I just finished reading Ian Bogost and Nick Montfort's Racing the Beam: The Atari Video Computer System (Platform Studies). Definitely the geekiest book so far this year for me and I really liked it.
- There was no discussion of the European release of the VCS. The limited memory of the VCS meant that programmers had to program the graphics by re-writing the memory for each scan line in well-timed dance following behind the electron beam's trace across the CRT. Display and game simulation were hard-coded to one another, not asyncronous systems like on today's platforms. So, I'd imagine that games that were to run on a PAL televison would have needed modification. Were these the same programmers that did it? Were there games that couldn't make it because of some limitation, etc? Anyhow, would have been nice to know.
- While mention is made of the unit sales of some of the given game titles, it would have been interesting to include some tables spanning the console's life cycle. sales vs installed base vs unit sales of game titles. Were there 'evergreen' titles for the VCS? Did the sales curve decay grow steeper as the market was flooded with content?