Bandai was one of the first Japanese company to jump in the video-game bandwagon. In 1977, they released their first pong clone called the TV Jack 1000. By 1978 they had released the TV Jack 1200, TV Jack 1500 and the TV Jack 3000. Bandai then released the first cartridge based video game system in Japan : the TV-Jack 5000. The 5000 series used cartridges that contained a chip that includes all the logic of the games. Commonly call “Pong-on-a-Chip”, these made it possible to sell a console which could later be “upgraded” to play more games. Although these cartridges were an innovative new way to deliver gaming experience to customers, these cartridges were expensive to produce as they included high-end electronic component. In the west, the use of ROM cartridges were already in full speed and Bandai knew they had to be the first to market if they wanted to retain their share in this very lucrative segment.
In 1978 Bandai started to work on the TV-Jack 8000, the first in the series that would support ROM cartridges. Bandai had no experience in developing such a console and spent a lot of money in R&D. After a year of development, the console was finally unveil at the Tokyo International Toy Fair under a new name : the Super Vision 8000. At the time, no games were announced. An optional keyboard was also planned to turn the device into a computer.
Release on December 1979, the SuperVision 8000 was finally released. The system came bundled with Missile Vader, but at the time, no other game were available. The marketing of the console was around the promise of cheaper games with unlimited potential, thanks to the new ROM format. Sadly, the massive investment in R&D made the cost of the hardware jumped the price to ¥59,800. Although this was roughly at part with the Epoch Cassette TV Game. an rebranded Atari 2600, the price was about twice the price of other systems of the time. Bandai hoped that a large range of games would convince customers that the Super Vision 8000 was a worthy investment. But like the chicken and egg problem, the limited number of games impacted the sale figures of the system which in turn made it unprofitable to release more games. In a short time span, Bandai released 6 other games, but the new flux of game was not enough to give the electroshock this console needed.
Although a fairly decent hardware, the Super vision 8000 was just too expensive. An eight game called Super Tank was cancelled and Bandai completely abandoned the platform. Instead, it struck deal with western company to bring their technology to Japan. As such, they distributed the Mattel Intellivision, Emerson Arcadia and MB Vectrex.
Only 7 games were released in its short life-span.
The power supply of the Super Vision 8000 is proprietary and very weird. It used an input of AC 100V, 50/60Hz, 18VA and have a double output:
- Output A: DC 9V, 800mA
- Output B: DC 9V, 100mA
I was able to replace the power supply with two AC Converter Adapters with the following specs : DC 9V, 1A, 5.5mm x 2.1mm tip.