In the early history of video gaming, the first-generation period covers the early video games, computer game consoles, and home video game systems available from early 1972 to the early 1980s. A few notable systems of this first generation fall into the category of arcade game systems. These include the Magnavox Odyssey, Cresent Classic, the Triton System, and the Game Boy series. Other notable systems of this era include the Atari 800, the ZX spectrum, and the Nintendo Family Computer.
Video arcade games have grown in popularity over the years. This growth has prompted new hardware platforms to appear on the market. Video arcade games are usually targeted at an audience interested in gambling or other forms of action-adventure. The Atari is probably the best-known of this new breed. The Atari video game system was wildly successful due to its innovative approach to game design. The games were extremely diverse and very arcade-like in nature.
Computer games are designed for use with personal computers, laptops, desktop computers, handheld computers and other devices that are connected to a personal computer. The development of computer games has brought about significant changes in the way that video gaming is enjoyed. Early systems included basic keyboard and mouse capabilities and used the game ports to connect to a personal computer via a serial line. Later systems developed different interface options for connecting to personal computers and adding additional features. Early systems generally had screen output and sound output, while later systems added support for DVD output and color display.
Console video gaming systems can be classified into two major categories; digital and hardware-based. The earliest types of video game consoles used components such as magnetic tape, cartridges, spinners, and memory cards to store game programs and memory. A magnetic tape used to control and record game titles. Magnetic tapes were often used on high-end home video gaming systems.
Game cartridges, which include game software and game ROMs (programmed repetitive sequences of instructions for performing specific tasks within the game), became the main source of media for video games in the eighties and thirties. These early game cartridges were made of plastic, which made them very delicate and susceptible to damage from shock and vibration. The game console industry moved onto larger media such as CD-ROM and the popularity of this format was due to the availability and affordability of the games. Video games stores began to spring up around the country, and the game console market followed. Game players would order games by mail order and pickup them at their local game console stores.
As the years went on, better and more sophisticated game consoles came onto the market, such as the Atari PET. Early PET systems used flash memory or magnetic disks that could only be read by using a game cartridge. They had limited capabilities and were generally used only on video arcade machines. Today, PET systems use either flash memory or ROM cards and many even include audio and video capabilities.
Video games today have changed drastically. While the basic game console concept remains the same (a console that offers game play on a personal computer or gaming system through a television set), modern game systems offer many different ways to play games. Many video games now include chat functions that allow the player to interact with other players online. Some video games also have leader boards and task lists, which give gamers another way to challenge themselves without ever leaving the comfort of their favorite chair. One such game, Red Light/Green Light is a modification of the classic game Breakout.
What was the first game console? Of course, this question remains a mystery for everyone else who was too busy to know about this milestone in gaming when it was actually in development. However, we can speculate a bit. Based on how video games have evolved over the years, it is very possible that video game systems such as the Atari could have been shown on TV. If memory serves, it is probably this type of system that would have become the ” NES” system of today. Regardless of who was the first, there is one thing that is certain: video gaming has become a billion-dollar industry.