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Though not the first service of its kind[[note]]An earlier example being the aborted Teleplay Modem developed by Nolan Bushnell of Creator/{{Atari}} fame[[/note]], it eventually paved the way for later online services, which eventually gained mainstream popularity in the mid to late 2000s with the rise of Xbox Live and PSN. The service also saw limited expansion in Japan, with Catapult establishing its own local subsidiary and partnering with Lawson to sell smart cards and modems, and in Brazil by way of Tectoy under the Mega Net 2 branding -- former Catapult staffer Konstantin Othmer recalled in an interview that Tectoy, who to this day serves as Sega's authorised distributor in Brazil, was basically left to their own devices, and had next to no backing from Catapult themselves apart from being given the tools and documentation they need to start a localised XBAND implementation, which was kind of hypocritical given how XBAND ''themselves'' received tepid developer support. For some reason Catapult wanted nothing to do with Tectoy, probably due to the viability of offering a then-unheard of online multiplayer service in a developing country.

to:

Though not the first service of its kind[[note]]An earlier example being the aborted Teleplay Modem developed by Nolan Bushnell of Creator/{{Atari}} fame[[/note]], it eventually paved the way for later online services, which eventually gained mainstream popularity in the mid to late 2000s with the rise of Xbox Live and PSN. The service also saw limited expansion in Japan, with Catapult establishing its own local subsidiary and partnering with Lawson to sell smart cards and modems, and in Brazil by way of Tectoy under the Mega Net 2 branding -- former Catapult staffer Konstantin Othmer recalled in an interview that Tectoy, who to this day serves as Sega's authorised distributor in Brazil, was basically left to their own devices, and had next to no backing from Catapult themselves apart from being given the tools and documentation they need to start a localised XBAND implementation, which was kind of hypocritical given how XBAND ''themselves'' received tepid developer support. For some reason Catapult wanted nothing to do with Tectoy, probably due to the (questionable) viability of offering a then-unheard of online multiplayer service in a developing country.


* TechnologyMarchesOn: By the time the XBAND service was released, newer consoles have captured the public's attention, making it short-lived.

to:

* TechnologyMarchesOn: By the time the XBAND service was released, newer consoles have captured the public's attention, making it short-lived.short-lived.
* XtremeKoolLetterz: Given the TotallyRadical aesthetic of the era, it isn't surprising.


Today, a number of dedicated fans are pooling efforts to either document gameplay and other media relating to XBAND or outright revive the service, the latter under the Retro.Live banner -- while this was initially hampered by the lack of packet dumps which would've made private servers easier to implement, it was [[ApprovalOfGod praised]] by those who worked on the original modem, going so far as to providing source code for the firmware and thereby making the protocols used less of a cold case to crack. Retro.Live now works as it should apart from some latency issues, and is scheduled to launch with full documentation on setting up one's own XBAND server.

to:

Today, a number of dedicated fans are pooling efforts to either document gameplay and other media relating to XBAND or outright revive the service, the latter under the Retro.Live banner -- while this was initially hampered by [[MissingEpisode the lack of packet dumps dumps]] which would've made private servers easier to implement, it was [[ApprovalOfGod praised]] by those who worked on the original modem, going so far as to providing source code for the firmware and thereby making the protocols used less of a cold case to crack. Retro.Live now works as it should apart from some latency issues, and is scheduled to launch with full documentation on setting up one's own XBAND server.


[[caption-width-right:350:How lucky would it be for some 90s kid to play online before everyone else did so years later.]]

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[[caption-width-right:350:How lucky would it be for some 90s kid to play online on a home console before everyone else did so years later.]]


* ''[[VideoGame/StreetFighterII VideoGame/Super Street Fighter II]]''

to:

* ''[[VideoGame/StreetFighterII VideoGame/Super Super Street Fighter II]]''


* ''VideoGame/SuperStreetFighterII''

to:

* ''VideoGame/SuperStreetFighterII''''[[VideoGame/StreetFighterII VideoGame/Super Street Fighter II]]''


An UrExample and the progenitor to online multiplayer services gamers take for granted these days, the '''XBAND''' (styled as '''XB∀ND'''), released in 1994 by Catapult Entertainment for the Usefulnotes/SegaGenesis and in 1995 for the [[UsefulNotes/SuperNintendoEntertainmentSystem SNES]], is an [[OlderThanTheyThink early attempt]] at a competitive multiplayer service where players can take on each other online as opposed to plugging in two or more controllers into a console and play split-screen.

to:

An UrExample and the progenitor to online multiplayer services gamers take for granted these days, the '''XBAND''' (styled as '''XB∀ND'''), '''XBⱯND'''), released in 1994 by Catapult Entertainment for the Usefulnotes/SegaGenesis and in 1995 for the [[UsefulNotes/SuperNintendoEntertainmentSystem SNES]], is an [[OlderThanTheyThink early attempt]] at a competitive multiplayer service where players can take on each other online as opposed to plugging in two or more controllers into a console and play split-screen.


Though not the first service of its kind[[note]]An earlier example being the aborted Teleplay Modem developed by Nolan Bushnell of Creator/{{Atari}} fame[[/note]], it eventually paved the way for later online services, which eventually gained mainstream popularity in the mid to late 2000s with the rise of Xbox Live and PSN. The service also saw limited expansion in Japan, with Catapult establishing its own local subsidiary and partnering with Lawson to sell smart cards, and in Brazil by way of Tectoy under the Mega Net 2 branding -- former Catapult staffer Konstantin Othmer recalled in an interview that Tectoy, who to this day serves as Sega's authorised distributor in Brazil, was basically left to their own devices, and had next to no backing from Catapult themselves apart from being given the tools and documentation they need to start a localised XBAND implementation, not unlike how XBAND themselves received tepid developer support. For some reason Catapult wanted nothing to do with Tectoy, probably due to the viability of offering a then-unheard of online multiplayer service in a developing country.

It may have had a head start in online gaming, but it wasn't without its pitfalls: the modem can only transmit and receive data at 2400 baud rate or 2400 bits per second, which was even worse than a typical modem of the day; though magazine articles of the day stated that it was sufficient to handle one-on-one online matches, long-distance matches incurred costly fees much to the detriment of some parents who are understandably not pleased with their kids hogging the line for hours just for a game of ''Mortal Kombat''. As stated above, developer support was next to non-existent leaving Catapult to reverse-engineer their way through (and that's despite the aforementioned seals of approval), rage-quitting (aka "cord-pulling" or "dropping") and vitriolic harassment from obscene or puerile spam to outright death threats was rife[[note]]This was prior to the passage of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act or COPPA, which among other things regulated online interactions among minors through chat filters and such. Not that it kept youths from hurling insults at each other nowadays though.[[/note]], advertising was sporadic at best, with Catapult mostly relying on word-of-mouth and a few magazine articles. At its peak, over 300 thousand subscribers signed up for the service,[[note]]Sources vary; one article reported [[https://www.fadden.com/tech/online-game-conduct.html just 15,000 subscribers]], whilst another [[http://personal.psu.edu/rfs5339/IST250/IST250B.html claimed over 300 thousand]], but given what former XBAND players can attest, relatively few have heard of the service at all, one of them mistaking it for a rock band.[[/note]] far from what Catapult have hoped, and to top it all off, it was released late into the consoles' lifespan, just as when [[UsefulNotes/TheFifthGenerationOfConsoleVideoGames newer-generation consoles]] are just around the corner.

to:

Though not the first service of its kind[[note]]An earlier example being the aborted Teleplay Modem developed by Nolan Bushnell of Creator/{{Atari}} fame[[/note]], it eventually paved the way for later online services, which eventually gained mainstream popularity in the mid to late 2000s with the rise of Xbox Live and PSN. The service also saw limited expansion in Japan, with Catapult establishing its own local subsidiary and partnering with Lawson to sell smart cards, cards and modems, and in Brazil by way of Tectoy under the Mega Net 2 branding -- former Catapult staffer Konstantin Othmer recalled in an interview that Tectoy, who to this day serves as Sega's authorised distributor in Brazil, was basically left to their own devices, and had next to no backing from Catapult themselves apart from being given the tools and documentation they need to start a localised XBAND implementation, not unlike which was kind of hypocritical given how XBAND themselves ''themselves'' received tepid developer support. For some reason Catapult wanted nothing to do with Tectoy, probably due to the viability of offering a then-unheard of online multiplayer service in a developing country.

It may have had a head start in online gaming, but it wasn't without its pitfalls: the modem can only transmit and receive data at 2400 baud rate or 2400 bits per second, which was even worse than a typical modem of the day; though magazine articles of the day stated that it was sufficient to handle one-on-one online matches, long-distance matches incurred costly fees much to the detriment of some parents who are understandably not pleased with their kids hogging the line for hours just for a game of ''Mortal Kombat''. As stated above, developer support was next to non-existent leaving Catapult to reverse-engineer their way through (and that's despite the aforementioned seals of approval), rage-quitting (aka "cord-pulling" or "dropping") and vitriolic harassment from obscene or puerile spam to outright death threats was rife[[note]]This was prior to the passage of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act or COPPA, which among other things regulated online interactions among minors through chat filters and such. Not that it kept youths from hurling insults at each other nowadays though.[[/note]], and to top it all off, advertising was sporadic at best, with Catapult mostly relying on word-of-mouth and a few magazine articles. At its peak, over 300 fifteen thousand subscribers signed up for the service,[[note]]Sources vary; one article reported [[https://www.fadden.com/tech/online-game-conduct.html just 15,000 subscribers]], whilst another [[http://personal.psu.edu/rfs5339/IST250/IST250B.html claimed over 300 thousand]], but given what former XBAND players can attest, relatively few have heard of the service at all, one of them [[JustForFun/IThoughtItMeant mistaking it it]] for a rock band.[[/note]] far from what Catapult have hoped, and to top it all off, it was released late into the consoles' lifespan, just as when [[UsefulNotes/TheFifthGenerationOfConsoleVideoGames newer-generation consoles]] are just around the corner.



A [[https://youtu.be/k_5M-z_RUKA feature-length documentary]] covering XBAND's inception, demise, legacy and fan revival can be seen on Wrestling With Gaming's channel. The video took way longer than host Yahel Velazquez anticipated, as it contained interviews and recollections from former XBAND staff, programmers and gamers who signed up at the time.

to:

A [[https://youtu.be/k_5M-z_RUKA feature-length documentary]] covering XBAND's inception, demise, legacy and fan revival can be seen on Wrestling With Gaming's channel. The video took way longer than host Yahel Velazquez anticipated, as it contained interviews and recollections from former XBAND staff, programmers and gamers who signed up at the time.
time, not to mention some previously-unknown facts about the service being revealed.


Though not the first service of its kind[[note]]An earlier example being the aborted Teleplay Modem developed by Nolan Bushnell of Creator/{{Atari}} fame[[/note]], it eventually paved the way for later online services, which eventually gained mainstream popularity in the mid to late 2000s with the rise of Xbox Live and PSN. The service also saw limited expansion in Japan, with Catapult establishing its own local subsidiary and partnering with Lawson to sell smart cards, and in Brazil by way of Tectoy under the Mega Net 2 branding -- former Catapult staffer Konstantin Othmer recalled in an interview that Tectoy, who to this day serves as Sega's authorised distributor in Brazil, was basically left to their own devices, and had next to no backing from Catapult themselves apart from being given the tools and documentation they need to start a localised XBAND implementation, not unlike how XBAND themsrlves received tepid developer support. For some reason Catapult wanted nothing to do with Tectoy, probably due to the viability of offering a then-unheard of online multiplayer service in a developing country.

to:

Though not the first service of its kind[[note]]An earlier example being the aborted Teleplay Modem developed by Nolan Bushnell of Creator/{{Atari}} fame[[/note]], it eventually paved the way for later online services, which eventually gained mainstream popularity in the mid to late 2000s with the rise of Xbox Live and PSN. The service also saw limited expansion in Japan, with Catapult establishing its own local subsidiary and partnering with Lawson to sell smart cards, and in Brazil by way of Tectoy under the Mega Net 2 branding -- former Catapult staffer Konstantin Othmer recalled in an interview that Tectoy, who to this day serves as Sega's authorised distributor in Brazil, was basically left to their own devices, and had next to no backing from Catapult themselves apart from being given the tools and documentation they need to start a localised XBAND implementation, not unlike how XBAND themsrlves themselves received tepid developer support. For some reason Catapult wanted nothing to do with Tectoy, probably due to the viability of offering a then-unheard of online multiplayer service in a developing country.



A [[https://youtu.be/k_5M-z_RUKA feature-length documentary]] covering XBAND's inception, demise, legacy and fan revival can be seen on Wrestling With Gaming's channel. The video took way longer than host Yahel anticipated, as it contained interviews and recollections from former XBAND staff, programmers and gamers who signed up at the time.

to:

A [[https://youtu.be/k_5M-z_RUKA feature-length documentary]] covering XBAND's inception, demise, legacy and fan revival can be seen on Wrestling With Gaming's channel. The video took way longer than host Yahel Velazquez anticipated, as it contained interviews and recollections from former XBAND staff, programmers and gamers who signed up at the time.


Despite its innovations, it wasn't without its pitfalls: the modem can only transmit and receive data at 2400 baud rate or 2400 bits per second, which was even worse than a typical modem of the day; though magazine articles of the day stated that it was sufficient to handle one-on-one online matches, long-distance matches incurred costly fees much to the detriment of some parents. As stated above, developer support was next to non-existent leaving Catapult to reverse-engineer their way through (and that's despite the aforementioned seals of approval), rage-quitting (aka "cord-pulling" or "dropping") and vitriolic harrassment from obscene or puerile spam to outright death threats was rife[[note]]This was prior to the passage of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act or COPPA, which among other things regulated online interactions among minors through chat filters and such. Not that it kept youths from hurling insults at each other nowadays though.[[/note]], advertising was sporadic at best, with Catapult mostly relying on word-of-mouth and a few magazine articles. At its peak, over 300 thousand subscribers signed up for the service,[[note]]Sources vary; one article reported [[https://www.fadden.com/tech/online-game-conduct.html just 15,000 subscribers]], whilst another [[http://personal.psu.edu/rfs5339/IST250/IST250B.html claimed over 300 thousand]], but given what former XBAND players can attest, relatively few have heard of the service at all, one of them mistaking it for a rock band.[[/note]] far from what Catapult have hoped, and to top it all off, it was released late into the consoles' lifespan, just as when [[UsefulNotes/TheFifthGenerationOfConsoleVideoGames newer-generation consoles]] are just around the corner.

to:

Despite its innovations, It may have had a head start in online gaming, but it wasn't without its pitfalls: the modem can only transmit and receive data at 2400 baud rate or 2400 bits per second, which was even worse than a typical modem of the day; though magazine articles of the day stated that it was sufficient to handle one-on-one online matches, long-distance matches incurred costly fees much to the detriment of some parents. parents who are understandably not pleased with their kids hogging the line for hours just for a game of ''Mortal Kombat''. As stated above, developer support was next to non-existent leaving Catapult to reverse-engineer their way through (and that's despite the aforementioned seals of approval), rage-quitting (aka "cord-pulling" or "dropping") and vitriolic harrassment harassment from obscene or puerile spam to outright death threats was rife[[note]]This was prior to the passage of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act or COPPA, which among other things regulated online interactions among minors through chat filters and such. Not that it kept youths from hurling insults at each other nowadays though.[[/note]], advertising was sporadic at best, with Catapult mostly relying on word-of-mouth and a few magazine articles. At its peak, over 300 thousand subscribers signed up for the service,[[note]]Sources vary; one article reported [[https://www.fadden.com/tech/online-game-conduct.html just 15,000 subscribers]], whilst another [[http://personal.psu.edu/rfs5339/IST250/IST250B.html claimed over 300 thousand]], but given what former XBAND players can attest, relatively few have heard of the service at all, one of them mistaking it for a rock band.[[/note]] far from what Catapult have hoped, and to top it all off, it was released late into the consoles' lifespan, just as when [[UsefulNotes/TheFifthGenerationOfConsoleVideoGames newer-generation consoles]] are just around the corner.


The adapter, by and large, is essentially a glorified VideoGame/GameGenie with a modem tacked onto it and software to facilitate multiplayer gameplay, connecting to a central server which handled matchmaking and statistics. Despite being officially licensed by both Nintendo and Sega, practically none of the games supported were released with XBAND connectivity in mind -- Catapult basically had to reverse-engineer almost every game they could support, injecting online multiplayer code through memory hacking and code manipulation which effectively made it a commercial GameMod of sorts, not unlike later fan-made multiplayer implementations for the ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAuto'' series and other single-player only games. To Catapult's credit though, then-Nintendo of America chairman Howard Lincoln was said to have been impressed at what he saw and couldn't believe at what at the time was deemed impossible, dispelling initial skepticism and allegations of fraud.

to:

The adapter, by and large, is essentially a glorified VideoGame/GameGenie with a modem tacked onto it and software to facilitate multiplayer gameplay, connecting to a central server which handled matchmaking and statistics. XBAND's system software is very much like what one would expect from a typical online service, with private messaging, news and announcements, user profiles and the aforementioned matchmaking.

Despite being officially licensed by both Nintendo and Sega, practically none of the games supported were released with XBAND connectivity in mind -- Catapult basically had to reverse-engineer almost every game they could support, injecting online multiplayer code through memory hacking by intercepting and patching code manipulation for controller input which effectively made it a commercial GameMod of sorts, not unlike later fan-made multiplayer implementations for the ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAuto'' series and other single-player only games. To Catapult's credit though, then-Nintendo of America chairman Howard Lincoln was said to have been impressed at what he saw and couldn't believe at what at the time was deemed impossible, dispelling initial skepticism and allegations of fraud.


Though not the first service of its kind[[note]]An earlier example being the aborted Teleplay Modem developed by Nolan Bushnell of Creator/{{Atari}} fame[[/note]], it eventually paved the way for later online services, which eventually gained mainstream popularity in the mid to late 2000s with the rise of Xbox Live and PSN. The service also saw limited expansion in Japan, with Catapult establishing its own local subsidiary and partnering with Lawson to sell smart cards, and in Brazil by way of Tectoy under the Mega Net 2 branding -- former Catapult staffer Konstantin Othmer recalled in an interview that Tectoy, who to this day serves as Sega's authorised distributor in Brazil, was basically left to their own devices, and had next to no backing from Catapult themselves, not unlike how XBAND received tepid developer support. For some reason Catapult wanted nothing to do with Tectoy, probably due to the viability of offering a then-unheard of online multiplayer service in a developing country.

Despite its innovations, it wasn't without its pitfalls: the modem can only transmit and receive data at 2400 baud rate or 2400 bits per second, which was even worse than a typical modem of the day; though magazine articles of the day stated that it was sufficient to handle one-on-one online matches, long-distance matches incurred costly fees much to the detriment of some parents. As stated above, developer support was next to non-existent leaving Catapult to reverse-engineer their way through (and that's despite the aforementioned seals of approval), rage-quitting (aka "cord-pulling" or "dropping") and vitriolic harrassment from obscene spam to outright death threats was rife[[note]]This was prior to the passage of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act or COPPA, which among other things regulated online interactions with minors through chat filters and such. Not that it kept youths from hurling insults at each other nowadays though.[[/note]], advertising was sporadic at best, with Catapult mostly relying on word-of-mouth and a few magazine articles. At its peak, over 300 thousand subscribers signed up for the service,[[note]]Sources vary; one article reported [[https://www.fadden.com/tech/online-game-conduct.html just 15,000 subscribers]], whilst another [[http://personal.psu.edu/rfs5339/IST250/IST250B.html claimed over 300 thousand]][[/note]] far from what Catapult have hoped, and to top it all off, it was released late into the consoles' lifespan, just as when [[UsefulNotes/TheFifthGenerationOfConsoleVideoGames newer-generation consoles]] are just around the corner.

Today, a number of dedicated fans are pooling efforts to either document gameplay and other media relating to XBAND or outright revive the service, the latter under the Retro.Live banner -- while this was initially hampered by the lack of packet dumps which would've made private servers easier to implement, it was [[ApprovalOfGod praised]] by those who worked on the modem, going so far as to providing source code for the firmware. Retro.Live now works as it should apart from some latency issues, and is scheduled to launch with full documentation on setting up one's own XBAND server.

to:

Though not the first service of its kind[[note]]An earlier example being the aborted Teleplay Modem developed by Nolan Bushnell of Creator/{{Atari}} fame[[/note]], it eventually paved the way for later online services, which eventually gained mainstream popularity in the mid to late 2000s with the rise of Xbox Live and PSN. The service also saw limited expansion in Japan, with Catapult establishing its own local subsidiary and partnering with Lawson to sell smart cards, and in Brazil by way of Tectoy under the Mega Net 2 branding -- former Catapult staffer Konstantin Othmer recalled in an interview that Tectoy, who to this day serves as Sega's authorised distributor in Brazil, was basically left to their own devices, and had next to no backing from Catapult themselves, themselves apart from being given the tools and documentation they need to start a localised XBAND implementation, not unlike how XBAND themsrlves received tepid developer support. For some reason Catapult wanted nothing to do with Tectoy, probably due to the viability of offering a then-unheard of online multiplayer service in a developing country.

Despite its innovations, it wasn't without its pitfalls: the modem can only transmit and receive data at 2400 baud rate or 2400 bits per second, which was even worse than a typical modem of the day; though magazine articles of the day stated that it was sufficient to handle one-on-one online matches, long-distance matches incurred costly fees much to the detriment of some parents. As stated above, developer support was next to non-existent leaving Catapult to reverse-engineer their way through (and that's despite the aforementioned seals of approval), rage-quitting (aka "cord-pulling" or "dropping") and vitriolic harrassment from obscene or puerile spam to outright death threats was rife[[note]]This was prior to the passage of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act or COPPA, which among other things regulated online interactions with among minors through chat filters and such. Not that it kept youths from hurling insults at each other nowadays though.[[/note]], advertising was sporadic at best, with Catapult mostly relying on word-of-mouth and a few magazine articles. At its peak, over 300 thousand subscribers signed up for the service,[[note]]Sources vary; one article reported [[https://www.fadden.com/tech/online-game-conduct.html just 15,000 subscribers]], whilst another [[http://personal.psu.edu/rfs5339/IST250/IST250B.html claimed over 300 thousand]][[/note]] thousand]], but given what former XBAND players can attest, relatively few have heard of the service at all, one of them mistaking it for a rock band.[[/note]] far from what Catapult have hoped, and to top it all off, it was released late into the consoles' lifespan, just as when [[UsefulNotes/TheFifthGenerationOfConsoleVideoGames newer-generation consoles]] are just around the corner.

Today, a number of dedicated fans are pooling efforts to either document gameplay and other media relating to XBAND or outright revive the service, the latter under the Retro.Live banner -- while this was initially hampered by the lack of packet dumps which would've made private servers easier to implement, it was [[ApprovalOfGod praised]] by those who worked on the original modem, going so far as to providing source code for the firmware.firmware and thereby making the protocols used less of a cold case to crack. Retro.Live now works as it should apart from some latency issues, and is scheduled to launch with full documentation on setting up one's own XBAND server.
server.

A [[https://youtu.be/k_5M-z_RUKA feature-length documentary]] covering XBAND's inception, demise, legacy and fan revival can be seen on Wrestling With Gaming's channel. The video took way longer than host Yahel anticipated, as it contained interviews and recollections from former XBAND staff, programmers and gamers who signed up at the time.


The adapter, by and large, is essentially a glorified VideoGame/GameGenie with a modem tacked onto it and software to facilitate multiplayer gameplay, connecting to a central server which handled matchmaking and statistics. Despite being officially licensed by both Nintendo and Sega, practically none of the games supported were released with XBAND connectivity in mind -- Catapult basically had to reverse-engineer almost every game they could support, injecting online multiplayer code through memory hacking and code manipulation which effectively made it a commercial GameMod of sorts, not unlike later fan-made multiplayer implementations for the ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAuto'' series and other single-player only games. Though not the first service of its kind[[note]]An earlier example being the aborted Teleplay Modem developed by Nolan Bushnell of Creator/{{Atari}} fame[[/note]], it eventually paved the way for later online services, which eventually gained mainstream popularity in the mid to late 2000s with the rise of Xbox Live and PSN. The service also saw limited expansion in Japan, with Catapult establishing its own local subsidiary and partnering with Lawson to sell smart cards, and in Brazil by way of Tectoy under the Mega Net 2 branding -- former Catapult staffer Konstantin Othmer recalled in an interview that Tectoy, who to this day serves as Sega's authorised distributor in Brazil, was basically left to their own devices, and had next to no backing from Catapult themselves, not unlike how XBAND received tepid developer support.

to:

The adapter, by and large, is essentially a glorified VideoGame/GameGenie with a modem tacked onto it and software to facilitate multiplayer gameplay, connecting to a central server which handled matchmaking and statistics. Despite being officially licensed by both Nintendo and Sega, practically none of the games supported were released with XBAND connectivity in mind -- Catapult basically had to reverse-engineer almost every game they could support, injecting online multiplayer code through memory hacking and code manipulation which effectively made it a commercial GameMod of sorts, not unlike later fan-made multiplayer implementations for the ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAuto'' series and other single-player only games. To Catapult's credit though, then-Nintendo of America chairman Howard Lincoln was said to have been impressed at what he saw and couldn't believe at what at the time was deemed impossible, dispelling initial skepticism and allegations of fraud.

Though not the first service of its kind[[note]]An earlier example being the aborted Teleplay Modem developed by Nolan Bushnell of Creator/{{Atari}} fame[[/note]], it eventually paved the way for later online services, which eventually gained mainstream popularity in the mid to late 2000s with the rise of Xbox Live and PSN. The service also saw limited expansion in Japan, with Catapult establishing its own local subsidiary and partnering with Lawson to sell smart cards, and in Brazil by way of Tectoy under the Mega Net 2 branding -- former Catapult staffer Konstantin Othmer recalled in an interview that Tectoy, who to this day serves as Sega's authorised distributor in Brazil, was basically left to their own devices, and had next to no backing from Catapult themselves, not unlike how XBAND received tepid developer support.
support. For some reason Catapult wanted nothing to do with Tectoy, probably due to the viability of offering a then-unheard of online multiplayer service in a developing country.


The adapter, by and large, is essentially a glorified VideoGame/GameGenie with a modem tacked onto it and software to facilitate multiplayer gameplay, connecting to a central server which handled matchmaking and statistics. Despite being officially licensed by both Nintendo and Sega, practically none of the games supported were released with XBAND connectivity in mind -- Catapult basically had to reverse-engineer almost every game they could support, injecting online multiplayer code through memory hacking and code manipulation which effectively made it a commercial GameMod of sorts, not unlike later fan-made multiplayer implementations for the ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAuto'' series and other single-player only games. Though not the first service of its kind[[note]]An earlier example being the aborted Teleplay Modem developed by Nolan Bushnell of Creator/{{Atari}} fame[[/note]], it eventually paved the way for later online services, which eventually gained mainstream popularity in the mid to late 2000s with the rise of Xbox Live and PSN. The service also saw limited expansion in Japan and in Brazil[[note]]Released by Tectoy in Brazil as the Mega Net 2[[/note]], though relatively little is known about them.

Despite its innovations, it wasn't without its pitfalls: the modem can only transmit and receive data at 2400 baud rate or 2400 bits per second, which was even worse than a typical modem of the day; though magazine articles of the day stated that it was sufficient to handle one-on-one online matches, long-distance matches incurred costly fees much to the detriment of some parents. As stated above, developer support was next to non-existent leaving Catapult to their own devices (and that's despite the aforementioned seals of approval), rage-quitting (aka "cord-pulling" or "dropping") was rife, advertising was sporadic at best, with Catapult mostly relying on word-of-mouth and a few magazine articles. At its peak, over 300 thousand subscribers signed up for the service,[[note]]Sources vary; one article reported [[https://www.fadden.com/tech/online-game-conduct.html just 15,000 subscribers]], whilst another [[http://personal.psu.edu/rfs5339/IST250/IST250B.html claimed over 300 thousand]][[/note]] far from what Catapult have hoped, and to top it all off, it was released late into the consoles' lifespan, just as when [[UsefulNotes/TheFifthGenerationOfConsoleVideoGames newer-generation consoles]] are just around the corner.

Today, a number of fans are pooling efforts to either document gameplay and other media relating to XBAND or outright revive the service, though the latter is hampered by the lack of packet dumps which would've made private servers easier to implement.

to:

The adapter, by and large, is essentially a glorified VideoGame/GameGenie with a modem tacked onto it and software to facilitate multiplayer gameplay, connecting to a central server which handled matchmaking and statistics. Despite being officially licensed by both Nintendo and Sega, practically none of the games supported were released with XBAND connectivity in mind -- Catapult basically had to reverse-engineer almost every game they could support, injecting online multiplayer code through memory hacking and code manipulation which effectively made it a commercial GameMod of sorts, not unlike later fan-made multiplayer implementations for the ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAuto'' series and other single-player only games. Though not the first service of its kind[[note]]An earlier example being the aborted Teleplay Modem developed by Nolan Bushnell of Creator/{{Atari}} fame[[/note]], it eventually paved the way for later online services, which eventually gained mainstream popularity in the mid to late 2000s with the rise of Xbox Live and PSN. The service also saw limited expansion in Japan Japan, with Catapult establishing its own local subsidiary and in Brazil[[note]]Released by Tectoy partnering with Lawson to sell smart cards, and in Brazil as by way of Tectoy under the Mega Net 2[[/note]], though relatively little is known about them.

2 branding -- former Catapult staffer Konstantin Othmer recalled in an interview that Tectoy, who to this day serves as Sega's authorised distributor in Brazil, was basically left to their own devices, and had next to no backing from Catapult themselves, not unlike how XBAND received tepid developer support.

Despite its innovations, it wasn't without its pitfalls: the modem can only transmit and receive data at 2400 baud rate or 2400 bits per second, which was even worse than a typical modem of the day; though magazine articles of the day stated that it was sufficient to handle one-on-one online matches, long-distance matches incurred costly fees much to the detriment of some parents. As stated above, developer support was next to non-existent leaving Catapult to reverse-engineer their own devices way through (and that's despite the aforementioned seals of approval), rage-quitting (aka "cord-pulling" or "dropping") and vitriolic harrassment from obscene spam to outright death threats was rife, rife[[note]]This was prior to the passage of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act or COPPA, which among other things regulated online interactions with minors through chat filters and such. Not that it kept youths from hurling insults at each other nowadays though.[[/note]], advertising was sporadic at best, with Catapult mostly relying on word-of-mouth and a few magazine articles. At its peak, over 300 thousand subscribers signed up for the service,[[note]]Sources vary; one article reported [[https://www.fadden.com/tech/online-game-conduct.html just 15,000 subscribers]], whilst another [[http://personal.psu.edu/rfs5339/IST250/IST250B.html claimed over 300 thousand]][[/note]] far from what Catapult have hoped, and to top it all off, it was released late into the consoles' lifespan, just as when [[UsefulNotes/TheFifthGenerationOfConsoleVideoGames newer-generation consoles]] are just around the corner.

Today, a number of dedicated fans are pooling efforts to either document gameplay and other media relating to XBAND or outright revive the service, though the latter is under the Retro.Live banner -- while this was initially hampered by the lack of packet dumps which would've made private servers easier to implement.
implement, it was [[ApprovalOfGod praised]] by those who worked on the modem, going so far as to providing source code for the firmware. Retro.Live now works as it should apart from some latency issues, and is scheduled to launch with full documentation on setting up one's own XBAND server.

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* GameMod: Ironically, despite Nintendo and Sega's blessing, almost no game developer took an interest in the service, making Catapult's reverse engineering efforts technically count as an official ROM hack of sorts for the games they supported.


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* RageQuit: Cord-pulling was a common problem at the time, something Catapult wasn't exactly keen at addressing.

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