Coleco Telstar Arcade
Type Console Developer Coleco
Release Date 1977-Nov Region(s) North America
Initial Price $99.99 USD Games Released 4
     by Marriott_Guy
During the 1970s, Pong systems began to flood the market due to the success of the Atari PONG system.  Looking to capitalize on this emerging market, Coleco produced their own line of these dedicated systems called the Telstar.  Many variations were released, with the final itineration being the Telstar Arcade - a combination PONG system that also incorporated interchangeable cartridges.

What makes this console stand out is its unique triangular shape and integrated controls.  One side featured spinner-type controls for use in Pong style games, while the other two sides featured a steering wheel and light gun respectively.  The custom MPS-700 microcontroller chip was actually contained on the game cartridge, similar to the technology used with the PC-50X family of systems.  The cartridge port is located on the top of the console.  Only four (4) games would be released for the Telstar Arcade.

Once the Atari VCS began to dominate the market in 1978, Coleco ceased production to focus on their own console that would accept programmable cartridges - the ColecoVision.

This is a very interesting console that truly represented the very best of Pong technology for the era.  Definitely worth a look for console collectors if you can score one on the cheap.

     Officially licensed releases
Coleco Telstar Arcade (Model #6177 - Canadian version)
     Non-licensed hardware releases
No clones were released for this system.
     by Marriott_Guy
Consoles are rated based upon the available technology at the time of its release.  A 10 point scale is utilized, with 10 being excellent.

Images courtesy of our friends at Pong-Story
Console Design 08 I rather like the unique triangular design with the integrated controls.  The wood grain facing just screams 'Retro'.
Console Durability 04 Though I have not had any issues, many people have stated having issues with the cartridge port and inconsistent video output.
Controllers 05 Though I love the variety, using the various controls is somewhat difficult (especially the spinners) and not the least bit comfortable.
Graphics 05 Blocky pong-style graphics are the norm, with the Pinball variations providing the best graphical experience IMHO.
Audio 05 An internal beeper provides sound, which was pretty standard for the time on these types of machines.
Media 03 The triangular design is definitely is definitely unique, but some have experienced issues with the system not recognizing the inserted cartridge.
Gamer Value 01 With a few exceptions, all offerings are all basically variations of Pong and offers really nothing new for the standard gamer.
Collector Value 06 These systems are relatively easy to acquire, but could set you back a few dollars depending on what games are included.  This console is a kind of cool addition to add to your collection.

     Interesting facts on software for this system
Software for the Coleco Telstar Arcade was distributed in the ROM cartridge format, sporting a rather unique triangular shape.  Like the PC-50X family of consoles, the processor was contained within the cartridge.  The system was sold with Cartridge #1, with the remaining three available for the purchase price of $25 each.  The list of available titles:
Cartridge #1: Road Race \ Tennis \ Quick Draw
Cartridge #2: Hockey \ Tennis \ Handball \ Target
Cartridge #3: Bonus Pinball \ Deluxe Pinball \ Shooting Gallery
Cartridge #4: Naval Battle \ Blast Away \ Speed-Ball

Coleco Telstar Arcade Game Cartridges

     Captured in-game images
Road Race

     First and third party system emulators
No emulators have been released for this system.
     For the hardware enthusiasts out there - all the detail you\we love.
Processor Type  Processor Speed  Other Processor Information RAM \ Video RAM
MOS Technology MPS-7600
(contained in cartridge)
Screen Resolution Color Palette Polygons \ Sprites Audio
Unknown 4 Colors N\A Internal Beeper
Media Format Media Capacity Games Released Other Supported Formats
Cartridge Unknown 4 None
Internal Storage External \ Removable Storage Game Controllers Other Game \ Peripheral Devices
None None Spinner controls (2), Steering Wheel, Light Gun Optional paddle controllers (came with Cartridge #2)
Controller Ports Network Ports Other Ports Audio \ Video
None (controls built into system) None None RF
Power Supply - External Other Outputs  Other Details \ Notes
Input: AC 110V, 60Hz, 5W
Output: DC 9.0V, 200mA
None None
Not available

     Peripherals, Promotions, Commercials, Brochures, Etc.
Coleco Telstar Arcade Promotion

     Visitor insights and feedback
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