video games gallery from the last century

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Kits-Pong

    Pongs:20     Art


Handi Pong IV kit

1976


This is a very rare dedicated pong console which doesnt use any dedicated chip (like AY-3-8500-1), it only has discrete components (TTLs).
Was released in 1976 by Video Marketing Corp. and only plays two games: Tennis and Handball.

It features scoring on screen thanks to a MM5841 chip (those chips were usually used for displaying time on a TV but can also be used as a scoring display) and you can also play versus a robot (left or right player) or you can also select the two robots to plays against themselves.

There is a detailed review of this pong console which is published in the magazine Elementary Electronics - January-February 1977 edition.

AER 8600C

Cea Tel-o-kit

1977

Dick Smith Video Ball Game Kit

1978

Electronics Australia Video Ball Game

Elektor TV-Spiel

Elektor TV-Tennis

Haynes Pong Arcade Game Kit

Heathkit GD-1380

1976


Heathkit was a famous kit manufacturer in the 1970s. Their catalog was long: it proposed everything from simple projects to advanced test equipment, color TV sets, Hi-Fi, and of course video games.

This kit (model GD-1380) was released in 1976. It plays the six games of the AY-3-8500 chip, and has several interesting features. First, it requires a Heathkit TV set to operate because of its composite output. Back in 1976, only monitors and hi-tech equipment had a composite input. To use this system, the user had to open his TV set in order to connect a few wires to its electronic circuits. This is the case with the Heathkit TV sets: the user manual explains how to connect the system to several TV sets released by Heathkit. The system has another interesting feature: the sound does not come from the system itself like most of the other PONG consoles, but comes from the TV set. The main reason for this is the direct connexion of the system to the TV set. Since the TV had to be open for connecting, why not connecting additional wires to the audio amplifier of the TV instead of using a speaker in the system ? Using the TV as audio output was not possible with regular systems which used a video modulator. Outputing the sound to the TV would have required additional circuits, hence a higher price of the systems. Here, the system benefits of a direct connexion to the TV set, hence the possibility of using the audio circuits of the TV without additional costs. A last thing: the blue electronic gun of the system is very funny, and the user manual is extremely detailed.

Heathkit GD-1999

1976


Clon del National Semiconductor Adversary system (model 370), fabricado tras el lanzamiento del chip MM-57100 en 1976.
Solo se diferencian en las etiquetas de los mandos y la unidad central.

Se puede considerar un semi-kit,ya que aunque había que montar las piezas, todos los componentes de la placa venían soldados y ajustados.


 uP 8046
  uP 8046

Homebrew Kit4Moto Race

Jostykit Multi TV Game HF 344

1979

Kits-Pong

Maree Hobby Kit Video-Sport

1977


Pong con 4 juegos, similar al Maree Video Pinball
solo disponible en kit

Maree Hobby Kit Video-Sport Super Master

1977


Dos juegos de pistola adicionales

Maruzen Denshi TVColor Game7800

National Semiconductor Adversary

1976


The story is far from finished. If GI released the AY-3-8500 in 1976, the competition was already present.

National Semiconductor (NS) released their chip integrating three Ball & Paddle games: the MM-57100N (also released as the MM-57105N in PAL format). NS advertised the chip as playing games with true and realistic colors (the background was green for Tennis, blue for Hockey, and magenta for Squash). This major feature probably boosted the sales. As a matter of fact, the basic configuration of the GI AY-3-8500, 8550 and 8600 chips delivered a black and white picture, and another GI chip was required to produce color pictures, hence a higher cost. The MM-57100N chip and its PAL equivalent only required two interfacing chips: the MM-53104N clock driver and the LM1889N color modulator. As the LM1889N was cheaper than GIs color encoders and widely available, every system designed with the NS chips played game in colors, as opposed to many systems built with GI chips.

The NS games also differed from the GI games. For instance, each player appeared alternatively in the Squash game when the ball was hit, and the Hockey game showed six square opponents (organised in two groups of three) moving up and down on the screen. The sound was directly sent to the TV set instead of coming from a speaker in the system. The game selection only required a push-button instead of a switch (rotary or linear) which could fail after many game selections. The scores appeared once a player lost the ball, the bats could have three different sizes, and the ball accelerated once it bounced four times on the players. Finally, the games could also be played in solo: the single player controlled both sides of the games using the same controller.

For the release of this new chip, NS launched a small system called National Adversary (model 370). Although not very nice, it played the three games of the chip and sold pretty well. The same system was sold in semi-kit form by Heathkit as Model GD-1999 (the circuit board was already assembled). The only problem was the competitive price of the AY-3-8500 and also its wide reputation as most manufacturers used it.

Although NS had a pretty smart idea by releasing the MM-57100N chip, the increasing success of GI became too high for NS, and facing the situation became more and more difficult. As an attempt to survive this situation, NS released another chip in 1978: the MM-57106N (also known as MM-57186N in PAL format). This one played six different games: those of the MM-57100N, plus Wipe-Out (Breakout clone), Flipper and Football. Each game was playable in several variants, giving a total of twenty-three games. This chip was not successful and the only systems known to use it are the Philips N30 (and its equivalents sold under the Radiola and Schneider brands) and the Philips Odyssey 2100, both released in Europe. NS advertised an improved Adversary system (model 600) based on this chip, but no specimen surfaced yet.


 Modelo 370
uP 8046
  uP 8046

Novokit 2015

1978


Pong en kit.

Tank Senso Game8700

Wakamatsusho NS57106K