First and second generations of video game consoles
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the video game market experienced an explosion of products hoping to capitalize on the success of the Odyssey and Atari. From the nigh-infinite Pong clones to the suspiciously similar consoles, consumers had far more options than they do today. This is a list of those first and second generation machines. Not all of them can be emulated or preserved, though some that can't be emulated have simulations instead. See also Strange and Forgotten Console emulators, a similar page but for later generations. Amazingly, over 900 first-generation home video game consoles are known to exist. More than 200 different companies were involved in the first generation, and while more than half only released one console, it's still a large number of companies compared to the 20 that partook on the second generation.
First Generation (Discrete Circuitry-Based & Pong)
|Name||MAME support||Other emulators||Internet Archive||Description|
|None||None||Only sold in Europe, The Tele-Spiel console was released by Philips in 1975 and had hardware very similar to Odyssey's. It sold poorly and wasn't on the market for vary long. |
Only 5 games were released.
Second Generation (Cartridge Consoles)
Best-selling game consoles: Atari 2600, Intellivision, Magnavox Odyssey², ColecoVision.
|Name||MAME support||No-intro collection||Internet Archive||Description|
|APF Imagination Machine/MP1000||Good||No||Yes||A PC with a game console mounted on top of it 32X-style (take that, master race!) Only 25 games were released (15 cartridges), one being built-in, and a lot of homebrews. ROMs are here.|
|Atari 2600||Good||Yes||Yes||ROM Hunter v18 Collection|
|Bally Astrocade[N 1]||Imperfect||No||Yes||TOSEC|
|Bandai Super Vision 8000[N 1]||Good||No||Yes||Only 7 games.|
|ColecoVision[N 2]||Good||Yes||Yes||Coleco marketed different add-ons for their console, with one of them being the fast-selling Atari VCS adapter which enables the ColecoVision to play Atari cartridges! Atari sued them, but lost the case. No-intro|
|Coleco Telstar Arcade||None||No||Released in 1977, Coleco's first attempt at making a video game console was an odd one, a triangle console with triangle cartridges and each side of system had a different controller type. The console itself dose not have a CPU built-in, instead, each cartridge contained a custom chip based on the MPS-7600 POC series.
|Commodore MAX Machine||Good||No||No||Also known as Ultimax (USA) and VC-10 (DEU), though it was only briefly sold in Japan. It's a cut-down console version of the C64 hardware family (Later used in C64) with limited computing capability & a membrane keyboard. TOSEC: (2012), (2016).|
|Emerson Arcadia 2001[N 3]||Imperfect||Yes||Yes||Over 50 games made for it. The graphic quality is similar to that of the Intellivision and the Odyssey². Sound still imperfect in games. TOSEC|
|Epoch Cassette Vision||None||No||No||Only 12 games exist for this console, and some have been dumped. Seanriddle has succeded to dump the graphic sprites of Kikori no Yosaku. Apparently, the BIOS for the console is inside each cart. Latest MAME forum thread.|
|Fairchild Channel F||Good||Yes||Yes||No-intro|
|Fairchild Channel F II||Good||NA||An update to the Channel F, with no known exclusive games.|
|Gakken Compact TV Boy||None||No||No|
|Interton VC 4000[N 4]||Imperfect||No||Has 40 games. ROMs are here|
|Magnavox Odyssey²/Videopac[N 5]||Good||Yes||Yes||No-intro|
|Mattel Intellivision[N 6]||Good||Yes||Yes||TOSEC|
|Mattel Intellivision II||Good||NA||An update to the Intellivision, with no known exclusive games.|
|RCA Studio II||Imperfect||Yes||TOSEC. rca-studio2 programmer emulator. EMMA 0.2.|
|Toshiba Visicom C-100||None||No|
|Soundic PC-50x Series||None||No||Designed by Soundic and Released by many different companies, the PC-50x is a series of consoles is similar to Telstar Arcade, these systems has no built-in CPU and use cartridges that have a POC inside. These system were first released in 1977 with only around 8 games were released in its lifetime.|
|VTech CreatiVision[N 8]||Good||Yes||Yes||This hybrid computer and console were distributed to many different countries around the world and some variants were rebadged units with different names. Emulators list. TOSEC.|
- Emulated by MAME only.
- The ColecoVision was sold as NTSC and PAL variants in different regions. Clones: Spectravideo SVI-603 Coleco Game Adapter (For hooking up to the SVI-318 or SVI-328 computers), Bit Corporation's Dina (AKA "Chuang Zao Zhe 50". Taiwan. 1986.), Telegames' The Personal Arcade (1988. Clone of Dina 2 in 1.).
- Clones and variants: Advision Home Arcade, Arcadia, Cosmos, Dynavision, Ekusera, Hanimex MPT-03, HMG-2650, Home Arcade Centre, Intelligent Game MPT-03, Intercord XL 2000 System, Intervision 2001, ITMC MPT-03, Leisure-Vision, Leonardo, Ormatu 2001, Palladium Video-Computer-Game, Polybrain Video Computer Game, Poppy MPT-03 Tele Computer Spiel, Prestige Video Computer Game MPT-03, Robdajet MPT-03, Rowtron 2000, Schmid TVG-2000, Sheen Home Video Centre 2001, Soundic MPT-03, Tele Brain, Tele-Fever, Tempest MPT-03,Tobby MPT-03, Trakton Computer Video Game, Tryom Video Game Center, Tunix Home Arcade, UVI Compu-Game, Video Master.
- Clones: Radofin 1292 Advanced Programmable Video System, Jeu Video TV, Super Play Computer 4000, etc.
- Clones: Jopac JO7400, Odyssey 3 Command Center (prototype), Videopac G7000/C52, Videopac Plus G7400.
- Extra models with: Keyboard Component (Unreleased. 1981.), IntelliVoice expansion (1982), Entertainment Computer System + Intellivoice expansions (1983). Clones: Sears' Super Video Arcade (1982), Intellivision II (1982).
- Clone: Spectrum I+ (1984. Roy Abel & Associates.).
- Clones and variants: Educat 2002 (Israel), Dick Smith Wizzard (Australia/New Zealand), FunVision Computer Video Games System (Oceania), Hanimex Rameses (Oceania), VZ 2000 (Oceania), etc.
Computers: Laser 2001, Salora Manager (Finland).
- www.progettoemma.net's Systems list (ProjectMESS' list of computer & console systems & their overall emulation status in MAME/MESS)
- www.progettoemma.net's Software list (ProjectMESS' list of computer & console systems & their emulation levels of all games in MAME/MESS)
|Name||MAME support||No-intro collection||Internet Archive||Description|
|Bandai Digi Casse||None||No||Originally released in Japan by Bandai in 1984, another short-lived console from the early 80s. Only had around 4 to 6 games released for it. The console was released in Europe by an unknown company and in Russia as the Elektronika NM 26, both sometime in the late 80s.|
|Entex Adventure Vision||Imperfect||Yes||Yes||Like the Vectrex, this console had its own screen and operated like a miniature arcade cabinet, that said, this system was aimed at the Tabletop market, a class of somewhat portable gaming devices. Only four games were released for it. TOSEC|
|Epoch Game Pocket Computer||Good||Yes||Only 5 games exist for this handheld (Released in 1984). All can be found here.|
|Milton Bradley MicroVision||Good||No||12 games were made and all are dumped except for some revisions.
|Milton Bradley OMNI||None||No||Released in 1980, The OMNI was a weird hybrid of a portable console, Mono 8-track player and a Tabletop game, graphics were limited to four 2-character seven segment displays, 8-track tapes were used to store the games instead of cartridges and because of its massive limitations, most of the games for it were trivia games, it's unknown how many units were sold or when it was discontinued, only 13 games are known to be released for it.|
|Palmtex PVS / Super Micro||None||No||Released in 1984, Super Micro was a handheld console similar to the Milton Bradley Microvision in design. Bad timing, a lack of advertising, and issues with its design and quality (the plastic body is vary fragile) resulted in failure. Palmtex sold less then 37,000 units and discontinued the console the same year it was released. Only three of the eight games announced were released.|
|Romtec Colorvision||None||No||Released in 1984, The Colorvision was another cheaply made console released during the Video Game Crash. It's unknown how many units were sold or when it was discontinued. Only 5 games were released for it.|
|VTech 3D Gamate||None||No||An extremely rare console released in 1983 by VTech, it's unknown how many units were sold and was likely discontinued shortly after released. While six games were announced, only 3 are known to have been released.|
|VTech ProScreen||None||No||Yet another extremely rare console from VTech, The ProScreen was released in 1984 and only three games are known to have been released.|
|VTech Variety||None||No||Another extremely rare console released from VTech in 1983, like the 3D Gamate. It's unknown how many units were sold and was also likely discontinued shortly after released. Only six games are known to have been released for it.|
- List of first generation home video game consoles (Amazingly exhaustive wiki list. 888 listed consoles, but over 900 existed.)
- First generation of video game consoles (Wikipedia page. History and major competitors plus a small sector on handheld systems.)