[ Retro Scan of the Week ] RCA Studio II Tennis/Squash

September 17th, 2012 by Benj Edwards

RCA Studio II TV Arcade III Tennis-Squash Box Cover - 1988A stunningly realistic RCA Studio II gameplay session.

Here’s the box cover of TV Arcade III: Tennis/Squash for the for the RCA Studio II (1977), the world’s second ROM cartridge-based video game console.

The early console, which featured only two numeric keypads for control, was such a dog that I named it the “worst video game console of all time” in a 2009 PC World slideshow. Three years later, I stand by that assessment.

You may be asking yourself why RCA prefaced the game title with “TV Arcade III.” Well, silly, that’s because it was part of a sequence of “TV Arcade” games for the RCA Studio II that started with “I” and ended with “IV.” That’s exactly, I might add, how the ancient Romans would have labeled their video games.

[ From RCA Tennis/Squash Box, circa 1977, cover ]

Discussion Topic of the Week: Have you ever played an RCA Studio II? What did you think?

5 Responses to “[ Retro Scan of the Week ] RCA Studio II Tennis/Squash”

  1. Lawrence Says:

    The linked slideshow looks as though it’s been removed by PCWorld?

  2. Benj Edwards Says:

    PC World just completely rejiggered their site a few days ago (after I wrote this text in advance of today), so some of the links are screwy. I will try to figure out what happened to the piece or how to point to it now.

  3. LHW Says:

    Where is the bottom half of the guy?

  4. arlandi Says:

    i guess the video game system is too confusing to use. the picture clearly shows it is not being played. not even touched by the couple sitting there.

  5. Jaybee Says:

    I… OWN a Studio II. I’ve never mustered the courage to actually hook it up and play it, if indeed play is the right word. It seems more like unleashing Hell on Earth.

    This is coming from someone that can find nice things to say about the 32x, and genuinely LIKES the Virtual Boy. The Studio 2 is interesting ONLY as a showcase of the rapid evolution of concepts and technology at the time.

    By the time it hit the market, a device that seemed perfectly reasonable was obsolete in every regard. Wired remote controls had replaced integrated controls, color was no longer a frivolous waste of money, display resolution had gone up drastically, and games were more complex than the poor beast’s processor could handle.

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