Cybervision 2001, 3001, and 4001

These first two pictures were submitted by John Powers, and show the Cybervision 2001 and Cybervision 3001. These machines were sold by Montgomery Ward in 1978 and 1979. John co-founded the start-up that developed the OS and application software for the machine, Authorship Resource Inc. (ARI). John says that “When I wasn't at work developing games and other applications for the Cybervision, I was home writing for my ELF. I ended up building an 1802 system from scratch and writing an original game for the ELF called ‘Starship.’”  Today John keeps busy writing software for mobile platforms.

cybervision2001
cybervision1001


Some years after these images were added to the Gallery, Joe Miller, ARI’s other co-founder, sent in the catalog pages below, as well as a photo and block diagram of a CyberVision 4001 prototype that was never mass produced. About the 4001, Joe comments that “It's a pretty good looking system even by today's standards. (A little bit of the Bang & Olufsen look…) The 4001 was fully backward compatible but also provided a modified/extended version of Ron Cenker's floating point BASIC in ROM.”

How popular were the CyberVisions? Joe said of the catalog, “We sold about 10,000 of these through Wards (in 1978 and '79) and I think that made us one of RCA's larger customers for the 1802 at that time. Wards was competing with Sears who was still selling the Atari game systems exclusively. Wards wanted to market a device for the whole family in the living room with educational and entertainment value hence this [prominent page 2 and 3] positioning in the copy.”

Matt Powers, John’s son, wrote a detailed history of the CyberVision systems for Gamasutra, and it’s a fun and engaging read (part 1 here, part 2 here).

Click the images below to see them at full resolution.


© Dave Ruske 2001-2017, except where noted