Monday, June 29, 2009

The Epoch Cassette Vision 1981

The Epoch was the first home console made in Japan. That's right--all of the systems we've mentioned up until now were manufactured in the USA.
The Cassette Vision came out a full two years before Nintendo would enter the scene, so Epoch basically had no competition.The Japanese really weren't into playing video games at home. They loved their arcades (Space Invaders was so popular it literally created a coin shortage) but none of the American game consoles had caught on.
Epoch had a unique vision of fixing this by bringing Japan a console that was quite a bit shittier than others on the market. One big problem was the controllers. You know when you're playing video games and you're leaning left and right with the controller, throwing it in anger, all that?
Well, if you did that with the Epoch, you'd be out of a system, seeing as how the controllers were just knobs built onto the console itself.
Imagine booting up the ol' Xbox and then holding it on your lap as you play. That's what the Epoch was. Keep in mind this thing came out five years after the Fairchild up there and its handy wired controllers.
So the thing sold horribly and then, in 1983, Nintendo released the Famicom (the NES to us) and the Epoch Cassette Vision was forgotten forever.
Epoch, however, struck back with the Cassette Vision Junior. They apparently figured their first system failed because awestruck consumers were intimidated by its technical prowess, so they corrected this by making the Junior much smaller and shittier than the original.
At this point consumers in Japan made it clear that if Epoch ever tried to release a video game system again, they would burn down their office.

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