100% developed

Bally Astrocade

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History[edit]

The City of Chicago in 1974, where Midway was based.

The Bally Arcade was originally developed by Midway.[1][2] Midway had been producing machines for amusement arcades since 1958,[3][4] giving the console significant pedigree.

Announced in 1977, the Bally Astrocade was launched in April of 1978 at a cost of $299.[5][6][7] The launch of the console was somewhat botched by an initial attempt to sell the console through mail order and specialty computer shops rather then at traditional retail outlets.[5] The Bally Astrocade was known for its high end graphical capabilities while on the market as late as 1982.[2]

Columbus, Ohio in 1980.

A Bally Astrocade was used in the development of the early digital art piece Digital TV Dinner by Jamie Faye Fenton, which was broadcast on television in 1978.[8] While not a game itself, this early piece of digital art utilized game glitches to create a meaningful artistic experience worthy of public distribution. This was also among the first notable exhibitions of glitch art.[8]

The Astrocade was later acquired by Astrovision, a company based in Columbus, Ohio.[1][2] The system was on the market until 1984 or 1985,[5][6][7] a fairly long time on the market for a console of this generation.

Technology[edit]

The Bally Astrocade has an 8-bit Z80 CPU clocked at 3.579 megahertz.[5][7] The Astrocade has 4 kilobytes of RAM.[7] The system has an 8 kilobyte ROM which is loaded with four software applications.[9]

Early models of the system were especially prone to overheating, though all units suffered from cooling issues.[10]

Gallery[edit]

Console[edit]

Internals[edit]

References[edit]