The first video game patent was granted in April 1973 as Patent No. 3,728,480. It sold 130,000 units the first year. Odyssey consisted of a master control unit containing all the electronic gear, two player control units that directed players on the TV screen, and a set of electronic program cards, each of which supported a different game. A deck of playing cards, poker chips and a pair of dice were included.
Odyssey, often called the first home computing device, had no software. Mr. Baer had more than 150 United States and foreign patents. He also invented the electronic game Simon, which was introduced at Studio 54 in Manhattan in 1978.“Coming up with novel ideas and converting them into real products has always been as natural as breathing for me,” Mr. Baer wrote in his 2005 autobiography.
Ralph Henry Baer was born on March 8, 1922, into a Jewish family in Pirmasens, Germany. His family emigrated to New York in 1938 to escape Hitler and settled in the Bronx. Baer received the National Medal of Technology from President George W. Bush in 2006, the 2008 Game Developers Choice Pioneer Award.