Vectrex - 01

Vectrex is one of the most inspired video game machines ever produced
(but similar things were said about the Edsel and Titanic).
Its point of distinction is the fact that it uses vector "line" graphics
(as opposed to raster "pixel" graphics).
This is the same type of screen used in such arcade classics as Space Wars,
Asteroids, Battlezone and Tempest.
The machine has a 9 x 11 inch black and white screen and comes with a
built-in Asteroids clone called Minestorm.
The games come with plastic overlays that slide over the screen to cut down
on flicker and give some illusion of color.
It uses one of the most advanced 8 bit processors, the 68A09
(6809 with 1.5MHz clock speed), and a popular and excellent sound chip,
General Instruments AY-3-8192, which can produce a wide range of noises.
Also included is a 1.5 inch, self-centering, joystick with 4 buttons
on the right.
It uses an analog/potentiometer system allowing differing degrees of
directional input.

The machine's footprint takes up a little less than a square foot on a desk
(in fact, it quite resembles a jet black Macintosh SE sans mouse and keyboard),
and can be operated easily in that area.
The joystick is connected via a springy telephone-like cord and can be folded
into the base of the machine for portability.
The machine is moderately transportable and very well constructed but, alas,
very much extinct.
It made its debut late in 1982 and was quite scarce by the end of 1984 due to
the Great Video Game Depression of '82 which forced Milton Bradley (who bought
the rights to the Vectrex from General Consumer Electronics (GCE)) to
discontinue production due to to poor sales.
After this, the rights to the Vectrex and all related materials were returned
to the original developers, Smith Engineering.
Smith Engineering has graciously condoned the not-for-profit circulation of
any duplicatable materials including games and manuals and is happy to see
it is still 'alive' in certain circles.

Here are some more detailed snippets from the service manual:

As a general description, the HP3OOO is a self-contained video game system
intended for home use.
The system includes its own 9" B&W monitor screen and 3" permanent magnet
Plug-in ROM type cartridges are available offering arcade type video and
sound game play.
No external TV receiver hookup is needed or provided for.
A front panel storable controller allows control over the game via joystick
and push button action switches.
For two player operation a second controller identical to the single player
controller is available as an accessory product.
Both controllers attach to the main game console through nine wire coiled
telephone style cables.
There is a consumer power switch/volume control on the front panel as well
as a game reset button.
A consumer adjustable brightness control is located on the main console
rear housing.


Manufacturer MB Name Vectrex
Type Console Origine USA
Introduction Date ??? End of production ???
Built in Language ??? Keyboard None
CPU ??? Speed ???
Coprocessor ??? Amount of Ram ???
Vram ??? Rom ???
Text Modes ??? Graphic Modes ???
Colors Black & White Sound ???
Size / Weight ??? Built in Media Cartridges
I/O Ports Cartridge slot, 2 Joysticks OS -
Power Supply Internal Introduction Price ???
Sold ??? Serial Number ???
Other Extras 5 games + overlays Bought Where Assenede
Bought When October 4, 2002 Condition Good
Price Paid 60 Specs of my Model -
Setup Today -

Front View Back View

Serial Number Luc testing the Vectrex


Bought via an ad in "de koopjeskrant" on 04/10/02 (Assenede)
Paid 60

Came with 5 games and the overlays