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Tandy Memorex Visual Information System (VIS)

Never heard of it? Good. This console is bad – bad, bad, bad, bad, bad. It`s rare though, with estimates at only 11,000 units actually being sold.

Back in the 90`s everyone under the sun wanted to cash in and launch a game console. You had the Philips CD-I, the Panasonic 3DO and the Pioneer LaserActive to name a few.

Tandy decided to throw their hat into the ring and came up with the Video Information System (VIS), kind of a CD-i clone, except worse.

Looking like a VCR, the unit was first only sold by Radio Shack and retailed for $699.00 US. Discs ran from $30.00 – $80.00. It sold poorly. Even ignoring the price, it primarily had educational games – which could also be played on a Windows driven computer. In fact, the only real game was Links (Golf). Software releases were pretty sparse as well.

It was later n from Tandy to a Memorex model in 1993 and marketed via catalog for $300.00 less. Even that couldn`t save the system. It was so bad at the time it cwas oined VIS: Virtually Impossible to Sell.

The hardware was also very underpowered, the VIS ran on a 286 CPU loaded with a special version of Windows 3.1 that was outdated even at the time.

Its only redeeming feature is that it did have a pretty snazzy looking wireless controller.

These things almost never show up, but one is currently listed on eBay. It includes the Tandy system and twenty-eight games, most sealed. Currently it is sitting at $1.50, however there are another eight days to go.

Check out the horrible promo video below. Side note, I just watched the full nine minutes of this with my four year old son. Now he wants a VIS. *sigh*

7 Comments

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  1. Sure it wasn’t great, but it have a better controller than the CD-i’s thumbstick. That thing was always a struggle to play any game with. I’m still amazed I beat Dragon’s Lair, Space Ace, and Escape from Cyber City with that thing! 😛

    I have an old Memorex VIS VHS Promo.. I wonder it those are as rare as the system itself.

  2. I wish the power went out while they were in the TV. This would be an interesting thing to own, especially with all those games, well, except for they are all probably terrible.

  3. $200 with 3 days to go…behold the power of gamesniped! I hope whoever wins is not expecting it to be fun though…

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