History of game consoles – Part I

 
 

1. Magnavox Odyssey (1972)

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Although the first video games appeared in the 1950s, the Magnavox Odyssey marked a milestone in the history of gaming with its release in 1972. Unlike the existing game consoles, it was the very first home video game system designed for a normal television. It was the brilliant creation of Ralph Baer, “The Father of home video games”.

Manufacturer: Maganvox
Generation: First Generation.
Release Date: August, 1972
Units sold: 330,000
Games:“Ball and Paddle” games such as “Ping Pong”, “Table Tennis”, “Volleyball”

2. Atari 2600 (1977)

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The Atari 2600 is probably the best known gaming console of all times and the most popular game console of the second generation. “The Heavy Sixer”, like it was called by users because of its heavy molded casing, became the prototype for living-room-gaming and the bump-start for a flourishing new hobby.

Manufacturer: Atari
Generation: Second Generation.
Release Date: September 11, 1977
Units sold:30 million
Games: Pac Man, Frogger, Pitfall
Media: ROM cartridge, Tape

3. NES (1983)

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After the US video game industry suffered a huge crash in 1983, the NES made video games popular again. With its high-resolution sprites, larger color palettes and, of course, Super Mario, one of the world´s most famous video games, it turned every child into a gamer in the mid ´80s.

Manufacturer: Nintendo
Generation: Third Generation.
Release Date: July 15, 1983
Units sold: 61.91 million
Games: Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, Mega Man 2
Media: ROM cartridge

4. Sega Genesis (Mega Drive)

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The Sega Genesis (or Megadrive), is Sega´s third and most successful console. With its 16-bit processor the Sega Genesis heralded a whole new era for the video game industry, challenging Nintendo to a duel, later known as “the 16-bit-war”. Although initially sales of the next generation console were slow, they spiked after the release of the game “Sonic the Hedgehog”.

Manufacturer: Sega
Generation: Fourth Generation.
Release Date: October 29, 1988
Units sold: 41.4 million
Games: Sonic the Hedgehog, Aladdin
Media: ROM cartridge

5. Super Nes

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The 16-bit console, Super NES (or Super Nintendo) was Nintendo´s answer to Sega´s Genesis console. Being the first console providing 3D graphics to its gamers, Nintendo raised the bar for his closest rival and so finally won out the “16-bit-war”. Indeed, its launch in Japan caused so much chaos that the Japanese government asked that future game releases be held on weekends, as still practiced today.

Manufacturer: Nintendo
Generation: Fourth Generation.
Release Date: November 21, 1990
Units sold: 49.10 million
Games: Super Mario World, Donkey Kong Country, Super Mario Kart
Media: ROM cartridge

 
 
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