Creative Computing on CreatiVision

Tell us whatever CreatiVision-related story you want!
User avatar
carlsson
Posts: 500
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2008 7:39 am
Location: Västerås, Sweden

Creative Computing on CreatiVision

Post by carlsson » Mon Jan 04, 2016 8:43 pm

David Ahl went to Winter CES in Las Vegas, January 1983. I'm not sure if this write-up is part of the regular CreatiVision gospel, but thought it would be worth a mention:
Coleco had virtually their entire booth devoted to ColecoVision, and with good reason. With the VCS adapter, this system has got to be the most versatile one around. New games included Donkey Kong Jr., and Rocky Battles for ColecoVision and several for Intellivision. Not that all is roses, however, since the Coleco controller is the pits. We usually plug in a decent Ataritype controller (D-Zyne SuprStick or the Newport joystick) and double the scores we can get on Lady Bug with the Coleco toy control. Nevertheless, ColecoVision is great. It is then, with mixed feelings that we present to Coleco the Worst Controller for a Great System Award. :D

Another new game system called CreatiVision was announced by Hong Kong based Video Technology. The specifications are excellent as is the price. However, we have found from bitter experience that these systems sometimes just don't get into the retail market. Let's hope that this one does since, in addition to being an excellent game unit, it can expand into a fullfledged computer system. We'll report further when we get a production model.
http://www.atarimagazines.com/creative/ ... r_Elec.php

Interestingly, the Laser 2001 was displayed at Winter CES 1984, exactly one year later. Also there was a post on AtariAge that someone went to Summer CES 1982 and saw Technovision (VTech brand) games for the Atari 2600, but by January 1983 they had shifted focus from the 2600 to marketing their own games console.

By the way, COMPUTE! also went to the above CES and wrote about the CreatiVision:
Video Technology also is introducing to the U.S. market a video game machine convertible to a home computer which it has been selling in Europe and Australia for a year. Called the CreatiVision, the game machine will sell for $189 and includes a membrane keyboard on the joysticks. The addition of a $10 BASIC cartridge turns it into a 16K RAM computer, and a plug-in keyboard (with rubber keys) will be available for $30. The video game graphics looked excellent. However, the BASIC is not compatible with the VZ200.
So two major US home computing magazines praising the CreatiVision for excellent specifications and attractive pricing, yet it didn't make any impact on the market. Perhaps if it had been launched in the US one year earlier, to be right on time with e.g. the ColecoVision...
User avatar
MADrigal
Site Admin
Posts: 968
Joined: Sun Sep 15, 2013 1:00 pm
Contact:

Re: Creative Computing on CreatiVision

Post by MADrigal » Mon Jan 04, 2016 9:15 pm

Oddly the Technovision games were produced after the CreatiVision games. But they were distributed in US immediately, whereas the CreatiVision was offered to US distributors well after 18 months since the HK release.
The CreatiVEmu website archive includes the US catalogue which was given to potential US distributors at CES 1983. It is in the "flyers" area here
http://www.madrigaldesign.it/creativemu ... .php?id=19
It is dated January 1983.
Thanks for spotting these articles, Anders. I will try to locate high-res scans of the magazines, and hopefully will include them in the CreatiVEmu website archive. :)
User avatar
carlsson
Posts: 500
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2008 7:39 am
Location: Västerås, Sweden

Re: Creative Computing on CreatiVision

Post by carlsson » Tue Jan 05, 2016 9:40 am

At least COMPUTE! is available on Archive.org in reasonably good resolution.

Nice thing about the flyer. I wonder if any leftover items remained in the Illinois area, but those would be scattered by now.
User avatar
MADrigal
Site Admin
Posts: 968
Joined: Sun Sep 15, 2013 1:00 pm
Contact:

Re: Creative Computing on CreatiVision

Post by MADrigal » Tue Jan 05, 2016 10:11 am

Can you provide more info about the magazines? What issues?
User avatar
carlsson
Posts: 500
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2008 7:39 am
Location: Västerås, Sweden

Re: Creative Computing on CreatiVision

Post by carlsson » Tue Jan 05, 2016 3:47 pm

CREATIVE COMPUTING VOL. 9, NO. 4 / APRIL 1983 / PAGE 18

COMPUTE! ISSUE 34 / MARCH 1983 / PAGE 24
http://www.atarimagazines.com/compute/i ... S_SHOW.php

I'll let you know if I find additional references.

Electronic Fun with Computer & Games (February 1983): They visited "the biggest trade show of all" in January without specifically say it was CES, but exactly how many trade shows could there be in January? Despite a 5.5 page report, not a word about VTech but lots about all other brands.

However in the March 1983 issue, they have a short write-up on page 10, so not all is lost. Notice the $149.95 which is less than the RRP of $189 in COMPUTE! but perhaps the higher price was including BASIC cartridge. The prices in the order form clearly were net prices for retailers.
VIDEO TECHNOLOGY
CreatiVision $149.95

There's Activision, Intellivision, Tigervision, ColecoVision and Ultravision. Well, you can add another -vision to the long list of -visions that currently interact with your television: CreatiVision.

CreatiVision is a fully functional computer. In addition to being able to play games, you can make use of CreatiVision BASIC as well as many other programs including home finance, educational and business applications. CreatiVision comes with 16K of RAM with an additional 16K available with the purchase of a memory expansion module. There are also several peripherals among them a cassette recorder, disk drive, keyboard attachment, printer and modem.

Video Technology. 2633 Greenleaf. Elk Grove Village. IL 60007. (312) 640-1776.
https://archive.org/stream/Electronic_F ... 9/mode/2up
User avatar
carlsson
Posts: 500
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2008 7:39 am
Location: Västerås, Sweden

Re: Creative Computing on CreatiVision

Post by carlsson » Fri Jan 08, 2016 11:04 am

One more reference: In the weekly magazine InfoWorld on March 24, 1983 they had an article "In Focus: Home is where the computer is" where they listed available (??) home computers: Apple ][e, Mattel Aquarius, Atari 400, Atari 800, Atari 1200XL, Creativision (suggested retail price $159), Commodore 64, PET 4032, VIC-20, Franklin Ace 1000 (Apple ][ clone), IBM PC, Mattel Intellivision II (!!), Micro-Professor MPF II, NEC PC-8001A, Panasonic JR-200, Spectravideo SV-318, TI-99/2 (which I understand never really got released), TI-99/4A, Timex Sinclair 1000, Timex Sinclair 2000, TRS-80 Model III, TRS-80 CoCo and VTech VZ-200.

https://books.google.se/books?id=_C8EAA ... &q&f=false
User avatar
carlsson
Posts: 500
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2008 7:39 am
Location: Västerås, Sweden

Re: Creative Computing on CreatiVision

Post by carlsson » Fri Jan 15, 2016 6:10 pm

Video Technology and Creativision mentioned in Billboard, October 2, 1982 regarding the Pac-Man rip-off Crazy Moonie:
https://books.google.se/books?id=giQEAA ... &q&f=false
User avatar
MADrigal
Site Admin
Posts: 968
Joined: Sun Sep 15, 2013 1:00 pm
Contact:

Re: Creative Computing on CreatiVision

Post by MADrigal » Fri Jan 15, 2016 11:46 pm

Oh my God! That's the piece of news I have been looking for in the past years! :D

You're a saucerful of wonders, Anders :)

I need to find high-resolution copies of the articles, as well as cover pages. Yum!
User avatar
carlsson
Posts: 500
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2008 7:39 am
Location: Västerås, Sweden

Re: Creative Computing on CreatiVision

Post by carlsson » Tue Jan 19, 2016 12:06 am

Thanks. I find that the various search engines can be a little moody sometimes, so you have to feed the right partial phrases for them to give out their secrets. Often I look for one thing, and then find something else by accident.

Journal of the Copyright Society of the USA, October 1982. This is just a "string view" in which you're not allowed to see the entire publication, but you get a hint where you can find more about it.
https://books.google.se/books?id=RSNBAQ ... hnology%22

Radio-Electronics, February 1983 - What's new in home videogames
https://archive.org/stream/radio_electr ... eativision

Byte, May 1983 with a report from the Hong Kong Computer Electronics Show:
https://archive.org/stream/byte-magazin ... 9/mode/2up
This seems a bit strange that VTech at a HK show would display the Creativision, given it was old news by then?

Another mention of the CreatiVision, in Popular Mechanics, August 1983:
https://books.google.se/books?id=ktQDAA ... &q&f=false

That is five months since the previous mention in InfoWorld, which suggests the system should've been on the US market for a little while, if even only for mail order.

I've come to understand there was a Creativision Inc in the USA, working with videodisc players, possibly from the mid-70's and forward, but definitely active in the 80's. Perhaps there was a name conflict with them, and in the time it had taken for VTech to rename everything, the crash came during 1983 and wiped it all away despite good reviews?

So to summarize, I've found mentions of the VTech CreatiVision in these magazines:

Billboard, October 1982 (about the copyright controversy)
Radio Electronics, February 1983
COMPUTE!, March 1983
InfoWorld, March 1983
Creative Computing, April 1983
Byte Magazine, May 1983
Popular Mechanics, August 1983

That is pretty neat, so many US oriented computer magazines mentioning it.
User avatar
MADrigal
Site Admin
Posts: 968
Joined: Sun Sep 15, 2013 1:00 pm
Contact:

Re: Creative Computing on CreatiVision

Post by MADrigal » Tue Jan 19, 2016 7:26 am

Great job, mate!!! I will start looking for those magazines on Ebay. I definitely need high-res scans of those.
Or maybe some AA user could have them. I'll start a thread in the forum.
Thanks a lot!
Post Reply