The Vectrex is a vector display-based home video game console that was developed by Western Technologies/Smith Engineering. It was licensed and distributed first by General Consumer Electronics (GCE), and then by Milton Bradley Company after its purchase of GCE. It was released in November 1982 at a retail price of $199; as Milton Bradley took over international marketing the price dropped to $150, then reduced again to $100 shortly before the video game crash of 1983 and finally retailed at $49 after the crash. The Vectrex went off the console market in early 1984.
Unlike other non-portable video game consoles, which connected to televisions and rendered raster graphics, the Vectrex has an integrated vector monitor which displays vector graphics. The Vectrex is monochrome and uses plastic screen overlays to simulate color and various static graphics and decorations. At the time, many of the most popular arcade games used vector displays, and through a licensing deal with Cinematronics, GCE was able to produce high-quality versions of arcade games such as Space Wars and Armor Attack.
Vectrex comes with a built-in game, Mine Storm. A light pen was also available, and in 1984 it became the first home system to offer a 3D peripheral (the Vectrex 3D Imager), predating the Master System’s SegaScope 3D by several years.
The Vectrex was also released in Japan under the name Bandai Vectrex Kousokusen. In the U.S., the model number of the Vectrex is HP-3000.
Despite being a commercial failure, the console received positive reviews and has gained a devoted cult following