Released in 1975, the Interton Video 2000 was one of the earliest german PONG systems.
A few other systems like the Magnavox Odyssey and the British
Videomaster Home T.V. Game and Video Sport MKII
were released in 1974/75 (the first two also reached other european countries), but the
Interton Video 2000 was an advanced system for its time. Dedicated PONG chips did not exist yet, so
CMOS and TTL chips were often used. The main circuit board of this system contains 14 CMOS chips
and other discrete components, and can draw any of the basic graphic objects required for any game:
one or two players, the central line, the ball. It also generates sound effects.
The main advantage of this system was the use of cartridges (called cassettes), which allowed playing
variants of the classic Ball and Paddle game like Super Tennis
(Cartridge 5), which even displayed the scores using two rows of squares. More
complex games could be played because the cassettes could generate additional
graphic objects. This system grades between the Magnavox Odyssey (which uses cartridges
to configure its internal circuits) and later advanced systems like the
Philips Tele-Spiel ES-2201 whose cartridges
contain additional components that add various game features.
Only five cassettes were released, even though the Video 2000 box shows two
more games: Car Race and Naval Battle. Being significantly more complex than
others, these two games required much more complicated electronic circuits,
which could be the reason why they were never released. However, a Video 2000
clone was made in Spain: Tele-Tenis, which also
shows these two games, also suppled to be never released.
Technically, the cassettes configure the games by enabling the required graphics and
by setting their size. They can also draw additional graphics like scoring. They also
configure the game rules, for example the collision management, etc.
Amazingly, the Interton Video 2000 powers automatically when a cassette is inserted.
The video signal can even be tuned using a gray knob located near the cartridge slot,
thus allowing fine-tuning on the system instead of the TV. Later TV sets which could
normally have troubles tuning on these old games can easily catch the video signals
with this clever feature (Philips Tele-Spiel systems also had this feature).
The two controllers used two knobs for horizontal and vertical player motion,
and a push-button for serving (or shooting in the unreleased games like Naval Battle).
Video 2000 cassettes known to exist (click labels for more details):
Tennis game (cartridge #4): very simple. No scoring.
Close-up on the numerous cartridge contacts.
The Interton Video 2000 system with the Super Tennis cartridge.
Inside the Video 2000: 14 CMOS chips and other discrete components.