The 1978-1979 school year was significant for me.
Other than seven people to whom I'm related, I no longer know anyone I'd ever met prior to the school year of 1978-79. Anyone I knew, peers or otherwise, before that school year, is either dead or is now 28 years in the past and I've got no hope of getting in touch with them and even less hope that they'll remember me.
I almost got into just how many friends I've made and kept each year since 1979, but the amount stops growing in 1991 and has remained exceedingly small ever since. Now, before I depress myself, what the fuck was my point . . . ?
I had one, I swear.
Oh, yeah, the Videogame line-up of 1979!!! Anyone with whom I've ever played a videogame, other than my family, I met after 1979. That's all I wanted to say. I honestly had no intention of getting into counting the number of friends I've made since then but what a nice, cheery way to start an entry!
In 1979 there were still five, count 'em, FIVE systems on sale to the general public: the Atari VCS, Odyssey^2 by Magnavox, The Bally Professional Arcade, the ??? Channel F and the APF M1000.
The APF M1000, or MP1000, was about to morph into the Imagination Machine in 1980 and then it would die a horrible death. 1979 marks the last year a game was released for just the original console portion and that game was:
Space Destroyers (APF MP1000, 1979) which I don't have, so don't even go there.
Fairchild Semiconductor stopped selling the Channel F in the US in 1978. A company named Zircon bought the rights and began selling the system with seven games that hadn't been released previously. According to some sources I've read, Zircon did this in 1982, other sources say 1979. Have I kept track of those sources? No, because, damn it, I'm a time traveller, not a frackin' historian. For the sake of getting the Channel F "out of the way" as well as keeping it out of the log jam of systems that's going to occur farther down the timestream in 1982, we'll be covering its remaing US games, this year, with two special mystery games, one from across space and the other from across time.
Zircon Channel F
#22 Slot Machine
#23 Galactic Space Wars
#24 Pro Football
#25 Casino Poker
#26 Alien Invasion
The other two are surprises, but you won't have to wait too long.
No, I'm not telling you right now! You'll have to wait. Or guess. And, no, they've got nothing to do with porn! Jeez, ya pervs . . .
Bally Professional Arcade had a short year, but it was easy to find almost all of them.
Amazin' Maze / Tic-Tac-Toe
Astro Battle aka Space Invaders
Bally Pin aka Astrocade Pinball
Blackjack / Poker / Acey Deucey
Odyssey^2 had a fair sized crop.
Hockey / Soccer
Invaders from Hyperspace
I've Got Your Number
Out of this World / Helecopter Rescue
Showdown in 2100 A.D.
War of Nerves
And last, but certainly not, well, you know, the Atari Video Computer System had a biggish year:
Now, there's been some question about many of the Atari games and the actual year of the release vs. copyright date. For instance, Superman is copyright 1978 by Atari but 1979 by DC comics. Maybe they wrote it in 1978 and got permission to release under DC license in 1979? I have no idea. I went through Atari Age and the Digital Press Collector's Guide for my dates, I wrote down the games for that year and moved on. I wasn't Mr. ErrorChecker. So, if there's a game in the wrong year, please let me know. I won't necessarily move it, but I'm curious enough to know about it.
I'll say it again, mostly to remind myself, this is for fun. If I spent too much time playing historian I'd never get to play anything.
Speaking of history, as I understand it, the Intellivision was only test marketed in 1979 and only in Fresno, California. It didn't go nationwide until 1980. So, despite all the games with 1979 copyrights, I'm not playing INTV until we start 1980.
Back in October, I said I'd be done 1978 by Thanksgiving 2005. ROFLMFAO! I guess I'm neither psychic nor very smart. I'll finish when I finish, but it may get a little tricky over the summer with some other stuff going on.
Next entry we'll skip right over the APF MP1000 (I don't have the one cart, Space Destroyers, from 1979) to the Channel F's first Mystery Game! Be sure not to avoid it!