Game, Set, Match: The History of Game Consoles

In 2020, there were 2.69 billion gamers. However, video game consoles have been around for a while, and they’ve been changing and evolving since the 70’s when they were created.

If you’re a video game lover, you may be interested in the history of game consoles. When you go back and play the old video games, you may remember your childhood or find a new game that you’d like.

Keep reading to learn about the complete history of gaming consoles.

First Generation

The first video game was invented in the 70s when the first home console was the Magnavox Odyssey. It first hit the stores in September 1972, and the developer designed it after Baer’s Brown Box.

Originally, this console had solid-state circuits and transitioned into different inexpensive circuit chips.

The first generation of home gaming consoles was normally only built to play one or two games. However, the Odyssey started with game cards, and you could play any game on the console.

Second Generation

The second generation of consoles came out from 1975 through 1980, and this is where the big name brands started. For example, Nintendo released its first Nintendo Color TV series.

There are also simple, single-game consoles that were similar to the PONG games. However, Mattel was also releasing video games for different consoles.

Even though this was decades ago, you can still buy Nintendo games to play. If you’re interested, check out this link:

Third Generation

The third generation is sometimes called the 8-bit generation. This generation used 8-bit processors, and there were only 5 bits of colors that the consoles showed.

There were also only five audio channels, and there were more advanced graphics than ever before.

The two popular consoles in this generation were the Nintendo Famicom and the Sega SG-1000. The Famicom had some recalls in the beginning, but in Japan, it was one of the best-selling video game consoles.

However, in North America, there was a crash in the video game market, and people weren’t as interested.

Nintendo wanted to bring a console to North America, and they redesigned their Nintendo Entertainment System and marketed that. With the release of this system, Nintendo helped to bring back the video game market and industry in North America.

Fourth Generation

The fourth generation defined the war between Sega and Nintendo. Sega released the Genesis, and Nintendo released the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.

Atari started to fade into the background, and it eventually became just a nostalgia gaming console.

However, this is when handheld gaming consoles started picking up as well. This was the generation that introduced the Game Boy Color and the Nintendo Game Boy.

Fifth Generation

During the fifth generation, home computers started to become more prominent, and people started playing more video games on them instead of consoles.

However, the consoles were still popular, but because of computers, they started becoming more portable and affordable.

Now, you could play them on a TV set, which you couldn’t do when playing games on your computer.

This is also when gaming consoles started using 32-bit processors, and many companies started to shift to other formats instead of gaming cartridges.

Sixth Generation

The sixth generation of gaming consoles brought in the main brands that we know today. Microsoft developed Xbox.

Sega released the Dreamcast, but their brand was dying out, and they were losing the war in the battle for popular consoles. This was the last main console that they released.

Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo were the popular brands at this time. The Gamecube, Playstation 2, and Xbox were the most popular consoles of this generation.

Instead of gaming cartridges, discs were becoming popular. However, this was also the time when 3D was becoming new, so this was also found in games too.

Seventh Generation

The seventh generation still had Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony as popular consoles. However, these consoles were also now able to connect to the Internet, which allowed gamers to connect with players all over the world.

Gamers could have multiplayer games, and this is also where games had online stores where you could make in-game purchases. You would also have internal and external storage for these games, making it easier to have more games saved progress on your console.

This was also when HD started becoming popular, and now they could have a high-resolution gaming experience through an HDMI cord.

Another important thing to note for this generation was that this is when motion controllers started, like the Nintendo Wii.

Eighth Generation

In the eighth generation, Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo are still the main companies in the console market. There’s now the Xbox One, Playstation 4, Wii U, and Nintendo Switch.

These brands are releasing newer versions of the same model, and some models are better than others. However, this is the generation where you’ll find that PC gaming started to really become popular along with the rise of Twitch, a streaming platform for gamers.

There are new consoles in the future to look forward to, like the Xbox Series X and Playstation 5. However, virtual reality will also become popular as a video game option too.

Discover More About the History of Game Consoles

This is only a brief history of video game consoles, but there are many more consoles that got us to the consoles that we have today.

We know that keeping up with the changing technology of video games is important and difficult, but we’ve got you covered.

If you’re interested in learning more about video games, make sure you explore our website!