I’m coming down the home stretch on this year’s Phosphor Dot Fossils video for OVGE, which will be close to 3 hours long (and will be available on DVD at the table this year), and this morning I hooked up my Fairchild Channel F and RCA Studio II consoles, both of which I acquired last year, to grab some of the last footage before I start editing. (I’m also going to grab some Vectrex stuff today, though that requires hooking up another camera for obvious reasons.)
The thing about the Channel F, when you hook it up, is that you quickly realize why, despite it being the first cartridge based video game system, it quickly fell to the Atari VCS. It has some unique controllers, but that’s about all it has going for it; the sound still comes from a speaker in the console itself (whose volume is permanently set at “too loud for something that just sits there and beeps”), and the games…well…they’re interesting academically. Which means that once I get the one-minute-or-so of footage that I need, that machine gets unplugged and put away again.
The Studio II, sadly, is an even worse story. It’s got a completely byzantine hookup – the machine gets its power from the RF adapter, which is where the AC adapter plugs in as well – and after all that, I find…that my Studio II doesn’t work.
Now, this is my own damned fault. I reeled in a massive haul of old games and consoles on eBay last year, and just due to time, I had never plugged this puppy in before. I’ve got a ton of games for it, but no working console to play them on. (By all accounts, I’m not missing much – the thing may be powered by the same processor that drove the Pioneer and Voyager probes, but you’d think this one had been a lot closer to Jupiter’s hard radiation than the spacecraft’s chips had.) Like the song says, all I get is video ga-ga.
The Channel F, Famicom, Atari Video Music and the Vectrex arrived in the same summer haul, and considering the age and wear on all of the above, I suppose I should be grateful that the Studio II is the only one that’s DOA. Ah well, the search begins anew – and here I thought the last machine I was looking for was a working Bally Astrocade. (Note how I’m prefacing that with “working” now.)
Alas, Studio II. We hardly knew ye.
So…no Studio II for the PDF DVD. Sorry about that. Maybe there’ll be another version next year. (Wait, that’s crazy talk.)