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ODYSSEY 3 COMMAND CENTER

 

 

 

Okay, so the Odyssey 2 was a log. It's graphics suck. It's controllers suck and break too easily. The keyboard is useless, and whoever is responsible for the ridiculous hook-up box thingy deserves to be bootie-reamed with the spiky anus probiscus. However Phillips/Magnavox didn't give up when the Atari 2600 and Intellivision outsold them on a 10 to 1 basis. They continued to support their piece of crap machine until the very end, and eventually managed to sell over a million units in the USA alone. So it was a moderate success.

A follow up to the Odyssey 2 was planned as a true next-gen machine that would be totally backwardly compatible with all existing Odyssey 2 software. In addition to a real keyboard that actually worked, they Odyssey 3 was supposed to function as a real computer (which was a popular thing back in the early 80s before PCs hit,) have a 300 baud modem, and also hook up to any assortment of Magnavox Laserdisc players which would allow games like Dragon's Lair or Escape from Cyber city . Also it would have had detachable controllers. Far flung ideas that were ahead of their time, I know, but I suppose the technology was there in 1983 to make it somewhat feasible.

However the stupid video game crash in 1984 put the nail in the coffin for the project, and it was never released. Or was it? Apparently the rumor is that the Odyssey 3 was released in test markets in the USA as the "Odyssey command center," as well as a limited release in Europe (in particular France where it was called the Philips G7400 . The Odyssey 2 seemed to have a larger following there than the rest of the world.) Since only one prototype of this console has been found in the USA it looks like the rumor of limited release is unsubstantiated, but since it was released in Europe I choose to list it here and not under the Unreleased section.

So there's no modem or Laserdisc compatibility, but the Odyssey 3 did have a few cool features:

1) Was backwards compatible with all the old Odyssey 2 cartridges.

2) Had a series of remakes of the old Odyssey 2 games with the same low-res foreground graphics, but with added hi-res background graphics comparable to early NES or Colecovision games. These remakes could still be played on the standard Odyssey 2 but without the backgrounds.

3) A series of new Odyssey 3 games with the same low-res foreground graphics and hi-res background graphics. Also backwards compatible with the Odyssey 2 without the backgrounds.

4) A series of new games with hi-res foreground and background graphics that could only be played on the Odyssey 3. Games featured scrolling screens, multiple screens, and the ability for complex game play ala the NES.

5) A real clickable keyboard that actually did something instead of the flat membrane keyboard that was just there for looks.

6) A version was also planned with the Odyssey voice module built in.

Sadly the stupid crash of 84 deep sixed the Odyssey 3 before it could enjoy a wide release here and abroad. I think this console might actually have had a chance of surviving the crash (or may have helped to prevent it) if it was just released a few years earlier. As it is now if you want one you're going to have to pay up the yin-yang for the European version (which isn't too easy to come by,) unless you get lucky and find one at a flea market somewhere.

 

 

See also:

Odyssey1

Odyssey 2

 

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NAME:

Odyssey 3 Command Center

COMPANY:

Magnavox

Year:

1984 (Unreleased)

Games:

Compatible with all Odysse 2 games

Specs:

???