The Tele-Fever is a console from the coffee roaster Tschibo. The console was sold exclusively in Germany for the very reasonable price of 99 Deutsche Mark.
The Tele Fever was majestic because of its design. The console has a beautiful metallic-blue console, which distinguis it from Atari’s VCS, the Videopac or other consoles of this era. The console consists of a base unit that also represented the controller and a second unit with a controller for the second player.
The Tele-Fever has a directional arcade joystick and a single pop-up fire button, which stood in great contrast with the rest of the blue. In addition to the joystick and fire button, both also have a numeric membrane keyboard on which you could place game-related overlays. This is comparable with Mattel’s Intelivision system and the Philips Videopac.
Tchibo however wasn’t a electronic or video game company like Philips or Atari. They therefore used a ready to use chipset for their console. The Tele-Fever is one of the last models of what is probably the strangest and least known console series. It is a whole series of consoles distributed primarily in Europe around the main processor Signetics 2650. These include consoles from Interton, Hanimex, Palladium, Schmid, Radofin and others.
In the US, the system was marketed under the Emerson Arcadia 2001 label. The development of the device goes back to the 1970s. These systems were largely compatible with one another. However, the games were produced in three different cartridge cases, so adapters were necessary.
When the Tele-Fever came out in 1986, it couldn’t technically keep up with the current-gen consoles of that time. So it was only logical that it was sold as a budget item in Tchibo’s discounter corner and, quite incidentally, that entirely new distribution channels for video games were entered.
In total, only four games appeared exclusively for the Tele-Fever, namely Ivader, Jump Bug, Soccer and Tennis. Because the Tele-Fever was compatible with much of the Signetics 2650 consoles and directly compatible with the TVG 2000, many more games could be played on the console.
Some games like Jump Bug or Astro Invader don’t have to hide behind well-known console games from back then in terms of quality. And anyone who has played Space Raiders on the original hardware, for example, will find that the Tele Fever can have an intriguing charm.
The Tele-Fever console was manufactured in small numbers and for a very short time. It is therefore rarely offered on eBay. Also, because of the limited number of games, it can therefore be an interesting console for collectors.
|Signetics 2650 @ 3,58 Mhz
|5.6 in × 3.1 in × 0.55 in (142 mm × 79 mm × 14 mm), 6.3 oz