Author Topic: Why are the NES era Consoles 3rd Gen and not 4th?  (Read 246 times)

burningdoom

PRO Supporter

Why are the NES era Consoles 3rd Gen and not 4th?
« on: November 21, 2022, 04:08:07 pm »
Something to chew on:

The Atari 2600 is a 2nd generation console. The Atari 5200 is it's successor making it a 3rd generation console.

That would mean the Atari 7800 and it's contemporaries (NES/Master System) are 4th generation consoles...so who decided they were 3rd generation consoles?!

dhaabi

Re: Why are the NES era Consoles 3rd Gen and not 4th?
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2022, 04:41:43 pm »
Historically, a new generation begins once a major upgrade in graphical quality has been reached.

With that said, Atari 2600 and Atari 5200 are formally considered to be a part of the second generation. The Atari 7800 made the shift to third generation.

It is similar to the Wii U and Switch, which are both a part of the eighth generation.

burningdoom

PRO Supporter

Re: Why are the NES era Consoles 3rd Gen and not 4th?
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2022, 04:43:01 pm »
Historically, a new generation begins once a major upgrade in graphical quality has been reached.

With that said, Atari 2600 and Atari 5200 are formally considered to be a part of the second generation. The Atari 7800 made the shift to third generation.

It is similar to the Wii U and Switch, which are both a part of the eighth generation.


Going from the 2600 to the arcade quality 5200 was a leap in graphics.

dhaabi

Re: Why are the NES era Consoles 3rd Gen and not 4th?
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2022, 05:02:41 pm »
Historically, a new generation begins once a major upgrade in graphical quality has been reached.

With that said, Atari 2600 and Atari 5200 are formally considered to be a part of the second generation.


Going from the 2600 to the arcade quality 5200 was a leap in graphics.

It is probably best to not compare the items on their own but instead within the generation as a whole and the many systems which were released concurrent to them.

I'm not familiar with this generation of consoles, so I don't have any opinion the quality of the 2600 and the improvements the 5200 had over it.

burningdoom

PRO Supporter

Re: Why are the NES era Consoles 3rd Gen and not 4th?
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2022, 08:22:55 pm »
Historically, a new generation begins once a major upgrade in graphical quality has been reached.

With that said, Atari 2600 and Atari 5200 are formally considered to be a part of the second generation.


Going from the 2600 to the arcade quality 5200 was a leap in graphics.

It is probably best to not compare the items on their own but instead within the generation as a whole and the many systems which were released concurrent to them.

I'm not familiar with this generation of consoles, so I don't have any opinion the quality of the 2600 and the improvements the 5200 had over it.


Judge for yourself.

Donkey Kong on Atari 2600:


Donkey Kong on Atari 5200:


It's a big difference. One sort of looks like Donkey Kong. While the other is a near arcade-quality port.

And 5200's contemporaries were the Intellivision and Colecovision, both of which are improvements over the 2600 (especially the Colecovision).

Re: Why are the NES era Consoles 3rd Gen and not 4th?
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2022, 09:24:30 pm »
Historically, a new generation begins once a major upgrade in graphical quality has been reached.

With that said, Atari 2600 and Atari 5200 are formally considered to be a part of the second generation. The Atari 7800 made the shift to third generation.

It is similar to the Wii U and Switch, which are both a part of the eighth generation.


I'll never understand why the Wii U is considered 8th gen, and not 7th. All the games on it are 7th gen games (Looking at that are cross platform). Hell even the sports games end with 7th gen, no 8th gen sports games made it to the wii-u. I compare the wii to 6th gen consoles myself, though I'd rather the wii and wii-u be bunched together in the same gen then putting the wii in 8th. My knowledge of their consoles between the SNES and the Wii is non existent so I'm sure it's something there. Just my opinion, 'm far from an expert....just feel the wii-u is a 360/ps3 comparable console.

Re: Why are the NES era Consoles 3rd Gen and not 4th?
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2022, 09:59:56 am »
Something to chew on:

The Atari 2600 is a 2nd generation console. The Atari 5200 is it's successor making it a 3rd generation console.

That would mean the Atari 7800 and it's contemporaries (NES/Master System) are 4th generation consoles...so who decided they were 3rd generation consoles?!

We would just like to forget that the Atari 5200 ever was a thing. Erased from history. (Just joking)

While the Atari 5200 wasn't the best system, one of the things that stood out was that it was one of the first systems that I remember that allowed you to pause the game. I had never seen that before. While I'm not super nostalgic about the Atari systems (except maybe the awesome artwork on the game boxes), I preferred the 2600 simply because of its much larger library. Many of the games for the 5200 were slightly better graphical upgrades to already existing titles that were on the 2600.

My favorite of the 2600 games were:
- Fast Food
- Squeeze Box
- Entombed
- Gopher
- No Escape
- Cosmic Creeps
- Moon Patrol
- Missile Command
- Cosmic Ark
- Pitfall

Warmsignal

Re: Why are the NES era Consoles 3rd Gen and not 4th?
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2022, 10:50:32 pm »
I guess Nintendo would be a recent demonstration in how coming out with new hardware in rapid succession doesn't necessary equate to a new generation of hardware. I used to think Switch would be considered a 9th gen system but... look at it, compared to the competition? It can't even run 8th gen games very well, if at all. Wouldn't surprise me if they put out another 8th gen level piece of hardware in the future "because Nintendo".

So you might consider 5200 as third gen the same as 7800, but 7800 is surely not in the same realm as SNES or Genesis, when it comes to hardware and capability. I don't think it could be considered as 4th gen.