Studio II
Studio II



Emulation info
Overall emulation:  good   
Color emulation:  good  
Sound emulation:  imperfect  
Graphics emulation:  good  
Savestates:  supported   

Tech info
CDP1802 ("ic1")cpu 1760000 Hz
Speaker ("mono")audio
Beep ("beeper")audio
Screen ("screen")raster horizontal 100 x 246 @ 59.978190
Media devices
cartridge ("cartslot") cartridge cart st2, bin, rom
Software lists

Romset info
ROM NameSizeCRC32SHA1Dump StateBIOS option
84932.ic11512 283b7e654b6d21cde59712ecb5941ff63d8eb161420b0aacgood
84933.ic12512 a396b77c023517f67af61790e6916b6c4dbe2d9dc07ae3ffgood
85456.ic13512 d25cf97fd489f41f1125c76cc8ed9defa82a877ae014ef21good
85457.ic14512 74aa724f085832f29e0d2a387c75463d66c54fb6c1e9e72cgood


* CPU: RCA 1802 1.78 MHz
* Co-Processor: CDP1861 video display chipset
* RAM: 512 bytes (normally 256 bytes display RAM, 256 bytes program RAM)
* ROM: 2 KB
* Graphic Modes: 64 x 32 (theoretical maximum of 64 x 128 is possible)
* Colors: Black & white
* Sound: Single channel buzzer
* I/O Ports: Cartridge slot, video output & power in
* Media: Catridges
* Controllers: Two built-in keypads (10 keys: numbers from O to 9)


MESS supports the emulation of the studio2 with a "cartridge" (cart) device, for cart dumps in .st2 format. If you run the system without a cart, it would give you access to one of the five built in games / programs (see below).


2 Keypads: Player 1 left, Player 2 right

Keypads have following Layout

1 2 3

4 5 6

7 8 9



The console has 5 Built in programs in ROM. Without a cartridge inserted, the screen stays black after turning on. Player 1 selects game using a key between 1 and 5.

1(A) Doodle
2(W) Patterns
3(E) Bowling
4(A) Freeway
5(S) Math

- __Doodle__: Use the numberpad keys to move the pointer, use Num-5 to turn the pen on or off.
- __Patterns__: Use the numberpad keys to draw a line or symbol, then press Num-0 to generate a pattern.
- __Bowling__: To bowl: Player 1 press X; Player 2 press Num-2.
- __Freeway__: Press Num-0 to start. Press Num-4 and Num-6 to steer.
- __Math__: Add together the 3 digits on the lower line, press the letter corresponding to the correct answer.

History and Trivia

Early console for TV connection, sold from several firms under different names

The RCA Studio II was the second programmable video game system in the world, following the Fairchild Video Entertainment System released a few months earlier. (The Magnavox Odyssey had cartridges, but was not programmable - the cartridges simply acted as jumpers to select games already built in to the analog electronics of the system). When looking at the Studio II, it's clear that best-selling systems of that time, Pongs, inspired RCA. Cosmetically, it looks like a Pong...

But the Studio II is more than a pong, it also is programmable. A total of 10 cartridges were released before RCA dropped the system in 1979. The Studio II also came with 5 built in games: Bowling, Freeway (car racing), Patterns, Doodles, and Math. Unlike Fairchild's system, RCA's was only in black and white and the sound was through a single channel "Pong" style beeper housed in the system itself.

The controllers are quite basic: only two numeric keypads built-in the system, labeled "A" for left player and "B" for right player. The numeric keypads are composed of ten keys numbered from 0 to 9. Arrows are also drawn next to the keys to indicate that "4" is for left, "6" for right, "2" for up, "3" for up-right, etc. "0" is thus often used as the fire button (depending on games of course).

Sadly, the RCA was quickly outdated (the day it was released some would say) due to the fast pace techat technology was evolving at. 9 months later the Atari VCS was released, with color high resolution graphics, custom sound that actualy came through your television,
and what was to become one of the largest game libraries of any console to date...

Some years later, color clone systems appeared in Europe. They were clearly marketed as cheap systems for people who couldn't afford more "modern" systems like the ColecoVision or Vectrex. They include the Soundic MPT-02 Victory, Hanimex MPT-02, Mustang 9016 Telespiel
Computer, Conic M-1200 and the Sheen 1200 Micro Computer. Some have modifications from the original RCA Studio II such as detachable controllers or even color graphics. There were also some new cartridges produced for these systems, such as Concentration Match for the

It is interesting to notice that MPT-02 systems are Studio RCA 2 software-compatible, MPT-03 are Emerson Arcadia 2001 software-compatible and MPT-04/05 systems are Interton VC-4000 software-compatible systems...

(info from


* Paul Robson's Page --
* Studio II at --

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* Paul Robson's Stem --

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