AtariXL vs C64

category: general [glöplog]

* Optional POKEY sound chip on cartridge for improved sounds.

You can put any sound chip on the cartridge. The 7800 has a sound input pin on the cartridge slot. Hell, you can put anything on a cartridge (See Pitfall II for the 2600 - it had a sound chip on the cartridge, but the program needed to manually shuffle samples generated by the sound chip to the 2600's internal sound hardware, because the 2600 has no sound input).
added on the 2008-01-27 20:30:57 by Moerder Moerder
"The XE practically sings!"
added on the 2008-01-28 11:32:46 by mic mic
Pokey 4 channels /or stereo 8 channels/ + Tia 3channels /I am not sure.../ is not enough for chipmusic???
why versus?
i love them both :)
added on the 2008-01-29 11:46:48 by elkmoose elkmoose

Just to mention: The Lucasfilm Game "The Eidolon" plays music during loading a level... on the A8.
Or just have a look at prod 9212 (Joyride)... the LOADER for the demo parts plays music and displays a moving starfield with "100s" of stars at the same time... You actually could do a loader for playing digisounds...

added on the 2008-03-21 19:40:01 by emkay emkay
I f someone wants to see 256 colour 3D FX with some special software tricks.:


added on the 2008-03-21 22:38:21 by emkay emkay
Concerning "On Atari it is standard to have expanded hardware": I don't think this is true. Only two times in my life have I ever seen an expanded Atari8 in the eBay Atari section (and one of them is currently for sale), all other Ataris sold there are unexpanded. All the games are made for unexpanded Ataris and all the old demos too.

Only in newschool times expansions like 320k or 2xPOKEY became common among demo sceners, but it was no good thing since it limited the scene to itself. If somebody who still has his old Atari in his attic decides to watch some new demos, he will not be able to do it. I own 3 different Atari 8 bit computers but none of them can be used to watch new Atari demos, and I am not going to use my limited soldering skills on a 25 years old computer.
On C64 it would be slightly different: The CBM RAM expansion simply plugs into the expansion port, no soldering required. And it's even original Commodore hardware, yet the C64 scene there decided that it's best if everybody can watch their demos and skip RAM expansion support.
added on the 2008-03-23 14:15:44 by Zonkham Zonkham
as a game machine c64 was a clear winner over a8 in te 80s.
added on the 2008-03-23 15:24:42 by Oswald Oswald
What Elitescener said. :)

When I was young, I started with an 800, then got an 800XL, then a 130XE. I ran a BBS on the 130. The RAMdisk was cool for preloading all of the menus into which greatly improved speed and reduced disk access. The board was a message board and had mostly local people on there. I met quite a few friends on those early 80s BBSs and still keep in touch with a few of them.

A few years ago, I hit the jackpot on ebay and got another 800 (My original was lost somewhere through the years, I think it got sold in a yard sale). I also got a 1200XL and a bunch of software in that lot. I still have my 1050s with the Doublers installed and one Happy 1050 as well as an old 810.

I had a C64 for awhile as well and I agree.. All of this old classic hardware is cool and fun to work with. Now I'm thinking of hooking up one of the old Atari machines and checking out what still works in the big box of disks I have.

I also collect classic arcade games and you'd be surprised how similar the hardware in the older Atari games is to the 8 bit machines. Centipede for example is very similar to an 800 except it's dedicated and is on one (rather large) board. Some games such as Tempest use different video output hardware and utilize two POKEYs.. One for input and one for sound. Space Duel is the same way but is newer so it's all on one board, where Tempest is on two. I used to have a Tempest, still have my Centipede and Space Duel.

Old hardware rocks!
added on the 2008-03-23 15:30:19 by ngtflyer ngtflyer
History always will give you backup with the truth: The C64 was the leading 8 bit Game Computer in the 80s.
But there is another truth...The C64's CPU was way too slow to put all genres of games onto the home-user-market.

This one runs on a stock ATARI and could run on a 64k enhanced 800 from 1979 aswell):


And this one shows what big heaps of data (lots of zooming objects) the A8 can handle. Including clear digi speach, high framerates and most original Gameplay compares to the far superior Arcade-machine:


Yes, a Megabyte cartridge wil be necessary to play the game. But, don't forget that the computer has to be fast enough to handle this huge RAM size.
And, have a closer look: The clear digi speech doesn't interfere the speed of the gameplay.
And: The game runs on 60Hz machines aswell. This means that the CPU has approx. 20% of free time on a PAL machine (where the screenshot is taken from).
added on the 2008-03-23 17:40:29 by emkay emkay
yoomp rules. that space harrier seems incredible. i gotta try that!!

but c64 had turrican1 and 2, r-type, etc back in the day. that wasn't bad. on my xl i had less spectacular games (although there were some gems, just like the ones mentioned above).

and... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FbZ-chrOgGg

i just regret very much not having bitched my parents into buying this.. it was 80 guilders.. but very amazing.

added on the 2008-03-23 22:01:33 by earx earx
130XE RULES!!!
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130XE RULES!!!
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130XE RULES!!!
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130XE RULES!!!
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130XE RULES!!!
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130XE RULES!!!
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130XE RULES!!!
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130XE RULES!!!
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pah! who cares about atari's, they always been cack, they are the nigeria of the 8 bit scene.
added on the 2008-03-23 23:44:54 by fatfrost fatfrost
you obviously haven't seen the BP08 C64 compo.
added on the 2008-03-24 01:58:17 by earx earx
I don't think that's the fault of the platform ;)
added on the 2008-03-24 03:29:42 by Alpha C Alpha C
just 2 cents regarding sio-loader. one of our productions had custom sio-loader plus digi drums beat while loading... so actually it is possible... ;)

and Total Daze, Overmind, Joyride, our disc mag, Eidolon etc have custom loaders... or even look at Seven Cities of Gold... the game streams map data while playing...

but two add... of course it is little harder to do fast loader etc as the Atari 1050 disc drive is very stupid and has no custom ram (maybe 128 byte) and is not programmable without hardware expansions like speedy 1050 or turbo 1050.

even Ataris tape deck 1010 can not be made faster by software except to 800-1100 baud...

Atari is quite okay. One just needs to visit the right demo parties. E.g. second most important party for atari scene - Forever. Btw. musician called X-Ray of Grayscale rocks! No matter how crappy Pokey sound-chip architecture is and in generall no matter how bad any musical or non-musical instrument is. Great musician can always squeeze some massive stuff from it! ;-)
added on the 2008-03-24 15:51:40 by CreaMD CreaMD

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Stereo makes it much better, true true.
added on the 2008-03-24 17:54:24 by CreaMD CreaMD
/me pulls out his original Commodore SFX Sound Expander which adds an YM3526 to the system (9 channel sound).

Together with the SID it gives you a total of 12 sound channels where you have both: bassy filtered SID sound + YM sound :)
added on the 2008-03-25 17:56:21 by Zonkham Zonkham
What to say? POKEY is the most underestimated Chip in the Demoscene.
While SID is/was a 100% Synthi-chip, POKEY was created for Data-IO plus making ingame noise. When it comes to "music" a musician simply could make music with a SID chip.
POKEY is more like a house.... You need cement, stones, wood... and if you make everything allright, you have a house. Make everything allright with pokey will give you "music". Also with filtered Bass Sounds , if you want.


If you want to check this test tune of mine.
Interchanging filtered sound + high accord + kicking drums.
Everything is "programmed" . No digitizing and/or highspeed routines are used (Though it can easily sound even better if a tracker would exist for all POKEY features.)
It could be used in all games and demos, but there are many issues causing such not to be implemented.
One is, that the A8 scene doesn't want it.

added on the 2008-03-26 08:18:31 by emkay emkay
As always it's a quesiton to be creative with the given limitations. at the Forever9 Nula released this:


Sounds very nice to me and combines the typical hard pokey sounds with a lot own ideas in a nice chiptune-style. however, the Pokey chip will always sound less harmonic because it was simpley not designed to be a synthesizer only.

and again it's here pretty much the same as it is with GFX productions on the 8bit. The user base is much smaller. It's a logical consequence that the 8bit Atari scene has not so many exceptional productions.

added on the 2008-03-26 09:49:40 by twh twh
POKEY sounds more chipmusic like...
I mean POKEY sounds more like GB or NES or SMS soundchip!!!
SID sounds like old ENSONIQ keyboard...
And on C64 is standard only 3channels...
On ATARI800 is standard 8 channels...