The Odyssey 500 was released in 1976, and was very advanced for that time considering the technology used. It was in fact the only system of its kind. As a matter of fact, the white paddles representing the players were replaced by simple color graphics: two tennis players with their rackets (TENNIS game), two squash players (SMASH & SOCCER?), or two hockey players holding their sticks (HOCKEY).
On the control panel, one can find two switches: one to select the playfield (a wall on the left, a central net or two walls with goals), and the other one to select player graphics (as described above). That's why the box claims there is a fourth game, Soccer. It's in fact a combination of the "hockey" playfield and "smash" player graphics!
Promotional text from the box:
- Works on any TV... color or black & white
- Digital on-screen scoring - displays each player's score
- Action sound - for game realism
- Vertical, horizontal, speed & English controls - for exciting action
- Automatic serve - adds greater challenge to each game
- Full color playing fields & players - Only when used with a color TV
- AC adapter included - for economical, battery-free use
- New All-Pro: Smash, Hockey, Tennis & Soccer