Watara Supervision

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Watara Supervision
Watara-Supervision-Tilted.jpg
The Watara Supervision.
Manufacturer Watara
Type Handheld game console
Generation Fourth generation
Release date 1992 (1992)
Introductory price $49.95
Media Supervision cartridges
Power 4 × AA batteries or 6V AC/DC adapter
CPU 8-bit 65C02 clocked at 4MHz
Display 160×160 pixel resolution, 4 shades of grey
Related articles Game Boy

The Watara Supervision (also known as the QuickShot Supervision in the UK) is a monochrome handheld game console, originating from Asia, and introduced in 1992 as a cut-price competitor for Nintendo's Game Boy.[1] It came packaged with a game called Crystball, which is similar to Breakout. One unique feature of the Supervision was that it could be linked up to a television via a link cable. Games played in this way would display in four colors, much like Nintendo's Super Game Boy add-on for the SNES.[1] A full color TV link was also in the works, but because of the Supervision's failure to make a major impression among gamers it was cancelled, along with the games which were in development for it.

Though the machine garnered some attention at launch (mainly due to the low price point for the machine and its games, which many felt might enable it to make inroads into Nintendo's market share) it was ultimately unsuccessful in unseating the Game Boy from its position as the world's most popular handheld. Reasons commonly cited are the poor quality screen which was prone to blurring and made following the action difficult, a general lack of games and the simplistic nature of those that were released.

Yet another problem was that most of the games that were available were developed in Taiwan or Hong Kong, meaning that fans of big-name Western and Japanese developers were underwhelmed by the apparent lack of support from these companies. Only a tiny handful of games were developed by third parties, including Sachen and the British developer B.I.T.S.. Up against Nintendo's list of popular franchises (Zelda, Mario, Metroid) and those of its third parties (Castlevania, Mega Man) - all of which eventually surfaced on the Game Boy - the Supervision's games were of little interest to most.

Marketing[edit]

To keep their costs down, Watara farmed out the international marketing and distribution to third parties leading to various versions including the QuickShot Supervision, Travell Mate, Hartung SV-100, and Electrolab in Argentina, under two different models: the Supervision (in a form factor resembling Nintendo's Game Boy) and the Hipervision. In Taiwan, it was released as the 泰可BOY (Tiger Boy).[1] The QuickShot version differed from the original Watara format by having the console body split into two parts enabling the screen to be tilted in relation to the control section.[1]

In the mid 1990s, the Supervision was once offered as a final prize on the television game show Legends of the Hidden Temple. It was also offered as a prize on the premiere of the similarly short-lived The New Price is Right in 1994.

The Supervision model released without the tilting screen.

Quickshot's UK version of the Supervision was heavily featured for a time on ITV's gaming show Bad Influence![1] Presenter Violet Berlin could be seen playing a Supervision in many of the show's publicity photos.

Technical specifications[edit]

  • CPU: 8-bit 65C02 processor, running at 4 MHz
  • Screen: 61 mm × 61 mm (2.37 inches × 2.37 inches), 160 × 160 pixels, 4 greys LCD.[1] There was no hardware video acceleration, graphics had to be drawn by software to a framebuffer.
  • Sound: 2 Tonal and 1 Noise Channel plus additional audio DMA stereo output channel. Built-in speaker and headphone jack with stereo earphones included.
  • Power: 4 × AA batteries or 6V AC/DC adapter
  • Communication port: Two Player Link using DE-9 connector.
  • Cartridge port
  • Controls for 1 Player
  • TV adapter (optional)
  • Tiltable Screen (2 positions)

List of games[edit]

Main titles[edit]

# Title Developer(s) Release year
1 Alien Watara 1992
2 Balloon Fight Thin Chen Enterprise 1992
3 Block Buster Watara 1992
4 Brain Power Watara 1992
5 Bubble World Bon Treasure 1992
6 Carrier Watara 1992
7 Cave Wonders Bon Treasure 1992
8 Challenger Tank Watara 1992
9 Chimera Watara 1992
10 Chinese Checkers Sachen 1992
11 Classic Casino Bon Treasure 1993
12 Climber Bon Treasure 1992
13 Crystball Watara 1992
14 Dancing Block Thin Chen Enterprise 1992
15 Delta Hero Bon Treasure 1992
16 Devil Paradise Watara 1992
17 Dream World Bon Treasure 1992
18 Eagle Plan GTC 1991
19 Earth Defender Bon Treasure 1992
20 Fatal Craft Bon Treasure 1992
21 Final Combat Thin Chen Enterprise 1992
22 Galactic Crusader Sachen 1992
23 Galaxy Fighter Thin Chen Enterprise 1992
24 Grand Prix Bon Treasure 1992
25 Happy Pairs Sachen 1992
26 Happy Race Sachen 1992
27 Hash Block GTC 1992
28 Hero Hawk Thin Chen Enterprise 1992
29 Hero Kid Watara 1992
30 Honey Bee Bon Treasure 1992
31 Jacky Lucky Bon Treasure 1992
32 Jade Legend Watara 1992
33 Jaguar Bomber Bon Treasure 1992
34 John Adventure Sachen 1992
35 Journey to the West Watara 1992
36 Juggler Bon Treasure 1992
37 Kabi-Island: Gold in Island Thin Chen Enterprise 1992
38 Kitchen War Bon Treasure 1992
39 Kung-Fu Street Thin Chen Enterprise 1993
40 Linear Racing Watara 1992
41 Ma Jong Watara 1992
42 Magincross Thin Chen Enterprise 1992
43 Matta Blatta B.I.T.S. 1992
44 Olympic Trials Divide By Zero/B.I.T.S. 1992
45 P-52 Sea Battle Watara 1992
46 Pacboy & Mouse Watara 1992
47 Pacific Battle Bon Treasure 1992
48 Penguin Hideout Thin Chen Enterprise 1992
49 Police Bust Bon Treasure 1992
50 PoPo Team Sachen 1992
51 Pyramid Thin Chen Enterprise 1992
52 Recycle Design Bon Treasure 1992
53 Scaffolder Bon Treasure 1992
54 Soccer Champion Watara 1992
55 Sonny Xpress! Watara 1992
56 Space Fighter Bon Treasure 1992
57 Sssnake B.I.T.S. 1992
58 Super Block Bon Treasure 1992
59 Super Pang Sachen 1992
60 Super Kong Thin Chen Enterprise 1992
61 Tasac 2010 Thin Chen Enterprise 1992
62 Tennis Pro '92 B.I.T.S. 1992
63 Thunder Shooting Thin Chen Enterprise 1992
64 Treasure Hunter Bon Treasure 1992
65 Untouchable Bon Treasure 1992
66 Witty Cat Bon Treasure 1992

Multi-game titles[edit]

  • Block Buster/Cross High [2-in-1] (1992)
  • Hash Block/Eagle Plan [2-in-1] (1992; developed by Bon Treasure)
  • Hash Block/Jacky Lucky/Challenger Tank/Brain Power [4-in-1] (1992)

Preservation[edit]

Like many consoles, the Watara Supervision has lived on through emulation (see MESS). Cowering's Good Tools includes a tool called GoodSV, which catalogues 47 Supervision games in version 2.01.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Retro Console Review: Quickshot / Watara Supervision". RetroCollect. 2011-02-05. Retrieved 2011-11-06. 

External links[edit]