Consoles of the '70s

Our guide to the grandfathers of gaming

Apple II Home Computer

This little number was the first mass produced computer from Apple and was one of the first popular computers for home use - due in fact to the agreeable price range. Popular with schools and businesses alike, the Apple II had simple spreadsheets and word processor applications. Its popularity helped bolster the computer game market. Chances are that if you’re at least in your early twenties, you’ve used this hardware. Apple went on to make some mp3 players and faded away from the spotlight.

Coleco Telstar Ranger

Another release in the Telstar line, Ranger included four Pong variants and had two light gun games. Guys had enough Pong yet? Us neither.

Coleco Telstar Alpha

Not much different here. Four Pong variants, complete with a black and white plastic case. Also: fixed dials on the console itself. Yup.

Coleco Combat!

Thankfully no Pong was seen here, but rather up to four players controlled variants of the game, Tank. Four joysticks were included on the console itself and the only color it came in was pea soup military green.

Magnavox Odyssey 2000

You thought you were done with Pong. Think again - Magnavox released three Odyssey consoles in 1977. Three. The O2000 is notable for being similar to the O300 (the one with only one playable knob) and for not having the color graphics introduced in the O400.

Magnavox Odyssey 3000

The O3000 contained the same games and was exactly like the 2000 except for a brand new case design (gasp!) and detachable controllers. This system also played Pong and three other games.

Magnavox Odyssey 4000

The last Pong system released by Magnavox contained eight games (!) that were in color (!!). The O4000 sported a sleek, white design that’s more attractive than the plastic or wood paneled systems that came before it - reminiscent of today’s Wii or any Mac product. Too bad the market had been bombarded by roughly a trillion Pong consoles by this point.


We recommend