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Did you ever see the arcadia 2001, bally astrocade, or apf m 1000 in stores

Did you ever see an emerson arcadia 2001, bally astrocade, or apf m 1000 in stores?  

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  1. 1. Did you ever see an emerson arcadia 2001, bally astrocade, or apf m 1000 in stores?

    • none of them
      14
    • all three
      0
    • just the astrocade
      10
    • just the m 1000
      0
    • just the arcadia 2001 (or a variant)
      3
    • the astrocade and the arcadia
      1
    • the arcadia and the m1000
      0
    • the m1000 and the astrocade
      1


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On 11/9/2019 at 11:13 PM, Flojomojo said:

...

The 3 machines you mention were very early, quite expensive, and not super popular. I've seen Bally Astrocade in Sears catalogs. 

....

While the Astrocade and APF M1000 both came out in 1978.  The arcadia 2001 came out in 1982.  At $199 the arcadia was cheaper but technically inferior to intellivision.  With the higher resolution colecovision and atari 5200, as well as the vectrex coming out the same year the arcadia 2001 was already obsolete.

Edited by mr_me
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I saw the Astrocade in only one place and that would be Sears in the computer section, not where the game consoles were, and I only saw it at two series, 1 for only a week before I was told that system did so poorly that many branches were pulling out.

A lot of the other systems form the myth that there were "too man consoles on sale" are either released outside of America, or had even worse distribution than the Astrocade, which for many people around the country was mail order only.

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I've only seen the Astrocade, or Bally Arcade as it was called, sold at this one record store in the mall where it was in the dark backroom away from all the records.  It was only in a box and not even hooked up so it had a sort of mystique for me for all these years.  It was only at PhillyClassic 20 years later that I finally got to play one and I like it!

 

I never heard of the other systems though except through the internet...

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5 minutes ago, MrMaddog said:

I've only seen the Astrocade, or Bally Arcade as it was called, sold at this one record store in the mall where it was in the dark backroom away from all the records.  It was only in a box and not even hooked up so it had a sort of mystique for me for all these years.  It was only at PhillyClassic 20 years later that I finally got to play one and I like it!

 

I never heard of the other systems though except through the internet...

that is an issue the astrocade had, it went through numerous name changes

bally home library computer

bally computer system

bally professional arcade

and finally the astrocade, all before the vcs even became the 2600 if I'm not mistaken.

the other 2 seem to be much more obscure as this thread is revealing , apf m1000 seems to be the most obscure, I wonder if it only saw regional distribution as I'm in upstate ny and I've seen the system in the wild twice, which seems to be quite a lot.  Given that apf was out of queens I wonder if it really only hit the North eastern us

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1 hour ago, masschamber said:

that is an issue the astrocade had, it went through numerous name changes

bally home library computer

bally computer system

bally professional arcade

and finally the astrocade, all before the vcs even became the 2600 if I'm not mistaken.

the other 2 seem to be much more obscure as this thread is revealing , apf m1000 seems to be the most obscure, I wonder if it only saw regional distribution as I'm in upstate ny and I've seen the system in the wild twice, which seems to be quite a lot.  Given that apf was out of queens I wonder if it really only hit the North eastern us

Not to mentioned two companies: Bally, then Astrovision, and there may have been a gap in sales between '79 and '81 (this part isn't clear in the Wikipedia article).

 

The system still suffers from name confusion to this day: its often called the "Bally Astrocade" which in fact its not - Bally sold the Bally Home Library Computer and Bally Professional Arcade, while I believe Astrovision re-released it as the Bally Computer System and later the Astrocade (which was originally going to be called the "Astro Arcade").

 

And of course for a while Astrovision sold stock of whatever they had to clear out old stock, then I guess to clear everything out when they tried to hold off bankruptcy.  

 

I often get called out on the system name but I stand by what I feel is correct, and of course, everyone is entitled to their own opinion.  It's a great and often highly underrated system. 

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7 hours ago, mr_me said:

While the Astrocade and APF M1000 both came out in 1978.  The arcadia 2001 came out in 1982.  At $199 the arcadia was cheaper but technically inferior to intellivision.  With the higher resolution colecovision and atari 5200, as well as the vectrex coming out the same year the arcadia 2001 was already obsolete.

Thanks, I thought it was a first-gen wannabe, and didn't realize it actually came later. It's a good thing I didn't know about it when it was new, because picking the worst system was kind of our superpower back in the day.
 

i just watched some YouTube video of the Arcadia system. It looks like someone could have loved it after trying really hard, but yecchhh. 

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On 11/9/2019 at 10:14 PM, Keatah said:

I recall the Astrocade in Minnesota Fats and Polk Brothers. Maybe even sears. Clearly.

 

I may or may not have seen the APF in Minnesota Fats. If I did, was was in passing. Quickly.

 

Was trying to remember the place I saw the Astrocade being sold, but couldn't... and then you said Polk Bros.

 

That was it. Near Old Orchard mall.

 

https://www.vanishedchicagoland.com/Polk-Brothers-Chicago.php

 

In a photo half-way down you can see Gross Point Road going diagonally across Skokie Boulevard (US HWY 41).

Edited by firebottle
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I remember seeing an Astrocade in some department store but I don't recall which one or exactly one.  I don't think I even heard of the other two until way later, probably through AA or Digital Press.

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On 11/11/2019 at 9:51 AM, masschamber said:

Think it is safe to say the astrocade is the least obscure of the 3, 

The astrocade made it into the movie theatres.  It is in national lampoon's vacation (sound effects are intellivision however).  I can't say I've heard of any these three systems at the time.  I do remember magazine ads for channel f and odyssey2.

 

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All of these systems were dead and gone by the time I was even born, but in particular I can only imagine seeing the Arcadia 2001 in discount stores, liquidators, or that aisle in the grocery store that had those junky, generic, knock-off toys. That system is basically the "Hero-Man and The Lords of The Galaxy" of '80s game consoles. :lol:

 

(It's still actually kind of fun, though. lol)

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People knock the arcadia alot. But it really is a fun system. Graphics between intellivision and colecovision. A step that wasnt enough in 82 in the usa but it did well in many other countries that got other systems slower than here.

It has a fairly large game library and some arcade ports never released on any other console.

The controllers are pretty unique being like the intellivision but with the screw on optional stick and a bit better side buttons.

And it runs on 12v and its small so its portable and could be used in the car and boat lol

If it came out maybe 2 years earlier it might have been more than just a blip on the usa market. But really its as good as the other 70s systems.

The apf....not so much. Pretty bad games and really bad wired controllers.

Its funny because arcadia bought the system and cart molds from apf when they dumped the m1000 and slightly retooled them to make the arcadia :)

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The arcadia graphics chip has an interesting feature that lets it horizontally scroll each character row independently.  That really helps since it has only four sprites (it's version of pacman has only three ghosts).  It only has eight software programmable characters (intellivision has 64), and with only eight colours and one sound channel (plus noise), games don't look or sound very good.  The games include many ripoffs of others; even intellivision games.  According to Wikipedia some of the cartridgess developed weren't widely manufactured because they were afraid to get sued by Atari.

 

The system actually supports analog input but the controllers are eight-way digital.  Do the joysticks work okay, might be better to remove them and use as thumbpads.

Edited by mr_me

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Do you know is the analog inputs are only in one direction or free in all direction? The Arcadia feature two jack input, which suggest that they might have though at some point about having additionnal controllers, but since it's a mono jack, it would have been restricted to horizontal analog moves (or I suppose a programmer could read those input and put them in vertical, but you couldn't have both H and V analog. Or maybe having both but for one player only!)

 

And note aside, watching a video, the US model is heavily shielded, wherehas the French model I have have zero shielding. SAVE MONEY!

 

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My understanding is the arcadia can multiplex two potentiometer inputs for four total.  The joysticks actually go through the analog inputs.  The chip set is the same as in the german Palladium and Dutch Ormatu 2001 which apparantly have analog joysticks.

Edited by mr_me

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14 hours ago, stupus said:

And it runs on 12v and its small so its portable and could be used in the car and boat lol

 

This was touted as a feature in some contemporary magazine review, but, really, how many people actually used a video game system with a portable TV in car (or on a boat)?

 

I have met exactly one person (one of my Grandmother's caregivers) that had owned a Leisurevision. I actively interested in video games in the early-1980s, yet I never saw one for sale anywhere.   

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I went from the 2600 to the arcades and didn't bother with home consoles until the Genesis. A friend had an Astrocade but he wouldn't play it. I mentioned we should play it but he said it was worse than Atari.

 

I have 2 Astrocades now!

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4 minutes ago, syn said:

A friend had an Astrocade but he wouldn't play it. I mentioned we should play it but he said it was worse than Atari.

A friend who wouldn't play Astrocade or Atari?  And I thought I had a rough childhood...

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A bit too young to see them in stores, my young years were Atari, Coleco, and Intellivision (I also remember seeing Vectrex at Toys R Us and begging for it because of Mr. Wizard)

 

But I also recall later on some local BBS discussions where folks had those systems that I had never heard of, (this would be mid-late 80's) I remember thinking "Astrocade?  That sounds awesome!"  Just because of the name.  Don't think I ever saw one in person until my first MGC convention.

 

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1 hour ago, 128Kgames said:

A friend who wouldn't play Astrocade or Atari?  And I thought I had a rough childhood...

Both, we were addicted to arcades and everyone our age was there. A different time, 37-40 years ago. 

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Late to the party, but I recall seeing both Astrocade and the MP-1000 at Montgomery Ward's in 1980-81.  I had wanted the Astrocade for Christmas 1980, but it was too expensive, so my mom got us the MP-1000, which was much cheaper (either $99- or $149- compared to $249- for the Astrocade).  As I recall, there was an elaborate kiosk set up for the Astrocarde (probably what was shown on the previous page, but I can't be sure), but nothing special for the MP-1000, although there definitely was one on display (without a cartridge, so the only playable game was Rocket Patrol.

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I remember the Astrocade in Montgomery Wards as well. Just as you described in a kiosk. I don’t remember seeing the MP-1000, but it may have been there, just not up and running. 

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