The Vectrex is a self-contained transportable videogame unit that displays unique vector graphics on a built-in monitor. These vector graphics, which are essentially lines of light, have a timeless appeal that typical raster graphics, which consist of small pixels or blocks, can't duplicate.
The system got its start in late 1980, when one of the hardware designers at Western Technologies (Smith Engineering), John Ross worked with Jay Smith (who had designed the ill-fated Microvision for Milton Bradley in 1979, which the first cartridge-based handheld videogame system) to develop a mini arcade concept.
In early 1981, the Mini Arcade concept was offered to toymaker Kenner, who wanted a five-inch screen and a less portable design in which the CRT would sit on a stand with the controls on the bottom. However, Kenner soon cancelled further development, so Western Technologies redesigned the system as a tabletop, and later that year General Consumer Electronics (GCE) licensed it for production with a nine-inch screen.
The Vectrex comes with either one or two handheld controllers (which have a joystick and three buttons) and ooverlays could be added to the screen to enhance the look of graphics.