The Evolution of Video Games

October 10, 2021
By Avery
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Today, video games are a $100 billion global industry, and more than two-thirds of American households have at least one member who plays video games regularly. Video games don’t seem to be going anywhere any time soon: They have been around for decades, and they are available on a wide range of platforms, from arcades to consoles to handheld devices. \

But, let’s do a little retrospective of how the video gaming industry evolved from the early days till today.

In the Beginning

A.S. Douglas developed OXO in 1952 as part of his doctoral dissertation at the University of Cambridge. And in 1958, Tennis for Two was created. Then, in 1962 Spacewar! Came to life. Unlike other video games, it could be played on multiple computers simultaneously.

Later on, in 1967, a prototype multiplayer was invented, a television-based multi-program video game system The Brown Box. The game was the precursor to Atari’s Pong, which was released in 1972. After Atari, the video gaming industry saw some epic milestones like 1978’s Space Invaders arcade game, 1979 Activision emerging, Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Mario, and Microsoft’s Flight Simulator.

Crash and Rise of the Video Game Industry

A number of factors caused a major “crash” in the North American video game industry in 1983. In the following years, the crash led to the bankruptcy of several companies involved in computers and video game consoles. When the Nintendo Entertainment System was released in the United States in 1985, the video game industry began to recover. 

Founded in 1889 as a card manufacturer, Nintendo released many games that are still popular today, including The Legend of Zelda, Super Mario Bros., and Metroid. 

As well as Sega’s Genesis console in 1989, Nintendo released its 16-bit NES console as a successor to their 1986 Sega Master System, which had not been able to compete with it. The industry welcomed titles like the Sonic the Hedgehog game, Street Fighter II, and Mortal Kombat.

In 1995, Sega released its Saturn system soon after Sony’s Playstation was released. Afterwards, the Nintendo 64 quickly became one of the most popular consoles at the time. Then in 2000, Sony started dominating the market when they released the Playstation 2. Sega Dreamcast, Nintendo Gamecube, and Microsoft Xbox were released around the same time.

The New Era of Gaming

With Microsoft’s Xbox 360, Sony’s Playstation 3, and Nintendo’s Wii, high-definition gaming became a reality in 2005 and 2006. In the following years, mobile devices such as the iPhone and social media platforms like Facebook helped to expand gaming to a more casual audience. Though console gaming remains relevant today, and new consoles such as PS 5 keep on appearing, online gaming is definitely dominating the market with a variety of genres and billions of players.