Schneider Videopac 7200

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Description

Background

Contrary to the name, Schneider is a French producer of consumer electronics that is especially popular in western France. The name Schneider comes from the two Austrian-Hungarian brothers who founded the group in 1934 in Paris. Scheider, or Schneider Frères as the company was initially called, in the early years focused mainly on the development, production and sale of electric radios. The company grew rapidly and by 1939 it already had about 200 employees.

After the war, Schneider expanded her portfolio to include televisions and was renamed Schneider Radio-Television (SRT). The group grew steadily until it peaked in 1969, when it had 2,500 employees and produced its millionth TV. At the time, the company controlled about 10% of the French television market. A considerable market share, but well behind the 30% of Radiotechnique (see the article about the Radiola jet 27).

In the early 1970s, the French electronics sector fell into decline due to fierce competition from Asia. Schneider had to take losses for the first time in its history and could no longer compete. The company followed the example of Radiotechnique, which had already become a subsidiary of the Dutch Philips. Philips took a 51% share in Schneider. As a subsidiary Schneider produced televisions for Philips, Radiola and under its own brand name. In the second half of the 1970s the product range of the Philips Group diversified further. Schneider then, just like Radiola and Brandt, produced its own variants of the Videopac. This meant that, especially for the French market, three originally French companies produced variants of the Videopac under their own brand name.

Until 2005, Philips continued to make products under the Schneider brand name. In 2015, Schneider was sold to Admea11, returning the company into French hands.

SPECS
NameSchneider G7200
TypeHome Console /
Hand Held
Lifespan1983
BrandSchneider
Generation2nd
Worth500 euro
Prices
Units
RarityExtremely rare
PredecessorSchneider 7000
SuccessorSchneider Videopac 74+
Dimensions370 x 410 x 230 cm
Weight5,5 kg
CPUIntell 8048
GPUVideo Display Controller (VDC): Custom Intel IC generating all audio & video
RAM1kb
ConnectionsAntenna
Din (RGB)

Appearance and internals

In 1983 Schneider, just like Radiola, received the rights to manufacture and sell the Philips Videopac G7200 for the French market. The Schneider G7200 was born. It wasn’t the first gaming console from Schneider. Prior to the introduction of the G7200, Schneider had already launched their French equivalent of the popular G7000 under the name Schneider 7000.

The Schneider G7200 is the equivalent of the Philips G7200 and Radiola Jet 27 and similar to the Philips N60. It has the same body as the Philips G7200 but is blue in stead of beige. It shares its deep blue color with the N60 and Radiola Jet 27. It is striking that on the one hand the Dutch Philips G7200 is only available in beige and on the other hand the French Philips N60, Jet 27 and Schneider G7200 only in blue (although the N60 has a slightly lighter shade of blue than the dark blue – almost black – of the Jet 27 and Schneider G7200). This suggests that Philips thought that the deep blue color would better match the French taste.

Internally the three consoles are all based on the standard Videopac C52/G7000 but have a 9 inch black and white screen. The characteristics are therefore the same. The keyboard is still largely useless and most impractical and just like the consoles of Philips and Radiola the controllers are very inconvenient located on the bottom-front of the console. However with some creative thought the console remains one of the first ‘hand held’ gaming machines and it therefore deserves its place in gaming history. 

Availability

The Schneider G7200 is very rare. Almost as rare the Radiola Jet 27 and much less available than the more common Philips G7200. It was also quite expensive in its time (because of its screen). It was manufactured by Philips daughter company Schneider in a more limited quantity in comparison with the G7200. These factors make this machine difficult to find. Especially in good condition.

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