Let me answer some of the questions raised here about the console system I'd 
proposed earlier.
First off, the games that would be available (initially) are the demo games 
that come with the system, modified of course to be compatible and playable by 
the blind user.
There's a list of them, and I've not looked recently, so don't remember what 
they all are, but based on their sources, it doesn't look too terribly 
difficult to add audio cueues to the games to make them at least mostly 
As to the question about programming, the console's cartridges are programmed 
in either a form of assembly, or a basic-like language, both of which are used 
liberally in the demos that come with the system, as well as an entire 
programming book, in ascii form on the cd that ships with the development 
system, so it's all accessible.  The games themselves will need to be written 
to the cartridges before distribution, and the cartridges can be given the 
ability to allow writing by the console (for saved games and the like) 
Understand, these games are not going to be up to the quality and standards 
everyone is used to on the pc, it's an 8-bit (or 16-bit) processor, and can 
multitask, but these capabilities aren't state-of-the-art (it uses a tv for 
output for god's sake).
The basic consoles as sold to end users will have all the capabilities of the 
developer ones, only they won't have blank cartridges, or the programming 
languages, or the manuals describing the hardware and/or software used for 
programming.  The cartridges are rather small by today's standards (128K is the 
default one, though I think there's a larger one available which has 512K of 
memory on it)  This would be truly a console system, and all limitations 
thereof, this is not a pc, with gigibytes of ram, and terrabytes of storage.  
On the other hand, it is cheaper than a pc ($200 for the entire system) and it 
would allow a lot of visually impaired folks to experience the thrill of having 
their own console system that needs no visual assistance, though the games 
would be playable by sighted folks as well, since that's where it's being 
targeted for now anyway.
I've personally not (yet) seen one of these systems, but I'm told they're 
aproximately the size of a playstation 2 (the early models, not the compact 
versions that came out later)
After having gone over the source code that comes with the demos, and read the 
manuals for the programming languages (both assembly and basic-like languages) 
it looks to me like it is perfectly adaptable to our usage.  I just wasn't sure 
there would be a call for such a console device in the current blindness 
I honestly have no problem with anyone who decides this is too limiting, and 
says no deal, that's fine, that's why I asked first.
I was probably going to get one anyhow, because my 9-year-old son would 
absolutely love to have uch a gaming console, one that we can program 
ourselves.  I have no doubt he'll get his 200 bucks worth of enjoyment out of 
If folks on list think this is worth persuing, then I'll definitely look into 
what it would take to do the job.  If it isn't, then I'll just leave it alone 
until my son and I get around to working on it for our own use.
Me personally, I'd love to have a console game system of my own that I know I 
can play, even if it doesn't have the latest and greatest 
hardware/software/sound built-in to it, just because I had fun with our atari 
2600 system, and I think allowing others to experience similar joy would be 
well worth the time and energy to implement it, but that could be just me.

Anyway, thee it is, nothing special, just something to have a lot of fun with, 
so again, if anyone thinks it's worth persuing, let me know, and I'll consider 
it as a whole when sufficient replies have come in. :)
Hope this sparks some discussion, I'd be interested in the plus/minus debates 
that arrise from it.

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