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Video Game Hardware: Vectrex
Primary Name
Vectrex
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Release Date
1982-11-01
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ObjectID: 93925
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Description Edit | History

The Vectrex was a vector display-based video game console that was developed by Western Technologies/Smith Engineering. It was licensed and distributed first by General Consumer Electric (GCE), and then by Milton Bradley Company after their purchase of GCE. It was released in November 1982 at a retail price of $199 ($440 compensated for inflation); as Milton Bradley took over international marketing the price dropped to $150 and then $100 shortly before the video game crash of 1983. The Vectrex exited the market in early 1984.

Unlike other non-portable video game consoles, which connected to televisions and rendered raster graphics, the Vectrex has an integrated vector monitor which displays vector graphics. The monochrome Vectrex uses plastic screen overlays to generate color and various static graphics and decorations. At the time, many of the most popular arcade games used vector displays, and GCE was looking to set themselves apart from the pack by selling high-quality versions of games such as Space Wars and Armor Attack.

Vectrex comes with a built in game, the Asteroids-like Minestorm, which some claim was reason enough to buy a Vectrex system. Two peripherals were also available for the Vectrex, a light pen and a 3D imager.

The Vectrex was also released in Japan under the name Bandai Vectrex Kousokusen.

While it is a mainstay of disc-based console systems today, the Vectrex was part of the first generation of console systems to feature a boot screen, which also included the Atari 5200 and Colecovision.

Source: Wikipedia, "Vectrex," available under the CC-BY-SA License.

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Vectrex
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Vectrex
Rel Date: 1982-11-01
Manufacturer: Milton Bradley
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Video Game Hardware Rank: 32
Num Ratings: 5
Average Rating: 8.10 Ratings Breakdown
Standard Deviation: 1.43
Num Views: 798
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