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Bally Arcade Machine - Product Description

Published 29 December 2017


Here is a marketing description for the Bally Professional Arcade computer system. This paper was targeted towards wholesalers and retail salespeople to help differentiate the system from other systems on the market. The Bally Professional Arcade system featured broadcast quality graphics, a tripple-processor implementation and built-in BASIC to help first time users to program.

Product Description




Bally ARCADE video game


The Bally ARCADE has been developed by the leader in commercial arcade games. It is now available from Astrovision, Inc. of Columbus, Ohio.

The industries' most complete line of ROM cartridge software includes the Bally classics: Astro Battle, Football, Tornado Baseball, Bally Pin, and many more. Cartridges now in production include the best in sports, space simulations, and strategy games. And, of course, the ARCADE is still the ONLY home video game with four built-in games and four player capability.

More control, color, sound effects

The ARCADE gives you more control over the action because it is the only video game with 8-way hand controls. Joysticks, knob, and trigger allow software designers to create more interactive games with more kinds of motion. These games and other programs on the ARCADE are more colorful, too, because the complete color spectrum is available with 256 color choices. The tunes and realistic gunshots are created with a three-channel music synthesizer and sound effects generator. These features allow professional designers to create better software on the ARCADE than on other video games.

Triple processor system

The ARCADE contains three computer processors, operating in parallel for faster motion, better sound, and highest realism on the screen. While other video games use only one, the ARCADE has three processors, costing millions of dollars to develop.

Because of this added computing power in the ARCADE, all of the games and other software are more interactive and more fun.

Unique 8K ROM library

A library of special software effects are built into the 8K ROM, furnished with every ARCADE. These software routines for color and sound effects are used with all ARCADE plug-in games. Included in the ROM are the Bally classics: Gunfight and Checkmate. This ROM also contains Scribbling and the Calculator.

Expands to BASIC computer, and more

You can expand the ARCADE two ways. Add the Bally BASIC cartridge and turn your ARCADE into a BASIC computer you can program yourself. Or choose the Zgrass keyboard expansion, and your ARCADE becomes the most powerful personal computer available today



Bally BASIC programming system


There's no easier way to learn about computers than with the new Bally BASIC system. This plug-in cartridge with built-in audio tape interface converts your ARCADE into a personal computer you can program yourself. Computer Learning Lab, an optional self-teaching system, help you learn programming while you create computer games, electronic music, and video art. The library of BASIC software on inexpensive cassettes expands these applications, and teaches more advanced programming techniques.

Easiest BASIC to learn

This version of BASIC is ideal for learning about computers because you can easily program colors and shapes, music, and sound effects. Simple words like LINE and BOX make drawing on the screen simple and direct. You can select from 256 possible combinations in picking each of the two colors on the screen.

The built-in music system converts the keypad into a 3-octave music keyboard, including sharps and flats. You can also create space sounds and other effects by controlling the synthesizer directly in your programs.

New features for 1981

Four new features make Bally BASIC more powerful and even easier to use. The audio tape interface is now built into the cassette and operates at 1800 baud. An editor, second array, and a trace command have been added to the language.



ZGRASS-32 computer keyboard

The Zgrass keyboard plugs into the ARCADE to give you a full typewriter keyboard and number pad. You also get additional memory with 32K additional RAM and 24K ROM. The additional RAM gives you more space for creating and storing longer programs. The additional 24K ROM contains powerful system software that makes this the easiest computer to use.

With the Zgrass keyboard expansion, your ARCADE becomes the ideal personal computer and the most powerful system available for creating graphics on the TV screen.

In addition to meeting all standard home computing applications and requirements, the Zgrass computer also provides extended capabilities for creating graphs, visual displays, interactive teaching systems, advanced video games, business simulations, electronic music, TV commercials, video titles, and video animation.

Expansion modules include disks, drawing tablets, monitors, light pens, and a host of RS—232 accessories.

Easier to use

The Zgrass system is easier to use because this computer language is not limited to the few words in BASIC. You can learn to write interesting and useful programs more easily because this graphics system is specifically designed for creating games. graphs, video art, and other visual effects. While you can create some of these effects on other computers, the Zgrass computer makes it easier because the system is designed for immediate use by artists, teachers, businessmen, and musicians with little or no programming experience.

Expandable to over 100K

Over 100K of RAM and ROM memory capacity make the ARCADE with Zgrass keyboard by far the largest personal computer available today. This computing power makes the computer easier for you to use and vastly expands the things you can create.

In standard configuration, the ARCADE provides 4K of screen RAM for dynamic storage of the screen image.

Plug-in cartridges with up to 16K ROM may be used for additional languages, turnkey graphic systems, and other software expansion.

The keyboard contains 32K RAM, expandable to 64K RAM, and 24K ROM. The RAM adds capacity, allowing you to create and use larger programs. The ROM contains two important features: the Zgrass computer language and a complete scientific mathematics package.


The most valuable component in the Zgrass computer keyboard is the 24K ROM containing this unique programming language. You will see the difference in the programs you create and in the software you will be able to purchase for your system.

Zgrass software includes:

Extended math package

Math functions included in Zgrass make this computer ideal for any scientific application. Unlike many other personal computers, this system contains the computational power and accuracy required for serious calculations. At least 100 times faster than programmable scientific calculators, this system maintains 13 digit accuracy.

The full math package includes: sine, cosine, tangent, arctan, arccos, arcsin, power, natural and base ten logarithms, and square root.

Audio dubbing

Either the TV speaker or your stereo sound system may be used for playing back audio signals on the cassette. This provides complete voice and music capability for CAI, computer adventures, employee training, point-of-purchase display, and many other applications where high quality sound and programs can be combined.

Unlimited expansion with low-cost accessories

The Zgrass computer keyboard is your interface to the many accessories and external systems available today. Two standard RS232 interfaces, two audio cassette interfaces with DC motor control, and a connector for standard floppy disks are all included. These and many other optional accessories simply plug in:

Astrovision: your marketing opportunity

The ARCADE, BASIC cartridge, Zgrass keyboard, and complete software support are marketed by Astrovision. Dan Dawson, Astrovision President, recently remarked, "We are totally dedicated to the personal computing industry." "Our sole purpose is the continued evolution of computers as business, professional, and personal instruments." See Dan at CES booth 2501 or contact: Astrovision, 6460 Busch Blvd., Suite 215, Columbus, OH 43229. 1-800-848-6989

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