Background and Identification
The Intellivision is a home video game console produced by Mattel Electronics in 1979. Mattel Electronics, Inc. is an American toy manufacturer that produces brands like Fisher-Price, Barbie, and Hot Wheels. The name “Intellivision” is a combination of the words “intelligent television.” The Intellivision was discontinued in 1990 but over three million Intellivision consoles were sold between 1980 and 1983. In 2009, the video game and entertainment media website IGN named the Intellivision the 14th greatest video game console in history.
The Intellivision was developed with Mattel’s line of handheld electronic video games. It was the first 16-bit gaming console since it included a 16-bit microprocessor. The Intellivision was also the first gaming system to include downloadable games with the use of PlayCable in 1981. It was the first game controller to include a directional thumb pad.
The Intellivision includes a main component, a game controller with a 12-button numeric keypad, and peripherals, including a keyboard component with limited availability, PlayCable, the Intellivoice Voice Synthesis Module, a computer module, a music synthesizer, and a system changer. The Intellivision Master Component was branded and sold by several companies, including GTE Sylvania, which manufactured Intellivision consoles.
The Intellivision main component includes the words “Mattel Electronics Intellivision” along the bottom left-hand corner. The console is mostly brown plastic but includes two metallic strips on the top of the device. The game controllers are attached to the main console with a stretchy, spiraled cord.
Release Date: 1979
Media: ROM cartridge
CPU: GI CP1610
Memory: 1K RAM, 6K ROM
Sound: GI AY-3-8914
Controller input: 16 direction pad, 15 button
Online Services: PlayCable