Pegasus was a video game system sold in Poland, Serbia, and Bosnia. It was a hardware clone of the Nintendo Famicom aka Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), also called a Famiclone.
|Processor||8-bit MOS 6502 1,79 MHz|
|Resolution||256 x 240|
|Color Palette|| 25 on screen|
(out of 64 possible)
|Standard||NTSC ("forced" to PAL standard, 50 Hz refresh rate)|
|Sound||5-channel mono|| 1 channel noise|
3 channels for sounds
|Media|| ROM cartridge|
(Nintendo 60-pin equivalent)
This particular Nintendo-clone was hugely popular in Poland, Serbia and Bosnia, where it has gained cult status, and is still widely available on auction websites and flea markets.
The system was manufactured in Taiwan by an unknown company, and was built to resemble Nintendo Famicom console. Pegasus, like most known Famicom clones, was compatible with 60-pin Famicom cartridges, and partially compatible with some NES games, which could be played using a special converter. Original Nintendo games weren't popular however, due to raging piracy and lack of officially licensed products on the market. Majority of the games sold with and for the system were cheap pirated copies, manufactured mostly in Russia and China. Games for Pegasus are widely available in Poland to this day, mostly on street markets and in small toy stores.
The typical retail set included the system, two detachable controllers (both with "turbo" buttons, which meant 4 buttons in total; 6-button controllers also existed), a light gun (very similar in design to NES Zapper), power supply and RF cable. Console had a built-in RF modulator, as well as audio-video RCA connectors. The system itself didn't include any built-in games, but was bundled with a pirated multicart labelled "Contra 168 in 1", which contained a few of the best-known NES titles, like Contra, Super Mario Bros. and Tetris, listed multiple times with slight variations. Most of the games had a "trainer" feature, which allowed the player to adjust the number of lives, and even the starting level of the game.
The 8-bit Pegasus was originally released in two versions:
- IQ-502 (much rounder casing with controller ports on the sides of the system and an eject button instead of a lever, manufactured by Micro Genius)
There was also a 16-bit version of the Pegasus system, known as "Power Pegasus 16-bit", which was a clone of Sega Mega Drive.
In the early 1990s, the Pegasus system gained massive popularity in Poland, probably due to the fact that until late 1990s there was no official distributor of Nintendo products in Poland. The Pegasus consoles were mass-marketed by most of the major and smaller electronic stores, where buyers even received warranty cards for the product. Numerous VHS rentals offered an option to rent or exchange Pegasus cartridges, as well as entire systems. Pegasus and its revisions received a wide coverage in Polish video game press. This, along with the system's surprisingly high reliability led to a false claim that Pegasus was an "official" video game system manufactured by a "major" company, and as such was considered by many to be an official Nintendo product. To meet its growing popularity, a number of obviously pirated NES games were reviewed on regular basis by Top Secret, a major Polish video games magazine. Pegasus was even officially advertised in press and on TV. See a few of their ads here . Nintendo took legal actions against the system's importer and distributor, right after officially establishing sales of licensed Nintendo products on Polish market in 1996.
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