1977 Game System Reviews

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pacman000
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1977 Game System Reviews

Postby pacman000 » February 13th, 2018, 3:32 pm

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=5eI ... &q&f=false

Popular Mechanics reviews game consoles, in 1977! Includes the Fairchild Channel F, Atari VCS , APF M1000, RCA Studio II, Coleco Telstar Arcade, Astrocade, and one I've never heard of called the Tournament 2711.

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scotland
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Re: 1977 Game System Reviews

Postby scotland » February 13th, 2018, 3:39 pm

Fun to read the FCCs spasms on the output. Its remarked that if the output was pure video, there would be no issue - which brings to mind systems with built in speakers. Such a fuss for nothing there.

I also see it goes into electronic handheld games lime Mattel Football coming out then too.

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Retro STrife
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Re: 1977 Game System Reviews

Postby Retro STrife » February 13th, 2018, 5:27 pm

pacman000, it always surprises me the stuff you dig up. Glad I read this one. While I like reading about systems from a historical perspective, I think it's even more interesting to go "back in time" like this and see how they were perceived when they were modern systems. One part I found interesting was how the general tone was as if it was ok for adults to play these.. yet at the end it says "as with all toys" expect deep discounts. With them being called "toys", I assume these were mostly for the kids back then, but not sure, as it was before my time.

Has anyone played the Coleco Telstar Arcade that is pictured in that article? I only learned about that for the first time when I saw it at the National Videogame Museum in Dallas this past fall. Looking at it, I figured it was a standalone console (like the pong consoles), but the museum treated it as a full-fledged system, which has piqued my interest in it. I would be curious if anyone has thoughts on it.

P.S. Imagine, when they wrote this article in 1977, do you think they ever thought that 40 years later someone would still be asking questions about buying one of those things...

Wallyworld
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Re: 1977 Game System Reviews

Postby Wallyworld » February 13th, 2018, 5:48 pm

Nice find and thanks for sharing! It's pretty funny they said people have unlocked the Channel F to use as a computer. Could you imagine trying to use that as your PC? Sounds horrific to me.

pacman000
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Re: 1977 Game System Reviews

Postby pacman000 » February 13th, 2018, 6:14 pm

This article was linked to from AtariAge's RCA Studio thread; that's how I found it.

http://www.pong-story.com/coleco_arcade.htm

According to Pong-Story, the Coleco Telstar Arcade was a pong-on-a-chip system. But each chip was based around a programmable microcontroller, not discrete logic. The chips did contain specialized display circuits for each game tho.

I'd actually be interested in seeing what those late 70's hobbyists came up with for the Channel F. Probably simple tech demo stuff, like what you'd see on an un-upgraded Altair. (Daisy...Daisy...)

lynchie137
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Re: 1977 Game System Reviews

Postby lynchie137 » February 16th, 2018, 11:00 pm

I think the thing that I got the biggest kick out of was not the fact that a magazine like Popular Mechanics had an article in this particular issue that reviewed video game consoles. It was looking at all the old ads for cigarettes, alcohol, television sets, and of course, ads and articles with all the latest, top of the line (for the era) cars, trucks and boats. I'd say it'd be safe to say that most of these are in a junkyard or landfill right now. Whereas all those game consoles are highly desired collectibles right now.

Speaking of which, does anybody know how much a mint condition issue of Popular Mechanics circa 1977 would be worth today? Just curious..

This forum was definitely a blast from the somewhat distant past. I truly enjoyed reading through it. Great job!!!!

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AtariToday
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Re: 1977 Game System Reviews

Postby AtariToday » February 19th, 2018, 7:37 pm

thanks for posting these links! I recently picked up a Coleco Telstar Arcade and I had no knowledge or experience of the system prior to the purchase. Going to be reading these articles for sure.

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Retro STrife
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Re: 1977 Game System Reviews

Postby Retro STrife » February 19th, 2018, 8:06 pm

AtariToday wrote:thanks for posting these links! I recently picked up a Coleco Telstar Arcade and I had no knowledge or experience of the system prior to the purchase. Going to be reading these articles for sure.


Have you tried it yet? As mentioned in my post above, would be interested in any thoughts on it.

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AtariToday
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Re: 1977 Game System Reviews

Postby AtariToday » February 19th, 2018, 9:13 pm

Retro STrife wrote:Have you tried it yet? As mentioned in my post above, would be interested in any thoughts on it.


Yes! I've spent some time with it and it's certainly an interesting machine. I only own two out of the four carts (carts two and three) so unfortunately I can't speak on the driving game until i pick up Cart 1. I'm also missing the cord that runs from the additional paddles to the system, so no four player action for me (I can't even imagine the odds of finding this cord..)

Overall the Telstar Arcade is fairly basic in terms of graphics and gameplay, however I have to admit I find it pretty impressive what Coleco was able to push a pong machine to. My son and I spent a good amount of time with the pong style games, pinball wasn't much fun (it was a weird mashup of breakout style bounce the ball mechanics that doesn't really work out well), and the shooting game "Shoot the bear" got a few chuckles (those weird blocks are supposed to be a bear?) and some solid game time. The light gun works pretty well and I certainly wouldn't go out in public with it as it looks pretty realistic.

At this point I look forward to getting the final two carts to complete out the collection, mainly so I can try the racing game out with the wheel and throttle that take up a whole side of the triangle shaped system. I can't really recommend picking this up until i try the other titles, as the system can fetch a hefty price (if it's in good condition).

There are other great standalone machines from this time period that I would look at first before jumping on a Telstar Arcade. I own an Atari Stunt Cycle and an Atari Video Pinball machine that currently get more play and all things considered would probably be more fun for your money.

mbd36
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Re: 1977 Game System Reviews

Postby mbd36 » February 19th, 2018, 9:45 pm

lynchie137 wrote:I think the thing that I got the biggest kick out of was not the fact that a magazine like Popular Mechanics had an article in this particular issue that reviewed video game consoles. It was looking at all the old ads for cigarettes, alcohol, television sets, and of course, ads and articles with all the latest, top of the line (for the era) cars, trucks and boats. I'd say it'd be safe to say that most of these are in a junkyard or landfill right now. Whereas all those game consoles are highly desired collectibles right now.

Speaking of which, does anybody know how much a mint condition issue of Popular Mechanics circa 1977 would be worth today? Just curious..

This forum was definitely a blast from the somewhat distant past. I truly enjoyed reading through it. Great job!!!!


You should check out the vintage ad browser if you haven't. http://www.vintageadbrowser.com/


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