With the release of the Atari PONG and the Magnavox Odyssey, North America was starting to experiment the craze of video games. Although many thought this would only be a trend that would quickly disappear, some understood that being a pioneer in the field might lead to some revenue for whoever could take over the market. As Europe was at this time unexploited, Henry’s, a British retailer of television and Hi-Fi equipment, decided to take the lead into this market. At this point making “Pong-Like” console were still challenging as the systems were still analog at this time, so very few companies dared to enter this market. Henry’s decided to be one of these companies, gambling that they could make money of videogames, whether it was a tread or it was here to stay.
There’s not a lot of information on the VideoSport MK2. It is unclear who manufactured the units and it is also unclear when the VideoSport MK2 was released. An early may 1975, advertisements about the VideoSport MK2 could be found in British magazines. The ads mention the VideoSport MK was now in demonstration in every Henry and that one could be purchased for £34.72 + VAT, which leads to think that the console was already out by April, if not earlier. The VideoSport MK2 was pretty basic, in terms of design. It is made of a main unit where you can select one of three variations of PONG : Tennis, Football and Hole in the Wall. The main unit needed to be connected to the power outlet and didn’t support batteries. The two controllers were attached to the main unit and proposed a Sever button and two knobs to control the paddle horizontally and vertically.
In 1976, with the release of the General Instrument AY-3-8500 pong-on-a-chip, a lot of company started to make pong-type console that included multiple games. Theses consoles were cheaper to produce than the than VideoSport MK2 and had more games. At this point, it was clear that the VideoSport MK2 would not be able to compete with the upcoming flood of cheap console, so Henry’s decided to liquidate the rest of its inventory. The price was reduced to £29.50 and ads claiming that over 10,000 units were already sold began to be published. The liquidation continued until 1977, before being retired from Henry’s store and catalogue.
Three versions of the console exist. The first version is brown and has gold lettering. The second version is brown and has black lettering. The third version is called VideoSport Three-in-One and is made of black plastic.
If you want a more in-depth review, including the internal component, please visits or friends at Pong Story.