Unformatted text preview: The Evolution of
A Brief History from the 1800’sPresent Ancestors of Video
Games The beginnings of the video
game industry can be traced
back to the pinball machine
Pinball itself can be traced
back to the 1800’s game
Bagatelle, a form of billiards
in which players used a cue to
shoot balls up a sloped table,
hoping to have the ball land in
a pocket on the way down.
2 Ancestors of Video
Games In 1931, Automatic Industries
introduced the first real pinball
machine, Whiffle, which used a
plunger instead of a cue. It was
also one of the first devices that
was coin activated.
Later in 1931, David Gottlieb
introduced the hugely popular
Baffle Ball, which launched pinball
into a serious industry.
At this point, there were no flippers,
bumpers, or scoring device.
3 Ancestors of Video
Games Harry Williams introduced Contact in
1933, the first electric machine. Around this time, pay-out machines
were introduced that combined pinball
and gambling. Many states passed laws prohibiting gambling
and these pay-out machines.
In New York, pinball was ruled an extension of
gambling and was made illegal (until the
1980’s!). Many states followed this precedent
and the gaming industry was tainted.
4 Ancestors of Video
Games In 1947, Gottleib introduced Humpty
Dumpty, the first game to use flippers,
to establish pinball as a game of skill
and not a game of chance.
Some states relented, but the gaming
industry was still tainted and linked to
Other innovations followed, and the pinball
industry grew with companies like Gottleib,
Williams, Bally, and Midway.
Many of the founders and innovators of the
video game industry had their starts in pinball.
5 The First Video Game? Early computers could only play simple
games like tic-tac-toe.
Most historians agree the first video
game was invented in 1958 by Willy
Higginbotham at the Brookhaven
It was an oscilloscope and analog
Donner computer to play “Tennis for
Two” as a demonstration for the annual
visitor day. 6 The First Video Game? Rebuilt in 1997 Original Game
7 Spacewar In 1961, Steve Russell built Spacewar on a
DEC PDP-1 at MIT. It took 6 months and 200 hours of programming.
Using toggle switches, two players could control
dueling ships firing torpedoes at each other.
Additional effects like gravity, hyperspace
(teleporting), and unreliable weapons were
eventually added. Due to its eventual influence on the industry
and its well-known history, many people
consider this the first true video game.
8 Spacewar The Spacewar PDP-1 Steve Russell and the
Original Spacewar Spacewar Screenshot 9 The Magnavox
Odyssey In the late 1960’s, Ralph Baer began work
on a video game system while working at
The game was a form of ping pong using a
moving ball and player controlled paddles.
The system consisted of a game box
containing the logic, two simple controllers,
and used a standard television for a display.
Magnavox struck a deal, and the system
became the Odyssey, launched in 1972.
10 The Magnavox
Odyssey Other games were also
supported through the
use of coloured screen
overlays and accessories.
overpriced it and marketed
it as only working with Magnavox sets.
The system nevertheless sold reasonably
well for being the first home video game
It also had great influence on the first
major arcade video game … Pong. 11 The Beginnings of
Atari Nolan Bushnell was first introduced to
gaming through the pinball industry.
At the same time, Bushnell attended
the University of Utah, where he first
saw and played Spacewar.
He went on to create Computer
Space, a coin operated version of
Spacewar using custom hardware
and a television for a display in 1970.
12 The Beginnings of
Atari With help from Bill
Nutting of Nutting
machines were manufactured in 1971.
Due to poor marketing and complex game
play (it needed several pages of instructions
to explain), the game did poorly.
Not to be deterred, Bushnell went on to
form Atari in 1972 as the first video game
company. 13 Atari and Pong Atari’s first commercial
success was Pong.
It was test marketed at
Andy Capp’s Tavern in
Sunnyvale, California late in
It was a huge success.
Forgeries and copies
appeared on the scene to
cash in on the new craze. 14 Atari and Pong Magnavox sued Atari for patent
Since Bushnell had seen the Odyssey at a
trade show months before Pong was
made, Atari was in trouble.
They settled with Magnavox and became
the sole licensee for this technology.
Magnavox prosecuted all of the imitators,
leaving Atari back on top of the industry.
15 More Early Home
Consoles Atari’s Home Pong in 1975
The Connecticut Leather
Company (Coleco) and Telstar
Fairchild Camera and
Instrument releases Channel F,
also in 1976, the first
programmable home game to
use cartridges. 16 More Early Home
Consoles Atari released the Video
Computer System (better
known as the 2600) in
Magnavox and Odyssey2
Intellivision in 1979. 17 The Early Arcade Arcades did not exist at first … video
games were largely installed in bars and
were not seen as children’s amusements.
Bushnell saw the huge potential and
Atari introduced the Pizza Time
Theatre (Chuck E. Cheese) to help
establish video games for children
Arcades for the whole family began to
spring up as video games grew in
popularity. 18 Early Arcade
Developments 1975: Midway imports Taito’s
game Gunfight … the first to
use a microprocessor.
1976: Exidy Games releases Death
Race, in which players drive over
stick figures. Protests ensue.
1978: Atari releases
Football and Midway
releases Space Invaders.
Both set records. 19 Early Arcade
Developments 1979: Atari releases Lunar
Lander, its first vector
graphics game. Atari later
released Asteroids, its
1980: Namco releases Pac-Man,
the most popular arcade game
1980: Atari releases Battlezone,
perhaps the first true firstperson video game.
20 Early Arcade
Developments 1981: Relative newcomer Nintendo
releases Donkey Kong, with the first
appearance of what would become
Mario, later Nintendo’s main mascot.
Other classics followed: 1981: Galaga, Frogger, Ms. Pac-Man, Centipede
1982: Dig Dug, Burger Time, Mr. Do!, Q*Bert,
Pole Position, Joust, Zaxxon, Moon Patrol (first
game with parallax scrolling), Time Pilot
1983: Dragon’s Lair (first laser disc game),
Mario Bros., Spy Hunter
21 Meanwhile, Atari
at Home … 1979: Atari designer Warren Robinett introduces
Easter Eggs to video games, hiding a room with his
name in a 2600 game called Adventure.
1980: Atari ports Space Invaders to the 2600. The
practice of porting arcade hits to home begins.
1981: Atari ports Pac-Man to the 2600. Still ranks
#4 on the Top Ten most Shameful Games of all time.
Really, really bad.
1982: Atari rushes E.T. for the 2600 to market for
Christmas. Millions of cartridges are reportedly
dumped and buried in the New Mexico desert. Even
1982: Atari releases the 5200 game console. It also
did not do very well. Atari in big trouble.
22 Also at Home … 1980: Sensing Atari was in trouble, several
developers left and formed Activision, the
first third-party game publisher.
1982: General Consumer Electronics
produces the Vectrex. The first vector graphics home console.
It was monochromatic, but used
coloured plastic overlays like the first
Magnavox Odyssey. 1982: Coleco releases the
Both consoles faltered in 1983 and died off
in 1984, when the rest of the industry
crashed. 23 The Crash of 19831984 After the golden age up to 1982, the video
game market collapsed with several
companies abandoning the industry or
totally out of business. Why? There was no new technology able to sustain and
drive growth of the industry.
There was a huge over-supply of game cartridges.
Atari believed they were unstoppable and could
do anything. Turns out they were wrong.
Home computers arrived on the scene, and
people began to panic at the new threat.
People lacked faith, and many felt video games
were a fad. Retailers, distributors, the press, and
good portions of the public turned their backs on
24 The Advent of the
Home Computer In the early 1980’s, home computers began
to grow in popularity.
Some did not do very well, like the Coleco
Adam (1984), but some proved popular as a
gaming platform. Commodore, with the VIC 20 (1981) and
Commodore 64 (1982) and again later with the
Apple with the Apple II and later generations.
IBM and various PC clones, which has become
the predominant home computing gaming
platform. 25 The Advent of the
Home Computer Several new companies began
developing for these new platforms: Accolade
And many, many others 26 Nintendo and Sega In 1984, Nintendo released the
Family Computer (Famicom)
in Japan. It was rebranded
in 1985 as the Nintendo
Entertainment System (NES) for North
In 1986, Sega (once known as
SErvice GAmes) released the
Sega Master System.
These two new home consoles begin to
revitalize the sagging game market. 27 Nintendo and Sega Sega lagged behind Nintendo in sales.
In 1989, Sega introduced the
new 16-bit Genesis console, but
it still lagged behind as people
awaited the Super NES.
When the Super NES was
introduced in 1991, Sega had a
surprise … its new mascot,
Sonic the Hedgehog.
In 1992, Sega shipped the Sega CD
peripheral for the Genesis, which did not
fare very well. 28 Other Contenders 1987: NEC introduces the hybrid
8/16 bit PC Engine in Japan, later
releasing it in 1989 in the U.S. as
1990: SNK introduces the new
24-bit NeoGeo game console in
1993: Panasonic releases the 32bit 3DO system, a CD based
Despite their technical
innovations, none of these
systems fared as well as
Nintendo’s or Sega’s. 29 Arcades Fight Back In 1987, CAPCOM introduced
Street Fighter, but hardware
lacked the power to really drive
In 1991, that was fixed with
Street Fighter II, and new life
was breathed into the arcade.
CAPCOM followed with many
more fighting game classics.
In 1992, Midway followed suit
and introduced the gory Mortal
Kombat series. More protests.
30 Arcades Fight Back Though fighting games brought life back to
arcades, it was never the same as before the
crash. Arcades became testing grounds for next
generation hardware and games for home
consoles for Nintendo, Sega, and Sony.
Arcades also came to house specialized hardware
unavailable to the home console, or the classic
games that once defined the industry.
Despite the boost in popularity, arcades were not
able to revive their glory days. But, this was not
the end of the arcade either …
31 Hand Held Gaming Early hand helds were primarily LED
based, single game machines.
New hand helds changed that:
Atari Lynx (1989) Nintendo Game Boy (1990) NEC TurboExpress (1990) Sega Game Gear (1991) NeoGeo Pocket (1998), Colour (1999) Game Boy Colour and Advance (2001) 32 Home Computer
Advancements 1989: Maxis releases SimCity and
begins the line of Sim games.
1993: 7th Guest becomes the
first big CD-ROM hit. Myst
1993: Id Software publishes
Doom, firmly establishing the
first-person shooter, and
introduces multiplayer gaming.
1995: 3D acceleration hardware
introduced. 33 A Three Horse Race 1994: Sega releases the Saturn
in Japan (1995 in the U.S.).
1994: Sony releases the
Playstation in Japan (1995 in
1995: Nintendo releases the
Nintendo 64 in Japan (1996
in the U.S.).
This time, all three consoles enjoy
reasonable success. 34 A New Three Horse
Race 1999: Sega releases the Dreamcast.
2000: Sony releases the Playstation 2.
2000: Sega introduces Internet
access to the Dreamcast.
2001: Nintendo releases the Gamecube.
2001: Microsoft releases the Xbox.
2001: Sega discontinues the
Dreamcast, and announces it
will no longer produce hardware.
2002: Both Sony and Microsoft
introduce Internet connectivity
to their consoles. 35 Portable
Developments 2003: Nintendo releases the Game
Boy Advance SP.
2003: Gamepark releases the GP32
with wireless support, Internet
connectivity, USB, and Smart Media
cards. In addition to its own games, it can play
Game Boy and Game Boy Colour, NES,
Super NES, Atari 2600, NeoGeo Pocket, and
other console titles through emulators. 2003: Nokia releases the N-Gage with
wireless connectivity through
Bluetooth and cellular networks for
games, e-mail, and so on. 36 Arcades Fight Back
Again With the arrival of the new
millennium, arcades saw
a revival with games with
new controls and innovative
twists best suited for the
spectacle of the arcade.
Dance Dance Revolution
(and at least 14 sequels) ... MoCap Boxing, MoCap Golf, ... And quite a few others. 37 Arcades Fight Back
Again The arcade’s resurging popularity grew
in Asia, particularly Japan.
Some arcades and arcade machines are
reappearing in North America, more so in
the United States than in Canada.
But, it is still not the same as it once was. The focus still appears to be more about
introducing new technologies.
The gameplay almost seems secondary;
without the gimmicks, the games would not be
nearly as much fun to play. 38 More Portable
Developments Nintendo released in late
2004 its latest hand
held, the dual-screen
Nintendo DS, with more
power than the N64, and
lots of bells and whistles.
Sony also released in late
2004 its own feature rich
hand held, the Playstation
Personal (or PSP) in Japan
and brought it to North America early 2005. 39 The Last Generation In late 2005, Microsoft
launched its Xbox 360.
It features a three-core
built-in network support,
and high-end graphics. Very nice.
This marked the beginning of this
generation of console hardware … 40 The Last Generation In November 2006, Sony launched
the Playstation 3 in North American
and Asian markets. (A European
launch took place in spring 2007.)
It featured a Cell processor,
Blu-ray drive, high definition
video, a hard drive, built-in
networking, and other features
depending on configuration.
41 The Last Generation Also launched near the end of 2006
was Nintendo’s Wii (originally the
While lacking the raw power
of the Xbox 360 and the PS3,
the Wii’s controller promised
new innovations in games
and game design, while its
serviced the old school types. 42 Even More Portable
Developments Nintendo launched the DS Lite
in 2006 to replace the DS.
Not to be outdone, Sony
introduced a newer and smaller
version of the PSP in 2007, the
PSP-2000. (The original is now
referred to as the PSP-1000.)
Sony later followed this up
with the PSP-3000 with a
better screen and several other
features in 2008. 43 Even More Portable
Developments In 2008 and 2009, Nintendo
launched the DSi, with more
memory and storage, power,
cameras, network connectivity
and other features.
In 2009, Sony introduced the
PSP Go, removing UMD support
in favour of networked content.
In late 2009 and into 2010, Nintendo
launched the DSi XL, featuring larger
screens. 44 Extending Things
Further Microsoft and Sony released multiple
variations of the Xbox 360 and PS3
consoles respectively, with changes in
form factor, storage capacity, video
connectivity, and so on.
Nintendo’s upgrades to the Wii focused
on peripherals like the Wii Zapper, Wii
Balance Board, Wii Speak, and Wii
45 Extending Things
Further In 2010, Sony introduced its
Move peripheral, bringing motion
based games to the PS3 through
a camera and controller hybrid.
In late 2010, Microsoft
released its Kinect (aka
Project Natal). It enabled
controller free gaming using a
sophisticated multi-camera system.
46 New Platforms Emerge Apple’s iPhone has generated renewed
interest in mobile gaming on cell phones.
The hardware is good, the platform is
popular, development is cost effective, and
distribution is simple. This is a very hot and
however. Android is also in good shape. Blackberry
not so good. Windows is unclear …
47 New Platforms Emerge Facebook and other social networking
sites are also popular gaming platforms. This is particularly true for
games aimed at more
casual audiences. Candy Crush Saga, the
current Facebook champ, has around
150 million players, much higher than
the most-played MMOs, with an even
bigger difference looking at active daily
users. 48 A New Generation In 2011, Nintendo released
the eagerly anticipated
support for 3D handheld
gaming, stereo cameras,
and augmented reality based games,
this new system had interesting
possibilities for new types of games
and gameplay. 49 A New Generation The 3DS suffered from short battery
life and inconsistent 3D performance
across a variety of players.
These issues were
addressed in mid-2012
with the 3DS XL,
screens and a longer
50 A New Generation In February 2012, Sony
launched the PS Vita in
North America, after
a December 2011 launch
While looking like a PSP, the Vita
featured a touch screen and rear
touch pad, dual analog sticks, front
and back cameras, optional 3G
connectivity and more. 51 A New Generation Nintendo launched
its Wii U in late 2012,
starting the “next”
generation of home console systems.
Sporting HD graphics, more power, and
a tablet-style controller, it has potential.
In late 2012, Nintendo also released the
stripped down Wii Mini with no Gamecube
compatability, WiFi, and more (or less).
52 A New Generation 2013 saw the release of the
PS4 and the Xbox One late
in the year.
The consoles are close
matches in terms of power
and features …
2013 also saw the release
of the Nintendo 2DS, like a
3DS minus the 3D.
53 On the Horizon Cloud gaming is gaining traction.
A remote server hosts a game and
streams it in real-time to the player. Eliminates the need for a full
console or computer, and
more tightly controls content. Performance issues, turmoil
with key player OnLive, and the purchase
of Gaikai by Sony created uncertainty,
but the launch of PlayStation Now
renews interest. 54 On the Horizon New players are entering the market.
Many new Android-based
consoles, including the Ouya,
Nvidia’s Shield, and others,
but these haven’t met with
huge success … yet. Valve is developing its own
software, and hardware, with
plenty more to come … 55 ...
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This document was uploaded on 11/10/2015.
- Winter '09