A few weeks ago, however, the existence of the mini Vectrex console was confirmed by the National Videogame Museum, which announced on Twitter that it had managed to secure the actual prototype for its collection. To confirm its authenticity, the museum even took the prototype apart and found much of the same circuitry as the Vectrex hardware that actually hit the market. The museum even shared a video of the travel-size mini Vectrex powering up, which, surprisingly, still works just fine.

With a carrying handle integrated into the top of the console, the mini version of the Vectrex was undoubtedly designed to be far more portable than the original hardware. But did it directly influence the creation of the Nintendo Switch, or even the Game Boy which arrived a few years after the Vectrex died? The prototype was a well-protected secret, but you might argue that hardware designers in the industry move from company to company, and secrets undoubtedly get shared.


While the mini Vectrex would have still required you to bring along a power cord wherever you went, as a kid I would have loved to bring this thing along on road trips, visits to grandmas, or basically anywhere my Switch now gets taken—pending available outlets, of course.

[Twitter via Hackaday]

Update, November 30, 12:18 p.m. EST/EDT: John Hardie, the director of the National Videogame Museum, has sent us a few size-comparison photos showing the mini Vectrex sitting next to the original console. The recently acquired hardware is a little deeper than the original Vectrex, but its overall dimensions are considerably smaller, and it would have indeed been a lot easier to travel with. Although maybe not as easy to play on a long flight as the Nintendo Switch is.