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My hope in creating this post is to establish a single "go-to" thread here on AtariAge dedicated to the Emerson Arcadia 2001 console (and its many licensed "clones.") 

 

I'm not going to dive into a history lesson here, but the Arcadia 2001 was developed by Universal Appliances Limited (UAL) out of Hong Kong and released under license in the US market by Emerson in May 1982 (more details on this here). It was only produced for about 1.5 years in the US. There are 22 confirmed US releases but due to UAL having issued many licenses for related systems (more than 30!) around the world, that number increases to around 50 or so. While *most* Arcadia titles are knock-off Atari games some are actually lesser-known licensed arcade games, including Route 16, Jungler and Jump Bug.

 

Have an Arcadia 2001 but want to play cartridges from one of the clone systems? You're in luck! The Arcadia 2001 is fully compatible with many of its clones (technically it's software-compatible with all of the clones, but pinout differences with some models - looking at you, MPT-03 - render the carts physically incompatible). Cartridges fully compatible with the Arcadia 2001 include: Bandai Arcadia (Japan; four Japan-exclusive titles), Leisure Vision (Canada), Advision Home Arcade (France), Hanimex HMG-2650 (Germany), Schmid TVG-2000 (Germany), Tele-Fever (Germany), Leonardo (Italy) and Tunix Home Arcade (New Zealand), to name a few.

 

The Video Game Critic has reviewed many of the Arcadia titles here

 

Thinking about becoming an Arcadia collector? Be sure to check out @Blazing Lazers's Arcadia 2001 Rarity Guide here. Some titles are extremely tough to track down, so go for a complete set at your own risk, or maybe "cheat" and mix in some Leisure Vision-branded releases, etc. ;)

 

Want a multicart? You're in luck. AtariAge user @5-11under sells a DIP switch-style multicart for $90 shipped. Your choice of short cartridge or long cartridge. A full list of games included on the multicart is available here. The multicart thread in general is available here. Another multicart has surfaced in recent years out of Italy by Max Idem (musicmax3@gmail.com), which uses toggle buttons on the cart with a digital counter (on the cart) for game selection. This European offering has fewer total programs but does include Tetris (even though it has an active copyright). It runs 120 Euros plus shipping. 

 

Need a console box protector? You're in luck. How about game box protector? Same size as Atari 2600 - boom!

 

Got a faulty Arcadia controller? Here's a repair guide

 

Interested in an RGB mod for your Arcadia console? Look no further than right here

 

How 'bout an Arcadia High Score Club? It looks like it may have been a couple of years, so perhaps send a note to @ballyalley to express interest in getting it going again. If you don't have a console, you can always play under emulation.

 

I'm by no means an expert on this console, but hope you find this helpful and that we can use this thread moving forward. Also be sure to check out this extremely valuable resource for more details: Emerson Arcadia 2001 Central.

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The Arcadia is certainly an interesting system. As I recall, it had kind of a bad reputation at one time, being an obscure system with odd specs and a handful of ports of even more obscure and odd arcade titles and generic knock-offs of the A-list classics. I don't remember too many people collecting for it in the late '90s/early '00s. I think it's a pretty fun system, though, and worth checking out, even if only in emulation (because some of this stuff has gotten stupidly expensive).

 

I think trying to collect all the clones and international releases, or even completing just one subset of Arcadia stuff (be it Emerson releases or Leisurevision or whatever), is probably a fool's errand, though. If there's a multicart for $90, that's a slam dunk--a rare, desirable title like Red Clash will cost at least three or four times that. I don't have a multicart, but the 15 or 16 common games I have for the Arcadia are honestly enough to whet my appetite for the system anyway.

 

10 hours ago, sixersfan105 said:

I'm not going to dive into a history lesson here, but the Arcadia 2001 was made by Emerson and released in the United States in May 1982.

 

I'm a little rusty on my Arcadia lore, but my understanding was that Emerson actually licensed the Arcadia and its games from a Hong Kong-based company called Universal Appliances Limited. It's not conclusive that even UAL actually created the console (although that's most likely the case), but it seems to have been established that they did create all of the system's games, except for a handful created by Bandai. As for Emerson, the Arcadia 2001 appears to have been a quick and relatively cheap opportunity to get in on the video game craze.

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3 hours ago, krslam said:

I've heard the story differently, that the Arcadia was one of several systems based on, and licensed from, a Philips design. Some quick searching turned up this ( in the 'History' section)

 

http://www.progettoemma.net/mess/system.php?machine=arcadia

 

I always found the system's murky origins to be one of its more fascinating aspects.

Ah yeah I've come across the Philips references a few places, too. This is another good resource with a lot of details:

 

https://www.digitpress.com/the_digs/arcadia/texts/2001-faq.htm

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I believe it was a console created by universal appliances limited using a chip licensed from philips. Then they let anyone and everyone who would sign up to distribute it...including emerson.

The system called just the home arcade could well have been their own attemp at their own distribution. They are the only company listed on those variants and they are quite rare. But they use the exact same box art and console design as the emerson but without the emerson name. There is even a ntsc version of it.

 

As for the games i think its pretty certain UAL made them as they are the party listed in the court documents when other companies went after ip infringement on some games

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The Arcadia 2001 has not received a lot of play at my house, but I do have a near complete boxed system and a handful of games.

 

* If anybody has an original rf adapter that they want to sell then let me know.

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On 12/13/2020 at 6:11 AM, stupus said:

I believe it was a console created by universal appliances limited using a chip licensed from philips.

Yeah, Philips acquired Signetics in 1975, right when the 2650 was released. While the exact date for the first 1292 APVS systems is debated (1976 or 1978), I wonder if the support chips were developed over time. Clearly the 2636 Programmable Video Interface must've been ready for the first generation of games, while I don't know the date of the 2637 Universal Video Interface used in the Arcadia 2001. However I did find a databook from January 1982 where the chips are renumbered, suggesting that all of them were on the market at least by 1981.

ftp://bitsavers.informatik.uni-stuttgart.de/components/signetics/_dataBooks/1982_Signetics_MOS_Microprocessor_Data_Manual.pdf

 

Some sources claim that the Soundic MPT-03 would date from 1979, i.e. three years ahead of the Emerson Arcadia 2001. It could be a misunderstanding, but just as well reasonable given its cartridges physically are not compatible. Even if the Arcadia 2001 had come out three years earlier, I'm unsure if it had made a bigger impact. The main thing that speaks against that theory is the the MPT-05 is a 1292 system, and the numbering seems odd if they made one of those after both the MPT-02 (licensed Studio III) and MPT-03 (Arcadia 2001-ish), plus the missing MPT-04 of course (or maybe that one is yet another 1292 system).

Edited by carlsson
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I consider it the rarest. A half dozen new copies were found a few years ago. I dont think any have shown up cib since. That lowered its rarity a bit but i dont think it took it from being the rarest. Before that i think there were only about 3-4 known copies.

Spiders is definitely very rare too though and red clash is as well. The rest come up routinely with some patience.

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Cool, thanks for the info. Despite my starting this thread, I'm just getting into the Arcadia scene, so I'm absorbing all the insights I can get.

 

I picked up a CIB Spiders last week for a good price but it's the Leisure Vision version, which I understand isn't as rare as the Arcadia 2001 version. 

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No problem :)

 

There definitely seem to be more copies of the 3 rare titles for the leisurevision. And they probably dont demand as much as well not being the usa release.

But they are a north american release and basically look identical to the emerson version. I would feel very happy to have those versions in place. ;)

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So...in a country filled with so many hobos, how could Emerson not release Hobo for the American market Arcadia?! Looks to me like it saw releases for the Leisure Vision, Schmid TVG 2000 and Leonardo, but not the Arcadia 2001. 
 

I'm contemplating a CIB pickup of one of the foreign releases. I've read that it controls poorly but I love that it has multiple, different stages and is somewhat of an original game (obviously similar to Frogger) but not a complete ripoff like so many. 
 

Think I should pick it up or pass?

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It was one of the last games released and i think emerson had already folded the arcadia here in the usa before hobo even got released. The systems lasted a few years longer in other countries.

Hobo is 1 if the better games. I just actually sold my 2 spare copies this week.

Its kind of a isometric viewed frogger :)

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Is the following the complete list of all homebrew games for the Arcadia and compatibles?

 

Tetris (Peter Trauner, 2003)

JTron (Amigan Software/James Jacobs, 2003-2006)

Frogger (Amigan Software/James Jacobs, 2004-2012)

Super Bug 2 (Amigan Software/James Jacobs, 2009)

 

It's my understanding that Frogger only works in emulation and not on real hardware, unfortunately. Anyone know if any of the other three listed above ever saw cartridge releases (not including inclusion in multicarts)?

 

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I think thats it. No physical homebrews for arcadia yet.

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Yeah, would be nice to see 1 happen sometime!

Of the pre nes comsoles i think the arcadia, rca s2 and apf are the only systems with no physical homebrews. Also none for the telstar arcade but i dont think anyone has even figured out how to make that possible yet.

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I suppose you don't consider Flip's multicart with a number of homebrews included as a standalone homebrew release for the RCA Studio II? Then again there is a multicart for at least the Arcadia 2001 as well (don't know about M-1000/MP-1000) but I don't know if it contains anything besides original titles.

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No, i dont really count multicarts. Its definitely cool they are playable now on real hardware though! The arcadia multicarts got homebrews on them too.

Apf has never had a multicart i know of. Not sure it even has any non physical homebrew ever. Of course imagination machine had homemade games even bitd but not that could play on the stand alone m-1000.

I did make a few bingo and demo repros for rca s2 but again those are repros and not a true new homebrew game.

I had talked about trying to do repros of 3d attack for arcadia but it never materialized. 

There is at least 1 arcadia proto i hope the owner will someday release to make carts of.

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I can't recall if I ever glanced at the Signetics 2650 instruction set, but I've made some very small steps with the RCA 1802. Still I think the Motorola 6800 in the APF would be most straightforward for programmers of other systems to get into, in particular if you've done 6502 or 6803/6809 programming since before.

 

Regarding modern development, it was mentioned above that the Arcadia 2001 has 4 known homebrews. I see that the VC-4000/1292 APVS surpassed that since Senil has posted 5 different homebrews: Flappy Bird, VC4K-anabalt, VC4boom, Tetris and a Megademo!

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