Bally Astrocade

Nickname: Bally Computer System, Astrovision
Manufacturer: Bally Manufacturing
Predecessor: -
Successor: -
Release Date: 31/3/1978
Discontinued Date: 31/12/1982
Additional Sizes: -
Display Palette: 256 Colors
Initial Price: US$299 (equivalent to $1,262 in 2019)
Supported Game Media:

Bally Astrocade is a home console release by Midway, a video game division of Bally Manufacturing in 1978. It didn't make an impact in the market, however it's a notable home console due to the power of its graphics at that period.

History of Bally Astrocade

  • Initially, Bally Astrocade was announced in October of 1977 as Bally Home Library Computer.

  • However, from December of 1977 the console was available only through mail order.

  • Eventually, due to production delays, Bally Astrocade delivered to the recipients and to the stores in April of 1978 as Bally Professional Arcade.

  • In 1979 Bally became less interested for the product. Thanks to Astrovision, the console re-released in 1981 as Bally Computer System, including a BASIC cartridge for free.

  • In 1982 the name of the console changed again to Astrocade. It was sold under this name until 1983.

Bally Astrocade has some innovative aspects in terms of the design . The controllers have a pistol grip and at the top there is a joystick that can rotate like a paddle controller. The selection of the games and the different options is done with the help of a keyboard with 24 keys. There is a space at the top of the console to store up to 15 cartridges. The cartridges themselves are designed like cassettes.

An interesting cartridge is the BASIC cartridge that gave the ability to program with the BASIC programming language.

The console comes with an RF adapter that connects the console to the monitors of that time, a power adapter and of course a console manual.