Retro Game Consoles – Magnavox Odyssey 2


Magnavox Odyssey 2
1978-1984

Magnavox Odyssey 2 Japan Retail Box

Above: Magnavox Odyssey 2 Japan Retail Box

Joystick

Magnavox Odyssey 2 Joysticks

Above: Magnavox Odyssey 2 Joysticks

The Odyssey 2 used the standard joystick design common to the 1970s and early 1980s, which consisted of a central stick and a button. Later releases had a similar black controller, with an 8-pointed star-shaped housing for its eight-direction joystick.

A strong point of the system and something that was seen as furturistic was its excellent speech synthesis unit that was released as an add-on for speech, music, and sound effects enhancement. The Odyssey 2 was well known for its role playing and strategy games: The Master Strategy Series and the Quest for the Rings as well as Conquest of the World and The Great Wall Street Fortune Hunt.

Magnavox Odyssey 2 Voice Package

Above: Magnavox Odyssey 2 Voice Package

The End

Magnavox Odyssey 2 Game Console

Above: Magnavox Odyssey 2 Game Console

What lead to the end of the Odyssey 2 was the lack of game cartidges made for the unit. However, the console did manage to sell well over 1,000,000 consoles by 1983. Compettion at the time was tough and the Atari 2600 was leading the way, Atari would soon loose their lead in 1983 and 1984.

Specifications

The Odyssey used an intel 8048 processor running at 1.79MHz. It had a resolution of 160 x 220 with 16 colours. The sound, like many consoles of the second generation, was limited to mono. Output was to a TV through an RF modulator.

Emulation

There is an open source project to run Odyssey 2 games. The project is known as the O2EM.