Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Nintendo Color TV Game Series (カラー テレビゲーム シリーズ, 1977-1979)

Before Nintendo released the Family Computer in 1983, it had already created five home-use TV video game machines in the Japanese market. Between 1977 and 1979 four games were released in the Color TV Game series. The fifth game was Computer TV Game (CTG-HC10), which came out in 1980.

Though the Color TV Game series (カラー テレビゲーム シリーズ) was successful, contrary to the other Nintendo toys and games of the era, not too much effort was put into creating a unique experience. For the most part, these machines adopted concepts developed by Magnavox and Atari.

The four Color TV Games released between 1977 and 1979

Atari’s home version of Pong was released during the holiday season of 1975, and in 1977 Nintendo was ready to take a slice of the Pong clone pie when it released the Color TV Game 6 (カラー テレビゲーム 6) and Color TV Game 15 (カラー テレビゲーム 15), offering 6 and 15 Pong-style game variants respectively.

The machines were co-developed by Mitsubishi Electronic and did not prominently feature Nintendo branding on the casing.

The Nintendo video game consoles of the 1970s

These first TV Games were followed by two somewhat more original creations: Color TV Game Racing 112 (カラー テレビゲーム レーシング 112) in 1978 and Color TV Game Block Kuzushi (カラー テレビゲーム ブロック崩し) the following year.

Racing 112 is a racing game that could be played by a single payer, using the provided steering wheel, or by two players using the paddles.

Block Kuzushi is clearly inspired by Breakout, and featured six game variants with some original ideas.

In upcoming posts we will take a closer look at each of these four games, and their power adapter accessory:


  1. Nice to meet you.

    The translation site is used and forgive me, please though there might be a lot of mistakes of the translation.

    I also love old game machines, and am showing frequent a site here.

    Correctness though it is 「カラーテリビゲーム」 that exists in the title of this page is 「カラーテレビゲーム」

    Please do not mistake it.

  2. Dear outrun1986,

    Thank you for pointing out the error. I have just corrected it.

  3. I kinda wish all these consoles were emulated someday.

    1. Yeah, just like Arcade, the Game & Watch, the C64, the NES, the SMS, the TurboGrafx, the Genesis, the OG GB, the Game Gear, the SNES, the N64, the GB Color, the GBA, and the DS. They can make the Color TV-Game Classic Edition series and the Color TV-Game 15 and the Color TV-Game Racing 112 NSO wireless controllers and steering wheel.