Videos games have been a thing so a lot longer than many players realize, even before the classic arcade games. For instance, in 1962, Steve Russell from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology created a computer game called “Spacewar!” It was for the Programmed Data Processor-1. It was a cutting-edge computer at the time that was mostly found in universities.
While there was some home video game consoles prior to the release of the Atari 2600, they only held one game within them and they usually fizzled out of popularity pretty quickly. That all changed with the Atari 2600, which was released in 1977. It was the first console that featured games on a cartridge that you could change out to play different games on the same machine.
The 1970s had a few notable games, such as “Space Invaders” and the original “Donkey Kong,” which is when we get our first glimpse of Mario. However, there was a bit of a crash in the very early 1980s that was caused by many factors. Luckily for video gamers all over, the industry was able to recovery thanks to the insanely popular release of the original Nintendo NES system in 1985. The system had many hits such as “The Legend of Zelda,” “Super Mario Bro.,” and “Metroid,” among many others. This system really brought home gaming to a new level. They were also some of the first to have a game hackimbedded in the game, which added to the gaming experience.
Nintendo came out with the first hand held gaming console in 1989 with the first generation Game Boy. Over the period of 25 years, Nintendo would bring out numerous generations of the Game Boy. This eventually transitioned to its now insanely popular Nintendo DS in 2004.
Nintendo got some competition from rival game console company, Sega, when they released the Genesis console in 1989. This started the first “console war.” The Genesis was technologically superior in the original NES. They also brought out “Sonic the Hedgehog,” which was able to compete with the Mario games. This game was also known for having a popular debug mode game hack that was enjoyed by many.
In the 1990s, the war still continued but it had other competitors as well. There was the Sega Saturn in 1995, the first Playstation in 1995, and the Nintendo 64 in 1996. The Playstation was ahead thanks to its large library of third-party games.
Microsoft entered the war with its first Xbox console in 2001, alongside the Playstation 2, Nintendo Gamecube, and the Sega Dreamcast. This would be Sega’s last console as they became just a third-party software game developer after this.
In more modern times, the “war” still continues between Microsoft’s Xbox systems, Sony’s Playstation systems and Nintendo’s systems. While they are still in the game, Nintendo lags behind because they don’t offer much third-party support, while Microsoft and Sony libraries are full of such offerings.
The most recent console generations include the Nintendo Switch (2017), Sony Playstation 4 Pro (2016), and the Microsoft Xbox One X (2017). With each new generation, the console get more and more powerful, being able to bring life-like graphics to the home gaming experience for everyone to enjoy.