Background and specs
The Philips Videopac G7000 was a gaming console launched by Philips in 1978, after acquiring the American game console builder Magnavox. The G7000 is the European version of the Magnavox Odyssey 2 console and therefore the direct successor to the Magnavox Odyssey (1) console.
The Videopac had the Intel 8048 (8-bit) with a frequency of 1.79 MHz. This processor was assisted by 256 bytes RAM and the Intel P8245 graphic co-processor.
The name of the G7000 did not refer to a product classification or processor type, but was chosen somewhat random. Two developers of this G7000 had the the opinion that the name ‘Odyssey’ wouldn’t attract European consumers. A somewhat special opinion, since this name referred to the European (Greek) hero-epos of Homer. Eventually they chose a name that would refer to what would be possible in the future with the Videopac. The letter ‘g’ stood for ‘gives power’ and the number ‘7000’ had no direct meaning, but was intended to give the name a futuristic feeling.
Just like the name, the appearance of the Videopac also was futuristic (for its time). With its shiny silver-gray housing and large numeric keyboard the Videopac had a quirky look and the console clearly distinguished its self from its competitors. The game cartridges are inserted at the top of the console. This is not as smooth as one would suspect and requires some force.
The build quality of the Videopac is nothing to write home about. The console is largely made of cheap plastic that, despite (or perhaps thanks to) the futuristic colour, feels cheap and fragile. The two controllers are ‘hard wired’ and cannot be disconnected without screwing open the console. Subsequent models had an external power supply and only with the third revision it was also possible to plug the controllers on the back in and out.
A console has no meaning without games. It are the games that determine the succes or faillure of the console. In total sixty games were developed for the Videopac (and Odyssey 2) between 1978 and 1983. Most of them are numbered.