What I DID manage to get was even a bit more exciting, a box of old computer games, many with manuals and original disks. Most of the Mac games have been added to the Macintosh Garden, but I'm sure some manuals would be great. I have an old 80s Carmen Sandiego manual I need to scan. I also managed to get a novelization of Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey which includes many scenes not found in the actual film. I know because I read it in 7th grade, English class. Maybe I should tell "Ms. A" that, my old 7th grade English teacher who had it, and now works in the community college I go to. The most exciting thing is a few 1st-generation Sears "Tele-Games" consoles, which I'm eager at trying out.
Also, like my previous post, I wanted to investigate video games again. You may notice Saturn in my previous post, but that was pretty much a wash because of the Saturn's unusual 3D rendering that broke polygons into quadrilaterals instead of triangles. Then there was the whole "Saturnday" deal, in which the release date was suddenly pulled forward to an early release at select retailers (Babbage's, Electronic Boutique, Software Etc.,[*] and Toys R Us) which ended some retailer's relations with Sega and annoyed third party companies, who would not get their product out by launch. Just earlier that year, Sega trotted out the 32X, a add-on that had its own "32X-enabled" cartridges, but it turned out to be garbage and left a bad taste in consumer's mouths. Needless to say, it only got some arcade ports.
The "6th Generation" as it was known, was even more exciting. Sega Dreamcast roared onto the scene in 1999 (an early start) with amazing graphics that could beat the Nintendo 64, a 56k modem, the innovative VMU unit, and some decent games. Unfortunately, Sega had gotten a terrible reputation thanks to the 32X and Saturn, was running out of money, and when the PlayStation 2 came out, Dreamcast was quickly discontinued.
So our focus turns to Nintendo. The GameCube, while profitable, failed when stacked against Microsoft's Xbox and Sony's PlayStation 2.
And in a way, I think they kind of deserved it.
I mean, it did have some advantages, like a very small case, a neat controller that perfected the bulky and "for three hands" Nintendo 64 controller, and more.
But it did have some distinct disadvantages. Disregarding some consumer feelings, like its goofy case (the default color was purple, and it had a handle). The GameCube used a distinct miniature disc format, which was to help prevent pirating, but it had less storage space than DVDs (which PS2 and Xbox graduated to), could not play DVDs (which helped PS2 sales in Japan), and was far slower than cartridges.
It broke several promises. Following up on the failure of the N64DD, there was a memory card for the GameCube that you could stick an SD card into, to import audio and video. There were many games promised, many of which were never made. Rare put out a lot of games at E3, but after major delays (StarFox Adventures arrived a year late, and many games were completely cancelled) Nintendo sold the N64's golden goose to Microsoft, which has yet to revive Rare (now making, um, Kinect games).
The Xbox had a hard drive as well as a DVD drive, their flagship product, Halo: Combat Evolved (by Bungie, originally going to release Halo as a Mac game...that's often a sore spot in Mac gaming history), and a Broadband-enabled Xbox Live, which took the 56k modem in Dreamcast to a new level. Nintendo never developed a good online system (despite modem add-ons to the GameCube only used for Phantasy Star Online), was not able to create a good launch line-up (though the best game for the console, Super Smash Bros. Melee, came a few months later), no real Mario game (Super Mario Sunshine doesn't count). As the years dragged on, and the GameCube continued to receive multi-console ports instead of exclusive hits, Nintendo tried gimmicks for it and the Game Boy Advance, including linking cables (though Pac-Man VS was fun) and the e-Reader (more on that later). And all the while, Nintendo's "kiddie" reputation continued to work against them. It was perhaps the failure of the GameCube that Nintendo tried a new marketing strategy for the Wii.
In a more detailed explanation on the Dreamcast, here's what I wrote for Two Way Roads in August 2010, about how it could've succeeded.
1. If Sega Dreamcast had stuck through most of the sixth generation, it would be up against the Xbox and Bungie, PS2 and its loyal third parties, and Nintendo GameCube and the games Nintendo is known for. Not great when all you've got is a worn-out franchise character.
2. The Sega Dreamcast was light-weight, looked cool, and had expandability. It was by far the best-looking video game console of the sixth generation.
3. If Bungie had remained an independent company, and the launch platforms were Mac and PC, Dreamcast could've secured console rights, leaving Microsoft with not much.
4. The brand of Sega had been tarnished, which was a huge factor in the failure of the Dreamcast. First was the problems with the Sega Genesis: there were too many Sonic games, and the Genesis had two mediocre add-ons. The Sega CD was too early and consisted mostly of bad FMV titles and enhanced ports of Genesis games, and the 32X just saturated the market with mildly-improved graphics. What Nintendo did instead of a whole cartridge was market a special chip, the Super FX. And it worked. If the Sega 32X and the Sega CD were released as one 32-bit CD-ROM peripheral....that might have worked.
5. Meanwhile, the Saturn's launch was a disaster, by moving the release date up by four months, Sega both PO'd developers and retailers. Arguably, they could've continued with the Genesis, as Nintendo's strategy with the SNES was going fairly well, even in America. The Genesis had been quickly discontinued by 1995.
6. Still, had Dreamcast been more successful and competed with Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo, the market could've crashed (a crash was feared in 2004) and Sega likely to be the one to fall out.
I didn't mention some facts, about how Sega literally was running out of money. Shenmue got decent reviews and was hailed as an innovative product, but it lost a lot of money. Isao Okawa gave Sega nearly a $700 million dollar donation in private funds, and during this time, Sega was looking to sell out or merge, talking with Microsoft, Namco, Bandai, and Electronic Arts, eventually merging with Sammy Corporation. Plus, I think the Dreamcast had too few buttons.
I'm thinking about subscribing to Steam. Although I don't feel comfortable buying things online, it looks good, plus two of my cousins and my brother use it. I'm thinking about getting the Cyan collection pack (which includes Cosmic Osmo and Myst), Portal, and maybe other games. I don't like DRM especially for abandonware, but I'd pay for something that will run on my system (particularly, I've found Cosmic Osmo won't run well on any system I have, the dying iMac G3 is too fast, Basilisk II runs transitions far too slow, and Mini vMac won't recognize the CD image).
Currently, I'm doing some cleaning again, and found a Famitsu page (partially translated) about SimCity DS 2, which looked cool, but turned out to be SimCity Creator when released in America, which really turned me off for some reason. Be sure to tune in for more scans and content on Carbonizer!