Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Video game company websites from 1996

  1. #1
    Strawberry (Level 2)
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    412
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    49
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    5
    Thanked in
    5 Posts

    Default Video game company websites from 1996

    This is about as far back as we can go with the game companies' websites, but here's what the video game companies had on the internet in late 1996, the early 32-bit generation. All are loaded with cheesy '90s graphics.

    Sega (December 19, 1996)
    https://web.archive.org/web/19961219.../www.sega.com/

    Automatically downloads a "Sega scream", don't worry, it's only 3 kilobytes. No surprises here, they're pimping the Saturn but there's still some information on the Genesis, Game Gear, Genesis Nomad, Sega CD, Pico, and 32X (!). You can also find information on the Sega PC division, Sega was pushing PC games at this time as well. (Remember that?) One section concerning Saturn games is "10 Third Party Hits for the Holiday Season" and then they list off all the third parties they have... isn't that one of the things that sunk the Saturn, insufficient third party support? From the appearance of this website, this paints a picture of a fairly healthy Saturn, which it still was in '96 but things would get a lot worse in '97. Lots of game contests (long expired, obviously) as well. Overall mostly an accurate picture as to the state of Sega at the time, but there's still some fluff, and some outdated fluff (such as the hardware pages for the CD and 32X)

    Nintendo (December 22, 1996)
    https://web.archive.org/web/19961222...way/index.html

    The featured article is "The Search for Nintendo 64" where they say "It's tough out there searching for Nintendo 64 systems". Damn. They were a hot commodity for the holiday season of 1996. They mention that they're shipping N64's to stores on a weekly basis but that they don't sell directly to consumers. Almost all the headlining information goes toward the N64, you have to dig a little bit to get to the SNES. Nintendo was number one in the console market and they knew it.They also still have the Virtual Boy on there, now at 100 bucks, although honestly who was paying 100 bucks for a Virtual Boy in late 1996?

    Sony (December 22, 1996)
    https://web.archive.org/web/19961222...A/nfindex.html

    There was no generational shifting, no different lines of products here: just the PlayStation, a very strong second in the console race at the time (and would become first once the initial N64 demand cooled off in '97). They show off the technical specs of their console, have a list of press releases going back to early 1995 and the preparation for PlayStation launch (a wealth of information here!). Crash Bandicoot seems to be the leading game they're pushing, but there are plenty of others. There is a list of all titles, more contests, etc. They're not as "hey, we have third parties!" as Sega, but they still clearly show a wide range of third parties supporting their system (and history shows their third parties stuck with them).

    3DO (October 23, 1996)
    https://web.archive.org/web/19961023.../www2.3do.com/

    A couple months earlier. The focus seems to be on the M2 (vaporware...) but there are a showcase of 3DO games. It seems that by this point 3DO realized they were going to need to go third-party and Meridian 59, a PC game, is showcased prominently, as well as "Studio 3DO" which was shipping a few PC games. Not quite as advanced of a website as Sega, Nintendo, or Sony had at the time.

    Atari (October 29, 1996)
    https://web.archive.org/web/19961029...www.atari.com/

    And we have a website for Atari, "last updated September 25, 1996". Surprisingly optimistic website for a dead system. The "new software" has two games that were then nearly a year old. There's a press release about the JT Storage merger. The "third party" release section has two releases over a year old. The hardware section says it's up to 100 times faster than 16 bit systems like SNES and Genesis. Also, there's still a Lynx section.
    Real collectors drive Hondas, Toyotas, Chevys, Fords, etc... not Rolls Royces.

  2. The Following User Says Thank You to WelcomeToTheNextLevel For This Useful Post:

    gbpxl (08-07-2019)

  3. #2
    Great Puma (Level 12) jb143's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    St. Louis
    Posts
    4,112
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    4
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    52
    Thanked in
    47 Posts

    Default

    Interesting stuff. I'm surprised I've never looked into these sites on there before considering how often I've used internet archive. 1996 is when they started so it makes sense that's the oldest snapshot the site would have.

    I've often wondered what the first game manual to have a url printed in it was. The oldest I've seen was some of the later Genesis games. At least 1996 but I can't remember.
    "Game programmers are generally lazy individuals. That's right. It's true. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Since the dawn of computer games, game programmers have looked for shortcuts to coolness." Kurt Arnlund - Game programmer for Activision, Accolade...

  4. #3
    Apple (Level 5)
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    1,179
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    36
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    48
    Thanked in
    44 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jb143 View Post
    Interesting stuff. I'm surprised I've never looked into these sites on there before considering how often I've used internet archive. 1996 is when they started so it makes sense that's the oldest snapshot the site would have.

    I've often wondered what the first game manual to have a url printed in it was. The oldest I've seen was some of the later Genesis games. At least 1996 but I can't remember.
    Im gonna guess 1995 with some PlayStation titles. Just a wild guess
    "I used to think my life was a tragedy, but now I realize it's a comedy." - Joker

  5. #4
    Super Moderator Moderator
    Custom rank graphic
    Aussie2B's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    8,653
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    6
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    86
    Thanked in
    67 Posts

    Default

    I've looked up the archived versions of Nintendo's site before. None of the others, though. By the time I was getting on Nintendo's site (which was basically the first thing I ever did on a daily basis online), the design had already changed, I believe. I most remember the design with the white background with the circular layout of links over the C buttons.

    It's a shame the archive doesn't go further back. There are a lot of Nintendo Power issues in the mid 90s that briefly talk about things going on on their website. Like they'd had community fanfics or something where a large assortment of users would contribute to a story based on Zelda, Metroid, etc., and they'd also contribute MS Paint fanart and such. I find this period of internet fandom really fascinating because I never even had my own computer until around '98. The only times I got online prior to having my own computer was briefly on school computers to do research for school projects. Even once I had my own, it took a while for it to click with me. There was probably about half a year where I didn't really use my computer for anything but schoolwork and toying around with the preinstalled games. It all changed for me when I got on Nintendo's site and discovered their BBS.

  6. #5
    Great Puma (Level 12) YoshiM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    WI
    Posts
    4,153
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    18
    Thanked in
    18 Posts
    Xbox LIVE
    YoshiDM
    PSN
    YoshiDM
    3DS Friend
    0860-4642-4923

    Default

    Not a game company but a site that eventually grew into the Imagine Games Network: N64.com. when I got an N64 in 1996, I checked this site quite a bit.

    http://web.archive.org/web/199612210..._ext_stan.html

  7. #6
    Great Puma (Level 12) Steve W's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    DFW Metroplex, Texas
    Posts
    4,244
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    26
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    19
    Thanked in
    17 Posts

    Default

    I remember checking out the Atari website back in the day, many times. But those early web browsers would only load maybe a dozen screens before they'd stop loading things bit by bit (probably due to memory). So as broken as the Atari Jaguar website is in the Wayback Machine, that was also my experience of using it back then too. Man, I'm so glad America On Line and their horrible 1996 bundled browser isn't a thing any more.

  8. #7
    Strawberry (Level 2) sfchakan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    496
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    1
    Thanked in
    1 Post

    Default

    Anyone enough of an old fart to remember Secrets of the Sega Sages?

    I remember grabbing FAQs at friend's houses when I was so young I could barely string the money together to buy my RPGs, let alone the strategy guides to find hidden weapons, etc.

  9. #8
    Ghostbuster
    Greg2600's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Soprano Land, NJ
    Posts
    3,488
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    1
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    20
    Thanked in
    19 Posts

    Default

    I'm surprised the links still work, as I've found the Internet Archive less and less reliable even with stuff they archived ages ago.
    The Paunch Stevenson Show free Internet podcast - www.paunchstevenson.com - DP FEEDBACK

Similar Threads

  1. 1996 GameFan Magazine Retro Video Game Nostalgia
    By Kevincal in forum Gaming Videos
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 10-01-2015, 01:29 PM
  2. Favorite Retro Video Game Websites
    By treismac in forum Classic Gaming
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 02-21-2012, 07:01 AM
  3. Websites that list video game anniversaries?
    By josekortez in forum Classic Gaming
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 04-30-2009, 09:58 PM
  4. Murdoch Looking for a video game company to control
    By Gamemaster_ca_2003 in forum Classic Gaming
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 01-14-2005, 01:38 PM
  5. What video game company do you think will Die Next
    By PDorr3 in forum Classic Gaming
    Replies: 57
    Last Post: 12-06-2004, 06:48 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •