Saturday, 15 December 2012

Is this the worst console ever ? (Part 1)

This is the Fairchild Channel F. It's one of the very first consoles.  Sold in the UK as the "Grandstand Video Arcade"

It has a display resolution of about 100 x 60 pixels, and a colour palette that is a bit wierd. Those readers old enough to remember PC CGA games will get a sense of Deja Vu.

It does have nice controllers though.

The games look blocky, obviously and a the colour scheme makes them look odd. This Pacman  (actually a homebrew game) shows the problems. But it is still recognisably Pacman. This is about as good as it gets. The F8 CPU is a bit wimpish.

The sound is a bit pathetic - only three tones - but you can do something with that, warbles and beeps.

So, is this the worst console ever ? Not even close.

(The Channel F is emulated by MESS and the majority of the cartridges have been dumped)


  1. Seems you missed the intro and the intermission melody.
    Some music has also been composed - all from the routine in the Football-cartridge. You just need a beep at one frequency and then shut that on and off at the right pace. ;-)

    Good luck with the project, I had imagined the worst console would be something very few people have heard of.

    1. Hi, are you the author ? If so I'm impressed by the work. I went back and watched the Youtube video and it's really neat how you've managed to get most (all ?) of the features working.

      The tunes are actually recognisable :) I honestly wouldn't have thought it was possible.