The History of Gaming Consoles

24 May 2022

The History of Gaming Consoles

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Gaming consoles for both handheld and home were invented in the early 1970s. During that entire decade, the mass production of gaming consoles became a reality. Due to technological advancements in this decade, dozens of consoles were released. 

For example, in 1975, the invention of Intel led to the creation of Gunfight. This was the first human-to-human combat shooter to be developed. Because of that, the Gunfighter became a big deal, hence hitting arcades. It allowed gamers to experience a new gameplay style with a single joystick for movement control. 

So, over time, gaming consoles have changed a lot. This article will explain the various generations of gaming console designs between 1970 and 2020. Also, you'll know whether the future of gaming is the end of consoles. 

Gaming console designs from the 1970s - 2020 

If you're arguing about which gaming console is better than the other, their designs differ based on the production year. Take a look at the various designs created in different eras. 

● 1972-1989

Most people think that console gaming started in the '80s, but it all began in the '60s with a clunky brown console named the Brown Box. Later on, in 1972, Magnavox refurbished this console, now known as Magnavox Odyssey, for commercial purposes. 

In 1987, Atari VCS 2600 was created, and it became prevalent for its ability to accept game cartridges. Players could use paddle or joystick controllers to select hit games like Frogger, Pacman, and Asteroids with this console game.

The Intellivision, which was released in 1979, was a direct Atari 2600's competitor. Although it did not surpass the popularity of the Atari, it offered competitive graphics and audio effects. Another competitor to Atari, as well as Intellivision, was the ColecoVision. It came into play in 1982 with expansion modules for gamers to play famous games like racing games, Atari, etc. 

In 1985, The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) was released to the United States gaming market. It was the origin of many famous game franchises like Metroid and Nintendo's Zelda. Another console that followed NES but managed to gain popularity was the Sega Genesis. It was out in 1989. 

● 1990-1996

Nintendo introduced an upgrade of the NES called 'Super Nintendo' in 1990. This console came with 16-bit graphics, much better than the original NES. In 1993, Sega released Mega Drive II, an update of the original console. It was a little bit smaller and lighter compared to the original. Also, its mainboard was less expensive. 

In 1995, the video game industry experienced a significant technological change with the release of the Sony PlayStation. With this console, games were allowed to have 3D graphics. The Nintendo 64 came into play in 1996, providing gamers with better graphics.

● 2000-2017

Between 2000 and 2017, consoles that could do more than the 90s were introduced. Developers upgraded previous consoles, and new ones were released. For instance, in 2000, Sony boosted their game to PlayStation 2 to offer the backward capability. Also, they released PlayStation 3 in 2006, PlayStation 4 in 2013, and PlayStation 4 Pro in 2016. The Sony Company improved their consoles as years went by due to competition from Xbox. 

Microsoft first introduced the Xbox in 2001 to allow gamers to compete online. In 2005, Microsoft introduced Xbox 360 to provide better graphics, third-party streaming capabilities, and wireless controllers. That's not all. Microsoft kept competing with Sony by releasing Xbox One in 2013, Xbox one S in 2016, and Xbox One X in 2017. 

Due to the console war between Xbox and Sony, in 2006, Nintendo released 'Nintendo Wii,' which was a family-friendly console. Also, in 2017 the Company boosted its game with a new console called 'Nintendo Switch.' This one works as both a TV-based and handheld-based console. 

● 2020

Four years later, Sony released PlayStation 5 in November 2020. It was the 9th generation of video game consoles. Also, it came with unique features like a built-in microphone, wireless controllers, adaptive triggers, and smoother gaming capabilities. 

The future of gaming (without consoles)

Although cloud gaming has not yet taken off, it will in time. According to research, it will be the future of console gaming for several reasons. Below are some of the reasons why gamers will not need consoles in the future:

● Cloud gaming offers instant access as long as there is internet connectivity

● It is cost-effective to use cloud gaming compared to consoles

● With cloud gaming, players can use even old hardware

● Cloud gaming comes with flexible libraries

● More and more companies are now investing in cloud gaming

Over the last decades, there have been significant technological advancements in the development of gaming consoles. However, cloud gaming, which is the future, is even more promising. It comes with several benefits, including cost-effectiveness and convenience. 


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