The Odyssey 2001 is a game console from Philips. It’s a so-called pong machine. A game console that does not use a variety of cartridges, but has pre-installed games. The Odyssey 2001 was the succesor of the Philips Odyssey 200. In comparison to the 200, the 2001 could display color and had detachable paddles. The 2001 was the European version of the the Magnavox Odyssey 4000. Just like Philips would later do with its Videopac consoles, the 2001 differed from the Magnavox to attract the Euopean consumer. It had a different library of games, paddels in stead of joysticks and a different appearance.
The 2001 was based on the National Semiconductor MM-57105, which played Tennis, Hockey, and Squash in full colour and with sound effects.
The Odyssey 2001 was white. It was therefore prone to yellowing. Especially due to the cheap plastic used in many 70’s electronics. On the front is a long, wide sticker in a largely glossy aluminum color, accompanied by a blue and green stripe. This was supposed to give the console a futuristic appearance, but by today’s standards this is actually cheap. The two controllers are hard-wired, as is the antenna output.
The Philips Odyssey consoles were based on the Magnavox Odyssey line up. Philips took over the American company Magnavox in 1974. Magnavox had already marketed consoles under the Odyssey brand name since 1972. With this Magnavox even came into conflict with Atari, which was the undisputed leader in the arcade halls, but was late to to conquer the living room. Magnavox continued to market consoles under its own name even after the acquisition of Philips. Philips, a more renown brand on the European continent, developed their own ‘European’ versions of the Magnavox Odyssey. Just as they would later do with the Videopac.
In Japan, the Odyssey was marketed by Nintendo. This was Nintendo’s first step into the gaming market where it would continue to garner praise to this day.
|Predecessor||Philips Odyssey 200|
|Successor||Philips Odyssey 2100|
|CPU||National Semiconductor MM-57105|