"Bally Astrocade"

From: starling_at_umr.edu <(starling_at_umr.edu)>
Date: Thu Jul 10 12:48:34 1997

I think of the two there, the Bally is much cooler. My Astrocade is the
co-star in my home videogame collection, along with my Vectrex. The
machine started off life as the Bally Professional Arcade (Yes, Bally the
pinball & arcade game people (not Bally the bra manufacturer... I
always thought it'd be cool if they were the same company... imagine the
possibilities)... was this before they merged with Midway?). After its
birth in 1978, its name was changed to the Bally Computer System, after
Bally sold the rights to the machine in 1981 to a group of devoted users who
were wanting to keep it alive. Then like in '82 the company changed its
name from Astrovision to Astrocade. They continued to manufacture the
machine until around 1985.

The machine is a Z80, running at 3.5Mhz. It has 4K ram, and 4 "games"
built into its ROM. The sound is 3 voice with noise & vibrato.

It has to be one of the best sounding machines made during that era. The
first time I turned mine on and played Space Fortrees I was blown away.
The graphics aren't bad for 1978, but the sound is awesome... might be
the same sound setup they put in their arcade games, not sure.

The Astrocade also has the distinction of having THE BEST joysticks for
any home arcade system I've played on (with the Nintendo's original NES
in last place, right behind the TI-99/4A). Bally was on the ball when
they designed these... they're a joystick that also twists like a
paddle, and the pistol grip with trigger fire button is a fabulous.

Cartridges for it are somewhat difficult to find, but you can find them
being auctioned on usenet occasionally.

For more info, check out:

Received on Thu Jul 10 1997 - 12:48:34 BST

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