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Atari TANK II & Odyssey 5000 Pics!

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My wife and I use to have a website called www.vglist.com. Well, it is back up and running and while I was going through some old material to update the website I found some interesting pictures. I could not find these on the web. (that is not to say that they don't exist, but I could not find them) So, here you go:

 

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Neat stuff!

 

The Odyssey 5000 eventually became the Odyssey 2, is that correct?

 

It's kind of funny you posted a photo of Tank (well, Tank II), since I was actually just about to post a thread here asking for information about the Sears Tank console. Info on it is awfully scarce!

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Neat stuff!

 

The Odyssey 5000 eventually became the Odyssey 2, is that correct?

 

It's kind of funny you posted a photo of Tank (well, Tank II), since I was actually just about to post a thread here asking for information about the Sears Tank console. Info on it is awfully scarce!

 

Yes, you are correct about the Odyssey 5000. I have read on several websites that the Odyssey 5000 became the Odyssey 2, but never found proof of this in a picture. I was very happy when I found this. I would love to have a color version, but I guess the black & white will do.

 

As for Tank II, I read on several websites that the Atari 2600 controllers were modeled after the Tank II's controls. Again, I never found proof of this in a picture, until now.

 

This is why I wanted to post the pictures, and I decided to post them here first as a way to give back to this great forum. I know it is not much, but it is the only unique thing that I could give to the community.

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Its really interesting that the Odyssey2 would get its shape from the Odyssey 5000, this is the first time I've seen such a picture.

 

 

Curt

 

Neat stuff!

 

The Odyssey 5000 eventually became the Odyssey 2, is that correct?

 

It's kind of funny you posted a photo of Tank (well, Tank II), since I was actually just about to post a thread here asking for information about the Sears Tank console. Info on it is awfully scarce!

 

Yes, you are correct about the Odyssey 5000. I have read on several websites that the Odyssey 5000 became the Odyssey 2, but never found proof of this in a picture. I was very happy when I found this. I would love to have a color version, but I guess the black & white will do.

 

As for Tank II, I read on several websites that the Atari 2600 controllers were modeled after the Tank II's controls. Again, I never found proof of this in a picture, until now.

 

This is why I wanted to post the pictures, and I decided to post them here first as a way to give back to this great forum. I know it is not much, but it is the only unique thing that I could give to the community.

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Its really interesting that the Odyssey2 would get its shape from the Odyssey 5000, this is the first time I've seen such a picture.

 

 

Curt

 

Well I had to put two & two together to figure out that this picture was the Odyssey 5000. Based on other website information that state the OD 5000 was a two or four player unit and the OD 2 design was base on the OD 5000 design (I took that to mean its shape). Knowing this, I found a set of three pictures in a Radio Electronics magazine. The three pictures had this caption:

 

"THREE GENERATIONS of the Magnavox Odyssey. Lack of programmability was a major drawback of those units-the first that could be played on a home TV set. The eventual introduction of the programmable videogames-such as the Odyssey2-solved that problem."

 

The first picture is the one I believe to be the Odyssey 5000, the second picture is a Odyssey 4000, and the third picture is an Odyssey 2000.

 

So, I guess I should say that I believe this to be the Odyssey 5000 since the caption doesn't state the models. However I am pretty confident this is the elusive Odyssey 5000. :)

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Here's a scan from the Sears 1977 Christmas Catalog (taken from eBay).

 

Sears Tank makes a rare(?) appearance. It's not Tank II, but still really cool.

 

You don't see those Speedway IV games too often, either.

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Edited by BassGuitari

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Here's a scan from the Sears 1977 Christmas Catalog (taken from eBay).

 

Sears Tank makes a rare(?) appearance. It's not Tank II, but still really cool.

 

You don't see those Speedway IV games too often, either.

 

Something tells me that Sears Tank & Atari Tank II are the same thing (don't know for sure, just a guess). BTW that catalog is cool. :)

 

I don't have a Speedway IV, but how about just Speedway:

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Here's another scan from the same catalog (again, taken from eBay...it's not mine), in case you're interested, although it's not really related to the topic. It's of the Telegames Video Arcade system. It is pretty cool though, because there doesn't seem to be much out there in the way of early, EARLY Atari catalogs/clippings.

 

 

 

Anyway, back to the topic, I noticed that the joysticks of the Sears Tank and Atari Tank II are different.

 

The joysticks in Sears Tank are, for all we know, identical to the ones that would appear with the Atari Video Computer System (I like calling it that, it sounds more technical and advanced :D ) and its Sears equivalent. The joysticks with the Atari Tank II console have round sticks instead of the familiar hexagonal shape, and the top half of the stick tapers outward. It sort of looks like the stick has an extra "grip" covering the top half of it, if that makes any sense. Incidentally, these strange "proto-joysticks" -or models very similar, at least- also appear in at least one very early Atari VCS ad. The rings around the joysticks are different though, and the Tank II sticks have an additional disc on their tops, with some kind of emblem on them.

 

 

Can anyone shed some light on this?

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Edited by BassGuitari

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Can anyone shed some light on this?

 

 

I think what's more interesting is, look at that power cord coming out from underneath the sixer. Besides looking like a traditional appliance cord, it being in the photo (and not removed) says it was hardwired then which would also state the sample unit in the picture had an internal power supply. It could also be the cord from the tv behind it, but it would be kind of odd to string the tv cord from behind the television around to the front and underneath the unit.

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I think what's more interesting is, look at that power cord coming out from underneath the sixer. Besides looking like a traditional appliance cord, it being in the photo (and not removed) says it was hardwired then which would also state the sample unit in the picture had an internal power supply. It could also be the cord from the tv behind it, but it would be kind of odd to string the tv cord from behind the television around to the front and underneath the unit.

 

I agree. I wonder, there is a lot of space in the VCS. I even noticed that my heavy sixer has speaker locations molded into the case. If Atari originally planed to put speakers and a power supply in the VCS, would there be all that space under the hood? It seems to me that might take up all of the empty space in the VCS's case, and if that is the case, that would explain why the VCS is so large.

 

(maybe I am thinking too much about this? :( )

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Just like the other dedicated consoles - Pong, Super Pong, video Pinball, etc... it is a dedicated chip to play a home version of Kee Games Tank II.

 

I have the actual mechanical drawings, the artwork and I think I have the chip plots as well. It was announced and built, but only a small handful of units ever went out, its a tough little bugger to find.

 

 

 

Curt

 

What excactly is an Atari tank? What is inside that box?

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I agree. I wonder, there is a lot of space in the VCS. I even noticed that my heavy sixer has speaker locations molded into the case. If Atari originally planed to put speakers and a power supply in the VCS, would there be all that space under the hood?

 

 

Yes, they originally planned speakers (hence the speaker posts). AFAIK all heavy sixer's have them. I also have some weird transitory '78 models that have partial speaker posts and some other odd features.

 

The power supply though, I'd never heard of and this would be the first clue I've seen regarding that. I'll have to look in to it further.

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Here's a scan from the Sears 1977 Christmas Catalog (taken from eBay).

 

Sears Tank makes a rare(?) appearance. It's not Tank II, but still really cool.

 

You don't see those Speedway IV games too often, either.

 

Was this Tank unit actually released and available? I have never seen one before. I remember trying to order the Stunt Cycle from Sears in 78 or 79 and it had been discontinued even though it was in the catalog that year, but the stand alone Atari Tank is a new one to me.

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The II in Tank II probably just means the number of players. As it was for some other Atari games from the 70s like Sprint 1, Sprint 2 and Sprint 4.

So, it is very likely that Sears Tank and Atari Tank II is just the same. But we still don't know if such a tank game ever was released.

According to the 2016 book "Atari Art", it was just a prototype.

 

Bern

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But we still don't know if such a tank game ever was released.

Yes, we do; and it wasn't. ;)

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Those Sears Christmas catalog pictures are a whiplash trip to some exciting times as a young kid looking through them to make up our Christmas lists. Actually, my primary memory was drooling over the Empire Strikes Back full Hoth compound set.

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In 1979 we had an Atari tank vs tank console. It had 2 sticks built in per person to control the tracks and a red thumb button on top to fire. It also came with pong controllers as well as the square "regular" controller. It had some plane games as well. I've never seen one like it anywhere online. It was given to our step father to give to us as an Xmas present.  The closest thing to look like it is coleco's tank console but I am certain it was an Atari. I was in 2nd grade when we got it and played it until side scroll games came out.

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