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Encyclopedia > Microvision

The Microvision was a hand-held game console released by Milton Bradley Company in 1979. The Microvision was designed by Jay Smith who later went on to design the famous Vectrex. Microvision's combination of a cartridge-based system and portability would surely be a success. In the first year, $8 million was grossed making Smith Engineering a million dollar industry. But very few cartridges, a small screen, and no backing-up by a conventional console lead to its demise in 1981. Image File history File linksMetadata Microvision2. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Microvision2. ... A handheld game console is a lightweight, portable, electronic device for playing video games. ... The Milton Bradley Company was established by Milton Bradley in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1860. ... This page refers to the year 1979. ... The Vectrex is an 8-bit video game console developed by General Consumer Electric (GCE) and later bought by Milton Bradley Company. ... 1981 (MCMLXXXI) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

Microvision units and cartridges are very rare nowadays. Time is taking its toll on the Microvision units still in existence. There are three main problems faced by Microvision owners: screen rot, ESD damage, and keypad destruction. To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...

The manufacturing process used to create the Microvision's LCD was primitive by today's standards. Poor sealing and impurities introduced during manufacture has resulted in a condition known as screen rot. The liquid crystal spontaneously leaks and permanently darkens, resulting in a game unit that still plays but is unable to properly draw the screen. While extreme heat (such as resulting from leaving the unit in the sun) can instantly destroy the screen, there is nothing that can be done to prevent screen rot in most Microvisions. It has been suggested that Color LCD be merged into this article or section. ...

A major design problem involves the fact that the microprocessor (which is inside the top of each cartridge) lacks ESD protection and is directly connected to the copper pins which normally connect the cartridge to the Microvision unit. If the user opens the protective sliding door that covers the pins, the processor can be exposed to any electric charge the user has built up. If the user has built up a substantial charge, the discharge can jump around the door's edge or pass through the door itself (dielectric breakdown). The low-voltage integrated circuit inside the cartridge is extremely ESD sensitive, and can be destroyed by an event of only a few dozen volts which cannot even be felt by the person delivering the fatal shock. To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... The term electrical breakdown has several similar but distinctly different meanings. ... Integrated circuit showing memory blocks, logic and input/output pads around the periphery A monolithic integrated circuit (also known as IC, microchip, silicon chip, computer chip or chip) is a miniaturized electronic circuit (consisting mainly of semiconductor devices, as well as passive components) which has been manufactured in the surface...

Instead of having buttons on a separate controller, the Microvision unit had a twelve-button keypad, with the switches buried under a thick layer of flexible plastic. To align the user's fingers with the hidden buttons, the cartridges had cutouts in their bottom (over the keypad). As different games required different button functions, the cutouts were covered with a thin printed piece of plastic, which identified the buttons' functions in that game. The problem with this design is that pressing on the buttons stretched the printed plastic, resulting in the thin material stretching and eventually tearing. Having long fingernails exacerbated the condition. Look up Keyboard in Wiktionary, the free dictionary A keyboard can refer to a: Alphanumeric keyboard, any keyboard that has both letter and numbers on it Typewriter keyboard Computer keyboard IBM PC keyboard Musical keyboard, a keyboard on a musical instrument Keyboard instrument, such as the piano Keyboard synthesizer, a...

The first Microvision cartridges were made with both Intel 8021 and Texas Instruments TMS1100 processors. Due to purchasing issues, Milton Bradley switched to using TMS1100 processors exclusively. The TMS1100 was a more primitive device, but offered more memory and lower power consumption than the 8021. First-revision Microvisions needed two batteries due to the 8021's higher power consumption, but later units (designed for the TMS1100) only had one active battery holder. Due to the high cost of changing production molds, Milton Bradley did not eliminate the second battery compartment, but instead removed its terminals and called it the spare battery holder. Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC, SEHK: 4335), founded in 1968 as Integrated Electronics Corporation, is an American multinational corporation that is best known for designing and manufacturing microprocessors and specialized integrated circuits. ... Texas Instruments (NYSE: TXN), better known in the electronics industry (and popularly) as TI, is a company based in Dallas, Texas, renowned for developing and commercializing semiconductor and computer technology. ...

It wasn't until 1984 when a true handheld system was made (Epoch with their Game Pocket Computer), and it wouldn't be until 1989 when a handheld system would have any success (Nintendo's Game Boy). The Game Boy system had a processor chip like any other computer, compared to the Microvision which lacked a CPU and needed one in every game cartridge, making game purchases more expensive than buying games for the Game Boy. 1984 (MCMLXXXIV) was a leap year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Epoch Game Pocket Computer was a handheld game console released by Epoch in Japan in 1984. ... The Epoch Game Pocket Computer was a handheld game console released by Epoch in Japan in 1984. ... 1989 (MCMLXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Nintendo (Japanese: 任天堂, ニンテンドー Nintendō; NASDAQ: NTDOY, TYO: 7974 ) is a multinational corporation founded on November 6,[citation needed] 1889 in Kyoto, Japan by Fusajiro Yamauchi to produce handmade hanafuda cards, for use in a Japanese playing card game of the same name. ... The original Game Boys design set the standard for handheld gaming consoles. ... CPU can stand for: in computing: Central processing unit in journalism: Commonwealth Press Union in law enforcement: Crime prevention unit in software: Critical patch update, a type of software patch distributed by Oracle Corporation in Macleans College is often known as Ash Lim. ...

Microvision in the movies: A Microvision appears in the movie Friday the 13th Part 2. Friday the 13th Part 2 is a slasher film directed by Steve Miner, the first sequel to the Friday the 13th (1980) movie. ...

Technical Specifications

  • CPU: Intel 8021/TI TMS1100 (on cartridge)
  • Screen type and resolution: 16 x 16 pixel LCD
  • Register width: 4 bit (TMS1100), 8 bit (8021)
  • Processor speed: 100 kHz
  • RAM: 32 nybbles (16 8-bit bytes, integrated into CPU)
  • ROM: 2K
  • Cartridge ROM: 2K masked (integrated into CPU; each game's CPU was different)
  • Video Display Processor: Custom (made by Hughes)
  • Sound: Piezo beeper
  • Input: Twelve button keypad, one paddle
  • Power requirements: One 9 volt battery (TMS1100 processors), Two 9 volt batteries (Intel 8021 processors)

CPU redirects here. ... A paddle is a game controller with a round wheel and one or more fire buttons, where the wheel is typically used to control movement of the player object along one axis of the video screen. ...

Complete list of Microvision game releases


  • Block Buster
  • Bowling
  • Connect Four
  • Mindbuster
  • Pinball
  • Star Trek Phaser Strike
  • Vegas Slots


  • Baseball
  • Sea Duel


  • Alien Raiders
  • Cosmic Hunter


  • Barrage
  • Super Blockbuster

See also

  • Mattel Auto Race - an early handheld developed prior to Microvision.
Handheld game consoles
Early units
see Microvision and Handheld electronic games
Nintendo handhelds
Game & Watch | Game Boy line | Game Boy Color | Game Boy Advance | Nintendo DS |
Bandai handhelds
WonderSwan | WonderSwan Color | Swan Crystal
SNK handhelds
Neo Geo Pocket | Neo-Geo Pocket Color
Sega handhelds
Game Gear | Nomad | Mega Jet
Sony handhelds
PocketStation | PlayStation Portable
Other handhelds
Atari Lynx | Watara Supervision | Game.com | Gizmondo | GP32 | GP2X | N-Gage | TurboExpress

  Results from FactBites:
Microvision to Exhibit New Automotive Head-Up Display and Novel Head-Worn Displays At SID 2004 Conference (728 words)
Microvision's display products demonstrate the capabilities of the company's proprietary scanned beam technology to deliver superior displays in a variety of formats with high resolution, high contrast and excellent color saturation.
Headquartered in Bothell, Wash., Microvision Inc. is the world leader in the development of high-resolution displays and imaging systems based on the company's proprietary silicon micro-mirror technology.
Microvision has been working with Canon, BMW, the Electronics Research Lab of Volkswagen of America and others to develop a number of display and image capture product applications based on its proprietary scanned beam technology.
Microvision to develop heads-up display - Boston.com (147 words)
Microvision Inc., which makes scanning technologies for display and imaging products, said Tuesday it will work with a tier-1 automotive supplier to develop a commercial scanned-beam heads-up display product for the auto industry.
Microvision said it was withholding the name of the supplier and the details of the contract for confidentiality reasons.
Microvision shares rose 9 cents, or 6.8 percent, to $1.41 in morning trading on the Nasdaq.
  More results at FactBites »



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