timeline

  • Period: to

    game history

  • 1949 The first Computer Game

    1949 The first Computer Game
    Called EDSAC, at Cambridge University. Had a library of short programs called subroutines stored on punched paper tapes. Technology: vacuum tubes Memory: 1K words, 17 bits, mercury delay line Speed: 714 operations per second
  • 1947Cathode ray tube

    1947Cathode ray tube
    In 1951, SEGA distributed coin-operated amusement-type games such as jukeboxes and slot machines.
    Within a few years Service Games began importing these machines to American military bases throughout Japan.
  • 1972 Magnavox Odyssey

    1972 Magnavox Odyssey
    World's first game console
    Predating the Atari Pong home consoles by several years.
    designed by Ralph Baer
    prototype known as the "Brown Box“ is now at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC
    340,000 units sold
  • PONG

    PONG
    A coin-op arcade game by Atari Inc.
    Pong was based on table tennis, and named after the sound generated when the ball is hit.

    Pong was the first video game to achieve widespread popularity in both arcade and home console versions, and launched the initial boom in the video game industry.
    Pong's popularity led to a successful patent infringement lawsuit from the makers of an earlier video game, the Magnavox Odyssey.
  • 1974 Gran Track 10

    1974 Gran Track 10
    A single-player racing arcade by Atari
    The player raced against the game clock, accumulating as many points as possible.
    Early diode-based ROM was used to store the sprites for the car, score and game timer, and the race track.
    The game's controls, steering wheel, four-position gear shifter, and accelerator and brake foot pedals were also all firsts for arcade games
  • 1976 Coleco Telstar

    1976 Coleco Telstar
    By Coleco
    Originally a Pong clone based on General Instrument's AY-3-8500 chip.
    The chip played several Pong variants on a domestic television receiver, and became available to any manufacturer.
    The circuit was intended to be battery powered and a minimum number of external components were required to complete the system.
  • 1976 Fairchild Channel F

    1976 Fairchild Channel F
    The world's second cartridge-based video game console, after the Magnavox Odyssey (although it was the first programmable cartridge system as the Odyssey cartridges only contained jumpers and not ROM information).
    By Fairchild Semiconductor price of $169.95.
    At this point it was known as the Video Entertainment System, or VES, but when Atari released their VCS the next year, Fairchild quickly renamed it.
  • 1977 Chuck E Cheese’s

    1977 Chuck E Cheese’s
    First type of family entertainment centers aimed at young children.
    Is a sit-down pizza restaurant, with arcade games, amusement rides, an animatronics show, climbing equipment, tubes, and slides.
    Help change the image of video games.
  • 1978 Space Invaders

    1978 Space Invaders
    Created in Japan, and was later licensed by the Midway in the US.
    Shooting game where the players defeat waves of aliens with a laser cannon to earn as many points as possible.
    So successful it caused a temporary shortage of 100-yen coins in Japan and grossed $2 billion worldwide by 1982.
    Pixilated enemy alien has become a pop culture icon, often used as a symbol representing video games as a whole.
  • 1979 Asteroids

    1979 Asteroids
    Most popular and influential games selling 70,000 by Atari.
    Used a vector display and a 2D view that wraps around in both screen axes.
    Player controls a spaceship in an asteroid field which is periodically traversed by flying saucers.
    Object of the game is to shoot and destroy asteroids and saucers while not colliding or being hit by the saucers' counter-fire.
  • 1980 Pac Man

    1980 Pac Man
    by Namco is considered among the most famous arcade games of all time.
    Became a social phenomenon that sold related merchandise and inspired, an animated television series and a top-ten hit single.
    Was appealing to both genders.
    Generated more than $2.5 billion in quarters by the 1990s.
    Highest brand awareness of any video game character.
  • 1981 Donkey Kong

    1981 Donkey Kong
    By Nintendo - platform game genre.
    Players moved the main character across a series of platforms while dodging and jumping over obstacles who must rescue a damsel in distress, Lady, from a giant ape named Donkey Kong.
    The hero and ape later became two of Nintendo's most popular characters.
    Nintendo licensed the game to Coleco who developed home console versions.
    Dominated the video game market in the 1980s and early 1990s.
  • 1981 Frogger

    1981 Frogger
    By Konami, and licensed for worldwide distribution by Sega/Gremlin.
    Player directs frogs to their homes by crossing a busy road and navigate a river full of hazards. Skillful players obtain bonuses.
    The game is regarded as a classic and was noted for its novel gameplay and theme.
    Example of a game using more than one CPU, as it used two Z80 processors.
    By 2005, Frogger had sold 20 million copies worldwide, including 5 million in the United States.
  • 1981 Galaga

    1981 Galaga
    Fixed shooter game by Namco in Japan and Midway in US.
    The player controls a space ship at the bottom of the screen.
    In beginning the playing area is empty, but over time, enemy aliens fly in formation and come down at the player's ship to either shoot or collide with it.
    The player fires upon the enemies, and once all enemies are vanquished, the player moves onto the next stage.
  • 1983 Mario Brothers

    1983 Mario Brothers
    By Nintendo in 1983.
    In this game, Mario a Italian-American plumber and his brother Luigi, must defeat creatures from the sewers below New York.
    The gameplay focuses on Mario's extermination of pests in the sewers by flipping them on their backs and kicking them away.
    The original versions of Mario Bros., the arcade version and the Nintendo Famicom/Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) version, were received positively.
  • 1984 Tetris

    1984 Tetris
    A tile-matching game originally designed and programmed in the Soviet Union.
    Name is from the Greek numerical prefix tetra- (all of the game's pieces contain four segments)
    First entertainment software exported from the USSR to the U.S. and published for Commodore 64 and IBM PC.
    Electronic Gaming Monthly's 100th issue had Tetris in first place as "Greatest Game of All Time".
    It has sold more than 70 million copies. In January 2010, it was announced that Tetris has sold more than 100 million co
  • 1986 Sega Master System

    1986 Sega Master System
    8-bit cartridge-based video game console that was manufactured by Sega.
    In the European market, this console launched Sega onto a competitive level comparable to Nintendo, due to its wider availability, but failed to put a dent in the North American and Japanese markets.
    The Master System was released as a direct competitor to the NES/Famicom.
    The system ultimately failed to topple its Nintendo competitor, but enjoyed over a decade of life in secondary markets.
  • 1986 The Legend of Zelda

    1986 The Legend of Zelda
    A high fantasy action-adventure video game series created in Japan and published by Nintendo.
    One of Nintendo's most important franchises, it consists of a mixture of action, adventure, and puzzle solving.
    Link, a playable character and the protagonist must rescue Princess Zelda.
    The protagonist in each game is usually not the same incarnation of Link, but a few exceptions do exist.
    As of December 2011, The Legend of Zelda franchise has sold 67.93 million copies since the release of the first
  • 1986 Atari 7800

    1986 Atari 7800
    By Atari.
    Designed to replace the unsuccessful Atari 5200, and re-establish Atari's market supremacy against Nintendo and Sega.
    With this system, Atari addressed all the shortcomings of the Atari 5200: it had simple digital joysticks; it was almost fully backward-compatible with the Atari 2600; and it was affordable (it was originally priced at $140.
    The system was designed to be upgraded to a full-fledged home computer
  • 1987 Final Fantasy

    1987  Final Fantasy
    Developed and owned by Square Enix.
    The franchise centers on a series of fantasy and science fantasy role-playing video games (RPGs), but includes motion pictures, anime, printed media, and other merchandise.
    The series is very successful; with more than 100 million units sold.
    Well known for its innovation, visuals, and music, such as the inclusion of full motion videos, photo-realistic character models, and orchestrated music by Nobuo Uematsu.
  • 1989 Nintendo’s Game Boy

    1989 Nintendo’s Game Boy
    A handheld game console by Nintendo, for $89.95.
    The first successful handheld console, and was the predecessor of all other iterations of the Game Boy line.
    The Game Boy was originally bundled with the puzzle game Tetris, since Nintendo thought that an addictive puzzle game would get consumers' attention.
  • 1989 Atari Lynx

    1989 Atari Lynx
    The Lynx holds the distinction of being the world's first handheld electronic game with a color LCD display. By Atari
    Notable for its forward-looking features, advanced graphics, and ambidextrous layout.
    The Lynx was released in the same year as Nintendo's (monochromatic) Game Boy. However, the Lynx failed to achieve the critical mass required to attract quality third party developers, and was eventually abandoned.