Released in 1982 by the Emerson Radio Corp, the Arcadia 2001 was a short lived console which didn’t do too well in North America. It was released at the same time as the Atari 5200 and the Coleco Vision, both of which were technically superior.
The system looks almost identical to the Interton VC 4000, a European console which also had the same processor. However, that system was out 4 years prior to the Arcadia.
The controllers were similar to those from a lot of other machines which were available at the time. The controllers had a joystick at the top, two side fire buttons and a 12 digit keypad. Many games came with overlays, which could be placed over the keypad to make playing games easier.
Not only was the system already dated when it was released, Emerson struggled to game games companies to develop games for them as Atari had tied so many of them up in exclusive contracts. In fact, many games were developed but couldn’t be released because of these contracts. However, the Arcadia did manage to have over 50 games developed for it.
The console was sold all over the world under different names. It was known as the Dynavision in Japan, the Cosmos in Spain, Home Arcade Centre in France, and the Rowtron 2000 in the UK.
The Arcadia was powered by a Signetics 2650 CPU, which was clocked at 3.58 MHz. It had 512 bytes of RAM though it had no internal ROM at all.
The system could display 8 colours on a resolution of 128 × 208 pixels and only had one channel of sound.