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A Quick History of Video Games

When computer games appeared for the first time in the 1950s, games were using a technology called vector display. Video Game Consoles as we know them first appeared in the mid seventies. There were two main competitors at the time, Magnavox and Atari.

These companies created all time classics like PONG, Odyssey and Smash. These games became instant hits and contributed to the further development of the video game industry. Video game development was not once smooth ride though, the path was ridden with difficulties and setbacks, which on many occasions almost put an end to the video game industry.

It took a lot of efforts and a little bit of luck for us to be able to enjoy the wonderful video systems of today. One notable moment when the whole industry almost collapsed was during the crisis of 1977. The industry was so in the dumps that the video makers that weren't yet out of business were seriously thinking about calling it a day. Thankfully for us, Atari came up with Space Invaders, a game that became an interplanetary hit and changed the face of the video game industry.

People were buying atari systems just to be able to play Space Invaders and the video game industry was back in business again. A few years later history repeated itself when video game makers found themselves hitting another rough patch. This time Nintendo saved the day with its 'Super Mario Brothers', revived the industry and set a new standard for graphics, playability and sounds quality.

Fast forward to today. Three major players dominate the market, namely Microsoft's Xbox 360, Sony's PlayStation 3 and Nintendo's Wii. These are the 7th generation of video game systems.

Each generation saw a leap forward in terms of graphics, sounds and playability. Video game technology evolves at a fast pace and gaming systems become obsolete every couple of years. Nintendo seems to have shifted from the technical war fought by Sony and Microsoft to offer a system that is based more on interactivity, fun and playability rather than pure computing power.

The way today's games are played have changed as well with the advent of online playing. Even if there's nobody to play with you in your vicinity you can still battle it out with another player on the other corner of the world.

Irvine is the webmaster for the Atari 2600 Store, a great resource for all things atari 2600 like atari 2600 games and atari 2600 system.


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