This is the VIS Player that is most prevalent. It was sold through Radio Shack stores from 1992 to 1994. (Catalog #16-376). I believe there were about 11,000 units delivered to Radio Shack. The story about the sales (and return) experience will be saved for another day, and for another page in this site.
To date, there is no evidence that the Zenith-branded player ever made it to the retail market. To the contrary, evidence shows that it may have NOT made it: Computer Reset, a sales/service/liquidation warehouse in Texas, was the home of thousands of "ZENITH VIS" retail boxes... but no hardware. Most likely, the boxes were purchased as liquidation items when the Zenith brand was canceled. At Computer Reset, the boxes were used to store "just about everything" in the 30,000+ sqft warehouse.
The only evidence (to date) of the Zenith VIS, are four known pieces of the VIS wireless controller with the Zenith brand (three in the US, and one in the UK), and the Zenith VIS2000 Owner's Manual (view it on the Media page). One controller and the manual came from the estate of the late Frank Durda IV, who was on the VIS Development Team at Tandy R&D. I just acquired my second Zenith controller from a private individual here in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, who believes his dad purchased it in an electronics resale shop. So at some point it's possible that there were in fact Zenith controllers on the retail market, even though the system is still "non-produced" at this point.
This is the same hardware build as with the Memorex VIS, but was re-branded by VMI Communication and Learning Systems of Canada.
In October 2022 I located a key resource who worked at VMI at the time the VIEWTEL was being used for their learning platform. As of June 2023 I have finally interviewed this resource.
This one is still under research, but it's been noted that there was another VIS brand sold through radio shack instead of the Memorex brand. Assumably it was the same hardware, just with a different brand - TBD if it was Radio Shack or Tandy... we could use some help on this one (and would love to find real artifacts for the collection!)
While not a "brand", it's worthy to note that the VIS hardware has been emulated on MAME (which stands for Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator) which has been around for decades. Most, if not all, of the VIS retail titles can be launched and played through the MAME system, bringing the VIS to a computer screen near you. As part of our exhibit, we have the VIS running on a Microsoft Surface tablet to demo the console game library.
I thought it might be interesting to start a repository of VIS systems including Brand, Model Number, Location, and Serial Number. Please contact me if you have a VIS and we'll add you to the list.
For the "Location TBD" listings: many were viewed on online auction sites such as eBay, but were not acquired (we only captured the serial number). If you purchased a VIS from eBay or other site, please let us know so we can add/update your information above.