PC-50x Consoles

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scotland
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PC-50x Consoles

Postby scotland » October 18th, 2016, 10:07 am

On Ebay, and an odd console caught my eye - it looks like this one below. Its PAL, from Greece. About $40 before shipping.

Image

Not knowing what these were, I went to one of my favorite sites, Marriot_Guy's great site, and of course, there it is. Or at least, its another type of console in which there are many manufacturers making similar machines. (And knowing that information, you can find some you tube videos on gameplay)

http://videogameconsolelibrary.com/pg70-pc50x.htm#page=models

with screen shots of the games here:

http://videogameconsolelibrary.com/pg70-pc50x.htm#page=games

The story seems to be that ROM cartridge consoles came to Europe later than in the US, so that there were sort of advanced 1st generation consoles in Europe that we Americans saw very little of. (Marriot Guy calls them glorified pong machines) Like the mass produced Pong chips, manufacturers used other integrated circuit chips and put them in cartridges. These are not ROM chips with a program to run on a microprocessor, nor are they just jumpers like the original Odyssey, but new games via a new integrated circuit, although still fairly primitive.

Marriot Guy has a bunch of models, and apparently there are many more. Check out the controllers too - they look like analog controllers for those of you who sometimes associate that innovation to later consoles. It was right there in the 1970s. That's far out, man.

Really neat to keep learning things about video game consoles. I have no idea if these are collectible, but somehow even if they are rare I am thinking they are a bit too primitive to attract much interest.

Sut
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Re: PC-50x Consoles

Postby Sut » October 18th, 2016, 3:43 pm

I own one of these, I actually uploaded the Grandstand owners manual to Guy's site.

Will try and get round to posting some pictures at the weekend as it's currently boxed up.

I don't think the systems themselves are hugely desirable but having a full set of the system and games is worth a fair price.

Imagine a dedicated Pong style console condensed onto a cartridge and the PC-50x is just the conduit to convert that cartridge into playable games.

It's not been too expensive to collect for got a box system for around £15 and the same again for an AC adapter as it's an old style pin style port.

The games have ranged from £10 - £30, I'm only missing Cartridge 3 which is the Tank game and the über rare cartridge 8. Not fussed about cartridge 8 as it's just more Pong and there are already 10 variations on cartridge 1.

I do actually own a Tank cartridge but it's for a different PC-50x system with different shaped cartridges. Which brings me to the most frustrating part of collecting for this console - the sheer amount of variants all the same tech and games but some would use different cartridge sizes making collecting somewhat awkward.

The two main reasons I collected this console is I wanted a first generation console and this had the most variety. And the main one is that the machine isn't emulated and I believe at best can only be simulated.

If there is any interest, I will hook it up at the weekend and post some pictures.

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scotland
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Re: PC-50x Consoles

Postby scotland » October 18th, 2016, 5:38 pm

Sut wrote: If there is any interest, I will hook it up at the weekend and post some pictures.


That would be awesome, my friend.

If you have any doubles or there is a cheap cartridge for the system, like #1 Pong, maybe you could swap out the chips from the tank game onto the #1 cartridge PCB ? That's a question, not an assertion - I have no idea. It just sounds like all the same General Instrument AY-3 chips, just some cosmetic changes among the different systems in much the way many of the American Pong consoles are basically the same under the hood. If there is very little inside the cartridge but the chip, sounds like it could work if you can replace a GI chip.

Tell us about the gameplay, the controllers, the video quality, the audio quality. Are some of the games, like the basketball game, any fun? That one looks kinda fun, and the tank game looks promising too.

Sut
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Re: PC-50x Consoles

Postby Sut » October 20th, 2016, 11:09 am

scotland wrote:If you have any doubles or there is a cheap cartridge for the system, like #1 Pong, maybe you could swap out the chips from the tank game onto the #1 cartridge PCB ? That's a question, not an assertion - I have no idea. It just sounds like all the same General Instrument AY-3 chips, just some cosmetic changes among the different systems in much the way many of the American Pong consoles are basically the same under the hood. If there is very little inside the cartridge but the chip, sounds like it could work if you can replace a GI chip.


Worth a look I suppose, I opened up the Tank cartridge previous to see if it would fit without the shell case but it didn't. I'm not sure it will be as easy as swapping a chip as these cartridges also have adjustment screws in them if the game isn't running correct.

I've had two of these machines and now use the first for spares/repairs. Video signal is RF the first system was very fuzzy but the second one is surprisingly clear.

Sound is typical Pong generation, sound comes out of the system itself and is limited to beeps and boops. The joysticks work very well with Pong and Superb Wipeout (Breakout). They do not self centre which is a good thing for these games as you can be very precise with your paddle movements.

Gameplay wise there is an element of fun in most of the games. Cartridge 1 'Supersportic' is a 10 Pong variation cartridge with all your usual variations Tennis, Hockey, Squash. Unfortunately Scotland, Basketball is the worst variation IMO. Trying to get a basket with Pong style gameplay is an exercise in frustration.

The Car Race game is simple put addictive trying to aim for the perfect game (no collisions) and a game you can get 'in the zone' with.

Motor Cycle: This is Atari Stunt Cycle without the handle bars, the joystick doesn't do this game much favours as you have to rev with an up and down motion. But once you get a grasp of the controls again it is fun to play for Score.

Superb Wipeout. These are the Breakout variations and the cartridge I am most disappointed with. With the joysticks being built for paddle games this should be awesome but there is one fatal design flaw. There is no back wall ! So if your down to a few bricks and miss them you lose a ball. Looks like playtesting wasn't a thing in those days.

Shooting Gallery. Basic but relatively fun light gun skeet shoot game. The light gun looks like a rifle when fully built up, but rather like the Menacer works far better when stripped to a pistol.

I'm forgetting the other game, will wait until I unbox it at the weekend.

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scotland
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Re: PC-50x Consoles

Postby scotland » October 21st, 2016, 7:51 am

Thanks

Adjustment screws in the cart? Interesting. Same thing in some 8 bit computers, but its in the computer, but not the cart.

Bummer the breakout is disappointing. Thats one area I thought this would shine. Atari's pinball / breakout console is pretty terrific.

Sut
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Re: PC-50x Consoles

Postby Sut » October 29th, 2016, 3:25 pm

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Groovy 70's style game boxes. These are the Grandstand versions. The same carts will be in different packaging for different manufacturers or countries.

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My missing Tank game albeit for a different PC-50x system. Notice cart sizes can vary between systems although they contain the same GI chips.

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Now that's a gun ! The PC-50x light gun with all attachments. It's wildly inaccurate like this, but functions well when stripped down to a pistol.

Sut
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Re: PC-50x Consoles

Postby Sut » October 29th, 2016, 4:00 pm

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Supersportic. This is the Pong cartridge above is the Basketball variation. Trying to get a basket is frustrating.

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Shooting Gallery. The Alien squares from space !
Despite looking basic it is fun to play.

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Motor Cycle. Same GI chip as Atari Stunt Cycle, again fun game once you get a grasp of the controls. The number of buses at the bottom increases with every successful jump.

Sut
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Re: PC-50x Consoles

Postby Sut » October 29th, 2016, 4:05 pm

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My personal fave. Car Race GP.
Can be strangely hypnotising. Trying for the perfect score of 15 with no collisions is surprisingly addictive.

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Superb Wipeout. This should have been one of the better carts, but notice no back wall after the blocks on the right ?

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Submarine. The game I couldn't remember. Although fairly nice looking it is a bore to play.

Sut
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Re: PC-50x Consoles

Postby Sut » December 18th, 2017, 10:08 am

Tank Battle

Managed to pick up a Radofin PC-50x System which accepts these size cartridges for a mere £5, strange how it is easier and more cost effective to buy additional systems rather than variants of the cartridges.

Regards the game it is just like Combat on the 2600, impressed with the beefy sound and bespoke controllers.

Apart from the Fundamental cartridge (which I’m not interested in as it’s just more Pong) I now have all the PC-50x games. They are a fun distraction but the second generation was indeed a great leap.

pacman000
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Re: PC-50x Consoles

Postby pacman000 » December 18th, 2017, 1:35 pm

Atari was planning to release a Pong-on-a-chip-in-a-cart system: The Game Brain.

http://www.atarimuseum.com/videogames/d ... gamebrain/

Obviously it would've used their own chips, not GI's.

Apparently, the Epoch Cassette Vision could play both pong-on-a-chip games and ROM carts. http://www.videogameconsolelibrary.com/ ... ge=reviews

I wonder if anyone's ever tried to put a microcontroller or SoaC into one of these carts to make homebrew games?


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