Portable arcade tabletops of the ’80s

From the CNET Crave blog… 


The year was 1983–the last De Loreans were produced, the final episode of M.A.S.H. aired with more than 125 million viewers tuning in to watch, the “Just Say No” anti-drug campaign debuted, Jaws went 3D (don’t know why), and the A-Team released so much ammunition without ever hitting anyone–Oh, What a Feeling!

This time portal has been initiated because I’ve dug something up from my closet. Not a skeleton, but a working 1983 original Game & Watch Nintendo Popeye tabletop system. For those who don’t know how the Nintendo tabletop models worked, the LCD is mounted on the top of the game and reflects onto the mirror. It is illuminated via an opaque panel on the top, which works as a natural light source in order for the game to be visible. Color is simulated with a colored film placed over the LCD. The convenience of a rechargeable battery pack or adapter didn’t exist. Instead, two “C” batteries powered it. The tabletop also doubled as a clock, hence the name Game & Watch.

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