And Another Classic!!!

17 02 2008

Ok, this is quite a bit of posting in one day (for me), and I really have got to get to work, but here is one more from my collection:

ATARI XEGS Game System (and Home Computer)

This game system shipped from Atari in 1987 and included a detachable keyboard wich allowed the system to be used as a computer. The following is the short entry on Wikipedia regarding this system:

The XEGS was sold bundled with a detachable keyboard (first for an Atari computer), a joystick and a light gun (XG-1), and a couple of game cartridges (Bug Hunt and Flight Simulator II). The XEGS was essentially a repackaged 65XE, and was compatible with almost all Atari 8-bit software and hardware as a result. Bad marketing and a lack of newer releases hampered sales.

I found mine at a certain flea market in Edmonton, Alberta where I seem to find a lot of good deals. I also found a Qix game cartridge for this system at the same flea market, but a different table. I’d love to find one of the light guns and perhaps the matching joystick. The joystick was just a regular Atari 2600 stich, but grey instead of black.

Here are a couple of pictures of my system:

XE-base

The Base system

XE-and-Keyboard

The system with keyboard attached.

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Three More Rarities From My Collection

14 02 2008

Hello imaginary Internet People. I have taken pictures of three more relatively rare systems from my ever growing collection of classic video game systems. Here they are in absolutely no particular order:

Commodore CD32

This one is really cool. Commodore (the makers of the Commodore 64, one of the biggest selling personal computers of all time) produced the CD32, which was basically an Amiga 1200 computer without a keyboard or a hard drive. Released in 1993, you can probably guess from it’s name that it was a 32 bit CD based game system. An add-on board was available which basically turned it into a full fledged Amiga computer. My unit has a add-on called a TVI that has a modem and supported a remote control. Apparently the modem was used to access certain dial up banking services, and the remote was long gone when I acquired this little baby.

Although a fine machine, it never really gained much ground here in North America. It seems to have been a little more popular in Europe.

CD32

Commodore’s CD32 (dust and all!)

CD32-Controller

A CD32 controller

Sega CDX

The Sega CDX (Multi-Mega outside North America) was a portable Genesis (Megadrive to those from outside North America) and Sega CD wrapped up in a unit not too much bigger than (at the time) a portable CD player – which it also functioned as.

Released in 1994 as what seemed like an attempt to gather interest in Sega’s Sega CD format, the CDX ultimately failed, although it is an interesting and well designed piece of gaming history.

CDX

Sega’s short lived CDX gaming system.

JVC X’EYE

The X’EYE is a clone of the Sega Genesis and Sega CD combined into a single unit, licensed by JVC with a few extras. Along with doing everything a Sega Genesis and Sega CD could, the X’EYE offered S-Video out, microphone in (and a microphone volume control) for karaoke and an enhanced sound system.

This is a cool looking machine that I have not seen many of… heck I’ve only seen one “in the wild” and I bought it!

XEye

music note While writing this, I was listening to “I Think of Demons” by Roky Erickson & the Aliens

 





A Couple More Gems from my Video Game Collection

13 02 2008

I find myself with a little extra time before work, so I thought I would post (brag) a few pictures of two more little gems from my video collection.

We’ll start with a real rarity:NEC TurboDuo 16

This was the NEC Turbo Grafx 16 with integrated CD-ROM and a number of internal enhancements (including more system memory). Released in North America in October of 1992 with a price tag of $299 U.S., the system languished on shelves ($300 was way too expensive for a game system at that time). NEC tried to combat this by selling various bundles with a number of game pack ins. Even so, sales were dismal.

NEC beat Sony to the punch by releasing a CD-ROM based system a full two years before the Playstation invaded our homes. At the time, CD-ROMs were rare in computers, let alone game consoles.

Here’s a a look at my system:

TBD-System

TurboDuo, two controllers and multi-tap

TBD

The Console alone

TBD-Controller

Close up of one of the controllers

TBD-Multitap

The multi-tap. The system only had one controller port, but with the multi-tap up to four controllers could be used.

System Two: The Sega Game Gear

Sega released the Game Gear (hereon referred to as “GG”) in Japan in October 1990 and in North America in 1991. This was a hand held system designed to compete with Nintendo’s wildly popular Gameboy handheld system. The GG had some advantages over the Gameboy, namely a beautiful (for the time) colour screen (the Gameboy had a sickly looking green screen with the graphics displayed in grey).

One disadvantage was the fact that it ate batteries like crazy… and it took six AA batteries at a time. You were lucky to eek out five hours of game play with fresh alkaline batteries, compared to what seemed a lifetime of play (probably a couple of days) out of four AA batteries in the Gameboy. Sega tried to combat this with rechargeable, external battery packs that greatly increased the gameplay between charges, but also increased the bulk of the already large game system.

Despite the fact that this was a great little system (far superior to the original Gameboy, in my opinion), it was not accepted in Japan, and while a little more popular in Europe and North America, it was outsold by Nintendo’s Gameboy by a large margine. Nintedo continued to eat up the handheld market over the years. Eventualy, in 1997, Sega dropped support for the system.

Although I wouldn’t call this system rare, I definitely consider it collector worthy. With lots of add-ons and a ton of games to hunt down from a lot of markets (any GG game from any region will play on any GG), I always seem to find somethig new…well, new to me.

Here are some pictures of my collection:

GG

The Game Gear unit.

GG-bag

Official Sega Game Gear carrying bag

GG-Games

Some of my Game Gear games.

GG-TV-Tuner

The coveted Television tuner add-on. Note: This did not work with later releases of the Game Gear

GG-Magnifier

The “official” screen magnifier (there were quite a few third party versions of this).

GG-Game-Genie

The Game Gear Game Genie – a third party “cheat” device.





Some More Classic Video Game Commercials & Videos

13 02 2008

Well, it’s been a few days since the last time I wrote or posted anything, so I thought I’d take the easy route and post some video game clips and commercials.

Hope you enjoy them!

Sega Game Gear “Colour” Commercial

Sega Master System – Sega’s (technically) superior challenger to the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES).

Turbo Grafx 16 commercial. A visually stunning machine (for the time) that went no where in North America, but was huge in Japan under the name PC-Engine. The CD-Rom add-on was big news at the time…shame it’s price was prohibitively high.

music note While writing this, I was listening to “Some Dispute over T-Shirt Sales” by Butthole Surfers





Nintendo Donkey Kong Game and Watch (1981) & Nintendo DS Lite (2006): Proof that Good Design is Timeless

5 02 2008

Among my collection of video games and toys are a number of handheld games from a number of manufacturers and one of these companies is Nintendo. Nintendo released a line of handhelds back in the very early 1980s called Game & Watch. These units had a game, and a clock (the “Watch” part of Game & Watch). While most of them were a rectangle with an LCD screen and simple controls, there were a number of them that openened up dkonggw(clamshell like) to reveal two screens. I have managed to find two such dual screen units: Donkey Kong (shown) and Firefighter (not shown). The first thing that came to mind was how much it looks like the design of the current Nintendo DS.  This just goes to show that a good design is timeless!

Take a look yourself and decide for yourself:

cousins

 

 

 

 

 

music note While writing this, I was listening to “Freewheel Burning” by Judas Priest





My Collection of Coleco Mini Arcade Games

5 02 2008

Back in 1981, Coleco released a series of mini arcade games, each housed inDKong-askew a mini arcade cabinet. There was Pacman, Donkey Kong, Ms Pacman, Galaxians and Frogger. Well, I’ve managed to accrue Donkey Kong, Galaxians and Pacman.

The game play on these little (for the time) machines isn’t much to write home about. They were fun but simple. Galaxians is probably the best playing of the three that I have. Fast paced and noisy is thye best way to describe the dynamics of Galaxian Galaxian-Right-Sidegame play.

These little machines have become more popular over the years with classic video game collectors, which has driven up their prices on sites like Ebay. Lucky for me, I’ve managed to find my games at garage sales, flea markets and through relatives (my uncle had Galaxians laying around the house! Thanks Andre!!!)PacMan-Askew

Coleco wasn’t the only company to put out game systems in little arcade cabinet form, but they were the only ones that I saw at the time.. Over the lat couple of years, I’ve noticed a resurgence in the mini arcade form factor. I picked up a Space Invaders at a Spencer’s Gift store last year, and I’ve seen a Frogger at “The Source” (formerly Radio Shack). I would love it if these Coleco machines were re-released, like the Mattel Electronic Quarterback and Merlin were a few years ago.

Just thought I would share these with you…and if you know where I can get a Ms Pacman or Frogger to complete my collection (for a reasonable price), please let me know!!!

music note While writing this, I was listening to “Creature With the Atom Brain” by Roky Erickson & the Aliens