hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

FRESH MEAT  
|   FROM OUR COMMUNITY BLOGS

Knyte's blog


  Make changes   Set it live in the post manager. Need help? There are FAQs at the bottom of the editor.
Knyte avatar 5:34 PM on 10.10.2008
Knyte's VGM #9 - Pioneers

Fairchild Channel F



With so many "Pong" clones on the market at this time, The Fairchild Channel F was a breath of fresh air. The Channel F was the first programmable cartridge based video game console to enter the videogame market. Initially, it was called the "Fairchild Video Entertainment System", but was later changed. It was developed by Fairchild Semiconductors and released in August of 1976.

Other then the fact that Channel F was the first to use cartridges, it had other unique features that set it apart from the "Pong" flood. Rather then having you near the actual console, the Channel F developed controllers that would let you play up to 8 feet away from the console (innovative for it's time). It also used a specially designed multiprocessor that contained a main CPU and several support processors ( called F8 ). The console also featured games built into the system (Hockey, Tennis and 2 drawing programs). These were unique innovations that set Channel F apart from other consoles of it's time, and thus brought about many changes to the industry.

Even with the Channel F's unique features, the console's success was very short. A year later, the Channel F faced fierce competition from the popular Atari VCS / 2600. Other consoles would soon follow, and Channel F sales began to suffer. Fairchild would soon pull out of the videogame market, and stopped production of the Channel F with only 21 games released.

In 1979, a company called Zircon purchased the rights to the Channel F. They released a scaled down version called the Channel F System II, and sold 5 more previously unreleased games. The Channel F II also featured detachable controllers (The previous model had controllers hard wired to the unit). The Channel F would continue to sell well up to the "Videogame Crash of 1984." It then became a mention in history.

The Channel F did continue to make successful rounds throughout Europe. It appeared as the Saba Videoplay in Germany, the Luxor Video Entertainment System in Sweden, the Adman Grandstand in the UK, and the ITT Tele-Match also in Germany.



Processor
8 bit Fairchild F8

CPU Speed
1.78Mhz

RAM
64 bytes

Video RAM
N/A

Resolution
128 × 64 w/ 102 × 58 pixels visible

Colors
4 colors plus an additional 4 colors using a palette / sprite trick

Polygons
N/A

Sprites
N/A

Retail Price
$170.00

FACT: Not only did Fairchild Semiconductors produce the first cart based system. They were the first to use a microprocessor for use in a videogame console. Also two of their employees became co-founders of a company called "Intel".

**********************************************************************
Magnavox Odyssey



The Magnavox Odyssey was the very first home video game system. It was the brilliant creation of Ralph Baer (dubbed "The Father of home video games"). It played "Ball and Paddle" games such as "Ping Pong", "Table Tennis", "Volleyball", and others.

On January 27th, 1972, Magnavox began production on the machine, and the system was released in May. It was heavily advertised and reportedly sold 100,000 units in 1972 for around $100 each.

The Odyssey has no real specs. It contained no processor or memory. The box is made up of transistors, resistors and capacitors. Odyssey used cards that contained pin outs to change game settings. Plastic overlays that could be placed over the TV screen created graphics and color, but the actual display consisted of white squares (Paddle and ball) on an all black background. The Odyssey originally came with six game cards, and a 36-page user manual for the twelve games offered by the system.

The launch of Odyssey generated a severe case of "Pong Madness". Companies worldwide began developing their own "Pong" machines.

FACT: The Magnavox Odyssey was sold only in Magnavox stores. Customers were told that the Odyssey would only work on Magnavox brand televisions. A nice lie that contributed to the amount of units sold.

 
   Reply via cblogs
Tagged:    cblog  

Get comment replies by email.     settings



Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our comment moderators

Can't see comments? Anti-virus apps like Avast or some browser extensions can cause this. Easy fix: Add   [*].disqus.com   to your security software's whitelist.





Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -