PONG Themed Game Console - Dismantled for reference and curiosity
In 1982 the Emerson Radio Corporation released its ROM cartridge based Arcadia 2001 game console along with sixty one game titles, ten of which were variants on the same theme. The console's design was then on-sold to over thirty two other manufacturers and one of them was Sheen. Enter the Sheen 2001 Sheen Home Video Centre.
Before I get into the specs I have to say, after much deliberation... this has to take the cake as my all time choice for most horrible and ugly looking game console of all time. Brown on brown with light brown buttons and gold joystick caps. WHAT WERE YOU THINKING SHEEN?!!! I know it was the 70's and mission brown was the thing in Australia but GAH!. Once the controllers are removed and the inserts taken out it really is just a brown chunk. They tried to save it with the printed, metal plate in the middle but some things are too far gone.
The shell of the 2001 Sheen Home Video Centre is the same as another Arcadia 2001 clone (the 'Intervision 2001 Home Video Centre') and thankfully that one's not as ugly.
Okay... I'm done.
Like the Arcadia 2001 the 2001 Sheen Home Video Centre incorporates an Intellivision / ColecoVision approach to the controllers. They have fourteen function buttons over which players can place overlay inserts packaged with game cartridges to customise the controller to that game. Unlike the Arcadia 2001 the 2001 SHVC doesn't have the Intellivision-like disc control pad into which players can elect to screw a supplied joystick should they prefer that.
Graphically it's comparable to the Intellivision and ColecoVision and superior to the much earlier released Atari 2600. Sadly the Arcadia 2001 never really got a chance to thrive.
Released at the same time as the ColecoVision and the Atari 5200 made it an uphill battle from the start. This was compounded by Atari having stitched up exclusive rights games deals meaning very few arcade ports and popular titles were able to be sold for the Arcadia 2001 and its clones.
Versions of Galaxian, Pac-Man and Defender had been created and manufactured in the thousands but as Atari had begun taking legal action to protect their licensed titles they were never sold.
Interestingly, later it was Nintendo performing the same trick that assisted in Atari's 7800 market failure.