• 1988

Hardware Description

The VTech Socrates is an 8-bit educational home video game console manufactured and released in 1988 by VTech. The console features a robot character Socrates, named after the philosopher. The character is visually similar to Johnny Five from the Short Circuit movies. It was discontinued in the early 1990s. The system came standard with a wireless full keyboard with two wired-on controllers. The keyboard sent infrared signals to a receiver on the main console. Consoles varied in their effectiveness in receiving the signals; some could receive signals from up to twelve feet away, while others required the user to maintain a close and direct line with the receiver. The Mouse and Touch Pad peripherals – for the CAD Professor and Touch Pad cartridges respectively – also used infrared signals to communicate with the main system, but similar signal receiving issues would often hamper the usefulness of these add-ons. Yeno distributed the system in Europe. In Germany, under the name Prof. Weiss-Alles, which translates to "Professor Knows-Everything". And in France, as the Professeur Saitout; Jeu Educatif Video, where "Saitout" comes from the french phrase "Sais Tout", meaning "Knows All". VTech also distributed the system in Canada, being sold as the Socrates Saitout; Jeu Educatif Video.