. I hate that blasted thing. It had some fun games, but most of the great ones were first party or from Rare. Not a lot of others joined in because of the cost of developing for the cartridge. Any system so dominant that its brand becomes synonymous with the product is damned hard to vote against. You better have a hell of a party piece to overthrow it, and the N64 is lacking.

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While the 2600 may have done its fair share of innovation in its time. It almost single-handedly destroyed the industry with its own incompetence.

The N64 in many ways showed the way to make games transition from 2D to 3D, and for my money has one of the best creme of the crop game lineups of ANY console.

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As expensive as the PS3 was at launch, $200 was a lot more when the 2600 launched than it is today. Atari defined gaming, but the price was steep, over $520 in today's dollars.

http://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/cpicalc.pl

The N64 was great, but no console has had the impact the Atari did. Everything since then, including the Wii, is building on the foundation poured by Atari. The N64's biggest weakness was the lack of RPG's, which was especially disappointing after the Super NES had so many great RPG's.

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