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Old 18th May 2017, 13:43   #21
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Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree View Post
Hey, at least it's not like back in the day. When I first got started in gaming, you were lucky if you got a solid three years out of 'em. ZX80: 1980. ZX81: 1981. ZX Spectrum: 1982. Master System: 1985 (Japan, 1986 US and 1987 Europe). Mega Drive: 1988 (Japan, 1989 US and 1990 Europe). Mega CD: 1991 (Japan, 1992 US and 1993 Europe). 32X: 1994 (Japan and US, 1995 Europe). Saturn: 1994 (Japan, 1995 US and Europe). Dreamcast: 1998 (Japan, 1999 US and Europe.)

So, if you started out with a ZX80 you replaced it the next year and the year after that, then you had three years before you fancied a Master System, another three before you upgraded to a Mega Drive, three years before you were convinced that Multimedia Is The Future and added a Mega CD to it, another three before you picked up the 32X 'cos it turns out cartridges are better than single-speed CD-ROMs, then a Saturn that same year after you figured out the 32X was a dead duck, then four years before you picked up the Dreamcast only to see Sega drop down dead.

And by 'you,' I mean 'me,' except I skipped the 32X. Not 'cos I knew it was going to be a flop, I just couldn't afford it at the time.

Five year lifecycle? Luxury!

(Although if you cut your teeth on the Nintendo side of the fence, you had things better: NES in 1983, SNES didn't land for another seven years in 1990, then you had six years to wait for the Nintendo 64 in 1996, then another six for the GameCube in 2001, then five for the Wii in 2006 though at least your GameCube games were compatible with it. Just to finish the list off: another five for the Wii U announcement in 2011 though you couldn't buy it until 2012, then the Switch was unveiled four years later in 2016 and launched this year bringing us to the modern five-year cycle.)
I remember it well. I was about 9 when the zx81 came out and my best friend at the time had one for Christmas (or rather his family bought one for the household, but as far as we were concerned it was his ). I held-off for a couple more years and saved up for a Commodore 64.

My '64 lasted me through to the late 80's when I bought an A500, and my friend ditched his zx81 in favour of a CPC464 somewhere along the line but things were different back then: the emphasis was on computing rather than computers, and the lust for the latest hardware wasn't nearly as strong as it is today, where manufacturers have made upgrading a competitive sport in its own right.
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