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What was gaming like in Asia in the 80s and 90s?

by Super Redditor 69 Fri Mar 25, 2022 6:05 pm

I'm not talking about Japan in this discussion, but i'm talking about other Asian countries besides Japan like China, USSR/Russia, South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Southeast Asian countries since they don't have much coverage on the english internet. There are quite a bit of articles about gaming in Southeast Asia, but all of them focus on mobile games and F2P PC games being made nowadays as opposed as the retro console and arcade games. From what I know consoles like the MSX, Famicom, Master System, Mega Drive, Neo Geo, and PS1 were popular due to the ease of piracy.
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JungleHeart
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Re: What was gaming like in Asia in the 80s and 90s?

by JungleHeart Wed May 11, 2022 11:13 pm

I was browsing through and I saw this. Wow this is my time to shine! jk XD

I live in Southeast Asia. Manila/Philippines to be exact. And yes, unfortunately, piracy was rampant back in the 80s and 90s but I'm happy to tell you that even though the Xbox 360 and PS3 still had pirated copies of games, that was our turning point and gamers quickly moved to legit gaming. I'm happy about this because part of the gaming hobby is not just being able to play games, but also owning said games.

Prior to this, however, the biggest culprit is the PS1 and PS2. We had the Dreamcast and Sega Saturn too but there were very few units here. We had a shopping mall mainly dedicated to those games. There were 3-4 floors of different shops, all selling copied games with their own printed covers. GBA and Game Boy were pretty popular too and we had bootlegs of their games, too. The Game Gear, not so much - it had bootleg games in the market but for the most part, it was obscure and was regarded as a console portable for the rich boys and girls.

Going back further from this, yes, the Mega Drive and Super Famicom or Super NES (both in equal amounts) were indeed extremely popular. We never had the NES, what we had were Famicom knockoffs (based on the Japanese version) and it was what really launched the gaming hobby in the country. The Genesis wasn't as popular; the MSX, PC Engine, Master System, and Neo Geo were almost non-existent. The kids who had them were mainly people who had folks working abroad in Japan, Dubai, US/Canada etc. and were generally regarded to be somewhat wealthy.

Right now, gaming is still popular and thankfully, piracy is somewhat almost completely stamped out. People are skewed heavily towards the PS4 and PS5; the Switch is the second console of choice and is pretty popular in anime convention/hobby circles. I'm on Xbox Series X and there are very few of us here hehe.

Hope this provided some insight.
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Re: What was gaming like in Asia in the 80s and 90s?

by sevin0seven Thu May 12, 2022 7:26 pm

JungleHeart wrote:I live in Southeast Asia. Manila/Philippines to be exact.

Hello kababayan! nice to know someone here from Manila (where I was born).

I was introduced to the NES (not the famicom) when I was about 6 or 7 yrs old in the Philippines during the mid or late 80s from a wealthy celebrity (April Boy Regino) at his mansion (which was across from where I used to live). He had about 6 or 7 NES hooked up and he would rent it out to the kids in the streets to play them. I think 5 pesos was for 45 mins of playing time. That is the first time I saw Super Mario Bros and Mario Bros. Good times and good memories. :)
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Note
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Re: What was gaming like in Asia in the 80s and 90s?

by Note Thu May 12, 2022 9:59 pm

Just want to say thanks to both Jungle Heart and sevin0seven for chiming in on this! Very cool to hear about both of your experiences and it's interesting to learn about what gaming and the culture around it was like in other parts of the world during this time period.
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JungleHeart
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Re: What was gaming like in Asia in the 80s and 90s?

by JungleHeart Sun May 15, 2022 11:26 pm

sevin0seven wrote:
JungleHeart wrote:I live in Southeast Asia. Manila/Philippines to be exact.

Hello kababayan! nice to know someone here from Manila (where I was born).

I was introduced to the NES (not the famicom) when I was about 6 or 7 yrs old in the Philippines during the mid or late 80s from a wealthy celebrity (April Boy Regino) at his mansion (which was across from where I used to live). He had about 6 or 7 NES hooked up and he would rent it out to the kids in the streets to play them. I think 5 pesos was for 45 mins of playing time. That is the first time I saw Super Mario Bros and Mario Bros. Good times and good memories. :)


Wow, nice to meet you too, fellow kabayan! That's a very interesting story about April Boy Regino. I didn't know the guy was into console gaming too! He had brothers in the show business and they might be on this too hehe. Yeah, those pay-by-hour rentals were awesome. I played a lot of Super Famicom back in Greenhills, Virramall back in the day (this is the mall I was talking about in my post). XD

Note wrote:Just want to say thanks to both Jungle Heart and sevin0seven for chiming in on this! Very cool to hear about both of your experiences and it's interesting to learn about what gaming and the culture around it was like in other parts of the world during this time period.


Your welcome! Happy to share that :D I'm glad that bit of info had some use hehe. It was embarrassing to share it elsewhere on the premise that I might be seen as condoning it, but really, as kids who don't have money and who don't have the knowledge they're bootlegs, to begin with back then, we had no choice. I'm just glad things turned around for the better as I grew older. :D
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Re: What was gaming like in Asia in the 80s and 90s?

by o.pwuaioc Mon May 16, 2022 1:01 am

sevin0seven wrote:
JungleHeart wrote:I live in Southeast Asia. Manila/Philippines to be exact.

Hello kababayan! nice to know someone here from Manila (where I was born).

I was introduced to the NES (not the famicom) when I was about 6 or 7 yrs old in the Philippines during the mid or late 80s from a wealthy celebrity (April Boy Regino) at his mansion (which was across from where I used to live). He had about 6 or 7 NES hooked up and he would rent it out to the kids in the streets to play them. I think 5 pesos was for 45 mins of playing time. That is the first time I saw Super Mario Bros and Mario Bros. Good times and good memories. :)

Kumusta ka? That's a pretty crazy story (compared to what most of us in the west would have grown up with at least).
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Re: What was gaming like in Asia in the 80s and 90s?

by sevin0seven Mon May 16, 2022 11:42 am

o.pwuaioc wrote:
sevin0seven wrote:
JungleHeart wrote:I live in Southeast Asia. Manila/Philippines to be exact.

Hello kababayan! nice to know someone here from Manila (where I was born).

I was introduced to the NES (not the famicom) when I was about 6 or 7 yrs old in the Philippines during the mid or late 80s from a wealthy celebrity (April Boy Regino) at his mansion (which was across from where I used to live). He had about 6 or 7 NES hooked up and he would rent it out to the kids in the streets to play them. I think 5 pesos was for 45 mins of playing time. That is the first time I saw Super Mario Bros and Mario Bros. Good times and good memories. :)

Kumusta ka? That's a pretty crazy story (compared to what most of us in the west would have grown up with at least).

Mabuti my friend. Didn't know you knew a few tagalog words. I remember when I moved to the US, the first consoles I saw here was the Turbo GFX and SNES being demo in the mall (I think it was Serramonte Mall in Daly City) . I remember Bonk's and WWF Super WrestleMania were the games kids were trying out. Those were my introductions to the 16-bit era.
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Re: What was gaming like in Asia in the 80s and 90s?

by o.pwuaioc Mon May 16, 2022 7:23 pm

sevin0seven wrote:Mabuti my friend. Didn't know you knew a few tagalog words. I remember when I moved to the US, the first consoles I saw here was the Turbo GFX and SNES being demo in the mall (I think it was Serramonte Mall in Daly City) . I remember Bonk's and WWF Super WrestleMania were the games kids were trying out. Those were my introductions to the 16-bit era.

I know a bit of Tagalog and a bit of Binisaya. But not fluent or anything.

I envy all those who really got the TG exposure back in the day. I never remember seeing it in the south.
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