Following the success of the NES Classic in 2016. we’ve seen the SNES Classic, the forgettable PlayStation Classic and the well- received Genesis Mini. Although these gaming machines are referred to as dedicated consoles, they are not derived from the early ‘70s dedicated video game consoles that had their few games built-into them. Instead their lineage goes back nearly twenty years to a group of miniature consoles known as Plug & Plays, which got their name because they literally just plugged into the television and they were ready to play.
The first Plug & Play device was from a company called Toymax, which released the Activision TV Games Video Game System in 2001. Looking like a generic controller, the console featured two D-pads and two shoulder buttons, and plugged into a television’s audio/video inputs via two attached RCA cables. Built-into the unit were nine ported
Activision Atari 2600 games including River Raid, and one from Imagic, which had been purchased by Activision.
Toymax was purchased in 2002 by Jakks Pacific, a seven-year old toy company, which released a second Plug & Play console exclusively through Avon. This one was called Atari
10-in 1 TV Games. This unit looked very much like the iconic Atari 2600 joystick with reset, select and start buttons on its side and audio and video cables sticking out of its back. The built-in games included several of the most popular 2600 games including, Adventure, Asteroids, Missile Command and Yar’s Revenge. Oddly, three paddle games, including Pong and Breakout, were also included in the joystick.
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