In 1977, the video game industry in Japan was not very developed. A few pong-type console existed, but none of the more “modern” cartridge-based console such as the Fairchild Channel F and the RCA Studio II had made it to Japan yet. Takatoku, a pioneer toy maker in Japan wanted to release a novel system to compete with Nintendo and Bandai. At the time, General Instruments had just released the GIMINI 8600 concept to allow companies to release a cheap cartridge-based console using parts provided by General Instruments. Takatoku saw an opportunity to be the first to market a system based on this technology in Japan.
Released in October 1977 as the Takatoku Video Cassette Rock “Service Set”, the Video Cassette Rock became the first cartridge-based video game console made in Japan. The “Service Set” has paddles and came with 6 Ball games cartridge (Model: TG-95-01) and was sold for ¥13,800. It was also possible to purchase the console with no cartridges for ¥9,800. In December 1977, Takatoku released the “Basic Set” which switch the paddles for joysticks and came with the 8 Ball games cartridge (Model : CTV-8600). The “Basic Set” was the most expensive version selling for ¥17,600.
As for the PC-50x consoles, each cartridge would include an AY-3-8xxx chip from General Instruments. Released in 1976. these chips were the game logic in almost all the pong-type console of the time. As most of the circuitry was in the chip, the console is more or less just a shell used to take the control, power and output the video. All other operations were directly on the cartridges.
The Video Cassette Rock never really caught on due to the competition of the Nintendo Color TV Games and the Bandai TV Jack console series, which make it a really sought after collectors item.
95-1 Rhythm box
95-2 Sound Effector (synthesizer)
95-3 Tank game (AY-3-8700)
95-5 Car race (AY-3-8603)
95-6 6 Ball games (AY-3-8500)
95-7 8 Ball games (AY-3-8600)
Stunt Rider (???)