History of Consoles: Telegames Personal Arcade System (1988)


Console: Telegames Personal Arcade

Manufacturer: Telegames

Availability:  1988

Original Cost: $40 ($89.93 including inflation)

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On February 1986 Bit Corporation released the DINA 2 in 1 system, or often times known simply as DINA.  Bit Corporation was a Taiwanese company that had previously released some games for the Atari 2600.  In the mid 1980’s Bit Corporation released a line of computers called the BIT 60 and BIT 90 that were compatible with both Atari 2600 and ColecoVision games.  The Dina 2 in 1 system took it a step further and could play both ColecoVision games and Sega SG-1000 games.

In 1983 Coleco was feeling the financial stress with the video game crash and the failure of the Coleco Adam computer, and Texas based company Telegames purchased most of Coleco’s stock and rights of the ColecoVision. Instead of releasing the bulky ColecoVision consoles, Telegames decided to rebrand the Dina 2 in 1 and in 1988 distributed it as the “Telegames Personal Arcade”.  The Telegames Personal Arcade was available only through mail order catalogs through Telegames USA, and retailed for only $40.


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The DINA 2 in 1/Telegames Personal Arcade is similar in design to the Sega SG-1000 Mark II system.  There are two cartridge slots (one for ColecoVision games, and the other for SG-1000 games).  In North America the Telegames Personal Arcade was only advertising to consumers that it could play ColecoVision games, and there was no mention of SG-1000 games.  This lead to many consumers not realizing that they could play SG-1000 games, and lead many to believe that the extra cartridge slot was either disabled or a special expansion pack. There is a slot in the back that appears to be for an expansion unit, but nothing came out for it.

Even though the price tag of only $40, the system did have some flaws.  None of ColecoVision’s expansion modules are compatible with the DINA 2 in 1.   There was also a malfunction on many of the systems where if it is plugged in too long, it could cause some overheating issues with the motherboard.

The Telegames Personal Arcade includes a power switch and also a pause button on the system for the SG-1000 games.  The controllers plug in the back of the system and are stored on each side.


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The controllers for the DINA 2 in 1/Telegames Personal Arcade are similar in design to the NES controller.  There is a d-pad on the left and two action buttons on the right of the controller.  Since the controllers don’t have the numerical buttons on the controller like the ColecoVision’s controller have, many ColecoVision games were unplayable on the system.

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John "Gamester81" Lester started playing video games at a very young age. His first ever console that he played was a Colecovision, quickly followed by an Atari 2600, and his passion for video games hasn't stopped. In 2008 John decided to start a video game review show on YouTube called Gamester81 by reviewing rare and retro video game systems and games. His show quickly grew in popularity, and he became friends with many other gamers in the YouTube community. He is also one of the hosts of the All Gen Gamers Podcast which is a bimonthly podcast for people and video games of all generations. Some of John's other hobbies includes collecting Star Wars memorabilia (YouTube channel Starwarsnut77), playing classic arcade games (YouTube channel Gamester81Arcade), watching sports, and listening to music. John is a big fan of the 80's and 90's and in 2009 started a YouTube channel called NEStalgiaholic where he talks about nostalgic items and memories from his childhood. To see some of John's video's in 3D visit his YouTube channel Gamester81in3D. Favorite Systems: Colecovision, Commodore 64, NES, & SNES. Favorite Games: Donkey Kong Arcade, Atari Star Wars Arcade, Super Mario 3, Final Fantasy II, & Goldeneye 007