Thursday, 7 June 2012

Vec-Cab Genesis

The MB/GCE Vectrex is the one and only games console that employs vector scan rather than raster scan technology to generate images. The Vectrex was released to the video game market in 1982. Although more than quarter of a century has passed since its conception, this unique gaming system is still able to "hold its own" in the 21st century! There is an active Vectrex user community and new software and hardware continues to be developed. This blog document's my journey to make a full size upright arcade cabinet based on the Vectrex.

Back in the early 80’s the most exciting arcade machines were vector based. The Vectrex home arcade console at the time being also vector based brought the truest arcade experience into the home.  Indeed, the Vectrex has the honourable claim as being  the first games console to have had a video game - Cosmic Chasm - ported from it to the arcade (normally it's the other way round with popular arcade games being ported to  home computers and games consoles). But what if the Vectrex could be a true arcade machine of the likes seen in the 80's arcades, i.e. a full height upright  arcade cabinet, where extra lives are paid for with coins? For me that would be a really cool idea.
This is the genesis for a project that I am going to call Vec-Cab (short for Vectrex arcade Cabinet) - That is to build a full size arcade cabinet with the Vectrex fully integrated inside. My ultimate aim is if the finished cabinet  were to be placed in an 80's arcade hall it would not look out of place at all. Therefore it must have all things expected of an early arcade machine, e.g. coin operated,  artwork, marquee etc. To achieve this will require not only a custom cabinet but also bespoke electronic hardware and software to complement the current functionality of the Vectrex.
In this blog I will document my activities relating to this project including ideas and progress. Although  I only start to blog now, this project has been in the making for over a year, with some work and purchase of parts already in progress.

1 comment:

  1. The Vectrex actually has been coin operated and in the public. One example as a bar top arcade machine called the Mini-Cade and the other in the guise of a stress /personality reader. The Mini-Cade is a table-top arcade system built in 1982 in which the player paid money for time on the system to play Mine Storm. These systems have been reported as being seen in small bars and a few examples are owned by collectors.
    The fortune teller has been reported as being seen in shopping malls in the US in 1984. In addition there have been fan made cabinets to house the Vectrex but they are scaled down arcade cabinets and are really home machines.