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5.0) Vaporware, Trivia, and Miscellany:

5.1 - Intellivision III

Atari wasn't the only company with plans to introduce a "next generation" video game system; Mattel spoke of it's soon-to-be released Intellivision III for well over a year before the idea was dumped. Here are some of the specifications for this unit:

  • Built-in IntelliVoice
  • 320 x 190 resolution
  • Unlimited colors
  • Onscreen sprites move at twice the speed of the original Intellivision
  • Six channel sound with RCA outputs
  • Remote controlled joysticks
  • Four controller ports
  • Plays original Intellivision titles as well as Aquarius titles
  • 12k ROM - 10k RAM
  • Able to manipulate 64 sprites onscreen at once
  • 6-8 titles announced including Air Ace - a flight simulator
  • Scrapped for fears of not being able to introduce it before ColecoVision and the Atari 5200 had too strong a grip on the "next generation" market.
  • Projected price : $300

Please note that this unit is COMPLETELY different from the INTV III which was later released by INTV Corp in 1986.

5.2 - INTV Corp. Games

INTV enhanced many of the early Mattel titles by adding new features and making them a 1 or 2 player game by adding a computer opponent. Below is a list of the original and enhanced cartridges:

PGA Golf (Golf) Chip Shot Super Pro Golf
Math Fun Learning Fun I
Major League Baseball (Baseball) World Championship Baseball
NASL Soccer (Soccer) World Cup Soccer
NBA Basketball (Basketball) Slam Dunk Super Pro Basketball
NFL Football (Football) Super Pro Football
NHL Hockey (Hockey) Slap Shot Super Pro Hockey
Tennis Championship Tennis
US Ski Team Skiing (Skiing) Mountain Madness Super Pro Skiing
Word Fun Learning Fun II
APBA Backgammon (Backgammon) \ Checkers (Draughts) \ Chess Triple Challenge

5.3 - Trivia and Fun Facts

Have you ever wondered...

  • ...what would happen if you plugged two IntelliVoices together and then plugged in an IntelliVoice game?? Greg Chance did, and the result goes something like this:

"Someone had asked about daisy-chaining two IntelliVoices together, i.e. plug one into the other, and then a speech cart into the 2nd one. Ok, I did this with Space Spartans. The 2nd speech synthesizer kind of cancelled stuff out! It said, "Welcome to (bleeeeehahah)" and then there wasn't any voice during the game. So that's the answer. :) It doesn't quite work."

  • ...what would happen if you tried "frying" your Intellivision??

The author wasn't brave enough to try this out on one of his own machines, but Matthew Long relates this childhood memory:

"I did something like it in the early years. I was playing Star Strike. I reset the machine. I then pulled out the cartridge. The screen began flashing through the character ROM. Was really neat when I was 12!"

  • ...who that strange guy in all of those old Intellivision ads was?

That was George Plimpton, ex-athlete and the Intellivision's paid spokesperson between 1980 and 1983. During 1982, Mattel spent in excess of $50 million so that Mr. Plimpton could lampoon the "unrealistic" features of the Atari 2600... Little did Mattel know that Coleco would burst their proverbial bubble with the introduction of the Colecovision in June of '82.

  • Mattel produced a large portion of their game library?

Many of the original Intellivision games were programmed by college students as part of their computer programming classes. Cheap labor?

  • ...what would happen if you plugged your 2600 System Changer into an un-modified Intellivision I?

An unmodified Master Component (unmodified meaning sans ROM upgrade), when turned on with this unit plugged in, reads "M-Network" on the title screen. You can hear all the sounds from the 2600 game you have inserted, but no video is displayed, other than this title screen. Ever try playing Blind Combat?

  • ...the best way to store your boxed Intellivision games?? Shane Shaffer has a great suggestion:

"For your boxed games (unopened), try the Multi-Purpose Storage Chest from Metro Corrugated and Packaging Corporation. Style No. 20000 has ODs of 21" x 12 1/4" x 8 1/4", and fits 2 rows of boxed video games perfectly. I forget how many fit in each box, but the height is just big enough, and the width is perfect. I store my 2600, 5200, 7800, and Intellivision boxes in it, and others of the same size will also fit. It comes in 3 colors, Blue, Green, or Red. The fit is absolutely perfect for your boxed games."

  • ...what the heck INTV stands for??

Common misconception: INTV is NOT an abbreviation for Intellivision as many people seem to think. INTV is the name of the company that bought the rights to the system and all it's games from Mattel when they decided to leave the market in late 1984. Mattel NEVER referred to it's system as INTV.

  • ...why your Intellivision is prone to overheating??

The chipset which provided the guts of the Intellivision, manufactured by General Instruments, was extremely failure-prone. During the initial production runs, there were sometimes failure rates as high as 50%!!

  • ...what the most popular Intellivision game was?

Major League Baseball was an instant "classic" and one of the most popular games for the system. The only "problem" with this and many other Intellivision games was that they were for 2-players only.

  • ...just how many positions the Intellivision controller can detect?

Yes, it is 16 positions!! This control disc was "revolutionary" for it's time, allowing for greater control with sports titles, but is also one of the reasons Intellivision never did catch up to the Atari 2600.

  • ...if INTV Corp. produced NES titles?

Yes, as William Howald found out when he posted this question, answered swiftly by our friend Keith Robinson:

:Q: I just found this...I had no idea that INTV made games for the Nintendo!!! How rare is this?

Well, we can't tell you how rare it is, but we can tell you its history: In 1989, INTV planned to move into NES production and distribution so they commissioned Realtime Associates (who developed most of the original INTV games) to produce both an Intellivision and NES version of "Monster Truck Rally."

When the game was finished, though, INTV had run out of money and credit to manufacture cartridges, so they sold all rights to the NES version to another company, who finally distributed it in 1990 or 91. So as to give that company an "exclusive" on the title, INTV changed the Intellivision version to "Stadium Mud Buggies."

"Monster Truck Rally" was the only NES title done by INTV. Since INTV turned around and sold the game to another company before securing the rights from Realtime Associates (i.e. paying them), litigation ensued and the INTV/Realtime relationship fell apart. INTV released no more product after "Stadium Mud Buggies" (and "Spiker, Super Pro Volleyball," released at the same time). INTV filed for bankruptcy in 1991.

Realtime Associates, however, is doing great. They've gone on to produce many NES, SNES, Sega, and GameBoy titles. One of their current hits is "Bug" for Saturn.

  • ...if there were 2 or more different versions of the Intellivision II??

Galen Komatsu wondered this, and here are his thoughts on the matter:

"Just noticed differences between the two Intellivision II units I have. We'll call one Ernie and the other Bert.

On the front nameplate, Ernie has a more bolder looking black surface, Bert is a bit dulled looking, also Bert has the (R) symbol after 'Intellivision' and 'Mattel Electronics'.

Ernie has a red stripe around the perimeter of the unit, Bert, none.

Ernie's casing has square corners, Bert's corners are more rounded.

The button squares on Ernie have a matte finish while Bert's squares have a more "glossy" finish though the areas surrounding the buttons are matte.

Looking at the underside labels, the bright orange "IMPORTANT!" has "2609-0090-G1" in the upper corner, Bert has "2609-0090" ...both labels mention eligibility for FREE CARTRIDGE if the unit requires servicing. =^)

On the second label, Ernie's looks like:

| MATTEL ELECTRONICS (R)    Hobby Equipment     | 
| INTELLIVISION (R) II           [UL LOGO]      | 
| Model No. 5872                    104Z        | 
| FCC ID: BSU9RD5872                            | 
| _______________________________               | 
||CAUTION: This is not a toy and | Input Power: | 
||is intended for use by or under| 16.2VAC      | 
||the supervision of adults.     | 60HZ         | 
||_______________________________| 12.8WATTS    | 
|                                               | 
| Serial No. P3732189                           | 
| MANUFACTURED IN HONG KONG                     | 

whereas Bert's is just:

|                           | 
| Model No. 5872            | 
| FCC ID: BSU 9RD5872       | 
|                           | 
| Serial No. P20176594      | 

I haven't cracked Bert open yet so I don't know if there's any internal differences but both refuse to run early Coleco games."

| Larry Anderson -               | 
| Classic Games Collector with a bug for information =) | 
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