Re: [stella] O2 vs 2600 hardware

Subject: Re: [stella] O2 vs 2600 hardware
From: Piero Cavina <p.cavina@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 12 Sep 1997 11:30:05 +0200 (MET DST)
At 13.44 11/09/97 -0400, Dan Boris wrote:
>> Now it seems stranger to me why the 2600 has no video memory at all. I
>> thought it was because at the time it was too expensive...
>>I think the fact that the 2600 does not have video memory is what makes it 
>so flexible. Look at the O2, it had 256 bytes of video memory, but it's 
>graphics where very inflexible. The 2600 would require far more the 256 
>bytes to be able to control the entire display with is as much detail as it 
>can without it.

Yes, but I wasn't thinking about a 160x192 bitmapped display, just video
memory for some kind of character-based background... like the O^2.

>In the Howard Warshaw video one of the original Atari 2600 programmers said 
>that it was the things that were left out of the 2600 hardware that made it 
>as good a machine as it was. If they had tried to incorporate more it 
>probably would not have turned out as good.

That's for sure, we love the 2600 because of its limits - but I bet that if
in 1977 they had found a cheap way to include a 20x16 matrix of characters
instead of the playfield as we know it, they would have done it (and almost
ruined the machine!)...



Archives updated once/day at
Unsubscribing and other info at

Current Thread