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Obscure systems : Arcadia 2001 and clones
Obscure systems : Interton VC-4000 & clones
Obscure systems : SD-2xx systems
Obscure systems : the cartridge pongs family
RCA Studio 2 : build your own switchbox!
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> DESCRIPTION

This is one of the smallest group presented here as only 5 compatible systems are known to exist. The original system is the RCA Studio II released in 1977. It would have had the distinction of being the first programmable game system, but Fairchild's Channel F beat it to the market by mere months. So this is a very early system and graphics are very poor, just like a pong system but with different games...

Unfortunately for the Studio II, Atari released its VCS-2600 some months later the same year... it meant the end for this black & white system.

But some years later color clone systems appeared in Europe, clearly marketed as cheap systems for people who couldn't afford "modern" systems like the Colecovision or the Vectrex...

 

> HOW TO RECOGNISE THEM ?

>THE CONTROLLERS
The controllers are very special to these systems since they consist of only 2 numeric keypads with numbers ranging from 0 to 9 on each controller. Their function are different for each games, but their are usually used for the 8 directions.

While the RCA Studio 2 paddles are on the unit itself, those of the Hanimex MPT-02 can be removed. This is quite particular to this system since the other clones have not removable controllers...

MPT-02 removable controllers

Something even more surprising : the Soundic MPT-02 Victory controllers can be interchanged with real joysticks depending on the game you want to play !

Soundic MPT-02 Victory controllers

 

> THE CONTROL PANEL
This is the most simple of all the control panels you could encountered, since there is only 1 button : CLEAR.
There is not even an on / off switch !

There is also a power indicator light.

> THE CARTRIDGE SLOT
The cartridge slot is very special too ! It is unique since it has two rod that insert into holes in the cartridge. This is common to all systems of this group and this means too that the cartridges are physically compatible.

Note that MPT-03 systems (Arcadia 2001 clones) use this system too, but they are complete different systems.

Another singular feature is that the cartridges only have connectors on one side of the circuit board.

 

 

> THE SYSTEMS

Name

Brand

Country

Studio 2

RCA

USA

MPT-02 Victory

Soundic

Hong-Kong

Box

MPT-02 Jeu TV programmable

Hanimex

France

Mustang 9016 Telespiel Computer

Mustang

Germany

Sheen 1200 Micro Computer

Sheen

Europe ?

 

 

> THE GAMES

There were 10 cartridges produced by RCA for the Studio 2 but maybe some more games were developed later for its clones... The "Concentration Match" cart for example is a game that uses more than 2 colors and doesn't exist for the RCA Studio 2. Thus, it is possible that other games are to be found.

There were also 5 games built-in the RCA Studio 2. Although the MPT-02 seems not to have these built-in games, the Mustang has them (so the Sheen must have too) !

Though the RCA Studio 2 is only black & white, the other systems are in color ! And when RCA Studio 2 cartridges are used with the MPT-02, they play in color (black & white are then coded into 2 colors) !

 

Bowling
Bowling on the Mustang 9016

Squash Squash

Tennis Tennis
Tennis / Squash played on the MPT-02
Black & white are coded in 2 colors

Spacewar Intercept Spacewar Intercept
Space War Intercept played on the MPT-02
Black & white are coded in 2 colors

Concentration MatchConcentration Match
Concentration Match is color game !
Left screenshots are from the MPT-02
and right ones from the Mustang.
We notice that the colors are coded differently.

Krieg der sterne Krieg der sterne Krieg der sterne
Kriege Der Sterne (Space War) played on a MPT-02
Black & white are coded in 2 colors

 

RCA Studio II games

MPT-02 games

Bowling (built-in the RCA Studio 2)

MG-201 Bingo

Doodles (built-in the RCA Studio 2)

MG-202 Concentration Match

Freeway (built-in the RCA Studio 2)

MG-203 Star Wars

Math (built-in the RCA Studio 2)

MG-204 Math Fun (School House II)

Patterns (built-in the RCA Studio 2)

MG-205 Pinball

Gunfighter/Moonship Battle (TV Arcade)

MG-206 Biorythm

Space War (TV Arcade I)

MG-207 Tennis/Squash

Fun with Numbers (TV Arcade II)

MG-208 Fun with Numbers

Tennis/Squash (TV Arcade III)

MG-209 Computer Quiz (School House I)

Baseball (TV Arcade IV)

MG-210 Baseball

Speedway/Tag (TV Arcade ?)

MG-211 Speedway/Tag

Blackjack (TV Casino I)

MG-212 Spacewar Intercept
Bingo (TV Casino II ?) MG-213 Gun Fight/Moon ship

Math and soical studies (TV School House I )

 

Math Fun (TV School House II)

 

Biorhythm (TV Mystic Series)

 

Thanks to Jean-Felix Monin for the MPT-02 games list

 

 

> LINKS AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

RCA Studio II :
How to build your own switchbox
The RCA Studio 2 emulator home page (very complete information !)
Jack Spencer Jr's RCA Studio II FAQ
Computer Closet Collection (thanks for pictures)



  
       
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