Video Chess (?-??-80)


This is a very interesting prototype for a number reasons.  First of all, it contains the 6K version of Video Chess before it was stripped down to fit into 4K.  Secondly, it also seems to contain the early version of Othello.  As the label indicates, variations 1-10 are Video Chess while 11-14 are Othello.  What happens in reality though is that once you go past the 10 Video Chess variations the game jumps to Othello (its variations are still listed as 1-4 in the game).  It is unknown if this combo cartridge was made by an Atari employee for their personal use or if Atari was planning on releasing a '2 in 1' cartridge using the new 8K bankswitching technique they developed. 

While Othello appears to be the same as the first released version (without the board markers), the 6K version of Video Chess has a number of differences from the final 4K version.  BTW the 64K on the label doesn't really mean 64 Kilobytes (which would have been impossibly huge at the time), it means 64 Kilobits which is 8K.  This was common notation at the time.

Prototype Differences
The game variation number is skinnier
The X cursor is the same color as the player instead of the opposite color
The X cursor starts one square to the left from the final
There are 10 variations instead of 8
The pieces don't instantly switch sides when the right difficulty switch is changed.  Instead you have to hit the reset button first
The computer AI is different, it seems to be much slower but plays a better game.  At level 10 it can take the computer over 10-15 minutes to compute even the simplest moves
The beginner variation appears to be variation 1 instead of 8
If the left difficulty switch is in the A position this prototype won't go on to the Othello variations.  Instead it will stay on Video Chess


Note the skinny variation number


Variation 10!?!


Hey look, Othello is here too!


Othello seems to be the same though...



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