Video Game History

  • 1949 Game

    1949 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
  • Sega

    In 1951, SEGA distributed coin-operated amusement-type games such as jukeboxes and slot machines.
  • Magnavox System

    Magnavox System
    Created by Ralph Baer
    340,000 sold
    World's first game console
  • Pong

    Game created by Atari
    Based on table tennis
    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.
  • Gran Track

    Gran Track
    Single player created by Atari
    The player raced against the game clock, accumulating as many points as possible.
    The game's controls, steering wheel, four-position gear shifter, and accelerator and brake foot pedals were also all firsts for arcade games
  • Maze Wars

    Maze Wars
    One of the first FPS game.
    Players wander around a maze, moving backward or forward, turning right or left in 90-degree increments, and peeking through doorways.
    Players gain points for shooting other players, and lose them for being shot.
  • Atari Rebound

    Atari Rebound
    Two player arcade game made by Atari
    The game simulates a volleyball match, having players volley a ball back and forth over a net with their paddles.
  • APF TV Fun

    APF TV Fun
    It featured 4 built in games, a speaker, and 2 controller knobs. Could not add more games.
    First entry of APF into the video game market, APF was formerly a calculator and other small electronics developer.
  • Second Generation

    Second Generation
    Early 8-bit home consoles (1976-1983)
    The earliest console, the Magnavox Odyssey, had used removable cartridges that were glorified jumpers to activate the games already wired in to the console.
    By the mid-1970's cartridges moved to CPU based consoles.
  • 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.
  • Coleco Telstar

    Coleco Telstar
    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.
  • Atari 2600

    Atari 2600
    Video game console credited with popularizing the use of a microprocessor and cartridges containing games.
    Originally known as the Atari VCS—for Video Computer System—the machine's name was changed to "Atari 2600" in 1982, after the release of the more advanced Atari 5200.
    It was wildly successful, and during the 1980s.
  • Magnavox Odyssey

    Magnavox Odyssey
    Played programmable ROM cartridges.
    Allowed each game to be a completely unique experience, with its own background and foreground graphics, gameplay, scoring, and music.
    Odyssey² included a full keyboard, which was to be used for educational games, selecting options, or programming.
    One of the strongest points of the system was its excellent speech synthesis unit.
  • Chuck E Cheese’s

    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.
  • Space Invaders

    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.
  • 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.
  • Intellivision

    By Mattel Electronics.
    Test marketed in California, with four games available, and nationwide in 1980 with a price tag of $299 and a pack-in game: Las Vegas Poker & Blackjack.
    Though not the first system to challenge Atari, it was the first to pose a serious threat to Atari's dominance.
    A series of ads were produced attacking the Atari 2600's lesser capabilities with side-by-side game comparisons.
    By 1982 over two million Intellivision consoles had been sold, earning Mattel a $100,000,000 pr
  • Pac Man

    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.
  • Donkey Kong

    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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Tron

    Tron is about a computer programmer transported inside the software world of a mainframe computer, where he interacts with various programs in his attempt to get back out.
  • Qbert

    Q*bert is an isometric platform game with puzzle elements where the player controls the titular protagonist from a third-person perspective.
  • Pole Position

    Pole Position arcade racing game released by Atari, Inc. in the US. Most popular coin-op arcade game of 1983. Had a steering wheel and a gear shifter for low and high gears. The environmental/cockpit cabinet featured both an accelerator and brake pedal.
  • 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.
  • Video Game Crash

    Video Game Crash
    The delay of Atari's 7800 consoles left them with little to captivate consumers hungry for the next big thing.
    A flood of consoles on the US market gave consumers too many choices.
    The crash lasted 2 years. The market was revitalized due to the success of the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) with its landmark title Super Mario Bros.
  • Atari 7800

    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.
  • Handhelds are Introduced 1989 - 1990

    Handhelds are Introduced 1989 - 1990
  • Sega Game Gear

    Sega Game Gear
    A handheld game console which was Sega's response to Nintendo's Game Boy.
    The third commercially available color handheld console, after the Atari Lynx and the Turbo Express.
    Work began on the console in 1989 under the codename "Project Mercury", as per Sega's policy at the time of codenaming their systems after planets.
    The price was $149.99.
  • Fourth Generation1992 - 1996

    Fourth Generation1992 - 1996
  • Fourth Generations 1992 - 1996

    Fourth Generations 1992 - 1996
    The 16-bit era was the fourth generation of video game consoles. Starting in 1987 with the Japanese launch of the PC Engine, this era was dominated by commercial rivalry between Nintendo and Sega with their machines, the Super Nintendo Entertainment System and the Sega Mega Drive (named the Sega Genesis in North America due to trademark issues). The machines introduced in this generation retained the majority market share until 1996.
  • Fifth Generation 1993-2003

    Fifth Generation 1993-2003
    Featured both 32-bit and 64-bit consoles.

    The market was dominated by three consoles, the Sega Saturn (1994), the Sony PlayStation (1994) and the Nintendo 64 (1996).
    The 3DO and Atari Jaguar were also part of this era, but not as significant.
    This era also introduced Nintendo's Game Boy Color.
    Bit ratings for consoles largely fell by the wayside during this era, with the notable exception of the Nintendo 64.
    Performance depended on other factors than bits, such as processor clock speed, ban
  • Sixth Generation - 128-bit era 1998 - 2004

    Sixth Generation - 128-bit era 1998 - 2004
    Microsoft's first game console - competed directly with PlayStation 2, and the Nintendo GameCube.
    Predecessor to Microsoft's Xbox 360
    First product that ventured into the console arena, after having collaborated with Sega in porting Windows CE to the Sega Dreamcast console.