The Videomaster Rally Home T.V. Game (model VM 4) was released
in 1975 just after the 1974 Home
T.V. Game. It used six CMOS chips of the 40xx series in analog logic
mode and played two types of games.
The first game was the simplest version of Tennis (PONG), just like the
original 1968 prototype built at Sanders Associates by Ralph Baer and his team: two paddles and a ball. No central
line, no on-screen scoring, no sound effects. Service was manual and scores were
registered using two linear cursors on the system itself. Amazingly, the box
showed an incorrect Tennis screen-shot with a central
line (compare the above picture with the early box below). This line was later manually
removed using black markers. The reason for
this mistake is obvious: the Vidomaster Rally box was illustrated using a
Videomaster Olympic screen-shot, the next model
which displayed the dashed central line. To save production costs, both models
used the same styrofoam package.
The second type of games was same as the first with only one difference: the
right paddle was inverted to form a vertical line with a hole. The user manual
proposed three games in this mode: Find The Gap (single player game where the ball
had to go into the hole), Wall Game (same in two-player mode, where the
second player would mode the hole to increase difficulty)
a Squash game in solo (so called "Practice" with other systems): by turning the knob of the second player to the minimum or maximum position,
the paddle was located outside of the screen in order to leave a vertical
More games could be imagined depending
on how the hole was placed on the screen. For example, Solo Basketball could be
played if the hole was put on the top of the screen so as to form a basketball
net. Mouse could also be played by moving the hole on the bottom of the screen
to acts as a mouse hole, where the ball (mouse) would go.
Several similar systems could play the same games. The Orelec PP-2000
is a good example, but did not use plastic cursors for scoring,
so could not play the games exactly as described in the Videomaster Rally user manual.
Early box showing the (unimplemented) central line.
Styrofoam packaging was same for Videomaster Olympic, hence the hole near the
ball speed button for passing the video cable (fitted inside the Rally unit).
Note the square holes in the top part where the Olympic metal balls were
The video cable fitted inside the unit when not in use.
Circuit board of Videomaster Rally: only six chips and a few discrete
components. Simplest CMOS design.
Left: Top cover of the user manual. Right: Instructions to play four games.
Videomaster Rally advertisement showing a simple case with few knobs and switches.
This is the later version with green push-buttons.