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]

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

Models[edit]

Telstar models
Unit name Model and chip Release date Games Description Size Cite
Telstar No.6040
AY-3-8500
1976 Two fixed paddles. Games are Pong variants. [2]
Telstar Classic No.6045
AY-3-8500
1976
  • hockey
  • handball
  • tennis
Two fixed paddles. Deluxe wood case. [citation needed]
Telstar Deluxe
(a.k.a. "Video World Of Sports")
AY-3-8500 1977
  • hockey
  • handball
  • tennis
Two fixed paddles. Brown pedestal case with wood panel. Made for Canadian market with French and English text. [citation needed]
Telstar Ranger No.6046
AY-3-8500
1977 Black and white plastic case, includes Colt 45-style light gun and separate paddle controllers. Four ball games, two target games. Special features of the four ball games include automatic serve and variable paddle and speed control for three experience levels (beginner, intermediate, and professional). Uses six C batteries or an optional AC adapter, light gun requires one nine-volt battery. 4 lb.
17.5×6×8 in.
[3]:22
[4]:35
Telstar Alpha No.6030
AY-3-8500
1977
  • hockey
  • handball
  • tennis
  • jai alai
Black and white plastic case, fixed paddles. The games feature an automatic serve function and variable settings for three skill levels (beginner, intermediate, and pro). Uses six C batteries. 2.5 lb.
13.5×3.5×7.5 in.
[3]:17
[4]:34
Telstar Colormatic No.6130
AY-3-8500
Texas Instruments SN76499N (color)
1977
  • hockey
  • handball
  • tennis
  • jai alai
Black and white plastic case, detached wired paddles. Color graphics - each game is a different color. The games feature an automatic serve function and variable settings for three skill levels (beginner, intermediate, and professional). Uses six C batteries. 2.5 lb.
13×6.5×7.5 in.
[3]:18
Telstar Regent No.6036
AY-3-8500
1977
  • hockey
  • handball
  • tennis
  • jai alai
Black and white plastic case, detached wired paddles. The games feature an automatic serve function and variable settings for three skill levels (beginner, intermediate, and professional). Uses six C batteries. 2.5 lb.
13.5×4×8 in.
[3]:18
Telstar Sportsman AY-3-8500 1978 Black and white plastic case, detached wired paddles, and light gun. [citation needed]
Telstar Combat! No.6065
General Instruments AY-3-8700 Tank chip
1977
  • Combat
  • Night Battle
  • Robot Battle
  • Camouflage Combat
Four fixed joysticks (two per player). Games are variations on Kee Games' Tank. Uses six C batteries or an optional AC adapter. 5.5 lb.
15×8×10.5 in.
[3]:23
[4]:37
Telstar Colortron No.6135
AY-3-8510
1978
  • Tennis
  • Hockey
  • Handball
  • Jai-alai
In color, built in sound, fixed paddles. Games are Pong variants and feature variable settings for three skill levels (beginner, intermediate, and pro). Uses two nine-volt batteries or an optional AC adapter. 1 lb.
2×11.25×4 in.
[4]:34
Telstar Marksman No.6136
AY-3-8512
1978
  • Tennis
  • Hockey
  • Handball
  • Jai-alai
  • Skeet
  • Target
In color, larger light gun with removable stock, fixed paddles. Four Pong variants and two gun games. Uses two nine-volt batteries or an optional AC adapter. 1 lb.
2×11.25×5 in.
[4]:36
Telstar Galaxy AY-3-8600 (games)
AY-3-8615 (color encoder)
Separate joysticks and fixed paddles [citation needed]
Telstar Gemini MOS Technology MPS 7600-004 1977
  • Four pinball games
  • 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. [citation needed]
Telstar Arcade MOS Technology MPS-7600 (each cart) 1977 Cartridge-based, triangular case includes light gun, steering wheel with gear shift, and paddles, one on each side. 4 lb.
7.5×18×16 in.
[3]:28
[4]:37–38

References[edit]

  1. ^ Herman, Leonard (1997). Phoenix: the fall & rise of videogames (2nd 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
  3. ^ a b c d e f Kaplan, Deeny, ed. (Winter 1978). "The Video Games". Video (Buyer's Guide) (Reese Communications) 1 (1): 17–30. ISSN 0147-8907. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f Kaplan, Deeny, ed. (Winter 1979). "Video Games". Video (Buyer's Guide) (Reese Communications) 2 (1): 33–42. ISSN 0147-8907. 

External links[edit]