How Video Games Invaded The Home TV Set – Chapter 24

And Now To 1975

Magnavox was not completely asleep at the wheel, fortunately. Early in ’75 they had started producing a new unit, their Model 200. It used the same TI chip set as the new Model 100 but with an additional TI chip that allowed it to play “Smash”.

In February, National Semiconductor entered the UK market with a 3 game IC design retailing at about $85 US equivalent.

Early in March, I drove down to General Instruments’ Hicksville, Long Island plant at Ed Sack’s invitation. He was the general manager there. I was shown a preview of GI’s AY3-8500 multi game single chip video game … the chip that would dominate home video game designs for the next several years all across the globe. That chip had been clandestinely designed by two freelancing engineers at G.I.’s Glen Rothes’ operation in Scotland. Ed Sacks got wind of it and had the Scottish engineers sent to Hicksville to demonstrate their device and to test the water for interest by US toy and game manufacturers. The engineers never went “home” again.

The AY3-8500 Chip Saga

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