The Vectrex is a superb home games console that was released way back in 1982 by GCE (General Consumer Electronics). It was a very short-lived machine, production stopped completely in 1984, and as such has achieved somewhat of a cult following among collectors.
The most obvious difference between the Vectrex and other machines available at the time is the built-in 9" vector monitor, the same kind of display used in (among others) the Asteroids and Star Wars arcade machines. Unlike the usual raster-scan displays used by other computers and televisions which draw scan-lines continuously across the whole screen to build up a solid picture, a vector monitor draws straight lines between given points to construct wire-frame shapes.
As the display is monochrome, translucent plastic overlays were supplied with the games to place over the screen and give the illusion of colour (and to help in reducing screen flicker). The overlays also list the functions of the joystick buttons at the bottom and, in some cases, artwork related to the game around the edges.
The machine also features a rather nice analogue joystick with four separate fire buttons which slots into the bottom of the main unit for storage.
One built-in game was supplied with the system, a pretty cool asteroids clone called Minestorm. There were well over twenty other games released for the system before it's untimely demise with several more in the pipeline that sadly never saw the light of day (see games reviews section for details).
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