Why Did I Miss An Update?
Written By Dan Loosen
October 20, 2010
Yup, I'll own up to it right now -- I totally missed Monday's update! I've been so busy between some regular GOAT Store updates that I've been working on, Midwest Gaming Classic details, and this crazy thing called "real life" that I totally missed making a Monday article and I didn't even realize it until I logged on just a little while ago to write the Wednesday article! Yeesh!
So, I guess before I get into my next article updates, I'll cover just a little bit of what has been keeping me so darn busy lately, and what it will mean for the future of all of our sites... I mean, I've got a lot of "pots on the stove" so to speak, and it's all very exciting, although it is a little overwhelming. However, one main "pot" is the one that I have been working on the most, and it's almost done. I can't wait -- it will really help with all these other updates!
About five years ago GOAT Store HQ moved to it's current location, which also happens to be my basement. When we made the move, we had big plans about how we would be able to really spread inventory out, keep it nicely inventoried and updated and all that fun stuff. But then, I ended up buying a house that seems to have the world's tiniest basement, and it's been sort of a mess ever since.
To be fair, GOAT Store HQ isn't just for the GOAT Store. It also happens to be the place where I store most of my own video game collection, a big part of my arcade collection, and random other fun stuff (like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man that you might catch on the homepage of GOAT Store from time to time). So, to say that this place has been a little messy is an understatement.
Along with that, the TV that is down here has not had a video game console permanently hooked up to it ever. Oh, sure -- I'll sometimes hook up something to play, but all of my consoles had been in a bin on the other side of the basement and when I wanted to play a game, it would take me pulling it out, finding the hookups, finding a controller and then finally playing the game. Needless to say, I didn't just stop down and randomly toss in a game very often.
That has officially changed, as over the last three weeks I constructed what I am currently calling the "System Tower" behind my TV. I started by taking a single, small metal shelf, and then piling as many systems as I could fit on it that either the GOAT Store carried, or that I wanted to be able to play. Let's explore the shelves just a bit...
Shelf 1 has on it an Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii and Philips CD-i in the way of consoles. It also has a VCR there because once in a while, I still get the urge to watch some old tape that I've got. I actually just picked up the CD-i, and after about an hour with the console I'm kind of doubting it's longevity -- the games for it seem to be utterly miserable so far. I still have a few that I want to try though, but we'll see -- GOAT Store carried CDi for a brief blink of the eye, but we dropped it because the games (other than the Zelda and Mario titles) were all practically worthless and no one ever bought them. I think I see why. Also, I figure it's worth noting that there isn't a Playstation 3 in this rig, but that's because it's upstairs (and it's a launch that is fully reverse compatible, so you'll see no PS stuff here) since I use it to play DVDs on that TV. To be completely honest, I play almost nothing on the newer consoles - but I do think I like the Playstation 3 the most because it is the easiest to launch DVDs from it's menu. Lame reason to like a console, hunh? I guess all the 'Xbots' can put that in their pipe and smoke it or some other random insult...
Shelf 2 is the bit war zone I guess. It has on one side an Atari Jaguar with Jaguar CD, and on the other it has a 3DO and an N64. So, all in one place you've got the Jaguar claiming to be 64 bits (it is, but that's another whole argument), the console it thought it was going to fight against for dominance (the 3DO), and then the N64 there to drive home how it is a 64 bit console also. Oh, and if you care, the 3DO is an FZ-1 model - I needed a front loader to put the N64 on top of something, I have an FZ-10 somewhere too. As I write this though, I realize that is pretty strange, as I own an equal amount of 3DO consoles as I do 3DO games -- two. I don't like many of them, but I love Lost Eden and the Incredible Machine, and those two alone are worth buying the console for. I also need more time on Quarantine, as I loved Road Warrior which it is a sequel or prequel or something too, but had issues playing last time I tried. Anyway...
Shelf 3 contains a SNES, Dreamcast, the HD DVD drive for the Xbox 360 and a NEX console. I decided for some reason to put in my Sega Sports Dreamcast, as it just seemed more right than the white model. I love the NEX and wish they made more of them, so that was an easy decision (easy to play imports too!) and the SNES obviously had a ton of great games. I guess the weird thing here is that HD-DVD drive, I wanted a secondary drive for the 360 to hopefully not burn out the original from watching DVDs on it, something that the modern systems do for me more than play games generally. I got the HD-DVD drive new with the remote and King Kong HD DVD for $20. Sold the King Kong HD DVD for $10, so that was a steal I think.
Shelf 4 is the final shelf, and it contains an Atari 7800 (which can also play Atari 2600 titles) and a Sega CDX with attachments. The CDX is of course that weird sorta portable CD player Sega made that can also play Sega CD and Genesis games. And you can really use it as a portable CD player too! I found out with some experimentation that you can plug a 32X into the CDX, and you can also plug the Master System converter into one, and while it looks totally ridiculous, it takes up a heck of a lot less space then a Sega Genesis / CD combo - and one less power supply too!
So, there you have it! Now, it is obviously missing some stuff. And, allow me briefly to explain -- Odyssey 2, Intellivision and Colecovision all didn't make the cut simply because their controllers wouldn't easily reach from the console to the player, you sort of need the console right by you. I can get away without doing that to the Atari 7800 because controller extension cables look like the controller cables to begin with, so I don't think it looks nearly as strange as a controller extension with a Colecovision controller, for instance. The Atari 5200 didn't make the cut simply because we have never, ever, in over 10 years of doing the GOAT Store, had one pass through our hands with working controllers. And it's huge and would probably take up a shelf by itself. And, I've never played one to know if it has enough to keep me entertained for long. The Saturn is the only Sega system that isn't on there, and I tried wedging one up on the top shelf for a little bit, but it didn't really fit. It's a good system, but it just doesn't do that much for me. Finally, we didn't get a Turbografx up there for the same controller issue as I have with the other consoles, but I did manage to pick up a system modified for composite out (without a Turbobooster), so we can still hook it up easily.
So... what the heck was the point of explaining this all? Well, it means good things for both GOAT Store and GOAT Store Publishing are coming. We recently also got a video capture card, and sometime in the next few weeks when I start to get a little time again, we're hoping to start taking screenshots and movies of both the GOAT Store Publishing games, as well as many other games that we carry that aren't so well known. And, this rig will finally give me a way to do that.
On top of that, having the basement organized (which is the other thing that I've been really focusing my time on) means that we'll be able to find things a lot quicker for making packages, and update our inventory much faster. When I started this process, I had no idea how much stuff that I simply had tucked away because I didn't have time to test it when we got it -- 15 large totes later, I have a HUGE visual reminder of how much there is to test... but, with this System Tower, I can run through these totes pretty quickly and we can get both more hardware and software listed on GOAT Store to get in the hands of people who are ready to play some great games.
So, that's where I stand for now. Sorry for missing the update on Monday, but I should be good again now that I'm getting caught back up with everything down here -- and, in a few weeks I hope to have some awesome videos to share with everyone who hasn't seen these games so that you can see *exactly* what you've been missing!