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Woodus

Chip Shortage of 1988

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Does anyone else remember the chip shortage of 1988? (I know I am dating myself a bit here :))

Don't know how my mind squirreled to this, I think it is because the kids have been talking about Zelda a lot lately and that made me think of Zelda II (and how I need to replay some of the series), and I remember having to wait forever for it, and it never seemed that it was going to come out.

So I started googling and there was indeed a chip shortage that year and I found the old 20/20 broadcast that talked about it (I remember watching it) and to circle around to Dragon Quest they mentioned Dragon Quest III in that broadcast (that part I had forgotten).

Short bit about Dragon Quest around 6 minute mark

 

 

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My parents weren’t even married by the time of this chip shortage, so I’m gonna contribute by sharing some other weird shortages in the last few decades.

In 1973, there was the toilet paper shortage that Johnny Carson inadvertently caused by making a joke that people believed and caused an actual shortage shortly after.

Then, also in the ‘70s, there was a paper shortage in Canada due to strikes that resulted in several DC comics to be either cancelled or have their final issues held back for months.

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The 1988 chip shortage is very often cited as the cause for many games to come out later in the states (SMB3 being the popular go-to example). I'm not sure it affected Europe, but we were already used to getting the games years after USA, so I never really heard talk about this until the past couple of decades. But it's a cool little tidbid.

Chip shortages are a pretty common thing though, especially throughout the 80s, so what's become one single chip shortage in pop culture might easily have been multiple for all I know.

Edited by Sumez

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One thing you can always count on through the years is Barbara Walters being an idiot. No, Nintendo won't make you brain dead. Watching The View sure will, though!

But yeah, I remember the chip shortage. There were even warnings ahead of time. Nintendo Power mentioned it a few times, even in the smallest blurbs for random games. Still was fortunate enough to get Zelda II and SMB2 for Christmas in 5th grade. (And glad I did, because they got me through a rough school year!) But like the Nintendo rep said, the demand was higher than what they purchased from their chip supplier and manufacturing had to catch up. Same thing happened with the Switch.

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44 minutes ago, Dwaine said:

One thing you can always count on through the years is Barbara Walters being an idiot. No, Nintendo won't make you brain dead. Watching The View sure will, though!

But yeah, I remember the chip shortage. There were even warnings ahead of time. Nintendo Power mentioned it a few times, even in the smallest blurbs for random games. Still was fortunate enough to get Zelda II and SMB2 for Christmas in 5th grade. (And glad I did, because they got me through a rough school year!) But like the Nintendo rep said, the demand was higher than what they purchased from their chip supplier and manufacturing had to catch up. Same thing happened with the Switch.

But it’s thanks to that delay that we got The Wizard, so it was all worth it in the end.

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I remember when "Link wrote a letter to Zelda" in Nintendo Power. It was a letter of apology due to Zelda II limited prints and the chip shortage.

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1 hour ago, redneckpride4ever said:

I remember when "Link wrote a letter to Zelda" in Nintendo Power. It was a letter of apology due to Zelda II limited prints and the chip shortage.

This one? Was actually the Nintendo Fun Club back that far :)

Where's Link.jpg

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4 hours ago, eal said:

But it’s thanks to that delay that we got The Wizard, so it was all worth it in the end.

I love The Wizard.  It's so bad.  (lol)

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29 minutes ago, The Dog of Zahan said:

I love The Wizard.  It's so bad.  (lol)

I love Jenny Lewis.

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3 hours ago, Woodus said:

This one? Was actually the Nintendo Fun Club back that far :)

That was the final issue of Nintendo Fun Club! Nintendo Power started up a few months after that.

Having lived through the chip shortage, it was there, but you only felt the effects of it during the heavy shopping times like Christmas. Once that died down and the other waves began hitting, the games were as common as your Mario or Zelda game today. Come to think of it, those were the only two games that people really felt it. I guess because there were that many more people buying, I guess, the first real AAA titles. There was an entire Christmas season after that with tons of great games. Pushing Mario 3 back was a good thing. ...Come to think of it, was that the first time Nintendo released a major title in February? That's one of their launch windows now.

 

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I never encountered Legend of Zelda in a store during the 80's! Zelda 2 and Mario 3 I remember being really scarce. Distribution was not as sophisticated, so games would come and go very haphazardly, some areas would get games that others wouldn't.

I was thinking a few months ago about my own personal access to NES games. I never owned enough carts to fill up my 10 gamepak capacity storage bin (with carrying handle and cheap vinyl coating), but I knew which rental shops had which titles, what my friends had, and their friends had, etc. It was like a pre-internet file sharing service.

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I actually liked this video.  The reporter seemed like a pretty cool dude.

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Quote

I never encountered Legend of Zelda in a store during the 80's! Zelda 2 and Mario 3 I remember being really scarce. Distribution was not as sophisticated, so games would come and go very haphazardly, some areas would get games that others wouldn't.

Really? It was always a lock at a Wal-Mart. Back when kids would gaze at the game case with pretty much the same 20 or so games. Also back when Wal-Marts were "small." There's still an original sized Wal-Mart just outside of Austin. It's a trip!

Quote

The reporter seemed like a pretty cool dude.

Stossel has always been a fairly solid reporter. He works for ReasonTV now.

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12 hours ago, Woodus said:

This one? Was actually the Nintendo Fun Club back that far :)

Where's Link.jpg

No, it was literally a dear Zelda "letter".  However, I DO remember this Fun Club News issue!

What is hilarious to read is that they were allegedly using extra time to make a more exciting game. A game that had been released in Japan already! Granted, they may have made a few tweaks and hence not technically been lying, but they'd never get away with such a claim in the age of the internet!

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On 8/31/2018 at 6:59 PM, Woodus said:

This one? Was actually the Nintendo Fun Club back that far :)

Where's Link.jpg

Man, I long for the days when the best way to advertise a game was "even more challenging!".

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21 minutes ago, Sumez said:

Man, I long for the days when the best way to advertise a game was "even more challenging!".

From Software have built an empire on advertising games that way, even if they don’t outright say it themselves (aside from the whole Prepare to Die thing) and it’s more of a “word of mouth” thing.

And people tend to forget games were hard because games tend to be more about the gameplay, whereas it’s just a primary reason to play a game but not the sole one. And because there was little going on but gameplay, they were also shorter, so to stretch out the value, it needed to be tougher.

Nowadays, you can sell someone on a game in a genre they don’t like based on aesthetic, story, the names attached to it, what it might be based on (say James Bond or Spider-Man or something). Yes, older games could look pretty at times or had a good story, but there was a lot of constraint and limitations.

For example, Hellblade had some pretty good gameplay, but the conversation regarding that game is centered mostly on the sound design (it must be played wearing headphones), the emphasis on a unique topic like psychosis, the themes that tie into the story and what unique elements could alter the gameplay because of that, and it’s gorgeous visuals. A lot of what made it such a well-received game last year were things enhanced by being a game, or only capable as a game, but gameplay was not one of the most highly praised or discussed parts of it.

I personally feel what makes video games a unique art form is it has a lot of different ways to express itself beyond the gameplay. I dunno. I think I’m probably alone on this one around here. 

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Bandai are the ones doing the "this gameis sooooo haaaard you'll die all the time" advertising, not From themselves. :)

But yes, Dark Souls is obviously the go-to counter-example, that unfortunately hasn't been able to change the general mindset yet.

2 hours ago, eal said:

And people tend to forget games were hard because games tend to be more about the gameplay

Thanks for not saying it was to get people to put more quarters in the arcade cabs, or prevent people from completing the game on rentals, etc. etc.
What this ad is an example of is that this approach wasn't just a money making scheme from the publishers, but actively what the consumers wanted. Back then it was all about "this game is so challenging it will kick you in the groin!!". :D 

2 hours ago, eal said:

I personally feel what makes video games a unique art form is it has a lot of different ways to express itself beyond the gameplay. I dunno. I think I’m probably alone on this one around here. 

Nah, I agree completely. But I lament that many of those ways are very underrepresented

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5 minutes ago, Sumez said:

Thanks for not saying it was to get people to put more quarters in the arcade cabs, or prevent people from completing the game on rentals, etc. etc.

Never heard the one about keeping people from completing game rentals, though I wouldn’t be surprised that people have used that excuse. However, I do think the “put more quarters in the arcade cabinets” reasoning is correct for some games. Mostly the beat-em-ups that required serious skill to keep from dying constantly (by which point you’d need to have practiced so much that you’d probably already spent a ton to get that good) or else there was no way to avoid throwing quarters in the machine constantly to get through to the end. Maybe I was just bad at it, but unless you had a full crew, The Simpson’s arcade cabinet felt insurmountable without dying a bunch.

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I actually consider the Simpsons games one of the easiest beat'em ups out there. :) I really suck at that genre, but in that game you can avoid almost any attack by being defensive and using the Z axis constantly.

Of course, as a kid I had no idea, and just wailed on the enemies and put way too many coins into that cabinet.

Edited by Sumez

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X-Men, at the very least, was tough though.

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Ikari Warriors was the quarter eater for me

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46 minutes ago, Woodus said:

Ikari Warriors was the quarter eater for me

Ralf and Clark from that game are playable characters in all the King of Fighters games. Their 3rd teammate usually changes between games, but the two of them are always present to represent Team Ikari Warriors.

I wonder if Ikari Warriors will be in the SNK 40th Anniversary collection...

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3 hours ago, YangustheLegendaryBandit said:

I wonder if Ikari Warriors will be in the SNK 40th Anniversary collection...

It's already been announced. :) 

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On 8/31/2018 at 7:31 PM, Dwaine said:

Really? It was always a lock at a Wal-Mart. Back when kids would gaze at the game case with pretty much the same 20 or so games. Also back when Wal-Marts were "small." There's still an original sized Wal-Mart just outside of Austin. It's a trip!

Stossel has always been a fairly solid reporter. He works for ReasonTV now.

If I was eal, I'd note *Walmart

I mean, they're no Spider-Man.

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3 minutes ago, Plattym3 said:

If I was eal, I'd note *Walmart

I mean, they're no Spider-Man.

To be fair, it was Wal-Mart until the end of last year. Now, it’s legal name is Walmart.

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