Ralph H. Baer, the inventor of the very first game console, is Saturday at age 92 died. The Baer developed the “Brown Box” was released in the early seventies, on the market as the Magnavox Odyssey.
Baer got the idea of becoming cheaper tv’s for games in 1966, when he as an engineer, was working for an American electronics company for defense. He knew his boss that his idea to convince and with a budget of a few thousand dollars a few prototypes to develop. That resulted eventually in the ‘Brown Box’, so called because of the used tape, giving the impression of wood had to give.
The inventor and his company obtained a broad patent on a system that ‘in combination with a tv was able to get points on a screen) to produce and manage. The company Magnavox took out a license on the system, and in 1972 appeared the game console on the market as the Magnavox Odyssey. There were in that year 100,000 were sold and in total, 350,000 and over-the-counter.
The Odyssey consisted of 40 transistors and 40 diodes, and turned any software. The games were on so-called ‘gamecards’: in fact, loose pcb’s in a slot fit that resemblance with a rom-card slot. For each game, heard colored plastic plates for the tv hung had to be to add color. Magnavox produced two standard controllers and also appeared to be a light gun. This accessory was a big gun who, under the name Shooting Gallery was released, which responded to the light of the tv.
There were various successors of the Odyssey, and in Europe appeared in the original as well as the Odyssey 2001, after Philips Magnavox in 1974, took over. Meanwhile, it was Atari all of the popular Pong came to the market. Baer and his company complained then Atari for patent infringement, and Pong would look too much like a tennis game for the Odyssey. Nintendo tried in the eighties to argue that the patents of the inventor is invalid, because already in 1958, a tennis-like game was created, Tennis for Two. The judge asked the Japanese gamebedrijf in the wrong since that game not as a video game to consider because there is no video signal was used, but with an oscilloscope was played. With all the won patentzaken was, according to Baer, in total, more than $ 100 million brought in.
The Odyssey was not the only feat of arms of the technician: he was at the end of the seventies still responsible for the game Simon and sequel Super Simon. These were round, electronic devices, with four colored faces that could light up. The player had the pattern of light to repeat by clicking on the faces button.