The Arcadia 2001 is a second-generation 8-bit console released by Emerson Radio Corp. The game library was composed of 51 unique games and about 10 variations. The graphic quality is similar to that of the Intellivision and the Odyssey².
The Arcadia was not named after the company of the same name. Arcadia Corporation, manufacturer of the 2600 supercharger, was sued by Emerson for trademark infringement. Arcadia Corporation then changed its name to Starpath. Emerson licensed the Arcadia 2001 worldwide, and over 30 Arcadia clones exist.
The Arcadia is much smaller than its contemporary competitors and is powered by a standard 12-volt power supply so it can be used in a boat or a vehicle. This portability feature, however, requires a portable television, which was extremely rare in the early 1980s. It also has two outputs (or inputs) headphone jacks on the back of the unit, on the far left and far right sides.
The system came with two Intellivision-style control pads, but with a lighter touch on the side 'fire' buttons. The control pads have screw holes in their centers, so that one could transform them into a joystick, as with the later Sega Master System's controller. Most games came with mylar overlays which could be applied to the controllers. The console itself had five buttons: power, start, reset, option, and select.
There are at least three different types of cartridge case styles and artwork, with variations on each. Emerson-family carts come in two different lengths of black plastic cases; the short style is similar to Atari 2600 carts in overall size. This family uses a unique "sketch" type of picture label. MPT-03 family cart cases (see below) resemble Super NES carts in size and shape, except that they are molded in brown plastic. Their labels look much more modern and stylized, with only a minimal picture on each. There is also a family of what seems pirate carts, that look nothing like the others in shape, size or label artwork. The different labeled versions, however, all used the same cartridges.
The Emerson version of the console was essentially considered dead on arrival in the USA. The system came out at nearly the same time as the Atari 5200 and the ColecoVision were released. In addition, Atari's use of exclusive rights to many games made it virtually impossible for Emerson to get popular games to the console.
Emerson actually created many popular arcade titles including Pac-Man, Galaxian and Defender for the Arcadia and had them manufactured. However, Atari started to sue its competitor companies for releasing games to which it had exclusive-rights agreements and Emerson was left with thousands of manufactured games that could no longer be sold.
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