Emerson Arcadia 2001
Type Console Developer Emerson Radio Corp.
Release Date 1982-May Region(s) North America, Japan, Europe, Australasia
Initial Price $199 USD Games Released Approx. 45
DW FACTS
     by Dark Watcher
Emerson Arcadia 2001 was supposed to be the Atari 2600 killer.  A great console with great games.  Unfortunately they fell prey to complete lack of third party development and the lack of arcade game titles.  Similar to other consoles before it, they were forced to release arcade clones.

The system didn't grasp much attention and soon found its way to the bargain bin at the cost of $99.  The release of the ColecoVision months later sealed the Arcadia's fate.  The Emerson Arcadia 2001 died after only a year and a half with 35 game releases.  Most never recall it existed.  Many clones of it (such as the Leonardo) were released across the world though.  It was also licensed and distributed in Japan by Bandai for 19,800 yen.

FACT: In an attempt to boost the system in advertisements, the Emerson Arcadia was said to have 24K of system RAM.  This is actually a huge lie and the single largest reason for historians and researchers to be VERY cautious about taking any sales-related statements at face value.
Emerson『ARCADIA-2001』
HANDS ON REVIEW
     by Marriott_Guy
In 1982, Emerson Radio Corporation decided to enter the video game hardware arena with their release of the Arcadia 2001.  Better known for their development of affordable electronic products, this move was not entirely a big surprise.  Emerson was always looking for market niches to penetrate to utilize their existing electronics manufacturing team.  As with their previous releases of low-end, price friendly electrical component ventures, the Arcadia 2001 would eventually suffer the same fate.

The Arcadia 2001 is not necessarily a bad looking machine.  The sturdy, brown plastic housing has a nice accent of wood grain trimming (which was very popular at that time).  The console sports a very clean user interface, located in the front and center of the unit.  Soft, rounded, gold colored buttons provide easy access to the main systems functions (Reset, Select, Option, Start).  The square shaped Power button that flanks these buttons to the right does not really quite fit into the scheme - almost as if this was an afterthought of the chassis design team.

The two, non-detachable keypads (Intellivision-type clone) rest in cradles to the left and right, though do not truly fit visually into the design of the console (maybe another afterthought).  The Arcadia 2001 does sport one of the longest video RF cables I have seen - 12' long.  The plug for the 12 Volt external power supply and a Channel 3/4 switch adorn the back side of this system.  There are two (2) screw 'holes' on the back as well.  I have no idea what these are used for.
Underneath the hood, the Arcadia 2001 was powered by Signetics 2650 running at 3.58 MHz which produced games in 8 colors and at a screen resolution of 208 x 108.  The best way to describe games for the Arcadia 2001 is to think of an Atari 2600 release and inject it with a light dose of steroids.  The Arcadia 2001 was a more powerful machine that the console it was intended to dethrone, but Emerson lacked a critical component for success in the console wars - third party support.

A number of popular games were developed for the Arcadia 2001, including Pacman, Galaxian and Defender.  Atari successfully sued Emerson, and other companies, claiming they had exclusive rights to these game franchises.  These games never saw the light of day and resulted in a waste of a great deal of capital.  This left Emerson scrambling for suitor(s) to develop game software.  With the Atari 5200 and the ColecoVision about to be released, both being superior systems, development for the Arcadia 2001 was non existent.  A total of 45 games (most arcade clones) were released for this system.  Surprising, this console was manufactured and released in many different countries outside of the USA.  All are basically the same, but differ in one significant way - cartridge size.  Games are not necessarily compatible with all systems.
Photobucket
Cartridges came in two different sizes and are black in color (USA) with well rendered artwork adorning the front of the cart (almost like a mini water color painting) and game instructions on the back.  The title is displayed along the 'spine' of the cartridge in easy to read 'rainbow' lettering.  The silver colored boxes are similar in size to the Atari 2600, but much more sturdy and are handsomely numbered.  Many games come packaged with a controller overlay identical to the same concept used by Intellivision.

Development for the Arcadia 2001 ceased about one year after its debut.  Unable to compete with technologically superior consoles that were released at virtually the same time (Atari 5200 and ColecoVision) coupled with the lack of third party software support sealed this system's fate.

Prices seem to fluctuate greatly on this system and appear to be dependant on the respective model.  Though this console was a relative failure and a mere blip on the radar, it is not that rare and can be easily obtained.

MODELS
     Officially licensed releases
The Arcadia 2001 was released in many countries by many manufacturers.  The following are just a few of the many variations of this technology.
Emerson Arcadia 2001
Country released: USA
Schmidt TVG-2000
Country released: Germany
Schmidt TVG-2000
Bandai Arcadia
Country released: Japan
Leisure Vision
Country released: Canada
Leisure Vision
Tunix Home Arcade
Country released: New Zealand
Tunix Home Arcade
Hanimex HMG-2650
Country released: Germany & Canada
Hanimex HMG-2650
Grandstand Video Master
Country released: New Zealand
Grandstand Video Master
Principal MPT-03 Home Ent. Centre
Country released: France
Principal MPT-03 Home Entertainment Centre
Tempest MPT-03
Country released: Australia
Tempest MPT-03
Advision Home Arcade
Country released: France
Advision Home Arcade
Tchibo Tele-Fever
Country released: Germany
Tchibo Tele-Fever
GiG Leonardo
Country released: Italy 
GiG Leonardo
Poppy MPT-03
Country released: Germany
Poppy MPT-03
Intelligent Game Home Ent.
Country released: United States
Intelligent Home Entertainment Center
Prestige MPT-03
Country released: France
Prestige MPT-03
Intervision 3001 Home Video Centre
Country released: Spain
Intervision 3001 Home Video Centre
Rowntron MPT-03
Country released: Unknown 
Rowntron MPT-03
Soundic MPT-03
Country released: Europe 
Soundic MPT-03
CLONES
     Non-licensed hardware releases
No clones were released for this system.
CONSOLE RATINGS
     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.

CRITERIA RATING NOTES & COMMENTS
Console Design 06 Small and compact, the Arcadia 2001 is well designed with an intuitive layout.  The front storage slots do not provide enough room to properly 'seat' the controllers. 
Console Durability 03 Though I have not had any issues with my system, these are rather finicky machines and are known for not being able to read cartridges at times and controller wires becoming detached inside the unit.
Controllers 06 I am not a fan of the disc controller, but the addition of the detachable joystick posts are a welcomed feature.  The hardwired controller cords are entirely too short.  The keypad is responsive with individual keys appropriately spaced.
Graphics 04 The initial feel of most titles is quite good, but when the action gets going the system slows down substantially.
Audio 01 In a word: horrible.  Sounds effects are either non-existent or rendered poorly.  This is probably one of the worst examples of audio performance (relative to the available technology) of any console.
Media 05 Cartridges came in two sizes, with no discernable differences. Many are not a fan of the water color illustrations that adorn the cartridge face, but I happen to like the simple presentation.
Gamer Value 02 Most of the library consists of hacks of previously released games (i.e. Pac-Man).  For the average gamer, the Arcadia 2001 does not offer anything new.
Collector Value 06 Though these systems are rather common, acquiring one in good working order can sometimes be a challenge.  

FORMAT, PACKAGING & GENERAL INFO
     Interesting facts on software for this system
Software for the Emerson Arcadia 2001 was distributed on ROM cartridges.  Emerson opted to use cardboard, book-style packaging that is almost identical to the type used by Mattel for its Intellivision.  These boxes are pretty sturdy compared to those utilized my Mattel and Atari.

As previously discussed, for some unknown reason the cartridges came in two sizes.  Besides the oversized plastic housing, there does not seem to be any technical difference between the two.

Many of the manufacturers of the Arcadia 2001 released their own packaging for games.  Companies like Bandai, Leisure-Vision, Schmid and Tunix rebranded the software and sold them under their respective flag.  Though many of the game titles are consistent, cartridge sizes often differ depending on the respective brand.  Thusly, games for the various Arcadia 2001 and clones are not necessarily compatible.
Sample Game Play

Emerson Arcadia 2001 Game Boxes


SCREENSHOTS
     Captured in-game images
3D Bowling
Alien Invaders
American Football
Baseball
Brain Quiz
Breakaway
Cat Trax
Escape
Funky Fish
Grand Slam Tennis
Hobo
Jungler
Missile War
Ocean Battle
Pleiades
Red Clash
Robot Killers
Route 16
Soccer
Space Attack
Space Squadron
Space Vultures
Star Chess
Tanks Allot

EMULATION
     First and third party system emulators
MESS

MESS (Multi-Emulator Super System) is a DOS based emulator capable of running many
 systems including this one.  It has a Windows based GUI and is extremely user friendly.
SPECS & MANUALS
     For the hardware enthusiasts out there - all the detail you\we love.
Processor Type  Processor Speed  Other Processor Information RAM \ Video RAM
Signetics 2650 (8-bit) 3.58 MHz Signetics 2637 VDC 512 bytes
Screen Resolution Color Palette Polygons \ Sprites Audio
208 x 108 8 colors 4 sprites Single channel beep; Single channel noise
Media Format Media Capacity Games Released Other Supported Formats
Cartridge 2048 to 8192 bytes Approx. 45 None
Internal Storage External \ Removable Storage Game Controllers Other Game \ Peripheral Devices
None None Digital disc None
Controller Ports Network Ports Other Ports Audio \ Video
Two (hardwired) None None RF
Power Supply - External Other Outputs  Other Details \ Notes
Input: AC 120V, 60Hz
Output: DC 12V, 0.5a
None None
Manuals
Emerson Arcadia 2001 Owners Manual (PDF) - 1.53 MB
Emerson Arcadia 2001 Service Manual (PDF) - 1.33 MB

OTHER MEDIA
     Peripherals, Promotions, Commercials, Brochures, Etc.
Emerson Arcadia 2001 Television Promotion

Emerson Arcadia 2001 Game Catalogue



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