Since the Channel F had a slight breakdown last year, in which I could only run the internal games only, I decided to bring it back for 2013 (to give it another shot with my nice multi-cart). That way it would get a better chance to show off what it was and still is, a great piece of history. And honestly, I think I found another sweet spot. Nah, just kidding on that last bit, but it did rather well in the back of the room.
The original programmable cartridge-based console from the late 70’s, the Fairchild’s Channel F, is still a rather unique and interesting system. While it only does three colors, red, green, and blue, it still has some good – if odd looking color-wise – games for it, considering when it was made and how weak it is compared to other systems around its time. The oddest and one of the coolest things about the Channel F in the controllers. They are both joystick, paddles, and action button, all-in-one. Which is kind of fun to watch, as a few people take a minute or so to figure this out. 😉
As happened last year, and more so for 2013, people playing the channel F seemed to really get a kick out of it. Adults laughed a bit at the simplicity of the console, but they still enjoyed playing an assortment of games I had running on it. On Family Day – Sunday – many kids got a kick out of Dodge-It, one of the better games IMHO for this console, as it is so easy to pick up and play this game.
While Dodge-It was the main game, a home-brew version of Pac-Man did well, along with the built in Pong-like games and a few others as well. It was just so cool to see a good amount of people enjoying a piece of video game history. And best of all, was talking with Scott Adams – who popped into the room on setup night – and we had a very nice chat about the older systems that started all this gaming goodness (including talking about the Channel F and the RCA Studio II to be precise).
To wrap this simple recap up, one of the oldest systems to date did very, very well for the UC 2012 exhibit, with only two other consoles doing better overall. And that is saying something for a system from the late 70’s that didn’t fair so well on the market back then!
Channel F popularity rating for 2013: A-