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Consoles of the '80s


Console: Commodore Amiga
Manufacturer: Commodore
Discontinued: 1987

Cheaper than the Apple Mac and IBM PC, the Amiga was especially popular with professions relating to video production. As a 16-bit (and later 32-bit) machine, the Amiga was popular enough to warrant a new design every year or so. The company stopped producing Amigas in 1996.


Console: Intv System III
Manufacturer: INTV Corp.
Discontinued: 1987

Intellivison changed their name to INTV Corp and released the INTV System III (or Intellivision III). Priced at $60, it went on to reach $6 million in sales worldwide. New games like Super Pro Football and Pole Position went head to head against Sega’s Master System and the NES.


Console: Sega SG-1000 Mark III - Japan
Manufacturer: Sega
Discontinued: 1992

Released as a direct competitor to the Famicom/NES, the Mark III was backwards-compatible with the other SG-1000s and used “Sega Cards” (additional slot for games) along with its cartridge system. Video hardware and an increased amount of RAM did wonders for the system as it made minor waves when it was renamed the Master System a few short months later.


Console: Sinclair ZX Spectrum + - UK
Manufacturer: Sinclair
Discontinued: 1985

Same as the original Spectrum, but included a new reset button and injection-molded keyboard.


Console: Amstrad CPC 6128
Manufacturer: Amstrad
Discontinued: 1990

Replaced the CPC 664 released only just a few months beforehand. Came with the new built-in floppy drive and 128KB of memory. Hot diggity damn!


Console: Atari 2600 Junior
Manufacturer: Atari
Discontinued: 1992

Right before the Atari 7800 launched, Atari made a push to revitalize interest in their (at that point) technologically inferior 2600. Hence the Jr. edition. Retailed for $50 and wasn’t that great compared to Nintendo or Sega’s worst efforts.


Console: Sega Master System
Manufacturer: Sega
Discontinued: 1990

Known as the SG-1000 Mark III in Japan, the Master System was a direct threat to Nintendo’s entertainment system, but it didn’t really matter since the NES held 95% of the North American gaming market. No matter - after dismal sales Sega bounced back with a vengeance.


Console: Atari 7800
Manufacturer: Atari
Discontinued: 1992

Because the 5200 was so abysmal, the 7800 was created to reestablish market dominance (that didn’t happen). But the 7800 fixed everything wrong with the 5200 - simple joysticks, fully backwards compatible and was completely affordable at $140. However, the number of titles developed specifically for the 7800 were the lowest of any Atari console up until that point. Profitable due to low investments, yet nowhere near as popular as the NES.


Console: Famicom Disk System - Japan
Manufacturer: Nintendo
Discontinued: 1992

A system designed to use floppy disks for data storage; you hooked it up to the Famicom and enabled temporary program storage for larger games and save states. The Legend of Zelda, Metroid and Kid Icarus were some of the first games released to utilize this feature, even though they were subsequently ported as cartridges. Never made it to the States.

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6 comments

  • Nebulon - May 23, 2014 1:03 p.m.

    Many of the machines listed here are computers and not consoles. However, if you're going to include computers, you ought to list the Atari 800 from 1979. As for consoles, perhaps consider adding the Vectrex.
  • Nebulon - May 23, 2014 1:13 p.m.

    I see you have the Atari 800 covered. So you can disregard that request. Maybe mention that the 5200 was essentially the Atari 400 chipset?
  • mrmorozov987 - April 9, 2011 12:31 a.m.

    Why haven't more people read this? They need to.
  • MegaGamer1000 - September 18, 2008 3:04 a.m.

    my bad first XD
  • MegaGamer1000 - September 18, 2008 3:03 a.m.

    FIST BITCH yay
  • CALLOFDUTYLOVER - March 21, 2009 3:35 p.m.

    How many effing consoles do they need? 3 odyssey thingyes in 1 year get an effing life magnavox! you 2 Nintendo!

Showing 1-6 of 6 comments

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