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Bill Loguidice's picture

Casual Photos: Milton Bradley Microvision

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.

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