This is a catalog of peripherals/hardware for the Vectrex, organized alphabetically by name.
Vectrex controller (original)--this was the controller that originally came with a new Vectrex or was sold separately (a new unit only came with one controller). The Vectrex was one of the first ever video game systems (another one was the Atari 5200) that had an analog joystick. It also had four function buttons, which was a lot for a controller back then.
Controllers (modern day)
- Atari 2600 Driving Controller (modified)--the Atari 2600 Driving Controller was originally only used for the Indy 500 game for the 2600 console; however, this version was modified for use for the Spinnerama package, allowing an additional, smoother control option (as compared to the original Vectrex controller) to several Vectrex games.
- Vectrex controller (modified)--There have been many modern day controllers distributed by John Dondzila of Classic Game Creations, mostly via converting control pads originally made for the Sega Genesis system. However, with the controllers being digital, they did not work with 100% of Vectrex games, since a few were geared towards the original analog joystick, although the only ones that would not work with them were Hyperchase, game two on Star Hawk, and the analog version of Spike's Water Balloons on the Vectopia cartridge. Dondzila was able to supply customers with these converted six button controllers for years, but unfortunately with the Genesis having ceased production in the 1990s, there aren’t exactly a lot of companies creating replacement controllers for the system any more. Dondzila had posted about this in late 2009 on his website, letting his customers know they could be put on an e-mailing list for when new controllers became available, then those sold out very quickly once he found a new supplier for them (along with a modified PlayStation controller as well, which he also had a limited supply of those), and in 2010 Dondzila stated he did not know when he would be able to acquire controllers again once his last batch sold out.
- And of course, Dondzila hasn't been the only one to do this, as Recycled Gamer has modified over 50 SNES controllers to work with the Vectrex, which you can see here, as well as Madtronix with his version of a redone arcade stick and a modified Genesis pad.
- Vecdrive controller--this is a modified Atari 2600 paddle controller, having a switch and an extra button installed. Works with Vaboom!/Vectrace and Hyperchase.
- Vectrex Wireless Controller--a creation by Dan Siewers, being a homemade controller.
- Vectrex Wireless Mouse--also just like it sounds, this can be used for some games in place of a Vectrex controller, such as Patriots 3 on Gravitrex Plus.
- 3D Imager--The 3D Imager was a device that the gamer would wear on their head, complete with goggles. The Imager would spin a disk which is half black and half colored with bands that radiate from the center between the viewer's eyes and the Vectrex screen, producing a 3-D effect, as spinning the disk at a high enough speed will fool the viewer's eyes/brain into thinking that the multiple images it is seeing are two different views of the same object, creating the impression of 3-D and color. Only three games were made for the Imager, being 3D Mine Storm, 3D Crazy Coaster and 3D Narrow Escape, each having its own Color Wheel, and 3D Pole Position was planned for it as well, but unfortunately production of the Vectrex ended after the Video Game Crash of 1983-4. Modern day reproductions have been made by several people and these originals command high prices when sold online (especially if they come with the original box as well).
Peripherals/hardware (modern day)
- 3D Engine Demo--currently (as of 2011) contains a PSOC development kit with memory chips, with a PCB and added a ConnectOne embedded network adapter, which can connect to an online FTP server to download ROMs. (Although not a full article yet, a brief mention and picture of this unit can be seen on the Dan Siewers page.)
- 3D Imager (Modern)--A few of these have been made, one in particular from Madtronix, using a broken cd player and some modded headgear.
- 72 Game Multicart--This is a modern day homebrew multicart that was released in April 2008 from Blazin'Games. It’s a menu-driven cartridge (or a “lite” version PCB without cartridge casing is also available for those that prefer those instead) that contains every GCE-released Vectrex game (except for AnimAction), some prototypes, several homebrews, some hacked games (for the Spinnerama package, along with Berzerk Debugged, the Star Trek: The Motion Picture controller hack, etc.), various music and homebrew game demos, and two new games of Hangman (which is exclusive to the multicart) and City Bomber. There is no way to swap out the game ROMs, however (unlike with the Sean Kelly Multicart), as what comes with the multicart is what you get.
- AtariVox+--see VecVoice/VecVox/AtariVox+ at bottom.
- AutoFire Dongle--Released by VectrexMad! Productions in August 2009, this is a dongle that connects in between the Vectrex controller and the controller port, allowing any shooting in a game (such as Mine Storm) to be automatic when the fire button is held down, eliminating the need for repeatedly pressing the fire button and cutting down on the wear and tear of a controller. VectrexMad! has stated on their website that it is 100% compatible with both the original Vectrex controllers and modern day compatibles.
- Carrying Case.(1982 / 1983 era) - USA / Canada / European regions. An Vectrex logo labeled accessory case (bag / tasche / sac) for transporting or storing the Vectrex system. Includes space and interior pockets for nine games, a spare controller, game overlays, plus console manual and game instructions. Various versions of the Vectrex Carrying Case exist covering the USA, Canada, and European regions. There were at least three different styles of case front labeling types. A type with the US / Canada Logo art with angular lettering appearance without any branding. A type with the US / Canada Logo art with angular lettering appearance and GCE branding, A type with European logo style curved appearance lettering and MB branding Vectrex .
- Carrying Case.(1982 / 1983 era) - Japanese region Bandai version. This is a Vectrex Carrying Case made by Bandai for the Japanese market. This case was more of a simple bag than a case.. Differing greatly from the case for the USA / Canada / European regions. This bag does not include any internal pockets. Closure of the bag was by zipper. No internal padding or cardboard walls. Vectrex logo art used the US region Logo art with angular lettering appearance. Also included on the case is Japanese kanji logo art for "光速船" and "バンダイ". The 1980's era square Bandai company logo and the "BANDAI" name are printed on the bag.
- Carrying Case (Modern) - Replica. European region. This is a modern new production Vectrex Carrying Case made in 2001 and 2002 by Kerim Yuezer (Kerim72). This project has the same features and appearance of the of the original Vectrex Carrying Case. Better quality. Produced as a European appearance with MB branding. Produced in both original color, and in black color.
- Dust Cover.(1982 / 1983 era) - A simple plastic slip cover for the Vectrex to keep the dust and dirt off the Vectrex console in between play sessions. The shape of all OEM dust covers produced is the same. There were at least two different front labeling types styles used. Both used the USA / Canada Logo art with angular lettering appearance, One type includes only the Vectrex logo art. Another type includes the Vectrex logo art, the words "ARCADE SYSTEM" below the logo art, and "GCE" branding.
- Dust Cover.(Modern) - Nanny's Sewing Treats production. A form fitted pleather slip cover for the Vectrex to keep the dust and dirt off the Vectrex console in between play sessions. Initially delivered in black pleather with embroidered Vectrex logo art in light gray executed.in the USA / Canada Logo art with angular lettering appearance. Current production dust covers now come in a variety of colors.
- Light Pen (Modern)--Several people/Vectrex entities have done these, such as Madtronix and Recycled Gamer.
- PlayStation to Vectrex controller adapter--Released in 2003 by Clay Cowgill, this is an adapter so a person can use a PlayStation controller for their Vectrex. Unfortunately Cowgill ceased production of these, along with pretty much everything else retro-related years ago, due to a lack of time (as stated by Cowgill himself on his site) and not enough revenue was coming in to justify continuing making retro products such as these.
- Sean Kelly Multicart--Probably the most famous (and oldest, with its 1.2 version being released in 1995, then its still-produced model came out in 1999) of the Vectrex multicarts is the Sean Kelly models, noted for their ease of swapping out ROMs and being able to store dozens of them at a time. Usually only a handful are made at a time and released unannounced through e-bay over the years at no specific times though.
- Multiconn--Another Madtronix creation, this is a combination of an extension card that fits in the cartridge slot that connects to a breadboard to develop new hardware projects.
- PS2 / Gamecube to Vectrex Adapter--this is assumed to be an adapter so PlayStation 2 and Gamecube controllers can work with the system.
- Spinnerama--This is a modified Atari 2600 Driving Controller where Armor Attack, Bedlam, Cosmic Chasm, Mine Storm, Mine Storm 2, Omega Chase, Omega Chase Deluxe, Pole Position, Rip Off, Solar Quest and Star Castle can utilize the controller, although it won’t work with any of the games that have two player options, as a regular or modern day Vectrex controller needs to be plugged into the second port. Unfortunately its creator, Christopher Tumber of Capital S Software, has been M. I. A. from the video game/hardware scene for years now, reportedly after suffering a house fire at some point, and his whereabouts and any information if he will ever re-emerge in the Vectrex scene is unknown.
- USB Vectrex RetroPort--this USB adapter allows you to use a Vectrex controller on your computer for any emulator that supports USB.
- VecArcade Construction Kit--Here's an interesting take on the original Vectrex display stand, along with saving tear on a Vectrex controller as well as the system itself. Five of these units were made and sold in 2009, which, as the title says, is a construction cabinet for a Vectrex. Some assembly was required, along with a power supply to illuminate the built-in controller buttons (that's right, this had its own specialized controller, as the original was not needed!). However, only Mine Storm and cartridges without cases (such as the Lite Version of the 72 Game Multicart) can be used due to restrictions on space. It is currently unknown if any more cases will be built in 2011. (The customer must have their own Vectrex.)
- VecFlash--Another multicart, this USB is a user loadable device known for its fast speed on its last model.
- VecLink--Currently not in production yet, this is designed by Alex Herbert, who created Protector LE, which links two Vectrexes together. Berzerk Arena is one of the planned games for the unit, although little has been heard of any recent development of this unit for years now.
- VecM--This is a MIDI interface for use for the Vectrex, which enables a direct audio output line for the system, as opposed to only using its internal speaker in its original form.
- Vectrex Extender--"adds 18K of extended memory, provides a web server for uploading files from an FTP server, an API for 3D object rotations and extended math functions, among other features" as it says from the Dan Siewers page.
- Vectrex Multicart (Ronen Habot)--Yet another multicart, this one built by Ronen Habot, although he never made it to be mass produced or put up for sale. It supports up to 512K of games in total, games that are up to 32K in size, the player could press the reset button to switch a game (unlike with the Sean Kelly Multicart where the power had to be turned off in order to change games) and costs well under $30 U. S.
- Vectrex PS2 Keyboard--just like it sounds, this is a modded PlayStation 2 keyboard for use with the Vectrex. With an interface, whatever is typed on the keyboard will be displayed on the Vectrex.
- Vectrex reproduction cartridge--several people have made these, such as John Dondzila, Mark Shaker and Dan Siewers.
- Vectrex USB ROM loader stick--this is a flash drive that is somewhat like a condensed multi-cart, which can store Vectrex ROMs and even MP3 files.
- VecVoice/VecVox/AtariVox+--These enabled the Vectrex to use speech, which would be used by several homebrews, including Y*A*S*I and Space Frenzy, among several others. The VecVoice is the original model, whereas the VecVox replaced it when a part for it became obsolete, and the AtariVox+ also works with the Atari 2600, Atari 7800, and others.
- VecVox Deluxe--Another offering (although not mass produced/for sale) from VectrexMad! Productions, this just encases the VecVox into a PC speaker.
- Blazin'Games (72 Game Multicart site)
- John Dondzila's Classic Game Creations site
- Ronen Habot Multicart page
- Herbs64 Berzerk Arena/VecLink page
- Keith Horn's home page and YouTube channel (of the Vecdrive controller)
- Richard Hutchinson's Vectrex projects pages
- Madtronix' site with various projects
- RetroZone USB Vectrex RetroPort
- Recycled Gamer site (Light Pen reproduction and converted SNES controllers)
- Dan Siewers' page for the PlayStation 2 keyboard and interface, Vectrex wireless controller, USB thumb drive loader
- Some VecArcade pics/overview of unit
- VecM page
- VectrexMad! Productions site (AutoFire Dongle and VecVox Deluxe speaker)
This article was featured from July - August, 2011.