For those who don't know, the Vectrex was Milton Bradley's videogame console with an integrated vector graphics display that was introduced in 1982. As cool and unique as Vectrex was, it was only on the market for two years before succumbing to the video game crash of 1983. A few years ago, photos turned up revealing that Milton Bradley had apparently prototyped a more portable version of the console. Other than what was seen in those images though, there was little-to-no information about the actual system, like whether it actually worked or was just a mock-up. Until now. The National Videogame Museum has actually acquired one of the working prototypes!
IT'S ALIIIIVE! We dug a little deeper into the Mini Vectrex console this weekend and we're happy to report it is now back to working order! Check out this video of the console in action! pic.twitter.com/9PFlcnYQlr— National Videogame Museum (@nvmusa) November 19, 2018
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We've heard it suggested that the Mini Vectrex was only mock-up and not a real system at all. We have already taken the unit apart and inside of it is the complete, authentic circuitry of an original Vectrex console. pic.twitter.com/1VV1NG7SRl— National Videogame Museum (@nvmusa) November 16, 2018
Oklahoma City Thunder basketball star and retro-videogamer Paul George worked with Nike and Sony on a new pair of PS1-inspired sneakers. Due out December 1, the PG 2.5 x PlayStation design follows on the heels (sorry) of the black PG2 x PlayStation sneakers that were released in February and sold out in a hot minute.
"For those who know me, gaming is a big part of who I am – I love the fans and I love this community, so it was amazing to see the gaming and sneaker worlds collide with the original PG2 collaboration," George writes. "This time around, I wanted to take the design old school, back to my earliest days of gaming. For me – as I’m sure many of you can relate – those memories date back to the original PlayStation."
With the classic 1980s Nintendo Entertainment System continuing to rack up extra lives thanks to the retro videogame resurgence, the thirty year-old game Castlevania has been ported to Netflix with a new animated series. Warren Ellis wrote it, which almost guarantees that it will be the best TV program based on a videogame ever, and that includes Hanna-Barbera's Pac-Man.
My 10-year-old son Lux is a retro videogame historian who collects and studies 1980s consoles and games with the gravitas of a PhD student working on his thesis. Last year he acquired Nintendo's NES Zapper gun controller from 1984 that was used to play shooting games like Duck Hunt. (Below, a TV commercial for the NES Deluxe Set including the Zapper and R.O.B. The Robotic Operating Buddy.) Unfortunately, the NES Zapper doesn't work with modern LCD televisions. The video above from "Today I Found Out" explains the clever technology behind the NES Zapper gun. And here's a great text explanation from How-To Geek about why it doesn't work on non-CRT screens, something my son already knew but, of course, wanted the Zapper anyway for, er, display purposes:
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First, it requires extremely precise timing between the trigger pull on the Zapper and the response on the screen. Even the slightest difference (and we’re talking milliseconds here) between the signal sent to the NES and the signal displayed on the screen can throw it off. The original timing sequence was based on the very dependable response time of a CRT hooked up to the analog NES signal. Whether the old tube TV was big, small, cutting edge or 10 years old, the speed of the signal via the CRT display standard was reliable. By contrast, the latency in modern digital sets is not reliable and is not the same as the old consistent delay in the CRT system. Now, this doesn’t matter in most situations.