Half the RAM of the Atari 2600 and just a little bit older the Fairchild was actually fairly fun. It is how it earned it’s name after all. The Channel F is not something I know to much about if I’m being honest. I do know it goes for about $250 on the low end if you wanted to buy one. With about 27ish game packs available to purchase most having multiple games. It’s an odd little thing this Fairchild Channel F. The controllers are pretty awesome little grip joysticks that I haven’t really seen anywhere else.
A decent little machine for being the second generation of game consoles. It was the first system to have actual cartridges for one thing. I believe they were like modified 8Track carts? Much like how PlayStation games went with CD cases and Sega went with a VHS styled clamshell for Genesis companies often just try to fit in. Even the NES got it’s iconic tray and push down lever that always wore out just to be more like a VCR.
The games were simple enough and hold up alright. I mean the are still perfectly playable. Some of the sports titles might not be worth it seeing as there are many more advanced options out. Still who doesn’t like some generic ass space game or 70s maze game to pass the time. From what I can see it’s largely overlooked by fans and collectors alike, but I think it would be a decent addition to your gaming shelf.
That’s about $800 today monies by the by. Which seems like, and is, a lot of dosh. Until you put yourself in the mindset of someone back then. A VCR cost around $1,200 and movies about $100 and that’s not adjusting for inflation there. So a $170 dollar game box that could change games was amazing. Back then each system was self contained. Seriously it was like an age of only plug and play systems. Movies didn’t drop in price until Top Gun had a promotion deal, but that is a story for a different day.
Owning a Fairchild Channel F is one thing, but truly appreciating it is what would make someone a real collector. Don’t just buy these things because the are games. Instead you should buy them because they are a part of history. Take some time to dive into the commercials and magazine ads at the time. Try and get a feel for how it must have been back in the day. No Netflix, no DVR, hell not even cable TV. At best you might be able to rent a few movies if you could afford it. So here you had entertainment at the ready.
A more elegant game system for a more civilized time. I for one miss the woodgrain and flat plastic shells that pumped out simple squares with some blips and bloops and lots of radical explosions. The same way we might play a mobile game on our phone to kill time these games were just about fun. No story, only scoring. A fitting start to what would become a massive industry that is changeable games playing in a universal system. Cut short from competition and stronger systems rolling out faster and with a bigger push in marketing. So how about you show some love to one of the earliest systems as we know them today.