In the history of consumer products the history of video games is a relatively short one. But it has had a significant impact on how people play games especially X generation and millennial children. Nowadays many people who are interested in video games aren’t children at all and the fastest growing segment has actually been adults. Let’s have a look at the brief history of landmark video games and video consoles to trace the roots of this large industry.
It all started with a German engineer named Ralph Baer. He created a console called “brown box” in 1967 that had a chasing game where you could chase each other’s dots on the screen. This was later turned into the first mass market console known as “The Oddyssy” which sold over 300,000 units including a light gun game. PONG actually came out later and was originally played in the arcade game format. The original first person shooter was called “Maze Wars” and came out in 1972.
The famous “Brick Breaker” found on Blackberry smart phones to this day was developed by Apple founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak and released for the Atari is 1976. The first popular video game system traces its roots to the Atari 2600 also creatively named “Video Game Computer System” in 1977 and was the most successful console of its time. Nintendo also offered its first product in 1977 called the “Color TU Game 6” which packed 6 variations of “light tennis” (PONG). Shortly afterward, (1978-1979) classic games such as Space Invaders, Asteroids, Flight Simulator and Space Wars came out. After this (1980-1982) an explosion of classic games started to get released. The familiar Galaga, Dig Dug, Donkey Kong, Pac-Man, Missile Command, Centipede and Fogger among others were released.
It wasn’t until 1983 that truly next generation consoles emerged such as Nintendo’s “Family Computer Console” or “Famicom” known as Nintendo Entertainment System in the US. At the same time Sega released its SG-1000 but only found minor success in the Japanese market. By 1985 Nintendo released its first truly great long term franchise “Super Mario Bros.” along with the NES in it’s American debut in 1985. Afterwards some of the truly great games of all time came out such as Zelda, Dragon Quest, Tetris from 1984-1986. Then came Castlevania, Street Fighter and Megaman the last games before ushering in a new world a gaming with the Sega Genesis in 1988 and later the SNES in 1990 with great games like Super Mario World, Sonic the Hedgehog, F-Zero, and Tecmo Super Bowl. In 1989 the Gameboy came out which was the first portable console. See the rest of the chart for the rest of the history.