8-bit Personal Computer / Game Console - Dismantled for reference and curiosity
Released by Video Technology Ltd. (VTech) in 1981, the CreatiVision was sold in Australia, Europe and South Africa under the title 'Dick Smith Wizzard'. It sported the name of the Australian entrepreneur, businessperson, aviator, political activist and founder of Dick Smith Electronics (among other things) Dick Smith; awarded 'Australian of the Year' in 1986.
While the CreatiVision bears a strong resemblance to the Intellivision and Colecovision, it's technically more comparable in function to the 'Videobrain Family Computer' and the 'AFP Imagination Machine'. Both are more a hybrid home computer and games console rather than largely just a games machine.
The CreatiVision also seems to be a more 'high class' made unit over the Intellivision and Colecovision with more sturdy plastic, metal threads for the case screws and numerous premium touches. It's a shame it's physically such a boring looking block.
The Dick Smith Wizzard was also released under the names, 'Dick Smith VZ 2000', 'Hanimex Rameses' and the 'FunVision Computer Video Games System'; all produced by VTech.
With an 8-bit, 2MHz 6502 Rockwell processor and 1kB of RAM plus 16kB of video RAM the CreatiVision is surprisingly capable for a low end computer. Graphically it can output at a resolution of 256 x 192, 16 colours with support for up to 32 sprites. The system's onboard 1kB of RAM can be upgraded to 16kB (11kB usable), although very few of these upgrades were ever released and only in Australia.
As with the Intellivision and Colecovision the paddle-like joysticks are cabled to the base unit and incorporate joystick, action buttons and a membrane of additional buttons. Where the Intellivision and Colecovision controllers have duplicated numeric keypads, the CreatiVision's controllers combine when placed in the main unit to form an almost usable QWERTY keyboard.
As with most membrane based keyboards it's horrible to use for any prolonged period or for any serious coding. In response to this an add-on rubber 'Moving Key Keyboard' was released; see other page in this section for that hardware.
A number of other Creativision peripherals released including a cassette tape recorder/player and a HUGE I/O interface adapter that connects to the base unit's cartridge port increasing the overall size by a third.
For its day the CreatiVision produced some impressive graphics, three channel (plus one noise channel) sound and while fairly unimpressive physically, it should have a proud place in any avid collector's console or micro computer pile.