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The Intellivision is a video game console released by Mattel in 1979. Development of the console began in 1978, less than a year after the introduction of its main competitor, the Atari 2600. Over 3 million Intellivision units were sold and a total of 125 games were released for the console.

The word intellivision is a shortening of "intelligent television". The console featured superior graphics and sound to the rival VCS, a point that Mattel were quick to make in a very aggressive marketing campaign, and by 1982, the machine had sold 2 million, and games were regularly selling over a million units.

A voice module was added, but was expensive and had little memory to add much to the gaming experience, just four titles were to use it.

In 1982, a price cut model, the intellivision II was brought to market, it was much smaller and cheaper to produce, it also tried to introduce a change to the ROM to lock out unlicensed 3rd party software, the new machine was a direct result of increasing competition from not only Atari, but also Coleco and Milton bradley.

Late in 1983, Mattel’s electronics division posted losses in the hundreds of millions, caused by falling sales, increased competition, and a lack of big name titles, the division closed in 1984, and a liquidator purchased the rights to the Intellivision name and software stocks, after the software was exhausted, Terry Valeski, a former Mattel director bought all rights to Intellivision and started a new venture.

The new company, INTV Corp., continued to sell old stock via retail and mail order. When the old stock of Intellivision II consoles ran out, they introduced a new console dubbed INTV System III. This unit was actually a cosmetic rebadge of the original Intellivision console (this unit was later renamed the Super Pro System.

In addition to manufacturing new consoles, INTV Corp. also continued to develop new games, releasing a few new titles each year. Eventually, the system was discontinued in 1991.

Manufacturer: Mattel
Date: 1979

Other Systems Related To Intellivision:

Item Manufacturer Date
Mattel Aquarius Mattel 1st June 1983

This exhibit has a reference ID of CH30979. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.


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