51 Shades of Geek

Odyssey 300

Odyssey 300Taking Atari’s lead for the first time, the Odyssey 300 – in its bright yellow shell – saw the console abandoning the trio of horizontal/vertical/English controls that had been in place since the original Odyssey. In addition to mimicking the all-in-one controls of Atari’s Pong, Odyssey 300 – still boasting the standard Tennis, Hockey and Smash variations of its predecessors – introduced digital on-screen scoring. The Odyssey games were no longer reliant on the honor system: at 15 points, one player won the game.

Tennis on the Odyssey 300The secret behind this quantum leap forward in the series of dedicated Odyssey consoles was the General Instruments AY-3-8500 chip – a single chip designed from the ground up to play Pong and several similar games. This made the Odyssey 300 the first Magnavox video game to feature on-screen digital scoring and the simplified control scheme.

But for some reason, the next game in the series took a technological step backward.

Hockey on the Odyssey 300 Smash on the Odyssey 300
Above: Hockey and Smash on the Odyssey 300.

About Earl Green

I'm the webmaster and creator of theLogBook.com and its video game museum "sub-site", Phosphor Dot Fossils.
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