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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 ...


14

Amstrad used an off-the-shelf component, and did the best they could. For generating video addresses, sync timing, etc, Amstrad used the 6845 CRTC, which was originally designed for text displays. In particular it is designed for a linear text area, looking up character graphics from a font ROM, so e.g. if you’ve set up a 40-column display with 8px ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


1

Cabling costs, for one thing. An 8 bit per channel digital link capable of reliably handling tens of MHz, in the late 1980s/early 1990s, would have looked similar to Wide SCSI in physical implementation - clunky, power hungry, expensive, and unreliable if less than premium quality parts and wiring were used. Serial links like you find in DVI, HDMI, or ...


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