Electronics Boutique August 1993 Catalog

When I look at this catalog I'm reminded of the thousands, yes literally, of calls asking when Mortal Kombat would be released. Despite that, this is a fun catalog to review. The Sega CD was starting to get a few decent games, unfortunately at the expense of the TurboGrafx-16 CD which only gets half a page. The Genesis and Super Nintendo are of course going strong here as well as their portable little siblings.

This catalog is really weird because it is split into separate video game and PC sections that are upside-down from each other. Sorry for not describing that well. Electronics Boutique had an identity crisis in 1993. They started as a software store that happened to also sell a few video games. By 1993 shoppers saw them as a video game store that happened to also sell software. Electronics Boutique wanted to make it clear they were a store that was equally committed to both. Spoiler alert: in 3-4 years they fully converted to a video game store.


Electronics Boutique August 1993 Catalog - front cover

The front cover of the catalog is technically the cover for the PC section and the game section is relegated to the back cover. Whatever. We'll start with the game section first because that's probably what you're here for anyway.

Electronics Boutique August 1993 Catalog - Back cover

Here's one of the 1,000,000 places where the Mortal Kombat release date is in print yet that phone never stopping ringing. The infernal ringing of the phone. I still have nightmares about it.

Electronics Boutique August 1993 Catalog - Page 2 - Sega Genesis

One weird thing about this era was the competing 4-player adapters for the Genesis. You'd think they were compatible but of course not. The EA variety worked with EA Sports games and an assortment of other games. Sega's version (Team Player) was supposedly the "standard" one but didn't support EA Sports games so it was pointless to many.


Electronics Boutique August 1993 Catalog - Page 3 - Genesis

This is a very solid start to the Genesis section.

Electronics Boutique August 1993 Catalog - Page 4 - Genesis

The Power Clutch was a good controller but had the misfortune of being out when people only wanted 6-button controllers.

Electronics Boutique August 1993 Catalog - Page 5 - Genesis

"92 pixel tall" characters was a selling point for Mortal Kombat. So that means each fighter must have been made up of at least 3 sprites. With another 2 reserved for projectiles there are still like 56 if you wanted to add some crazy background stuff.


Electronics Boutique August 1993 Catalog - Page 6 - Genesis

Wireless controllers were pretty terrible back then. So far they are the worst rip-off in this catalog.

Electronics Boutique August 1993 Catalog - Page 7 - Sega CD

This page is so great, one of my favorites in the catalog. Besides generally being geeked to see Sega CD stuff, I get a weird kick out of all the wrong box art. Some of it was pre-release box art - like Joe Montana and Dracula. Robo Aleste and Sewer Shark were out for ~10 months at this point though.

Electronics Boutique August 1993 Catalog - Page 8 - Super Nintendo

Speaking of pre-release box art - that Super Mario All-Stars cover is arguably the greatest cover to never be released.


Electronics Boutique August 1993 Catalog - Page 9 - Super Nintendo

I forgot about the promotion where the Super Nintendo, and probably core Genesis, was $88.88 with the purchase of any cartridge. The idea being that the markup on the cartridge more than covered the $11.11 loss on the system (hardware was sold at cost). Naturally some people gamed it buy purchasing something out of the clearance bin.

Electronics Boutique August 1993 Catalog - Page 10 - Super Nintendo

I like that Street Fighter II Turbo has the description for a Final Fight game.

Electronics Boutique August 1993 Catalog - Page 11 - Super Nintendo

No obvious mistakes or pre-release art here - boring.


Electronics Boutique August 1993 Catalog - Page 12 - Super Nintendo

The Super Advantage was another joystick that was slightly wrong for the time. The button layout was bad for fighting games. There was a later ascii controller that fixed this problem.

Electronics Boutique August 1993 Catalog - Page 13 - Game Gear

I tried that Vampire game not too long ago and it was alright. Sure, it's an obvious Castlevania knock-off but it's still one of the better platformers for the system.

Electronics Boutique August 1993 Catalog - Page 14 - Game Gear

I bet that Tesserae game has a mobile phone knock-off called something like "Tile Flip Legend Saga".


Electronics Boutique August 1993 Catalog - Page 15 - Game Boy

This page sums up why the Game Boy was so great. $50 for the base system, $30 more gets you Tetris and some accessories. New Zelda and Mario games, and really good ones at that. This is why the Game Gear and Lynx never stood a chance.

Electronics Boutique August 1993 Catalog - Page 16 - Game Boy and Turbo Duo

The Turbo Duo, possibly my favorite system of all time, only gets a measly half page. It was a $300 system with a quirky library competing against two $99 systems with amazing libraries so I get why.

Electronics Boutique August 1993 Catalog - Page 17 - NES

The NES wasn't completely discontinued yet but was in full on "greatest hits" mode.


Electronics Boutique August 1993 Catalog - Page 18 - NES

Some of these late NES releases were pretty good. Maybe not Die Hard but the other stuff. Metroid at $30 wasn't a terrible deal then either. I know 25 years later that seems crazy but it was a different time and all that.

Electronics Boutique August 1993 Catalog - Page 2 - Dinosaur Stuff

I'll be really blunt, I'm going to have a difficult time staying awake through the next few pages.

Electronics Boutique August 1993 Catalog - Page 3 - PC Family Works

I wonder if the people behind "Local Expert" were smart enough to file enough patents to sue Yelp 20 years later?


Electronics Boutique August 1993 Catalog - Page 4 - PC Family Works

Alien abductions and astrology, just great.

Electronics Boutique August 1993 Catalog - Page 5 - PC Fun Productivity

Does the world really need "more" After Dark? Can't we just be happy with flying toasters?

Electronics Boutique August 1993 Catalog - Page 6 - PC Young Adult

"Young Adult" wasn't a category that lasted long in these catalogs. We sold a decent number of those Spanish assistant programs, they came in 3-4 other languages too.


Electronics Boutique August 1993 Catalog - Page 7 - PC Edutainment

"Slater & Charlie Go Camping" sounds like a direct to DVD zany comedy film.

Electronics Boutique August 1993 Catalog - Page 8 - PC Edutainment

Another bane of the lowly 1993 Electronics Boutique clerk - hexagonal boxes.

Electronics Boutique August 1993 Catalog - Page 9 - PC Edutainment

Alright, I'll say on positive thing about Edutainment software - they generally had nice box art. At least the stuff on the top row of this page.


Electronics Boutique August 1993 Catalog - Page 10 - PC Productivity

In the days before asking randos on Reddit for legal and financial advice...

Electronics Boutique August 1993 Catalog - Page 11 - PC Productivity

I tried to figure out what happened to Spinnaker Software and it seems after a confusing chain of mergers they ended-up part of Mattel.

Electronics Boutique August 1993 Catalog - Page 12 - PC Productivity

What I learned today - that Alpha Four software still exists in some form today and it looks like it's a huge piece of technical debt for several large companies.


Electronics Boutique August 1993 Catalog - Page 13 - PC Productivity

Have I complained about how incredibly huge those Corel Draw boxes were? It took two of us to get them on the shelf.

Electronics Boutique August 1993 Catalog - Page 14 - PC Productivity

Pro tip - the "Wordperfect 6.0 Competitive Trade-Up" was the full version of the program. The "Trade-Up" part was 100% honor system.

Electronics Boutique August 1993 Catalog - Page 15 - PC Productivity

Another page of heavy box items.


Electronics Boutique August 1993 Catalog - Page 16 - CD-ROM

I like the $500 CD upgrade kit just casually placed alongside a bunch of total shovelware. The Indiana Jones game is the only thing on here you'd want to own.

Electronics Boutique August 1993 Catalog - Page 17 - PC Entertainment

Betrayal at Krondor has been on my backlog for like 25 years now.

Electronics Boutique August 1993 Catalog - Page 18 - PC Entertainment

Let's see, yeah OK, the "Microprose Adventure Development System" is supported in ScummVM. I have a couple games that use it too so there's something to try later.


Electronics Boutique August 1993 Catalog - Page 19 - PC Entertainment

I have no recollection of Blue Force so I just watched a video of it... weird sort of interactive fiction / adventure game. It might be something I'd like.

Electronics Boutique August 1993 Catalog - Page 20 - PC Entertainment

"Villa Crespo" sounds like a suburban neighborhood started in 2007 where all the houses have some minimal amount of southwest architecture on the outside. The neighborhood was 1/3 complete before the 2008 crash and the few owners are now in massive debt while surrounded by vacant coyote-infested lots.

Electronics Boutique August 1993 Catalog - Page 21 - PC Entertainment

Here's an early example of on-line fantasy football.


Electronics Boutique August 1993 Catalog - Page 22 - PC Accessories

Those generic brand disk boxes were actually well made. I might even have a couple storing old disks with nothing important on them that I can't bring myself to part with.

Electronics Boutique August 1993 Catalog - Mailer

A few random items that eventually ended-up in a dumpster behind the Electronics Boutique warehouse.

 


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