The Magnavox Odyssey was the first home video game console sold — but unless you’re answering a trivia question or researching the history of gaming, you likely don’t come across it that often.
Only 350,000 units of the console were ever sold, so the chances of coming across one, let alone playing it, are slim. Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh are looking to change that by giving the public a chance to go hands on with the console, while also showcasing their newly re-engineered version of it named the OdysseyNow.
The OdysseyNow is not only new hardware, but also features new software and some new games built specifically for the platform.
“The Odyssey was a huge technological advancement in the video game industry for its time,” said Zachary Horton, an English professor at Pitt and Director of its Vibrant Media Lab. “We’re excited to create games for an older video game system that virtually no one had access to, and now, they’ll finally be able to access it.” Pitt’s Vibrant Media Lab is essentially a maker-space for students interested in media. Specifically, experimental media and how old media will affect the media of today and the future. Anything from research to design can be done in the lab and students can even pitch projects like the OdysseyNow.
The Vibrant Media Lab is opening its doors to the public on April 5th to give visitors a chance to try out the original Magnavox Odyssey as well as the OdysseyNow. The event will take place on the University of Pittsburg’s campus in the William Pitt Union Assembly Room from 10 AM to 4:30 PM. For more information on the project and the Vibrant Media Lab check out the link.