The Evolution of the Video Game Console. By: Nicholas Spaine a nd Robert Kempin Period 1. Cathode Ray-Tube-1948.
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By: Nicholas Spaine
The ray tube was the first true video game unit that was invented by Thomas Goldsmith, Cedar Grove and Ray Marin. This system only had one game which was a missile simulator where you used the screen overlays as targets for a small dot and was based of World War II radar screens. (patent #-2455992)
The Brown Box was known as the first video game console and unlike the Cathode this had more games. It was a bulky brown rectangular wooden box with 2 attached controllers & earned the name the Brown Box. It was invented by Ralph Baer. Baer was known as the father of the video game. He developed the brown video game console so that it could be hooked up to any TV set.
The Magnavox was the very first video console that was released to the public. It was a hybrid of both analog and digital circuitry. The Odyssey is the starting point for all gaming systems. Though the Odyssey was lacking color video output or sound it sold over 300,000 units. The controllers were like boxes with horizontal and vertical axis knobs on both sides with dense wires from the console to the controller.
During the period from 1975-76 Magnavox produced more models of the Odyssey to improve their sales. One after another, each of them had an update from the last one. In 1975, the Odyssey 100 had two built-in memory games (Tennis and Hockey). It was an analog system that was developed around 4 chips from Texas Instruments. Later that year, the Odyssey 200 which was similar to the 100 but contained an extra game. The 200 also allowed up to 4 players to play at the same time (the first of its time)! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2EIsnr_cv4
In 1976, the Odyssey 300 came out which was built for using a single chip containing all the interface info and games (also first of its kind). The Odyssey 400 was the first of the series to have a screen score. Last in 1976, the Odyssey 500 came and worked with color TVs and had the same 3 games like all the others. The Odyssey Series was really a jump start to video game consoles as each one got a little better each time. We would not be at this point in time if it wasn't for the Odyssey Series.
After the arcade version of PONG was popular in 1973, Atari decided to market the game as a home console 2 years later in 1975. The main reason why Atari made this into a game system was because in 1974 the Odyssey was a huge dissatisfaction in some of its customers. It was also rumored that the Odyssey would only work on the Magnavox TV set (which was false). In the long run the PONG series was more popular than the Odyssey series because of the series of games.
The Atari 2600 was the first console to use interchangeable cartridges. After a long development, it sold slowly, but by 1982 it was selling 8 million units a year. In the long run it shipped over 25 million units and has a library of 900 games. It is still popular for hobbyists that like to make games for the system.
The Intellivision was released in 1979 by Mattel Electronics. Intellivision was sold at different stores for different names to improve its market and was the system for playing sports games. It was a huge competitor of the Atari 2600 and one thing that put the it above the 2600 is that it had more 3rd party support. The controller of the Intellivision had a 12 button keypad with a directional disk below that.
The Colecovision was a console known for its ability to replicate it’s arcade games on a small scale. It had better sound and graphics than the Atari and Mattel. It also could accept Atari 2600 games due to it’s slot made using standard parts, even though this was technically illegal. This console also came with steering wheels and trackballs.
The Atari 5200 was based off Atari’s successful 8-bit computers, and games from their computers could be easily ported over. This resulted in a massive percentage of quality games for this powerful system. However, this excellent system was stopped by the game crash of 1984, which was a great tragedy.
The Vectrex was originally called the Kenner Mini-Arcade and was released late ‘82. This console was like no other and came with a 9-inch screen, joysticks and had a built in game. Vectrex used sharp vector graphics which was unlike any of the competition (which had more pixelated screens). It was only capable of displaying black & white but you could put color overlays over the screen to change the appearance. The Vectrex only made its way into Japan and throughout Europe. The importance other wise is that it was like no other system because it came with its own monitor.
In the early 1990s the NES was starting to show it’s age compared to newer 16-bit systems. So Nintendo decided to make the Super NES. This offered a better cartridge system and some 8-bit compatibility, although it was not fully compatible with the NES. Early on they had only a $10 price difference, which helped with it’s slow start, but it caught on and became widely popular.
After the video game market crashed in 1984, the Japanese company Nintendo decided to release the NES despite the weak market. This system pretty much single handedly brought the market back from the grave. They took care to make it look more like a VCR unit, so it would market better. Without it we would not have the modern video game.
The Sega Master System, or SMS, was meant to be a conduit for Sega arcade games to come to the home. However, due to poor marketing this system never really caught on despite it’s impressive hardware. It also had 3D peripheral, but due to only six games for this it never caught on. So the SMS, was a great system that almost made it.
The 3DO is a little heard of but innovative console. It featured eight controllers, large quantities of expansions, and was the first console to offer daisy-chaining and surround sound support. It was designed as a 32-bid do-it-all box. However, the release planted in the word “videogame” in the mind of the consumer, and that, coupled with the high price, served to keep it from ever reaching its full potential.
Sony kicked off its success with this system in 1994. It also changed the long time war between Nintendo and SEGA by entering the market and opened it up for Microsoft to create a console of their own. The PlayStation also forced a lot of competitors to change their systems to have disk-drives. They also introduced the Dual Shock controller and introduced a number of important and classic games. They also developed 3D games which also changed the market since we still use those games today. This game system also introduced new controllers. The PlayStation also made games that weren’t just oriented for kids but also their parents.
The Nintendo 64 featured a revolutionary advance in video game controllers: the analog joystick, which is still used in most modern game systems. This innovation enabled gamers to control their world with more precision and accuracy than ever before, allowing the 3d games From PCs to come into the console world in their full glory.
The Sega Dreamcast was a innovation of epic proportions. It was the first 128-bit console with online capabilities OTB(out of the box), and the last console made by Sega, which withdrew from the market soon after. Within three years, the direct inspiration for the PS3 and Xbox 360 of today was pulled off the market.
The Game Cube was often criticized because of its exterior but was a very powerful system which housed an impressive number of outstanding games. The Game Cube was a cartridge based system and wasn’t the first. It also had cutting-edge hardware inside and had an IBM CPU. The Game Cube was also known to have the longest shelf life in the industry and has the same technology as the Wii (which came out 5 years later). Overall, the Game Cube changed game consoles because of its amazing hardware, long shelf lives and amazing games.
The first console that Microsoft designed which sparked the Console War with Sony. The Xbox laid the foundation for the modern day online multi-player system. The Xbox had a 16-player LAN battles in their FPS games on the first Xbox Live. Xbox Live service was the first multi-player that managed to capture a high level of quality among a large number of games.
The PS2 is the best-selling video game console that had more that 130 million units by the end of 08. There are nearing 2000 games that have and are being released for this systems. The controller of this Sony system (Dual Shock) is the next Play Station controller that was wildly popular in the previous PlayStation.
The Xbox360 was the first high-definition game console made. As well as high-definition the 360 had crisp, clean with advanced shading and physics. While the PC gaming had the same type of graphics the 360 was the first gaming system. Along with the PS3 the Xbox360 had wireless controllers but you had to put batteries in the pack on the controller, the PS3 controller you could charge it on a stand.
The PS3 along with the Xbox360 redefined multi-player and its functionality. In this system you can now buy games without going to the store, but instead downloading them online. Sony also revolutionized controllers with the Dual Shock 3 by making them wireless which had never been done in an PlayStation. The PS3 could also play shows and movies off Netflix and Blu-Ray movies.
The Nintendo Wii is the first system that uses a sensor that you use to control the game and the menu screens. Nintendo made the Wii to change the way we play games by making it different than other game system that was made before. Nintendo was up against a lot of pressure because of the success of the PS3, Xbox360 and Nintendo’s previous systems the NES, Super NES and the Game Cube. There are many games that are on the Wii and only the Wii. Usually in modern day game systems a lot of the games are shared, but the Wii Nintendo made games mostly for the Wii and only the Wii.
As fall comes around the corner the new generation of Sony and Microsoft consoles will come out changing the gaming industry standards with both of these innovative systems. As Microsoft and Sony face off again we will see who can make a better console and how it will change the game consoles for the future.
Many patents have been based off of the first console the Cathode Ray Tube.
Patent #-US4078317-flight simulator system
Patent #-USRE32282-TV gaming apparatus
Patent #-USRE32305- Method of emplacing a TV receiver active participation.
Video games have had big impact on society. A lot of teens and
up play video games, some people even play for their job
(YouTube). The video game console has created the gaming
subculture, that has spread worldwide to become prevalent
almost anywhere. They have also been used to teleconference
by some smaller companies, which adds some fun to meetings.
Video game consoles are used in hospitals too for the sick kids to
have something to do to get their mind of their illness.