From their beginning in the mid 20th century, video games have fascinated and entertained the world. They have been at the forefront of advancing computer technology, and they are enjoyed all over the world for recreation, social interaction or even as a professional career.

So how did they get to be as prevalent as they are today? Well, the history of video games goes back a long way – but this infographic about video games, from List Enthusiast, will help you to understand how it evolved.

Infographic – History of Video Games 1948-2016


The Early Days: Pre-Console

The video games of the early days were barely recognisable compared to modern games. Some required so much more computing power than could be provided that their processors took up an entire room! These games, made by software engineers in the 1950s and 60s, were nonetheless important for developing future concepts and testing the limits of processing power.

First Gen Consoles and Arcade Games

The first generation of video game consoles, as well as arcade games, started developing out of those early experiments by the early 1970s. They had limited numbers of games loaded to each console, and by modern standards, very little processing power. Arcade games of this generation took off in popularity.

Second Generation: The Golden Era

Around the time that the second generation of games started coming out came what was known as the “golden age” for arcade games. Graphic advancements such as vector displays, as well as key games like Pong (1978), led to a peak in popularity for arcade video gaming. This era also introduced key concepts, like AI simulation allowing for single-player gaming, and ROM cartridges that allowed a console to play as many games as could be developed.

Third Gen Games: 8-Bit Era

At the end of the Second Gen, the crash of 1983 saw the centre of game development move from North America to Japan. Development of quality games and propriety technology to prevent unlicensed third-party developers improved the quality of games on offer. This era also saw the rise of gaming on the personal computer (PC).

Fourth Gen: 16-Bit and Handheld Gaming

More advanced processing power and graphics allowed the introduction or continuation of new titles in fourth generation game consoles, such as Nintendo’s Super Mario and Sony’s Sonic the Hedgehog titles. This generation also saw the introduction of handheld game consoles, allowing gamers a lot more freedom. The Mortal Combat title also led to debates over violence in video games, leading to the first video game rating system.

Fifth Gen: 64-Bits and 3D era

Although the previous generation had started to experiment with it, this generation saw the introduction of powerful 3D game graphics. Sony forced their way into the market, with the Playstation console.

Sixth Gen to Today: The Three-Way Rivalry

Until today the rivalry between Sony and Nintendo continues, with Microsoft’s Sixth Generation addition of the X-Box leading to an ongoing three-way rivalry. Many of the popular titles from these consoles have even made the permanent jump over to PC gaming.

And there you have it – that brings us up to the variety of games available today!



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