Bruce Tomlin, on Mon Sep 28, 2009 11:08 PM, said:
Student Driver, on Sun Jul 1, 2007 12:14 PM, said:
I was referring to RCA engineers looking at programmable consoles that could do more than paddle games. Programmbles simply didn't exist-- the marketplace (such as the Atari consoles at the time) suggested a non-programmable future. The Channel F was developed simultaneously with the Studio II, so wasn't available for reference; only the Odyssey existed as a "programmable," and (obviously) was lacking in the microprocessor department at the time. Nothing else like this existed at the time RCA engineers were being paddled by marketers for looking at color.
That's important enough to deserve some bold tags. Also, most pong machines back in the day did not have color, and neither did the O1, so you can't say that color would have been expected.
The Odyssey was released in 1972. The Odyssey 500, which was released in 1976, was a "pong" console with color graphics. Also, the system was obviously much more advanced than the Studio II.
According to articles I've read, Studio II games were actually programmed in color, but the outputs don't support it, and foreign clones of Studio II did display in color.
"Research has proven that RCA Studio II should have been a color console. A few games were designed for color, but the video output of the console was black & white. The research appears to have been proven true with a clone released in the UK called Sheen M1200. The Sheen M1200 was released in 1978, and produced PAL color with RCA Studio II games. Japan also made a color producing clone called the VISICOM Video Computer System. The lack of color on the RCA Studio II's release proves that the system was rushed to the market. Either that or RCA was looking for a cheaper way to manufacture the consoles."
Before you call the Studio II the "worst system ever", I dare you to play a few Arcadia 2001 games. And without earplugs, since the awful sound (I've described it as being programmed by someone who was tone deaf) is a part of the experience of its awfulness. And remember that this turd came out at the same time as the 5200 and Colecovision.
Check my signature link. I have an Arcadia 2001. While it certainly isn't a good console, it's playable
wasn't even that bad, and at least Space Mission
was somewhat unique. That's two more half decent games than what Studio II has.
Furthermore, I do think it's fair to compare Studio II to Channel F for the same reason why it's fair to compare Arcadia 2001 to the Atari 5200 or Colecovision. Both represented technology of the time. Arcadia 2001 was two years behind the current technology, and so was Studio II. It was released right after the Channel F and right before the 2600. All three were in development and planing at the same time. More advanced games were even on the market already.
Here's a fun excerpt from an interview with Jerry Lawson, an engineer at Fairchild Semiconductor who was the head of the Channel F project:
"JL: RCA was behind us. In fact, it was a piece of junk. I’ll tell you a funny story about RCA. We introduced our game, and RCA followed six months later in the Winter CES show. At that show in Chicago, RCA presented their Studio II. I had an invitation that said, “Hey, the RCA game is here.” Well, I wanted to see that. It was being shown in a suite. And I went up to the suite and walked in. They had their game there, and this guy looks up and sees me with a Fairchild badge on, right? And I’m 6′6″, 280 pounds. This clown charged me and tried to wrestle me to the ground. And I banged him on his head! I said, “If you want me to leave, I’ll leave!”
And what I saw was a laugh. They had this game — it was in black and white. It looked horrible. So, the next day, he came down to our booth. And when he came down to our booth, I jumped the counter, heading for him. And he started running! [laughs] I said, 'Ah, there he goes.'"
I'm pretty sure I remember it had an "English" feature, maybe that's what you were seeing?
Nope, it doesn't have an "English" feature. I thought maybe it did, but it doesn't. I am sure. For one, it's not in the manual, and we were so surprised that the ball started veering off course, that we made sure no one was hitting any buttons between serves, and it still happens. It's just broken. It's even more sad because Tennis/Squash
wasn't a built in game. It's actually a cart that was sold separately.
There are other consoles in existence that are bad. Arcadia 2001 is one of them, Game.com is another, but Studio II's got them beat with room to spare.
Atari2008, on Tue Sep 29, 2009 10:58 AM, said:
Dumb question but are any of the games even half-way decent? Screenshots suggest otherwise.
Don't believe me? Just look at this screenshot from a Studio II game:
See the hidden message? It's like the console is trying to warn you.
Bruce Tomlin, on Tue Sep 29, 2009 9:12 PM, said:
How about by the standard of "pong" console from two years before the Studio II was released?
They were better than O1 games, at least.
on Odyssey actually worked. Basketball
, were actually fun. And, it had an awesome lightgun and detachable controllers. So, I disagree.
BigO, on Tue Sep 29, 2009 9:22 PM, said:
There's not much you can do on a 64x32 pixel display.
Maybe somebody could port Microvision games to the Studio II?
I would throw down some money for that right now!
Seriously, I'd pay a pretty good price for any homebrew Studio II game.
Atari2008, on Tue Sep 29, 2009 6:38 AM, said:
Also just a thought, there was the RCA Recording Studio that was commonly refered to as the RCA STUDIO
maybe this had something to do with naming it RCA STUDIO II ?
I have read that this is indeed the case.
P.S. Bruce, thanks for typing up that article. Great job!
You know, that's the first time I've ever seen it referred to as "Home TV Programmer" before. I noticed that it says it, but I've only ever seen it referred to as Studio II.
Edited by Rev. Rob, Wed Sep 30, 2009 12:06 AM.