Atari 2600 vs. Matell Intelivision

In the early decline of Atari 2600, Intelivision came along. It was suppose to be superior to the 2600, but the games that came out for Intelivision were also ported to the 2600.

The only difference I can remember was the user interface. The Intelivision had a control pad had many more buttons and a joystick like rocker panel. So Intelivision came out with games to use those controls.

When they were ported over to the 2600, the graphics and sounds were almost the same but the interface was ‘dumbed down’ to be playable on the 2600 joystick and single button.

The ported game cartridges were actual Intelivision molds with a 2600 adapter slapped on the end - does this mean that the chips inside could actually be used in either unit?

So how much more advanced was Intelivision over the 2600?

I don’t know what the spec difference was but Intellivision was the shit. It had what I consider to be the first really playable 2 player baseball game. That controller was wierd too. It looked like a tv remote and had those thin plastic overlays to tell you what buttons did what. They also had this wierd sound module thing you could plug into the console unit and it would make noises or really sorry voices to talk to you. There was a He-Man game that I really liked on there too.

This thread would get much better coverage in Cafe.

I agree. In our house, we never had the Atari 2600. Instead, we had the Odyssey 2 system (by Magnavox) which had an at-the-time revolutionary 8-way joystick. It was an incredible system for its time, I though. KC Munchkin was the best game ever–a ripoff of Pac-man, but far superior because you could create your own mazes and the dots moved around the maze, so you had to chase them.

Then we had Intellivision. It was so much more fun to play than the Atari that all my friends had because of the aforementioned keypads. Hit one button to throw to first base, another to throw to second, and so on. And each game came with the slip-on plastic pads.

We also had the sound module. All I remember about it was a game called “B-17 Bomber” (I think), and when you dropped a bomb, it said “Bombs Away!” It was really quite cool.

As far as the technical specs of “how advanced” it was over Atari, I don’t know. But it was far more fun to play.

Read from the guys who started it all and get some games like i did.

B-17 Bomber, glitches and all is free.

tech bits about all the systems they competed with:

this would be the specific page, with more info than you’ll need!

This is what made the difference between Intellivision and Atari:

The Standard Television Interface Chip (STIC), the General Instruments AY-3-8900-1, controls the video display of the Intellivision.

Intellivision had a pretty significant computing advantage over the Atari 2600. Atari used an 8 bit CPU while intellivision had a 16 bit one.

Atari could only display 2 moving objects on the screen at once, whereas intellivision could do 8.

The ad that really launched intellivision compared Atari and intellivision side by side. The difference is remarkable:

Side by side comparision of Atari and Intellivision

Given that, are you sure you remember intellivision games being ported to atari? I had intellivision, and I remember atari games ported to intellivision, and even an adapter device you could get to play atari games directly on the intellivision, but given the huge disparity in power between these devices I doubt it would have been possible to port a game from intellivision to atari

You could do an Atari game on Intellivision, but NOT vice-versa, and the ‘adapter’ that Intellivision sold to do this was actually a 2400 clone that plugged into the Intellivision and just used power, etc from Intellivision!!

As already said, Intellivison was superior Atari 2600 and I do not remember being able to play any of the Intel games on Atari 2600.

Slight Hijack but related to intellivision:

Hey anyone else from NYC area remember when channel 11 (WPIX) used to use Intellivision games as part of a contest.

Kids would get send in their names, phone # etc and if selected they would get a phone call and have a chance to win money (I think). I remember them playing Football (had to complete a touchdown pass?) and some space game (had to destroy a certain amount of ships in a given time frame).

The funniest part was that is was voice activated. The kid needed to say “pix” (WPIX station call letters) in order to throw a pass or shoot the space gun. Basically all you heard “pix, pix, pix pix…” shouted continuously into the phone.

Ahhhhh memories of my youth.

NYR407, we picked up WPX in Philly at the few houses that had cable, and I do remember that. … Especially the space game.

And another local station did a rip-off of “Pix!” by saying “Pow!” instead to shoot the laser.

And I thought I was the only one (and my brother) who remembered Pixx!

Actually, it’s “Pow” that is the original:

Info about Powwww

Huh! That’s surprising to me. I guess I just assumed that Pixx was first because I had seen it first.

(Oh, well, that’s what happens when you make an assumption. You look like an ass, and the ump shuns you.)

Yeah, but IIRC, only “Colecovision” had BurgerTime. best. game. ever.

Burgertime was on Intellivision…could have been on Coleco., too…but was definitely on Intellivision.

Sorry, Hello Again

Intellivision did indeed have Burgertime, it was one of the most successful games published for intellivision.

However, Coleco licensed a watered down version of the game to Mattel, so that the colecovision version of the game was superior and just like the arcade version.

Ahh, the Intellivision! How I loved playing Sea Battle and Astroblast at my friend’s house. He was always better at games than I was, though (dammit). While the Atari 2600 had a lame 8-position joystick the Intellivision had something much more like the analog controllers on more modern game systems. It might not have been true analog but it was sensitive to at least 16 different positions. Combine that with the superior graphics and the speech synthesis module (“B-17 BALLLLLMER!”) and the Intellivision kicked the 2600’s butt.

I was such an Intellivision Head as a kid.

At the beginning of National Lampoons Vacation when Clark is plotting out their trip from Chicago to California on thier computer they use sounds from Intellivision games. I used to be able to name what games they were from, Blackjack, Space Battle, Football, Snafu…

      • The “Atari 2600” lived longer though: in fact, it’s still out there.
  • A couple years ago I saw the genuine Atari 2600 available for $30 US from a close-out company and including 10 assorted games their choice, in the back of “popular electronics” or some similar magazine.
  • And in just the last year or so I saw an advertisement for an imitation atari 2600 somebody had posted online from an Indian magazine. It was marketed as a videogame system for smaller children; the games shown in the ad I did not recognize. The equivalent US price was less than $25 and I don’t know if it was exactly the same internally, but the screenshots of the games sure looked like back in the day. These was no ordering information, it was just an ordinary advertisement but if you wanted one that’s a good start.

I bought a fully functional Intellivision with 2 controllers and 10 games for about 20 dollars US on Ebay :slight_smile: I’ve also picked up a few games on Ebay as well, including still shrink-wrapped Advanced D&D: Treasures of Tarmin and Utopia.

My first Intellivision died a horrible death in the early 80’s due to a shred of wintergreen lifesavers tinfoil package being dropped into the front vent.