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They later attached strings.
August 30, 2012 9:57 AM   Subscribe

Gamemaster Howard Philips (previously) found a ca. 1984 brochure for the Nintendo Advanced Video System, a pre-NES marketing prototype, and shared it on Facebook: The cover. Pages 2-3. Pages 3-4. Medium-res photo of the whole brochure. And a bit of oddity from the past. (Non-FB link)
posted by griphus (33 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
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posted by griphus at 9:59 AM on August 30, 2012


A knitting machine!!! And I thought the gameboy printer was oddball.
posted by RolandOfEld at 10:06 AM on August 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Up up, down down, cross cross, bind bind, garter stitch, select start.
posted by starman at 10:14 AM on August 30, 2012 [16 favorites]


Well, I still can't beat Contra, but at least my dude can die in a Christmas sweater now.
posted by griphus at 10:18 AM on August 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Thanks for the non-FB link.
posted by pibeandres at 10:20 AM on August 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Your NES knitting jokes are impeccable. This IS what MetaFilter is for!
posted by Mister_A at 10:20 AM on August 30, 2012


"Now you're knitting with power" might be the weirdest and best sentence in the history of video game marketing.
posted by Rock Steady at 10:30 AM on August 30, 2012 [4 favorites]


Brother also made a knotting machine
posted by Dr. Twist at 10:33 AM on August 30, 2012


with the link this time

posted by Dr. Twist at 10:34 AM on August 30, 2012


Somewhat related- the Game Boy compatible sewing machine
posted by Dr-Baa at 10:36 AM on August 30, 2012


I would non-ironically love to have that Nintendo knitting machine.

Searching for more, I find that Kotaku says "happily, the device never made it to consumers". Oh shut up. What's wrong with it? Call it a 3D textile printer and you'd be ejaculating on it.
posted by DU at 10:37 AM on August 30, 2012 [10 favorites]


The knitting machine looks really cool! As a knitter though, I might feel sort of replaced. Can it do socks? What about gloves? What about knitting with love on bumpy public transit? It can't do that, can it?!
posted by chatongriffes at 10:46 AM on August 30, 2012


Try as I might I just can't dislike Nintendo. They are so fun. I really hope they can figure out how to succeed in this new world of iOS/Android gaming hotness.
posted by Doleful Creature at 10:52 AM on August 30, 2012


At least for now, Nintendo is using their tried and true strategy of "ignore it and hope it goes away." I figure we'll get some very fun iPhone 4/iPad 2-quality games in about two years.
posted by griphus at 10:55 AM on August 30, 2012


What a waste not bringing that knitting machine to market, if only to kickstart some competition and development in the area - imagine if homeless shelters, schools and poor communities could "print" warm clothing in the winter for those who need it. Is there anything like this device at the consumer level?
posted by jason_steakums at 10:56 AM on August 30, 2012


Knitting machines are nothing new, although I'm sure the Nintendo one would've been cheaper than the competition (both in price and quality.)
posted by griphus at 11:00 AM on August 30, 2012


I remember seeing a picture of the AVS in the 20th anniversary issue of nintendo power, it is interesting to get some more info. The design looked fantastic, but certainly less practical than what the NES turned out to be.
posted by Harpocrates at 11:00 AM on August 30, 2012


Knitting machines exist, but the ones like pictured only do flat panels. You can also get sock knitting machines that will make tubes. Look on YouTube for videos thereof. None of them really replace humans, since you need to program/operate/finish them all. I don't think they'd be much of a boon to homeless shelters since I bet you can buy used clothing for a lot less than it would take to pay someone to operate the device. Even a volunteer would probably eventually say "screw this, i'mma just buy a sweater at GoodWill".
posted by DU at 11:01 AM on August 30, 2012


Is anyone else struck by the tone of these old Nintendo ads, a tone which would now be characterized as Apple-esque? The declarative sell. Type on white with simple product shots. I mean, it's not rocket science, but it's good advertising and something about then's Nintendo reminds me of today's Apple.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 11:05 AM on August 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


One of those links states that the AVS "was only shown once" but the page probably just needs some updating...if you're curious to see one in person and you live anywhere near NYC you're in luck! The last time I visited the Nintendo World store at Rockefeller Plaza they had one under glass for anyone to look at (for all I know, it's the same one that was at CES).
posted by trackofalljades at 11:25 AM on August 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


This AVS is just a different concept of a US-market plastic case for the Famicom, right? Essentially the same hardware that became the NES was released in Japan in 1983, if I remember right.
posted by thewalrus at 12:21 PM on August 30, 2012


Yep. This was post-crash and they thought that marketing it as a generalized home entertainment system would work, but there weren't any takers. From what I remember, what really got the NES off the ground was Nintendo's promise to buy back unsold stock (reams of unsold stock being one of the reasons for both the crash and proprietors' reluctance to re-invest in video games.)
posted by griphus at 12:23 PM on August 30, 2012


My wife inherited a knitting machine and last summer I decided to learn how to use it. I was surprised at how much you have to do to get it set up, but once it is you can crank out a panel really quickly.

Looking at that picture and knowing a tiny bit about how the machines work, I'm questioning how mounting the controller at the back of the machine provides much interactivity at all... the only thing I can imagine is that every time you pull the carriage across it hits the buttons on the controller, advancing the image on the screen to the next part of the pattern, which you then set up manually.
posted by Huck500 at 1:22 PM on August 30, 2012


In the FB image post, Philips said he gave a demo of it, so he can probably answer that!
posted by griphus at 1:36 PM on August 30, 2012


I really hope they can figure out how to succeed in this new world of iOS/Android gaming hotness.

I don't know, most mobile games are ruined by overuse of idiotic mascots, a plethora of petty pennyante in-app purchases (ALITERATION YO), insipid social gaming features and plain-out bad design. There definitely are exceptions (Tiny Wings, the iOS board gaming world, some others), but I don't think Mario is in real trouble. Yet.
posted by JHarris at 2:04 PM on August 30, 2012


I don't know, most mobile games are ruined by overuse of idiotic mascots, a plethora of petty pennyante in-app purchases...

Which is why not releasing an edition of Pokemon on iOS/Android is just ridiculous. The engine and graphics and gameplay aren't even a question. Hell, they can just start re-releasing the back catalog so as to not cannibalize the market. Put out Red and Blue again! Five bucks apiece and they'll come with 25 pokemon apiece. Want more? Pay 99c to get 25 more. New packs come out every few weeks. Hell, they can even limit the maps and if you want to go to more islands or dojos or whatever (I have not actually played Pokemon) you can sell those.

That series was practically made for the freemium model. I am absolutely confounded by Nintendo's reticence.
posted by griphus at 2:15 PM on August 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, well, that's Nintendo for you. However, if they did any of those things to Pokemon they'd probably immediately lose a lot of fans. Most Pokemon players, in one one way or other, are participating on the same playing field. Giving out advantages to people who specifically pay for them would drive me away. If I played Pokemon, that is. Nintendo is the biggest holdout from the idea of pervasive DLC, and I really, really like that about them.
posted by JHarris at 2:39 PM on August 30, 2012


That series was practically made for the freemium model

Well, only if you want to destroy it, sure (like JHarris said). Freemium games have limited lifespans (look at how things are going for Zynga).

I have yet to find a mobile game I would want to play when I had other options (as opposed to stuck in line somewhere where I have no other options).

I'm still pretty convinced this is an input / form issue, but maybe I will be convinced otherwise someday. Ports of non-mobile games certainly are (IMO) unplayable due to this issue, and the games that do actually design for the form (Angry Birds, for example) are super boring.
posted by wildcrdj at 4:14 PM on August 30, 2012


I really hope they can figure out how to succeed in this new world of iOS/Android gaming hotness.


Here's hoping that with the launch of the new Nintendo Network, legitimate Apps for playing legacy console games will become a reality. It would be their best move since the virtual console on the Wii.
posted by PipRuss at 4:39 PM on August 30, 2012


reams of unsold stock being one of the reasons for both the crash and proprietors' reluctance to re-invest in video games.

Yep. I remember seeing Atari 2600 games, marked down to 99 cents, for sale at Kmart in like 1992.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 5:30 PM on August 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ok, maybe not 1992. But definitely late-80s.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 5:32 PM on August 30, 2012


Yep. This was post-crash and they thought that marketing it as a generalized home entertainment system would work, but there weren't any takers.

If I recall, that's why the NES had the dreaded ZIF cartridge loader and flip up access door. It was to mimic the loading mechanism of videocassette players.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 6:13 PM on August 30, 2012


Yep. I remember seeing Atari 2600 games, marked down to 99 cents, for sale at Kmart in like 1992.

My family moved to America (from the Soviet Union) in 1991, and we didn't have enough money to get me a Nintendo until a few years later. My mom picked up a 2600 with a bunch of games at a garage sale in Long Island and some of the games were doubles. I'm still not sure how that happened.
posted by griphus at 6:46 AM on August 31, 2012


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