The History Of Video Games And Gaming

Video gaming is a billion-dollar industry and has been around for decades and has come and gone in various forms, from arcade games, consoles and now mobile.

Video games are always one of the forerunners of technology and first started as science experiments in labs. A British professor created OXO, a noughts and crosses game in 1952 which formed part of his dissertation.

Video Game Inventors

In 1962 Steve Russell invented a game called Spacewar, which was a combat video game for the Programmed Data Processor 1, which at the time was a technological marvel used in many universities.

“The Brown Fox” was invented by Ralph Baer in 1967 and was a multi-program video game that could be played using a TV.

Baer is often referred to as the Father of Video Games and his game was licensed to Magnavox who then sold it to Odyssey which became the very first home console for video games.

The popular video game Pong was inspired by one of Odyssey’s games and was the very first arcade game and was released in 1972. The home version of Pong was released in 1975 and became an extremely popular game.

Atari released the Atari 2600 in 1977 and this console came with joysticks and various gaming cartridges that played multi—coloured games.

Important dates on the video game calendar include the release of Space Invaders, Pac-Man, Donkey Kong and a flight simulator game from Microsoft, all of these very important releases happened in the late 70s and early 80s.

Gaming In The 80s And 90s

In 1983 there was a video game crash which did lead to some companies going bankrupt.

Recovery of the industry began in 1985 when Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) found its way to the US.

The NES then had better quality graphics and sound compared to other consoles. Nintendo released games that have become household names such as Super Mario Bros and Legend of Zelda.

It was at the forefront once again in 1989 with its release of the Game Boy.

In the 1990s games like Street Fighter II and Mortal Kombat were released. At this time there was some competition between Sega and NES.

The Era of 3D Gaming

3D gaming was a new era in video gaming and it was Sega that released the Saturn System which was the first console where CD’s were used instead of cartridges.

In 1996 Nintendo then released Nintendo 64 which was a cartridge based 64 bit system. Both Sega and Nintendo released popular games, but they could not compete with PlayStation.

It was then Sony that became the dominant force and PlayStation soon became one of the most popular consoles.

The PS2 found competition in the form of Sega Dreamcast, Nintendo GameCube and Microsoft Xbox.

Gaming In The 21st Century

During 2005 and 2006 Xbox 360, PS3 and the Nintendo Wii formed part of the modern video gaming era that also saw online betting come to the fore.

The PS3 at the time was the only console using Blu-Ray and later Sony found that it was no longer unrivalled.

The Xbox 360 won many gaming awards and offered players new features for video gamers. Video games then made the move and featured on Facebook and other social media platforms.

The very powerful PS4 Pro was released in 2016 and Nintendo released the Nintendo Switch in 2017. Rivaling them, the very popular Xbox One was released in 2017. This was also the point where mobile gaming became a multi billion dollar industry with the likes of Candy Crush Saga sweeping the planet.

And of course it doesn’t stop there. The PS5 was launched in 2020 and was sold out across the UK and Ireland in 20 minutes. They even produced two versions – one for strictly online gaming, the other with a disc drive.

The Dawn Of Virtual Reality

Virtual reality is the next big thing in video gaming and both Sony and Microsoft are developing this new and exciting gaming platform.

However, first out of the gates with the most popular home VR console was Oculus. Once a crowdfunding idea, it’s prototype was so successful that it was bought out by Facebook.

With the success of Oculus Quest, the Oculus Quest 2 was released in 2020. With even better graphics and gaming experiences, could VR be the video gaming of the future?