Sunday, 24 January 2016

EPOCH Electrotennis


Look on my Pong, ye Mighty, and despair!

This hulking orange plank was the first video game designed and produced in Japan, setting in motion a cultural realignment, that even in 2016 still hasn't peaked. Electrotennis was undoubtedly a bold entrance into the world of video games for the Japanese and its designer Epoch. Staying true to the cliche of import and improve, this console dominates its puny gaijin brethren through technological wizardry and sheer audacity of design. When compared side by side with other Pong clones they adopt a rather emaciated, dishevelled look: lacking in belief, suddenly unsure of themselves, mere husks of Pongs! Indeed only the original Magnavox and a select few Pongs can rival it for magnificence.

Contrast with these execrable Pong runts.

Not content to out-bling the opposition Epoch jumped ahead of the game by roughly ten years and made the Electrotennis the worlds first fully wireless gaming console. Just plonk down the antenna, shove in some batteries and you needn't give a tuppeny fart for the inconvenience of a wire. The final coup de grace of the design process was to make the scoring system analogue: while other consoles strained to incorporate this feature into their limited chips, Epoch made their console retro before the term in computer gaming circles even existed.

Limited edition console.

Encyclopedic Pong Resource
A Brief History of Early Japanese Video Games
The Pong Story
Electrotennis Simulator

Despite these mouthwatering looks and technological innovations; when it comes to gameplay the Electrotennis is just another utterly plebeian Pong rip-off. But what a rip-off.

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