The console market has steadily developed from simple one-off games (Pong) to fully featured general purpose games systems.
Older game consoles and their software now live on in emulators as they are no longer supported by their manufacturers. However, console makers try to prevent their games from being played on emulators using copyright-like exclusive rights in mask works and a protection of encrypted media created by the United States' Digital Millennium Copyright Act and foreign counterparts.
Note that the "bitness" of past generations (8-bit, 16-bit, 32-bit, 64-bit and 128-bit) were in large part created by the console makers' marketing departments and may have little to do with the actual architecture of the systems.
Note that the advertised number of bits of post-32-bit consoles were in large part created by the console makers' marketing departments and may have little to do with the actual architecture or processing power of the systems.
Videogameconsoles have created a whole self-supporting market for thousands of different videogame accessory manufacturers who would otherwise not be able to produce their own videogameconsoles.
VideoGame and Console Timeline, a Brief VideoGame and Console Timeline
The popularity of computer and videogames, as a whole, has been increasing steadily ever since the 1984-1987 drop-off caused by the videogame crash of 1983, and the popularity appears to be continuing to increase.
Computer and videogames have been the subject of frequent controversy and censorship, due to the depiction of graphic violence, sexual themes, advertising, consumption of illegal drugs, consumption of alcohol or tobacco, propaganda, or profanity in some games.
Videogames are made by developers, who used to do this as individuals or small teams in the 80's.
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