In 1972 the world of video game technology changed for forever with the release of the Magnavox Odyssey. This device was just the start of the digital video game era and altered the way people view gaming. The person responsible for this new form of entertainment was a man named Ralph Baer. “However, months earlier, Magnavox had released its Magnavox Odyssey, a home video game system based on the “Brown Box,” a prototype invented by Ralph Baer” (Magnavox Odyssey Video Game Unit, 1972. (n.d.). Retrieved October 19, 2020, from National Museum of American History). His idea was something that transformed the video game community, which is a now a billion dollar industry.
The Magnavox was a piece of hardware that people could use in their homes and display different games/screens on their tv. This form of console allowed its user different packages so that they can adapt the game to different formats of their liking. Some of the bundles you could purchase included:
- Light Gun
- Paper Money
- Plastic Overlays
- Game Chips
The console was like many that have come out today with a small plastic box that has two controllers connected, though now we have advancements like Bluetooth and wireless gaming. The game itself only displays small white boxes and lines but you where able to add plastic overlays that allowed for different screen colors and graphics.
Once the system had come out they sold about 350,000 consoles but had a short lifespan after being discontinued in 1975. Nonetheless the Magnavox Odyssey was just the beginning of what was to come for the video game industry and the start of a whole new generation of digital gaming.
Further Reading about the Magnavox Odyssey:
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