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9

There is a New York Times article (The Game Turns Serious at Atari from December, 1982. One quote from it is: Atari is also facing problems in its two other businesses. Its arcade game business has dropped into the red this quarter and its home computer business, which has never yet been profitable, faces a market-share battle. (the first business is the ...


-1

In the Sprint 2 hardware design, the text is part of a character-cell based playfield, generated through a lookup into a 512x8b character ROM (actually a pair of 512x4b ROMs wired in parallel, in sockets P4 and R4). This ROM could not be read by the CPU, but fed directly into a shift register which, after being combined with the car sprites, drove the video ...


3

I wonder if it might also have been the influence of tradition/habit. Things like pinball and pachinko have to be vertically oriented because the ball is pulled towards interaction with playing field elements (the bumpers, gates, etc.) by gravity, so the elements have to be stacked vertically. A landscape pinball machine would make for short turns and ...


5

My family owned an arcade parlor of sorts in the mid-1970's when Space Invaders, Pong, and PacMan were replacing mechanical games. I have seen the insides of many old-school arcade games when they were relatively new. In the early games the CRT was often mounted horizontally. What you saw was a mirror at about 45 degrees that reflected the CRT and made it ...


5

Note that paper is usually also vertical, as were many early desktop PCs. Where does horizontal come from? Many professionals used vertical screens on PCs (and some still do) whenever possible. It's great for reading, which is why this very site only uses a fraction of the display to show actual content - the thing you're supposed to read still fits a ...


61

Having the display vertical reduces the width of the cabinet. This means that a game machine can be fitted into a smaller space in a pub/bar, or in an amusement arcade where machines are in rows you can get more machines (potentially a third more) into the same space. One-third more machines means one-third more revenue. The orientation may also have been ...


20

(From the perspective of the electronics, that means the displays were drawn sideways.) Not necessary. There is no inherent reason for drawing sideways. A video circuit can easy be made for either, as line width and number of lines can be defined either way. This is especially true for early games, where electronics were rather special to type and so was ...


6

This answer isn't backed up by facts or testimonies. It only reflects my personal thoughts The main reason is probably that early games such as Space Invaders (and Galaxian, Galaga...) or Breakout have a gameplay where vertical resolution / room is more important. Objects (bullets, balls) are travelling vertically. And the rest of games that could have ...


7

To start with, the citation is a bit misleading. The logic didn't handle 128 sprites and 256 tiles at a time, but its ROM could hold as many different ones. The arcade board does not feature a free programmable sprite engine. There is a fixed sets (128) of direct addressable graphics in 8 KiB of ROM used (128 x 32 x 16). A set of shift registers, feed by ...


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