Vectorbeam displays--think Asteroids and Tempest--drew perfect lines from point to point. As a result, these games never looked right when emulated on low-res raster displays. With the latest high-DPI gadgets, however, the pixels are so small that the vectorbeam effect may be convincingly mimicked. Here's Kyle Orland on Vectrex Regeneration, a new app that goes to astonishing lengths to get the illusion just right:
Creating an authentic experience also means replicating some of the Vectrex's less desirable features. Because the Vectrex's oscillating electron beam can only be in one place at one time, there's a noticeable flicker as you watch the system actually draw each frame of the scene at a rate slightly slower than the human eye can process. This flickering is a key component of the authentic Vectrex experience for fans of the original system, but it might be frustrating (not to mention seizure-inducing) to a modern audience without the benefit of nostalgia.