Remember the days when video game magazines lined the aisles at just about every supermarket and department store? Or, what about the crazy lines at your local arcade to play the latest and greatest video games? Continue reading to see five funny and weird retro video game commercials you might’ve missed.

5. Magnavox Odyssey

The Magnavox Odyssey is the world’s first commercial home video game console. It was first demonstrated in April 1972 and released in August of that year, predating the Atari Pong home consoles by three years. The Odyssey was designed by Ralph Baer, who began around 1966 and had a working prototype finished by 1968. This prototype, known as the Brown Box, is now at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. In 2009, video game website IGN named the Odyssey number 25 in the Top 25 video game consoles of all time.

4. Atari 5200

The Atari 5200 SuperSystem, commonly known as the Atari 5200, is a video game console that was introduced in 1982 by Atari Inc. as a higher end complementary console for the popular Atari 2600. The 5200 was created to compete with the Intellivision, but wound up more directly competing with the ColecoVision shortly after its release. The 5200 was based on Atari Inc.’s existing 400/800 computers and the internal hardware was almost identical, although software was not directly compatible between the two systems.

3. Coleco Telestar

The early video-game consoles developed in the late 1970s, such as the Atari-Sears PONG and Coleco Telestar, ran on double-D batteries, with the controllers built in. These consoles were fairly portable because of the built-in controllers (typically knobs) and built-in software (typically some variant of PONG), and because they ran on either double-D batteries or a DC plug-in adapter.

2. Game Genie

The Game Genie is a series of cheat systems originally designed by Codemasters and sold by Camerica and Galoob. The first device in the series was released for the Nintendo Entertainment System, with subsequent devices released for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Game Boy, Mega Drive/Genesis, and Sega Game Gear. All the devices temporarily modify game data, allowing the player to cheat, manipulate various aspects of games and sometimes access unused content and functions. It is known as the first example of consumer-friendly “game enhancement” by means of directly altering the binary code of a game. Five million units of the original Game Genie products were sold worldwide.


The Sega Mega-CD (released as the Sega CD in North America) is an add-on device for the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis video game console, designed and produced by Sega. The device adds a CD-ROM drive to the console, allowing the user to play CD-based games and providing additional hardware functionality. The Mega-CD was awarded Best New Peripheral of 1992 by Electronic Gaming Monthly. In a special Game Machine Cross Review in May 1995, Famicom Tsūshin would score the Mega-CD 2 console a 17 out of 40.


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