Five Things – 4.15.13

1.  Magnavox Odyssey – In 1972, three years before Pong, Magnavox released the first home video game console.

 

Odyssey Ad 1

 

Called the Odyssey, the system relied on users placing overlays on the television screen that were unique to each game.  The system was (understandably) primitive, generating basic blocks that moved around the overlays.  The overlays did the heavy lifting of making each game unique, and were actually pretty gorgeous:

 

Odyssey overlays

 

That dinosaur one!

The Odyssey also offered some peripherals, including the first light-gun shooting game.  Unfortunately, it seems for everything the Odyssey offered there was something that it lacked.  For one, there was no sound.  That’s a pretty big whiff.  It also suffered from poor marketing and the misconception among consumers that it would only work on Magnavox televisions.  The Odyssey was discontinued in 1975, but not without setting the stage for Pong’s success and its own successor, the Odyssey 2.

Although the marketing effort was poor, the design of the ads was astounding:

Odyssey Ad

 

Odyssey Ad 2

 

And here’s a commercial for the Odyssey:

 


 

2.  Physics – From a French textbook:

 

15 Tonnes

 

 

3.  1938 Pranks – Retrospace has a collection of ads for prank products from 1930s magazines.  Check it out! Here are a few of my favorites:

 

Fireworks

 

Indoor fireworks? Genius!

 

Throw Yer Voice

 

This kid got his poor father arrested.  Adorable!

 

4.  Final Fantasy – Great 1987 poster advertising the original Final Fantasy game for the NES:

 

Final Fantasy

 

5.  Typhoon – Can’t get this song out of my head.  Great band.

 


-ds