Adverts for emulated hardware

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SarahWalker
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Adverts for emulated hardware

Post by SarahWalker » Sun 15 Dec, 2019 2:30 pm

In an attempt to distract myself from the world over the weekend, I ended up looking through some old PC magazines. It occurred to me that PCem emulates a non-trivial amount of the hardware being advertised in these mags, so I thought I'd scan some of the old ads to provide some context to the emulator.

These are all UK adverts from 1991 to 1999, mostly from PC Format and PC Zone magazines. These are mostly entertainment-related hardware due to the nature of the magazines; while I do have a few Computer Shopper & Personal Computer Worlds mags they're from 2000 or so and are less relevant.

First up are a few PC World ads advertising Packard Bell machines. I'm pretty sure that the P60 advertised here is the PB520r emulated in PCem. Late 1995 would be very late for a Pentium 60 machine, so I'm guessing PCW were getting rid of old stock in preparation for the Hillary machines.

Also, I'm slightly amused to note that the Phone Blaster was a thing.
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Re: Adverts for emulated hardware

Post by SarahWalker » Sun 15 Dec, 2019 2:33 pm

Two months later and Hillary is out in force; I think all four Packard Bell machines are PB570 variations.

I did think the 'corner' PC at the bottom looked cool when I was 8.
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Re: Adverts for emulated hardware

Post by SarahWalker » Sun 15 Dec, 2019 2:38 pm

Fast forward to September 96 and the Pentium 75 has vanished. I think the P100 machine is a Hillary but the P133 & P166 machines might not be.

For the hell of it, I've also attached the second page so you can have peripheral and software prices.
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Re: Adverts for emulated hardware

Post by SarahWalker » Sun 15 Dec, 2019 2:38 pm

Second page...
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Re: Adverts for emulated hardware

Post by SarahWalker » Sun 15 Dec, 2019 2:42 pm

I couldn't find many other single-machine adverts. The only other one I could find was this Silica advert for the 'Plus' version of the Amstrad MegaPC. I couldn't find an equivalent advert for the original version so I think Silica only sold the 486SLC version. I did however find PC Format's review of the machine; they didn't like it, giving it 54%.
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Re: Adverts for emulated hardware

Post by SarahWalker » Sun 15 Dec, 2019 2:47 pm

You don't get motherboard adverts back in the 90s, but I did find this First Computer Centre advert from September 1995 heavily focused on the Intel Advanced/ZP and Advanced/EV boards. FCC were usually more general than this so I'm guessing this is either Intel sponsored or FCC pushing upgrades for Windows 95.

I like how you can have RAM or L2 cache, but not both.
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Re: Adverts for emulated hardware

Post by SarahWalker » Sun 15 Dec, 2019 2:54 pm

Creative has a lot of adverts. They seem to have been placing adverts directly in UK mags as early as 1991, whereas most other US PC companies were advertising through importers back then. The UK Sound Blaster launch was later than the original US release, so it's possibly this late 1991 advert is the first UK SB ad. It's sufficiently early that you have to write to Creative for dealer information!
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Re: Adverts for emulated hardware

Post by SarahWalker » Sun 15 Dec, 2019 2:56 pm

By April 1993 things have moved on and SB adverts look a bit more 'normal'. Presumably you could actually buy Sound Blasters in shops by then.
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Re: Adverts for emulated hardware

Post by SarahWalker » Sun 15 Dec, 2019 2:59 pm

January 1995 shows Creative have clearly sorted out their mid-90s branding. Interesting that they're still selling the SB 2.0 this late, it would have cost about £40 by this point (verses closer to £200 in 1991). They dropped the pre-SB16 cards shortly after this.
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Re: Adverts for emulated hardware

Post by SarahWalker » Sun 15 Dec, 2019 3:00 pm

By mid 1995 they hardly need to bother advertising the SB, hence the adverts move away from actually describing the products.
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Re: Adverts for emulated hardware

Post by SarahWalker » Sun 15 Dec, 2019 3:02 pm

Instead a lot of the action had moved to 'multimedia kits', hence this odd advert from the same magazine. I do like the pile of Sound/Video/Wave Blasters, though no Phone Blaster in this one :(.
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Re: Adverts for emulated hardware

Post by SarahWalker » Sun 15 Dec, 2019 3:04 pm

Not sure what the 'Spatial Audio' in this July 1996 advert is about. I suspect this is an attempt to distract from Creative having not released an actual new sound card since the AWE32 two years earlier.
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Re: Adverts for emulated hardware

Post by SarahWalker » Sun 15 Dec, 2019 3:05 pm

This one's a bit of a cheat, but as the AWE64 is primarily a cost reduced AWE32 I thought I'd include it. This is about the time Creative bought Ensoniq I think, and subsequent Creative cards would be AudioPCI based.
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Re: Adverts for emulated hardware

Post by SarahWalker » Sun 15 Dec, 2019 3:07 pm

Almost forgot this SB16 ad from January 1994. Think this was about the time the 'basic' SB16 was being pushed as a mainstream card rather than a high end thing.
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Re: Adverts for emulated hardware

Post by SarahWalker » Sun 15 Dec, 2019 3:10 pm

It took a while for 3DFX cards to get properly advertised. This October 1997 advert is pretty bad, especially given the card had been out for a year. Interesting that they're still using Valley of Ra to market the card.
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Re: Adverts for emulated hardware

Post by SarahWalker » Sun 15 Dec, 2019 3:11 pm

More Valley of Ra here from Orchid, from April 1998. This is around the time of the Voodoo 2 launch. 'New' is stretching things a bit.
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Re: Adverts for emulated hardware

Post by SarahWalker » Sun 15 Dec, 2019 3:12 pm

This Creative Voodoo 2 advert is from the same magazine as the Orchid V1 advert above.
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Re: Adverts for emulated hardware

Post by SarahWalker » Sun 15 Dec, 2019 3:13 pm

This Diamond Monster 3D bundle from July 1998 is clearly trying to shift cards that will soon become unsellable.
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Re: Adverts for emulated hardware

Post by SarahWalker » Sun 15 Dec, 2019 3:15 pm

Orchid struggled a bit with Voodoo 2 adverts; this is very text heavy.
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Re: Adverts for emulated hardware

Post by SarahWalker » Sun 15 Dec, 2019 3:16 pm

By contrast Creative have the hang of things in this November 1998 ad.
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Re: Adverts for emulated hardware

Post by SarahWalker » Sun 15 Dec, 2019 3:19 pm

Finally for Voodoo 2 here's a Techworks advert from Christmas 1998. From memory Techworks were the company that kicked off the late 1998 V2 price war - 12MB V2 cards dropped from £249 to £99 in the space of a couple of months. This basically killed the £99 Banshee as a viable product.
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Re: Adverts for emulated hardware

Post by SarahWalker » Sun 15 Dec, 2019 3:21 pm

For more context here's a PC World advert from November 1998. V2 prices are clearly dropping, but there are still some V1 cards available. The G200 seems overpriced to me.
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Re: Adverts for emulated hardware

Post by SarahWalker » Sun 15 Dec, 2019 3:22 pm

A couple of months later and both V2 and Banshee are £99. Also note the Sound Blaster PCI128 at the bottom right, with one of those nasty cheap 4.1 speaker setups.
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Re: Adverts for emulated hardware

Post by SarahWalker » Sun 15 Dec, 2019 3:23 pm

It's difficult to say whether PCem emulates a given controller or not, most are pretty generic. I think I can claim Gravis Gamepad emulation though.
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Re: Adverts for emulated hardware

Post by SarahWalker » Sun 15 Dec, 2019 3:25 pm

It definitely does emulate the CH Flightstick Pro though.

I wanted to post a Sidewinder Gamepad advert, but I couldn't find one; just the joysticks and the weird Freestyle Pro.
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Re: Adverts for emulated hardware

Post by SarahWalker » Sun 15 Dec, 2019 3:27 pm

I couldn't find any adverts for the Gravis UltraSound or AdLib Gold. I did find this awful one for the Ultrasound ACE though. I wonder why no one bought the ACE.
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Re: Adverts for emulated hardware

Post by SarahWalker » Sun 15 Dec, 2019 3:29 pm

But to finish things on a lighter note here's a Pentium MMX advert.
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Re: Adverts for emulated hardware

Post by resle » Sun 15 Dec, 2019 11:51 pm

Oh the memories. I instantly recalled each single advert you scanned.. and interesting to see the original copy: as cringeworthy as most of it sounds already in its native form, trust me it came through even cheesier in italian.

Those were maybe not "the" times but some times indeed. I doubt anyone will be posting and discussing pc hardware ads from the 2010s, 30 years from now.

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Re: Adverts for emulated hardware

Post by leilei » Mon 16 Dec, 2019 12:39 am

I'm in the US so all of these ads (except for the Pentium one) are all new to me!
SarahWalker wrote:
Sun 15 Dec, 2019 3:27 pm
I couldn't find any adverts for the Gravis UltraSound or AdLib Gold.
For GUS I vividly remember this guy.
(Source: Computer Gaming World #110, September 1993, scan courtesy of cgwmuseum (note that green line so it's definitely their scan))

I never had a GUS. Maybe it's because of this ad. I would read about all sorts of GUS-related issues in lots of readmes and etc... so no regrets. though to be fair, gaming mags in the US had plenty of 'guy blasted/attacked by computer' themes for hardware ads at the time.

(The Voodoo2 ad campaigns here in the US were super aggressive and probably are well-known enough to not bear reposting. Basically they're parallel to the Dreamcast launch marketing with the whole massive character crossover, power boasts, and 'Get Voodoo' directness, and all of the products discontinued 3 years after. Banshee on the other hand, I only can recall a Monster Fusion page ad in one issue. Voodoo3 wasn't as bad though but did have television spots. The last VG card ad i've seen was for the Canopus Pure3D.)
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Re: Adverts for emulated hardware

Post by omarsis81 » Mon 16 Dec, 2019 5:08 am

SarahWalker wrote:
Sun 15 Dec, 2019 3:29 pm
But to finish things on a lighter note here's a Pentium MMX advert.
I thought those guys were used to advertise the Pentium II only

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