Throughout the history of mankind, there have been endless ways in which human beings have satisfied their need for recreation , either to de-stress due to the arduous tasks they must develop in their daily lives , both at work level. like at home. These are broken down from toys as simple as yoyo , to more complex activities such as sports and reaching the first game of computer in 1940 and reaching the first generation of consoles in 1972.  Now the Intellivision is certainly one of these consoles that even in the XXI century causesensation among collectors and connoisseurs of the matter , either due to a matter of nostalgia or simply because of a preference for this type of console over the rest.

What is Intellivision?

Developed by Mattel and launched in 1979, the Intellivision was one of the great consoles of its time since it presented better graphics, sounds and real enough for a time when this boom in consoles was in full swing.

  • Story
  • Intellivision Features
  • Technical specifications
  • Connections and ports
  • Models
  • Accessories
  • Cartridges
  • Featured Intellivision Games
  • Curiosities


This console was developed by Mattel Electronics, and was tested in California in 1979 with four different games, to end up being released throughout the United States a year later at a cost of $ 299.


As mentioned before, this is one of the great competitions in the “ Atari ” market, since it was compared many times in the same by different media and, although it was not the only existing one, it was the one that really presented a problem for the supremacy of this console at the sales level.

Certainly the Intellivision was one of the best-selling consoles on the market at that time since in its first year Mattel had sold 175,000 consoles and it was at this point that its stock of games would skyrocket to nineteen, and thus with success hitting them. the door, Mattel that until now had decided to produce its games with the APh company made the important decision to create its own team of Software developers.

In this way, by 1982 the company had raised one hundred million dollars from the sale of Intellivision and companies such as Activision and Imagic began to launch titles that made its popularity grow and soon the console began to be sold in Japan .

But, in the spring of 1983 when Mattel was preparing to launch titles like Burgertime that would be the console’s trump cards, strong and new competitions appeared like the Colecovision , Atari 5200 and Vectrex  in this way the sales fell dramatically and intellivion II that It had been released initially released with the aforementioned price was lowered to $ 69, and after undergoing multiple remasters the console was discontinued in 1991.

Intellivision Features

Among its most relevant characteristics are:

  • All its production and development was maintained by the hand of “Mattel”.
  • The format in which the games were presented was in cartridges.
  • Its total stock of games reached about 160 titles developed by various companies which are currently among the main ones with “Activision”
  • Its original market price was $ 299 in the United States.
  • I managed to sell about 3 million consoles at the time.

Technical specifications

Among the most important specifications are:

  • CPU: General Instrument CP1610 16-bit microprocessor running 894,886 kHz.
  • Memory: 1352 bytes of RAM and 7168 bytes of ROM:
  • Resolution: 160 × 196 pixels.
  • Colors: Palette of 16 colors, usable at the same time.
  • Sprites: 8 sprites.

The hardware allows the following features per sprite:

  • Size selection: 8 × 8 or 8 × 16.
  • Extension: Horizontal (1 ×, 2 ×) and vertical (1 ×, 2 ×, 4 × or 8 ×).
  • Reflection: Horizontal and vertical.
  • Collision detection: From sprite to sprite, from sprite to bottom, and from sprite to edge of screen.
  • Priority: Select whether the sprite will appear above or behind the background.
  • Sound: 3 channels and a noise generator through a GI AY-3-8914 sound chip.

Connections and ports

The Intellivision had controllers consisting of:

  • Twelve-button numeric keypad (0-9, Clear, and Enter)
  • Four action buttons located on the sides; the first two are actually electronically the same, giving three different buttons
  • Directional disc, capable of detecting 16 directions of movement
  • Overlays, which would slide over the keyboard as a supplemental layer to display key specific functions.


In 1983 Mattel launched a remodeled version of the console that brought with it a new system called “System Charger”  that now allowed to play the Atari 2600 game , as well as a musical keyboard and detachable joysticks , this console was baptized with the name of Intellivision II. This was created with the intention of being cheaper and was released to the public at a cost of $ 150.

With the great crash of 83 the console underwent remastering that resulted in consoles like the INTV II, which was just an aesthetically retouched version of the Intellivision, later this unit was renamed Super Pro System.


The Intellivision had the following main accessories:

  • The intellivoice: an accessory as innovative as the console, which managed to make games give you instructions through a voice programmed into it.
  • Detachable Joysticks – These were seen exclusively on the Intillivision II
  • Numeric keyboard.
  • Optional musical keyboard


The intellvision had a port where the cartridges were loaded, who were kind of chip , which was satisfied by a plastic housing where the cover of the game and within her memory was that no more than 16 bits where is it found all the information of the game, in addition to a membrane called ” bristles ” which were the ones that came into contact with the console to load the information.

Featured Intellivision Games

With the arrival of the Intellivoice most of the Intellivision games began to adopt this gameplay mode , but as is common , some games stood out more than others, we can name the following:

  • Bomb Squad: A terrorist named Boris planted a bomb in the city, so as a member of an anti-terrorist group you must locate and disarm it immediately
  • B-17 Bomber: The object of the game is to earn points by bombing targets that are displayed on a map representingcontinental Europe and the surrounding seas. There are four categories of targets: anti-aircraft guns, airports, factories, and ships.
  • Intellivision World Series Baseball: One of the first baseball games to use multiple cameras and one of the most popular games on the console.
  • Space Spartans: Basically a science fiction-based combat simulator where you must survive different alien attacks.
  • TRON Solar Sailer : The game begins by giving a code to the player. The player then advances to a grid-like area with spiders and tanks, making it difficult for the player with melee and ranged attacks.

Titles such as:

  • Buguer Time: Here you must prepare delicious hamburgers, with a Donkey Kong game style, Buger Time was a great option to pass the time.
  • Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Pioneer of role-playing games, it is one of the great examples and glimpses of what we would see in future RPG games.
  • Night Stalker: This game puts you in the shoes of a character who is trapped in a seemingly dead-end maze, starting with a bunker with just six bullets in the magazine of a gun.
  • Atrosmash: in this game you must take control of a cannon with which you will protect the earth from asteroids, perhaps the most famous game on the console.


The Intellivision has many curious facts that the users of this console remember and recall, such as when the keyboard after a long time of play caused marks on the fingertips, it can also be taken as a curious fact that the name of it is born from the words intelligent television, that is, smart television.

One of the most used slogans in the sale of this era ” as close to reality” for the innovative graphics for the time and their sounds quite real. However, after its fall in sale with the departures of other generations Mattel abandoned the new development projects.

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