Starting in 1981, you could install a special device called a PlayCable, which connected your console to a coaxial TV cable to get games instantly (at least by 1981 standards). After hooking it up and finishing off War And Peace, gamers had the entire Intellivision catalog at their sweaty little fingertips. Competition proved stiff, but even with legit titles like Super Mario Bros. and Pac-Man on their roster, the Intellivision was doomed. It was dead by 1991, mostly due to the technical limitations of the weak PlayCable memory cartridge. And we are all the worse for it, as none of the current consoles sport faux-wood paneling.
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Nazi Scientists Successfully Built An Early Version Of Skype
Before 1936, video phones were the stuff of sci-fi fever dreams, and what few experiments did toy with the idea all ended in abysmal failure. That year, however, Germany unveiled a working model in time to show off to the rest of the world during the 1936 Olympics, itself a gigantic vanity project to demonstrate the staying power of the "thousand-year" Reich.
Fernsehsprechstellen, literally translated as "TV stations," offered folks the chance to talk to someone face-to-face via a TV screen, as long as they were connected to another video-phone system in the German Reichspost network. It was then completely ignored, as the Nazis diverted their technological attention to, um ... other projects. The only proof it existed was found buried in an obscure museum. For once, Stanley Kubrick was actually behind the times.
Deutsches Fernsehmuseum, Wiesbaden
Metro-Goldwyn-MayerThough it's possible that orbital phone booths really are just over the horizon to validate the old lunatic once and for all.