Old Consoles: The Illustrated Edition

We've looked at the design of old consoles a few times lately here on Total Recall, in particular my fetish for those with faux wood panelling, but today we're looking at something a little different.

These illustrations, by German artist Sebastian Koch, show a variety of old consoles from the 1970's. Specifically, those built just to play Pong, or more commonly, a Pong derivative.

What I like about these isn't just the imagery, which make these nasty old machines look a lot less primitive, but the weird niche these consoles - many of them European exclusives - filled. Take, for example, the Universum 4006 Color Multi-Spiel. While a Pong machine, the thing shipped with an enormous, wood-handled light gun, which could be used to whack the ball around the screen.

That's exactly the kind of crazy that made these old machines so awesome.

CONSOLLECTION [Sebastian Koch]



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Old Consoles: The Illustrated Edition

One of the first consoles to ever be released in Europe, in 1975, the Phillips Tele-Spiel was a plastic piece of shit. It did, however, have one cool feature: instead of having to tune your TV to the console, like you did right up to the SNES days, you could tune this console to the required TV station.

Old Consoles: The Illustrated Edition

This one's the Intellivision. Being a well-known, American console, we don't need to go into much detail here, suffice to say that it still has one of the greatest controllers ever made.

Old Consoles: The Illustrated Edition

The Universum 4006. The one with the awesome gun. This baby, a German console, wasn't actually blue, it was beige. That's just a bit of artistic license going on there.

Old Consoles: The Illustrated Edition

The Video Spiel TG-621, by Alex, is another German console, is largely unremarkable except for the fact it looks like a prop from Mass Effect. The "bulk" at the back of the console isn't where the advanced circuitry went; it was just a hollow space, where the controllers could be hidden when the machine wasn't in use.

Old Consoles: The Illustrated Edition

Another more well-known console, the Odyssey 200 was unique in that either two or four players could take part in Pong clones.