Video games are big business in today’s entertainment landscape, generating tens of billions of dollars in revenue each year. In recent years, Americans even started spending more on video games than movie tickets. And this is an industry that isn’t going away. But how did this massive commercial industry all get started?
History of Video Games
Take a look at this infographic about the history of video games, and we will see.
The very first video games were intended to be experiments in computing. It wasn’t until 1966 until the design for the first game console was first conceived, and it wasn’t available commercially before 1972. Before that, games ran on costly and bulky machines designed purely for research.
The First Game Console
However, within a few years, hundreds of thousands of units of that first game console, the Magnavox, had been sold. The age of video games was quickly dawning. Arcade video game systems proved to be even more popular than consoles in the early years. Games based around popular movies, such as Tron, proved extremely popular.
During those golden years for arcade games, a number of popular games that are still played today were developed. Tetris became the first game to be exported from the Soviet Union to the USA, where it became a smash hit, especially on the handheld Nintendo Game Boy console. It’s a game that was so popular, 6 June has even been declared World Tetris Day!
The Birth of PC Gaming
As well as classic console games, this era also saw the birth of PC gaming. Computers were spreading to the office and homes of people as power increased and prices dropped.
The 1990s saw a great increase in processing power for home consoles, with powerful 64-bit chips and 3D rendered graphics making a platform for a revolution in gaming. Games also started becoming connected with the burgeoning internet; consoles even began developed with the internet in mind.
The three main console manufacturers of this generation – Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony – all found success in their way, and the three-way war for console market share has persisted ever since. However, games studios have also flourished with PC gaming; most titles are now released for both PC and console.
The Internet Gaming
Internet gaming has allowed players to play each other online, but also to buy and review games without ever needing to enter a physical store. As internet speeds and computing power has increased, thanks to fast internet connections and modern wifi routers, the number of players of online games across the world has skyrocketed.
Today, games are a popular form of recreation, for entertainment purposes – or even to develop our brains! Although the video game development industry is still predominantly male, an increasing number of women are playing video games, and 4 out of every 5 households in the US own a game console. And games aren’t getting less popular any time soon!