Home video games are officially 40 years old this week. The first home system, the Magnavox Odyssey, shipped to retailers in August of 1972. The first known instance of the system being on sale to the public dates to an ad from August 28th, ’72. Video Game site Gamasutra has the full skinny on the ancient machine. Happy Birthday!
“…the Odyssey — based on Baer’s prototype ‘brown box’ console (now living in The Smithsonian), but with some flourishes added by Magnavox — is as primitive as can be. Using overlays that stuck onto a user’s television set, players would move simple white objects around on a screen and play simulations of roulette, a simple skiing game, and even a quasi-educational game involving U.S. geography.”
Magnavox Odyssey Wiki