When Did Home Video Game Systems First Become Very Popular

When Did Home Video Game Systems First Become Very Popular.

Get-go video game console generation, including the Magnavox Odyssey

In the history of video games, the
era refers to the video games, video game consoles, and handheld video game consoles bachelor from 1972 to 1983. Notable consoles of the first generation include the Odyssey serial (excluding the Magnavox Odyssey two), the Atari Home Pong,[1]
the Coleco Telstar series and the Color Boob tube-Game serial. The generation ended with the Computer TV-Game in 1980, just many manufacturers had left the market place prior due to the market decline in 1977 and the commencement of the second generation of video game consoles.

Virtually of the games adult during this generation were difficult-wired into the consoles and dissimilar later on generations, most were not independent on removable media that the user could switch between.[2]
Consoles oftentimes came with accessories or cartridges that could alter the way the game played to enhance the gameplay experience[iii]

: 56

every bit graphical capabilities consisted of simple geometry such equally dots, lines or blocks that would occupy simply a single screen.[4]
First generation consoles were not capable of displaying more than 2 colours until after in the generation, and sound capabilities were limited with some consoles having no sound at all.

In 1972, 2 major developments influenced the future of the dwelling house video game market. In June, Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney founded Atari, which would keep to exist one of the about well-known video game companies and play a vital role in the early generations of consoles. In September, Magnavox, an established electronics visitor, released the Odyssey. While highly limited in its capabilities compared to futurity consoles and a commercial failure, the Odyssey introduced features that became standards in the manufacture including removable cartridges and multiple detached controllers for two players. Inspired by the Odyssey’southward ping-pong game, Atari would soon go on to market the game
in both arcade and home versions; Nintendo, a well-established Japanese visitor that made a number of different products, entered the video game panel market for the starting time fourth dimension in 1977 with its Color Tv set-Game series.[5]





In 1951, Ralph Baer conceived the idea of an interactive television while edifice a idiot box prepare from scratch for Loral in the Bronx, New York.[vi]
Baer did non pursue the thought, but it returned to him in Baronial 1966 when he was the Chief Engineer and manager of the Equipment Design Division at Sanders Associates. By December 1966, he and a technician created a prototype that immune a player to move a line across the screen. After a demonstration to the visitor’s director of research and development, some funding was allotted and the project was made official. Baer spent the next few months designing farther prototypes, and in Feb 1967 assigned technician Nib Harrison to brainstorm edifice the project.[7]

: 30

Harrison spent the next few months in between other projects edifice out successive modifications to the prototype. Baer, meanwhile, collaborated with engineer Bill Rusch on the blueprint of the panel, including developing the basis of many games for the organisation. By May, the get-go game was developed and past June, multiple games were completed for what was then a second paradigm box. This included a game where players controlled dots chasing each other and a light gun shooter game with a plastic rifle. Past August 1967, Baer and Harrison had completed a third prototype automobile, but Baer felt that he was not proving successful at designing fun games for the system; to make upward for this he added Bill Rusch, who had helped him come with the initial games for the console, to the project.[seven]

: 45

He soon proved his value to the team past coming upwards with a way to brandish three dots on the screen at once rather than the previous ii, and proposing the development of a ping pong game.[8]

The “Brown Box” epitome is the forerunner of the Magnavox Odyssey, the first commercial home video game panel.

First cartridge of Magnavox Odyssey

As Sanders was a armed services contractor and non in the business of making and selling commercial electronics, the team approached several cable boob tube industry companies to produce the panel, but were unable to detect a buyer. By January 1969 the team had produced the seventh and concluding prototype, nicknamed the “Brown Box”.[9]

: 12

After a Sanders patent chaser recommended approaching television manufacturers, they found involvement showtime at RCA and finally at Magnavox, who entered negotiations in July 1969 and signed an agreement in January 1971.[8]
Magnavox designed the outside of the machine, and re-engineered some of the internals with consultation from Baer and Harrison; they removed the ability to display color, reduced the number of controller types, and inverse the system of selecting games from a punch to separate game cards that modified the panel’due south circuitry when plugged into the console. Magnavox named the console the Magnavox Odyssey and announced the system’s launch engagement for September 1972.[8]

In the late 1960s, Nolan Bushnell saw
at Stanford University.
is a 1962 mainframe game developed by a group of students and employees at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Bushnell had worked at an entertainment park, and felt that an arcade game version of the game would be very popular.[12]
The high price of computers capable of running the game, however, meant that any such arcade game would not be economically feasible. By 1970, still, minicomputers were beginning to come downward in cost.[eight]
He and his office mate, Ted Dabney, agreed to work together to endeavour and design a prototype of the game.[14]
By the stop of November 1970, the pair had abandoned the project as untenable, as economically feasible computers were non powerful enough. Dabney before long idea of a manner to dispense the video signal on the screen without a reckoner decision-making it, and from there Syzygy Applied science came up with the idea of removing the computer altogether and building specialized hardware to handle everything for the game instead.[eight]
Computer Space, the first commercial arcade video game, was released past the pair equally Syzygy Engineering science through Nutting Associates at the end of 1971 and later its release they incorporated as Atari in the following year and began designing more games. Bushnell saw a demonstration of the Odyssey panel playing its
Table Tennis
game in early 1972 and assigned their get-go employee, Allan Alcorn, to produce an arcade table tennis game. The result,
Pong, was the first major arcade video game success, and inspired a big number of arcade and defended console versions and clones, including Atari’s Home Pong in 1975.[8]



The beginning generation of consoles did not contain a microprocessor and were based on custom codeless state machine computers consisting of discrete logic (TTL) circuits comprising each chemical element of the game itself. Over the generation, engineering science steadily improved and later on consoles of the generation moved the bulk of the circuitry to custom integrated circuits such as Atari’s custom Pong chips and General Instruments’ AY-3-8500 series.[15]

: 119

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Graphical capabilities were express throughout the generation, often supported with physical accessories and screen overlays, but saw some improvement towards the stop of the generation. While the Odyssey could only display iii square dots in blackness and white, as the generation progressed, consoles started beingness able to display color besides as more circuitous shapes and text.[sixteen]

: 155

Early consoles such as the Odyssey and TV Lawn tennis Electrotennis required players to keep rails of scores manually but afterwards, many introduced score counters on the display to assistance players in score tracking.[17]

: 252

Sound capabilities were slow to ameliorate over the generation, starting with the Odyssey, which had no audio, and later moving on to consoles which had buzzers that could produce a small range of beeps and buzzes.[19]

Market saturation and the terminate of the generation


In 1976, Full general Instruments produced a series of affordable integrated chips that immune companies to simplify panel production and lower costs.[22]
Due to this, many companies had entered the home console market by the belatedly 1970s.[23]

: 147

A significant number released consoles that were essentially clones of Atari’s Dwelling Pong and many were poorly fabricated and rushed to market, causing the home panel market to saturate.[24]
The demand for the chip was then high that General Instruments could not supply plenty to satisfy all the orders it was receiving causing problems for some smaller companies.[22]
Coleco received their order early on allowing them to build up strong product capabilities and have success with their Telstar range.[25]

The outset of the second generation and the next major advancement in dwelling panel technology began in 1976 with the release of the Fairchild Channel F.[26]

: 116

The technology behind the start generation rapidly became obsolete as consumers had the ability to purchase new games for 2nd generation consoles instead of having to buy new systems when they wanted new content every bit with the defended consoles of the first generation.[28]
In comparison to the express game library for each dedicated console, the Atari VCS launched with Combat, a cartridge containing 27 games.[29]
Equally people transitioned to the newer systems, some companies were left with surplus stock and were selling at a loss. The combination of market saturation and the start of the second generation caused many companies to leave the market completely.[9]

: 22

These events became known every bit the video game crash of 1977, as sales of 2nd generation consoles were but modest for the next few years until the arrival of the killer app, the dwelling house port of
Space Invaders
for the Atari VCS in 1980.[30]

Home systems


Many consoles in the first generation were clones of or styled similarly to the arcade version of

There were hundreds of home video game consoles known to have existed in the commencement generation of video games.[32]
This department lists the virtually notable.

Odyssey series


In 1972 Magnavox released the world’southward first domicile video game panel, the Magnavox Odyssey.[33]

: 55

It came packaged with board game paraphernalia such as cards, paper coin and dice to heighten the games.[33]

: 50

It had features that became manufacture standard in subsequent generations such equally detachable controllers, light gun accessories and interchangeable game cartridges.[15]

: xvii

While no game data was stored on the cartridges as they would be in future consoles, they could exist used to select ane of the twelve games built onto the hardware. Magnavox licensed its video game patents to other companies for a fee and prosecuted companies who released consoles without a licensing understanding.[34]

It was with the Odyssey that Nintendo beginning became involved in the dwelling house video game market. According to Martin Picard in the
International Journal of Computer Game Research: “in 1971, Nintendo had – fifty-fifty before the marketing of the start dwelling house console in the United States – an alliance with the American pioneer Magnavox to develop and produce optoelectronic guns for the Odyssey, since it was similar to what Nintendo was able to offer in the Japanese toy market in [the] 1970s.”[36]

In 1974 Philips purchased Magnavox and released a series of eight Odyssey consoles in Northward America from 1975 to 1977. All of them were dedicated consoles, and each subsequent release was an improvement over the previous, adding features such as additional game variations, on-screen displays, and player-controlled handicaps such as smaller paddle sizes and variable ball speed.[33]

: 55

Three Odyssey series consoles were also released in Europe with similar features from 1976 to 1978.[38]

TV Tennis Electrotennis


On September 12, 1975, several months earlier the release of
Dwelling Pong
in Northward America, Epoch released Japan’s first habitation console, the Idiot box Lawn tennis Electrotennis. The engineering was licensed from Magnavox and it contained a single brawl and paddle style game that resembled Pong but without an onscreen score display.[40]
The game controls were independent inside the base of operations unit and it connected to a television set through an ultra high frequency (UHF) antenna, equally opposed to being directly connected, which was unique to the console at the time.[36]
Compared to popular consoles of the generation, it performed poorly with an estimate xx,000 units sold.[twoscore]

Atari Abode Pong


In late 1975 Atari released a abode version of their popular arcade game
It was the kickoff use of a microchip in an Atari production and had been in development since 1974 under the atomic number 82 of Allan Alcorn and Harold Lee.[9]
Past the end of 1975, Atari had go a major company in the home console market due to
Home Pong.[42]
Following Pong’due south success, Magnavox filed suit against Atari for infringement on its technology patents and ended up settling out of courtroom with Atari condign a licensee of Magnavox.[35]

Home video games achieved widespread popularity with the release of a home version of
and its success sparked hundreds of clones, including the Coleco Telstar, which went on to exist a success in its own correct with over a dozen models, and the
Binatone TV Primary
by British company Binatone.[43]

: 33

Coleco Telstar serial


Starting in 1976, Coleco released a serial of 14 dedicated consoles up until 1978,[44]
when they suffered a pregnant loss due to the combination of dock workers’ strike, preventing it from shipping the final product in time for the holidays, and the start of the second generation.[15]

: 121

The serial featured a number of unlike styles of ball games and external accessories to enhance gameplay such equally the Telstar Arcade, which had a unique triangular blueprint that came with a light gun and steering wheel attached to the casing.[18]

: 272

The serial was marketed at a lower toll than its competitors and sold well with over a million sales.[47]

Colour TV-Game serial


In the late 1970s, Nintendo released a serial of 5 consoles for the Japanese market. The first of the series and the showtime console created by Nintendo,[48]
the Color Tv set-Game half-dozen, was released in 1977[36]
and independent six ball-and-paddle games. The concluding, the Computer Goggle box-Game, was a 1980[49]
port of Nintendo’southward first arcade game,
Computer Othello.[50]
The third console in the series, the Color TV-Game Racing 112, was the first projection of Shigeru Miyamoto, who would go on to go the creator of some of the most well-known video game franchises.[51]

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Name Magnavox Odyssey Odyssey serial
(eleven consoles)
Telly Tennis Electrotennis
Manufacturer Magnavox Magnavox, Philips Epoch Co.
Image Magnavox-Odyssey-Console-Set.png Odyssey-300.png TV Tennis Electrotennis.jpg
Launch cost US$100 (equivalent to $648 in 2021)[58] Usa$100–230 (equivalent to $504–1158 in 2021) JP¥19,500[59]
(equivalent to ¥36,600 in 2019)

(equivalent to $332 in 2021)
Release engagement
  • NA:
    August 1972[58]
  • European union:
  • JP:
  • NA:
  • JP:
    September 12, 1975[36]
Media Printed excursion lath Inbuilt chip Inbuilt chip
Accessories/peculiarity Light gun (sold separately)[61] None Wireless connexion to a Goggle box through an ultra high frequency (UHF) antenna[62]
Sales 350,000[3]

: 58
Unknown xx,000[40]
Name Habitation Pong Coleco Telstar series
(14 models)
Color Television-Game series
(v consoles)
Manufacturer Atari, Sears Tele-Games Coleco Nintendo
Image TeleGames-Atari-Pong.png Coleco-Telstar-Colortron.jpg Nintendo-Color-TV-Game-Blockbreaker-FL.png
Launch price U.s.a.$98.95 (equivalent to $498 in 2021)[64]

JP¥24,800 (equivalent to ¥46,500 in 2019)[59]
US$50 (equivalent to $238 in 2021) JP¥9800–48,000 (equivalent to ¥fifteen,559–65,347 in 2019)[l]

(equivalent to $161–589 in 2021)
Release appointment
  • NA:
    Late 1975
  • JP:
    Late 1975[59]
  • NA:
  • JP:
Media Inbuilt bit Inbuilt chip (nearly models)
Cartridge (Telstar Arcade, 1977)[xviii]

: fifteen
Inbuilt chip
Accessories (retail) None Controller styles None
Sales 150,000[43]

: 33–36

1 1000000[47] 3 one thousand thousand[68]



  1. ^

    Includes the Odyssey 100/200/300/400/500/2000/3000/4000 and Philips Odyssey 200/2001/2100[53]

    : 309–310


  2. ^

    Includes the Coleco Telstar, Classic, Deluxe, Ranger, Alpha, Colormatic, Regent, Sportsman, Combat!, Colortron, Marksman, Galaxy, Gemini and Arcade[18]

    : 272


    : 15–16


  3. ^

    Includes the Color Telly-Game 6, 15, Racing 112, Blockbreaker and Estimator TV-Game[63]

Handheld systems


All of the handheld systems from the kickoff generation are dedicated consoles and started late into the commencement generation. It was not until the second generation and the release of the Microvision that players could purchase games separately for the systems.[69]

: 46

The early dedicated handheld consoles were eventually eclipsed in popularity by programmable video games, which became popular in the quaternary generation with the introduction of the Game Boy.[23]

: 316

Ralph Baer and Howard Morrison invented and patented an electronic toy that was subsequently licensed to Milton Bradley and sold equally
in 1978.[70]

I notable case is the Mattel handheld game series, which were released from 1977 to 1982. The first to be released were
Mattel Machine Race
Mattel Football. They were followed by other titles based on sports and some licensed properties such equally
Battlestar Galactica. Each game had basic controls, a uncomplicated LED interface and a cablegram for sound.[15]

: 70

The series was pop, sold well and, at times, was difficult to find due to high need.[72]

In the same year, Coleco began to release handheld consoles later the end of the Telstar home console series.[15]

: 121

They released
Electronic Quarterback, which expanded on the pop American football style games by adding new features.[73]
Mattel Football, it became the other popular sports game of the period.[74]

See also


  • Abode estimator
  • History of computing hardware (1960s–present)



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Further reading


  • How Video Games Invaded the Dwelling Goggle box Set past Ralph Baer
  • “A History of Dwelling house Video Game Consoles”. Archived from the original on December 26, 2007.

    by Michael Miller
Read:   The First Law of Motion Describes the Principle of

External links


  • The Dot Eaters: $.25 From the Primordial Ooze
  • ClassicGaming Expo 2000: Baer Describes the Birth of Videogames
  • Video Games Turn 40 (1UP.com)

When Did Home Video Game Systems First Become Very Popular

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_generation_of_video_game_consoles

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