DescriptionTable Tennis requires Odyssey's game card #1, and is an early father of Pong.
Each player controls one "paddle" on opposite sides of the screen. The objective is to hit the moving ball past your opponent's side, winning a point, while preventing your opponent from doing the same to you. At all times, the players must avoid the top or bottom of the screen (otherwise, it's called "ball off the table").
There's no score keeping on screen, so the players must keep score by themselves. The first player to get 21 points wins the match if he has at least a 2 point margin. Otherwise, play is continued until that margin is attained by one of the players.
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TriviaTable Tennis is the only game for the Odyssey system that does not require fixing a color overlay to the TV screen, to provide a background picture. All that is seen on the display are the white dots and lines produced by the console itself.
The game's cartridge, like all other Odyssey's cartridges, didn't contain any electronic components. It merely had electrical contacts which, when plugged into the console, would interconnect its internal logic circuits in order to produce the desired mechanics of the game.
This was one of the 12 games shipped with the original Odyssey system in 1972. They were Table Tennis, Ski, Simon Says, Tennis, Analogic, Hockey, Football, Cat and Mouse, Haunted House, Submarine, Roulette and States.
This is the game that inspired Pong. Atari founder, Nolan Bushnell, saw this game at a demonstration by Magnavox. When Pong was released, it looked so much like this game that Magnavox sued. Atari paid a one-time license fee of $700,000.00 to Magnavox.
Related Web Sites
- Game manual (The Odyssey's US manual with the game's instructions.)
- Information on Odyssey's original 12 games (Additional information and pictures of the accessories of Odyssey's original 12 games.)
- PongMuseum.com (Celebrating 40 years of video ping pong. 37 years of the Magnavox Odyssey.)