Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Repairing my rare, broken Japanese Intellivision

I grew up with the Mattel Intellivision - I've made a video about that before. It was my first real game console and I still love it.

Not a lot of people realize that Mattel licensed the system not just to Sears and Radio Shack (who made their own versions), but also to Bandai in Japan. This system was one of the first American game consoles ever to get an official Japanese release.

But it never caught on there, and consequently it's pretty rare to find a Bandai machine in the wild even in Japan. I discovered this one purely by chance sitting on a shelf at Super Potato in Ikebukuro, Tokyo for ¥9,800 - about $90 at the time. A steal!

It was marked "untested" and I was warned verbally about that before purchasing too, but it looked almost unused and these machines have no moving parts - what could go wrong? You see where this is heading.

Of course it didn't work - there was major character corruption in every game. (One of my YouTube commenters asked if this wasn't a mismatch between a Japanese console and American games, but to be clear, there were no localized Japanese games. They just repackaged the American ones with some Japanese language packaging and instructions.) You can see that at the beginning of this video.

So here I am trying to diagnose and fix this machine, with some help from the good people at AtariAge.com. Was I successful? Well, watch and find out! I will warn you that the process was not short, and neither is the video.

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About This Blog

This is increasingly not a blog about Alphabet City, New York. I used to live in the East Village and work on Avenue B, but I no longer do. Why don't I change the name if I'm writing about Japan and video games and guitars? Because New Yorkers are well-rounded people with varied interests, and mine have gone increasingly off the rails over the years. And I don't feel like changing the name. I do still write about New York City sometimes.

About Me

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I'm married. I like to travel. I have no kids. I have a house... that I'm bad at maintaining. I used to collect classic video games. I own a lot of musical equipment that far outstrips my ability to use it. When I was younger, I was in a band. I like gadgets, and I'm an Android guy. Someday, I would like to live on a different planet.


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