* CPU: Intel 8048 8-bit microcontroller running at 1.79 MHz
* RAM: 64 bytes
* Audio/video RAM: 128 bytes
* ROM: 1024 bytes
* Video: Intel 8244 custom IC, 160x200 resolution (NTSC), 16-color palette but sprites may only use 8 of these colors
* 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 Odyssey2
and the Philips G7000, these were permanently attached to the console; in later models, they were removable and replaceable. Plus QWERTY-layout membrane keyboard
* Output: RF Audio/Video connector, Peritel/SCART connector (France only)
* Media: ROM cartridges, typically 2 KiB, 4 KiB, or 8 KiB 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.
Currently, MESS supports the following systems:
* odyssey2 [Magnavox Odyssey2
* videopac [Philips Videopac G7000 / C52]
Both of them require a "cartridge" (cart) to work, either in .bin or .rom format. To launch the emulation simply type
mess.exe videopac -cart "C:\pathtogame\gamename.rom" Keyboard
This system requires full keyboard emulation to work correctly. At startup, full keyboard emulation mode is enabled by default. Whilst in full keyboard emulation mode, some key associated functionality may be disabled (like the ESC key for EXIT). The keyboard emulation mode is toggled using the "Scroll Lock" key (by default).
The sound emulation of this system is Imperfect.
History and Trivia
Driver based on info by Dan Boris.
Magnavox (which merged with Philips in 1974) released the Odyssey2
in 1978 to compete with brand new cartridge based video game systems like the Atari VCS, RCA Studio II or Fairchild Electronics Channel-F.
Initially, Magnavox had developped a prototype system called "Odyssey 2", to replace the Odyssey, the first home videogame system to market, which had already been followed by a number of later models (each with a few technological improvements). It did not have the ability to use cartridges but had 24 games built-in and could be played by up to 4 players simultaneously. But this console never made it to the shelves, and the Odyssey2
, a complete different system in fact, was marketed instead.
The system is powered by an Intel 8048 microcontroller and a Video Display Controller (VDC) generating all audio and video. This VDC, which is a custom Intel IC, can generate 4 different types of graphic objects: a background grid, single characters, quad characters (made of 4 single characters) and sprites. A maximum of 4 independent sprites can be displayed. There are monochrome and of 8 x 8 pixels in size. Of course the VDC can detect sprite collisions.
has 64 pre-defined characters (letters and graphic symbols) in memory. Up to 12 foreground characters can be displayed from this internal character set. Many games (especially eraly ones) used a lot those pre-defined characters: man walking, right arrow, slopes, tree, ships, plane and a ball.
Moreover, unlike any other system at that time, the Odyssey2
included a full alphanumeric membrane keyboard, which was to be used for educational games, selecting options, or programming (Magnavox also released a game cartridge called "Computer Intro!" with the intent of teaching simple computer programming).
For joysticks, Odyssey2
used the standard design of the 1970s and 80s: the original console had a moderately-sized silver controller, held in one hand, with a square housing for its eight-direction stick that was manipulated with the other hand. Later releases had a similar black controller, with an 8-pointed star-shaped housing for its eight-direction joystick. In the upper corner of the joystick was a single 'Action' button, silver on the original controllers and red on the black controllers.
Another strong point of the system was its excellent speech synthesis unit, which was released as an add-on for speech, music, and sound effects enhancement. Finally, the area that the Odyssey2
may be best remembered for was its pioneering fusion of board and video games: The Master Strategy Series. The first game released was the instant classic "Quest for the Rings!", with gameplay somewhat similar to Dungeons & Dragons, and a storyline reminiscent of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings.
Though not as popular as the Atari VCS, or later Intellivision, the Odyssey2
did well in the US and even better in Europe where it was marketed by Philips as the Videopac G7000 and Philips C52 in France. A further evolution of the hardware was released in Europe as Philips G7400, Videopac+ and Jopac. The US version, codenamed Odyssey3
, reached only the prototype stage. Market life
* United States: The Odyssey2
sold moderately well in the US, with over a million of units sold by 1983. Not many new games were released, due to the lack of support by third-party developers, but the success of the Philips Videopac G7000 overseas convinced other companies to produce games for it: Parker Brothers and Imagic.
* Europe: In Europe, the Odyssey2
sold very well. In Europe, the console was most widely known as the Philips Videopac G7000 (Videopac C52 in France), or just the Videopac, although branded variants were released under the names "Radiola Jet 25", "Schneider 7000", and "Siera G7000". A rare model, the "Philips Videopac G7200", was only released in Europe: it had a built-in black-and-white monitor. Videopac game cartridges are mostly compatible with American Odyssey2
units, although some games have color differences and a few are completely incompatible. A number of additional games were released in Europe that never came out in the US.
* Brazil: In Brazil, the console was released as the "Philips Odyssey". The original Magnavox Odyssey was released in Brazil by a company named "Planil Comercio", not affiliated to Philips or Magnavox, but hadn't success. Therefore, the Brazilian branch of Philips released Odyssey2
without its number. Odyssey became much more popular in Brazil than it ever was in the US; tournaments were even held for popular games like K.C.'s Krazy Chase! (Come-Come in Brazil).
* Japan: The Odyssey2
was released in Japan in December 1982 by Koton Trading Toitarii Enterprise (a division of DINGU company). "Japanese" versions of the Odyssey2
and its games consisted of the American boxes with katakana stickers on them and cheaply printed black-and-white Japanese manuals. It was apparently not very successful: Japanese Odyssey2
items are now very difficult to find.
(info from old-computers.com and Wikipedia)
* videopac.org -- http://www.videopac.org/
* Odyssey2 Home Page -- http://www.classicgaming.com/o2home/index.asp
* Dan Boris' Odyssey2 Page -- http://www.atarihq.com/danb/o2.shtml
* Odyssey2 at old-computers.com -- http://old-computers.com/museum/computer.asp?c=695
* G7000 at old-computers.com -- http://old-computers.com/museum/computer.asp?c=1080
* C52 at old-computers.com -- http://old-computers.com/museum/computer.asp?c=1060
* Wikipedia page -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Odyssey_2
* o2em for DOS -- http://o2em.sourceforge.net/