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B > BALLY > Astrocade   


Bally
Astrocade

In September 1977, Bally, the famous pinball tables manufacturer, announced shortly after the Atari 2600, the Bally Professional Arcade. The first versions were shipped in early 1978 for $299.

This video game system featured a Z80 processor, three built-in games (Gunfight, Checkmate, Scribbler), a calculator with numeric keypad and up to four controllers that were a unique combination of joystick and paddle, which resembled the grip of a revolver.

Furthermore, a BASIC cartridge gave this system the ability to save programs to a cassette tape. For about 6 months, it was thus the world's cheapest computer.

Even though is was slightly superior to the competition (Atari VCS), the unit was too expensive and the sales remainded at a low level. In 1982, Bally withdrew the system and sold the rights to Astrovision Inc., a group of users who had enjoyed the system. The console was then reintroduced as the Bally Computer System. The same year, the company changed its name - and the system name - to Astrocade.

After that, Astrocade tried to keep the system alive and marketed it as a video game console for several years. In 1985, the game consoles market crashed and finally, the Astrocade company closed their doors and the Astrocade system disappeared.

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Need to find bally astrocade controllers or adapter so I can the system I found. Any one know how to obtain one? Ebay currently has nothing.

          
Wednesday 2nd May 2012
drag0nneus (United States)

I got a Bally and had lots of fun with it. once I made it talk by recording my voice thru the joystick port, I took the voice & ran it thru an intergrated filter I made to get the voice envelope, then I used the stored envelope to modulate a 500hz tone

          
Tuesday 12th September 2006
Terrywe (USA)

This was my first arcade video game system, and was my fathers hope that it would be my first computer system as well. When the company told him that they were not going to make the expansion computer module, he immediately returned the unit & demanded a refund on his money. I then was given a TRS-80 Model I for Christmas, '80. Good times.

          
Wednesday 10th May 2006
Jon N. (Los Angeles, CA)

 

NAME  Astrocade
MANUFACTURER  Bally
ORIGIN  U.S.A.
YEAR  September 1977
END OF PRODUCTION  1985
BUILT IN SOFTWARE / GAMES  4 built in programs (Gunfight, Checkmate, Calculator, Scribbling)
CONTROLLERS  2 pistol shaped controllers with 1 trigger and a short 8 directions joystick / analogic knob
CPU  Z80
SPEED  3.579 MHz
RAM  4 KB
ROM  8 KB
GRAPHIC MODES  160 x 102 (Basic cartridge : 160 x 88)
COLORS  8 (Basic cartridge : 2)
SOUND  3 voices + noise & vibrato
SIZE / WEIGHT  15'' (W) x 10 3/4'' (D) x 4 3/4'' (H)
I/O PORTS  Cartridge slot, 4 controller connectors, Expansion port, Light pen connector
MEDIA  Cartridges
NUMBER OF GAMES  About 40 cartridges released
PERIPHERALS  2 additional controllers, audio cassette interface, RAM expansions, Computer expansion, light-pen
PRICE  $299 (USA, 1977)

  
 

When I really discovered this system a few months ago, I was very impressed by it. Considering its age (1977), it's an amazing system!

 
  

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