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Vectrex – The world's only vector game console / SurprizingFacts

Vectrex – a unique gaming system, released in 1982 by General Consumer Electric (GCE). Its feature is that all the graphics in it are vector and output to the handset not as a line, but as vectors on an oscillograph.

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The history of the appearance of the console is adequately described in Wikipedia and there is not much point in retelling it.

The console is a monoblock with a 9 "black and white monitor.

On the lateral surface there is a slot for the cartridge

The joystick is hiding in the lower part of the case.

Buttons and the joey itself are made very reliably, as on arcade machines.

The joystick scheme is traditional for systems of that time, two analog axes on resistors of variable resistance and 4 buttons.

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The lower board

And its structural scheme

The Vectrex is built on the 8-bit processor of the Motorola 6809, Although in my copy there is a version from Hitachi – HD68A09P.The sound is output by AY-3-8912. Another big chip is MOS 6522. It is a port expander with two parallel interfaces, a timer and a shift register. The RAM in the console is only 1 KB. The board ROM stores one Minestorm game and several test utilities.

Without a top cover, the console looks like this. The monitor is Samsung 240RB4

The development board is visible on the power board, 1982.

28 games were officially released for Vectrex. Each game was supplied on the cartridge. Inside the cartridge is installed a regular ROM on 32 or 64 KB, third-party developers also offer clean cards and flash cartridges.

But besides the actual cartridge in the complex with the game was also the so-called overlay – it's a piece Colored plastic that was inserted into special grooves in front of the monitor and made the game visually much more attractive than on a black and white monitor. Demonstration is shown in the video at the end of the article.

This is not an innovative approach, for the first time overlays appeared 10 years before the release of Vectrex in the console Magnavox Odyssey

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Some additional periphery was produced for the Vectrex – it's a light pen and 3D glasses!

If the light pen is more and more understandable, Then the idea of ​​3D glasses was ingeniously simple. In the glasses was a motor and a simple synchronization circuit. A colored disc was mounted on the motor, which simply rotated in time with the change of frames on the monitor and closed one eye and then another.

Unfortunately, such sets were released a little, therefore, despite all Simplicity of the device, it costs absolutely inhuman money:

Demonstration of the work:

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