The Odyssey is an epic two-part miniseries adapting the Greek epic poem of the same name.

The Odyssey - Netflix

Type: Scripted

Languages: English

Status: Ended

Runtime: 90 minutes

Premier: 1997-05-18

The Odyssey - Magnavox Odyssey - Netflix

The Magnavox Odyssey is the first commercial home video game console. It was developed by a small team led by Ralph H. Baer at Sanders Associates and released by Magnavox in the United States in September 1972 and overseas the following year. The Odyssey consists of a white, black, and brown box which connects to a television set and two rectangular controllers attached by wires. It is capable of displaying three square dots on the screen in monochrome black and white, with differing behavior for the dots depending on the game played, and with no sound capabilities. Players place plastic overlays on the screen to create visuals, and the one or two players for each game control their dots with the three knobs and one button on the controller in accordance with the rules given for the game. The Odyssey console came packaged with dice, paper money, and other board game paraphernalia to go along with the games, and a peripheral controller—the first video game light gun—was sold separately. The idea for a video game console was thought up by Baer in August 1966, and over the next three years he, along with Bill Harrison and Bill Rusch, created seven successive prototype consoles. The seventh, known as the Brown Box, was shown to several manufacturers before Magnavox agreed to produce it in January 1971. After releasing the console in September 1972 through their dealerships, Magnavox sold between 69,000 and 100,000 units by the end of the year, and 350,000 by the time the console was discontinued in 1975. The console spawned the Magnavox Odyssey series of dedicated consoles, as well as the 1978 Magnavox Odyssey². One of the 28 games made for the system, a ping pong game, was an inspiration for Atari's successful Pong arcade game, in turn driving sales of the console. Baer's patents for the system and the games, including what was termed by a judge as “the pioneering patent of the video game art”, formed the basis of a series of lawsuits spanning 20 years, earning Sanders and Magnavox over US$100 million. The release of the Odyssey marked the end of the early history of video games, and the rise of the commercial video game industry along with the start of the first generation of video game consoles.

The Odyssey - Legacy - Netflix

As the Odyssey was discontinued Magnavox released the first successive dedicated consoles—consoles that could only play games built into the system—in the Magnavox Odyssey series, the Odyssey 100 and Odyssey 200, as part of the first generation of video game consoles; the Odyssey 100 was only capable of playing the ping pong and hockey games from the original Odyssey. Eleven dedicated Odyssey consoles were produced before a true follow-up console in 1978, the Magnavox Odyssey². While it showed the potential of video game consoles and marked the end of the early history of video games and the beginning of the commercial video game industry, the Odyssey is not generally considered a major commercial success. Magnavox produced no more games for the console after 1973 and rejected Baer's proposals for an add-on that would add sound to games, a putting controller and associated golf game, and console variants that would have been cheaper or supported up to four players. While a few clone systems were produced in limited quantities, and multiple dedicated systems—generally focused on ping pong game variants—were created by several companies, no other true home video consoles were produced until the 1976 Fairchild Semiconductor Channel F. In 2004 Ralph Baer was awarded the National Medal of Technology for “his groundbreaking and pioneering creation, development and commercialization of interactive video games, which spawned related uses, applications, and mega-industries in both the entertainment and education realms”. In June 2013, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) added the Magnavox Odyssey to its permanent collection of video games. MoMA's Paul Galloway described the console as “a masterpiece of engineering and industrial design” and stated that it was “hard to overstate the importance of [Ralph Baer's] place in the birth of the industry”. The Brown Box prototype and the TV Game #1 prototype are located at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C..

The Odyssey - References - Netflix