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The Vectrex32 upgrades your Vectrex Arcade System with a 32 bit processor and lets you write games in interactive interpreted BASIC!
This new version of the Vectrex32 works with all Vectrexes, including the late-model "no-buzz" Vectrexes.
The Vectrex32 is a cartridge that plugs into the Vectrex's game cartridge slot. It has a 32 bit microcontroller running an interactive BASIC interpreter, a USB interface, and dual-port memory. You connect the Vectrex32 to your Windows PC, Macintosh, or Linux PC via USB, download a BASIC program to it, and run it. The BASIC program writes commands to the dual-port memory. The Vectrex executes those commands, which tell it what to draw on the screen and what sounds to make. When the user moves the Vectrex's joystick or presses its buttons, the Vectrex sends a message to the BASIC program with that information.
From your computer, you can interrupt the BASIC program, print out variables, set breakpoints, and give commands that alter what's on the screen.
In short, the Vectrex32 is a revolutionary upgrade to the Vectrex that makes it easier than it's ever been to write games.
Here's a video demo:
And an update for version 1.14:
The Vectrex32 comes with sample BASIC programs including a Lunar Lander game and a Missile Command/Break-Out/Space Invaders mash-up game. There is thorough documentation available for it online at http://Vectrex32.com/category/documentation - feel free to read it before buying. Vectrex32.com also offers forums for discussing the Vectrex32 and swapping BASIC games.
Some things you should be aware of:
- The Vectrex32 requires you to have a Vectrex; the Vectrex is not included in this purchase.
- The Vectrex32 requires a mini-USB cable; the cable is not included in this purchase.
- The Vectrex32 requires your computer to have terminal emulation software. There are free terminal emulators available on the web for Windows PCs, Macs, and Linux PCs. The Vectrex32 documentation has recommendations for which software to use and how to use it.
- The Vectrex32 was not developed by a big company with a team of engineers. It's just me - a software and hardware engineer. I have put a lot of time into developing and testing this, but you should expect it to be beta-test quality. It is field upgradable, i.e. when I release new software, you will be able to easily install the upgrade. But while I have the best of intentions, I can not make promises about when I will release upgrades or what new features or bug fixes will be in them.
I invite you to buy a Vectrex32 and join the new community in the Vectrex32 forums.