Consoles

Manufacturer: Atari

Model:  2600 VCS

Released:  1978 (UK)

Info: The Atari 2600 had the longest commercial life time of any console ever. The first game, Combat, was released along side the machine in 1977 and the last, Ghostbusters II, came out in 1992. An incredible 15 years later!

Manufacturer: Atari

Model:  5200

Released:  1982 (USA)

Info: The Atari 5200 is basically just an Atari 400 computer in a console case with redsigned, and much criticised, analogue controllers. This is one reason why the machine was so big, bulky and expensive. A smaller version was planned but scrapped along with support for the machine when Atari was sold to the Tramiels. The machine was never sold outside the US.

 

Manufacturer: Atari

Model:  7800

Released:  1987 (UK)

Info: Known as the 7800 ProSystem in North America it was the first ever backwards compatible console. After an intial test release in 1984, where it sold out very quickly, the machine had to wait another 2 years for a full release due to arguments over rights in the Atari takeover.

 
Manufacturer: CBS

Model:  Colecovision

Released:  1982

Info: The machine, its games and 3rd party releases for other consoles by Coleco were all handled by CBS Electronics in Europe. The original machine is actually very similar to Sega's SG-1000 console and many games have been ported between the two.

 
Manufacturer: Mattel

Model:  Intellivion

Released:  1980

Info: The first big rival to Atari's then VCS console the Intellivision actually features a 16-bit CPU! Although running at less than 1mhz with graphics barely better than Atari's machine it's a great example of bits meaning nothing!

 

 
Manufacturer: Milton Bradley

Model:  Vectrex

Released:  1983

Info: The MB Vectrex is still the only console to this day to be released with its own proprietary monitor. This was used to display its revolutionary vector graphics. It also sported analogue thumbsticks on its controllers long before Nintendo's N64 console.

Vectrex Overdrive Controller  
Manufacturer: NEC

Model: TurboGrafx

Released:  1990 (UK)

Info: When NEC suddenly cancelled the UK & France release of their popular PC Engine console English company Telegames bought up all the stock and sold it through their mail order service. Based on the US model, and compatible with all US releases, it dropped the "16" part of the TurboGrafx name and was grey instead of black.

 
Manufacturer: Nintendo

Model:  NES

Released:  1987 (UK)

Info: Despite being very successful in both Japan and North America it failed to take the UK and Europe by storm and sold very poorly. By 1987 this system was too expensive, looked very dated and didn't have the arcade conversions that appealed to European gamers.

 
Manufacturer: Sega

Model:   Master System

Released:  1987 (UK)

Info: After Sega struck a deal with UK based Virgin Mastertronic the Sega Master System achieved in Europe and Australia what it couldn't in the US and Japan. It was an enormous success and continued to sell well as a budget console on the back of its big brother the Sega Megadrive.