The story of the Interactive Vision began with American inventor Michael J. Freeman. In 1984, after having many patents to his name, Michael created core patents for interactive TV and developed an interactive toy-book reader with a built-in microphone and action buttons that was sold under the name Playskool Talk’n Play. Shortly after, he decided to combine these two ideas. The idea was to combine the usage of interactive television in the format of a video game console. Using VHS tape as cartridges, Michael manages to realize his vision. In 1986, Michael licensed what would become the Interactive Vision to the View-Master Ideal Toy Company Inc;
The history is unclear on when the system was first release. Most information point to a 1989 release, but some documents mentioned a previous failed launch, so it is possible that the system was initially released in 1988. In any case, the View Master was (re)launched in 1989, just in time for Christmas. It is possible that the relaunch was due to Video-Master Idea was bought by Tyco on May 24, 1989. The system released alongside 7 games. The system was deemed very innovative for its time. The games had two different soundtracks recorded, and graphic overlays that are superimposed over the video. As the game is played different audio and graphics appear in response to the player’s decisions.
Although innovative, the system failed to capture the imagination of its young audience. The games had little to no replay value and, although the system was able to produce actual video games sequence, only one cartridge, Disney’s Cartoon Arcade, use that technique. Due to the lack of interest, Tyco dropped the support of the Interactive Vision and no other game were produced.
Only 7 games were released for the system.