Here's the Vectrex news for October 20, 2012!
More Vectrex D. I. Y. projects...
Some joystick thumb reproductions of the original Vectrex controller are in the process of being created! There is no set date on when these will be available, but progress of the project can be read at the Vectrex News Group in this thread here.
Also, several videos of the Vectrex being projected on a whopping 21' tv can be seen on YouTube. It’s a bit of a rough start with garbled graphics, although the results could be promising for those wanting to play the Vectrex on a much larger screen. (One of them can be seen on YouTube user's southgeek channel. The others are on user's TheStiggy2010's channel.)
Dan Siewers, the homebrew hardware guru for the Vectrex, was at it again a few months ago! He created the Vectrex USB Controller, where you can use a regular Vectrex controller on your computer setup! You can see a video of it here. (And in case this sounds familiar, it’s not the same as the USB Vectrex RetroPort from RetroZone, which is sold out.)
As he has been meaning to do for a while, VectrexMad! was finally able to get cracking recently on encasing his Vectrex in an arcade cabinet, which he dubbed the Vec-Cab. He created a blog to update his progress, which can be found on his web site and as Google blogspot.
Also, Keith Horn completed his new controller, the Vectarcade, which is used for Spinball, nicely utilizing the buttons on the sides of the controller like a real pinball machine. A video of it can be seen here.
As far as FURY goes, their Overdrive Paddle Controller has been released, which is customizable (owners can choose between combining green and red buttons), which currently works with Hyperchase, Pole Position, Vaboom!/Vectrace, and Spike's Water Balloons (on Vectopia), and there is also the promise of upcoming games by the names of Purgatory, Temporal Lobe and Night Trucker to be released as well, which are slated for 2013 and are also compatible with the controller! (And on a side note, the Overdrive Controller - Night Trucker Variant is currently being sold on e-bay, as it was "the original design for the Overdrive Controller" [as the e-bay ad said], plus it had a bigger steering wheel and "a completely different button layout".)
Warrior is also finally in the process of being shipped, with Hellhole: Sector-X IV's release date (and it’s compatible controller of the Vectrosis Controller) has been pushed back to November.
And on a non-gaming note, George Pelonis had also been contacted by CGE to make an animated vector version of the upcoming movie and character of the same name of Wreck-It Ralph, but unfortunately Disney backed out of the Vectrex (and all other classic game consoles) display for the show. :( So an image of Ralph was created (at left), but not animated though.
Also, from Revival Studios, we got a little bit more of a hint of what their upcoming games will entail in an e-mail:
Still in development are the following 2 titles:
- Vector Arcade: Volume 1 - a collection of 5 vector games on 1 cartridge
- MVR Racing - Topview Racing title
Hopefully I will be able to get new PCBs soon, so we can see these released.
International Play Your Vectrex Day announced!
Well well, originally starting as a joke (possibly?) on the vector gaming forums site during a few posts (unofficially our "sister site", even though it's not a wiki), it looks like the Vectrex is going to finally get an official recognition date, with the International Play Your Vectrex Day, which is slated for November 1. So go to that page to take a look at the simple rules (play something on the Vectrex, supply your name and what you played) and participate on this very special day!
New Vectrex videos
Since the last edition of the Vectrex news, there’s been a lot of new and interesting videos!
First off, the Vectrex Raster Figures by YouTube user lzxindustries seems fake, due to images seemingly coming off the Vectrex. However, in certain spots of the video, the outline of the Vectrex can be seen, as well as the reflection of the camera person off its monitor. And when you look at the list of modules and all from their web site, well, possibly seeing is believing here.
Fellow YouTube user vintersphrost posted a video tutorial in regards to making your own overlays. Another fellow user, Inboden69, did a review on the Vectrex, which usually videos of this type (since there are many out there) won’t garner a mention here on the news. However, this one in particular could be the only one on YouTube having brief 3D Crazy Coaster footage!
A rare Vectrex tv commercial with former race car driver Jackie Stewart appearing in it also showed up in another video. Another fellow YouTube user by the handle of penseurs offered a unique Vectrex mashup, showing gamplay of four Vectrex games at one time, making for rather interesting viewing! Smcgarr also showcased the Climax Slideshow demo in a video, while Marqplaargh also made an upload of the little shown Wheeeee! demo.
And last but not least, we have a very curious one from WiiPlayXboxNow, showing a bizarre Vectrex that is turned on its side, making Mine Storm played kind of like in a letterbox DVD or Blu-Ray format, and the speaker for the system also nearly fills in the entire slot that holds the controller. Either this person is an incredibly brilliant engineer that can make a bizarre monstrosity out of the system, or this is just a hoax, which it probably is, although possibly clues are contained in the video itself, if we just knew what this long-haired gentleman was saying throughout the presentation (can anyone translate French and add it on here?).
Vector War II
Retrocade Magazine followed up their original Vector War contest involving the Vectrex with Vector War II recently, as first games were picked, then they were whittled down, finalized and played, which included Berzerk, Blitz!, Clean Sweep, Cosmic Chasm, Scramble, Solar Quest, Star Castle, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Y* A* S* I, and Vector Pilot. Well-known Vectrex enthusiast/fellow wiki contributor Helmut Mueller ended up taking first place out of seven contestants. Good going Helmut!
The Vectrex: the heaviest system ever?
As all Vectrex owners know, the system’s a bit heavy; so much that, after all these years later, it’s still arguable as to whether it is truly "portable" or not.
But do you know EXACTLY how heavy the Vectrex really is?
Case (and photo, at right) in point: it was discovered that Rudy Sarzo, bassist of the heavy metal acts Quiet Riot and Whitesnake, had a Vectrex on those tour buses! Two e-bay auctions (note: this will not be linked to, as they disappear over time) confirmed this, one of which had the Vectrex itself, along with an extra controller in its original box. This auction sold for $499 U. S.
There was also a separate listing for the games and Light Pen, which included Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Hyperchase, Fortress of Narzod, Art Master, AnimAction, Cosmic Chasm, Scramble, and Solar Quest. This auction sold for $425.00. Both listings also included a certificate of authenticity signed by Sarzo himself with the purchase of either item.
Definitely something to bang your head about (especially if you missed out)!
Return of the Vectrex Wraps
Michele Fiori, creator of the original Vectrex Wrap with Protector/Y*A*S*I in (2007) that transforms your Vectrex into a gaming-like cab with artwork on it, announced that there will be new wraps coming out!
The original wraps won’t be reproduced, although new ones for Protector, Y*A*S*I, and Scramble will be available for $30 U. S. + shipping! So it looks like it’s time to bling out the Vectrex once more!
Another e-bay odditiy
As it was mentioned with the Rudy Sarzo auctions, this will not be linked to, but another Vectrex mystery was brought to light (pardon the pun) with an auction for the Light Pen with its sticker in French, which it was originally thought this was not released in France. It is currently unknown if this was a legitimate item or not. Oui!
And finally, since the last news update, a Gravitrex Plus review has been added to its page. Scroll to the bottom and look under Links to see its usual high rating, and the aforementioned International Play Your Vectrex Day page was also put up, even though it is a stub for now, as the Day has not yet arrived.
This may be a very tiny batch this time around, but there should finally be updated and new pages coming in the near future!
So until then, keep it in black and white (except for when you have an overlay attached)!