Was a video game console system made by Bally intended to take a bit of success of the new era of consoles, started by Atari VCS, in half of the 1970's. Has a BASIC cart to be utilized as a computer and 4 programs bilt in his bios.
* CPU: Z80 3.579 MHz
* RAM: 4 KB
* ROM: 8 KB
* Graphic Modes: 160 x 102 (Basic cartridge : 160 x 88)
* Colors: 8 (Basic cartridge : 2)
* Sound: 3 voices + noise & vibrato
* I/O Ports: Cartridge slot, 4 controller connectors, Expansion port, Light pen connector
* Media: Cartridges
* Number of Games: About 40 cartridges released
* Built In Software: 4 built in programs (Gunfight, Checkmate, Calculator, Scribbling)
* Peripherals: 2 additional controllers, audio cassette interface, RAM expansions, Computer expansion, light-pen
* Controllers: 2 pistol shaped controllers with 1 trigger and a short 8 directions joystick / analogic knob
Currently, MESS emulates both Bally systems
* astrocde [Bally Professional Arcade]
* astrocdw [Bally Computer System]
Both drivers support cart dumps in .bin format, using the "cartridge" (cart) device.
Loading the Astrocade driver without a cartridge image will allow you to use the four built-in programs. Controls
Games are controlled through the controller that has a 1 trigger and a short 8 directions joystick / analogic knob on its top
On the console there are an EJECT button, a RESET button and a 24-keys keypad (with a calculator layout, for use with the built in calculator program). Various Astrocade programs (BASIC, Music Maker, Machine Language Manager etc.) came with a special overlay
for the keypad, in order to easier remember the function of each key. The keypad layout is the following
C UP DOWN %
MR MS CH /
7 8 9 x
4 5 6 -
1 2 3 +
CE 0 . =
To the best of our knowledge, full compatibility, aside from Bally Basic tape support.
History and Trivia
The game console commonly known as the "Bally Astrocade" was never officially sold by that name, having originally been released by Bally Manufacturing in 1978 as the Bally Professional Arcade.
It was withdrawn rather quickly though, due to the success of the competing Atari VCS.
A group of Pro Arcade enthusiasts under the name Astrovision Inc., bought the rights to the Pro Arcade and reintroduced it as the Bally Computer System, including the Basic cartridge as a pack-in.
In 1982, the system and company was renamed Astrocade, once again trying to market it as a video game system. The system didn't last much longer, though; it was a product with a limited interest base even before the video game slump of the next few years.
* Bally Alley -- http://www.ballyalley.com/