The History of Video Games
By Mathew B.
Some say the first video games were found in arcades. But this is not true. The first-screened, digital activities were made by the company Magnavox. Meet the Magnavox Odyssey, the first gaming console. Having only a few games, mostly sport games, you and your opponent moved by spinning the left and right dials on the controller; one moved you left and right, the other moved you up and down.
The Atari 2600 was a later model by the then-unknown company Atari. While games were found mostly in arcades, why spend your change standing up when you could just save up for the console and play them at home? Many arcade favorites were remade for the Atari, and fans are still coming out with games for it (E. G. Princess Rescue, 2017-18, a remake of the original Super Mario Brothers, NES). One of the world’s first platformers, Adventure, was originally made for the Atari 2600 console, along with all-time favorite Donkey Kong.
Shortly after the Atari 2600’s takeoff, the Intellivision was released. It had games made by Activision, Imagic, and the rivaling gaming tech company, Coleco, but it was originally made by Mattel Electronics, and later remade under the name ColecoVision by Coleco. It was basically the same thing.
Meet the NES (Nintendo Entertainment System): Nintendo’s first console. It had games like Popeye, and the favorite Super Mario Brothers (1985). It was a favorite, as it had better graphics and audio than its Atari predecessor, and it had wireless controllers. Later, the Super NES replaced it, but the NES was at once an all-time favorite. Funny thing is, before they started making video games, Nintendo was actually a card company!
It’s 1987–the first handheld console with a backlit screen, The Epyx Handy Game (later made into the Atari Lynx) arrived. Now you could play your favorites on the go! While it was incredibly advanced, it had a fairly short battery life of about 3 hours.
Next is the original Nintendo Gameboy. While it was only capable of producing black-and white images, it was still an awesome thing to have as it was one of the first handheld consoles, and it had better battery life than the earlier Epyx Handy Game. It was at once a classic.
The Super NES had way better graphics than the NES, and it could even produce low-poly 3D graphics and speech, something no other home console could do at the time! And the controllers were legendary; they felt like they were made for your hand, unlike the square controllers for the NES and joystick controllers of the Atari 2600. While it is a classic, in my opinion, it is the best classic home-console ever.
Then came the Gameboy Color–a lot like the original Gameboy, but with a backlit, color screen. Many original Gameboy games were re-released for the Gameboy Color, which could produce a whole spectrum of colors.
The Nintendo 64 followed, producing real 3D graphics much better than the SNES, and had much, much better audio. Many of its games were later remade for the Nintendo DS, a handheld console, and its soundtracks are still used and heard today. Many still believe that it marked a turning point in gaming history.
Then came the original Nintendo DS, later made into the DS Lite, which was cheaper and had less curves. Many Nintendo 64 games were remade for the DS. It was one of the first types of Nintendo handhelds other than the Gameboy consoles.
Later, the original Play Station came. It used a newer technology that is now everywhere – discs. It was one of the first gaming devices that used discs, but the Nintendo 64 Disc Drive was earlier. It was replaced by the PS2, 3, and the newer PS4. My personal favorite PS game is Star Wars Battlefront: Elite Squadron, for the PS2 and later Nintendo DS.
Here is one you have probably heard of: The Xbox. The original Xbox, made in 2001, was at once a favorite; and, like the PS franchise, has many other Xbox consoles.
Which brings us to today–the time of the Sony-Play Station Play Station Portable. It has all of your favorite PS games, but it is handheld. It was a favorite for PS fans and is still in production today.
This brings us to the end. Without brands like Magnavox back in 1970, videogames wouldn’t be around. Companies like Atari, Nintendo and Sony helped shape the ever-expanding world of games into what it is now. Without them, the gaming world would be a different place.