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M > MBO > Tele-Ball VIII   

Tele-Ball VIII

The Tele-Ball VIII is one of the many Tele-Ball systems from MBO (a famous electronic german brand from Munich), though this particular model is one of the last (maybe the last) from the range.

Early Tele-Ball systems were pure pong machines, whereas the Tele-Ball VIII offers 4 pong games (tennis, soccer, squash, practice), 2 shooting games and 2 car racing games thanks to its F-4301 chipset from Universal Research Labs. Of course these car racing games were the main marketing asset of the Tele-Ball VIII !

Here is what says about this chipset :
In 1976, Universal Research Labs (URL) released a relatively well designed chip: the F4301. This chip played two PONG variants and two car racing games. The car games were a major addition since no other PONG chip played them. The F4301 games could be played by up to four players ("human mode"), and the pong games could also be played against the system ("robot" mode) with variable "intelligence" ("paddle reaction" time). URL used this chip in their Indy 500 system, released in 1976. Atari also used it in the Speedway systems, sold under the Sears label (Sears also released an INDY 500 system). Some european systems also used this chip (Interton Video 2800, MBO Tele-Ball VIII, etc). Because the chip was so complex, it could not fit a single silicon piece and had to be split in two pieces mounted on a thick film substrate. URL contracted Omnetics Inc. to do this, hence the Omnetics label on the chip.

As stated above the F4301 offers two pong games, but it is not clear if the Tele-Ball VIII uses these or the ones offered by its built-in AY-3-8500 chipset to offer its pong games... Apparently it would use the F4302 chipset only for its car racing games, the AY-3-8500 powering the classic pong games.

Following our philisophy, the Tele-Ball VIII is not listed as a pong machines because it offers more than pure pongs games.

Apart from that, it has all the characteristics of the Tele-Ball pong systems: two detachable controllers with dials, switches to set game options and a vertical slider to select the different games.

We need more info about this console ! If you designed, used, or have more info about this system, please send us pictures or anything you might find useful.
Please consider donating your old computer / videogame system to or one of our partners from anywhere in the world (Europe, America, Asia, etc.).


I''m confused. Is it a Pong or a Video-Game?

Tuesday 28th October 2008
José Augusto Rocha Filho


NAME  Tele-Ball VIII
ORIGIN  Germany
YEAR  1978
BUILT IN SOFTWARE / GAMES  4 pong games + 2 shooting games + 2 car racing games
CONTROLLERS  Two detachable controllers with knobs/dials
CPU  AY-3-8500 from General Instruments and F-4301 from Universal Research Labs
COLORS  Color ?
SOUND  Built-in speaker
SIZE / WEIGHT  Unknown
I/O PORTS  RF TV video output, lightgun connector
POWER SUPPLY  External power supply or battery cells (specs unknown)
PRICE  Unknown

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