6 Facts About the Intellivision


Originally manufactured by Mattel Electronics, “Intellivision” was simply a portmanteau of “intelligent television.” This home video game console was set to compete with the Atari 2600, as both the Atari 2600 and Intellivision began development back in 1977. It’s been estimated that the Intellivision sold more than three million units during its run.

Here are six fascinating Intellivision facts.

    1. The Intellivision was part of the 2nd generation of video game consoles. (source) The Intellivision was one of the more notable home gaming consoles as part of what is considered to be the 2nd generation of gaming, alongside the Atari 2600, the Fairchild Channel F, the Magnavox Odyssey 2 and the Colecovision.
    1. The Intellivision’s life span was longer than what most home game consoles see today. (source) The Intellivision launched back in 1979 and wasn’t discontinued until 1991. It was launched and made to compete with the popular Atari 2600 at the time, and over the Intellivision’s run, more than 120 games were officially released for the console.
    1. In 2009, IGN had rated the Intellivision as a top 15 home gaming console of all-time. (source) In the review, IGN commended Mattel for their outstanding marketing of the Intellivision, as well as their ability to lock down licensing for the sports area of their game library versus that of the Atari 2600’s, as you could play NBA, NFL, NHL and MLB licensed games on the Intellivision.
    1. Although the Intellivision’s life span went through 1991, the company was actually liquidated halfway through the console’s run. (source) The video game crash of 1983 caused the electronics division at Mattel to post losses in the hundreds of millions of dollars. The video game crash, along with a lack of big name titles and increased competition with the market, Mattel decided to close their electronics division in 1984. Soon after, the rights to the Intellivision name and software stocks had been purchased by a liquidator named Terry Valeski, who had actually been a previous director at Mattel.
    1. When it was released, the Intellivision was priced at $275 USD. (source) Adjusted for inflation, that would be $1,056.07 today, which is much more than newer home gaming consoles are released for today.
    1. While the Intellivision was released in the United States in 1979, it would take several years for it to makes its way around the world. (source) Following the American release of the Intellivision in 1979, and the console would eventually make its way to the United Kingdom in 1981. Other releases took some time, however, including the Intellivision hitting Germany, South Africa, France and Japan in 1982, and finally making its way to Brazil in 1983, four years after the original release in the United States.

The Intellivision is one of the most classic gaming consoles out there! If you owned or played an Intellivision, share your memories of it with us in the comments below.


Featured image photo credit: Evan-Amos, 2012. Originally found on Wikimedia.org. Image was resized and cropped. Creative Commons 3.0.

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