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Can the Vectrex really be considered Hand-held?

the vectrex is definitely not a handheld (i'll change that), though it was planned to release a handheld based on the vectrex

It's not even classifiable as a portable game system, though the term "luggable" would fit (much like the Apple IIc computer, introduced a few months later). The joystick folds inside the front of the unit, and there's a recessed handle grip at the top for lifting it up. Oddly there wasn't a place to store the permanently affixed power cord inside the case, or even hooks to wrap it around. No battery option either. I think it was designed to be carried around the house, room to room. Might want to add a mention of it's semi-portability in the article Apple2gs (talk) 00:02, 30 October 2009 (UTC)[reply]

3D Imager[edit]

The section on the 3D Imager currently seems a bit backwards. It starts out with the arcane technical details, and only at the end gets around to explaining what it's actually for. Clayhalliwell 22:32, 5 July 2006 (UTC)[reply]

the nintendo gameboy was released in 1989 so in 1988 the gameboy wasnt even released yet — Preceding unsigned comment added by Epotn (talkcontribs)

-It said that the 3D imager pre-dates the Segascope glasses by 6 years. The Segascope glasses were released in 1987 (see while the Imager came out in 1984. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:40, 29 October 2009 (UTC)[reply]

That is incorrect, the 3D imager was announced in '82 and released in '83. --Marty Goldberg (talk) 16:22, 29 October 2009 (UTC)[reply]


The game 'Minestorm' is built in to the console, and shouldn't be considered the 'Best Selling Game' as the sidebar claims as it was not available separately --UniqueCrash5 20:45, 1 August 2006 (UTC)[reply]

The reference links seem bad.. can it be replaced with something else? The fixed link for reference #2 can be found here: I do not know how to update the refrences to fix this

--Incady September 3, 2006 (UTC)

--I completely agree with UniqueCrash. Minestorm may have actually had the most copies distributed due to being included with the console, but nobody specifically bought 'Minestorm', so this statistic is very misleading. Since the aim of an encyclopedia is not to slavishly fill in data fields, but rather to convey the truth as well as we know it -- I think this 'top-selling' statistic should simply be left off. If you feel you disagree, I ask you to at least consider this. Does the phrase "Top-selling game: Minestorm" convey any accurate and useful information to a reader without inside information? If it doesn't, it should be qualified or it should go. I chose the latter, since I think rewriting it as 'Top-selling game: Minestorm (included)" is still somewhat misleading, since the useful information being conveyed doesn't really have anything to do with sales. The most relevant possible way to use this data field is to find the SECOND top-selling game (i.e. the top seller by TITLE not by inclusion with another product), and to write the field this way: "Top-selling standalone game: K.C. Munchkin" (as a completely irrelevant example). If we don't have this data, better just to delete it. The principle being, if you don't actually know the street directions, you will probably do more harm than good by dispensing sketchy, qualified advice.-- 01:31, 15 March 2007 (UTC)[reply]

Analog joysticks were really not that special[edit]

On home computers they were quite common. Every Apple II and IBM PC gamer had one. Mind you, on consoles it was a different story, but to portray the inclusion of an analog joystick as forward thinking in some way is misleading. The fact is, analog joysticks were a lot more common in general in the early '80s than they were by the '90s, when consoles had come to the fore and all decided to follow Nintendo's digital lead. So Nintendo itself took this backwards step, and then fixed it themselves a decade later. The reference to home computer joysticks that I added is probably enough to make this basically accurate but it's still a little bit overboard to portray the Vectrex's analog input as innovative for its time. Unusually advanced for a console, would be a better way to characterise it. (I don't mean to cast any doubt on the innovativeness of the system in general, though -- it was quite high.)-- 14:43, 20 April 2007 (UTC)[reply]

The FIRST analog sticks were on the programmable Interton VC 4000 from 1978, after that on Atari 5200 (1982). I think that error should be corrected here. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:26, 29 May 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Brightness control[edit]

Wouldn't this:

The Vectrex did not have any luminance control, but rather brightness was adjusted by drawing some lines more frequently than others.

be more accurately said as:

The Vectrex did not have any software luminance control, but rather brightness was adjusted by drawing some lines more frequently than others.

Palpalpalpal 19:43, 27 June 2007 (UTC)[reply]

"Illusion of color"[edit]

Did the overlays provide an "illusion" of color instead of filtering the monitor to display only certain colors? And how did it "reduce" flicker? Did the overlays include extra phosphors to increase the time the lines appeared?Alvis 09:39, 27 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]

To the best of my knowledge the overlays were simply (rigid) colored plastic sheets, nothing more. It'd be no different from taking a blue overhead transparency from an art supply store and plopping over the screen of an old black and white TV set. Instead of seeing the picture in shades of grey, you'd have a monochromic picture in shades of blue. It's still strictly a black and white TV set of course, that hasn't and won't change, but you're creating the illusion of a new color.
Interestingly the overlays were kind of like animation cells in a way. You had a plastic transparent sheet that they painted images on the backside in reverse, that would show up on the opposite side. Apart from that the sheet itself was usually dyed just one solid color, but for a few games they'd split dye the sheet in 3 different colors (sometimes in lined patterns) so you'd get interesting effects as passing lines on the screen lit up them up. Web Wars or Scramble come to mind. Created a kind of a psychedelic effect, but for the most part you wouldn't mistake it for a color display (the overlays were *NOT* some sort of RGB pass thru mechanism, if that's what you're asking). Incidentally the painted images and graphics on the sheet did not produce color (apart from the graphic design being color painted), it was the blank areas on the plastic sheet where the light would pass through.
The reduction in flicker came about because the light had to pass through a somewhat heavy sheet of dyed colored plastic. It reduces the intensity of the light passing through, much the same way they used to sell plastic anti-glare overlays for early computer displays (you used to see them on B&W Macintoshes, PC/XT's, 286 and 386 systems; they were transparent but dark tinted, to reduce light and cut down on glare and flicker). Apple2gs (talk) 09:36, 17 December 2007 (UTC)[reply]


Should it be "1.6 MHz" or "1.5 MHz"? The page contains two different CPU speeds for this console.--Juwayway 20:15, 7 November 2007 (UTC)[reply]

MineStorm vs. Mine Storm[edit]

I recently went through this article changing all the "MineStorm"s to "Mine Storm". User NukeofEarl then went through changing them all back, saying that most sources use this version, as does its specific wikipedia article. I didn't want to get into an edit war so have started a talk thing. I am calling for all instances of "MineStorm" to be replaced with "Mine Storm", including the title of its specific wikipedia article. The reason for this is there are the same number of sources using both variations, but the actual vectrex stuff uses two words. See the title screen at 7 seconds here: or the instruction manual which uses the two word version. Wikiditm (talk) 21:39, 20 July 2011 (UTC)[reply]

As a Vectrex owner and enthusiast, thought I'd share my two cents. This appears to be a case of how the name appears as stylized logo versus the official name, and in the case of the latter, it is "Mine Storm" (two separate words). The name "MineStorm" on the overlay and manual cover are a logo, and yes the name is in there, but it's the name presented within a logo. If you open the printed manual and thumb through the pages (specifically pages 6 and 7), it refers to the game as "Mine Storm". In my opinion, this is the official spelling of the name, and how it should appear in the article.
A good example comparison is the original Apple II computer. On the front of the case, the name logo was presented as "Apple ][" (using square brackets symbols), however in documentation the official name was "Apple II". Ditto for "Apple //e" and "Apple //c" which were always officially documented as "Apple IIe" and "Apple IIc". In the case of Wikipedia, I used "Apple II" over the stylized logo name (I'm the original author of those articles).--Apple2gs (talk) 23:35, 20 July 2011 (UTC)[reply]
I somehow overlooked this thread until now. I see it's been almost nine months since this was brought up, and the suggested changes have not been made. Did Wikiditm have second thoughts about his proposal, or what?--NukeofEarl (talk) 15:08, 19 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Development Details[edit]

I undid the removal of this section. People have told me that the Vectrex community would love to hear some of these.

How should these bee presented?

I did the design of the Vectrex vector monitor and was responsible for the system's electronic production packaging (circuit boards, etc)

John Ross (talk) 10:34, 19 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]

The information needs to be citations from reliable sources. Wikipedia, like any researched publication, needs to have an account of where its information came from. See WP: No original research.--NukeofEarl (talk) 15:18, 19 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Macintosh inspiriation?[edit]

The machine looks a lot like an early Macintosh computer. I wonder if any design inspiration was taken from either of the machines (both being in development at roughly the same time). (talk) 00:08, 25 June 2014 (UTC)-Sam, UK[reply]

While granted it does (particularly if you've ever seen a Mac Plus or SE painted all black; do a Google search for one) I've never heard of any official statement from designers that one inspired the other. I personally think the Vectrex was attempting to re-create the look of a classic stand up arcade cabinet. Tall vertical case, sunk in screen, flat extension in front for buttons and joystick (once you unlock and pull out the control panel/joystick). It even says "Arcade system" next to the name. I think GCE was going for a miniture arcade machine that was portable and could fit on a desk at home. As for the Mac, the Apple Lisa pre-dates it (started in 1979) and had a very similar design...well, more like a Mac on its side. If anything the Lisa inspired the Mac design. Likely just coincidence with regards to the Vectrex vs Macintosh but it would be interesting to hear what others think.
As for a section, or even a mention somewhere in the article, I don't think it would be justified without any official said from designers (you'd have to dig up a quote or find a reference). Otherwise it's just pointing out an opinion or visual observation.--Apple2gs (talk) 19:22, 25 June 2014 (UTC)[reply]

Technical specifications[edit]

I note the absence of video spec ? What's the size of the screen in pixels ? Did the 'lines' run vertically ? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:35, 28 March 2020 (UTC)[reply]

Discontinuation Discrepency[edit]

I wanted to note a discrepancy with the discontinuation date. I initially put it in the article directly, but reconsidered after finding contradictory sources, and wanted to note it here instead.

Two articles in the early-mid 1984 editions of the New York Times claim that the Vectrex was discontinued by the end of 1983.[1][2] However a later article in Electronic Games Monthly in September of 1984 (Pg. 82-84)[3] talks about the discontinuation of the Vectrex like it's a current event. It may be possible that the story went on the backburner, but it's unlikely it would go unpublished for several months. --Mbrickn (talk) 03:31, 7 August 2021 (UTC)[reply]

A January 30th, 1984 Wall Street Journal article reports on the Vectrex discontinuation, but doesn't give a precise date.[4] --Mbrickn (talk) 02:48, 8 August 2021 (UTC)[reply]
The discontinuation date of the Vectrex has always been a troublesome issue for me. It seemed odd that, as the status quo version of the article states, the Vectrex was supported for over six months into 1984 when every single game released for the system was supposedly released in 1982 or 1983. On the other hand, it seems even odder that, as The New York Times articles you bring up suggest, Milton Bradley discontinued the Vectrex without even seeing their first Christmas shopping season with the product through to the end.
I suspect the reason for the discrepancy lies in the ambiguity of the term "discontinuation". Perhaps Milton Bradley shut down all manufacturing and most software development at the end of 1983, and after half a year of just selling off as much of the existing stock as they could, they publicly acknowledged that the Vectrex was dead somewhere from April to July 1984. Looking at the events in retrospect, news sources could justifiable identify either late 1983 or mid-1984 as the discontinuation of the Vectrex. Obviously, though, there's no way to substantiate this hypothesis with the sources we presently have.--NukeofEarl (talk) 18:49, 8 August 2021 (UTC)[reply]
I'm also rather curious what the official discontinuation date of the Vectrex was, though I highly suspect 1983 was when at least manufacturing shutdown. As for the September 1984 article in Electronics Games magazine, note it says: "Ever since Milton Bradley folded its Vectrex operation earlier this year...", implies it was early 1984 when MB announced the Vectrex was discontinued. In fact, here's a newspaper article from February 1984 presumably talking about the demise of the Vectrex (unfortunately I can't read it all, as it's behind a pay wall). UPDATE: Ah, with some persistent searching and trickery, I found the contents of that blocked article, and pulled out this interesting paragraph:
"Meanwhile, Milton Bradley has decided to bail out after losing $31.6 million on Vectrex, a self-contained game machine that included a built-in television screen. The company will continue to honor outstanding warranties on Vectrex, but no new software will be introduced. Vectrex, which now sells for $99, soon will be unloaded at "fire sale prices," Charles Perrottet, Milton Bradley's vice president of corporate development, said in a telephone interview. He also said the company has sold its entire inventory to mass-market discount houses. Perrottet blamed Vectrex's failure on its late introduction."
So then, we now know by February 24, 1984, Milton Bradley had discontinued the Vectrex! MB states they sold off all their inventory of Vectrex and related items to liquidation and discount businesses. They ceased software development at that point too, and were only honoring warranties by then (parts and repair, a legal obligation companies must follow for a certain period of time after a product is discontinued). --Apple2gs (talk) 05:27, 10 August 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Thank you both for your help! This is enlightening and makes a lot more sense. --Mbrickn (talk) 04:25, 15 August 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Glad to contribute! There's still some small discrepancies though. There's mentions on several enthusiast sites that the Vectrex ended in Europe on March 31, 1984; some say manufacturing, other say sales, though I'd be inclined to believe the latter since it had already clearly failed by late 1983. I've also seen several mentions of "December 1984" being the official discontinuation date of the Vectrex, but that makes little sense, and from personal experience, I remember the Vectrex disappearing from Canada by early 1984, if not earlier.
I'll do some more digging and research but from what I can gather: By late 1983 Milton Bradley concluded it was a failure, and internally began shutting down operations, possibly even began liquidating its stock? (I'd be interested to know the exact date that happened!). By February 1984, MB made the official public announcement of its discontinuation and demise. By March 31, 1984 the European division of Milton Bradley liquidated its stock overseas (the North American version liquidated the previous month, or possibly even in 1983, it's not clear). Then, presumably, once the Hasbro merger completed in May 1984, the new company washed its hands of the Vectrex (though it would be interesting to know if they honored any repair warranties or customer support from May 1984 or later). The bottomline though, several newspapers ran that article with official the word from Milton Bradley that the Vectrex was done at the time of that writing. So February 1984 would stand as its discontinuation date (at least in the North American market).--Apple2gs (talk) 23:01, 17 August 2021 (UTC)[reply]


  1. ^ Wiggins, Phillip H. (5 April 1984). "TAKEOVER RUMORS SPUR MILTON BRADLEY STOCK". The New York Times. Retrieved 7 August 2021.
  2. ^ Jones, Alex S. (5 May 1984). "RIVAL GETS MILTON BRADLEY". The New York Times. Retrieved 7 August 2021.
  3. ^ Worley, Joyce (September 1984), "Farewell to the Vectrex", Electronic Games Monthly
  4. ^ "Milton bradley posts fourth-quarter loss and closes GCE unit". The Wall Street Journal. No. Eastern Edition. January 30th, 1984. {{cite news}}: Check date values in: |date= (help)