OK, OK, I do slag off console gaming a bit, but on today’s travels to the car boot sale I found this baby! A Binatone Colour TV Game Mk6! Whilst I was there I had a peek to make sure if it was complete, the light gun was there and intact with it’s removable front sight, the manual on the other hand was missing, and the power supply was missing too. The seller was asking for £8 for it, honestly I thought that was a bit much considering there’s no PSU, but I noticed it used a 9 volt input with a 3.5mm jack for power; the same fitting as what an Atari 2600 would use. I said £7, he accepted, and I took this baby home.
For those outside of the UK, Binatone was a pretty big British electronics company back in the sixties and seventies. They mainly manufactured radios and telephones, but they did make a few pong clones too. But I believe that the MK6 was Binatone’s first colour Pong game, that came with a light gun, and was officially licenced by Magnavox, the company that created the first games console, the Magnavox Odyssey in 1972.
I’ve tried to look up when the Binatone MK6 was made, but there isn’t a Wikipedia page for this thing! There’s a few people on forums talking about the system, and the most I could find was that there were two models of the MK6 made, a coffee and cream model, like the one I purchased, and an orange and black model that the Centre of Computing History possesses.
I open this baby up and I get the console out with it’s gun. But something’s missing! Where are the paddle controllers!?
Funnily enough I found a door on the underbelly of the system where someone managed to cram the paddles into the battery compartment.
Yup, you heard me, battery compartment, for a TV console? Yup. Bizarrely enough this machine not only runs on a 9 volt PSU, but can be run off six D size batteries! Insane!
So yeah, it’s ready for action once I find my Atari 2600 PSU; and my TV remote for my CRT screen, as it’s the only way to tune the damn thing in! I barely use the TV in my room, so I have no idea where the remote is. Maybe it’ll be a good idea to clean my damn room up!