Hard­ware Heaven: Videopac 7000

Retro Gamer - - CONTENTS -

Nick takes a peek at the suc­ces­sor to the Mag­navox Odyssey

» Man­u­fac­turer: Philips » Year: 1978 » cost: £150 (launch), £15+ (to­day)

Though its key­board may fool you into think­ing that it’s a com­puter, the Philips Videopac G7000 is the di­rect suc­ces­sor to the Mag­navox Odyssey – in­deed, in North Amer­ica it was mar­keted as the Odyssey 2. As one of the wave of pro­gram­mable con­soles that came in the wake of the Pong clones, it was able to achieve a re­spectable com­mer­cial per­for­mance, out­last­ing the likes of the Fairchild Chan­nel F and Bally Astro­cade, but fall­ing short of the In­tel­livi­sion and es­pe­cially the Atari 2600. It was most pop­u­lar in Europe and Brazil.

The con­sole’s bulky sil­ver body is rather strik­ing and fu­tur­is­tic next to the wood­grain styling of the Videopac G7000’s con­tem­po­raries. Frus­trat­ingly, the car­tridge la­bels are uni­formly black with a red num­ber rather than a ti­tle, but car­tridges have dis­tinc­tive han­dles that set them apart from oth­er­wise sim­i­lar com­peti­tors. Some G7000 fea­ture joy­stick ports while oth­ers in­clude built-in joy­sticks, but the most mem­o­rable games for the sys­tem com­bined com­puter con­trols and board game set­ups to cre­ate a unique play ex­pe­ri­ence. Un­usu­ally, the Euro­pean ver­sion of the con­sole doesn’t have a power switch of its own – it must in­stead be switched on and off at the plug socket.

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