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Magnavox Odyssey²

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The Magnavox Odyssey², (pronounced Two, not Squared) was a 1978 home video game console developed by Magnavox. The Odyssey² was a rather unique game system in that it featured a built-in flat membrane-style keyboard, similar to that of low-cost computer systems like the Atari 400 and the Timex-Sinclair 1000. This allowed for both educational games and possible strategy games to be developed for the system. The Odyssey² was also referred to as the Philips Videopac G7000 in Europe.

Technical Specifications

  • CPU
    • Intel 8048 8-bit micro-controller running at 1.79 MHz
  • Memory:
    • CPU-internal RAM: 64 bytes
    • Audio/Video RAM: 128 bytes
    • BIOS ROM: 1024 bytes
  • Video:
    • Intel 8244 custom IC
    • 160×200 resolution (NTSC)
    • 16-color fixed palette; sprites may only use 8 of these colors
    • Four 8×8 single-color user-defined sprites; each sprite's color may be set independently
    • Twelve 8×8 single-color characters; must be one of the 64 shapes built into the ROM BIOS; can be freely positioned like sprites, but cannot overlap each other; each character's color may be set independently
    • Four quad characters; groups of four characters displayed in a row
    • 9×8 background grid; dots, lines, or solid blocks
  • Audio:
    • Intel 8244 custom IC
    • Mono
    • 24-bit shift register, clockable at 2 frequencies
    • Noise generator
    • NOTE: There is only one 8244 chip in the system, which performs both audio and video functions.
  • Input:
    • Two 8-way, one-button, digital joysticks. In the first production runs of the Magnavox Odyssey and the Philips Videopac G7000, these were permanently attached to the console; in later models, they were removable and replaceable.
    • QWERTY-layout membrane keyboard
  • Output:
    • RF Audio/Video connector
    • Péritel/SCART connector (France only)
  • Media:
    • ROM cartridges, typically 2 kB, 4 kB, or 8 kB in size.
  • Expansion modules:
    • The Voice - provides speech synthesis & enhanced sound effects
    • Chess Module - The Odyssey² didn't have enough memory and computing power for a decent implementation of chess on its own, so the C7010 chess module contained a secondary CPU with its own extra memory to run the chess program.


See also

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