MAGNAVOX ODYSSEY 2
Does this look
The original Odyssey console they released was a simple pong style machine but holds the title of the first ever home TV game or console, so the industry owes the Odyssey a great deal indeed.
The Odyssey 2 is simply A G7000 model, with a power
switch and conversion for usage on the US TV and Power supply systems (NTSC and
110vdc I believe). so conversion of the odyssey 2 for use on the UK system is
more trouble than its worth as the parts will cost you more than an almost
identical G7000 Unit.
When Magnavox began creating the Odyssey2 console
circa 1977 under the name Odyssey 5000. It revolved around the new MUGS-1, game
chip that could play 24 games. Like the Odyssey 2100, it was to be a dedicated 4
player system. The Odyssey 5000 only existed in prototype form and was never
released. CR861 (MUGS) Signetics 1977 Several PONG variants, one or a few Tank
and Helicopter games.
The Odyssey2 a further development of the aborted Odyssey 5000 project, which probably included the initial early number videopac cartridges and their game variants, such as race, combat, golf etc. The 5000 release was scapped due to market competitors releasing multi cart systems such as ATARI's 2600 and Fairchilds Channel F
Eventually the development led to an additional keyboard to give the the Odyssey2 an edge over the fairchild and Atari "games" consoles... Magnavox were aiming at the education and dare I say Home computer market.
The Magnavox Odyssey 2 did get a release in Brazil also and as many other websites will tell you, it was released there as simply the Odyssey as the original pong Odyssey did not get a release. it was simpler to call it by the odyssey title alone, which was all well and good in the 80s but in this trans-national world of the internet we now live in, it can be a little confusing.
The odyssey 2 gained a few ( unusual to us Europeans )add-ons such as the voice module, which fitted snugly on-top of the console in the cartridge slot, with a through port and a big hole so you could gain access to the on/off switch.
The odyssey 2 did not get any variation releases in the states as at the end of its lifespan (1984) the industry went into a global crash (apparently although I don't remember there being one) , which halted the release of the follow up system the Magnavox Odyssey 3. The Odyssey 3 which was shown in prototype at the 1983 CES show under its new title the Odyssey Command Centre was to be the follow up console for Magnavox, based on G7400 technology but with a press-button keyboard, it was also moulded with inserts for the joysticks so that a single player could play games that made use of two controller sticks for a single player, such games were in development as flashpoint to make use of this feature. There has also been found a modem for use on the command centre.
A lot more information on the Command Centre can be found here http://www.dieterkoenig.at/ccc/po/s_po_o3ccov.htm
By far the most collectable/valuable game for the Odyssey2 would be Power lords another licence trade name the power lords were a range of action figures and cartoon series in the states. It also received a release in south America under the name Serpent Do Poder (Serpent of power). but never officially released in Europe, The Brazilian variant can be obtained reasonably easily for around £35-£50 however the Original US Power lords version is unlikely to be found for under £120 making it one of the most expensive Videopac's available.
US Games were all released in cardboard cases similar to the European cardboard cases, but allot more colourful.
The console itself had a few releases with very little variance noteworthy, however two style of boxes are know to the avid collector, one (the common) full colour box and a less common brown box with an adhesive sticker featuring the standard front (as shown right)
if your collecting these keep an eye out for a rumoured o2 console supplied with o3 command centre joysticks and the wico trackball.