Why Did The VECTREX Fail !? – Gaming History Documentary

YouTube video

In today’s video we look at the history of the Vectrex, why did this innovative piece of memorable console hardware fail commercially?

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#vectrex #retrogaming #gaminghistory

Additional Gameplay & Footage Sources
Top 10 Best Vectrex Games
Vectrex 3D Imager
Laurence Bennion
3D Narrow Escape – Vectrex
Gaming Exhibit
VectorBlade! (Vectrex Homebrew)


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  1. My fifth grade teacher kept one of these in her classroom. I loved playing Minestorm (and occasionally the tank game whose name I can't remember) when we had free time!

  2. I remember when those one´s was on the retailer´s shelfs. I was in seventh or eighth grade at the time. I can recall that i spoke with a guy in school who had it once, and he said "It´s a good thing that it had its own screen with it, from day 1". "Well, i guess" i said, "but it´s not a real tv, so you can´t look at movies or any programs on it anyway". "But still, IT´S MY DISPLAY, and no one else would have any use of having it". "Yeah, but it´s only black and white. -And not even with a grey scale !" . "Well" he said, "You can buy color palette, plastic trays to put in front of the screen, to SIMULATE colors !". "O.k.. but the sound output..i mean,´s FAR from how arcade machine games sounds. Even MY ATARI 2600 SOUNDS BETTER THAN THAT !". "Well,"..he said, "it´s not perfect..but it´s alright !". In the era of Atari´s, Odyssey 2´s, Intellivision´s, and not to mention COLECOVISION´S OR VIC 64´s, Vectrex was somewhat kind of "A loser´s console" !. But still, it´s even important to remember that many kids (perhaps, even a majority !) had NO CONSOLES AT ALL !. -Or those who had it, but never/very rarely could afford any new cartridges for ém. THESE THINGS WERE REALLY EXPENSIVE AT THE TIME !. You could buy a descent stereo, radio cassette recorder (very desirable for most teenagers) for the same price as ONE CONSOLE GAME !. A Vectrex console was probably in about the same price range as A BRAND NEW 3 GEARED BIKE ! (most kids in my school was from blue collar families. And, let´s say, in a family with 3 siblings from 7 to 16 years old for example, you can tell there was A LOT of "priority decisions" that the parents had to consider !). From a gamer´s perspective, WE LIVING IN TOTAL PARADISE NOWADAYS !. The millennials and younger will never understand what "80´s gaming" REALLY was like… (at least for all of us who didn´t had a home computer, with its access to cheap pirate games).

    As a grown up, i find this Vectrex console very interesting from a technological point of view.. Vector graphic solutions is mostly utilised within the fields of scientific applications and measurement tools. To develop the vector technology in such far contents as in the case of Vectrex, is VERY INVENTIVE !. This is really what we today would have said was "THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX" !. Impressive !.

  3. Is that the theme song for the C64 version of Commando I hear playing in the background? I played the hell out of that game, but still sucked at it.

  4. I never knew anybody who owned a Vectrex back in the early 80's. But I was a member of a home video game rental club and they had all of the gaming systems set up to play. The Vectrex was a lot of fun to play with. I liked their football game called Blitz. It had x's and o's for players and even provided game stats after the game. It was really cool.

  5. I love the Vectrex! I managed to "accidentally" win one in an eBay auction a couple of years back. It sure is a chonky boy — when you have the B roll footage of you holding it it's like you're holding a small child!

  6. I think the Vectrex was doomed to have a short life regardless. The Famicom was already out in Japan in mid-83 and would reach the American market in October 85. Vector-based arcade games were also on their way out as improvements in raster graphics made vector graphic look antiquated.

  7. Lady Decade you can get reproduction overlays for the vectrex…. I also used to have a signed copy of a John Donzilla game …. I asked him through email if he could sign a copy of one of the games I purchased through his site and surprisingly he said yes!! I was sooo happy …. I wish I still had the copy 😕

  8. What the hell you talking about? The vectrex was a huge success! I had one and it was awesome. I got a multi cart and eventually sold it for over $1000 that's a fing huge success if you ask me. Sure, most of the games sucked, but did I mention that I sold mine for more that $1000?

  9. I was born in that stone age of gaming, and i was given an atari at the age of 4… which I played all throughout the 80s, even after I got my first nes. That said, I guess it's a you had to be there kind of thing, but my love for these ancient systems has only grown over the years.

    Discovering the vectrex as a teenage stoner was an experience, and this was the 90s… my friend had one kicking around and I was curious what the hell it was.. so we ripped a few bongloads of the cheapest dirtweed we could afford and spaced out to this weird relic..

    It had such a strange charm about it, in all its obsolescence. Yabadaba doo indeed. I'd still smoke a spliff and fire one of these up today, if only they were anywhere to be found.

  10. Top video this! Like many others here, the Vectrex is one of those mythical beasts that I've always admired from afar. Great to learn the story behind it. 👍

  11. One of my aunts had one in the early 80's. Still remember playing on it as a kid. Such a great system with great games for the time

  12. I guess your in da UK when it was out my family could not afford it but I had friends who could and I get to play it I only liked star castle it was the only game I played on it I think it had Luna Lander and Asteroids I think now sure it was so long ago

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