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RCA Studio II GOLD MINE! An interview with the Studio 2 Production Manager!

RCA Studio II Interview

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#751 flip OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jul 4, 2016 1:55 PM

IMO there is no reason why serial numbers should match in this case the S/N of the shells.

S/N serve the purpose of identifying and tracking a piece. The PCB S/N is for the hardware, so that if the system need to be serviced, you have a reference for various models to know the hardware variations.

The shell S/N is for commercial purpose and is to keep track of a finished product.

It would have been tedious at the time to make both S/N match as it would require to note and transmit every S/N from the factory where the boards were finalized to where the boards would be placed in the shells.

This mean that if a batch of PCB was discarded due to a manufacture issue, lot of damaged chip, etc... You'd have to wipe out the corresponding shells (especially if the S/N is engraved in them or printed on the shell rather than affixed on a sticker).

Applying S/N per shell is more streamlined and require no care about the PCB numbers.

I'm sure that high end product receive more care, and computerization today would allow to do this for any product, but I doubt that such meticulous care was given for such a product. Not that I suggest that the RCA Studio II is a cheap product, but matching S/N everywhere is a frivolity that you can do only on very high end products.

 

Hadn't thought of it that way - makes perfect sense. The boards up to at least ±65,000 had handwritten SNs, but at some point, they switched to stickers on the PCB as well, which would have made it easier to align. Sadly, these came off easily - so did the stickers on the shells.

 

There's also a color change in the PCBs along the way: early models are olive green. At some point, they became something between blue and green. And the auction shows a 'proper' green one.



#752 WillBo OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 19, 2016 3:44 PM

I made Sly DC's Toshiba Visicom COM-100 manual and flyer JPG images into PDF files and put them on Archive.org.

 

https://archive.org/...00ToshibaManual

 

https://archive.org/...100ToshibaFlyer

 



#753 Blazing Lazers OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 7, 2016 12:30 PM

Not too big an update, but nonetheless of great interest:

 

rca_studio3_manual.jpg

 

shared with generous permission of ekeefe of the cosmacvip site, with the image itself at the following URL:

 

http://www.cosmacvip...dio3_manual.jpg

 

One of those tantalizing glimpses of just how far along the Studio III really was...



#754 Blazing Lazers OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 30, 2016 8:06 AM

At long last, Bingo just turned up!!! The same damn copy from PC2K1, odds are:

 

http://www.ebay.com/...cvip=true&rt=nc

 

and, screenshots:

 

Bingoboxfront.jpg

bingoboxside.jpg

 

... I had tracked our mysterious "Dan" who had the copy at PC2K1 to the same exact area that this copy turned up in. but the trail went cold, and the seller runs a business cleaning out houses in that same area. Already been in contact with the seller, and so has schoolgirl, and several others. Suffice to say, offers in the 4-figures have already been made, but the seller seems to want to auction it and see where it goes.

 

But the pictures alone are so fascinating- apparently it's TV Casino Series for this title, vice TV Casino II, and it is a blue oversized box, and includes the cards, and has some amazingly generic and boring looking box art.

 

More to follow...



#755 Tempest OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 30, 2016 8:21 AM

Ah... Sweet vindication! :)

 

Nice to see that it finally turned up.  My memory is a bit fuzzy but I believe this is what I saw.  Large blue box, TV Casino II, cards and tokens.  I don't remember that art work though, but IIRC he had the box open (hence seeing the cards and tokens) so that would it explain that.



#756 Blazing Lazers OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 30, 2016 8:31 AM

Ah... Sweet vindication! :)

 

Nice to see that it finally turned up.  My memory is a bit fuzzy but I believe this is what I saw.  Large blue box, TV Casino II, cards and tokens.  I don't remember that art work though, but IIRC he had the box open (hence seeing the cards and tokens) so that would it explain that.

I never doubted you, though I still think this has to be some sort of pre-production sample. And funnily enough, I've been in touch with the seller, who indicates that this came from a former RCA employee, and may thus not be the copy from PC2K1, but instead a second copy!!!

 

Congrats on being proved right though, it only took 15 years! :)


Edited by Blazing Lazers, Tue Aug 30, 2016 8:32 AM.


#757 sut OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 30, 2016 8:34 AM

Brilliant that it's turned up. I see the auction has ended early. Wonder how much it sold for ? Would be nice to confirm if it's the same as the Euro version.

#758 Blazing Lazers OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 30, 2016 8:40 AM

mckafka99: Thanks!

 

Blazing Lazers: Good info, and just as I suspected. Too bad there are no pictures of it, I wonder if anyone still remembers what the box looked like (colors, artwork, etc.) we are trying to create a mockup of it to use in emulator frontends.

ranger_lennier posted scans for the MPT-02 Bingo manual in this thread already together with all the other scans he made, but I can reupload those if you need.

 

I guess you can make that mockup for the emulator front-ends now :)



#759 carlsson ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 30, 2016 8:51 AM

I wonder what the price behind closed doors was, if four figures (lower leading number, I presume) was not quite enough. After all the RCA Studio II doesn't quite have the Nintendo, Atari or Commodore following, but I suppose it is enough if there are two or three collectors with very big wallets to go high. Were the rest of the games anything in particular, or would just Bingo bring it to jackpot levels?



#760 Blazing Lazers OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 30, 2016 9:04 AM

I wonder what the price behind closed doors was, if four figures (lower leading number, I presume) was not quite enough. After all the RCA Studio II doesn't quite have the Nintendo, Atari or Commodore following, but I suppose it is enough if there are two or three collectors with very big wallets to go high. Were the rest of the games anything in particular, or would just Bingo bring it to jackpot levels?

 Bingo is the only thing of interest in that lot, though that magazine flyer clipout is also neat.

 

And it wasn't side-dealed- the seller plans to relist. I myself was willing to way, way high, and still am...



#761 Blazing Lazers OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 30, 2016 9:06 AM

Brilliant that it's turned up. I see the auction has ended early. Wonder how much it sold for ? Would be nice to confirm if it's the same as the Euro version.

It hasn't sold, or at least, not yet. But yes, we absolutely have to get this ROM dumped, and everything scanned.



#762 Blazing Lazers OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 30, 2016 9:10 AM

Seller also teased me with a bit of info: apparently the daughters of the RCA employee who had this (it doesn't seem to be Dan's copy from 2K1) had the system in their house a year BEFORE retail release, which actually does sync with the otherwise bizarre Wikipedia article claim of select executives having it way early.

 

If that's so, it would also sync with the hints that Bingo only got as far as a few samples, and really never was sold at retail!



#763 BassGuitari OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 30, 2016 9:13 AM

What's the game itself actually like? Does it just display bingo numbers and you play along with the cards and chips? (Talking about the Euro version--I don't think anyone here has played the U.S. version. :P )



#764 Blazing Lazers OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 30, 2016 9:19 AM

What's the game itself actually like? Does it just display bingo numbers and you play along with the cards and chips? (Talking about the Euro version--I don't think anyone here has played the U.S. version. :P )

 

I imagine that we'll find that and many other things out very soon :)



#765 slydc OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 30, 2016 9:30 AM

No need to imagine, just check this video on Youtube:

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=DtZEsXrE3Z4

 

But the game will be in black and white on a Studio II. We didn't get a release here in North America

as RCA axed the Studio II only after 9 months (i'm maybe wrong on the time frame) and Bingo was

intended to be release here but the programmer programmed the game with color for the Studio III,

which you all know that the Studio III(3) are the European releases.

 

Any Studio III(3) games can be played on the Studio II, only thing is that we don't have colors.



#766 stupus OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 30, 2016 9:34 AM

What's the game itself actually like? Does it just display bingo numbers and you play along with the cards and chips? (Talking about the Euro version--I don't think anyone here has played the U.S. version. :P )


Yeah it just lists numbers and then there is a mode to verify the numbers called when someone claims bingo.
I would highly assume the usa version and world versions are the same since ever single other title is the same. Not that I wouldn't like to know for sure ;)

As long as schoolgirlinashortdress doesn't get this copy I will be happy and the universe will stay in balance.

Hopefully 1 of the true enthusiasts here will win it and we can dump and make reproductions. I am game to make reproduction boxes and labels if someone provides scans ;)

#767 Blazing Lazers OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 30, 2016 9:37 AM

No need to imagine, just check this video on Youtube:

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=DtZEsXrE3Z4

 

But the game will be in black and white on a Studio II. We didn't get a release here in North America

as RCA axed the Studio II only after 9 months (i'm maybe wrong on the time frame) and Bingo was

intended to be release here but the programmer programmed the game with color for the Studio III,

which you all know that the Studio III(3) are the European releases.

 

Any Studio III(3) games can be played on the Studio II, only thing is that we don't have colors.

Yep, this is quite likely to be the case. That being said, the existence of the supplementary materials in the US (sample?) version, which are not present in all the overseas releases, might be a sign that the ROM could be different. Unlikely, but still possible.



#768 Blazing Lazers OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 30, 2016 9:40 AM

Yeah it just lists numbers and then there is a mode to verify the numbers called when someone claims bingo.
I would highly assume the usa version and world versions are the same since ever single other title is the same. Not that I wouldn't like to know for sure ;)

As long as schoolgirlinashortdress doesn't get this copy I will be happy and the universe will stay in balance.

Hopefully 1 of the true enthusiasts here will win it and we can dump and make reproductions. I am game to make reproduction boxes and labels if someone provides scans ;)

 Count me in for one! Heck, even those blurry pics from the listing are enough to go on, but lets look forward to something clearer, and some pics of the interior contents :)



#769 stupus OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 30, 2016 9:45 AM

Yeah, I am curious if it is complete since the cards and tokens are not shown. Hopefully it is.
I am sure more than 1 of these exists but obviously not hardly any.
The world rom points to the fact that cards and tokens should have been included with the game. They just were not with the world releases likely because the clone releases were extreme budget games very cheaply made...Heck they didn't even make unique boxes for the games.

Yeah as long as we get some good pics we can do reproductions and use the existing rom if we can't get this 1.

#770 TLD1985 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 30, 2016 10:50 AM

Welll it's "interesting" to see that it doesn't say  "TV Casino II" but "TV Casino series"  which would indicate was produced later as they seemed to drop the numerals and just put games as a "series"



#771 Tempest OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 30, 2016 11:21 AM

Welll it's "interesting" to see that it doesn't say  "TV Casino II" but "TV Casino series"  which would indicate was produced later as they seemed to drop the numerals and just put games as a "series"

 

Interesting.  I originally thought it said TV Casino II, but I guess my memory must have filled in the II part since I knew there was already one cart in the TV Casino series.  



#772 Blazing Lazers OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 30, 2016 11:21 AM

Welll it's "interesting" to see that it doesn't say  "TV Casino II" but "TV Casino series"  which would indicate was produced later as they seemed to drop the numerals and just put games as a "series"

That struck me too, the same naming scheme of the later Gunfighter/Moonship and Speedway/Tag releases, though I had come to think of it as a planned early release that never got past the sample stage. I do know this was not produced down at the Swannanoa plant where all the other games were produced and assembled (excepting Speedway, oddly). If this copy really was from an RCA employee whose family had the unit far before retail release, it would indicate that this was either canceled due to complex manufacturing, or was held aside for the Studio III that never was. I have a very early CIB Studio II system, and the registration card specifically mentions "TV Casino Series", not TV Casino I or II.

 

That, and apparently the true name is "TV Bingo" rather than just "Bingo", and no indication whatsoever of "TV Casino II" as the PC2K1 copy is reported to have had, unless there's variant boxes for BOTH types, as with Blackjack (and wouldn't that be something!).



#773 Blazing Lazers OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 30, 2016 11:24 AM

 

Interesting.  I originally thought it said TV Casino II, but I guess my memory must have filled in the II part since I knew there was already one cart in the TV Casino series.  

Could be both, especially if this is a separate copy from the PC2K1 version. TV Casino I and TV Casino Series on the Blackjack games are the only box variant for the Studio II whatsoever, and it might really be the same case with Bingo. At this point we really can't be sure.



#774 flip OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 30, 2016 11:44 AM

Seller also teased me with a bit of info: apparently the daughters of the RCA employee who had this (it doesn't seem to be Dan's copy from 2K1) had the system in their house a year BEFORE retail release, which actually does sync with the otherwise bizarre Wikipedia article claim of select executives having it way early.

 

If that's so, it would also sync with the hints that Bingo only got as far as a few samples, and really never was sold at retail!

 

If that's the case, then it would be interesting to see the internals of the Studio II machine itself. It might be an earlier iteration than the two versions we know exist to date! If this is ever re-listed, I am guessing it'll be with a heftier price tag - and we'll all be bidding against each other :twisted:



#775 TLD1985 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 30, 2016 12:03 PM

 

If that's the case, then it would be interesting to see the internals of the Studio II machine itself. It might be an earlier iteration than the two versions we know exist to date! If this is ever re-listed, I am guessing it'll be with a heftier price tag - and we'll all be bidding against each other :twisted:

Is a bit strange tho that there are 2 copies of math fun and both box versions of Casino I...  I dont see why an employee would want both revisions.. of a different box. 






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