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Fairchild Channel F

 


Fairchild Channel F

The Fairchild Channel F is a game console released by Fairchild Semiconductor in August 1976 at the retail price of $169.95. It has the distinction of being the first programmable ROM cartridge-based video game console. It was launched as the Video Entertainment System, or VES released their , but when AtariVCS the next year, Fairchild renamed its machine.

The first microchip was created at Fairchild Camera and Instrument by Robert Noyce. This small wafer of silicon would play the most important role in the evolution of video games.  Because of it, video games would no longer be limitted by the number of TTL switches. One of the first systems to contain this technology was the Fairchild Channel F.

A small library of titles were produced for the Channel F, but the system never achieved the kind of popularity experienced by the other systems at the time.  The Channel F originally sold for $170 with its game cartridges averaging around $20 a piece.


Chris  annuvin03@sega.net  on Saturday, January 6, 2001 at 21:12:41 
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I was lucky enough to find a mint Fairchild system at a garage sale a few weeks ago. It was a bargain for $15.00. You can see detailspics of  it and many others at [http://www.vintagecomputer.com/]  Happy vintage gaming!  
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David Spake  david@spake.org  on Wednesday, December 13, 2001 at 12:28:12 
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I avidly played this gamesystem far into the atari 2600 days. The maze game kept us squeeling, and the backgammon/ace duce game were my first exposure to these more traditional games. 
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Keary Quigley  kearyq@hotmail.com  on Thursday, April 20, 2000 at 22:51:40 
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I used to love playing this as a kid. I liked the pong/tennis type game built in to the system and required no cartridge. I was addicted to blackjack and that maze game with the confounded evil green square that competed with you. If only I could find one to buy for old times sake....... 
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Jt august starsabre@att.net  on Sunday, February 27, 2000 at 00:03:48 
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The Fairchild Channel F can only generate six colours on screen, and has a very corse graphic resolution.

The original version of the machine generated sound from an internal speaker, and had a dust cover on top of it.  The Channel F II sends sound through the r/f, and lacks the dust cover.  The system rights were later turned over to a company called Zircon for a short time before the system disappeared from the market. 
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Steven Steinsapir techgod@gte.net  on Wednesday, January 26, 2000 at 01:18:07 
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In the 1976-1978 time frame, I used to play this at the Macy's.  It had a three dimensional joystick  
controller.  You could push it in the x and y axis, and pull it up and down in the Z axis.  You could also  
rotate the head as well.  
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