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Found 6 results

  1. Guest

    With a PONG in my heart.

    Did you ever think about the fact that people who are talking to themselves may actually be listening to themselves instead? This is a placeholder entry for when I actually get an Atari PONG console. When I have one. I'll come back here and describe the crazy PONG games my family and I played. The PONG tourneys. The PONG-offs. The PONG-downs. The PONGathons. What this says is that I'm willing to play OUT of order. I'm NOT obsessed with my crusade. I can live a happy normal life and still pursue this insane exercise in drooling self-delusion. Oh, by the way, when we (my son and I) start playing games that all of you have probably heard of and played, this blog will become much more blog-like and less "rambling idiot"-like. I'm sure I don't need to describe Atari VCS Combat to any of you. I will, of course, note that we played it and the amount of fun we had, which is more of what the blog is supposed to be about. <- PREV | NEXT ->
  2. Guest

    1975 Hashed plus Atari Tourney

    Okay, 1975 stuff, almost as an after thought, but I'll put it first because it is short. Sears Telegames PONG by Atari Magnavox Odyssey 100 Magnavox Odyssey 200 And that's IT. If you wanted to play video games you were going to get most of your action outside of the home at the arcades. Someday, when I play a Sears Telegames PONG unit or a Magnavox Odyssey 200, I will record them on their appropriate days. Atari 2600 Tourney at Alamo Drafthouse Austin Downtown Well, last night's Atari 2600 Tourney was fun even if the Original Atari PONG console was a no-show. I was Breakout champion! I'm not going to reveal my high score, because it was pretty low, but out of the people who's scores qualified, I emerged Breakout King. Lessee, the tournament consisted of six games played on six different machines (some of them emulators) for the first hour and six more games on the second hour. The games were: Circus Atari, Space Invaders, Pac-Man, Centipede, Asteroids and Breakout - then for the second hour: Missile Command, Donkey Kong Jr., Q-bert, Gravitar and Super Breakout. Hmm. I'm forgeting one of the games. Oh well. I'd never played Gravitar before. I think I'll have to now. Lots. You couldn't be a semi-finalist for more than one game, so even though I was tied for second high score for Breakout, the person with the highest had high score on Circus Atari and the person I tied with, had high score on Missle Command. So, yeah, lame way to become Breakout King, but I take the kudos when I can get them. Asteroids was a poor choice for tournament play due to the number of people who could play the chosen game setting, like, FOREVER!!! They had some kind of challenge for the Asteroid champs that I was not privy to. Something like declaring the person champ who could cut the most flesh off of themselves with a rusty utility knife. I was getting a beer and missed most of that. The people with high scores for each of the games went on to the semi finals where they each had to play Yars' Revenge. My Yars' Revenge experience is limited, so, I did . . . poorly. The top three Yars' Revenge scorers then played the surprise game, Journey: The Escape on the Big Movie Screen. Apparently NONE of them had ever played it before. One guy got lucky because he happened to run over a smiley face instead of a camera or a love-struck groupie. He won the coveted Atari Joystick Trophy. It was not an intense Tourney, which is for the best. It was just a bunch of t-shirt wearing, beer drinking, grown-ups playing a dozen Atari games. It was actually the most fun I'd had out of my house in a long time, which is actually a pretty depressing thing to realize. <- PREV | NEXT ->
  3. Guest

    Odyssey 200, well, not really.

    Yay! With superb timing I happen to know exactly where I'll be able to play an original Atari PONG game console tonight! Alamo Drafthouse Downtown, here in Austin, TX is having a little Atari Tourney and there's going to be one there. $5 at the door. Whoo wee! That's less than shipping would cost for a PONG unit. Of course, Atari PONG didn't come out until 1976. It was Sears Telegames PONG that came out in 1975. I'm not going to quibble over this distinction. In fact, I'm not going to worry about hitting the overwhelming majority of PONG systems, including the Odyssey line, despite their interesting iterative improvements from one to the next. (Odyssey 500 seems to actually use sprites! oooo!) So, as we cross into 1976 without having played Odyssey 200 (which, if I do ever play, I'll talk about it an edited version of this very entry) I'll mention the dedicated machines with which I do wish to play: Atari Ultra PONG Doubles / Sears PONG Sports IV Coleco Telstar Arcade Coleco Telstar Combat Atari Stunt Cycle / Sears Motocross Atari Video Pinball / Sears Pinball Breakaway The ones above still need to be purchased, borrowed or visited. I also have a Hanimex 888g and a National Instruments Adversary that I'll get out and put through the paces. I'll report back on PONG (if I get to play it) back on the day it belongs. Time travel is so cool. <- PREV | NEXT ->
  4. Guest

    An Odyssey Reborn

    Welcome to the era of the dedicated Pong machine. It's a mercifully short era, over most of which I shall skip. Before we talk about the first 1975 Odyssey, I must tell you there is another 1975 Odyssey: The Magnavox Odyssey 200. Apparently it is a different color than the one we are about to discuss. Dang, I guess I'll have to find one of those now, too. The Magnavox Odyssey 100 is a garishly orange, slightly sleeker looking version of the original Magnavox Odyssey. (The original is pictured under the TV, the newer one is in front of it. Here it is in all it's glory hooked up to an anachronistic, yet still very retro, TV. There are two games on the Odyssey 100: Game A and Game B, most likely denoted as such due to a lack of space on the "game name" area of the unit. You and I will call them Tennis and Hockey. The first game is Tennis. Seen above. The game is standard Odyssey fare, except for two differences. The first difference is Sound. This thing Beeps. This was before we figured out the secret techonology (or rationalization) to make Beeps come from our TV. These Beeps come from within the very unit itself. The second difference to this Odyssey Tennis is the addition of an upper and lower boundary to the screen. Each player gets three knobs to control. A Horizontal, a vertical and an English. Sound familiar? The English is used to curve the Ball Spot to fake out your opponent. If you try to slam it off the top of the screen it bounces off it! That's new. Figuring out how to serve the ball was a challenge. There's no button for either player and nothing on the "dashboard" seems to accomplish anything other than turning the unit off, choosing A or B game, adjusting the Speed and adjusting the position of the center line. Adusting the center line tipped us off. I moved the line to the left and it hit the left player spot, causing a ball serve. To serve the ball, the player who last missed the ball simply moves their Paddle Spot to touch the center line. Ball is served. Avoid missing ball for high score. (har!) Score is kept manually by conveniently provided "score keeper things" in the center of the unit. You miss the ball, your opponent gets to move his score keeper thing up one notch. This is a lot easier than actually counting and remembering, but still lacks a certain flair. Hockey makes TWO vertical lines and puts a gap halfway down them. The gap is your goal and you must protect it. You serve by touching your goal wall. *yawn* Gameplay was "meh". Kinda like the first Odyssey just with the knobs positioned differently. Here's something not interesting. See that RCA connector? I'm told that's what the European RCA connectors used to look like in the 70s (A guy at a Radio Shack told me that. Your answers may differ). That's the kind of connector used on the Odyssey 100 and the first Odyssey. They're compatible! So if you get an original Odyssey without a TV RF Switch, you can cannibalize the TV Switch box from the Odyssey 100. I imagine this will work for other Odyssey's down the line. EDIT: I forgot to mention, the AC adaptor for the first Odyssey, works with this one, too. Next entry will probably be a place holder entry for the Odyssey 200, like prev-entry was/is for Pong. <- PREV | NEXT ->
  5. Let´s have a look at the very interesting Pong game console ES 2201 from Philips. This came out in several European countries in 1975, the system had even game cartridges and the controllers plugged into those cartridges and not the main unit!
  6. Two Home Videogames for 1975: Atari PONG (aka Sears Tele-Games PONG) Magnavox Odyssey 100 Sadly, I do not have Atari PONG yet. I wasn't intending to include it as part of the chronology (prefering to stick to programmable consoles) but I've changed my mind as it's too important to just skip over. I actually HAVE a Magnavox Odyssey 100 so I can talk about that one, but it's not its turn yet. So, I'm going to skip a day or two (maybe make a place holder?) and leave space for Atari Pong so I can retroactively add it. I'll talk about Magnavox Odyssey 100 as if everything is fine and that I've done absolutely nothing to cause problems with the SpaceTime continuum by discussing it out of order. <- PREV | NEXT ->
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