In 1978 Magnavox/Philips released a new video game system for the home market: The Odyssey˛ (called Videopac g7000 in europe). It was a fully programmable home video game system that was designed to use 2K ROM game cartridges. Like the Atari VCS/2600, the CPU of the Videopac was powerful enough such that each game could be a completely unique experience, with its own background graphics, foreground graphics, gameplay, scoring and music. The potential was enormous, as an unlimited number of games could be individually purchased. Like the Atari 2600, the Videopac allowed game players to purchase a library of video games tailored to their own interests. Unlike any other system at that time, the Videopac also included a full alpha-numeric touchpad keyboard, which was to be used for educational games, selecting game options or programming. This was a major selling point of the system.
In 1966 Ralph Baer, a manager in Sanders Associates, an american military electronics company came up with the idea of using electronics to create a video game that could be played on home television sets. A few years later he managed to market the game to Magnavox electronics, which began production of the Odyssey (aka the Odyssey 1) in January 1972. Later Magnavox merged with Philips. After several years and models this eventually lead to the Videopac as shown here on this page.
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