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Document Title: [FAQ-Pong.html (html file)]

The REAL "PONG" FAQ Version 1.02
                             10 Nov.1997
                      Creator & Maintainer: Sly D.C.

                       ***  Special Edition ***

O.K.,Here's the legal stuff:
Copyright (c) 1997, Sylvain De Chantal

All rights reserved.  This document may be copied, in whole or in part,
by any means provided the copyright and contributors sections remain
intact and no fee is charged for the information.  Contributors
retain the copyright to their individual contributions.

The data contained here in is provided for informational purposes
only.  No warranty is made with regards to the accuracy of some

You can find this FAQ on these newsgoups:

             - REC.GAMES.VIDEO.MISC

Or you can find it at Game FAQs "http://www.gamefaqs.com/"
             and on my homepage "http://www.chez.com/slydc/"

Additional contributions IS welcome! (really badly needed!!)
Please mail additional information,
opinions, and comments to : mailto --> "slydc@hotmail.com"

I hope that anybody will like it, It took me at least a year just
trying to find information of anykind about pongs...and in between,
my damn harddisk crashed and i lost precious data forever...

Many THANKS to all the persons who sent me comments, corrections
or informations! Please go see chap#5 for the credits roaster.

              Welcome to the REAL FAQ about "PONGS"

                      TABLE OF CONTENTS

              S.E) *** Special Edition ***
              0.0) New Facts
              1.0) PONG: The controversy of videogame history
              2.0) Pong systems specs
              3.0) PONGS LIST (far from complete!)
              4.0) The ODYSSEY: first home system
              5.0) Credits (in alphabet order)


S.E) * Special Edition *

Dear Readers, i made this Special Edition of my F.A.Q. because of a
truly important information that was given by Rene Meyer from Germany.

In his e-mail he stated that Mr. William A. Higinbotham had died in
1995, to be precise: November 10th 1995.

So, on the 10th November of this year('97), i'm asking to PLEASE give a
minute of silence in the HONOR of Willian A. Higinbotham, a GREAT man
has passed away 2 years now and it is with regret that he didn't been
more acknowledge more than he deserves. So in the honor of his memory,
i'll dedicate this F.A.Q. from now on to the one and only:


                  May the Gods be with you!

And for more information about William A. Higinbotham, PLEASE visit this
site: "http://www.fas.org/cp/pong_fas.htm"

0.0) New Facts
** The new informations in the section Special Edition will be added in
the next version(V1.03) and descriptions about pong systems.

**Thanks to Rene Meyer to let me know for Mr.W.A.Higinbotham (to what
has become of him)and were to find information about this great man!

**Apologies to Doug Manegre (DougM) as refering his pal name's
"Mike DOUGerthy" to the credit roaster even if he thinks it was funny.

**Want more information about the Company Magnavox from the "Odyssey 1"
to the "Odyssey 2" ??? Then please go see this new site:

         Inherent Mirth : "http://home.neo.lrun.com/skg/"

This site creator's name is "Shaun Gegan aka loomis" and he evens has
a "Odyssey 1 F.A.Q." that has a lot more information about this unit
that i have in my own F.A.Q.!

**And for last, the Maverick(want real name please!), Sam Z...? and
Alan Watkins wrote to me that a Pong unit from Radio Shack has the
number "60-3061". They were right! I now possess this unit in a mint
condition with the manual and the box intact!

** New inputs about the Bentley Compu-Vision:this unit was released in
Europe and in the U.S. and it was licensed by Magnavox. Chuck ??? from
Video Game Oasis said that it was released in 1983???  WHAT???
Need more information about the date...

** And PLEASE people, i need more dates in the pong list...help!!

1.0) PONG: The controversy of videogame history

                         History Lesson 101:

Many people out there thinks that the ATARI PONG was the first system
and that NOLAN BUSHNELL is THE FATHER of video games.........WRONG !!

Instead of doing the usual recap of history, i'm going to tell about
the history of each person responsible of what we call "Video Games".

Let start by -->"THE CREATOR"<-- of the "First Video Game" ever !!!

It's all began in 1958, a person by the name of "Willy Higinbotham",
who was a physicist, made a WORKING model and not even with a single
transistor, but with vacuum tubes! (of course, transistors did existed at
that time, the transistor was created by William Shockley, John Bardeen,
and Walter Brattain of Bell Labs in 1947).

His "Tennis" game-type was exposed at the Brookhaven National Laboratory
for almost TWO years, and his game was more sophisticated than the ATARI
PONG itself !! (yes-that's true! don't believe me? Ask EGM magazine or
the Brookhaven National Laboratory!)

Now, please remember that "Willy Higinbotham" is THE FATHER that created
the first video game, i hope that many of you will correct any history
about video games. I wonder what happened to this guy ? Is he still
alive ? And if he still alive, it would be great to get an interview !
I really like to thank him for what he's done since almost anybody
don't know about his work and he didn't get any credit for inventing
the TRULY first video game, but in my book, he is THE creator !

Now the SECOND most important person, his name is "Steve Russell".

MIT student in 1961, creates "Spacewar"(the second video game), is the
first interactive computer game on a Digital PDP-1 computer.

The game is to control two tiny spaceships, one called the "WEDGE" and
the other called the "NEEDLE" ,they battles around a tiny dot in the
middle of the screen that represent the Sun. The game featured an
accurate portrait of physics in outer space. Another student even
corrected the star fields in the background to the scale !!

But Russell made a mistake, he never filed for a copyright. He thought
that it cost too much to try to market his game, he was right about this.
Only few computers could run his game in this time, and at a cost of
$120,000 for a PDP-1, it was too much to put in arcades.
His game almost faded away forever if it wasn't for the employees of
Digital Equipment who used it to test their computers while installing
them for customers. Customers received the game as a gift. (Notice how
FATE is unpredicable ? First Willy's game was unheard of, and Steve's
game almost dissapeared to nothingness if not "Nolan Bussnell" who
later [in 1962] becomes addicted to the game...we almost didn't get
video games, if it wasn't for Nolan who craved "Spacewar" so much,
and for his ideas and his visions; you, me and many people wouldn't had
the pleasure to discover a new invention called "Video Games", and
you wouldn't be reading this FAQ as a matter of fact !!)

The THIRD most important person's name is "Ralph Baer".

Working for a military contractor called Sanders Associates, in New
Hampshire in 1966, he had an idea for a new use for televisions. He
decided to create a console that would enable people to play electronic
games on their television sets.

Baer's first game was about putting out fires. The game involved a red
box representing a house that was on fire. Players controlled the game
with a lever that represented a water pump. If they pumped the lever fast
enough, the box turned blue, meaning the fire was extinguished.

In 1967, Baer added a fun-loving engineer named Bill Rusch to his team.
Rusch, came up with a better concept. In his game, players used "paddles"
to catch and toss a dot across the screen. Rusch eventually modified the
paddles so that they rejected the ball. Instead of playing catch, Rusch's
game now played tennis.

Eventually, in 1971, Baer sold his game machine to Magnavox.
Magnavox accepted Baer's technology but ignored his vision. Baer wanted
to create a simple device that could retail for under $20; Magnavox
programmed 12 games into the system, dressed it up with playing cards
and plastic overlays that players could put on their television screens,
and charged $100. They called the system the Odyssey.

The first prototypes of the Odyssey were finished in early 1972. In May,
Magnavox started demonstrating them around the country at private
showings. Toward the end of the month, the Odyssey was shown at a trade
show in Burlingame, Calif., just outside of San Francisco. One of the
people who attented at the show was a young engineer named Nolan
Bushnell, he saw the Odyssey and the games that it could played, and ONE
of those game cought Bushnell's eyes...

Now for the FORTH and not the least, "Nolan Bushnell".

Student at the University of Utah in 1962, became addicted to "Spacewar"
Russell's game. He liked the game so much that in 1970, two years after
his graduation, took his daughter's bedroom and converted it into a
workshop in which he could create an arcade version of the game.

His firts idea was to use a computer, prices of computers had dropped
sharply by this time but they still cost far too much to use in arcades.
But Instead of using a computer, he built a device that could only play
"Spacewar" with cruder graphics which he recalled it "Computer Space".

Later in 1971, he sold the idea to Bill Nutting, owner of Nutting
Associates. Nutting hired Bushnell to oversee the creation of Computer
Space while working on other engineering projects. They began to ship
the game by the end of 1971, but Computer Space was a failure. They
sold about 500 to 1,500 machines.

Bushnell left Nutting Associates, formed a partnership with a friend
named Ted Dabney and opened a new company called Syzygy but saw that the
name already belonged to another company, so he chose - Atari.

Atari's first product was a game called PONG, an electronic tennis match
in which players batted a square ball back and forth with rectangular
paddles. Created by engineer Al Alcorn(and NOT by Nolan Bushnell but
helped with the game since he saw the "Tennis" game the Odyssey only a
few weeks ago at the trade show in Burlingame.)

It was a simple game with minimal instructions: "Avoid missing ball
for high score." Bushnell and Alcorn placed a prototype of their game in
Andy Capp's Tavern, a Sunnyvale, California bar.

Two weeks after installing the game, Alcorn got a late-night phone call
from the manager of the bar. The game had broken down, and he wondered if
he could fix it. When Alcorn went to check the machine, he found a most
unusual problem. There were so many quarters jammed into the coin drop
that the game had stopped working. Within a few months, Ramtek, Nutting,
and several other companies released imitations of Pong. Magnavox sued
Atari for infringing on Baer's patents and ended up paying Magnavox
$700,000 !!!(This is it,the FIRST VIDEOGAME COURT BATTLE !!)

In 1973, Eight to ten thousand units are made, Pong is an unprecedented
success. Ted Dabney panics about competition and sells half is share to
Bushnell. Bushnell forms Kee Games (named after Joe Keenan) to provide
"competition" for Atari.

In 1974, Atari began work on Home Pong, proposed by Harold Lee, a consumer
version of the popular arcade game that could be played on a television
set. Lee, Alcorn, and an engineer named Bob Brown develop the product.
Because of the Odyssey's poor sales record, no retailers are interested
in carrying the Atari Pong console, a tiny black and white box with two
mounted paddle controller dials.

In 1975, After being turned down by toys, electronics and department
stores, an Atari executive reached Tom Quinn, from Sears, Roebuck. After
several meetings with Bushnell, he ordered 150,000 Home Pong consoles for
Christmas, and the console is badged with the Sears Tele-Games logo.

By January 1976, Home Pong had become the new champion. Attracted by
Atari's success, several companies release home video game consoles.
Because of a rush on circuits, only Coleco receives its full order in
time. Based on technology largely similar to the Pong machine, Coleco's
Telstar Pong machine debuts. And a new menace for pongs systems is born:
the Fairchild Channel F, the first programmable home game console, and
not long after the RCA Studio 2 made it's appearence.

By 1977, Atari released a game system that change videogames forever:
the Atari 2600vcs. Bally released the Astrocade in 1978. By the end
of '78, pongs became boring to play and companies ended producing and
marketing them since people wasn't bying them anymore. The fate of Pong
has been sealed and "died" without remorse.....fate can be cruel.

***** Here's what Glenn Saunders wrote: *****

When looking at history it's a subjective thing as to who was more or less
important in the history of videogames.  But if it were not for the true
visionary entreprendeurs, the inventors would probably not even be
footnotes in history, because their ideas would never leave the garage or
the PDP-1 computer-room.

Revising history regarding Pong is fine, but also realize that Nolan
Bushnell really wound up building a better mousetrap and he had a much
better idea of how to start a videogame company than Magnavox.

I think it is unfair to take away his throne of being the father of
videogames simply because he didn't invent Space War or Pong.  And
lawsuits are common in Silicon Valley.  Other companies have settled with
Atari over THEIR intellectual copyrights, including Activision.  Whatever
lack of innovation Nolan had at the start by making a raster version of
Space War and a clone of Pong was definitely made up for by the time the
2600 was sweeping the floor with Magnavox's Odyssey^2 and the arcades
were filled almost exclusively with Atari/Kee Games product.

The house that Nolan built had a solid foundation of talented engineers
and programmers who, to me, were far more influential in popularizing
arcade and home videogaming than anything Ralph Baer or Magnavox did.

##Do you think i was to harsh on Mr.Bushnell or that i was right ??

I can more or less agree with Glenn input but everybody has his or her
own way at looking at things, life, history, and so on...

I agree that was a wee-bit hard on Mr.Bushnell case, that i didn't
acknowledge more on Nolan Bushnell since he brought us the Atari 2600
and all the Classics !! But since it's a F.A.Q. and History about "Pongs"
(and not the whole video game industry history), i only wrote what i
needed for this F.A.Q. (sorry! but that that's!)


2.0) Pong system specs
Well, to tell you the truth, there isn't really much specification about
"PONG" systems, the Odyssey 1 has no microchip, it was made with transis-
tors. A microchip called the "AY-3-8500", made by General Instrument in
1975?, was THE chip that Coleco installed in their "PONG" system and that
many manufactuers did based their systems on this chip, more than 75 other
companys had issued similar video game units.

Mainly, "PONG" systems has :
- power ON/OFF
- 2 "paddles"(turning knobs, levers, sliders...)- up to 4
- RESET button
- SELECT GAME button or switch
- BAT SIZE (small/large) switch (may or not)
- BALL SPEED (slow/fast) switch (may or not)
- SLICE (min/max) switch (may or not)
- SERVE button or switch(manual/auto)(may or not)
- Color or Black&White
- 2 player generally (but can be 1 to 4 players)
- PISTOL or GUN (may or not)

and usually has those type of games:

and some has those type of games:

*** P.S. I'm trying to find the specs of the "AY-3-8500", i know it's a
16-pin chip but that's all, it's so outdated even my electronics books
doesn't list it anymore !!  -- HELP !! --


This list is very,very far from complete !
Any informations, inputs, contributions, descriptions or anything
related to PONG systems will be GREATLY appreciated !!!!!
They may be errors in this list, but trying to list pong systems
that are outdated between 20 & 25 years ago isn't easy !!!

# of NORTH AM Systems: 104
# of EUROPEAN Systems: 027          Total for Now: 160 !!
# of JAPANESE Systems: 029

NORTH AM Systems (U.S. & CANADA)    Company                  YEAR
Adversary 370                       National Semiconductor   1976
APF TV FUN Model 401                APF Electronics
APF TV FUN Model 402                APF Electronics
APF TV FUN Model 405                APF Electronics
APF TV FUN Model 442                APF Electronics
APF TV FUN Model 444                APF Electronics
APF TV FUN Model 500                APF Electronics
Apollo 2001                         Entreprex                1978
Bag-A-Tel                           Calfax
Colorgame                           Intercon Marketing Corp.
Compu-Vision                        Bentley
Conic model TVG 101-4               Conic
Conic model TVG 102-4               Conic
DIGITEK 2001                        Digitek Electronics      1976
Face-Off Hockey/Soccer              Executive Games
Fantasia 101                        Fantasia
First Dimention Video System        Firts Dimention Corp.
Four-Way Video Game, model 1004     Concept 2000
Gamatic 7600                        Ridgewood
Gameroom Tele-Pong                  Entex
Glorytone                           Granada Electronics
Gorilla Game model TG-101           Santron
Gorilla Game model TG-102           Santron
Heatkit model GD-1999               Heath Co.
Hockey-Pong                         Atari
Nose T' Nose, model 1006            Concept 2000
Odyssey ???, model 4305             Magnavox
Odyssey [FIRST home video game]     Magnavox                 1972
Odyssey 100                         Magnavox                 1975
Odyssey 200                         Magnavox                 1975
Odyssey 300, model 7500             Magnavox                 1976
Odyssey 400, model 7516             Magnavox
Odyssey 500, model 7520             Magnavox
Odyssey 2000, model 7510            Magnavox                 1977
Odyssey 3000, model 7511            Magnavox
Odyssey 4000, model 7530            Magnavox                 1977
Paddle IV                           Roberts
Pong video game, Model C-100        Atari                    1975
PONG video game                     Atari                    1977
Quadtronics model Q376              Quadtronics
Quadtronics model Q476              Quadtronics
Rally IV                            Dyn Electronics
Ricochet, model mt1a                Microelectric Systems    1976
Ricochet Challenger, model mt3a     Microelectric Systems
Ricochet Champion, model mt2a       Microelectric Systems
Sands 2200 game                     ?????                    1977
SC 4000                             K-Mart
SC 8000                             Radolin
Stunt Cycle                         Atari
Super Pong, Model C-140             Atari
Super Pong 8000                     Visulex                  1976
Super Pong Ten, Model C-180         Atari
Superscore                          Videomaster
TANK                                Atari                    1977
Tele-Action Mini                    DMS
Tele-Games 80007                    Sears(made by Atari)
Tele-Games IV                       Sears(made by Atari)
Tele-Games Jokari                   Sears(made by APF)
Tele-Games Pinball Breakaway        Sears(made by Atari)
Tele-Games Pong Sports IV           Sears(made by Atari)
Tele-Games Speedway IV              Sears(made by Atari)
Tele-Games Super Pong IV            Sears(made by Atari)
Tele-Games Tennis-Hockey            Sears(made by APF)
Tele-Match 4, model 7700            Magnavox
Tele-Match, model 4400              Tele-Match
Tele-Match, model 6600              Tele-Match
Tele-Match, model 7700              Tele-Match
Tele-Pong, model 3047               Entex
Tele-Sports Mini                    DMS
Telecourt TV game                   Hometronics              1977
Telstar, model 6040                 Coleco                   1976
Telstar, model 6040(deluxe cabinet) Coleco
Telstar Alpha, model 6030           Coleco
Telstar Arcade (3 game in 1)        Coleco                   1975
Telstar Classic                     Coleco
Telstar Colormatic                  Coleco
Telstar Combat                      Coleco
Telstar Galaxy                      Coleco
Telstar Gemini                      Coleco
Telstar Marksman                    Coleco                   1978
Telstar Ranger, Model 6046          Coleco                   1977
Telstar Ranger Colormatic           Coleco
Telstar Regent                      Coleco
Tournament model 101                Unisonic
Tournament 2000                     Lafayette
Tournament-1000 TV game             Unisonic
Tournament-2000 TV game             Unisonic                 1976
TV PLUS 4 Four-Way Video Game       ?????
TV Sports 77                        Olympus Electronics
TV Sports 802                       Lloyd's
TV Sports 812                       Lloyd's
TV Sports 813 Color                 Lloyd's
TV Scoreboard #60-3055              Radio Shack
TV Scoreboard #60-3056              Radio Shack
TV Scoreboard #60-3057              Radio Shack
TV Scoreboard #60-3061              Radio Shack
Ultra Pong                          Atari
Video Action IV "Indy 500"          Universal Research Labs
Video Sport                         Federal Transistor Co.
Video Sports, model vsv-1           Venture Electronics
Video Pinball, Model C-380          Atari                    1977
Video-Pro                           Unitrex
Wonder Wizard 7702                  General Home             1976
?? pong ??                          Radofin

EUROPEAN Systems                    Company                  YEAR
6000 Colour TV Game                 Grandstand
Compu-Vision                        Bentley
Colour Game                         Interstate
CVG A10 9012                        ?????
Electronic TV Game 888G             Hanimex                  1977
Kahrlich Telegame                   ?????
Mk4 Game System                     Binatone
Mk6 Game System                     Binatone
Mk8 Game System                     Binatone
Model 1000                          Tandy
Model 1000 Sportsvision             Adman
SD-017f                             ITMC
Sensor-10                           Monarch                  1977
Super Tele-Sports                   Intel
Superscore                          SEB
Tournament Ten Pong System          Prinztronic
TV Spiel 1004                       Universum
TV Sports                           Soundic
VC 3000                             Interton
Video 2400                          Interton
Video 2501                          Interton
Video 2800                          Interton
Video 3000                          Interton
Video 3001                          Interton
Video Stellar 5 Jeux                ?????
Videojeu N20                        Philips
Videojeu N30                        Philips
?? pong ??                          Univox

JAPANESE Systems                    Company                  YEAR
AER-8700                            AER                      1977
CT-7600C                            ???                      1977
TVcolor model 7600                  ???                      1977
TV-FAN model 1301                   ???                      1977
TV-FAN model 1401                   ???                      1977
TV-FAN model 1501                   ???                      1977
TV-FAN model 1601                   ???                      1977
TV-FAN model 1602                   ???                      1977
TV-FAN model 1701                   ???                      1977
TV-FAN model 1801                   ???                      1977
TV-FAN model 1901                   ???                      1977
TV-FAN model 1902                   ???                      1977
TVGAME                              ???                      1977
TV-JACK 1000                        ???                      1977
TV-JACK 1200                        ???                      1977
TV-JACK 1500                        ???                      1977
TV-JACK 2500                        ???                      1977
TV-JACK 3000                        ???                      1977
TV-JACK 5000                        ???                      1978
TV-JACK 8000                        ???                      1978
TVmate BARON                        ???                      1977
TVmate CHAMPION                     ???                      1977
TVmate DUKE                         ???                      1977
TVmate KING                         ???                      1977
TVmate QUEEN (tvg8000)              ???                      1977
TVmate SUPER CAR                    ???                      1977
TY-TG40                             ???                      1977
Video Attack                        ???                      1977
Video Attack 7 (tg-7800)            ???                      1977


4.0) The ODYSSEY: first home system

The Odyssey (AKA Odyssey I) Came Out In 1972 and was invented by Ralph
Baer. It played a game almost identical to pong as well as a number of
additional games that required overlays and playing pieces. The Odyssey
had two removable controllers that allowed the user to control their
paddle in BOTH the x and y axis. In addition, the Odyssey came with 6
Cartridges that (along with a number of screen overlays, game boards and
cards) allowed the user to play a number of different games. As an
option, Odyssey owners could buy the "Shooting Gallery" which included
four more games and an electronic gun. The gun was simply light sensitive
and a score can be racked up quite easily by pointing it at your local
light bulb.

Name of games:                          Cart #:
Table Tennis                             01
Ski/Simon Says                           02
Tennis/Football/Hockey/Analogic          03
Football/Cat And Mouse/Haunted House     04
Submarine                                05
Roulette/States                          06

Shooting Gallery Electronic Rifle Games:
Prehistoric Safari
Shooting Gallery

It's interesting to note that future game cards were planned and there was
an accessory port. If you look at its innards-- There are NO Integrated
Circuits at all !! About 85,000 Odyssey's were sold in 1972 and about
20,000 rifles (apparently people believed you had to own a Magnavox
television for it to work which scared away some buyers). After that time,
the Odyssey sales fell due to the outbreak of competition.


5.0) Credits

Many thanks to these guys !!! If it wasn't for them or for their info,
this FAQ wouln't exist !!

* Dennis Brown
* Greg Chance
* Steve Cooper
* Dean Dierschow
* Phillippe Dubois
* Roger Earl
* Eric Hamel
* Kevan Heydon
* Robert A. Jung
* Steven Kent
* Jeremy Larsen
* Harold A. Layer
* Dan Mazurowski
* Doug Manegre (DougM)
* Rene Meyer
* Rico Quetzalcoatl
* Lee K. Seitz
* Glenn Saunders
* Pieter Verhallen
* Alan Watkins
* Sam Z...?
* Jason "Kaotic Page" (???)
* the Maverick (???)
* EGM Magazine
* the Japanese Classic Videogame Station Odyssey
* the defunct Arton's Pong Page
* and some few people that i lost their name and some
  info due to my harddisk crash.....

Sylvain D.C. "slydc@hotmail.com"