From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Video games (Rated C-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Video games, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of video games on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the project's importance scale.


This article needs work.

"PRE-CRASH systems"?!? WHAT THE HELL IS THAT? What a lame term to describe the original game consoles that began what exists today as a healthy gaming industry...These are generation 1 or 2 systems depending on who you ask, and quite honestly I'd have to believe they are generation 1 systems ...(The pre-generation 1 systems can be lumped together as Generation 0 or pre-one) not "pre-crash" systems which include Generation 2 and the beginning of Gen 3 systems (The Atari 7800 was made during the crash but wasn't really released until the NES brought gaming back to life.)

This is a terrible insult to the Atari 2600 & 5200, Mattel Intellivision, and Coleco Colecovision specifically. Sure they are "pre-crash" but they are better known as GENERATION 1 & 2. Pathetic. I don't even care to change this...perhaps another day when I have the time.

"I don't even care to change this". Neither do I. - Diceman 12:03, 27 December 2005 (UTC)

Ahh, this brings back memories, wasted a good many hours on this back in the day. Had completely forgotten what they where called though, and had given up on ever finding out, then I stumble across this article quite by accident. Funny that it works. Wonder if I remember enough to imrove on this in any way though... --Sherool (talk) 03:40, 5 February 2006 (UTC)

As is obvious in that above discussion on "generations," dividing the continuum of video games into arbitrary generations or eras is problematic. Thus the use of "video game crash" as a dividing line; it's common shorthand for the quite real market contraction that occurred in the video game industry in 1983. It doesn't denigrate the systems that came before this event, so I'm not sure what the problem is. Even the official Intellivision website refers to the "crash" (though erroneously claiming to be the only system to survive the crash-- what about the 2600?). Anyway... my problem with the article is this bit of ambiguity:

By 1982 sales were soaring. Over two million Intellivision consoles had been sold by the end of the year, earning Mattel a $100,000,000 profit. This was a big year for Mattel. Third party Atari developers Activision, and Imagic began releasing games for the Intellivision, as did hardware rivals Atari and Colecovision. Mattel created M Network branded games for Atari and Coleco's systems. The most popular titles sold over a million units each.

What are the "most popular titles?" The titles released for the Intellivision systems? The titles by M Network for other systems? The total of a title across multiple systems? Student Driver 16:51, 1 July 2006 (UTC)


No Article For Odyssey 2 Video Game System?[edit]

I couldn't find an article on Wikipedia for the Oddessy 2 video game system. I thought it was a step-up from Intellivision, we had both. KC Munchkin was an Oddessy game, a rip off of Pacman, but actually pretty cool. The Oddessy system had a alphabetic keyboard on the top of it. Anyone remember it?

As for Intellivision, right before they went out of business or whatever they did, they were selling games dirt cheap. Games that previously cost $30 - $50 were being sold for $0.99. Yes, less than a buck. I bought a whole bunch of those Intellivision games at that cheap price. Monkeybreath 10:29, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

See Magnavox Odyssey². Nandesuka 11:41, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Suggestions for improving "tone" in TV section[edit]

Any ideas on improving encyclopedic "tone"? I changed "kids" to "children", other thoughts? JubalHarshaw 17:15, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

I took a shot at it. I think it should read ok now so I removed the tag.Michael Dorosh 17:40, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

WHAT DO YOU MEAN 'TONE'? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:33, 14 October 2007 (UTC)



Dude, this isn't 1972 -- computers have been able to do lower-case letters for about 30 years now. Turn the frickin' caps-lock key off, OK?

As for the rest of your comment... I'm not even sure what the heck you mean by any of that. Those three companies certainly were *not* "best friends" in any meaningful sense; the only reason any of them ever released games for their rivals' systems is because they figured there was money to be made doing it, and because their rivals couldn't really do anything to *stop* it. (Although Mattel certainly *tried*; when the Intellivision-II rolled out, it had a trap in the BIOS that tried to detect 3rd-party cartridges and would refuse to run them. Atari, Coleco, *et al* managed to get around it, but Mattel certainly wasn't *happy* abouut it.)

The mcp (talk) 23:20, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

Sales figure change[edit]

I changed the sales figure from 3 million to 6 million due to the fact that the source that was provided actually says that. Yes, early in the article it says that Mattel sold 3 million Intellivisions but then it continues and mentions that INTV was able to sell another 3 million units between 1985 and 1990 resulting in a total of 6 million. (talk) 08:00, 29 May 2008 (UTC)Matt Goode May 29, 2008

Nothing on INTV System III?[edit]

After the Intellivision II there was another model, INTV System III, that looked similar to the original model. Shouldn't there at least be a mention of it in the article. has some info about it, but I don't know if they're a good cite or not, so I'm not editing the article myself. (talk) 04:10, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

16 Bit?/ Fourth Gen?[edit]

The Intellivision's CPU is 16 bit, so should it be classed as a Fourth Generation games console? Please reply. mcjakeqcool Mcjakeqcool (talk) 16:18, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

No, generation is not solely by processor. Its by a number of things, including technology (most importantly the graphics chip) and release period. Nobody would mistake the GI AY-3- 8900-1 video/graphics chip for being a 4th generation graphics chip. --Marty Goldberg (talk) 17:57, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
Ok. So in that case the Intellivision is not a fourth generation home games console. mcjakeqcool Mcjakeqcool (talk) 19:42, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

Intellivision on demand[edit]

File:Intellivision on demand.PNG

Is this on demand feature covered in the article itself? -- Zanimum (talk) 12:46, 6 May 2011 (UTC)

Pre-Intellivoice Speech[edit]

IIRC, Intellivision's pre-intellivoice baseball game included some crude speech effects ("You're out!"), with no Intellivoice module required. Were there any others? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:41, 24 February 2012 (UTC)

Intellivoice not a synthesizer.[edit]

The unit was simply a program controlled digital to analog converter. It read the digitized audio data stored in cartridge ROM, converted it to analog then played it through the audio input line on the cartridge connector. Intellivoice was incapable of doing things like text to speech. Space Spartans was a 4K cartridge, the other three were 8K to give more room for audio. Space was so tight that different sounds were recorded at different bitrates, as low as possible while still being understandable. Some samples were manually optimized using different rates for different parts of the word or phrase, a form of variable bitrate digitizing. There was a fifth Intellivoice game but it was never released because it was a pornographic version of Astrosmash, inspired when one of the Blue Sky Rangers thought the word "can't" in Bomb Squad sounded like "cunt". Another funny one from Bomb Squad is there's a part where a randomly generated 2 digit code has to be entered. A Mattel executive complained that it came up as 69 too often. The programmer replied that it was randomly generated and if he was going to deliberately do something like that in a game, he'd put it on the title screen - then proceeded to do exactly that. The title screen has the number 69 on it in binary. ;)

The story I read some 15 years ago was that a programmer thought "can't" sounded too much like "cunt," but the executives didn't agree. So, he spliced together the word with the opening line from Space Spartans ("Welcome to Space Spartans!") to say "Welcome to Space C*nt". Apparently, it got the point across. I never heard that there was any serious attempt to develop or market a game based on this, however. OldTimeNESter (talk) 15:20, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

The voice addon for the Odyssey^2 worked in a similar fashion except the digitized audio it used was in the voice module. It had a set of phonems and a selection of complete words, making it capable of crude text to speech. Voice enabled cartridges had program instructions directing the playback of the various audio samples. Bizzybody (talk) 05:00, 3 November 2012 (UTC)

6 million sold?[edit]

I have various sources here, that say the Intellivision sold 6 million. This also is in line with what I heard at the time, and makes more sense considering the first 3 million Intellivision units was around the time of the crash, not after.

Source 1 Source 2 Source 3 Source 4 Source 5 Source 6 Source 7 (This last one is a bit sketchy, but maybe it included post crash numbers.)

I think a good portion of these sources are more reliable. it also makes a lot more sense. Especially since post crash it sold for awhile at a low price, had a head start than the Colecovision and outsold it at the end, so the number being around the same make very little sense. There are newspaper links as well of the console being mentioned before the nation launch of the A78, NES, and SMS as the comeback of video games in 1986. 6 million just seems to be a number that makes sense. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Leeroyhim (talkcontribs) 17:02, 30 January 2014 (UTC)

The only one of those that would be considered a reliable source for Wikipedia is gamesradar, and even that one mentions the figure in passing and does not include a source. According to this 1984 article, "U. S. shipments of Intellivision dwindled from 1.1 million units in 1982 to 350,000 last year." So we know sales fell drastically in 1983. According to the Dec 11, 1981 Galveston Daily News article "'Little people' and video games selling well," Mattel was projected to sell sell 600,000 units by year end though the Blue Sky Rangers site stated 850,000 for that year. So right away the 6 million figure is seeming unlikely especially since post crash sales would have been even less. --Marty Goldberg (talk) 18:15, 30 January 2014 (UTC)

Yeah but the Intellivison was already toward two million in 1982. And while it did fall the Intellivsion was not only repackaged as the INTVII, but later the INTV was being sold for low prices like the 2600, and then you would have to believe that somehow the Intellivision did not sell barely anything from 1984 to 1990.Now, I am not saying that it selling maybe a bit less than 6 million is possible, but it makes no sense for the Intellivision to sell around colecovision numbers with a long lifespan of three variations and years of a head start. Along with the latter years being low cost, with plenty of articles in 1986 including it with the 2600,A78,NES,and SMS, for the possible comeback of video games.Leeroyhim (talk) 18:31, 30 January 2014 (UTC)

  • So I will approach this one two ways. First of all, the sources you have presented do not actually meet wikipedia's standards for reliability as the first one is an undergraduate paper written for a class while most of the rest are blogs. Therefore, none of these sources should be used to substantiate a 6 million figure.
Looking beyond the reliability of these particular sources, it appears highly unlikely that the Intellivision could have sold 6 million units. As a starting point, it definitely appears that our sources that peg sales around the time of the crash at 3 million are pretty close to the mark. In late 1984 when Terrence Valeski was in the process of relaunching the system through INTV, he gave interviews in the papers in which he stated his first move would be to send out mailings to the 2 million active Intellivision owners as a way of advertising software for the system. The active user total will obviously be lower than the total number of people who bought the system, but this definitely makes a number much higher than 3 million pretty far-fetched.
So that leaves post-crash sales, which are, unfortunately, a little harder to completely pin down. In 1984, INTV announced it would produce no more than 75,000 systems for 1985. This makes sense, as '85 was the low point of the industry crash. That is the last solid production figure I can find, but a few sources did report INTV's share of the market in 1988. According to a Minneapolis Star-Tribune article from June 1988, Nintendo controlled 70 percent of the market, Atari 16 percent, Sega 10 percent, and INTV 4 percent (other articles from the same period list the same market share figures for Atari, Nintendo, and Sega, but usually omit INTV due to its insignificance, while others actually claim INTV only had 2 percent of the market). Now these are dollar figure shares, not hardware unit shares, so a direct comparison will be imperfect, but we know that Nintendo sold 3 million systems in 1987 (,5262094), so if that was 70% of the market, then Intellivision could have only sold about 170,000 systems that year using the higher reported market share figure as our base. As the Intellivision was a little cheaper, they probably actually sold a few more than dollar share alone would indicate, but even if we are generous in our estimates, it would be hard to claim more than 250,000 for the year. Even if we assume those figures held through the 1988 holiday season (which they almost certainly did not), then we know Nintendo sold 7 million systems in 1988, so that would be 400,000 Intellivision systems, maybe 500,000 tops based on price difference. That only gets us to 750,000 in what would have been the system's best years. Nintendo's market share only increased after 1988 at the expense of all the competitors, so that was most likely the high point. I believe every sales figure I have provided here for the Intellivision is actually inflated from reality, so this just goes to show that under the circumstances, there is no way INTV could have moved another 3 million units between 1986 and 1990. They might not have even moved 1 million. Indrian (talk) 18:39, 30 January 2014 (UTC)
Not to mention that store presence was extremely limited, and completely eliminated by 1988. According to the Blue Sky Rangers again, they ran barebones operations which was the only reason they were able to turn a profit in that time period. Selling millions of consoles would not have forced them to do that. --Marty Goldberg (talk) 18:56, 30 January 2014 (UTC)

IndrianItalic text, you are basing your whole argument on guesses which doesn't make sense, as well as inaccurate sources. According to hist Source D, The Master system sold 500,000, Atari sold 2 million, and NES sold 4.1 million, that is in 1988. That alone is not 70% of the market so to claim that the NES has 70% of the market the year before makes even less sense(in fact I believe the article uses the same math you do and I am fairly certain that with actual math that is not 70%). I understand Intellivison shipments were cut but again, there were 3 variations of the intellivision, and we should not forget the fact that there may had been Intellivision ones still in stock at stores. Again, maybe not 100% 6 million, but no matter how you slice it it makes no sense for the intellivisions number to be that close to colecos with more than a one year head start, low price point and three variations. MartyItalic text, this is true, however as i said, those were probably Intellivison 2 shipments not including the ones and stores and after the sell to INTV which produced the third variant and sold all 3 variations until 1990.

  • Ok, a few of things here. First, your article (which I have read before) gives the exact same market share figures my sources do (for Nintendo and Sega at least, it actually gives Atari the rest of the market and ignores INTV entirely), so my sources are not bad. Second, market share is usually measured on a yearly basis, while the article is giving LTD sales, so the percentages and the numbers are probably not going to add up. Third, as I stated before, market share is a measure of dollar value, not hardware unit sales, so my method was not going to yield perfectly accurate results, which I explicitly stated above. Its close enough though to show that 3 million in sales over that period would be impossible. Finally, your article shows that the SMS sold 500,000 units by the middle of 1988. Intellivision had less than half the market share of the SMS at any given time. Therefore, we know that INTV had not even reached 500,000 in sales by that time. So how then are they supposed to have sold 3 million between 1986 and 1990 if they have not even sold 500,000 by the middle of 1988? Indrian (talk) 20:54, 30 January 2014 (UTC)
    • You seem to be stuck on ignoring half my post and looking at the first part. Again, I never did say exactly 3 million, but there is no way that 4-5 million at the least were not sold with a 12 year life span. You never addressed this. There is no possible way that the Intellivison sales should be close to colecos with years of a head start and having it at a cheap price. Even if the Intellivision sold say, 120,000 by 1988, include the post crash numbers, as well as the other variations it would make more sense for the Intellivision to have around 4 million or more than 3 million. I mean it's still not 30-40 million of the 2600 but I just find the sells only being 3 million in around 12 years to be a bit odd. And with that said, INTV never released numbers. Maybe the Intellivsion did sell more than the SMS, who knows? I also never said your sources were bad. Then again for half of what you mentioned above you stated the source but without the link. Either way that is not the point, just saying i find it a tad strange that a popular product for years that continued selling years after its down point, is close to a consoles that practically ended it's sales popularity in less than 2 years. Now if my sources are unreliable feel free to show them to me. I honestly don't mind it still saying 3 million, just telling you why i think is strange and why i believe the sources are accurate but I would not mind if you could show me the flaws in the sources.Leeroyhim (talk) 18:46, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
      • I am not ignoring half your post. The main thrust of your post is that you think a group of blogs and an undergraduate paper that give a 6 million figure are more accurate than the sources giving a three million figure. Marty and I have shown why they are not. I realize you also believe that the 3 million figure does not account for later sales, and I agree that you are probably right, but that figure is still far more accurate than the absolutely impossible claim of six million.
As to why your sources are unreliable, the undergraduate paper should be obvious, and as for blogs, since they do not have professional editorial control we cannot be certain how rigorously the articles were fact-checked and therefore cannot assume they did good research. Did Intellivision sell more than 3 million? Yeah, probably a little more. But did it sell 4-5 million? Probably not. If they only controlled 2%-4% of the market in the mid-'80s as newspaper sources suggest, they simply were not selling all that many. Whether or not INTV released sales figures is irrelevant because the market was still being tracked by independent agencies like the NPD, which still remains the major source for information on US console sales today since hardware companies rarely release their own internal figures. Also, since our sources of information for the late 1980s are actually not that complete, we really have no idea whether INTV released sales figures or not.
Now, as to your disbelief that the Intellivision and the ColecoVision sold a similar number of systems, it really does not surprise me at all. The Intellivision was a 1979 system that always trailed Atari because even though it was more advanced than the 2600, it lacked hot arcade titles. It was always a small portion of the market as the yearly figures Marty provided above demonstrates. The ColecoVision was a more modern system that was more advanced than either of its predecessors and really was the beginning of a new console generation that was cut short by the industry crash. Unlike Intellivision, it did have hot arcade titles and it sold like crazy in late 1982 and in 1983, easily trouncing Mattel in sales during that period. Nobody had great sales in 1984 and 1985, but it stands to reason that the newer ColecoVision would sell better than the aging and historically poorer selling Intellivision. As INTV continued to sell the system until 1990, it certainly may have eclipsed the ColecoVision's sales overall just based on longevity, but you are assuming far greater sales of Intellivision between 1984 and 1990 than actually existed. I'm guessing 500,000 at the most during that time, and that is probably generous. Indrian (talk) 19:47, 31 January 2014 (UTC)[edit]

Is there some reliability issue with this website? I'm really confused why Leeroyhim believes those sources triumph it. Is this debate pretty much the equivalent of saying 20 years from now whether an undergraduate paper should be added to the Nintendo DS article because it says DS sold 300 million units? « Ryūkotsusei » 23:41, 30 January 2014 (UTC)

  • Pretty much, as both Marty and I said from the start. We were just trying to also explain logically why 6 million had to be wrong rather than just saying that his sources were unreliable and ending the discussion there. Indrian (talk) 23:47, 30 January 2014 (UTC)
As for gamesradar, even with correct information, I had trouble getting through a FAC with them. Also, they said ColecoVision sold 6 million. Yeah...I think I'll scratch them off my list in looking for legacy console sales. In short Leeroyhim, as another opinion, I agree with 3 million with what I've seen researched so far. « Ryūkotsusei » 00:12, 31 January 2014 (UTC)

Intellivision Lives isn't a fansite, so I can't see any big reliability issues. It's run by Keith Robinson a former Mattel Electronics and INTV employee who currently owns the Intellivision IP and brand rights. He put it up as an official site for the brand and to cover the history of the "Blue Sky Rangers" group from Mattel Electronics as well as the Intellivision's own history. Keith is pretty much the keeper of Intellivision history these days (and appears and speaks regularly at CGE on the subject). I would see no reliability issue because of that, save for the pre-'81 material (Keith didn't join Mattel Electronics until '81, so the earlier material would be coming from what other Mattel Electronics employees told him and any materials from that period he might have gathered over the years). --Marty Goldberg (talk) 21:21, 31 January 2014 (UTC)

Intellivision 3[edit]

I was going to add it under Intellivision 2, but I can't find if the console actually released to the public or not because I can't find a specific date. Anybody got any info on this? BustaBunny (talk) 22:57, 24 March 2014 (UTC)

It existed. I remember it being for sale circa 1986, but it didn't sell and was discontinued. I've seen some of them for sale on ebay as well. GigglesnortHotel (talk) 21:40, 31 January 2017 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just added archive links to one external link on Intellivision. Please take a moment to review my edit. If necessary, add {{cbignore}} after the link to keep me from modifying it. Alternatively, you can add {{nobots|deny=InternetArchiveBot}} to keep me off the page altogether. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, please set the checked parameter below to true or failed to let others know (documentation at {{Sourcecheck}}).

You may set the |checked=, on this template, to true or failed to let other editors know you reviewed the change. If you find any errors, please use the tools below to fix them or call an editor by setting |needhelp= to your help request.

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

If you are unable to use these tools, you may set |needhelp=<your help request> on this template to request help from an experienced user. Please include details about your problem, to help other editors.

Cheers.—cyberbot IITalk to my owner:Online 11:41, 23 March 2016 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just modified one external link on Intellivision. Please take a moment to review my edit. If you have any questions, or need the bot to ignore the links, or the page altogether, please visit this simple FaQ for additional information. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, you may follow the instructions on the template below to fix any issues with the URLs.

You may set the |checked=, on this template, to true or failed to let other editors know you reviewed the change. If you find any errors, please use the tools below to fix them or call an editor by setting |needhelp= to your help request.

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

If you are unable to use these tools, you may set |needhelp=<your help request> on this template to request help from an experienced user. Please include details about your problem, to help other editors.

Cheers.—InternetArchiveBot (Report bug) 13:04, 11 April 2017 (UTC)