history of video game systems


Video games have come a long way in terms of graphics and sound technology. Although video games didn’t exist a hundred years ago, the enhancement in graphics and sound technology revolutionized on what people think of video games today.

Unlike what you see in video games today that has amazing 3D and realistic graphics and sounds, it all started out with a video game called the Computer Space. This video game was released by Nutting Associates in 1970 and was the first coin-operated arcade video game.

In 1972, the Odyssey 100 video game system was introduced. This particular video game can be attached to a standard television to display the graphics and play the game. In the same year, Atari launched Pong. This is a coin operated machine and is played with two short vertical lines that you move up and down to avoid letting the ‘ball’ pass.

The real video game revolution began in the late 70′s. Atari introduced the Video Computer System or the VCS (renamed Atari 2600 later). This system uses cartridges and delivered colored graphics and sounds through the television. The game was played using a joystick or paddles.

The Atari 2600 were the most popular gaming systems ever invented in its time. The system was always in demand that retail stores constantly ran out of stock, especially on the holidays.

However, in early 80′s, more and more video game manufacturers began coming out. An example would be Nintendo. Nintendo’s Family Computer was a worldwide success and sold over 500,000 units all over the world for a short period of two months. In 1985, Nintendo released a similar system in the United States called the Nintendo Entertainment System.

With the release of the Nintendo Entertainment System in the US, it also released the Super Mario Bros. video game that was a total hit. The Super Mario Bros. game reportedly had a worldwide sale amounting up to 40.24 million dollars and was declared as the best-selling game of all time.

In the late 80′s more and more video game manufacturers began releasing their latest video game systems. Sega Enterprises released the Genesis home video game system in the US and was a total hit. It generated sales amounting up to 14 million dollars.

In 1995, Sony Electronics released the 32-bit CD-ROM game system called the PlayStation in the US. It was a phenomenal hit and this was the beginning of the Sony PlayStation legacy.

The popularity of Sony PlayStation paved the way to more advanced graphics system and other video gaming systems manufacturers began to follow suit. The CD-ROM technology to be integrated in a video game system is now the most popular way to play a video game.

Sega Enterprises and Nintendo followed with a similar concept of using a CD-ROM to play its games instead of using cartridges.

Sega released the Dreamcast video game system in Japan in 1998 with features like a 200 MHz processor, 12X speed 1 Gigabyte CD-ROM drive and a 56 kbps modem. However, it arrived too late to threaten the Nintendo 64 and the much anticipated PlayStation 2.

In the year 2000, PlayStation released the PlayStation 2 with great success. About 1 million units were shipped from Japan on the first weekend and have been one of the most popular video game systems ever released since Atari.

Other companies also followed. Nintendo released the GameCube video game system and Microsoft released the Xbox game system in the United States. The Xbox had features that no other gaming system had. It had an 8 Gigabyte hard drive, 733 MHz Pentium III Processor and a 250MHz nVidia graphics coprocessor. Also, it was capable of being connected into a broadband internet connection.

In 2005 Microsoft launched the Xbox 360 video game system in the United States. It has a wireless controller, headset and a 20 Gigabyte hard drive.

As you can see, video game systems are rapidly advancing in graphics and sound technology. You can only wait and see what Sony, PlayStation, Nintendo and other video game system manufacturers can think of next in the near future. Sony even announced the release of the much anticipated PlayStation 3 on mid November 2006 in North America.
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