Since the first Pong machine was launched three decades ago, computer games have evolved to become the world’s second-largest entertainment industry, after music. This fascinating program profiles the visionaries, mavericks, and renegades of this addictive multibillion-dollar industry. Interviews with Nolan Bushnell, Ralph Baer, and others illustrate the innovation and creativity that went into the creation of Space Invaders, Pac-Man, Asteroids, Donkey Kong, Super Mario Brothers, and Tetris, among others, and the Game Boy system. A Discovery Channel Production. (51 minutes) © 2003
A Short Timeline of Video Games
Video game history reaches back to games using early computers, and progresses forward into who knows what. A brief video game timeline:
1958 - creation of "Ping pong" tennis on an oscilloscope screen by William Higinbotham at Brookhaven National Laboratory.
1961 - development of Spacewar on a PDP-1 at MIT for the Science Open House.
1972 - the first commercially available home videogame for TV was launched, called Odyssey - complex, with many electronic components, and very expensive.
1972 - Nolan Bushnell forms Atari to develop games, and produces Pong, a simple tennis game for arcades.
1974 - Atari produce a home version of Pong.
1974 - Nintendo, a Japanese toy manufacturer produce an electronic version of the Japanese game "Go".
1978 - Space Invaders is released by Tatio, and two micro computers are released for commercial sale - the Commodore PET and the Atari.
1980 - Pacman is released in Japan, to be played on a micro home computer.
1983 - Nintendo release their first computer, and Mario is released at the same time.
1985 - Nintendo release the NES
1989 - First hand held machine from Nintendo, called "Game Boy". Tetris is produced for the Game Boy in Russia.
1989 - Sega releases the Sega Genesis
1991 - Sonic is produced by Sega in response to Nintendo's Mario.
1994 - Sony releases the Playstation in Japan
1996 - Nintendo releases the Nintendo 64
1999 - Dreamcast - 128 bit processor - is released in the UK.
2001 - Playstation 2 is released.
2001 - In September, Nintendo releases the Gamecube
2001 - In November, Microsoft enters the console market with the Xbox. Halo is released at launch, boosting sales.
The video game timeline begins to reveal how video gaming has become a part of our culture, and video game history will continue to be created over the next years.