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Video Game Console Museum - 1972 - Magnavox Odyssey
Written by Danrok   
Tuesday, 10 October 2006 10:58
Article Index
Video Game Console Museum
1972 - Magnavox Odyssey
1977 - Atari 2600
1982 - Donkey Kong (Handheld)
1983 - Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)
1984 - Atari 7800
1986 - Sega Master System
1988 - Sega Mega Drive
1990 - Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES)
1994 - Sony PlayStation
1996 - Nintendo 64
2000 - PlayStation 2
2001 - Nintendo GameCube
2001 - Xbox
2004 - Sony PlayStation Portable
2005 - Xbox 360
2006 - Sony PlayStation 3
2006 - Nintendo Wii
All Pages

Magnavox Odyssey

This was the world's first video game console, it was first launched in the USA in 1972, then in Japan in 1975.

This console was quite different to modern machines, it was largely controlled by analogue circuits, although it was digital to some extent because the game logic was in DTL (Diode-Tranistor Logic). The unit was powered by batteries, which was perhaps not such a great idea.

It did have some similarities to modern consoles. The games were on removable circuit boards, so quite similar in use to a game cartridge. The game boards were no more than a set of jumpers which would alter display signals, to suit the game.

The Odyssey probably has more in common with non-computerised traffic lights than with a modern digital games console. 

The most notable game would have been the Shooting Gallery which involved a light gun and some coloured plastic overlays for the TV screen. The gun would detect a light source if pointed at a target. The console was not capable of keeping a score, this would have to be done by the player using pen and paper.

Magnavox Odyssey

Shooting Gallery light gun

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