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About
Knyte has been playing video games, since the age of 6 when he starting rocking on the Famous Commodore 64 & Mattel Intellivision. Since then, he has played and collected everything under the sun, or at least, what he can get his grubby little hands on.

He has a soft spot in his heart for all the underdog systems. But, that's probably because he always owned them, instead of the mainstream ones.

When all his friends had Atari 2600s, his parents bought him an Intellivision.
When all his friends had Nintendo Entertainment Systems, he had a Sega Master System.
When all his firends had Sega Genesis, he had a Turbo Grafx 16.
When all his friends had Playstations, he had an Amiga CD32.

See a pattern?

Now, he enjoys sharing his plethora of knowledge in the history of videogames, by opening the doors to "Knyte's Video Game Museum." So welcome, and enjoy your stay.

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Knyte
5:34 PM on 10.10.2008

Fairchild Channel F



With so many "Pong" clones on the market at this time, The Fairchild Channel F was a breath of fresh air. The Channel F was the first programmable cartridge based video game console to enter the videogame market. Initially, it was called the "Fairchild Video Entertainment System", but was later changed. It was developed by Fairchild Semiconductors and released in August of 1976.

Other then the fact that Channel F was the first to use cartridges, it had other unique features that set it apart from the "Pong" flood. Rather then having you near the actual console, the Channel F developed controllers that would let you play up to 8 feet away from the console (innovative for it's time). It also used a specially designed multiprocessor that contained a main CPU and several support processors ( called F8 ). The console also featured games built into the system (Hockey, Tennis and 2 drawing programs). These were unique innovations that set Channel F apart from other consoles of it's time, and thus brought about many changes to the industry.

Even with the Channel F's unique features, the console's success was very short. A year later, the Channel F faced fierce competition from the popular Atari VCS / 2600. Other consoles would soon follow, and Channel F sales began to suffer. Fairchild would soon pull out of the videogame market, and stopped production of the Channel F with only 21 games released.

In 1979, a company called Zircon purchased the rights to the Channel F. They released a scaled down version called the Channel F System II, and sold 5 more previously unreleased games. The Channel F II also featured detachable controllers (The previous model had controllers hard wired to the unit). The Channel F would continue to sell well up to the "Videogame Crash of 1984." It then became a mention in history.

The Channel F did continue to make successful rounds throughout Europe. It appeared as the Saba Videoplay in Germany, the Luxor Video Entertainment System in Sweden, the Adman Grandstand in the UK, and the ITT Tele-Match also in Germany.



Processor
8 bit Fairchild F8

CPU Speed
1.78Mhz

RAM
64 bytes

Video RAM
N/A

Resolution
128 × 64 w/ 102 × 58 pixels visible

Colors
4 colors plus an additional 4 colors using a palette / sprite trick

Polygons
N/A

Sprites
N/A

Retail Price
$170.00

FACT: Not only did Fairchild Semiconductors produce the first cart based system. They were the first to use a microprocessor for use in a videogame console. Also two of their employees became co-founders of a company called "Intel".

**********************************************************************
Magnavox Odyssey



The Magnavox Odyssey was the very first home video game system. It was the brilliant creation of Ralph Baer (dubbed "The Father of home video games"). It played "Ball and Paddle" games such as "Ping Pong", "Table Tennis", "Volleyball", and others.

On January 27th, 1972, Magnavox began production on the machine, and the system was released in May. It was heavily advertised and reportedly sold 100,000 units in 1972 for around $100 each.

The Odyssey has no real specs. It contained no processor or memory. The box is made up of transistors, resistors and capacitors. Odyssey used cards that contained pin outs to change game settings. Plastic overlays that could be placed over the TV screen created graphics and color, but the actual display consisted of white squares (Paddle and ball) on an all black background. The Odyssey originally came with six game cards, and a 36-page user manual for the twelve games offered by the system.

The launch of Odyssey generated a severe case of "Pong Madness". Companies worldwide began developing their own "Pong" machines.

FACT: The Magnavox Odyssey was sold only in Magnavox stores. Customers were told that the Odyssey would only work on Magnavox brand televisions. A nice lie that contributed to the amount of units sold.








We have Atari Plug and Play, and other crappy "Systems on a controller", but did you know that China gets a freaking SNES/N64 in a controller? Or how about a Dreamcast clone that has more features than the original? Check out the awesomeness!

***************************************************************************

Nintendo IQue



China has been a piracy plague for videogame manufacturers for years. Many home consoles have been cloned and sold throughout the streets of Hong Kong. Why spends more money when you can get a cheaper clone?

Although many of their older consoles have been cloned, Nintendo realizes there is still money to be made there. So in November of 2003, They announced a low cost system to debut in China. The system called "Ique" (rough translation = God's Toy) is not necessarily a new console. Nintendo used nanotechnology on their Nintendo 64 console (similar to Sony''s PSX) to create a single chip solution containing CPU, Graphic Engine, etc. This new design allows doubled operating speed, reduced electronic noises, low power consumption, and most noticeably a reduced size. The picture above tells the tale. The heart of N64 has been built into a single controller. The nanotechnology design also gives Ique the ability to "hardware emulate" the SuperNES system.

What makes it even more interesting is the fact that Ique, although essentially an N64 machine, does not use cartridges. The console uses a 64-megabyte Flash Card as a game media. These Flash Cards will be used to download and store N64 / SuperNES games. The overall concept works similar to Nintendo's efforts with the Famicom Disk System. Gamers simply purchase a game title and download it onto their Flash Card. This design makes the games cheaper for purchase.

So how will Nintendo discourage piracy? Each Ique flash card contains a digital signature specific to that unit. So a flash card from one Ique will not work in another. The flash card also stores a download log. This log records what games have been purchased. This will prevent downloads of games not purchased. It also works for the gamer. If a purchased game is deleted simply to make room for another game, it can be downloaded again for free the next time. This download log system is also used to allow time limited game demos.

The Ique retails for Yuan 598 (Less then $100USD). It comes packaged with the unit, a power supply (220V), and the 64megabyte flash card containing 5 pre-downloaded games. Doctor Mario is a full version title, but Zelda 64: Ocarina of Time (10 hours), Mario 64 (7 hours), Wave Race (1 hour) and Star Fox (1 hour) are time limited demo versions. The package also contains a serial number and password that allow you to download new titles to your system at locations throughout Shanghai, and possibly through the Internet. Full versions of games cost 48 Yuan (approximately $6USD per download), and contain in-game manuals.



An interesting device that can be imported, but may also appear on other shores.

FACT: The Nintendo Ique uses an operating system called UOS (Updateable Operating System). This allows Nintendo the ability to possibly change features in the unit. These changes simply need to be downloaded by the gamer onto their flash card.

**************************************************************************

Treamcast



It seems to have been the going trend in the year 2000. Take an LCD screen and attach it to a console, provide an alternate power source, and you get gaming on the go! It's been done with the PSOne and the GameCube consoles, but who would think to make one for the Sega Dreamcast? Apparently the people of China felt it was a good idea. From the streets of Hong Kong comes the Treamcast! For around 1500HKD (around $192 USD ) you could get your hands on this portable Dreamcast .

The Treamcast unit comes in it's own soft nylon suitcase styled carrying bag sporting it's name. The bag contains velcro straps similar to a laptop bag, and open slots for game storage. The Treamcast bundle comes with the system, two 6 button Neo Geo CD style game pads, wall power cable, car adapter, and a remote. Why a remote? Treamcast not only plays games. It can also play VCD (Video CD), SVCD, and even MP3's. Other modifications include a brightness regulator knob for the built in back lit LCD screen, and also input jacks for speakers or headphones. There is even an adjustable volume knob. To top things off, the Treamcast is completely region free.

When placed side by side with the actual Dreamcast you can clearly see that the unit is a lot bulkier, but generally the same size. The LCD display works well, but like most displays of this type can get blurring during fast pace action. The control pads work amazingly well, and are suited better for fighting games. However they lack the ports for both the VMU and rumble packs. So you may have to pick up an official Dreamcast controller to get the most out of certain game titles. All in all the Treamcast is a remarkable system.

FACT: You don't have to take a trip to China to get your paws on a Treamcast. You can find the unit available at many game import sites.








Nowadays, you can throw a rock without hitting a videogame based on the latest Hollywood Blockbuster. And, usually, those said titles just plain suck. But, how does a move whose plot centers around a videogame, not acually get a Videogame made of it? Who let that one slip through the cracks? Read On to Find out!



"Greetings Starfighter. You have been recruited by the Star League to defend the Frontier against Xur and the Ko-Dan armada."

If you recognise those words, then you remember watching The Last Starfighter as a kid, and dreaming that could have been you! The ultimate gamer's dream! To be called upon to save the world, or galaxy, with your awesome video game playing powers. (That or the other dream involving princess peach, the DOA girls, Samus, and whipped cream. That could be the ultimate video gamer's dream, also. Maybe a close tie.)



At the very least, the beginning of the movie focuses around a badass looking Arcade game simply called, "Starfighter." It looked liked a far better version of the old ray-traced Star Wars game. With filled and shaded polygons, creating an awesome looking 3D space shooter. Not only that, but the game also had an awesome Sick and Yoke combo, that looked like something outta of a fighter jet. So, if you couldn't have lived Alex's role, at least you could run to the arcade and play the game, right?

Nope.

Why not?

Because they never made it!

So, in this F'd up world in which we live, they don't make a videogame based off a movie that centers around a videogame. But they make crappy videogames based off every other movie that isn't about a videogame. (Make your own logic conclusion about this one.)

But, at least, they make a off-broadway musical of it!
I am not kidding, see here: http://www.stormtheatre.com/reviews.html#star

So, why didn't we get a Last Starfighter Video Game? A few of them were in the works, but unfortunately timing played a big part in their pre-mature demise. The movie was released in 1984, and the games were in development around the same time. One year after the "Great Video Game Crash." The rights to making the games fell into the hands of the once almighty Atari. Atari had been working on the games before the movie was even released, and the arcade game was promised in the end credits of the film. But, unfortunately, no one knows for sure, why it never appeared.

The actual arcade game was about 75 percent completed when the project was cancelled due to numerous reasons. The closest anyone outside of Atari or the licensing company ever saw of the prototype is what you see on the arcade game screens in the film, which were based on the initial designs of the coin-op game. There was one set of wire-wrapped prototype boards and those may have been reused in the creation of other games. The prototype software for the game may still exist in the archives at Atari, but getting access to it, and in turn using it, would be nearly impossible.



Some Screens Of The Arcade Game:





Here's some footage of the prototype in acton:
http://www.youtube.com/v/ghjjeZpoKLI

Also, a version of The Last Starfighter game was created for the Atari 5200, however. Though it too, was never released. They eventually took the game and repackaged it had Star Raiders 2, by removing the movie references and changing a few names and sprites in the game. The ROM image for the game has recently become available and it can be played using a 5200 emulator.

(Here a link to see a side-by-side comparison of The Last Starfighter and Star Raiders 2: http://www.atarihq.com/atcomp/lastsr2.html )

But, fear not! Not all is lost! An independant software company know as Rouge Synapse have made their own version of The Last Starfighter arcade game and have released it for free!

http://www.roguesynapse.com/games/last_starfighter.php

Almost 25 years after the movie. But, at least it's not too late. So, what are you waiting for Starfighter? Get to it! The Star League needs you!

And, may the luck of the Seven Pillars of Bulu be with you at all times!

FUN FACT: The CGI used in the movie was created on a Cray X-MP Supercomputer, The X-MP was sold with one, two, or four processors and from two to sixteen megawords (16–128 MB) of word-addressable RAM main memory (while initial memory capacity was limited to 16 megawords with a 24-bit address register, the later extended memory architecture XMP/EA raised addressable memory to a theoretical 2 gigawords, in practice the largest memory produced was 64 megawords. The XMP/EA had an 8.5 nanosecond clock), delivering a theoretical peak speed of 942 megaflops. In 1984, a X-MP/48 was about US$15 million plus the cost of disks. In comparison to modern CPU speeds, the X-MP had less than half of the raw power of a Xbox.* (The original, not the 360 even!)

*There is still speculation over which system is bigger and heavier, though.








Here's a few game systems that were designed and (mostly) devoloped, but for various reasons, never got to see the light of day. Let's take a look shall we?

WoWoW



One of the most difficult console prototypes to get information on. This system was developed in joint-venture between JSB (owner of the Japanese satellite TV channel Wowow), the coin-op company Taito and the Japanese software editor ASCII and was presented in 1992 at the Tokyo Game Show.

The console would have been a 16-bit CD-based machine built around Taito’s arcade circuitry. The Wowow would have been able to produce near perfect Taito arcade game translations. A similar goal that another former 3rd Party arcade software developer accomplished (SNK and Neo Geo).

The most innovative idea was the system could receive games via a satellite antenna (transmitted like a TV or radio station). The white card visible from the front of the console would most likely be the method of payment. Perhaps similar to the use of phone cards. Each card would authorize a specific length of game time.

The console was never released to the public, but the idea of transmitting games via satellite was later used by Nintendo with the Satellaview (BS-X).

=======================================================================
3DO M2



Two years after the release of 3DO, the company began working on it's successor codenamed "Bull Dog" (model FZ-DR21)At first, M2 began as 64-bit add-on for 3DO systems. The concept was initially developed by the same people responsible for the first 3DO system (called Opera).

Later around 1995, 3DO sold the technology to Matsushita and left the hardware market. The Japanese electronic giant worked on the base of the system to produce a better technology called M2. At first this technology was to be sold as a videogame system in June of 1998, but Matsushita felt the market was not ready for another videogame console, and changed their game plan.

Matsushita / Panasonic finally released M2 later on that same year. The technology was remade into a TV-based interactive multimedia player that was geared towards corporate businesses for use in Public Information and Display Terminals, Sales Promotion and Exhibit Presentations, 3-D Viewing, Educational and Training Kiosks, etc.

The Panasonic M2 Interactive Media player came in two versions. The FZ-21s was a more sleek and compact version that featured a 4X CD-ROM (Plays M2-CD's, as well as VideoCD 2.0) and a PCMCIA Type III slot for use with modem, Ethernet, memory, hard drive or other compatible PC card devices.

The FZ-35s is the more high end featured model that features a DVD-ROM drive for increased content storage capability, as well as expanded input/output device connectivity, expanded SRAM, a built-in Infrared Receiver, LS-120 SuperDisk, Flash Memory, Modem, or LAN card.

It would have been interesting to see what the M2 could have done videogame wise. Sadly, it remained a multimedia device.

Prototype game screens:




=======================================================================
Indrema L600



A start-up company called Indrema promised to release a new gaming console in 2001. Using a Linux operating system, the Indrema L600 would have played games, DVDs, and CDs, and even record TV shows on its hard drive.

A man by the name of John Gildred decided to found a consumer electronics start-up. Gildred was a fan of Open Source software. Apparently he thought it would be great if people could design and improve their own video games, and maybe download them off the Web. So Gildred, backed by a few friends and generous investors, plus the credit line of his charge cards and the content of his savings account, went out to perform in the marketplace. He started his new company, and focused on it’s product called Indrema. It was going to be an "Open Source" system designed to be a game machine, DVD player, Internet appliance and digital video recorder.

The Indrema Entertainment System (a.k.a. L600) was to be based on common hardware (x86-style CPU, DVD drive, hard disk drive, nVidia graphics chip, USB ports and Ethernet connector), and the Open Source operating system, DV Linux. DV Linux is an Open Source distribution of the Linux operating system specifically designed for consumer electronics or digital multimedia applications targeted at the television as the default view port. Indrema partnered up with Red Hat to initially manage the development of the DV Linux Distribution.

The first Indrema console, the L600, was planned to initially ship in Spring 2001. It was to cost approximately $300. The Indrema Entertainment System would have also been the first modern game console to allow free software to be developed for it, and made available widely via Internet. However, this impressive machine never saw the light of day. The company ran out of money and was unable to secure additional financing in a capital market that seemed to have grown hostile to Linux-related business. The demands of the hardware market took their toll on the small California based company as it had done to even bigger companies such as Sega (Sega left the hardware market after the Dreamcast). Nvidia sought more prosperous grounds with the Microsoft Xbox. Being an "Open Source" system most likely contributed to the consoles demise. If software could be distributed for free then there could be no money made by the company with licensing fees. The units would be sold at a loss. Software developers would have difficulty selling software since users would prefer freely distributed games. Without strong software developer support, they had no hopes of competing with the established Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft companies.

In 2002, Indrema closed it’s doors to the hardware market. It’s founder, John Gildred, still pursues the dream of making the console a reality. For now it remains a dream.
=======================================================================
Atari Mirai



The Mirai is apparently an enigma to many since there is really no information about it. There are many who feel that the Atari Mirai may have been meant as a console conversion of Atari’s ST line of computers. This may be since it so closely resembles the Atari XEGS, which is a console conversion of Atari’s 65XE line of computers. Such a guess is understandable since both units share the same pastel like color scheme. However, Atari never produced cartridge software for their ST computers. The Atari Mirai clearly displays a cartridge port (an enormous port as you may be able to tell).

Another guess was that the Mirai was another mock-up for the Atari Panther, but many disagree since the design does not appear to match (Particularly for a console in the 1990’s. It is believed the mock-up appeared in the 1980’s).

Possibly the most interesting guess is that Atari Mirai may have been meant as home port of SNK’s MVS arcade system. There are a few facts that seem to point in that direction. For example, look at the cartridge port. This port can easily handle the MVS / Neo Geo sized cartridges. In the late 1980’s, Atari and SNK were corporate neighbors both residing across the street from one another in Sunnyvale California. Both companies were no strangers to each other. Both collaborated to port SNK’s arcade hit Ikari Warriors, and other undocumented items were also reported. Also look at the name Atari Mirai. “Mirai” is the Japanese word for “Future”. Why would Atari use a Japanese name? Atari’s other consoles either used numerical names, used wife names for developing units, or felines (In the case of Panther and Jaguar). The Neo Geo was released in 1990. It may have very well been that SNK thought to partner up with Atari in order to insure a successful home market launch. Such a concept may seem far fetched, but hey…Nintendo almost had Atari release the Famicom…

All in all the Mirai remains a mystery. An interesting console enigma.








Today we look back at three software companies who gave us years of amazing games, only to be become so successful that they caught the eye of larger software publishers, who then bought them up and devoured their talents.

So here's to the fallen heros:

***

New World Computing



New World Computing, Inc. was a computer game development company founded in 1984 by Jon Van Caneghem and Mark Caldwell, best known for its work on the Might and Magic computer role-playing game series and its spin-offs, especially Heroes of Might and Magic. When its parent company, the 3DO Company, declared bankruptcy in 2003, New World Computing ceased to exist, and its assets were sold off to other companies.

A list of noted titles:

Anvil of Dawn
Chaos Overlords
The Faery Tale Adventure
Heroes of Might And Magic 1-3
Might and Magic 1-9
Joe & Mac
Planet's Edge
Nuclear War

Might & Magic - Darkside of Xeen Intro:

http://www.youtube.com/v/6vLSoU0E07M&hl=en

***

Dynamix



The company was founded in Eugene, Oregon in 1984 by Jeff Tunnell and Damon Slye. Their first title, Stellar 7, was released before company founding and was later re-released with the Dynamix name on it. They made a number of games for the Commodore 64, among them Project Firestart which was one of the most atmospheric titles for the C64.

In the following years, Dynamix created a line of action games for Electronic Arts, including one of the first games for the Commodore Amiga, Arctic Fox. Later titles were developed for Activision. After self-publishing their games for a short while, in 1990 Dynamix was bought by Sierra On-Line.

Once part of Sierra, Dynamix created some of their most famous games, including a line of adventures and flight simulations that included Red Baron and The Adventures of Willy Beamish. They also created the puzzle game The Incredible Machine, along with the spinoff Sid & Al's Incredible Toons. Another successful product line was the Front Pages Sports series, designed by Pat Cook and Allen McPheeters which included Football, Baseball, and Golf. Versions of Red Baron and Front Page Sports Football were included as part of the ImagiNation Network.

In 1994, the first game in a new series called MetalTech was released, a giant robot combat game with similarities to the BattleTech universe and games. This series resulted in two Earthsiege games and eventually Starsiege. As a side development of the Starsiege game, the successful Tribes series was created. Dynamix also created Outpost 2: Divided Destiny, the second game in Sierra's strategy/survival franchise, Outpost.

The Dynamix studio was closed by its parent company Sierra in August 2001, as part of Sierra's restructuring under Vivendi Universal. Several veterans of the studio (including Tunnell), however, stayed in Eugene and founded a new studio / electronic publisher, GarageGames.

A list of noted titles:

Stellar 7
Skyfox
Caveman Ugh-Lympics
MechWarrior
A-10 Tank Killer
Deathtrack
Red Baron 1,2,and 3D
Rise of the Dragon
The Adventures of Willy Beamish
Heart of China
Aces of the Pacific
The Incredible Machine
Betrayal at Krondor
Space Quest V: The Next Mutation
Metaltech: Earthsiege
Starsiege
Starsiege: Tribes
Tribes 2

Red Baron Gameplay:

http://www.youtube.com/v/rY5mDKmS_xk

***

Black Isle Studios



Black Isle Studios was a division of the computer and video game developer and publisher Interplay Entertainment, created specifically for the development of computer role-playing games. It was based in Orange County, California, USA.The division was formed during 1996, adopting the name "Black Isle Studios" during 1998. The idea for the division's name came from the Black Isle in Scotland - founder Feargus Urquhart's native country.Black Isle Studios is most famous for working on the Fallout and Baldur's Gate series of computer role-playing games, though it only published the Baldur's Gate series.

In 1998, several key members responsible for the division's first title, Fallout, left Interplay to form Troika Games after they "were unable to come to an agreement with Interplay as to how [their] next team should be structured". On December 8, 2003, in the midst of serious financial difficulties, Interplay laid off the entire Black Isle Studios staff. As of 2007, Interplay has neither explained the move nor clarified what the future holds for Black Isle Studios, but considering the fact that Interplay itself is now a company in serious financial straits, the future of Black Isle is grim indeed. Many former Black Isle Studios employees now work at either Obsidian Entertainment or Bioware.

A list of noted titles:

Fallout
Fallout 2
Planescape: Torment
Icewind Dale
Icewind Dale: Heart of Winter
Icewind Dale: Heart of Winter - Trials of the Luremaster
Icewind Dale II
Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance II
Last Kingdom

Among the products whose development Black Isle assisted are:

Baldur's Gate
Baldur's Gate: Tales of the Sword Coast
Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn
Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal
Lionheart: Legacy of the Crusader

Fun Fact:
The studio used to code-name its projects after U.S. presidents and vice-presidents. The system was reportedly created by Josh Sawyer (aka JE Sawyer), who joined the company in 1999.

A list of some BIS projects with their code names:

Project King - Stonekeep II, canceled in 2001
Project Adams - Icewind Dale: Heart of Winter
Project Washington - Black Isle's Torn; announced and canceled in 2001
Project Madison - Icewind Dale: Trials of the Luremaster
Project Monroe - Icewind Dale II
Project Quincy - Lionheart: Legacy of the Crusader (This was a ruse by Feargus Urquhart, as there never was a U.S. president with that last name and Lionheart was not developed by Black Isle Studios. Lionheart was also codenamed Fallout Fantasy.)
Project Jackson - Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance II 2003
Project Jefferson - unofficially known as Baldur's Gate 3: The Black Hound; project name mentioned as early as 2001; canceled 2003
Project Van Buren - Fallout 3; canceled 2003 as PC staff was laid off

Fallout Intro:

http://www.youtube.com/v/oUX6LrrksS8








And, no we are not talking about the N-Gage.

Today we hail Motorola. Not for the Razr, not for any phone. But, for a microchip they developed in 1976.



That chip was the 68000.

What's so great about a 30 year old chip, you may ask?

That chip gave us such memorable characters as Ken & Ryu, Sonic The Hedgehog, Captain Commando, Arthur (Ghouls 'n Ghosts), Strider, Morrigan Aensland, Haohmaru, Marco Rossi & Tarma Roving (Metal Slug), Mai, Haggar, Opa-Opa (Fantasy Zone), Joe Musashi (Shinobi), Gilius Thunderhead (Golden Axe), and many more!

That one chip gave us litterally thousands of video games.

The 68000 was first used during the early 1980s in high-priced systems, including multiuser microcomputers like the WICAT 150, Tandy TRS-80 Model 16, and Fortune 32:16; single-user workstations such as Hewlett-Packard's HP 9000 Series 200 systems, the first Apollo/Domain systems, Sun Microsystems' Sun-1, and the Corvus Concept; and graphics terminals like Digital Equipment Corporation's VAXstation 100 and Silicon Graphics' IRIS 1000 and 1200. While Unix systems soon abandoned the original 68000 due to limitations of the processor, its derivatives remained popular in the Unix market throughout the 1980s.

During the mid 1980s, the 68000 was first used in personal and home computers, starting with the Apple Lisa and Macintosh, and followed by the Commodore Amiga, Atari ST, and Sharp X68000.

As technological advances obsoleted the 68000 from use in the standalone computing market, its use grew in consumer and embedded applications. Video game manufacturers used the 68000 as the backbone of many arcade games and home game consoles. Atari's Food Fight, from 1983, was one of the first 68000-based arcade games. The 68000 was the main CPU of many arcade systems during the late 1980s and early 1990s, such as Sega's System 16, Capcom's CPS-1 and CPS-2, and SNK's Neo Geo. A number of arcade systems used two 68000s; some even used three. During the 1990s, as arcade systems switched to more powerful processors for the main CPU, they often continued to use the 68000 as a sound controller.

The 68000 was also the central processor in several home game consoles of the late 1980s/early 1990s, including the Sega Mega Drive (Sega Genesis), the Sega Mega-CD (Sega CD), and the console version of the Neo Geo (AES). Some later game consoles still included the 68000: the Sega Saturn used it as a dedicated sound controller, and in the Atari Jaguar it co-ordinated the activities of the other specialized graphics and sound chips.

So, a company that is now known for only making phones, gave us a revolutionary chip that gave us years of fond video game memories.

So, is the 86000 retired after so many years of faithful service to the world? Nope! It can still be found in everything from TVs to specialized medical equipment. In fact, kids are still using the chip today. But, not so much for gaming, as for high school math. Texas Instruments uses the 68000 in its high-end graphing calculators, the TI-89 and TI-92 series and Voyage 200.

Although, I fondly remember playing Tetris on my TI-80 all those years ago, and I no doubt believe that kids are still playing games while they should be learning tangents and cosines...

So, I guess you could say, that little chip is still gaming on to this day.



(If you do an article about Motorola, you gotta have a picture of the awesome 80s-tastic DynaTac cell phone!) ;)