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The History Of The Home Video Game Consoles
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Тема: The History Of The Home Video Game Consoles

  1. #1

    По подразбиране The History Of The Home Video Game Consoles

    Наааааай-накрая след няколко часа усилена работа успях да постна всичко! За съжаление не зная източника на информацията защото цялото инфо някога мн отдавна съм го взел от някъде и не съм записал от къде(силно се надявам това да не е проблем :D). Сега си намерих файла и реших да го постна. Дано да е интересно за всички :)

    The History Of T
    he Home Video Game Consoles (1970-2006)

    Magnavox Odyssey
    Released in 1972
    The Magnavox Odyssey is the first home video game console, predating the Atari PONG home consoles by three years. The Odyssey was designed by Ralph Baer, who had a working prototype finished by 1968. This prototype is affectionately known as the "Brown Box" to classic video game hobbyists. Unlike most video game consoles, the Odyssey is analog rather than digital, which makes its invention all the more amazing in spite of its rather crude graphics and controller responsiveness. Also, unlike any conventional console today, this system was powered by batteries. The Odyssey and its variants also lack sound capability (hence a silent console), which was not uncommon in early PONG systems of that era.

    The Odyssey was released in May 1972. While it did not perform badly, it did not take long before it succumbed to poor marketing by Magnavox retail chains. One of their mistakes was misleading consumers into believing that the Odyssey would work only on Magnavox televisions. It did, however, prove that consoles for the home could be designed.

    Atari PONG
    Released in 1975
    In 1973, after the success of the original PONG coin-op, an Atari engineer by the name of Harold Lee came up with the idea of a home PONG unit. Since the PONG coin-op that Alan Alcorn designed was nothing more than the game board connected to an actual television set, he thought it would be possible to scale it down a bit and modify it for use at home. This would be a new direction for the fledgling Atari consumer electronics. If they could pull it off, they would be one of the pioneers of using high tech custom integrated circuits in the consumer industry.

    In 1975 it was decided Sears would sell PONG under it's own specially created Tele-Games label, and production was initially projected at 50,000 units. This was soon raised to 150,000 for the 1975 Christmass season. Atari agreed to give Sears exclusive rights for the following year, and would continue to make custom Tele-Games versions for any future consoles. This was the beginning of a long relationship between Atari and Sears, which would continue even after Nolan Bushnell sold Atari to Warner.

    Magnavox Odyssey 100

    Released in 1975
    The Odyssey 100 was an analog system which used four Texas Instruments chips. It did not use cartridges and played two games: TENNIS and HOCKEY. A simple switch selected the games, and the system was either powered by six batteries, or by an AC adaptor (such power supplies were widely used by other systems).

    The Odyssey 100 was very basic and didn't have the common features of the million-seller PONG systems of the next years. The knobs were fixed: there were no detachable controllers yet. There was no digital on-screen scoring: the players marked their score using two little plastic cursors on the system. The serve couldn't be changed: it was automatic. This could seem strange compared to the first Atari PONG systems which already had digital on-screen scoring. In fact, this was just a question of technology. On-screen scoring would have required additional components, which would have increased the cost of the system. Nevertheless, on-screen scoring was added in later systems although the first attempts used archaic graphics. The first Magnavox system to offer digital on-screen was the Odyssey 300 in 1976.

    Magnavox Odyssey 200

    Released in 1975
    Still in 1975, Magnavox released an improved version of the Odyssey 100: the Odyssey 200. It was same as the Odyssey 100 but with two additional chips from Texas Instruments, which added a third game called SMASH and some on-screen scoring. The Odyssey 200 could be played by two or four players (first system to offer this feature), and displayed very basic on-screen scoring using small rectangles (it still had the two plastic cursors to record the scores). Each time a player marked a point, his white rectangle would shift on the right. The winner was obviously the first whose rectangle would reach the rightmost position on the screen. Although the scores were not yet digital, the Odyssey 200 remained more advanced than the first home version of Atari PONG because it played three different games for two or four players.

    1975 marked the beginning of a long history. Both Atari and Magnavox released their systems, and more advanced ones were to come.

    Atari Super PONG

    Released in 1976
    Atari's sales of the Home PONG console were phenomenal to put it mildly. Atari would continue to cash in of the PONG franchise by releasing yet another home version of one of its arcade game assets. This time it would be Super PONG. Now home players could select for 4 different variations of PONG games to delight and entertain them for countless hours.

    Meanwhile numerous knock-off PONG-type consoles were hitting the market. However, because of Atari's now well known presence in the coin-op market, its name recognition helped it stand out. Also Atari's unusual Pedestal design helped Atari stand out in the Sears Retail Stores as well as other stores who were now carrying Atari products.

    When compared to the plethora of bland and boxy "Me-Too" consoles by so many other companies, the Atari PONG line of consoles simply stood out. Atari's consoles had eye catching rainbow colors and a deep and ear catching PONG sound from their built in speaker. Most other consoles were still far behind playing catch up with Black & White displays, flimsy controllers and some even without sound.

    Wonder Wizard 7702

    Released in 1976
    The Wonder Wizard Model 7702 was sold in 1976 and contains a Magnavox Odyssey 300 circuit board housed into a derivate of the 1972 Odyssey case. The bottom part of the case is identical, only the top differs and was made in two versions: one with silver knobs and woodgrain only in the section containing the "Wonder Wizard" name, and one (as pictured) with black knobs and woodgrain everywhere.

    Like Odyssey 300, this system used a 3-position switch to choose one of three predefined combinations of difficulties, avoiding the need to change the ball speed, ball angle and bat size separately. Few systems used this design and most others used individual skill level switches.
    Последна редакция от metako ; 08-02-2009 в 13:12

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  3. #3

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    Coleco Telstar
    Released in 1976
    Telstar, Coleco's first video game system, was released in 1976 and played only three games with three difficulty levels. It was the first system to use GI's AY-3-8500 **** and was a real success: over a million units were sold.

    The AY-3-8500 **** played six games with more difficulty levels, and the games could also be played in color. It was pretty obvious that Coleco would release more systems. At least 15 different games were released in two years with the only differences between the "pong" systems being the number of games, the way the difficulty levels were used, and the type of pictured (color or black and white).

    An amazing detail is the way Coleco packed their video game systems, they were sold partially assembled. The systems were electronically ready to play, but the users had to put on the knobs and stick the decorative stickers on the plastic case. So far, only Coleco is known to have released their systems this way. It is believed that this was done to save on assembling costs.

    Coleco Telstar Classic
    Released in 1976
    The Telstar video game console produced by Coleco first went on sale in 1976. It was a video tennis clone similar to Pong. With a price of $50, budget minded consumers loved it. Coleco sold over 1,000,000 units in 1976.

    Released the same year as the original Telstar, the Telstar Classic unit was essentially the same as the Telstar. It simply added a classic 1970's wood grain case to it. This unit allowed 3 games (Tennis, Hockey, Handball) and 3 different skill levels.

    In the Christmas season of 1977, nine new designs of the Telstar were released, each of them doing virtually the same thing. It was labeled "Video Sports" with four different games, all of them PONG clones. During it's life span, Coleco had produced about nine different variations of their machine and tossed about one million 'obsolete' machines.

    Magnavox Odyssey 300
    Released in 1976
    Magnavox used several Texas Instruments chips, each having a special function (collision detection, on-screen scoring, etc). Atari had the advantage of using the first chips often called "PONG in a ****", but the chips were not available to other manufacturers. Each different Atari system used a special ****. Of course, a few discrete components interfaced the **** to the system (video modulator, player controls, etc). These chips replaced most of the numerous components used in analog and digital systems. Although Atari chips were a smart design, the idea of integrating complex circuits into a single **** was a common idea at that time, and other video game manufacturers would soon release their own video game chips.

    Magnavox continued with the Odyssey 300 in 1976, which was one of the first system to use a single game **** containing the major circuitry of a PONG system (after the 1975 Atari PONG system).

    Magnavox Odyssey 400
    Released in 1976
    Still in 1976, Magnavox released the Odyssey 400. It played the same games than the Odyssey 200 and used an additional Texas Instruments **** to display digital on-screen scoring (it was the first analog Odyssey system to display digital on-screen scoring). On-screen scoring was quite well designed. As a matter of fact, the scores were large and were only shown when the ball was lost, and a large 'W' letter was displayed on the winner's side when the games were over.

    Like the Odyssey 100 and 200, the Odyssey 400 used the same three knobs to move the bats and control the "English" effect on the ball.

    Magnavox Odyssey 500
    Released in 1976
    The Odyssey 500 was also released in 1976, and was very advanced for that time considering the technology used. It was in fact the only system of its kind. As a matter of fact, the white paddles representing the players were replaced by simple color graphics: two tennis players with their rackets (TENNIS game), two squash players (SQUASH), or two hockey players holding their sticks (HOCKEY).

    Magnavox released the Odyssey 2000, 3000 and 4000 in 1977. The Odyssey 5000 was planned but never released. It was designed to play 24 games (7 different types) for two or four players. The Odyssey 4000 was the last PONG system released by Magnavox.

    Fairchild Channel F
    Released in 1976
    The Channel F was the first programmable video game system, having plug-in cartridges containing ROM and microprocessor code rather than dedicated circuits. Not a very popular or entertaining system, it was nonetheless important at the time for having a number of original features which were copied by later more successful systems.

    Fairchild released twenty-six different cartridges for the system, with up to four games being on each cartridge. The games included sports, such as Hockey, Tennis and Baseball, educational, such as Maths Quiz, board games, such as Checkers, and shooting games, such as Space War. The cartridges had labels that contained the game instructions on them and each were given a sequential number. In this respect Fairchild started a trend in trying to boost game sales by numbering them and so appealing to consumers who wanted to complete their collection.

    The Channel F console's popularity lowered when the Atari released their VCS in 1977 as the VCS had much better graphics, games and sound.

    RCA Studio II
    Released in 1976
    RCA could not accept the fact that they let the Odyssey slip through there fingers (Ralph Baer the designer of Odyssey approached RCA with the deal first), and into the hands of there TV rival Magnavox. The RCA Studio II was their answer to the Magnavox Odyssey. Released in 1976 a few months after the release of the Fairchild Channel F, it would have been the first programmable console (Fairchild beat them to the release gate).

    The console was doomed from the start. The lack of a color display and control paddles made the unit old and dated. With only 8 games released, the Studio II suffered the same fate as Channel F. Overshadowed and rendered obsolete by the Atari VCS / 2600

    The RCA Studio II should have been a color console, a few games were designed for color, but the video output of the console was black & white. A Studio II clone released in the UK called The Sheen M1200 was released in 1978, and produced PAL color with RCA Studio II games and was a more successful unit.
    Последна редакция от metako ; 08-02-2009 в 02:20

  4. По подразбиране


  5. #5

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    Atari Video Pinball
    Released in 1977
    In 1977, Video Pinball appeared as another Atari coin-op to stand-alone home console translation by bringing the game Breakout to home players. Offered first in the late 1970's Atari "first edition release" standard wood grain (also to be used on the Atari 2600) and then a second edition white molded plastic model. Bumper controllers on the sides or a dial on the front were used to control the games depending on the game selected. There were three game types - Pinball, Basketball, and Breakout.

    Interestingly enough, Atari did follow up with an actual Video Pinball coin-op, two years after the release of their home console. It was a unique hybrid between video game and pinball technology that still has not been duplicated to this day. While some before and after tried using the video game part as a game within the game or simply to display unique animations (such as Baby Pacman, or the more recent Star Wars pinball hologram effect model), this was the first to actually use both technologies as an integral part of the game play.

    Atari Stunt Cycle
    Released in 1977
    All the thrills and chills of real stunt motorcycle riding right in your home living room, so much fun Evil Knievel must have had one! (Well... maybe). Stunt Cycle originally was an Atari arcade coin-op, then made into a stand-alone console shown here.

    The original coin-op had been released in 1975 to take advantage of the then popular motorcycle stunt man Evel Knievel. Originally a motorcycle salesman who began doing stunts to draw attention to his store, by the early 70's he was a household name. Atari's coin-op attempted to capture the feel and fun of the stunt jumping Evel Knievel was famous for, and was a mild success.

    Stunt Cycle gave the player a first person feel of riding a motorcycle, even though the image on the screen wasn't first person. You could jump cars and buses, if you played with the controls just right you could jump right off the screen, lots of fun!

    Atari VCS 2600
    Released in 1977
    The Atari 2600, released in 1977, is the first successful video game console to use plug-in cartridges instead of having one or more games built in. It was originally known as the Atari VCS, for Video Computer System, and the name "Atari 2600" (taken from the unit's Atari part number, CX2600) was first used in 1982, after the release of the more advanced Atari 5200.

    The initial price was $199 with a library of 9 titles. In a play to compete directly with the Channel F, Atari named the machine the Video Computer System (or VCS for short), as the Channel F was at that point known as the VES, for Video Entertainment System. When Fairchild learned of Atari's naming they quickly changed the name of their system to become the Channel F.

    Atari expanded the 2600 family with two other compatible consoles. The Atari 2700, a wireless version of the console was never released due to design flaws. The Sleek Atari 2800 released to the Japanese market in 1983 suffered from competition from the newly-released Nintendo Famicom.

    Coleco Telstar Combat
    Released in 1977
    The Coleco Telstar Combat! game was released in 1977 as a post-Pong dedicated video game console. Unlike Coleco's earlier home Pong clones based on the General Instrument AY-3-8500 ****, it used a AY-3-8700 ****. The console was a modest success but due to having too many similar dedicated console products, Coleco nearly went bankrupt in 1980.

    Telstar Combat was one of Coleco's attempts to break away from the Pong-clone video game rut. It's certainly unique, no other company manufactured a dedicated console with such elaborate controls. The console plays four variations of a tank battle game, very similar to the Atari 2600 Combat game cartridge.

    Coleco Telstar Alpha
    Released in 1977
    Coleco cashed in on the Pong craze in a big way. They managed to grab a huge share of the early home video game market partly through good marketing (their original Telstar console was half the price of Atari's Pong) and partly through good luck (Coleco was the only company that got their full shipment of the popular microchip that everyone used to manufacture their home Pong systems in late 1976).

    The Telstar Alpha (model 6030) was released in 1977. It is a classic from Coleco, and uses the AY-3-8500 game ****. The system plays 4 games in three difficulty levels. It is the successor of the three older models (Telstar, Telstar Classic and Telstar Ranger), and only differs by its case and fourth game (JAI-ALAI, also known as SQUASH).

    Like the first Telstar, this system was sold in large quantities as it was cheap. It was also released in Europe as the "Telstar Alpha Europa".

    Magnavox Odyssey 2000
    Released in 1977
    While not the first electronic game, the earliest form of an electronic ping-pong game dates back as a game played on an oscilloscope, by William A. Higinbotham at the Brookhaven National Laboratory in 1958. His game was titled Tennis for Two.

    In 1977, the Magnavox Odyssey line of PONG games represents the cutting edge of dedicated console technology. The Odyssey 2000, 3000 and 4000 were arguably the most advanced dedicated PONG console systems of the 1970's.

    Magnavox Odyssey 3000
    Released in 1977
    The Magnavox Odyssey 3000 is another example of the Odyssey line for 1977. It is similar to the 2000 offering the same games in a newly styled, more modern case. The Odyssey 3000 also featured detachable controllers which allowed more freedom when playing. This was not a feature on the Odyssey 2000 model.

    Magnavox lead the PONG craze with its Odyssey line of consoles. In three years, the technology had completely changed the PONG universe.

    Magnavox Odyssey 4000
    Released in 1977
    The Odyssey 4000 was the last PONG system released by Magnavox. The Odyssey 4000 featured 8 exciting games in full color. The console also featured real joysticks like those offered on other console models.

    After the Odyssey 4000, Magnavox goes on to release a completely different system known as the Odyssey 2, also known as Videopac in Europe. This system was designed to compete with Atari and Colecovision cartridge based game consoles.
    Последна редакция от metako ; 08-02-2009 в 02:20

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  7. #7

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    Coleco Telstar Colortron
    Released in 1978
    The Telstar Colortron was released in 1978. It is one of the only systems based around the AY-3-8510 game ****, a derivation of the AY-3-8500. The system offers 4 games instead of 6, but the picture is in color, which is much better. Sound is not unpleasant like on most of the other systems, since it comes from a little piezo beeper which produces a very discrete sound.

    The game selection is done using a push-button rather than a switch (easier to use and more robust). Curiously, the system requires two 9V batteries: one for the "video" (the games), and one for the "sound" (maybe the internal circuitry of the piezo beeper).

    Coleco Telstar Arcade
    Released in 1978
    The Telstar Arcade is maybe one of the most interesting systems made by Coleco, and also the most advanced PONG system released in America, although it played non-PONG games. Made in a triangular case, the system could play three types of games, each being played on one of the three sides of the case. Obviously, the first side allowed playing PONG games (TENNIS and the like), and the second side allowed playing target shooting games. Nothing very different from most other systems, except the gun storage. The third face was the most interesting: it allowed playing car racing games. Very few systems offering that type of games were released at this time, and the games were only played using rotary controllers or some sort of joysticks.

    Coleco used a very uncommon cartridge format: a silver triangular case which connects horizontally on the top of the console. Nothing in common with the other black cartridges with plug vertically. Coleco released only four cartridges. The first one was sold with the system and the others were available separately for the price of $25. Two flyers came with the system to order cartridges #2 and #3.

    Bally Professional Arcade
    Released in 1978
    Released in 1978, the Bally Professional Arcade was video game maker Bally's only entry in to the home console market, complete with typical late 1970's wood grain. The little console from the 70's that just wouldn't die, it enjoyed several rebirths similar to the Fairchild VES Channel F and significant home brew/user following.

    In 1972, Bally missed an early entry in to video games, by telling one Mr. Nolan Bushnell they were not interested in his Pong video game. With Pong starting the video game arcade revolution, by 1975 Bally decided to create a video game division called Midway (referred to as Bally/Midway) for the purpose of entering this market.

    It was decided to base the new console around the Zilog Z-80 microprocessor. A processor making it's way in to arcade games and fast becoming the processor of choice in the still developing microcomputer movement. The graphics system was to have an advanced display system known as bit mapped graphics. In bit mapped graphics, each pixel of the screen is mapped to a corresponding memory location.

    Magnavox Odyssey²
    Released in 1978
    In 1978 Magnavox came out with their second major system, the Odyssey², which was totally different than the various Odyssey PONG systems. It was a computer with BASIC programming, but many people regarded it as a home video game console. It came with two controllers, RF switch with TV box, power supply, and the Speedway, Spinout and Cryptologic game cartridge.

    The Odyssey² was the first home video game console to introduce what was to become the standard joystick design of the 1970s and 80s: a moderately sized black joystick unit, held in the left hand, with an eight-direction stick that was manipulated with the right hand. In the upper corner of the joystick was a single 'Action' button.

    The area that the Odyssey² may well be best remembered for was its pioneering fusion of board and video games: The Master Strategy Series. The first game released was the instant classic Quest for the Rings!, with game play somewhat similar to Dungeons & Dragons, and a story line reminiscent of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings.

    Coleco Telstar Gemini
    Released in 1978
    1978 saw the release of the Coleco Telstar Gemini, which was totally different from any other Telstar pong system preceding it. Looking like a common pong, it doesn't play the common pong games. This unique system offered 2 shooting games along with 4 pinball games.

    This console featured 2 flipper buttons on either side which simulated playing a real pinball machine. There is also a big red button on top which was used to launch the ball in to the play field. The button simulated the real thing, a short tap will shoot the ball out slowly and a long press will shoot the ball out faster.

    There were actually two completely different Coleco Gemini systems. The Telstar Gemini shown here is the older and rarer machine. The other is an Atari 2600 clone by Coleco called Gemini. Coleco probably did this to hide it from Atari's lawyer armada. This worked for a while, but soon after the launch of the console Atari unsuccessfully sued Coleco for braking copyright laws.

    Zircon Channel F System II
    Released in 1979
    In 1979, a company by the name of Zircon bought all the rights to the Channel F. What they had planned to do with them was not clear until when they released Fairchild's scaled-down model as the $99 Channel F System II. Zircon also licensed it overseas, where it appeared as the Saba Video Play in Germany, the Luxor Video Entertainment System in Sweden, and the Grandstand in Great Britain. The System II model played sounds through the TV set, rather than generating them through an internal speaker (that's right: sounds in the System I model came from the unit itself). Channel F System II also had removable controllers.

    By 1978, Fairchild had released 23 games the Channel F, with Zircon chipping in four new titles a couple years later. The games run from single to multi game cartridges, and various options for the games are selected by the 4 main buttons on the front of the console. Probably the weirdest feature of the machine is that the games are started by first turning on the console, then inserting the cartridge, and hitting the reset button.

    Atari 400
    Released in 1979
    The Atari 400 was announced in December 1978, but didn't actually start shipping until late in 1979. Designed primarily as a computer for children, the Atari 400 has an "advanced child-proof design featuring pressure-sensitive, wipe-clean keyboard". It featured a single cartridge port under the front cover.

    The Atari 400 boots-up into "Notepad", the only built-in program. Any other programs will have to run from cassette or cartridge - this includes BASIC, or any other programming language. Game cartridges can be inserted into the cartridge slot in front, starting instantly with no fuss. Many games were clones of actual video arcade hits, others were original or copies of other popular (or not) computer games of the 80's.
    Последна редакция от metako ; 08-02-2009 в 02:20

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  9. #9

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    Mattel Intellivision
    Released in 1980
    After successful test marketing in 1979, Mattel Electronics released its Intellivision system nationwide in late 1980. Armed with twelve games, better graphics and sound than its competitors, and the promise to release a compatible keyboard that would turn the system into a home computer ("Play games and balance your checkbook!"), Mattel set its sights on taking down the "invincible" Atari 2600. They got off to a good start, selling out the first production run of 200,000 Intellivision units quickly.

    Many people bought an Intellivision with plans to turn it into a home computer when the keyboard was released. There was a huge marketing campaign behind this (one-third of the back of the Intellivision box was dedicated to the "Under Development" keyboard), but months and then years passed without the keyboard being released. actually, it was released in a few test markets in late '81, but the price was too high and the initial reaction poor. So in 1982, Mattel scrapped plans for the infamous keyboard, but later (due to government pressure), they had to make a computer add-on anyway.

    Released in 1982
    The Vectrex is an 8-bit video game console developed by General Consumer Electric (GCE) and later bought by Milton Bradley Company. The Vectrex is unique in that it utilized vector graphics drawn on a monitor that was integrated in the console; no other console before or after the Vectrex had a comparable configuration, and no other non-portable game console had a monitor of its own (integrated). It was released in November 1982 at a retail price of $199. As the video game market declined and then crashed, the Vectrex exited the market in early 1984.

    Unlike other video game consoles which connected to TVs to display raster graphics, the Vectrex included its own monitor which displayed vector graphics. The monochrome Vectrex used overlays to give the illusion of color, and also to reduce the severity of flickering caused by the vector monitor. At the time many of the most popular arcade games used vector displays, and GCE was looking to set themselves apart from the pack by selling high-quality versions of games like Space Wars and Armor Attack. The system even contained a built in game, the Asteroids-like Minestorm.

    Atari 5200
    Released in 1982
    The Atari 5200 is a video game console introduced in 1982 by Atari. It was created to compete with the Mattel Intellivision, but it also competed with the Colecovision shortly after the 5200's release. In some ways, it was both technologically superior and more cost efficient than any console available at that time.

    The Atari 5200 was in essence an Atari 400 computer without a keyboard. This made for a powerful, proven design which Atari could quickly bring to market. The system featured many innovations like the first automatic TV switch box, allowing it to automatically switch from regular TV viewing to the game system signal when the system was activated.

    The initial release of the system featured four controller ports, where all other systems of the day had only two ports. The system also featured a revolutionary new controller with an analog joystick, numeric keypad, two fire buttons on both sides of the controller and game function keys for Start, Pause, and Reset.

    Emerson Arcadia 2001
    Released in 1982
    In 1982, the computer electronics company, Emerson, jumped into the gaming world. They released the Arcadia 2001, a small cartridge-based system.The Arcadia 2001 controllers are similar in design to the Intellivison or Colecovision, with a numeric keypad, a joystick, and two side buttons.

    Emerson Arcadia 2001 was supposed to be the Atari 2600 killer. A great console with great games. Unfortunately they fell prey to complete lack of third party development, and the lack of Arcade game titles. Similar to other consoles before it, they were forced to release arcade clones.

    The system didn't grasp much attention, and soon found it's way to the bargain bin at the cost of $99. The release of the Colecovision months later sealed the Arcadia's fate. The Emerson Arcadia 2001 died after only a year and a half with 35 game releases. Most never recall it existed.

    Released in 1982
    The Colecovision is Coleco's third generation video game console, released in August 1982. It offered arcade-like graphics and controllers, and an initial catalog of 12 titles, with 10 more promised titles on the way. All told, approximately 170 titles were released on plug-in cartridges during its lifetime. The controller was a flat joystick, two side buttons, and a number-pad, which allowed the user to put inserts for customized buttons. The majority of titles in its catalog were conversions from coin-operated arcade games. The ColecoVision introduced two new concepts to the home video game industry - the ability to expand the hardware system, and the ability to play other video game system games.

    By Christmas of 1982, Coleco had sold 500,000 units, mainly on the strength of its bundled games. While Atari's fortune had risen on the popularity of Space Invaders, Colecovision was the first console to feature the hit Donkey Kong, by Nintendo. The Colecovision's main competitor in the next-generation console space was the arguably more advanced but less commercially successful Atari 5200.

    Coleco Gemini
    Released in 1982
    In 1982, Coleco released Expansion Module #1 for its Colecovision video game system using off-the-shelf components. Atari sued Coleco for patent infringement, however a court ruled that since Coleco used off-the-shelf components and not the same components found inside an Atari 2600, the Expansion Module #1 did not infringe on Atari's patents for the 2600. With this ruling, Coleco decided to make a stand-alone Atari 2600 clone and named it the Gemini.

    The main difference between the Coleco Gemini and the Atari 2600 is the controller design. The Coleco Gemini controllers featured an 8-way joystick and a 270-degree paddle on the same controller (the joystick was at the top of the controller, and the paddle was at the bottom of the controller). Unfortunately, if one wanted to play the Atari 2600 game Warlords in 4 player mode, 2 sets of Atari-made paddles were required, and one set of Atari-made paddles was required for 2 player paddle games.
    Последна редакция от metako ; 08-02-2009 в 02:21

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