Telstar (game console)

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Telstar
Ctelstar.jpg
Manufacturer Coleco
Type Dedicated console
Generation First generation
Retail availability 1976-1978
Successor ColecoVision (1982-1984)

The Telstar is a series of video game consoles produced by Coleco from 1976 to 1978. Starting with Telstar Pong clone based on General Instrument's AY-3-8500 chip in 1976, there were 14 consoles released in the Telstar branded series. One million Telstar units were sold.[1]

Models[edit]

  1. Telstar (model 6040, 1976): Three Pong variants (hockey, handball, tennis), two paddle controllers fixed on console. This was the very first game to use the AY-3-8500 chip.[2]
  2. Telstar Classic (model 6045, 1976): Same as the Telstar, with deluxe wood case.
  3. Telstar Deluxe (1977): aka "Video World Of Sports", same as the Telstar but brown pedestal case with wood panel, made for Canadian market with French and English text.
  4. Telstar Ranger (model 6046, 1977): Four Pong variants (hockey, handball, tennis, jai alai) and two gun games (target, skeet), black and white plastic case, includes revolver-style light gun and separate paddle controllers. Uses the AY-3-8500 chip.
  5. Telstar Alpha (model 6030, 1977): Four Pong variants, black and white plastic case, fixed paddles. Uses the AY-3-8500 chip.
  6. Telstar Colormatic (model 6130, 1977): Same as the Telstar Alpha but with detached wired paddles as well as color graphics. Uses the AY-3-8500 game chip and the Texas Instruments SN76499N chip for color.
  7. Telstar Regent (model 6036, 1977): Same as the Telstar Colormatic but no color and black and white case.
  8. Telstar Sportsman (1978): Similar to Telstar Regent, but with an additional light gun and different setting switches.
  9. Telstar Combat! (model 6065, 1977): Four variations on Kee Games' Tank, four fixed joysticks (two per player), uses a General Instruments AY-3-8700 Tank chip.
  10. Telstar Colortron (model 6135, 1978): Four Pong variants, in color, built in sound, fixed paddles, uses AY-3-8510 chip.
  11. Telstar Marksman (model 6136, 1978): Four Pong variants and two gun games in color, larger light gun with removable stock, fixed paddles, uses AY-3-8512 chip.
  12. Telstar Galaxy: Separate joysticks and fixed paddles, uses AY-3-8600 game chip and AY-3-8615 color encoder.
  13. Telstar Gemini (1978): Four pinball games and two light-gun games in color, light gun, two flipper buttons on left and right sides of case, pinball launch button and field adjustment sliders on top, light gun, uses a MOS Technology MPS 7600-004 chip.
  14. Telstar Arcade (1977): Cartridge-based, triangular case includes light gun, steering wheel with gear shift, and paddles, one on each side. Each cartridge includes a customized MOS Technology MPS-7600 chip (one of these chips was the 004 used by the Gemini). The chip contained custom logic circuits driven by a basic processor which ran a very small program stored in ROM.

The large product lineup and the impending fading out of the Pong machines led Coleco to face near-bankruptcy in 1980[citation needed].

Telstar Alpha
Telstar Colormatic
Telstar Colortron
Telstar Arcade with cartridge n.1 on top

References[edit]

  1. ^ Herman, Leonard (1997). Phoenix: the fall & rise of videogames (2nd ed. ed.). Union, NJ: Rolenta Press. p. 20. ISBN 0-9643848-2-5. Retrieved 16 February 2012. Like Pong, Telstar could only play video tennis but it retailed at an inexpensive $50 that made it attractive to most families that were on a budget. Coleco managed to sell over a million units that year. 
  2. ^ http://colecomuseum.com/colecotelstar.php

External links[edit]