The First Video Games Console

Category: Entertainment

Presentation Description

A presentation on the Magnavox Odyssey, the world's first home video games console. Created for Foundations of Computing, Assignment 3, by Stephen Guinan


Presentation Transcript

The First Video Games Console:

The First Video Games Console Magnavox Odyssey By Stephen Guinan (20057039)

The Idea:

The Idea 1966 – Ralph Baer started working on an electronic device for ‘Television Games’ 1968 – Baer finished a prototype called ‘The Brown Box’. 12 Games built-in. Ping-pong, volleyball, maze games etc. 4 were played using light gun peripheral.

To Market:

To Market 1971 - Magnavox, a U.S. television manufacturer, licenses the technology. 1972 – The Magnavox Odyssey is born. The final console now used a type of removable printed circuit board for games - bears resemblance to future cartridge games. Had no microprocessor, was a digital/analogue hybrid electronic device. Contained only 40 transistors and 40 diodes. No sound capabilities. Graphics consisted of 3 moving objects(2 players, ball) and a centre line, all in black and white.

Then Versus Now:

Then Versus Now Inside the Odyssey (1972) Inside a Playstation 3 (2011)

To Market Contd.:

To Market Contd. Background graphics consisted of coloured plastic screen overlays. Reused for other games, using different rules. Console could not keep score, so score sheets, dice, money and other items were supplied with the console. Came with 6 ‘cartridges’ containing 12 games, cartridges did the same thing for all games, just used different overlays and/or rules. Sold for $100 (Roughly equivalent to $530 in 2012)

Controls and Accessories:

Controls and Accessories


Controls The controllers were basically, a box with two knobs, one for up/down movement and the other for left and right. Hard wired to rear of console. Also had the first light gun accessory, with four games, and 3 different screen overlays. This was very basic, registered a hit if pointed at a light bulb.


Games A total of 22 games were made for the Odyssey, 12 came with the console, the others were available separately.




Legacy Sold over 300,000 units. Spawned many successors and clones. At a Magnavox public demonstration a man by the name of Nolan Bushnell tried out a game of ping-pong on the Odyssey, he later went on to create Pong and Atari.(And got sued by Magnavox) The Magnavox Odyssey started what is now the multi-billion dollar video games industry.


References Baer, R. (Unknown) Genesis: How the Home Video Games Industry Began [Online]. Available at: (Accessed: 3 December 2012) IGN (2009) Top 25 Video Game consoles [Online]. Available at: (Accessed 3 December 2012) Wikipedia (2012) Magnavox Odyssey [Online]. Available at: (Accessed: 3 December 2012) Winters, D. (Unknown) Magnavox Odyssey First home video game console [Online]. Available at: (Accessed: 3 December 2012)

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