First off, I have to apologise for not getting more content up recently. Life has been absolutely crazy, and that’s putting it mildly… Anyway, I am back now – if only for this small post.
You guys may remember the ‘Epoch Bubble Bobble’ post I made a while back? Well if not, it was pretty much the Bubble Bobble version of what you see here – a small LCD handheld that someone would buy if they were spending too much cash on the arcade equivalent (‘equivalent’ used lightly), only to get home, rip off the wrapper and realise that it was nothing like the arcade machine.
Well, here we have the Hang-on handheld! Another handheld that is sure to disappoint those who expected the arcade in the palm of your hand.
As I mentioned in the Bubble Bobble post, these particular LCDs aren’t exactly retro by any stretch of the imagination. The release dates for these don’t go that far back at all (2005 being the year of release), but that doesn’t make them any less sort after. Over here in Japan they come up reasonably often, but the prices vary wildly. I got this one sealed/unused for about the 1,000yen mark if I remember rightly, which I believe is a great deal.
I haven’t cracked this one open to try it out, so again I will turn to the great ‘Showagamer’ on youtube to demo this little LCD beast.
I picked this Epoch Bubble Bobble LCD up a few weeks back, and I thought it was well worth a post as I’d never seen one before. I can’t actually recall where I snagged this from – which shows you that I may have a buying problem – but was cheap enough, and the fact that it’s still sealed and unused definitely made it a must buy.
Epoch released some great LCD and VFD based games in the 1980s, but this particular game was released in 2005. Even though it’s not exactly vintage it’s still quite sort after, and it’s not unheard of to see them selling for around the $60.
I have not cracked this one open to try it out, and in all honesty I probably won’t, but if you’re keen to see it in action, a great Youtuber by the name of ‘Showagamer has a video of it running.
Not quite the arcade classic by any means, but neither was Nintendo’s Donkey Kong Game & Watch – that didn’t make it any less of a great handheld.
It’s not often you find the bargain to end all bargains – unless you live in Japan that is. Welcome to the Epoch Electrotennis.
The Epoch Electrotennis is Japan’s first console. Now just to be clear, there were other gaming consoles in Japan before the release of this machine (in 1975), but this console is the first to be released by a Japanese company on home soil, and if you’re going to release a pong clone, why not make it the strangest you can….
Released in 1975
Truly wireless – does not need to be physically connected to the TV, or connected to power. The Electrotennis broadcasts it’s own analogue signal over the airwaves!
Game modes – Single (AI in the 70s was um… interesting), and Two-player
Power – batteries
Unlike most pong clones of the time, this one allows the player to move the bat in and out as well as up and down – revolutionary!
Price then – 19500yen
Price now – has been known to sell between $1,000 to $1,500
In practice the most striking point (at least for me) about this machine is the fact that it broadcasts it’s own signal. The signal that it puts out is amazingly strong too! The pictures bellow show the system on and working, and I did not have an antenna plugged into the TV to get the picture you see there – I am pretty sure the neighbours could see me playing if they were on the right channel!
All up it’s a very interesting machine, and well worth playing. Is it worth it’s current selling price? Well if you’re buying it for gameplay then I would say no, but if you’re buying it for the history then who am I to argue. Would I pay $1,500 for one? Nope, but I wouldn’t knock someone that would.