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Magnavox Odyssey

The sweet Grand-Daddy of home videogame consoles: the Magnavox Odyssey was released in 1972 for $99.99 USD, although creator Ralph Baer wanted the system to be price pointed at $19.99 USD. The Odyssey was licenesed in 1970 and gained the first home video game patent. The creator, Ralph Baer, wanted to sell the Odyssey to a television and proposed the idea to RCA, GE, Zenith and Sylvania whom all showed interest. However, an ex-RCA employee who considered purchasing the proposal told Magnavox and Magnavox subsequently purchased the technology.

To cut the costs of the Odyssey Magnavox decided remove the sound and colored back grounds. Instead, the color was added to the playing fields by the use of plastic sheets.

When the Odyssey was released, it was demoed on Magnavox TVs and sold only through Magnavox dealers. This led many people to believe that the Odyssey only worked on Magnavox TVs but this was untrue.

Sample Game Card for the Odyssey. It also functioned as the power switch for the Odyssey. With the Game Card in the system would turn on, with it out, it was obviously off.
Game Card 1
Table Tennis
Game Card 2
Simon Says
Game Card 3
Football (passing & kicking plays)
Game Card 4
Football (running plays)
Cat & Mouse
Haunted House
Game Card 5
Game Card 6
Game Card 7
Game Card 8
Game Card 9
Prehistoric Safari
Game Card 10
Shooting Gallery


Back/Top Panel of the Odyssey. Left to Right:

Player One Controller
Accessory (Light Gun)
RF Cord
Player Two Controller

Bottom of the Odyssey:

The small hole is Horizontal Frequency Control

The open panel on the left is the battery compartment (6 C cell batteries). If you remove the battery tray, there is a Channel 3/4 switch inside.


Knob on the left is a double knob:
Horizontal @ English

Reset is the middle button

the Knob on the right is the vertical movement

The cord that goes between the TV/Game Switch and the Odyssey.
TV Game Switch (RF)
Odyssey Football game materials including field, playing cards and score card.
States map, game cards, and answer key.

Sample overlay from the Odyssey.

Two complete sets where included with the Odyssey, one set for televisions between 18-21" (diagonal) and a set for 23-25" televisions. These added a "color screen" to the games and stuck on with static charge.

Roulette materials including roulette board, dice, chips, and play money.
Playing cards for Haunted House and Simon Says.
Controller tip for the Odyssey.
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