The Pro 200
As you all know I’m a big time video game fan, so today I like to talk about an advertisement that tried to give video games a bad name. And just for starters, if you found this product to be a waste of money trust me you’re not the only one who felt that way when this product was brand new. So after hunting down this commercial on youtube, I re-discovered its name cause it was so forgettable that its name was hard to remember. With no further interruptions, for this week I’ll be talking about the Pro 200.
Back in 1998, a commercial started to air on various TV networks across the nation. We are introduced by a boy asking a girl what she’s doing. She tells the boy that she’s playing a handheld game with over 200 games. The boy was astonished that such a handheld game had the many and replied “woah over 200 games”. Then the announcer immediately says “That’s right over 200 games!” We’re then introduced to what the Pro 200 has to offer. The announcer claims it’s the greatest bargaining handheld game of all time. Complete with 15 skill levels per game and over 2000 ways to play. Costing at only $19.98 and states it’s like paying less than a dime per game. To only name a few games it had to offer it has “Space War”, “Ping Pong”, “Race Car”, & “Shooting Attack”(I know, but I wasn’t the guy who came up with that title). The announcer then tells us the handheld game has computer chip technology that replaces the games you play forever. Then shows footage of an unseen person throwing a Street Fighter 2 Super NES in the trash can like it was a crumpled piece of paper. Because the announcer claims that buying new games are expensive and a handheld game with 200 games can solve the problem. He then mentions that the Pro 200 is a full function calculator as if the 200 games weren’t enough it even saves money on calculators. The commercial concludes with the announcer saying it’s not available in any stores(yeah cause video game stores would just use them as door stops) and provides you with a number to call and order with shipping and handling.
With the summary done I like to talk about my comments on the product. While never actually playing this thing, I like any average gamer can tell that it’s an utter insult to the gaming industry. I mean look at the commercial for yourself and you can tell they spend more time talking about what it does rather than spending time showing what the graphics look like. Cause the graphics are actually simple block shapes, and the only game to be displayed was Tetris. Which is what Pro 200 really is just Tetris blocks used for game play in 200 different ways. Plus the narrator claimed it’ll replace the games you’re currently playing forever, if that were true then Nintendo, Sega, and many other game companies would already have been bankrupt right now. Plus I doubt anyone would have fun playing the same 200 games over and over again. Unless that person was on a deserted island, lives in a developing country, has never played a video game before, or is an asylum patient. The Pro 200 is no different from those old handheld electronic games my grandparents own. It makes those Tiger Electronic Games look like a Nintendo 3DS. I for one never got tricked by this commercial as I knew the games I played as a kid weren’t a waste of money, when A.) a Gameboy had 810 game cartridges to choose from & B.) tiny pixels that form the images of characters and backgrounds is way better than the same old tetris blocks trying to look like a character or background.
So luckily this product never catch on, and it’s likely the ProTech company that made these relics has gone bankrupt. I have no information if ProTech exist anymore, but if they were as lucky as Phoenix Games that would be amazing. Cause for a company to create a handheld game system that has the purpose of replacing everything we play as a video game is just a way for a company to dig its own grave. In this day and age, it’s likely you’ll find a Pro 200 at certain auctions. But not an item worth hunting down unless you’re despret to play those 200 games. And in case you were wondering Phoenix Games is a name of a European video game company known for making “story book” video games. I wouldn’t consider them actual games cause you’re basically watching knock offs from various Disney & Don Bluth films. Anyways that wraps up the topic and now on with the commercial itself.
Posted on February 8, 2012, in Advertise of the Week and tagged 1990s, calculator, handheld game, pro 200, son of lion king, street fighter 2, tv offer rip-off, video game. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.