The Intellivision is a second generation video game console developed by Mattel Electronics and published by Mattel on 1979-12-03. The name is a portmanteau of the words "intelligent" and "television." The console uses ROM cartridges as its primary form of game storage. Controllers used a 16-directional movement disc rather than a a typical 8-way D-pad or analog joystick, four side buttons, and a 12-button telephone-style dial pad with game-specific overlays. Several variations of the console were made over the years. The Intellivision was the first 16-bit home video game console, and the first to feature downloadable games.
The console seems to have been developed in response to Atari releasing the Atari 2600, as development on the console began in 1977, the same year the 2600 was released. After the video game crash of 1983, Mattel sold off the electronics division to a former Mattel Electronics executive in 1984 and he formed an entity that became INTV Corporation which continued to sell the console until 1990. Official sales figures are only available for the Intellivion from 1980-1983 which estimate a respectable 3,000,000 units, but the 2600 sold ten times that amount in its lifespan.
The console's CPU is a General Instrument CP1600. It runs with only 1,456 bytes of RAM, 7,168 bytes of ROM. It uses a custom video chip called the Standard Television Interface Chip. Audio is produced with an AY-3-8914.
I've never played an Intellivision in real life, but I have played various games from the system's catalog using emulators. I haven't really been impressed with it.
I've never owned or played an Intellivision.
- See all Intellivision Games.
Although there aren't any games that are important to me which were specifically released on the Intellivision, there are several which were ported to the console, including:
- Entertainment Computer System - Added BASIC programming.
- Intellivision Controller
- Intellivoice - Voice synthesizer module.
- Keyboard Component - A keyboard, tape recorder (for storage), and microphone.
- Music Synthesizer - A musical keyboard and additional sound chip.
- PlayCable - Allowed downloading games through cable TV.
- System Changer - Could play Atari 2600 games and use the system's joysticks.
- Videoplexer - Had 8 cartridge ports and could easily switch between them.
I don't know enough about the system to review it.