In roughly 1981 an American company called General Consumer Electronics
came up with what was then and still is now a unique games console. Rather than
use the same raster graphics that every other video game used their new baby
used vector graphics as seen with the massively popular arcade hit Asteroids.
People have compared this machine (looks-wise) to the Apple
Mac, but this was released 2 years beforehand. It came with an Asteroids
clone built-in (Minesweeper), so kids at xmas had something to play with right
out of the box; it also featured an analogue joystick like the Magnavox/Philips
G7000 and had 4 fire buttons - another unique feature.
In 1982 Milton Bradley were trying to expand out of the US and bought the GCE
Vectrex, resulting in the machine us Europeans all know and love. Like the Magnavox
Odyssey 10 years beforehand and arcade games like Space Invaders II, the Vectrex
used coloured overlays to change the screen colours, of course these weren't
really necessary but they helped a game's ambience :)
A colour Vectrex got to the prototype stage, but never made it out of the factory before the money ran out :(.
Thanks to the PlayVectrex page I fixed the controller yesterday afternoon so much vector-based fun has
been had, mind today it's been acting strangely and on internal inspection it
appears to have an entire living room's worth of carpet hairs in it, so there's
a possibility something's been zapped. I've cleaned it up, but something's still
*update* 28/03/02; fortunately my supposedly bust Vectrex turned
up in the post today, and while at first it acted exactly like it had been said
it did I left it to warm up and it works v.nicely now; possible bitrot with
the pair of 'em and more than likely possible 2114 RAM corruption....
Still stuck on getting above Minefield 4 in Minesweeper.......