Casual Photos: Milton Bradley Microvision

Bill Loguidice's picture

Shown below are a set of four new casual iPhone photos, this time of a boxed and partially complete Milton Bradley Microvision handheld game system with an additional Star Trek Phaser Strike cartridge (among the first ever licensed games, though it would also be re-released sans license). The Microvision debuted in late 1979 and was the first interchangeable cartridge handheld, and the only such form factor that would see release until Nintendo's legendary GameBoy almost 10 years later.

The "face plates" you see in the picture are actually the cartridges, which contain all the intelligence and additional controls. All the Microvision host system was was essentially a display, power and the dial (spinner/paddle) control. I already have a fairly complete Microvision collection, so this will make a nice addition to that. One problem with collecting the Microvision is that the screens fade over time, making an already difficult-to-see screen even worse (it requires a well lit environment). While the visuals consisted of simple dots and the sound simple beeps, the short-lived platform was well ahead of its time in concept. As a fun bit of trivia, Jay Smith, of later Vectrex fame, designed the Microvision.

01_MB_IMG_0125

02_MB_IMG_0126

03_MB_IMG_0127

04_MB_IMG_0128

Comments

Calibrator
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Joined: 10/25/2006
Ha ha @ the hit & miss picture

Back then when we counted pixels...

take care,
Calibrator

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LarryLaffer (not verified)
1979 wow. are any of these

1979 wow. are any of these games any good, and where can I get one to try out. one of you guys should make a video. I never heard of this one. block buster is sure funny. what else could you bust with those graphics -- oh blocks, of course.

Bill Loguidice
Bill Loguidice's picture
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Microvision
LarryLaffer wrote:

1979 wow. are any of these games any good, and where can I get one to try out. one of you guys should make a video. I never heard of this one. block buster is sure funny. what else could you bust with those graphics -- oh blocks, of course.

The games are fun for what they are, though really, outside of the fancy controls, they're not much better than those little LCD games. It was a very low resolution screen, so everything was made of those blocky pixels you see in the inside of the box shot.

It will be tough to see in a video, but I can try at some point down the line. As for trying one out, it would require an eBay purchase. You can usually get one for under $30 US, but there's no guarantee the screen won't be degraded. For the casual enthusiast, it's not really worth, honestly, but it's certainly historically fascinating.

Books!
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.

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