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Encyclopedia > History of video game consoles (second generation)
History of…
Video games
Console games

First generation
Second generation
Video game crash of 1983
Third generation
Fourth generation
Fifth generation
Sixth generation
Seventh generation
Video games were introduced as a commercial entertainment medium in 1971, becoming the basis for an important entertainment industry in the late 1970s/early 1980s in the United States, Japan, and Europe. ... A console game is a form of interactive multimedia used for entertainment. ... The first generation of video game consoles lasted from 1972 until 1977. ... E.T. for the Atari 2600 is used as a symbol of the crash and is sometimes considered a co-conspirator in causing the crash, along with the Atari 2600 version of Pac-Man. ... In the history of video games, the 8-bit era was the third generation of video game consoles, but the first after the video game crash of 1983 and considered by some to be the first modern era of console gaming. ... In the history of video games, the 16-bit era was the fourth generation of video game consoles. ... In the history of computer and video games, the 32-bit / 64-bit /3D era was the fifth generation of video game consoles. ... The sixth-generation era (sometimes referred to as the 128-bit era; see Number of bits below) refers to the computer and video games, video game consoles, and video game handhelds available at the turn of the 21st century. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ...

Arcade games

Golden Age of Arcade Games
This article contains a timeline of notable events in the history of video arcade gaming: // 1971 The Galaxy Game, the earliest known coin-operated arcade video game, makes its debut on the campus of Stanford University. ... In Space Invaders, the player controls the firing and horizontal position of the green cannon at the bottom, fending off constant attack by echelons of eponymous enemies. ...

The second generation of video game consoles lasted from 1976 until 1984. The Nintendo GameCube is an example of a popular video game console. ...

Contents

Early 8-bit home consoles (1976-1983)

An Atari 2600 game cartridge circuit board
An Atari 2600 game cartridge circuit board

The earliest console, the Magnavox Odyssey, had used removeable cartridges that were nothing but glorified jumpers to activate the games already wired in to the console. This method was soon replaced during the move to Pong consoles, where the logic for one or more games was hardcoded into microchips using discrete logic, and no additional games could ever be added. By the mid-1970's cartridges had returned with the move to CPU based consoles. With games now consisting of microprocessor based code, these games were burned onto ROM chips that were mounted inside plastic cartridge casings that could be plugged into slots on the console. When the cartridges were plugged in, the general-purpose microprocessors in the consoles read the cartridge memory and ran whatever program was stored there. Rather than being confined to a small selection of games included in the box, consumers could now amass libraries of game cartridges. This is a ROM chip from an Atari 2600 game cartridge. ... This is a ROM chip from an Atari 2600 game cartridge. ... The Atari 2600, released in October 1977, is the video game console credited with popularizing the use of microprocessor based hardware and cartridges containing game code, instead of having a non-microprocessor dedicated hardware with all games built in. ... In various types of electronic equipment, a cartridge can refer one method of adding different functionality or content (e. ... The Magnavox Odyssey was the worlds first commercially sold video game console. ... Top: jumper block on IDE hard drive with shunt; bottom: assorted shunts In electronics and particularly computing, a jumper is two or more connecting points that can be conveniently shorted together to set up or adjust a printed circuit board, such as a computers motherboard. ... PONG helped bring computerized video games into everyday life. ... A logic gate is an arrangement of electronically-controlled switches used to calculate operations in Boolean algebra. ... In various types of electronic equipment, a cartridge can refer one method of adding different functionality or content (e. ... CPU can stand for: in computing: Central processing unit in journalism: Commonwealth Press Union in law enforcement: Crime prevention unit in software: Critical patch update, a type of software patch distributed by Oracle Corporation in Macleans College is often known as Ash Lim. ... A microprocessor is a programmable digital electronic component that incorporates the functions of a central processing unit (CPU) on a single semiconducting integrated circuit (IC). ... Read-only memory (usually known by its acronym, ROM) is a class of storage media used in computers and other electronic devices. ... A microprocessor is a programmable digital electronic component that incorporates the functions of a central processing unit (CPU) on a single semiconducting integrated circuit (IC). ...


The Fairchild VES was the world's first CPU based video game console, introducing the cartridge based game code storage format. It was released by Fairchild Semiconductor in August 1976. When Atari released their VCS the next year, Fairchild quickly re-named it to the Fairchild Channel F. CPU can stand for: in computing: Central processing unit in journalism: Commonwealth Press Union in law enforcement: Crime prevention unit in software: Critical patch update, a type of software patch distributed by Oracle Corporation in Macleans College is often known as Ash Lim. ... Year 1976 (MCMLXXVI) was a leap year starting on Thursday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Fairchild Channel F is the worlds second cartridge-based video game console, after the Magnavox Odyssey. ...


In 1977, Atari released its CPU based console called the Video Computer System (VCS), later called Atari 2600. Nine games were designed and released for the holiday season. It would quickly become by far the most popular of all the early consoles. Also: 1977 (album) by Ash. ... This article is about a corporate game company. ... CPU can stand for: in computing: Central processing unit in journalism: Commonwealth Press Union in law enforcement: Crime prevention unit in software: Critical patch update, a type of software patch distributed by Oracle Corporation in Macleans College is often known as Ash Lim. ... The Atari 2600, released in October 1977, is the video game console credited with popularizing the use of microprocessor based hardware and cartridges containing game code, instead of having a non-microprocessor dedicated hardware with all games built in. ...


In 1978, Magnavox released its CPU based console, the Odyssey 2, in the United States and Canada. Philips Electronics released this same game console as the Philips G7000 in many European countries. Although it never became as popular as Atari, it managed to sell several million units through 1983. Philips had also designed the more powerful Interton VC 4000 console family (eg. 1292 Advanced Programmable Video System) before this. Year 1978 (MCMLXXVIII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link displays the 1978 Gregorian calendar). ... Magnavox (Latin for loud voice) is a consumer electronics company that is now part of Philips Consumer Electronics. ... CPU can stand for: in computing: Central processing unit in journalism: Commonwealth Press Union in law enforcement: Crime prevention unit in software: Critical patch update, a type of software patch distributed by Oracle Corporation in Macleans College is often known as Ash Lim. ... Philips Videopac G7000 shown playing Pickaxe Pete The Magnavox Odyssey², known in Europe as the Philips Videopac G7000, in Brazil as the Philips Odyssey, and also by many other names, was a video game console released in 1978. ... Philips HQ in Amsterdam Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V. (Royal Philips Electronics N.V.), usually known as Philips, (Euronext: PHIA, NYSE: PHG) is one of the largest electronics companies in the world, founded and headquartered in the Netherlands. ... The VC 4000 is an early 8-bit cartridge-based game console released in Germany in 1978 by Interton. ... The 1292 Advanced Programmable Video System is a video game console released by German company Radofin in 1976. ...


In 1979, Activision was created by disgruntled former Atari programmers. It was the first third-party developer of video games. Many new developers would follow their lead in succeeding years. Also: 1979 by Smashing Pumpkins. ... Activision, Inc. ... A video game developer is a software developer (a business or an individual) that creates video games. ...


The next major entry was Intellivision, introduced by Mattel in 1980. Though chronologically coming long before the "16-bit era", the Intellivision had a unique processor with instructions that were 10 bits wide (allowing more instruction variety and potential speed), and registers 16 bits wide. The system rocketed to popularity alongside the 2600. The Intellivision is a video game console released by Mattel in 1979. ... Mattel Inc. ... Year 1980 (MCMLXXX) was a leap year starting on Tuesday (link displays the 1980 Gregorian calendar). ... In the history of video games, the 16-bit era was the fourth generation of video game consoles. ... In computer science, an instruction typically refers to a single operation of a processor within a computer architecture. ... This article is about the unit of information. ... In computer architecture, a processor register is a small amount of very fast computer memory used to speed the execution of computer programs by providing quick access to commonly used values—typically, the values being in the midst of a calculation at a given point in time. ...


Though not the first system to challenge Atari, it was the first to pose a serious threat to Atari's dominance. A series of Intellivision TV ads featuring George Plimpton mercilessly attacked the Atari VCS's lesser capabilities with side-by-side game comparisons. Nevertheless, Atari held exclusive rights to most of the popular arcade game conversions of the day, and used this key segment to support their older hardware in the market. This game advantage and the difference in price between the machines meant that each year Atari sold more units than Intellivision, lengthening its lead despite inferior graphics. This need for price parity has influenced every console war since. George Ames Plimpton (March 18, 1927 – September 25, 2003) was an American journalist, writer, editor, and actor. ... Centipede by Atari is a typical example of a 1980s era arcade game. ... Console wars is a term used to refer to periods of intense competition for market share between video game console manufacturers. ...


1982 saw the introduction of three new consoles, the Emerson Arcadia 2001, the Vectrex, and the Colecovision. The Vectrex was unique among home systems of the time featuring vector graphics and its own self contained display. The Arcadia and Colecovision were even more powerful machines. Year 1982 (MCMLXXXII) was a common year starting on Friday (link displays the 1982 Gregorian calendar). ... Emerson Arcadia 2001, intended as a portable game console, the Arcadia 2001 was released by Emerson Radio Corp in mid-1982. ... The Vectrex is an 8-bit video game console developed by General Consumer Electric (GCE) and later bought by Milton Bradley Company. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... It has been suggested that Vector monitor be merged into this article or section. ...

Image:A2600 Space Invaders.png
The Atari 2600 port of Space Invaders

The popularity of early consoles was strongly influenced by their ports of arcade games. The 2600 was the first with Space Invaders, and the Colecovision had Donkey Kong. In computer science, porting is the process of adapting software so that an executable program can be created for a computing environment that is different from the one for which it was originally designed (e. ... Space Invaders is an arcade video game designed by Tomohiro Nishikado in 1978. ... In computer science, porting is the process of adapting software so that an executable program can be created for a computing environment that is different from the one for which it was originally designed (e. ... Space Invaders is an arcade video game designed by Tomohiro Nishikado in 1978. ... For the Game Boy game, see Donkey Kong (Game Boy). ...


Early cartridges were 2K ROMs for Atari 2600 and 4K for Intellivision. This upper limit grew steadily from 1978 to 1983, up to 16 KiB for Atari 2600 and Intellivision, 32 KiB for Colecovision. Bank switching, a technique that allowed two different parts of the program to use the same memory addresses was required for the larger cartridges to work. In contrast, some Arcadia family members supported up to 16K without any need for bank switching. In the game consoles, high RAM prices at the time limited the RAM (memory) capacity of the systems to a tiny amount, often less than 1K. Although the cartridge size limit grew steadily, the RAM limit was part of the console itself and all games had to work within its constraints. Bank switching (also known as paging, but only loosely related to the ordinary meaning of paging in computing) was a technique common in 8-bit microcomputer systems, to increase the amount of addressable RAM and ROM without extending the address bus. ... In computer science, a memory address is a unique identifier for a memory location at which a CPU or other device can store a piece of data for later retrieval. ... Look up RAM, Ram, ram in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


By 1982 a glut of consoles, over-hyped game releases, and games from new third-party developers less well-prepared than Activision began to appear - overflowing the shelf capacity of toy stores. In part because of these oversupplies, the video game industry crashed, starting from Christmas of 1982 and stretching through all of 1983. See the main article: Video game crash of 1983. Year 1983 (MCMLXXXIII) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays the 1983 Gregorian calendar). ... E.T. for the Atari 2600 is used as a symbol of the crash and is sometimes considered a co-conspirator in causing the crash, along with the Atari 2600 version of Pac-Man. ...


Early handheld game consoles

The first handheld game console with interchangeable cartridges was the Microvision designed by Smith Engineering, and distributed and sold by Milton-Bradley in 1979. Crippled by a small, fragile LCD display and a very narrow selection of games, it was discontinued two years later. One of the first handheld game consoles, Ball was the first product in the Game & Watch series. ... Microvision The Microvision was a hand-held game console released by Milton Bradley Company in 1979. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Milton Bradley (1836 - 1911) was a game pioneer, credited by many with launching the game industry in North America. ...


The Epoch Game Pocket Computer was released in Japan in 1984. The Game Pocket Computer featured an LCD screen with 75 X 64 resolution, and could produce graphics at about the same level as early Atari 2600 games. The system sold poorly, and as a result only 5 games were made for it. The Epoch Game Pocket Computer was a handheld game console released by Epoch in Japan in 1984. ...


Second generation systems

Consoles

Handheld consoles

Video game franchises established during second generation

Asteroids is a popular vector-based video arcade game released in 1979 by Atari. ... This computer game has been incorrectly referred to or categorized with the PC game misnomer. ... Defender is a horizontally-scrolling shoot em up arcade game created by Williams Electronics in 1980. ... This article is about the video game character. ... Frogger is an arcade game introduced in 1981. ... This article is about the original arcade game and its ports. ... ... Pac-Man is an arcade game developed by Namco and licensed for distribution by Midway Games in 1979. ... This article is about the video game. ... Space Invaders is an arcade video game designed by Tomohiro Nishikado in 1978. ... For the 2001/2002 version of Spy Hunter, see Spy Hunter (2001 game) For the planned 2006 movie of Spy Hunter, see Spy Hunter: Nowhere to Run Spy Hunter is a 1983 arcade game developed and released by Bally Midway. ... Tempest is an arcade game by Atari Inc. ...

References

History of computer and video games Home video-game systems became popular during the 1970s and 80s. ...


See also

  • Home computer
  • History of computing hardware (1960s-present)
  • Retrogaming

Children playing on a Amstrad CPC 464 in the 1980s. ... The history of computing hardware starting in the 1960s begins with the development of the integrated circuit (IC), which formed the basis of the first computer kits and home computers in the 1970s, notable examples being the MITS Altair, Apple II and Commodore PET; and which eventually powered personal and... This does not adequately cite its references or sources. ...

External link

  • The Dot Eaters: Pixel Boxes

 
 

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