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The History Of Video Games Essay

1251 words - 5 pages

The History of Video Games


1972, the year the first home video game system, named Odyssey, is released by Magnavox. This main games featured on this system were a light gun game and a tennis game. During the same time, a game by the name of Pong is a success in the public. It is because people wanted to play Pong in the comfort of their own homes, that they bought Odyssey. The system only sold around 100,000 units since Magnavox only sold the game system from their own stores, making consumers believe that the game system would only work on Magnavox TV sets.

Things stay quiet until 1976. With the success of Atari (the makers of Pong), many game companies arise and try to release their own gaming systems. Due to the sudden high demands for electronics parts, many companies did not receive their products on time. During this time, Fairchild Camera and Instruments releases their game system, titled the Video Entertainment System, later renamed as Channel F. This is the first home system to have programmable video games via game cartridges. Users can now change games with by swapping in and out a game cartridge (which is about the size of a 8 track tape).

1977, Atari opens Pizza Time Theatre, a restaurant with coin operated arcade games and dancing and singing mechanical animals. Interestingly enough, the mascot of Pizza Time was a giant rat by the name of Chuck E. Cheese.

Seeing the success they had with software, Atari decided they would debut their own cartridge based video game console, known as the Atari 2600.

A year later, Midway games imports arcade game Space Invader by Japanese developer Taito, to the US. The game was a great success. Then in 1980, Space Invaders arrives on the Atari 2600, resulting in an increase in sales. In the same year, Atari pushes out a new product, Battlezone, which features a three-dimensional first person view. Battlezone puts players in the seat of a tank as it roams around destroying other tanks. This greatly interested the US Military, as they asked Atari to develop a more advanced version of Battlezone to for Military training. We also see the debut of Pac-Man in the arcades; Pac-Man soon becomes one of the most popular games to date.

In 1981, after many failures to produce a hit title, Nintendo of Japan’s Shigeru Miyamoto creates Donkey Kong, a game featuring a plumber named Jumpman, on a mission to save his girlfriend from the crazed ape, Donkey Kong. Jumpman was later renamed Mario by Nintendo of America. It is also in this year that US video game arcade hits its highest ever revenue to date, five billion US Dollars.

From 1982 to 1984, it was a dark time for the video game industry, as companies started mass producing and saturated the market with games. This is most evident in Atari, who released titles that had more units than the number of Atari 2600 owned by...

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