Posted on March 31, 2012
Retro Reaction #2.2 Gremlins on a Scrapheap, Too Early?
History is always written by the winning side.
A common quote – no one seems to know it’s origin but few argue against it. Certainly it is true of the video games market, well kind of.
History is written by the most popular console, or those that gave it a darn good try. I’m looking at you there Sega.
But what about the others? The consoles that ended up on the scrap heap perhaps just a little too early.
Neo Geo Pocket Colour
A technically fine hand-held and a possible competitor to the Gameboy. The Game Gear had thrown in the towel giving the Neo Geo a clean run as a possible competitor.
Why it Failed?
Lack of third party support is partly to blame. The other was simply that it was against a very strong competitor in the Gameboy Color was about to sky rocket in the Pokemon era of it’s lifespan.
Yes Commodore did just survive into the CD era. In fact the CD32 was the first 32bit CD based system. It was capable of running Video CD (A pre DVD era video disk with quality often worse than VHS – but much easier to duplicate)
It could be turned into a home PC by plugging in a mouse, keyboard, and monitor. This sounds so good I want one already. And we in the UK did as the take up was good.
Why it Failed
Sadly for Commodore the relative success with the CD32 came as too little too late. They couldn’t order in supplies or pay the bills and sadly filled for Bankruptcy in April 1994.
You know those games you play by the seaside and in pubs? The ones where the lucky leprechaun lies to you saying you could win lots of money (yeah I know the little green b@$tard got me too)?
Stargames that make these little thieving machines including Hawaiian Delight, Leprechaun Luck, and Mister Magic all run on a stripped down CD32 board.
Commodore you are gone but not forgotten.
The preferred add on DVD drive of the Xbox 360 – and Microsoft themselves. The supposed successor to DVD
Why it Failed
Unlike Betamax which was the superior technically to VHS, HD DVD was slightly inferior to Blu -Ray.
That’s not to say there was a lot in it. Video and Audio looks and sounds very similar on both disks. If you were to look at a Blu-ray and a HD DVD copy of the same film I honestly believe that 99% of us couldn’t tell the difference.
A nagging point between the two formats was Blu-ray used Java for interactive content and HD DVD used a Microsoft system.
The HD DVD failed because having two formats was causing customer confusion and major studio Warner decided to only release on Blu-ray. Other store’s followed Warner’s lead phasing the HD DVD into history and into Retro Reaction.. Bit too early?!
Im not going to go too in depth here. Why is that Analyst I hear you ask!
Because I already did – in our Geekout section.
Now to look at this film from a retro point of view.
I’m probably quite biased. I still love this film. The story itself is still up there and our puppet fiends still look good enough to pass over most CGI stuff in today’s world.
It’s part sci-fi part horror, part comedy and part morality tale. But all is 100% eighties. Yes it’s showing many signs of age but not nearly as many as its sequel (which is still worth a watch).