Vector Graphic Video Games
By James Grahame
If you're less than impressed with the upcoming Xbox, how about something completely different? Like the Vectrex game system that had brief success between 1982 and 1984.
Its built-in black & white vector graphics display made it unique. Instead of pixels, Vectrex created images using razor-sharp white lines, just like the arcade version of Asteroids. Because it was competing with full-color consoles, some games featured transparent color screen overlays in a dismal attempt at pseudo-color. Predictably, this ploy failed. Less than two-dozen game cartridges were released, and the system couldn't compete in the overcrowded mid 1980s market.
The original developer released the Vectrex games into the public domain in the mid 90s and talented fans have released a handful of new titles. You can occasionally find used systems on eBay - expect to pay around $100 for one in good condition. Just don't outbid me, OK?