History of Video Games

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history of video games

History of Video Games: Video games have been available to a wider audience since the early 1970s. Before that, video games existed almost entirely as novelties passed around by programmers and technicians with access to computers. The first commercial arcade video game, Computer Space by Nutting Associates, was introduced in 1971. However, it was 1972, when the first commercially successful video arcade game, Pong was released.

Video Gaming History: Year By Year Since 1971

1971 in Video Gaming

At the beginning of the 1970s, video games existed almost entirely as novelties passed around by programmers and technicians with access to computers. But it was all going to change. Read more

1972 in Video Gaming

In 1972, the first commercially successful video arcade game, Pong was released. Magnavox unveils the Odyssey, the first video game home console. Nolan Bushnell leaves Nutting Associates. Read more

1973 in Video Gaming

Taito enters the video games industry and opens a North American branch. Sega, another electro-mechanical arcade game manufacturer, enters the industry with Pong clones. Lemonade stand was developed. Read more

1974 in Video Gaming

Taito released Basketball, an early example of sprite graphics and the first video game ever with human figures. Atari released the first car racing video game to video arcades, called Gran Trak 10. Read more

1975 in Video Gaming

In 1975, first video game to depict human-to-human combat: Western Gun was developed by Taito. But most noteworthy, first microprocessor-based video game: Gun Fight was developed by Midway. Read more

1976 in Video Gaming

In 1976, Channel F, an early video game console to use a microprocessor and cartridges was released. Sega released Heavyweight Champ. It was the first video game to feature hand-to-hand fighting. Read more

1977 in Video Gaming

Atari released their first second-generation home console, Video Computer System, later known as the VCS or Atari 2600. Cinematronics releases Space Wars, the first vector graphics arcade game. Read more

1978 in Video Gaming

In 1978, Space Invaders was released by Taito in Japan. Midway gave it a wide release in North America. The worldwide success of Space Invaders marks the beginning of the golden age of arcade video games. Read more

1979 in Video Gaming

Namco released an early color game Galaxian. Asteroids was released by Atari. Automated Simulations released Temple of Apshai, one of the first graphical role-playing games for home computers. Read more

1980 in Video Gaming

Namco releases Pac-Man. It becomes the highest-grossing game of all time. It has the first gaming mascot character, established the maze chase genre, introduced power-ups and featured cutscenes. Read more

1981 in Video Gaming

Nintendo releases Donkey Kong, which introduces legendary characters Donkey Kong and Mario and sets the template for the platformer genre. Namco releases Galaga, sequel to Galaxian. Read more

1982 in Video Gaming

Sega releases the Sega Zaxxon, an arcade system board that introduces isometric graphics. Namco releases the Pole Position, the first arcade system board to use 16-bit microprocessors. Read more

1983 in Video Gaming

Despite the Great Video Game Crash of 1983, two new home consoles were released. Oddly enough, Sega released their SG-1000 console in Japan, on the exact same day as Nintendo released their Famicom. Read more

1984 in Video Gaming

Nihon Falcom releases Dragon Slayer, which lays the foundations for the action role-playing game genre. T&E Soft releases Hydlide, action role-playing game that features a health regeneration. Read more

1985 in Video Gaming

Nintendo releases Super Mario Bros., which eventually sells 40 million copies, making it the best-selling video game of all time until 2008. NES was launched for a limited test market in the United States. Read more

1986 in Video Gaming

Sega released Master System in the US, known as Sega Mark III in the Japan. It was the first real competition to Nintendo’s Entertainment System. Released with Hang On and Safari Hunt. Read more

1987 in Video Gaming

LucasArts releases Maniac Mansion, the first game to use the SCUMM engine, innovating the point-and-click interface for the adventure game genre. Nintendo sues Blockbuster for photocopying manuals. Read more

1988 in Video Gaming

The Ultimate History of Video Games: The Book

ultimate history of video games

The Ultimate History of Video Games reveals everything you ever wanted to know and more about the unforgettable games that changed the world, the visionaries who made them, and the fanatics who played them. From the arcade to television and from the PC to the handheld device, video games have entraced kids at heart for nearly 30 years. Get it here

Timeline of Video Games

History of video games goes back to the early 1950s. Academic computer scientists began designing simple games and simulations as part of their research. However, video games existed almost entirely as novelties passed around by programmers and technicians with access to computers. Commercially available video games have existed since 1971. Bill Pitts and Hugh Tuck developed a coin-operated computer game, Galaxy Game, at Stanford University using a DEC PDP-11 computer with vector displays.

History of Video Games by Decades

On the following two images you will see the history of video gaming consoles by decades.

Home consoles in the 1970s

timeline history of video games 1

Home consoles since the 1980s

timeline history of video games 2

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