Geek in the Tubes – Episode Three: Commercials
Welcome to episode three of our monthly feature, Geek in the Tubes, where we trawl the internet looking for the best gaming videos so you don’t have to. In recent months, Minecraft has dominated the YouTube landscape, with new videos popping up everyday. But we don’t want to bore you with all that so we are offering up a little retro education this month, in the form of classic videogame commercials.
It is amazing how much the marketing has changed in the videogames industry. These days the budget has no limit, adverts are shown during the most watched sports events around the world and you certainly do not see people slamming their competition on prime time TV. If you don’t think that used to happen, then check out the videos below, it’s truly entertaining stuff.
Speaking of slamming, check out our first video today, SEGA’s Game Gear commercial from back when we were all much younger. In the commercial, we see Nintendo’s Game Boy before we see the Game Gear. SEGA released the first handheld console with a colour screen in Europe and North America in 1991, and the battery-draining machine lasted six years, being discontinued in 1997.
Next up we have the Nintendo 64 ‘Get N or Get Out’ commercial from 1997. Showcasing the N-64’s four player split screen, we were shown several different games, including Starfox 64 and Mario Kart 64. Why Nintendo decided to suffix every game title back then is beyond us, though we liked it at the time. Nintendo 64 launched in Europe in 1997, before being discontinued shortly after the Game Cube launched in Europe in 2002.
Now it’s time to to way back to an Atari commercial from the 1980’s. There is more slamming of competition here as Atari tried to explain that its 65XE computer had the same features as the Commodore 64, but had better graphics, sound and games. All for under a hundred dollars too. Who bought a Commodore 64 back then? The Atari 65XE was clearly the cream of the crop. The Atari 65XE was a part of the Atari 8-bit family, which were the first home computers with custom chips back in the late 1970’s. Crazy, huh?
Lastly, we have a commercial for Cool Boarders 2 on the original PlayStation. Released back in 1998, the chap in the commercial shows off the injuries that he has sustained while snowboarding, and it cuts to clips of the game in between his injuries before he rather clumsily falls over and ends up with a fork in his head. That always happens when you fall over, right? Cool Boarders 2 was a fantastic game, though looking back, the commercial was pretty stupid. Launching in 1995, the original PlayStation lasted five years before being slimmed to the PSone. Over 100 million consoles were sold before it was finally discontinued in 2006, thanks to the PlayStation 3.
And that’s the end of this episode of Geek in the Tubes. It is fascinating to see how commercials have changed over the years for games and consoles alike. You would never see Sony releasing a PlayStation video where a slightly annoying chap named Kevin was slamming its biggest rival these days, would you?
As always, if you have any clips you would like to submit, just send us a link in the comments and we’ll add the best to next months episode.