In 1977, a new type of ball and paddle system was launched: Video Pinball. This game also existed in the arcade under the same name, hence the home versions sold by Atari (Video Pinball, model C-380) and Sears (Pinball Breakaway, model 99713). There even was a japanese version, the Epoch TV Block.
These systems were designed around a more advanced chip than the PONG-in-a-chip devices, possibly a microcontroller (believed, since the system also contains a small RAM chip which role is unknown, but believed to be for the display and/or score storage). The microcontroller is referred as C011500-1, although the system uses another Atari chip referenced C011512-05.
The games played are based around the pinball and breakout principles. Bumper controllers on the sides or a dial on the front were used to control the games. Depending on the game selected, the ball bounces on two bumpers (pinball games), or on a pad that moves horizontally (pinpaddle games), or just like in breakout. Obviously, each game had its own principles. In reality, the system played three different games.
The first one had four variants and was a pinball game. Some graphics and the type of bounce changed. Depending on the variant, you controled the ball with your flippers (via side buttons) or by moving a paddle with the knob. In the flipper versions, the ball had nice parabolic movement affected by the gravity whereas in the paddle versions, there was no gravity.
The second game was a basketball game. The ball bounced on a pad moved horizontally, and the goal was to let the ball go in a multicolor basket.
The third type of game was breakout. There was another variant called Breakway/Breakthru, the only difference between the two versions being a hole in the wall in place of the green bricks. Top red bricks could only be destroyed if the ball was coming directly from the paddle. This second version was only found on early models (read below).
Like said above, Atari and Sears marketed their own version (both designed by Atari), and Atari even released a latter cheaper model with a slightly different beige case.
The second basketball game (Basketball II/ Rebound II) was only found on the latter version of the Atari Video Pinball (beige model) and on the Epoch TV-Block. Early versions of the Atari Video Pinball and the Sears Pinball Breakaway had the second version of the Breakout game instead, called Breakway or Breakthru.
Thank you Bryan and John for your responses. I got the part. It converted the wire from the atari and to coaxial. It was a box. It was similar to a nintendo rf adapter except it has a switch. It still didnt work so I would have to troubleshoot it. Are there any common problem on the one with the plastic (not wood) shell to look out for?
Wednesday 12th September 2012
Yes Brian is right. Very counter intuitive. It is putting out an antenna signal on an RCA jack. Need RCA to "cable" adapter. No change in inductance or whatever. I believe I got one at Radio Shack.
Friday 13rd July 2012
1. No, you can not use a yellow composite video to play this system. You must get an adapter that goes from your Atari (what looks like an RCA but is not) to your coax hook up on your TV. You coax is just your standard cable hook up. This is because both audio and video come through that come so it wont work hooked up to your RCA inputs. 2. $40-$70
Sunday 1st July 2012
Video Pinball (Model C-380)
BUILT IN SOFTWARE / GAMES
7 games pinball and breakout games (Flipper pinball 1, Flipper pinball 2, Paddle pinball 1, Paddle pinball 2, Rebound, Breakout, Breakthru)
1 big paddle built-in the case + 2 side buttons for pinball games
custom Atari chipsets (C011500-11 / C011512-05)
Yes (at least 6 colors)
Video output TV RF through switch box, power in
None, only built-in games
NUMBER OF GAMES
6 x C battery cells or external power supply (9v DC, 500 mA)