Intellivision

Intellivision Game Console

The Intellivision was released by Mattel nationwide in 1980.  It was meant to compete with the Atari 2600 and came with a price tag of $299.  Although it was never as popular as the Atari 2600, it was a superior system that turned a huge profit for Mattel.  Early Intellivision commercials would demonstrate the Intellivision's graphics and sound superiority using side-by-side comparisons (see the Atari comparison image at the bottom of the screen).  The most popular Intellivision-only games were Tron Deadly Discs, Skiing, Utopia, Astrosmash, and Nightstalkers.

Intellivision Tron Game

There were some add-ons released by Mattel for the Intellivision that greatly increased its functionality, such as the ECS (Entertainment Computer System), which was a programming add on and Intellivoice, a voice synthesizing add on that allowed speech for certain games.  The Intellivision was also the first system to allow games to be downloaded.  Mattel would eventually go on to release the next generation Intellivision (Intellivision II), which was compatible with Atari 2600 games.

Intellivision Star Strike Game

The arcade crash of 1983 had a huge financial impact on Mattel.  The Intellivision II droped in price from $150 to $69, and after a $300 million dollar loss, the video-game unit of Mattel was shuttered by 1984.  However, rights to the remaining inventory and name were shuffled from entity to entity, and the Intellivision was eventually even re-branded as the INTV System III.  It wasn't until 1991 that system would finally die. Pictured above are the games Tron and Star Strike respectively.

Intellivision Atari Comparison