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Creativision and Interton forums

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All the fans and collectors of those two obscure systems should absolutely join the new Classic Consoles Center forums at http://www.dieterkoenig.at. Our forums have dedicated categories for those two underdog systems, and more obscure systems to be added to the forums soon!!! :)

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Oooo! I'm there! For some reason I've always been drawn towards obscure non-mainstream systems like the Arcadia, SG-1000, Creativision, etc. It's a shame there's no NTSC version of the Interton, and that the NTSC version of the Creativision is so damn rare (does ANYONE have one?)

 

EDIT: Umm... can someone translate the page for us English speakers? :)

 

Tempest

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Well, the Classic Consoles Center website will be relaunched within the next 2 - 3 months. After the relaunch it will be ONLY in English ;)

 

The language of the CCC forums IS already English, so anyone around the world can join. Just click on "FORUMS" on my website :)

Edited by ccc---

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I find the Interton VC-4000 very interesting, if only because of the mysterious history it carries with it. I've been trying to read through the history of the Interton and Arcadia 2001 families of consoles lately, but it seems like a lot of the information on these system on the web is contradictory or incomplete at best.

 

While I think I know the basics, there's a few things I still can't quite figure out. The main question here is: Who actually designed the Interton VC-4000 and Arcadia 2001 hardware? The articles I've read often credit three seperate sources: Emerson, Radofin, and Phillips.

 

The only real reason I can see for thinking that Emerson was responsible for the design was because they were the largest source of these systems, and the details of the other 2650-based machines weren't public knowledge yet (If I'm not mistaken, most of the research that disproved this was done by ccc--- and others at Digital Press).

 

As far as I can tell, the only reason Radofin is cited as a possible source is because their system was the first to be released (in 1976). It's also known that Radofin designed the hardware in Mattel's Aquarius, so they definitely have the background.

 

Phillips seems like the most logical choice to me, since they owned Signetics. In 1975, Intel sold Magnavox (which was owned by Phillips) the design that became the Odyssey^2/Videopac... It would be quite fitting if Phillips turned around and did the same thing, selling off a Signetics-based design to whoever would agree to pay a licensing fee and buy Signetics chips. The 2650 was a rather obscure processor, even at the time, so it seems unlikely for anyone to use it unless they had some specific reason to do so (which Phillips had). They certainly had the most to gain from this agreement, although everyone they sold the hardware to would instantly become competition for the O^2/VP... (Perhaps they intentionally sold the design to companies they knew would be incapable of outdoing them?). Another question this raises, is why on earth would Phillips/Magnavox even bother considering the Odyssey^3/G7400 in 1983 when they had an in-house solution already in hand? (In fact, this question is perfectly valid even if Phillips HADN'T designed the Interton/A2001 hardware!)

 

Another question is: Where did the games come from? There was a guy named Derek Andrews coding games for Voltmace, but even in the interview, he says he was the only designer the company had, and he only finished two games... so where did the rest come from? Did each of the licensees make a handful of games, and then license them out to the other producers in exchange for their games? Did Phillips themselves make any games? It seems weird that they wouldn't have tried to get Ed Averett to start making games for the system, seeing as he single-handedly saved the O^2 from total obscurity, and sales of the 2650-based systems would have made them more money than O^2 sales... perhaps the ties between Magnavox and Phillips weren't strong enough for that to work? Or maybe Intel stepped in to prevent that?

 

I also often see it said that the main strategy behind the 2650-based systems was to flood the market with cheap knock-off games... however, Phillips should know better than anyone the danger in that, what with the whole K.C. Munchkin fiasco. It's difficult to judge the time frames here though, since Phillips themselves never released a 2650-based system, and the rest of them were all over the place as far as release dates go... if K.C. Munchkin was a defining moment for video game IP, then what the hell was Radofin selling between 1976 (when their system was released) and 1982 (when Atari won the court ruling)? Was Atari just ignoring them because they were staying out of North America?

 

I also find it strange that although a bunch of companies released 3rd party Odyssey^2 systems in Europe, and a bunch of companies released 2650-based machines, there's almost no overlap between the two! You'd think after Phillips licensed the O^2 tech to Jopac and Radiola, they'd use those ties to try to sell 2650-based solutions.

 

Although this is complete speculation on my part, my guess is that whoever designed the 2650-based systems probably designed both the 2636 and 2637-based systems at the same time as a 2-tier package (Maybe even a 3-tier, including the Odyssey^2 hardware), so that licensees could choose whether to go for the more powerful option, or the cheaper option (though companies like Hanimex actually sold both). There is certainly other examples of companies doing this, such as the Atari 400/800, Commodore VIC-20/C64, and Radofin's own design for the Aquarius (although the Aquarius 2 was never released).

 

If anyone can clear up some of this situation, I'd definitely love to hear some answers, as nothing seems to add up!

 

--Zero

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If it's ok with you zero, I will quote your long post in my Interton forums. Maybe we can get some input there.

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Radofin also eventually sold/marketed the mattel aquarius, after mattel pulled out of h/w manufacturing after the VG crash in the early 80s' (mattel sold back the rights to radofin)

 

Also Radofin were better known for marketing and manufacturing consumer electronics products like teletext adapters and set top boxes

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