Bit Corporation (普澤) was a Taiwanese game developer and console manufacturer. They had previously worked on many Atari 2600 & ColecoVision games and had released various computer and console, such as the infamous Dina 2 in 1, a console that is able to play both Sega SG-1000 and ColecoVision games. After the release of the Nintendo Game Boy, Bit Corporation decided to release its own console.
In 1990, Bit Corporation released the Gamate. Bit Corporation managed the distribution in China while it used distributors around the world, such as Alston Research in the U.S., Cheetah Marketing in the UK, GIG in Italy, Uranium in Switzerland, Yeno in Germany/France, Electrolab in Argentina and PlayMix in Sweden. In the U.S. the game was only available by mail order through Alston Research. The system was also sold in other countries such as Australia and Finland. At release, the Gamate was a moderate success in Asia and Europe. In fact, like the Game Master, Bit Corporation tried to capitalize on the countries where the Game Boy were not already an established powerhouse. Although the Game Boy would eventually dominate in Europe, it was only released in late 1990, giving a fighting chance to the Gamate. The console was never sold in Japan where the Game Boy was king and, although it was available in the U.S., it was only distributed via mail order.
Almost immediately after the release of the Gamate, a color version dubbed the Gamate Color was being advertised as being in the plan. Sadly, this version would never see the light of day.
By 1992, Bit Corporation had released around 45 games for the system, but financial difficulties force the closure of the company. The right to the Gamate handled was transferred to but UMC and its subsidiary Funtech, the maker of the Super A’Can, which continued to produce Gamate hardware and games until 1994.
All Gamate consoles have a seven digits serial number near the card port on the rear of the console. The first two digits represent the year of manufacture, while the last five represent the unit’s chronology. Therefore, a unit with the number “9001687”, was the 1687th produced in 1990.
|Memory||16 KB (2 × CXK5864M-15L chips) of static RAM|
|Audio||internal mono speaker, external stereo headphones|
|Power||6V, four AA batteries|
|Cartridges||Yes. 2 KB (UM6116M-2L CMOS static RAM)|
|Communication||Gamate link cable|
|Dimensions||16.7 × 9.7 × 3.3 cm|