Odyssey [Model ITL 200]

A 46-year-old Dedicated Console by Magnavox, The

Not emulated in MAME


Odyssey © 1972 The Magnavox Co.

Features 12 games.


Odyssey [Model ITL 200] the Dedicated Console
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Model ITL 200


The world's first commercial home video game console. It was first demonstrated in April 1972 and released in August of that year, predating the Atari Pong home consoles by three years.

Sales of the console were hurt by poor marketing by Magnavox retail stores, in addition to many consumers being led to believe that the Odyssey would work only on Magnavox televisions. For that reason, most later Pong games had an explanation on their box saying "Works on any television set, black and white or color".

Magnavox settled a court case against Atari, Inc. for patent infringement in Atari's design of Pong, as it resembled the tennis game for the Odyssey. Over the next decade, Magnavox sued other big companies such as Coleco, Mattel, Seeburg, Activision and either won or settled every suit.

In 1985, Nintendo sued Magnavox and tried to invalidate Baer's patents by saying that the first video game was William Higinbotham's Tennis for Two game built in 1958. The court ruled that this game did not use video signals and could not qualify as a video game. As a result, Nintendo lost the suit and continued paying royalties to Sanders Associates.

Baer went on to invent the classic electronic game Simon for Mattel in 1978. Magnavox later released several other scaled down Pong-like consoles based under the Odyssey name (which did not use cartridges or game cards), and at one point a truly programmable, cartridge based console, the Odyssey², in 1978.


Designed by: Ralph H. Baer

Console's picture.