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Perhaps unsurprisingly, since General Instrument was already involved in the cable industry, Mattel worked with them to produce PlayCable—The All Game Channel. According to the official Blue Sky Rangers site, PlayCable launched in 1981, but was never widely adopted. Because newer games became too large to download to the PlayCable unit, as well as high costs, the service ended in 1983. You will also find a small bit of other information here.

Information about exactly which titles were available on the service is sketchy. Special thanks to cmart for sharing the list of games in his PlayCable Playbook. Titles including the PlayCable icon (PC) are from known copies of the PlayCable Playbook. To date, 37 titles have been explicitly identified from the Playbook.

In addition to the games documented in the Playbook, this list also contains titles whose manuals have been found in the special packaging customers of the PlayCable service received to store manuals and overlays. Manuals distinctly marked with PlayCable part numbers (having the PC prefix) and which make reference to the service in the documentation are considered offical. Other games are included in which a PlayCable manual set included a manual for the game, but had no part number at all. Perhaps these were prepared before Mattel realized the titles could not be downloaded due to the increased size of the later titles? For example, most of the later titles could not have been supported. Were plans to modify these in some way to accomodate the limitations of PlayCable? The world may never know.

Cartridge Count 44/??

Note: This count is highly speculative, based on the few PlayCable manual kits that have been discovered. OK, it's mostly based on my set and one that Hankster has been kind enough to comb through and share scans from. If you know of anything missing or incorrect, please contact me!



PlayCable
Title Item No. Manual Overlays Rarity Notes
ABPA Backgammon Box ABPA Backgammon 1119 Yes

ABPA Backgammon Overlay

2

R2PC Early copies include a full-color manual and a box with FOR T.V. VIEWING ONLY text above title; game review / info
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Cartridge Box Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Cartridge 3410 Yes

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Cartridge Overlay

2

C1PC; game review / info
Armor Battle Box Armor Battle 1121 Yes

Armor Battle Overlay

2

C2PC Early versions came with a full-color manual and a box with FOR T.V. VIEWING ONLY text above title; apparently the PlayCable release used the Hong Kong G1 manual (validated also by Hankster); game review / info
Astrosmash Box Astrosmash 3605 Yes

2

C3PC Some copies include an update to the instructions; the standard U.S.A. manual has also been spotted in PlayCable bundles (independently confirmed by Hankster); game review / info
Auto Racing Box Auto Racing 1113 Yes

Auto Racing Overlay

2

U3PC Both ROM variants, many overlay and manual variations; the 1113-0820-G3 (Hong Kong) manual has surfaced in PlayCable packages as well; game review / info
Boxing Box Boxing 1819 Yes

Boxing Overlay

2

U3PC; game review / info
Bump 'n' Jump Box Bump 'n' Jump 4688 Yes

Bump 'n' Jump Overlay

2

U1The standard U.S.A. version of the manual has also appeared in PlayCable packages; game review / info
BurgerTime Box BurgerTime 4549 Yes

2

C2Game review / info
Buzz Bombers Box Buzz Bombers 4436 Yes

Buzz Bombers Overlay

2

R2Game review / info
Checkers Box Checkers 1120 Yes

Checkers Overlay

2

U1PC Early copies have a full-color manual and a box with FOR T.V. VIEWING ONLY text above title; released in British-English markets as Draughts; game review / info
Electric Company Math Fun Box Electric Company Math Fun 2613 Yes

Electric Company Math Fun Overlay

2

U1PC Early copies have a full-color manual and a box with FOR T.V. VIEWING ONLY text above title; ROM variant: 'backwards' entry for answers; game review / info
Electric Company Word Fun Box Electric Company Word Fun 1122 Yes

Electric Company Word Fun Overlay

2

U1PC In addition to the PlayCable edition, Hankster reports that the 1122-0920 (U.S.A.) manual appears in his PlayCable set; game review / info
Frog Bog Box Frog Bog 5301 Yes

Frog Bog Overlay

2

U2PC Hankster reports that the U.S.A. version of the manual has appeared in a PlayCable set—still need clarification if it's a blue/blue or blue/green version of the manual; game review / info
Horse Racing Box Horse Racing 1123 Yes

Horse Racing Overlay

2

U3PC; game review / info
Las Vegas Poker & Blackjack Box Las Vegas Poker & Blackjack 2611 Yes

Las Vegas Poker & Blackjack Overlay

2

C3PC Early copies have full-color manual and a box with FOR T.V. VIEWING ONLY text above title; 1978 and 1979 ROM variants exist; versions of the 2611-0921-G1 (Hong Kong) manual have surfaced in PlayCable packages as well; game review / info
Las Vegas Roulette Box Las Vegas Roulette 1118 Yes

Las Vegas Roulette Overlay

2

C1PC Early versions have a full-color manual; copies of the 1118-0920(A) (Hong Kong) manual have surfaced in PlayCable packages; game review / info
Lock 'n' Chase Box Lock 'n' Chase 5637 Yes

Lock 'n' Chase Overlay

2

C3PC; manual color variation; have yet to confirm ROM variant in the wild; game review / info
Major League Baseball Box Major League Baseball 2614 Yes

Major League Baseball Overlay

2

C3PC Early copies came with a full color manual and a box with FOR T.V. VIEWING ONLY text in the lower right area of the artwork; game review / info
Masters of the Universe - The Power of He-Man Box Masters of the Universe - The Power of He-Man 4689 Yes

Masters of the Universe - The Power of He-Man Overlay

2

U1To be considered complete, the comic book must also be present; extremely doubtful that this was ever on PlayCable, but a copy of the standard U.S.A. manual and overlays is in my PlayCable set; game review / info
Mission X Box Mission X 4437 Yes

Mission X Overlay

2

U3Game review / info
Motocross Box Motocross 3411 Yes

Motocross Overlay

2

U1Game review / info
NASL Soccer Box NASL Soccer 1683 Yes

NASL Soccer Overlay

2

C2PC; game review / info
NBA Basketball Box NBA Basketball 2615 Yes

NBA Basketball Overlay

2

C2PC Early copies came with a full color manual and a box with FOR T.V. VIEWING ONLY text above title; game review / info
NFL Football Box NFL Football 2610 Yes

NFL Football Overlay

2

C3PC Early copies came with full color manuals and playbooks as well as a box with FOR T.V. VIEWING ONLY in the bottom left of the artwork; to consider a copy complete, it should have two playbooks; game review / info
NHL Hockey Box NHL Hockey 1114 Yes

NHL Hockey Overlay

2

C2PC; game review / info
Night Stalker Box Night Stalker 5305 Yes

Night Stalker Overlay

2

C3PC; game review / info
PBA Bowling Box PBA Bowling 3333 Yes

PBA Bowling Overlay

2

C1PC; game review / info
PGA Golf Box PGA Golf 1816 Yes

PGA Golf Overlay

2

C2PC; game review / info
Reversi Box Reversi 5304 Yes

Reversi Overlay

2

U2PC; game review / info
Royal Dealer Box Royal Dealer 5303 Yes

Royal Dealer Overlay

2

U3PC Most copies include correction slip (cover-up for a bug), though my PlayCable manual does not include such a correction slip; game review / info
Sea Battle Box Sea Battle 1818 Yes

Sea Battle Overlay

2

C2PC; game review / info
Shark! Shark! Box Shark! Shark! 5787 Yes

Shark! Shark! Overlay

2

U1PC; game review / info
Sharp Shot Box Sharp Shot 5638 Yes

Sharp Shot Overlay

2

U1PC; game review / info
SNAFU Box SNAFU 3758 Yes

SNAFU Overlay

2

C2PC The standard U.S.A. manual has surfaced in at least two PlayCable sets; game review / info
Space Armada Box Space Armada 3759 Yes

Space Armada Overlay

2

C3PC Both Space Network and Action Network (rare?) boxes exist; the 3759-0920 (Hong Kong) manual has been reported in multiple PlayCable sets as well; game review / info
Space Battle Box Space Battle 2612 Yes

Space Battle Overlay

2

C3PC Both Action Network and Space Network versions exist, as well as ROM variants; early copies had full-color manual; the 2612-0920(A) (Hong Kong) manual has been reported in at least two PlayCable sets; game review / info
Space Hawk Box Space Hawk 5136 Yes

Space Hawk Overlay

2

C3PC; game review / info
Star Strike Box Star Strike 5161 Yes

Star Strike Overlay

2

C3PC Some copies include a note about a bug in the game; game review / info
Sub Hunt Box Sub Hunt 3408 Yes

Sub Hunt Overlay

2

C1PC Oddy, my PlayCable set has a copy of the Sears manual; were they just tossing in whatever they could find by then?; game review / info
Tennis Box Tennis 1814 Yes

Tennis Overlay

2

C2PC; game review / info
Triple Action Box Triple Action 3760 Yes

Triple Action Overlay

2

C2PC Both Hankster's and my PlayCable sets contain a copy of the 3760-0920 (U.S.A.) manual; game review / info
Tron Maze-A-Tron Box Tron Maze-A-Tron 5392 Yes

Tron Maze-A-Tron Overlay

2

U1Not sure if this was really a PlayCable title, but a copy of the 5392-0920 (U.S.A.) manual is in my PlayCable set; game review / info
U.S. Ski Team Skiing Box U.S. Ski Team Skiing 1817 Yes

U.S. Ski Team Skiing Overlay

2

C2PC Some copies contain an errata slip; game review / info
Utopia Box Utopia 5149 Yes

Utopia Overlay

2

U3PC; game review / info