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  • Writer's pictureRob George

Week 6 Research: History Of Gaming

Updated: Dec 3, 2020


To learn where video games begin in history, the most well known consoles and arcade games during the retro gaming era with some side history of computer games, and the most well known consoles and computer games in the contemporary video game era (modern day). I want to get a good understanding of the history in order to understand the progression of visuals and the types of games modern day retro gamers remember.

Beginning: Computer "Games"

1947 Cathode-Ray Tube Amusement Device ("Computer Game")

Thomas T. Goldsmith Jr. and Estle R. Mann

Was a single dot on a screen and players controlled it from knobs. Small shapes would appear on the radar as targets and the player would have to move the dot over the shape and press a button to shoot it. It was never released to the public and was based on radar systems used in WWII.

Cathode-Ray Tube Amusement Device (CRT)

1958 Tennis for Two ("Computer Game")

William Higinbotham

First ever "Video Game" without the intention of being a video game. It was meant to show the power of computing.

Tennis for Two

1961 SpaceWar! (Computer Game)

Steve Russell

This game was written on a PDP-1 (Programmed Data Processor-1) which is an interactive mini computer by the Digital Equipment Corporation (CED) that used a CRT (cathode-ray tube) type display and keyboard input. *Refer to my Language post to learn more about these terms* It's a two player game where each player gets a spaceship and they battle using photon torpedoes while avoiding the gravitational pull of the sun.


8 Generations of Consoles (Commercial Gaming)

I have provided a list of video game consoles found from a book I was reading called "The Game Console" by Evan Amos. I also added in some other consoles found from other sources as well as highlighted in ORANGE the consoles that I feel are most talked about in the retro gaming community in the United States. The ones highlighted in PURPLE are the consoles I grew up with and the ones highlighted in GREEN are most talked about in modern gaming. I have also added photos to see a visual of these highlighted consoles.


1971 Computer Space

1967-1972 Magnavox Odyssey "Brown Box"

1972 Pong Arcade

1975 Atari Sears Tele-Games Pong System


1976 Fairchild Channel F

1977 Nintendo Colour TV Game Series Atari 2600 RCA Studio II Coleco Telstar Arcade

1978 Magnavox Odyssey2 Bally Professional Arcade APF MP1000 VideoBrain Interton VC-4000 1979 Microvision Atari 800

1980 Intellivision Nintendo Game & Watch

1981 Entex Select-A-Game Epoch Cassette Vision

1982 Commodore 64 Vectrex ColecoVision Atari 5200 VTech CreatiVision Entex Adventure Vision Emerson Arcadia 2001


1983 Sega SG-1000 Nintendo Famicom Casio PV-1000 1984 Super Cassette Vision

Game Pocket Computer

1985 Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)

RDI Halcyon

1986 Sega Master Atari 7800

1987 Action Max

1988 VTech Socrates


1987 NEC PC Engine Atari XE Game System

1988 Sega Mega Drive

1989 Sega Genesis NEC TurboGrafx-16 Nintendo Gameboy Atari Lynx View-Master Interactive Vision

1990 Neo Geo AES

Sega Game Gear

Super Famicom Gamate Amstrad GX4000

1991 Super NES Commodore CDTV Philips CD-i

1992 Memorex VIS Watara Supervision

1993 Mega Duck Pioneer LaserActive


1993 3DO Atari Jaguar FM Towns Marty Amiga CD32

1994 Sega Saturn Sony PlayStation Bandai Playdia NEC PC-FX

1995 Nintendo Virtual Boy Tiger R-Zone Super A'can Casio Loopy

1996 Nintendo 64 Apple Pippin

1997 Tiger

1998 Neo Geo Pocket Gameboy Color

1999 WonderSwan


1998 Sega Dreamcast

2000 Sony PlayStation 2 Nuon

2001 Gameboy Advance Nintendo GameCube

Microsoft Xbox

2003 Nokia N-Gage Zodiac

2004 VTech V.Smile XaviXPORT


2004 Sony PlayStation Portable Nintendo DS

2005 Microsoft Xbox 360 Gizmondo Game Wave

2006 Sony PlayStation 3

Nintendo Wii HypeScan VTech V.Flash


2011 Nintendo 3DS PlayStation Vita

2012 Nintendo Wii U

2013 PlayStation 4 Microsoft Xbox One Ouya GameStick

2014 Amazon Fire TV Nexus Player

2015 Nvidia Shield TV Steam Link

2017 Nintendo Switch


2020 Sony PlayStation 5 Microsoft Xbox Series X


A small collection of YouTube gameplay videos of popular retro and modern games to visually understand the progression.

Missile Command


Space Invaders

Donkey Kong


Pacman + Ms. Pacman

Nintendo Game & Watch

Super Mario Bros 3

Super Mario World

Kirby's Adventure

Super Metroid

Final Fantasy VI

Star Fox 64

Call of Duty

Smash Bros Melee

Super Mario Bros DS

Red Dead Redemption 2

Animal Crossing New Horizons

Last of Us Part II

Crash Bandicoot 4

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The First Video Game?


First 3 Video Games

'Spacewar!' The story of the world's first digital video game

The History of Spacewar: The First Computer Game

Television History and the Cathode Ray Tube


A Timeline of Video Game History

Commercial Gaming

The Brown Box, 1967–68

Magnavox Odyssey Video Game Unit, 1972

Magnavox Odyssey

Magnavox Odyssey The First Gaming Console

The Untold Story Of The Invention Of The Game Cartridge

Channel F

The Game Console (Book by Evan Amos)

History of Video Game Consoles

A Timeline of Video Game History

"What are people's thoughts on the next gen consoles?" (Reddit discussion)

Video Game Console Generations Database

An Exhaustive History of Eight Generations of Video Game Consoles: 1967 to 2018


"What's your favorite retro video game?" (Reddit discussion)

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