|Willy Higinbotham designs the very first video game, "Tennis for Two", played on an oscilloscope at the Brookhaven National Laboratory in NY.|
|Steve Russell designs "Spacewar!" on a PDP-1 mainframe computer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).|
|Nintendo Co. Ltd, previously involved in the manufacture of playing cards, moves into the games market.|
|Ralph Baer designs the first video game played on a television set, "Chase" for Sanders Associates.|
|Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney design the first arcade game based on Russell's "Spacewar!", titled "Computer Space".|
|Maganavox' Odyssey, designed by Ralph Baer, becomes the first home game console. |
Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney form Atari. They hire programming wiz Al Alcorn, whose first project is to design an arcade game called "Pong".
Atari's Pong Doubles becomes the first arcade game to allow 4 player simultaneous play.
|Atari's Gotcha becomes the first video game to have a maze, something we'd see a lot of years later.|
|Atari's Gran Trak 10 becomes the first arcade driving game.|
|Al Alcorn's dedicated TV game "Pong" becomes Atari's first home video game product. |
Midway's Gunfight is released, the first arcade game to use a microprocessor instead of hard-wired circuits.
|Coleco releases their first home video game product, the dedicated console "Telstar". |
Fairchild releases the first programmable home video game console, the Fairchild Video Entertainment System, which would later be renamed Channel F. Street price: $170.
Nolan Bushnell sells Atari to Warner Communications for a reported $28 million.
Sharp Image's coin-op Death Race becomes the first arcade game based on a movie (though it wasn't "licensed"), Death Race 2000.
|Atari releases the home video game system Atari Video Computer System (VCS), later known as the Atari 2600. Street price: $249. |
Coleco releases their first programmable home video game console, Telstar Arcade.
Nintendo releases their first home video game product, the dedicated console "TV Game 6".
RCA releases the home video game system RCA Studio II. The system plays games in black and white only.
Avalon Hill's "Microcomputer Division" is formed.
|Bally releases the home video game system Bally Professional Arcade. The console would later be sold to Astrovision and marketed as the Astrocade in 1980. |
APF releases the home video game system M-1000 and MP-1000.
Magnavox releases the home video game system Odyssey2.
Midway releases the arcade game "Space Invaders", the first video game to keep track of high scores.
Automated Simulations (which would later be called Epyx) is formed.
Nintendo releases it's very first arcade game, Computer Othello in Japan.
Leijac's Space Wars becomes the first arcade game to use vector technology and graphics.
Namco releases their first arcade game, Gee Bee.
|Atari releases their first home computer system, the Atari 400. |
Texas Instruments releases the TI-99/4A home computer. It retails for $1499.99.
Atari releases the arcade game "Asteroids".
Milton Bradley releases the first cartridge-based handheld video game system MicroVision.
Data East is formed.
Infocom is formed.
Atari releases the first game to use a trak-ball controller, Atari Football.
Namco's Galaxian becomes the first arcade game to use all color sprites.
Though Pac-Man would revolutionize the genre only months later, it was Sega/Gremlin's arcade game Head On that first employed the "eat the dots" style.
Vectorbeam releases the first head-to-head fighting game, the vector-based Warrior.
|Mattel releases the home video game system Intellivision after test marketing the system in California the prior year. |
David Crane, Alan Miller, Bob Whitehead, and Larry Kaplan form Activision, the first third-party software developer.
Namco releases Pac-Man, which becomes the very first animated main character in an arcade game.
APF releases the Imagination Machine, a computer add-on for the home video game system APF MP-1000.
Nintendo releases the first in a long series of handheld games called Game & Watch.
Sharp Image's Star Fire becomes not only the first arcade game to feature a cockpit-style cabinet (there is also a stand-up style cabinet), but perhaps more importantly it is the first arcade game that allowed you to enter your initials for a high score, beating Atari's Asteroids the the punch by mere months..
The first video game "Easter Egg" is born when Warren Robinett programs a technique to find his name while playing his Atari 2600 game "Adventure".
Broderbund is formed.
Mindscape is formed.
Space Invaders Part II (aka Space Invaders Deluxe in the US) becomes the first arcde game to include an intermission ("SOS").
Taito's coin-op Stratovox becomes the first game with speech synthesis.
Williams' Defender becomes the first arcade game to feature a world where things are happening off the playscreen.
Atari releases the arcade game Battlezone, the first game with an interactive 3D environment and first-person perspective.
Stern's Berzerk becomes the first game to be blamed for someone's death when in January 1981, 19 year old Jeff Dailey died of a massive heart attack while playing the game.
The first arcade game to be designed by a woman (Dona Bailey) is released by Atari: Centipede. She got some help from Atari guru Ed Logg.
|The very first IBM PC rolls off the production line, with it's 8088 processor running at a whopping 4.77mhz |
Arnie Katz, Bill Kunkel, and Joyce Worley form Electronic Games Magazine, the first commercial publication dedicated to video games.
Nintendo releases the arcade game "Donkey Kong".
Atari releases the arcade game "Tempest", the first color vector graphics game.
Commodore releases their home computer VIC-20.
|GCE releases the first vector-based, portable home video game system Vectrex. Street price: $200. |
Entex releases the portable home video game system AdventureVision.
Coleco releases the home video game system ColecoVision. Street price: $175.
Atari releases the home video game system Atari 5200 Super System.
The Arcadia SuperCharger is released for the Atari 2600, adding graphic and programming power to the console and featuring all new cassette-based games to take advantage of this. Arcadia later renames itself to Starpath.
Mattel releases the IntelliVoice expansion module for the Intellivision home system, allowing the system clear, independent speech synthesis and featuring all new games to take advantage of this.
North American Phillips releases the "The Voice" expansion module for the Odyssey2 home system, allowing the system clear, independent speech synthesis and featuring all new games to take advantage of this.
Commodore releases their home computer Commodore 64.
Emerson releases the home video game system Arcadia 2001.
Amazin' Software (which would later become Electronic Arts) is formed by Trip Hawkins.
Interplay Productions is formed by Brian Fargo. By 1985 they would simply go by the name Interplay.
Sega's Zaxxon becomes the first arcade game to employ an isometric "3/4" view.
|Mattel releases their home computer Aquarius. |
Coleco releases their home computer ADAM, which also integrates with the ColecoVision system. The computer is a dismal failure and if not for Coleco's toy line (notably Cabbage Patch Kids), the company may very well have folded. Street price: $600.
Atari announces the Atari 7800, but it isn't released to the public until 1986.
Sega's Astron Belt becomes the first arcade game to use laserdisc technology.
Cinematronics releases the arcade game Dragon's Lair, the first animated laserdisc game.
Nintendo releases the home video game system Famicom in Japan.
Infogrames is formed.
Origin Systems, best known for their "Ultima" series of role-playing games, is formed.
Sega Enterprises is formed, flops, and is ultimately sold off to Bally, a venture that would last just about a year.
Virgin Interactive is formed.
Bally/Midway's Journey, capitalizing on the popularity of the rock band of the same name, becomes the first game to use digitized graphics.
Bally/Midway's laserdisc game NFL Football becomes the first arcade game to accept dollar bills.
Leijac's Cosmic Chasm becomes the first home game to be converted into an arcade game. It was a GCE developed game for their Vectrex home console originally.
|The home video game market crashes, sending dozens of hardware and software game manufacturers into chapter 11. Notable companies that either folded or stopped producing video games: Apollo, US Games, Telesys, Data Age, Spectravision, and 20th Century Fox. |
Apple releases the Macintosh home computer. The speedy little machine with a built-in black and white monitor sported a zippy 7.83mhz processor. Street price: $2000.
Atari releases the Atari ST home computer.
IBM releases the IBM PC AT line of home computers.
Atari releases the arcade game "I, Robot", the first to feature 3D polygon graphics.
Accolade is formed by ex-Atari and Activision guys Bob Whitehead and Alan Miller.
Ocean is formed.
Psygnosis is formed.
Bally closes down Sega Enterprises, and Sega of Japan is sold to investors who re-launch Sega in the United States, appropriately titled Sega of America.
Atari's Firefox becomes the first coin-op to use actual movie footage in a game.
|Nintendo releases the home video game system Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) to a test market in NY, this would become the North American version of the Famicom. Street price: $199. |
Microsoft releases their first version of Windows, v 1.0
Alex Pajitnov designs the PC game "Tetris".
The first CD-ROM drive for personal computers is released, sporting a full "1X" speed.
Commodore releases the first in their Amiga computer line. Street price: $1295.
Datasoft is formed.
Titus is formed.
Westwood Studios is formed.
|Sega releases the home video game system Sega Master System. Street price: $199. |
Atari releases the home video game system Atari 7800. It is the first system to feature backwards-compatibility and is compatible with existing Atari 2600 cartridges.
Cosmi is formed.
Spectrum Holobyte is formed.
Ubi Soft is formed.
SNK's Psycho Soldier becomes the first arcade game to feature a fully digitized vocal soundtrack.
|NEC releases the first 16-bit (though this is widely disputed) home video game system PC Engine in Japan. |
Acclaim is formed and promptly becomes the first independent US publisher for the Nintendo Entertainment System, quite a feat at that time.
Atari releases the home video game system Atari XE, internally compatible with their 8-bit computer line but marketed as a game console.
Apogee is formed.
Absolute is formed by ex-Activision guys Dan Kitchen, Garry Kitchen, John Van Ryzin, and Alex DeMeo. David Crane would later re-join his gang.
Cinemaware is formed.
Gametek is formed.
Koei is formed.
Maxis is formed.
|The first CD-ROM game, "The Manhole", is released by Mediagenic. |
Codemasters is formed by ex-Commodore 64 programmers Richard and David Darling.
Domark is formed.
Microplay is formed.
Williams' NARC becomes the first 32-bit arcade game, utilizing a TI 34010 processor.
|Nintendo releases the handheld video game system Game Boy. Street price: $109. |
NEC releases the video game system Turbografx-16, the North American version of the PC Engine. Street price: $189.
Sega releases the video game system Sega Genesis. Street price: $249.
Atari releases the first color handheld video game system Atari Lynx. Street price: $149.
NEC releases an enhanced version of their PC Engine console, SuperGrafx, in Japan. The system would only feature 5 games that take advantage of this enhanced hardware and was never commercially available outside of Japan.
Gottlieb's Exterminator becomes the first arcade game to use 100% digitized graphics.
Atari's Hard Drivin' becomes the first driving game to use 3D polygon graphics.
|Trip Hawkins leaves Electronic Arts to form 3DO. |
NEC releases the Turbografx CD expansion for Turbografx-16 owners, upgrading that system to CD-ROM functionality and featuring all new games to take advantage of this. Street price: $399.
SNK releases the home video game system Neo-Geo (AES). Its insides are the same as its arcade counterpart (the MVS), for the first time TRULY bringing arcade games home. At a price.. Street price: $699.
SquareSoft releases the first in what will become the best-selling console role-playing series ever: Final Fantasy.
Sega releases the handheld video game system Game Gear.
Microprose is formed.
NEC releases a handheld version of their Turbografx-16 console, completely compatible with its cartridges, TurboExpress.
|Commodore releases the CD-based home video game system CDTV. Street price: $999. |
Fujitsu releases the FM Towns Marty, the world’s first 32-bit console. It was a game console based on the FM Towns computer they released in 1989.
Nintendo releases the home video game system Super Nintendo. Street price: $199.
Joe Santulli and Kevin Oleniacz form Digital Press, an independent publication for video game collectors of every system.
Two major PC entertainment publishers, Cinemaware and Epyx, close shop for good.
id Software is formed.
|Philips releases the CD-based home video game system CD-i. |
Sega releases the Sega CD expansion for Sega Genesis owners, upgrading that system's to CD-ROM functionality and featuring all new games to take advantage of this.
|Atari releases the first 64-bit (though this is widely disputed) home video game system Atari Jaguar. Street price: $250. |
Commodore releases the Amiga CD32, a 32-bit game console based on the Amiga 1200 computer. Street price: $399.
Trip Hawkins' 3DO releases the CD-based home video game system 3DO Multiplayer. The Panasonic version is the first on shelves, Goldstar would follow several months later. Street price: $699.
Midway's NBA Jam becomes the first sports-licensed arcade game.
|The Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB) is created, a product of the US government - led by Sen. Joseph Lieberman - to rate video games in much the same way the MPAA rates movies. |
Sega releases the Sega 32X expansion module for Sega Genesis owners, upgrading that system's processing power to 32-bit and featuring all new games to take advantage of this. Street price: $159.
Sony releases the 32-bit CD-based home video game system Sony PlayStation in Japan.
|Sega releases the 32-bit CD-based home video game system Sega Saturn. Street price: $399. |
Sony releases the Sony PlayStation in the US. Street price: $299.
Nintendo releases the first 32-bit portable video game system, the Virtual Boy. The system produces real 3D effects in shades of red. Street price: $179.
Sega releases a handheld version of their Genesis console, completely compatible with its cartridges, Nomad.
|Nintendo releases the 64-bit home video game system Nintendo 64. It is the last of the home consoles to use cartridge media. |
Bandai releases the home video game system @World, also known as Pippin. Street price: $499.
|Tiger Electronics releases the handheld video game system game.com.|
|Sega releases the home video game system Sega Dreamcast in Japan. |
Nintendo releases the color handheld video game system Game Boy Color. The system is backwards-compatible with existing Game Boy cartridges.
World of Atari, which would the following year be dubbed "Classic Gaming Expo", is held for the first time in Las Vegas.
Hasbro Interactive purchases the Atari legacy for a reported $5 million.
|Sega releases the Sega Dreamcast in the US on 9/9/99. Street price: $199. |
SNK releases the color handheld video game system Neo-Geo Pocket.
|Sony releases the home video game system PlayStation 2. The system is backwards-compatible with existing PlayStation games. Street price: $299.|
|Microsoft releases its first home video game system Xbox. Street price: $299. |
Nintendo releases the home video game system GameCube. Street price: $199.
Nintendo releases the Game Boy Advance handheld system. It is backwards-compatible with Game Boy and Game Boy color cartridges, extending the dynasty.
|2002||This marks the first year that every video game console in production has an online option; in addition, they're all broadband-ready options! |
Sega leaves the console industry and becomes a software-only designer. We never thought we'd see Sonic on a Nintendo system, but it happened.
Two of the world's most renowned role-playing game developers merge. Square and Enix form SquareEnix.
|2003||In October, phone developer Nokia releases their first game system, the N-Gage. The N-Gage is also a phone and has some design issues that would later be ironed out by a second model, the N-Gage QD, in 2004. Street price: $299. |
Tapwave releases their first handheld gaming system (which is viewed by many as more of a PDA), the Zodiac. Street price: $299.
|2004||In November, Nintendo tips its hat to its own past and releases the Nintendo DS, a handheld game system reminiscent of their Game & Watch titles with its dual screen. The system also has a touch screen and microphone. Street price: $199.|
|2005||In March, Sony releases its first handheld gaming system, the PSP. Street price: $249.|
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