Nintendo Color TV Game 15 – CTG15s and CTG15v

The Nintendo Color TV Game 15 was one of the earliest consoles in Nintendo’s line-up. It was released at a time when almost every system on the market was a variation of Pong, but Nintendo pushed things far further by including Tennis, Hockey, Table Tennis, and Volleyball – who I am Kidding, it’s Pong just in different colours for the most part. πŸ˜€

Some details:

  • Released in 1978
  • Came in two models – CTG15S (left) and CTG15V (right)
  • Game modes – 8
  • 2 Player
  • Price then – 15000yen
  • Price now – $75 – $200

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A common misconception (at least based on the two I own) is that the two models (CTG15s and CTG15v) are exactly the same except for the colour, but let me assure you, this is a misconception.

There is one major difference with the two models that doesn’t seem to get mentioned on the web. As you can see in the picture bellow the CTG15V (right) has larger knobs than the CTG15S (left), but size isn’t the only difference. The CTG15S (the one with the smaller knobs) is inferior – not due to knob size for all you guys feeling bad right now – but because it uses an endless rotary knob (no end or start points) versus the CTG15v which uses knobs that have clear start and clear end points. You may be saying “it shouldn’t make any difference, I can still rotate them in the same way”, but the main issue is that the knobs on the CTG15s do not actually respond to the speed of rotation, whereas the CTG15v (the darker coloured one) do – this is a make or break for this type of game.

Although there is a difference with the knobs on the two I own, this may not reflect that all CTG15S have that same difference. If you own a 15S and it has the same larger knobs as the 15V that I have please let me know.

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The CTG15S is actually more sort after than the CTG15V purely due to rarity, but based on my two, if I were buying one to play then I would definitely try and get the CTG15V.

Another interesting point is that Nintendo wasn’t keen on plastering their name all over the machine either. The only places that have the Nintendo brand are on the RF and power adapter.

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There are many game modes as indicated on the right hand side of the picture bellow. Basically in Japanese it reads that the game modes are Tennis A/B, Hockey A/B, Volleyball A/B, and PingPong A/B. The other switches do things like change bat size, and also change to singles and doubles mode. The two buttons there are a serve button and a reset button.

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In use the Nintendo Color TV Game 15 is a really fun little pong clone. I have had great fun playing this with friends over a beer or two, and I can thoroughly recommend picking one up. πŸ™‚

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Super Mario Land – Board Game?

Not often I get the time to dig until blood oozes from my fingernails in this particular junk shop, but seeing as time was on my side I decided to wear my hands down to nubs digging through the abundance of useless crap that junk shops seem to accumulate. And what did I find? Well, this:

Can’t say I have ever seen this before, nor have can I find anything on the web about it, but using my powerful observational skills, it seems to be a board game based on the Gameboy game ‘Super Mario Land’. I could think of better video games to base a board game on – who am I to question Nintendo and/or Bandai though.

This board game was released in 1989 by Bandai, which I believe is the exact same year for the release of ‘Super Mario Land’ for the Gameboy – correct me if I’m wrong there.

Nintendo baord game 1989

Always good to find something Mario released pre-90s.

The only thing left to do now is actually play the thing – don’t think that will be happening any time soon though – way too many other things that actually make sound and induce seizures to worry about playing a board game! πŸ˜€

Epoch ElectroTennis – Japan’s first console.

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….

Some details:

  • Released in 1975
  • Truly wireless – does not need to be physically connected to the TV, or connected to power.Β  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

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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!

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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.

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