VES/CHANNEL F SYSTEM II
WE'RE SICK OF PONG, WE WANT SOMETHING NEW!
Here is Zircon's Channel F System II, an altered version of the Fairchild
The rather unknown
Fairchild Camera & Instrument company would make gaming history as they
would be the first to release a fully functional game system that can play
interchangeable cartridges in 1976. Just a year before Atari would release
the Atari VCS in 1977. The system was the Fairchild Video Entertainment
System and it debut at the price at 169.99 US.
The system came included with two long dial based joysticks where you press
on the top of the head and that would act as a button if needed. The system
also has a built in Hockey/Tennis game included as well, a game that was very
similar to Atari popular Pong.
Perhaps the system's
biggest selling point was the fact you could change the game which is
something you couldn't do in the regular Pong-like games that were flooding
the market at the time. The Fairchild VES uses bright yellow cartridges to
play several different games so the Atari 2600 was not the first machine to
use interchangeable cartridges like many believe.
Despite a promising idea, the Fairchild VES just didn't catch on and the 21
games weren't all that captivating enough to hold anybody's interest.
Fairchild would later sell the system to Zircon and they re-released the
machine in 1981 as the Channel F System II with 5 more games but even its
second name could not save this system and it died a quiet death in 1984.
Bottomline: Both systems are a tough find for collectors because it
wasn't too successful but it's worth looking into for all you game
collectors. Can you find all 26 game Fairchild/Channel F cartridges?
Rare scale: 6/10 you won't find
this at Wal-Mart, folks!