Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
Games Entertainment

A Brief History of Downloadable Console Games 53

Ant sends in a story at CNet about the evolution of downloadable console games, ranging from Intellivision's PlayCable in 1981 to the modern systems we see today. Quoting: "Intellivision was the first home console to let users download games via a coaxial cable line. Subscribers rented a special cartridge that hooked up to local cable and would be able to download single games that could be played until users decided to download new titles. The service's downfall was a result of innovations to Mattel's Intellivision game system, which began using cartridges with ever-increasing amounts of memory. The PlayCable service could no longer keep up, since the special cartridge could hold only a fourth of the total space that newer games required."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

A Brief History of Downloadable Console Games

Comments Filter:
  • by LurkerXXX ( 667952 ) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @11:25AM (#28241519)

    You haven't the foggiest troll.

    The thing had less than 2K RAM. 640K would have been a dream. I had a system and loved it.

    You can have a look at some of the ROMs for it here:

    15K is a 'big' one.

  • Crappy article (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 07, 2009 @11:28AM (#28241539)

    Sometimes it's good to broaden your research horizons beyond clicking the "Related links" on Wikipedia articles. As usual, this journalist was not qualified to present this as "the history" of downloadable games.

    Here is Telesoftware, from 1982:

    During the cassette-based computer period it was possible to record programs transmitted as part of radio programmes also.

  • Zeebo (Score:3, Informative)

    by meiao ( 846890 ) on Sunday June 07, 2009 @03:05PM (#28243219) Homepage
    No mention to the Zeebo console being tested in Brazil.
    Zeebo is a download only console, meant for 3rd world countries (where pirating is high).
    Though in my opinion it is a bit expensive (US$250, which is more than the monthly minimum wage in Brazil). If they don't make the games really inexpensive, it will fail miserably. Another missing feature is browsing the internet.
    You can learn more about it here: []

Think of it! With VLSI we can pack 100 ENIACs in 1 sq. cm.!