Retro Game Consoles – Vectrex


Atari 5200 Retail Box

Above: Atari 5200 Retail Box


The Vectrex game console failed to achieve prominance in the 1980s game console market. The Vectrex was unique came with a vector monitor that was hidden about three inches deep in an arcade-like, black case. This was one console that truly provided an arcade like experience. So much so, that years after the console died out, many collectors seek it out. The vector monitor works much the same way as a Etch-a-Sketch.

Vectrex Retail Box

Above: Vectrex Retail Box

Size wize, it measured 8 x 3 inches, with four buttons and a self-centring joystick.

Graphic Clarity and Resolution

The Vectrex game console employed vector graphics towards their end of use in teh Arcade market. As the Vectrex had a black-and-white monitor, every game used a colored and transparent overlay that was attached to the screen. The overlays really helped to kick the games up a bit and protected the eyes from the flicker.

Vectrex Original Case

Above: Vectrex Original Case

Vectrex came with Mine Storm, which was a rip off of the popular arcade game, Asteroids.

Vectrex Game Controller

Above: Vectrex Game Controller

Jay Smith

Jay Smith and Western Technology and Smith Engineering built the Vectrex. They had the idea for a ‘mini- arcade’ that was born in the early eighties to deliver a true arcade like experience that they thought would make the game console a top selling unit.

Vectrex Console Motherboard

Above: Vectrex Console Motherboard

However, sales were disappointing with a $32 million in the first year, which forced them to discontinue production. The video game crash of 1983 and 1984 did nto help matters either. With a starting price of $199, the unit was often sold for much less, which attributed to the loss. The discount was employed in order to get a market established.

As with many other game consoles, the Vectrex survives through ROMS and refurished old machines. If you get a chance to buy one of these in working order, we highly recommend you do so.

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