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Mattel Intellivision Screenshots
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Mattel Intellivision
Released September 1979
After successful test marketing in 1979, Mattel Electronics released its Intellivision system nationwide in late 1980. Armed with twelve games, better graphics and sound than its competitors, and the promise to release a compatible keyboard that would turn the system into a home computer ("Play games and balance your checkbook!"), Mattel set its sights on taking down the "invincible" Atari 2600. They got off to a good start, selling out the first production run of 200,000 Intellivision units quickly.

Many people bought an Intellivision with plans to turn it into a home computer when the keyboard was released. There was a huge marketing campaign behind this (one-third of the back of the Intellivision box was dedicated to the "Under Development" keyboard), but months and then years passed without the keyboard being released. actually, it was released in a few test markets in late '81, but the price was too high and the initial reaction poor. So in 1982, Mattel scrapped plans for the infamous keyboard, but later (due to government pressure), they had to make a computer add-on anyway.


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Mattel Intellivision II Screenshots
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Mattel Intellivision II
Released December 01, 1982 for $99.99
Shortly after the Intellivision I released nationwide in the United States, Mattel followed up with the new updated Intellivision II unit in 1982. The product retailed for $99.99 USD and showed a few marked improvements. In order to cut costs Mattel featured 16 position removable joysticks on their 'new' system. A LED light was implemented to show owners when the system was on or off, since this was a difficulty with the Intellivision I unit. The power button functioned also as a reset switch and must be held for 5 seconds before the power will shut off, otherwise just pressing it will reset the system.

If the game was not in play the screen would go dark after five minutes in order to prevent burn in. To further reduce burn in, the Intellivision II Owner's Manual states that you should play the system using low contrast levels on your TV anyhow. To set the game on pause, you must simultaneously press 1 + 9 on the control pad. The system caused problems when running certain Coleco brand games such as Donkey Kong, Mouse Trap, and Carnival.


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Mattel Aquarius Screenshots
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Mattel Aquarius
Released June 01, 1983 for $160.00
Looking to compete in the standalone computer market, Mattel Electronics turned to Radofin, the Hong Kong based manufacturer of their Intellivision consoles. Radofin had designed two computer systems. Internally they were known as "Checkers", and the more sophisticated "Chess". Mattel contracted for these to become the Aquarius and Aquarius II, respectively. Aquarius was announced in 1982 and finally released in June 1983, at a price of $160. Production ceased four months later because of poor sales. Mattel paid Radofin to take back the marketing rights, and four other companies—CEZAR Industries, CRIMAC Inc., New Era Incentives, Inc., and Bentley Industries—also marketed the unit and accessories for it. Bentley Industries (of Los Angeles) and New Era Incentives, Inc. (of St. Paul) are still in business, though they no longer have any affiliation with the Aquarius product line.

The Aquarius often came bundled with the Mini-Expander peripheral, which added gamepads, an additional cartridge port for memory expansion, and the GI AY-3-8914 sound chip, which was the same one used on the Intellivision console. Other common peripherals were the Data recorder, 40 column thermal printer, 4K and 16K ram carts. Less common first party peripherals include a 300 baud cartridge modem, 32k RAM cart, 4 color plotter, and Quick Disk drive.


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Mattel INTV System III Screenshots
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Mattel INTV System III
Released October 01, 1985 for $59.95
In March 1984, the rights to the Intellivision system were sold for $16.5 million to an investment group headed by the senior vice-president of Mattel Electronics, Terrence Valeski. In November 1984, the company was renamed INTV.

In October 1985, the INTV System III (also known as the Super Pro System) was introduced for only $59.95. It is another repackaging of the Intellivision master component, this time in a black case. INTV also announced the re- release of all of the original Intellivision titles at between $9.95 and $19.95 each.


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Mattel HyperScan Screenshots
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Mattel HyperScan
Released July 01, 2006 for $69.99
HyperScan is a video game console from Mattel. It uses Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology along with traditional video game technology. It was marketed toward boys between the ages of five to nine who were not ready for high-end video games in terms of maturity or expense, though ironically the included game was rated T by the ESRB. The console used UDF format CD-ROMs. The HyperScan has two controller ports, as well as a 13.56 MHz RFID scanner that reads and writes to the "cards" which, in turn, activate features in and save data from the game. Players are able to enhance the abilities of their characters by scanning cards.

Games retailed for $19.99 and the console itself for $69.99 at launch, but at the end of its very short lifespan, prices of the system were down to $9.99, the games $1.99, and booster packs $0.99. The system was discontinued in 2007, shortly after its release, and is featured as one of the ten worst systems ever by PC World magazine.


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GameConsoles
1970s Video Game Consoles | 1980s Video Game Consoles | 1990s Video Game Consoles | 2000 and Beyond
GameConsoles
Top 10 Game Consoles of All Time | 10 Game Consoles That Didn't Catch On | Game Console Clones
GameConsoles
Top Brands:Magnavox | Atari | Coleco | Mattel | Nintendo | Sega | Sony | Microsoft
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