Consoles of the '70s

Coleco Telstar Gemini

With a package claiming “6 Video Games in Color,” how could you go wrong? The six on display were four pinball variants and two light gun shooters. The console contained the buttons directly on it, foregoing a traditional controller. But hey, at least there wasn’t Pong.

Atari Video Pinball

Now that Pong had its time in the sun, digital Pinball was the new craze. Atari released a dedicated console to capitalize on this popularity, which included two extra game variants - Basketball and Breakout. The console included bumpers on the side to play Pinball with, while the other games were controlled with the dial mounted prominently on the wooden finish. Yup, they were still making wooden consoles.

Mattel Electronics Handheld Games

Predating the DS and thousands of colors by close to 30 years, were these simple handheld games featuring LED displays similar to that of a calculator or digital watch. Auto Race and Electronic Football were the first two Mattel handhelds and required players to navigate either a car or quarterback through obstacles. Newer 3D versions of these genres retain the same essential gameplay.

Magnavox Odyssey 2

As a subsidiary of Philips (who released this console abroad as the Philips Odyssey 2), Magnavox’s new design finally enabled users to play cartridges, rather than Pong games booted from the console’s memory. The O2 included a full keyboard for edutainment games and a standard joystick complete with a big-ass red button on each. The console sold relatively well, pushing over a million units by 1983.

Bally Professional Videocade

Developed by Midway, the gaming division of Bally at the time, the Videocade or Astrocade as it was known in the early 80s was notable for its graphical prowess. Midway had wanted a video display chip in their successive systems, from arcade to consoles and ended up producing one of the most powerful 8-bit systems. Utilized cartridges and came with a 24-key keyboard.

Coleco Telstar Colortron

Coleco kept pumping out the same damn thing - this time, the Colortron contained four Pong variants in glorious Technicolor. Colortron comes complete with various beepy sounds and fixed dials on the console. 

Coleco Telstar Marksman

Bundled with six color games, the first four were of course variants on Pong, while the other two were light gun shooters. The light gun featured an attachable stock and barrel, similar to the late Sega Menacer. Your parents may have been duped into buying this.

APF M1000

One of the earliest 8-bit cartridge consoles, the M1000 could only be used on a color TV and came with non-detachable joysticks. A number of games came out for this boringly-titled system, and chances are you’ve never heard of Rocket Patrol.


  • blu2580 - September 29, 2008 10:42 p.m.

    OMFG! the coleco combat was disgusting!
  • Alcyones - September 13, 2008 3:47 a.m.

    Imagine if it got far enough to....Pong HD!
  • ClusterShart - September 7, 2008 10:35 a.m.

    long before my time
  • Spybreak8 - September 4, 2008 6:36 a.m.

    lol wow, we have the Atari 2600, the paddles don't work anymore, was how I got into the love of games though.
  • lynx987 - September 3, 2008 12:47 a.m.

    dam there was a a lot of crap..........i only had 7 of them
  • ender707 - October 9, 2008 1:19 a.m.

    The Coleco Combat Looks a Lot Like The Halo 3 LE XBOX 360 WTF???
  • beefandonion - October 7, 2008 7:30 p.m.

    when do we get the 80's consoles? I used to love my Vectrex and Colecovision!!
  • AQRippinPwner - September 28, 2008 9:25 p.m.

    omfg! Thank god its not like that today or i would get SOOOO Bored with playing pong!!!
  • Sukururu - September 23, 2008 1:20 a.m.

    My first console wa the NES (some of the best games I've played) and there were alot before it. I only Knew About The First Pong.
  • MegaGamer1000 - September 18, 2008 3 a.m.

    i never knew there were so many systems in the 70's i thought there was only pong
  • rockykid19 - September 13, 2008 12:42 p.m.

    i know my family first got the nes, and super mario, i still think its the greatest game ever
  • Thequestion 121 - September 9, 2008 8:37 p.m.

    I didn't know there were so many consoles that played Pong. Thank god they moved on to bigger and better things.

Showing 1-12 of 12 comments

Join the Discussion
Add a comment (HTML tags are not allowed.)
Characters remaining: 5000