Showing posts with label vcs 2600. Show all posts
Showing posts with label vcs 2600. Show all posts

Saturday, 9 April 2005

Making the World Smile

Revenge of the Sith merchandise is now flooding retail aisles across the globe! Anakin's Jedi Starfighter arrived yesterday and I've already ordered (from Toys "R" Us*) assorted LEGO pieces, BARC Speeder, Grievous' Wheel Bike, ARC-170 Fighter, AT-RT, Monopoly, Risk and Star Wars Trivial Pursuit DVD. Movie Market is now selling gorgeous prints. Not to mention that Battlegrounds debuts on the Mac very soon. Collectors can stay up-to-date here.

In the UK Palitoy distributed Kenner's Star Wars action figures and accessories. When I wasn't playing with toys I drew new ones and sent them to the company's Coalville HQ in Leicester. Although Palitoy could not accept my unsolicited submissions, I was always rewarded with posters and action figures.

Hasbro purchased Kenner in 1991 (the brand has all but disappeared) and I was interviewed for a Mac-based product packaging designer post (within their interactive division) in 1999. Hasbro's UK office, located in Stockley Park (near to Apple Computer), is plush. I never got beyond the first interview stage (sans Photoshop test), but Hasbro paid my traveling expenses and, believe me, that's rare. In 2001 Hasbro Interactive was purchased by Infogrames (Atari).

[*In the 1980s a Toys "R" Us opened in Bristol (off Junction 17). My first purchase was a copy of Atari's Star Raiders (the pack-in included a Video Touch Pad for the VCS 2600). For some obscure reason my recollection of playing Star Raiders, reading DC Comics and watching Hart to Hart at my Granmother's house are inseparable!]

Wednesday, 23 February 2005

The Cable Guy

XBOX owners (circa 2003 and earlier) have been notified of a potential 'fire' hazard. In prolonged use the power supply cable can overheat. Kudos to Microsoft for alerting all registered owners (myself included). I was about to sell mine and am now awaiting delivery of a free replacement power cord. A damages claim from a private buyer would have been undesirable. And I'm now disinclined to part with XBOX as the new Star Wars and Dead or Alive franchise games look captivating!

Atari 2600 VCS fans can now download the latest Mac OS X version of sweet Stella. And if you're an avid Atari fan (and who isn't?) be sure to drop by AtariAge. There's an indepth Atari/Lucasfilm Games feature. This is a startling reminder of how innovative the Lucasfilm Games company was before concentrating too heavily on Lucas' Star Wars property.

Wednesday, 8 December 2004

All I Want For Christmas

In keeping with the spirit of the upcoming holidays. The following list features all my computer and video game hardware owned to date. Most of which were received as gifts at this time of year!

*Atari VCS 2600
*Binatone Mk6 Game System
*ZX Spectrum 48K
*ZX Spectrum+ (same as above, but with 'improved' keyboard)
*Commodore 64 and 1541 Floppy Disk Drive
*Nintendo Game & Watch (various Mario titles)
*Sega Megadrive (Genesis)
*Atari Lynx II
*Super NES
*Apple Macintosh Performa 5200
*iMac DV SE
*Sega Dreamcast
*PlayStation 2
*LCD iMac G4

Over the years I purchased innumerable video games from The Fuse Box. During my teens the store, an independent brick-and-mortar retailer located in Exeter's Sidwell Street, was a treasure trove - Rescue on Fractalus!* and Koronis Rift, displayed on the in-store monitors, held me spellbound - before its untimely closure and the advent of etailing. Somewhere in the attic of our house is a dusty old cardboard box that contains Atari, Commodore and Spectrum games (cartridge, cassette and diskette formats) in their original packaging! I've no idea whether or not my Commodore 64 still works (1992 being the last time it was used) and the first ZX Spectrum was passed on to a younger relative only to meet an untimely demise.

Watching Back to the Future II (1989) I noticed Nintendo's PlayChoice-10 in the Cafe 80's scene (a veritable advertising blitz). To reiterate comments made in a previous post. PlayChoice-10 provided Nintendo with a platform to profit from the lucrative arcade market, and uniquely showcased NES titles including Mega Man 3, Super Mario Bros II and III before their home cartridge launch. PlayChoice-10 existed for 5 to 6 years and was briefly superseded by Nintendo Super System. MAME emulation of PlayChoice-10 is not yet 100% accurate, but all known titles are available including The Goonies.

nVIDIA is to produce a bespoke GeForce GPU for Sony's PS3 after Microsoft allied itself with ATi. Combined with an IBM PowerPC G5 processor and possibly OpenGL, the PS3 shares APIs with Apple! Curious said Alice. In a contractual twist, that inspires literary allusions to the one ring, IBM will power all three next generation consoles from Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo. Can you say NDA?

*Rescue on Fractalus! was the first time I'd ever seen the Apple ][ logo. Little did I know that years later the Apple Macintosh would have a profound impact on my creative life.