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Canadian/Bilingual version questions


mr_me
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I have a few questions.

 

My Intellivision, bought in southern Ontario around 1981/82, is in a bilingual box, has bilingual instructions. However, the Poker and Blackjack pack-in is English only rather than the bilingual version. Anyone know if the pack-in was ever bilingual? My bilingual Intellivision box has 21 games on it.

 

If anyone here grew up in western Canada, were the bilingual versions of the games for sale there? Here I saw both, I'm guessing different stores used different distributors. I know some went to the US to pick-up their inventory.

 

I remember seeing a Radio Shack Intellivision here, but I've never seen a Sears Intellivision. Was the Sears Intellivision ever sold at Sears Canada?

 

I'm assuming Intellivision in Canada came out the same time as it went national in the US around mid 1980. Anyone know if Canadian availability was not the same?

 

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I have a few questions.

 

My Intellivision, bought in southern Ontario around 1981/82, is in a bilingual box, has bilingual instructions. However, the Poker and Blackjack pack-in is English only rather than the bilingual version. Anyone know if the pack-in was ever bilingual? My bilingual Intellivision box has 21 games on it.

 

If anyone here grew up in western Canada, were the bilingual versions of the games for sale there? Here I saw both, I'm guessing different stores used different distributors. I know some went to the US to pick-up their inventory.

 

I remember seeing a Radio Shack Intellivision here, but I've never seen a Sears Intellivision. Was the Sears Intellivision ever sold at Sears Canada?

 

I'm assuming Intellivision in Canada came out the same time as it went national in the US around mid 1980. Anyone know if Canadian availability was not the same?

 

I'm in Vancouver and I don't recall the bilingual box personally. I don't recall my Poker being bilingual either and I suspect the pack ins weren't bilingual either.

I'm pretty sure I got mine for Christmas 1980.

 

I have a bilingual Tandyvision but I've never seen a bilingual Sears.

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If anyone here grew up in western Canada, were the bilingual versions of the games for sale there? Here I saw both, I'm guessing different stores used different distributors. I know some went to the US to pick-up their inventory.

 

I remember seeing a Radio Shack Intellivision here, but I've never seen a Sears Intellivision. Was the Sears Intellivision ever sold at Sears Canada?

 

I'm assuming Intellivision in Canada came out the same time as it went national in the US around mid 1980. Anyone know if Canadian availability was not the same?

 

 

"Western Canada" of course is a pretty big area :)

 

Bilingual games made it across the country - it really depended on where a retailer sourced their product from. In the early 80s this was still a fairly new thing in Canada. As were video games. So like you said, you had a lot of people going to the US to pick up their stock. We ended up with a mix of English and English/French here - this pattern seems consistent across much of the country. Bilingual labelling wasn't quite as "required" as it would later become (and stop Nintendo from selling a few games here, for a very brief period), hence the mix.

 

As far as I know, the Sears units were never sold in Canada. I have never seen them or the games in the wild here. The only Sears games I've found have been collectors who must have picked them up in the US over the years. If they DID ever get sold here in the 80s, it was an extremely limited market. I think in my 15 years of serious collecting, I've seen 3 Sears games to a few tens of thousands of Mattel games.

 

In terms of overall timing and availability, I think it was very similar. It's no easier/harder to find Intellivision stuff in Canada than it is in the US these days, compared to other retro systems. And we know the Canadian product was out fairly early on based on some of the specifics of the packaging.

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And then there's PlayCable. Was PlayCable available anywhere in Canada? I could be wrong but I thought cable television had much higher adoption rates in Canada compared to the US at that time. I definitely remember seeing PlayCable on television, not in a commercial but some kind of technology show.

 

Yeah Western Canada is huge. I consider it everything west of Thunder Bay just like the Western Conference in the CFL,

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From what I've read, PlayCable was active from 1981 to 1983 and popular where it was available. I'm not sure which markets had it but apparently some cable companies just did not want to invest in the equipment (that sounds typical for Canadian companies). There was a technical limitation that newer games larger than 4K were not compatible with PlayCable. Also the industry was on the decline in1983, with no chance of upgrading the hardware to support newer games. And then I think Mattel was unhappy that somebody used the PlayCable and a PC to hack the Intellivision.

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And then there's PlayCable. Was PlayCable available anywhere in Canada? I could be wrong but I thought cable television had much higher adoption rates in Canada compared to the US at that time.

 

We'd always had high cable adoption rates, purely from the fact that in many places it was CBC (and CTV in a big enough city), or cable. The US has always had far better OTA content. And contrary to popular belief, most of Canada does not in fact live close enough to the border that we can receive US broadcasts with any decent quality - that was true in the 40s and 50s, not so much as transmitter power went down.

 

I believe, although I wouldn't be surprised if I'm wrong, that the Sega Channel was Canada's first cable-gaming service. But I don't know about every test market. I've certainly seen no physical evidence of PlayCable here, but it was as rare as unicorns in the US too - so that may not be saying much.

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