Vectrex (Milton Bradley/GCE) – 1982
Launch Price: $199.00
Processor speed: 1.6 MHz.
Graphic capacity: 8-bit
Sound: single channel mono
Memory: 512 bytes
Resolution: Samsung VECTOR black&white 9x11 inch monitor
Software type: cartridge
Here is an interesting system. I managed to get a Vectrex system when I won the bid on a set of videogames. Included in the bulk purchase was a Vectrex game which worked flawlessly. I was impressed with the graphics of this Vector based system. What is a vector based system you ask? Do you remember “Tempest”, “Star Wars”, “Battle Zone” and “Asteroids” from the arcade days? Well they were all based on a Vector based monitor. Most video games are made in “Raster” graphics. This is a pixel based process in which the screen is drawn and refreshed from left to right, top to bottom. Vector graphics are different in the fact that a very specific coordinate on the x-y axis is plotted and refreshed. A very crisp display is the outcome. Just think about how crisp the graphics of “asteroids’ were when you played it. Needless to say the graphics tend to lack any solidity and was fairly empty in comparison to “raster” graphics.
What makes this system unique is not only that it used vector graphics, but it came with its own monitor built into the system. You didn’t have to connect it to your television; rather you were able to plug and play. I still have my Vectrex system and I still play it. The game play is what you would expect of a system produced in 1982. I actually think it was ahead of its time. It pioneered a new era. It has a few accessories which are difficult to find. A mint conditioned 3-D Goggles is golden if you can obtain one of these babies. It was truly an all-in-one console system. You didn’t have to compete with someone who wanted to watch the television while you played your videogames. The game selection is pretty varied overall. Approximately 27 games were produced for this system. You can also purchase an all inclusive cartridge that allows you to flash all the games onto one cartridge, or you can purchase one that has been flashed already. It’s an incredible deal if you take the time to figure out where to go to get this accessory. Most games came with a color overlay, which allowed the game to have rudimentary color. This color scheme was similar to the Odyssey system, without these overlays, the game was played in black and white only. The lack of color was a drawback to some gamers at the time.
- 3-D Imager Goggles
- Light pen
- Vectrex carrying case
- Vectrex dust cover
- Vectrex store display stand (extremely rare)