Many times in my posts I have said the ColecoVision was the very first videogame system that I owned (However that is the short version of the story, and I should have said the ColecoVision is the very first videogame system that I wanted to own by my own free will). However to be honest here is the longer version of the story. Since I was born in the 1960's it gave me a chance in life to see the amazing technological advancements that would occur in the 70's and 80's. As a kid living in the late 70’s I saw Star Wars in the commercial movie theater with my parents back in 1977 (Watching movies in commercial movie theaters and Drive-In Theaters was the norm). Also as a kid I played videogames in the 70’s and early 80’s in both dedicated video arcades and various stores and restaurants that had videogames like pong, Space invaders, Pacman, Donkey Kong, etc. It cost a quarter to play the very first videogames. However for many people they did not have a 1977 VHS, 1975 BETA, or 1978 Laserdisc player to watch movies at home (Some people could not afford some of these items that came out in the late 70’s and Cable TV service did not exist yet in many big cities. It was around 1985 or 1986 before Cable TV arrived in the area where I lived, some people that could afford it had big 10 or 12 foot C-band dishes in the 70’s and 80’s to watch premium TV channels on). In addition, many people did not have videogame consoles at home yet. However, some people owned the 1972 Odyssey, Atari’s Home Pong 1975 console, or the 1977 Atari 2600.
One day in late 1981 my Dad told me that people are purchasing videogame systems and that I should own a videogame system. At the time I really did not want a videogame system since I was busy with school, etc. However, as a young kid my Dad wanted to purchase a factory new videogame system for me, and it would be my choice what system I could choose. The Atari 2600 came out in 1977 and the Intellivision came out nationwide in 1980. Back in 1981, I was considering the 1977 Bally Astrocade, Atari 2600, Intellivision, and other systems. I narrowed my research down to the Atari 2600 and the Intellivision. However, this was before the days of the Internet existed (There was no information overload back then, but the opposite). Back in 1981 getting information on videogame systems was limited to department store catalogs, making telephone calls, and writing letters. In late 1981 or early 1982 after several months of researching, I could not decide between the Atari 2600 and the Intellivision. The advantage of the Intellivision was that it was a little more powerful than the Atari 2600 and it came with a keypad controller for more advanced games that required several buttons. However even though the games appeared to be better quality on the Intellivision when I played them in retail stores, something was missing. The Intellivision graphics and sound was not as good as what I experienced in the arcade. Now the Atari 2600 was even lower quality graphics, however I liked some of the games that were exclusive to the Atari 2600 and the Atari 2600 had more games to choose from since it had been around since 1977. I did not know Atari was going to release the Atari 5200 in November 1982 that would be better quality then the Intellivision and become a high-end videogame system that would compete with the ColecoVision (but less popular then the ColecoVision). It was late 1981 or early 1982, and I could not decide between the Atari 2600 and Intellivision (In some ways I did not like either system since the graphics and sound for most videogames was below what one experiences in the arcade (Of course simpler videogames like Pong, Asteroids, and Space Invaders were the same quality or very close to the original arcade game on the Atari 2600). To make a long story short to my surprise my Dad comes home with a used Sears Video Arcade system (Atari 2600 clone) and some used Sears Video Arcade cartridges from a garage sale. Even though he got a good deal on it at the garage sale, this videogame system was not what I wanted and it was not my choice. In late March 1982 I was one of the very first people to own Pac-Man for the Atari 2600. Even though Pacman was the most popular videogame cartridge for the 2600 and it sold an estimated 7 million cartridges. I hated the graphics and sound of Pacman on the 2600 since it was nothing like the Pacman game in the arcade (According to the online database July 5th 1982 MS. Pacman was released for the Atari 2600. However, I got rid of the Sears Video Arcade Atari 2600 clone before Ms Pacman came out. Years later, I played Ms. Pacman at a relative’s house and was very impressed that the game was a major improvement when compared to the original Pacman).
I was unhappy with the used Sears Video Arcade system that was forced upon me (It was not my choice and the original Pacman game released for the Atari 2600 was a joke in terms of game play and graphics, but 7 million people purchased it since the name “Pacman” was all that was needed for most people. Therefore, I continued my research and wrote a letter to a company called Coleco asking them about a new rumored videogame system that I heard about called the ColecoVision. To my surprise around June-August of 1982 I got a big envelope in the mail from Coleco with a 1982 ColecoVision folder and several ColecoVison flyers along with a Coleco 1982 catalog. I saw pictures of Donkey Kong and several other videogames, and as a kid for the very first time I wanted the ColecoVision since they claimed the videogames were arcade quality and also the system had Expansion module #1 a Atari 2600 adapter that would play Atari 2600 game cartridges. Therefore I talked with my parents and I got them to sale the Sears Video Arcade (2600 clone) and all 100% of the game cartridges. We ended up getting more money for the used Sears Videogame system and used videogames then what my Dad originally paid for it at a garage sale. It ended up being enough money to pay for the $200 ColecoVision that was coming out in a month.
For the next month or so I looked at the ColecoVision folder with brochures that Coleco sent me as I waited for the release of the ColecoVision. I got my first ColecoVision around August of 1982, it might have been late August or early September 1982 (I do not have the original receipt but it was around $200 and I was one of the first ones to own a ColecoVision). When I tried Donkey Kong I was impressed. The graphics and sound was better than other videogame systems. Then in 1983 I purchased Expansion Module #3 the Adam computer when it first came out for around $600. Therefore, for $800 ($200 for ColecoVision plus $600 for Expansion Module #3), I had my first computer in 1983 and I stopped handwriting letters and used the electronic word processor 100% of the time with the Adam printer daisywheel letter quality printer. In addition, the ADAM computer back in 1983 was the best videogame system on the market for quality since it could play supergames like Buck Rodgers (The ADAM computer had Coleco’s unreleased supergame module built in). Later on I purchased Donkey Kong the Supergame and Donkey Kong Junior the Supergame which was much better than the original Coleco cartridges. The original Coleco cartridges were only 32KB maximum in size but the Coleco supergames on Digital Data Packs were 256K in size and 160K on 5.25 inch floppy disks. In addition, there was a hall of fame screen to save names and high scores. Something that was new to the videogame world in 1983. The Coleco ADAM went out of production on January 2nd 1985 since Coleco was leaving both the computer and videogame business. Coleco sold 2 million ColecoVision game consoles and it is estimated that between 350,000 to 500,000 Adam computers were sold. However the 1977 Atari 2600 did not go out of production until January 1st 1992. The Atari 2600 was so popular that it sold 30 million consoles. Many times in the videogame and video format world the best quality systems are not the most popular and go out of production. The Intellivision came out in 1980 nationwide and it did not go out of production until 1990. There were 3.5 million Intellivision’s sold. Sometime around 1983 or 1985 I purchased Expansion module #1 the Atari 2600 adapter and started collecting Atari 2600 games (I like some Atari 2600 games).
Edited by HDTV1080P, Sat Aug 12, 2017 7:28 PM.