Various configurations of this system were produced and marketed by Bally/Midway and Astrovision during the late 1970s and early 1980s. Initially marketed as The Professional Arcade by Bally, this system was one of the early cassette-based home video game systems. The console came loaded with 3 games (Gunfight, Checkmate, and Scribblings) as well as a calculator program. In addition to playing these internal games and games loaded on Videocades (Bally game cartridges), the system was enabled to receive data via the keypad on the top of the console. According to Van Burnham, author of Supercade: A Visual History of the Videogame Age 1971-1984, "this revolutionary interface inspired the first-ever batch of 'homebrew' games, which were created and traded by a network of loyal amateur programmers." Also of interest are the system's joysticks, a pistol grip design with a trigger and rotating directional control knob on top. The Professional Arcade sold for $300 upon release, and its main competitors, the Atari VCS and Mattel Intellivision, proved to be vastly more popular systems. Bally sold the system to Astrovision Inc. in 1981 and they marketed the console as the Astrocade until 1984.