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Any resources for game release dates fo APF MP-1000?

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Hey, I've been searching online but can't seem to find release dates for the games. I found one source with dates which I've linked below, but they list all games as October, 78 - the launch of the console. And I assume it's unlikely that they had their entire library of all 12 games available at launch - that would certainly be a notable, never-discussed, 'first' in gaming history if that were true. But I guess it's safe to assume they all came out within a year? Perhaps as the computer add-on was where they turned their focus? Or maybe a couple were released in early days of the Imagination Machine?



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I've been researching release information for early game systems for the past few years now related to my video series on YouTube. I've gone through a lot of old newspaper advertising, and these are the best dates I've got:


MP1000 released midyear 1978, according to Ed Smith, and Creative Computing's Aug-Sept 1978 talks about it, so likely it came out around then. It's likely the first tranche of games came out around the same time, as video games were very seasonal business at the time; the Dec. 2 Santa Ana Orange County Register has an MP1000 ad showing Bowling and Baseball, while the fall/winter 1979 Wards catalog and Video Magazine's winter 1979 issue both note that Hangman, Brickdown/Shooting Gallery, Bowling/Micromatch, Catena, Baseball and Blackjack were all available by the Christmas season. 


In 1979, the second tranche of games seemed to come out for Christmas. The Janesville Gazette ran an ad November 21, 1979 that featured Boxing, UFO/Sea Monster/Break it Down/Rebuild/Shoot it Out, Backgammon, Casino 1: Roulette/Keno/Slots, and Pinball/Dungeon Hunt/Blockout. I believe there are a few other ads in the same time period showing similar sets of games, but that's the one I wrote down. Incidentally, the Imagination Machine hit shelves around Labor Day - the August 27th edition of Weekly Television Digest remarks that the "complete package" with the IM was hitting store shelves around then. 


The final cartridge, Space Destroyers, came out in 1981.  When is a little harder to answer. I found one ad from June 7's Akron Beacon Journal for it that says it's available on "cassette," and contextually it sounds likely to mean a cartridge, but I can't be sure, as the cassette IM version of the game was being sold around July/August 1980 according to the magazine Merchandising's August issue. There are several explicit ads in Canadian newspapers later in 1981 for the cartridge, at any rate: the Montreal Gazette in Sept. 19, the Ottawa Citizen Nov 5, and the Windsor Star Dec. 5 all advertise the cartridge (with visual aids confirming that is the version in question).


APF itself went bankrupt in mid-1981, and liquidation sales started hitting later in 1981 and through 1982. So you can find ads in 1982 that have all these carts listed.

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That is impressive research -- especially given how obscure the system is! 

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