I enjoyed the video console review that you made. I also checked out your webpage. Before today I had never heard of this system. Now I feel as though I want to own and actually try hacking-around with it.
I especially enjoyed your demo that included basic hacking tools, such as the ability to program using opcode. Old-school, for sure, but FAR better than what was available before your demo.
(Hey, and I could actually see the Game Pocket Computer's screen!)
Really nice work!
Cool review. Love obscure hand helds!
I heard of the Epoch pocket computer around 96/97, and I always wanted a boxed one with the 5 games available. Sometimes they pop up on ebay, going for like billion $s.
Now we need to do the same for the Palmtex, which is even older (1983)
i liked the review also..never heard of the system before..thanks for the schooling
That is too cool. I always love hearing about systems I never knew about. Was that one Japan only?
This is certainly one gaming item I had not heard of. A lot of the games look like fun (letter game, block maze, graphics program). Of course, it could be that I'm easily amused!
Thanks for sharing, but now I have one more item to look for in my travels!
So, does anyone know what regions it was sold at retail in? Thanks again for the info!
Japan only. As I say at the start of my video.
I bought a boxed Epoch game pocket computer with 3 boxed games about 4 weeks ago from a collector in japan. I just want to say thank you Chris for your wonderfull site on the Game Pocket Computer, it's fantastic and full of great info that I have found most valuable.
From the 1984 chapter in the 4th edition of Phoenix:
Epoch didn’t have any competition against the second console that it released in Japan in 1984. The Game Pocket Computer was a handheld device similar to Milton Bradley’s pioneering Microvision. Despite the term handheld, the Game Pocket Computer needed two hands to operate it. The size of a small book, the console was 8.5 inches wide and nearly six inches vertically. Positioned almost in the center of the unit was a 75 x 64 pixel black & white LCD screen, which gave the console far greater resolution than the 16 x 16 screen that the Microvision provided.
The Game Pocket Computer was the first handheld unit in Japan. Like the Microvision, it was programmable by changing game cartridges. Unfortunately, the system was a failure and disappeared from store shelves not long after it was released. It is unclear why the system failed since stand-alone handheld, and programmable consoles, were popular. The reason might have been because there wasn’t any available software that made people rush out and buy a unit. In addition to a built-in puzzle game and drawing application, only five game cartridges were offered. It would be another five years until another hand-held console would be available. And that one would have a killer application.
Last edited by rolenta; 02-15-2012 at 08:30 AM.
The Game Scholar
Publisher of Historical Videogame Books
Phoenix 4 coming in 2013
Cool stuff. Now we can use your book as a citation on Wikipedia since they don't accept information from pages in Japanese, nor from my own website...