The Little Vector-Based Console That Couldn't Is Reborn On The IPad

In 1982 Smith Engineering released the Vectrex, a self-contained video game console that delivered cutting-edge vector based games to the masses. It was the first game console with a 3D peripheral. It was brilliant.

It was also released right before the video game crash of 1983, so the system that hit the market at $US199.99 rapidly dropped to $US150. Then $US100. By late 1984 it was gone from the market completely. I know this because on May 1, 1984 I received one of these and every game that was available for it for my 11th birthday, and my mother got it all for under $US100 from Toys 'R' Us.

My Vectrex was eventually borrowed by a friend of a friend who then shot himself in the head playing a game of 'Bet I Won't Shoot Myself in the Head' (he lost), and I could figure out how to ask his grieving mother for my console back.

But I don't need it back anymore, thanks to Vectrex Regeneration, coming soon to the iPhone and iPad from Rantmedia Games.

The iPad is the perfect place for the Vectrex to live on. Its screen is about the right proportions, and with an iCade attached you're just a curly wire away from playing games like Star Trek in glorious black-and-white lines. Hopefully they'll be simulating the plastic colour overlays that came with the games — oh yeah, this was one high tech machine.

Vectrex Regenerationis not only for those nostalgic for likely blood-spattered consoles lost. While the app will be released with all of the old games — more than 20 titles — free of charge, the loyal community of indie Vectrex developers will be supplying homebrewed games, available individually or through in app purchases.

What else? How about Game centre support? Multiplayer between two devices? Airplay to your Apple TV? I might faint.

The Vectrex is back, baby, and it sounds like it's going to be better than ever. If I ever get my hands on these Rantmedia folks they are going to get such a hugging.

Shit, I need to buy an iCade now.


Comments

    Who cares about Vectrex. What this bet i won't shoot myself game?

    But... The ipad is raster based... I feel somewhat betrayed. It's going to look shite compared to a true vector based display.

      Hopefully at retina res it looks as good!

        I think you missed the point. Vector vs raster. Look it up.

          Actually no he didn't. He's saying at retina display the differences would be negligable on the 'pixelatted' side.

    I loved the Vectrex! A neighbour had it and I'd play it every time I went over...

    Man, vector games are cool. Wish I could've had one of these.

    If only Atari would remove its massive head from its massive arse and release the greatest vector game of all time... Battlezone... All will be right in the world!

    "My Vectrex was eventually borrowed by a friend of a friend who then shot himself in the head playing a game of ‘Bet I Won’t Shoot Myself in the Head’ (he lost), and I could figure out how to ask his grieving mother for my console back."

    Dude, WHAT. THE. FUCK?!
    There's levity and then there's MOCKING THE DEAD.

    Hang on, hang on, I'm happy about the Vectrex and everything but as if we need more proof that too many Americans have access to guns, that's really sad about Mike's childhood friend

    What's about the overlays??? Without' em it is not the same.

    I forgot about the overlays! I loved my Vectrex. I only had a few games by my god did it get some play when I was a kid. Wish I still had it. Sold it years a go for a few hundred with the games and that was the biggest mistake I ever made. I've read about these things being considered collectors items and have been going in excess of $50K for working mint models in original box (which mine was). I mean, seriously, people are selling just the styrofoam packaging for $30 http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vectrex-System-Bottom-STYROFOAM-ONLY-/350581255914?pt=Video_Games_Accessories&hash=item51a0456eea and some of the games are going for $200 each. Crazy.

    I wonder if the russian roulette story is true, or if you just made up some macabre story to boost interest in the article. You could be a very sick individual. Either way, keep it up.

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