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History of video games/Platforms/Odyssey series

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History[edit | edit source]

The Odyssey series was a follow up to the original Magnavox Odyssey console made following the acquisition of Magnavox by Philips in 1974.[1][2] This series of consoles began to be released in 1975 as cheaper dedicated consoles with built in games, as opposed to the original Odyssey's ability to play multiple games via jumper cards.[3][4] Unlike the original Odyssey which attempted to offer games from sports to a haunted mansion, Odyssey series consoles stuck to popular sports games.

The last Magnavox Odyssey series consoles were released in 1977[4] and the last Philips Odyssey console was released in 1978.[5] The Odyssey series of consoles were followed by the Magnavox Odyssey², a far more capable console capable of running software on cartridges.

Models[edit | edit source]

As more models were released, significant technical improvements were made, though these improvements were mostly iterative rather than groundbreaking.

Magnavox Odyssey 100[edit | edit source]

The Magnavox Odyssey 100 was released in 1975.[6] The system was built in the USA with a simple single layer circuit board and four Texas Instruments integrated circuits.[6] Uniquely, the system uses cardboard shielding internally,[6] instead of more durable materials or materials that offered improved radio frequency properties. The system can play either Tennis or Hockey and can generate sound,[7] a notable feature which was not a given in video games at the time.

Magnavox Odyssey 300[edit | edit source]

The 1976 Odyssey 300 offered an improved experience with the ability to display game scores on screen.[8] Previously scorekeeping on Odyssey consoles had been an exercise left to the player.

A different version of the Odyssey 300 that was built into a television set was also sold.[9] This was part of a small trend aimed at a niche market where specific models of television sets were integrated with a specific model of game console, typically for the purpose of saving space, making setup easier, or adding a sales point to a television model at the cost of increased expense and lower reliability.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Consoles[edit | edit source]

External Resources[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "The Ultimate Odyssey^2 and Odyssey^3 FAQ". web.archive.org. 8 March 2008. Retrieved 4 December 2020.
  2. Koshetz, Herbert (29 August 1974). "North American Phillips Seeks Magnavox Shares (Published 1974)". The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/1974/08/29/archives/north-american-phillips-seeks-magnavox-shares-an-offer-is-made-for.html. 
  3. "OLD-COMPUTERS.COM : The Museum". www.old-computers.com. Retrieved 4 December 2020.
  4. a b "Narrative and Milestones". Retrieved 4 December 2020.
  5. "Pong-Story: Other Magnavox Odyssey systems". www.pong-story.com. Retrieved 4 December 2020.
  6. a b c "Magnavox Odyssey 100 Teardown". iFixit. 30 August 2010. Retrieved 4 December 2020.
  7. Henzel, Matthew. "Magnavox Odyssey 100 @ Video Game Obsession". www.videogameobsession.com. Video Game Obsession. Retrieved 4 December 2020.
  8. "TheGameConsole.com: Magnavox Odyssey 100 Game Console". www.thegameconsole.com. Retrieved 4 December 2020.
  9. "7 Classic Game Consoles Built Into TV Sets" (in en). PCMAG. https://www.pcmag.com/news/7-classic-game-consoles-built-into-tv-sets.