Most of us grew up thinking game consoles were introduced to the public sometime in the mid-80s’. The first game console I played was the Nintendo Entertainment System. Back then, you could not save the game progress; it was challenging to finish a game. Everything changed when the first Password-backed game went into the market (Castlevania, 1987).
The first generation of PASSWORD-PAK games was a display at the Summer CES trade show by Nintendo in that same year.
Nowadays, we live in glory with the Xbox generations and PlayStation systems. The game consoles have changed dramatically over the decades. I went and dig on the internet to put together for you guys’ history of video game consoles.
The first console
The prototype video game system was developed in 1967 by Ralph Baer along with some of his colleagues at Sanders Associates, Inc. The idea behind it was too developed fun games, or investors and consumers will not be interested. TV Unit #7 was developed later in that year; it came to be known for its looks as “The Brown Box.” It was the first multiplayer, multi-program video game system.
It included games like Ping-Pong, Checkers, Four different sport games, target shooting (You can target shooting with a device called Light Gun), and a golf putting game. I was switching between games consisted of flipping the switches along the front of the unit. Program cards showed which switches to activate to set a specific game. It had basic features most game console still have today. “The Brown Box” led the way for video games of today.
In the early 80s, the video game industry suffers a large scale crash, known in Japan as “Atari Shock.” Several factors made this happen, a saturation of the market, too many game consoles, games, and the idea of personal computer games. America’s market was the most affected; it saw a drop of 97 percent.
The industry recovers after a few years. Nintendo was ahead of everyone and released the Nintendo Entertainment System in America as it’s the western brand. Its original price was $199.00, that was a significant amount of money in the mid-’80s. The NES is an 8-bit home video console manufacture by NINTENDO.
“The Mega Drive” is a 16-bit home video console, developed and sold by SEGA. It is an adaptation from the Sega’s system 16 arcade board, the CPU is a Motorola 68000 processor, with Zilog Z80 as a sound controller and a video system that can support, hardware sprites, scrolling, and tiles. A library of 900 games also was an integration within the system.
In the early 90s’ Nintendo developed the Super Nintendo. It was the first release in Japan follows by America in 1991. The Super NES is a 16-bit video console by Nintendo. Becoming the best-selling 16-bit console in North America and Europe despite competition from the Sega’s Genesis console, it remains popular through its 32-bit era until 2003. Units sold 49.1 million.
On the year 1994, the Sega Saturn released. It was an upgrade from its successor, the Sega Genesis, and the Saturn had dual CPU and eight processors. The games were in CD-ROM format with several arcade ports as well as original games. 9.26 million units sold.
Where can I start? This console changed the industry forever. It was September 9, 1995, when Soni Computer Entertainment released in North America the PlayStation, commonly known as the PS1 or code name PSX.
It was the first of the PlayStation line up of video game consoles with the first “Computer Entertainment platform ” that took the industry by storm the first video game console to ship 100 million units.
One year later, Nintendo came out with the Nintendo 64, name for its 64-bit processing central unit. It was launched in Japan, Followed by a North America released in September 1996. It came with two games Super Mario 64 and Pilotwings 64. Units sold 32.93 million.
The 21 st Century
We are now moving into the six-generation consoles and beyond. At the beginning of the twenty-first century, the successor of the PS was release. The PS2 released in Japan in October 2000, followed by North America in that same year, what was cool about the new system was the backward comp-ability for its processor’s Dual Shock Controller, as well as games. It came to be the best-selling video game console of all time, with 159 million units sold.
In the early 2001 Nintendo release its Game Cube, which will compete with the PS2 and the Sega Dreamcast. The first console to use an Optical disc. The disc looks like a mini-DVD. It was not designed like the competition and was only focus on gaming. The console also supported online gaming and could connect to your game boy advance. Units sold 21.7 million units.
Soon after that, the Xbox brand was introduced to the public, the first installment to the Xbox series of game consoles. It was Microsoft who first go to the gaming industry. It released the Xbox on November 15, 2001. What made the Xbox different were the graphics compare to its rivals. It features a 733 MHZ Intel Pentium III processor, one that cannot be on typical Pc’s, and a built-in hard disk drive.
Following that year, Microsoft launch Xbox lives, a fee-based online gaming service that enables users to download content from the internet.
It broke record selling figures with the North America launch, with 1.5 million units sold before the end of 2001. The successor of the PS2 was released November 11, 2006 – Japan and November 17 – North America.
The first console included a Blu-ray disc as its central storage, integrated social gaming services, PlayStation network, first controllable handheld console, remote connectivity through PlayStation portable, and PlayStation Vita. A slimmer version of the PS3 released in 2009, it no longer plays PS2 games. It was lighter and thinner than the original PS3. The popularity was not high due to the high price of the units, which were sold in two versions, $599 for the 60-gigabyte model and $499 for the 20-gigabyte model.
Xbox 360 is the successor of the Xbox, and it features an online service update that the console gets thru throughout its lifetime. Microsoft made available a free subscription along with a subscription-based variety.
One of them being Xbox Live, which allows you to play online, download games through Xbox live arcade, demo games, music streaming, TV programming, and movies through its music and video portals, you can also connect to your PC.
Gamer around the world called it “the first hub for living room computer entertainment.” Two upgraded models were released by Microsoft the Xbox 360 S and the Xbox 360 E in 2013. By the year 2014, it had sold 84 million units worldwide, making it the highest-selling console of all time — an upgraded version of the Xbox 360 released on November 22, 2013, the Xbox One.
Going thru time and learning about Video Game Consoles can only tell us the future of gaming. The consoles had only gotten better, and VR is knocking on the door. Maybe in the future, we will be able to feel and experience a Virtual reality like we have never seen before. I can only imagine as I remember seeing that movie Player 1; hopefully, gaming companies would come together to brings us a never seen before gaming experience, in the meanwhile enjoy and game away.