by Lee Pappas
It's true. Times are changing. Having just returned from my 14th Consumer Electronics Show (CES), I have nothing to report on the 8-bit news front. Of course, Atari was there pushing 8-bit products... that is just the XE Game System and software. But the days of dozens of new product announcements and releases are long gone-most likely for good.
CES was really lacking the multitude of software companies that have attended in the past, and many that did attend had their own rooms hidden away or went in with distributors. The big names in software now read Nintendo or Nintendo compatible Even Apple, Mac and PC supporters were missing.
However, I must admit that what was missing for 8-bit was counterbalanced with quite a few new programs for the ST And some neat stuff, too, which you can read about in next month's ST-Log.
What's saddest is finding Atari far, far behind Nintendo in the video-game industry. Figure 70% to 80% belongs to Nintendo, with the rest split between Sega and Atari. And from what I saw at the show, it's Sega that gets my vote on gaining ground on Nintendo, not Atari.
The problem with the XE Game System isn't the unit itself, but the software. Most of the games are starving for state-of-theart graphics and just don't have the imagination that is clearly evident in the Nintendo and newer Sega products. Face it, the Nintendo and Sega don't have keyboards. In the Nintendo's case the unit is plain and boring in appearance, and the controls are simple. What those have, however, are spectacular, well-thought-out programs, many of which go far beyond the shoot-'em concept.
So that's my 8-bit report on the summer Consumer Electronics Show. Oh, for the days of pages and pages of exciting new 8-bit products to announce.