What are video games and consoles?
It is considered a video game console to any computer that has a system capable of reading well, be it cartridges, DVDs, CDs, memory cards and any storage device that has an electronic game inside.
There are few industries on the planet that have had such a great and remarkable growth in such a short time as it has been that of video game entertainment, that is why we will tell you this story from its inception below.
What was the first video game console that existed?
In the 1940s, the first computer games began to appear which worked with vector screens, some hardwares very different from the current ones like Optical Discs, magnetic discs, among others. In the 1970s the first arcade machines, being very popular in the 80s, where there were places where people went to play video games, they were called in Spain, recreational.
From there, various engineers and technicians were already envisioning the possibility of using televisions or other similar equipment for something more than just receiving information or viewing programs, and even renowned mathematicians such as the well-known British Alan Turing, by the 1950s it had already developed algorithms to software like chess in the teams of the time.
But it wasn’t until 1968 that the company’s chief designer Sanders Assosiates, Ralph Baer, launched an idea that he himself had buried since the years he worked as a television technician. This consisted of creating a device that was able to connect with the television and through a remote with just one “Action” button, to be able to interact and play various games.
After in 1971 Ralph Baer managed to make a deal with the company Magnavox after being rejected by companies like General Electric, RCA and Zenith Sylvania in the past. This deal led to the start of mass production of the console and also its distribution, thus the Magnavox Odissey was born in 1972.
Odyssey’s Magnavox, first video game console
Once it was launched on the market at the end of its first year in the campaign that ended in December, 130 thousand copies were sold, which represented a resounding success, being the Philips the one that was in charge of its massive distribution in the United States.
The Magnavox Odyssey or the “Brown Box” as it was called by many, was the first video game console of history and in it it was possible to play the first 28 video games. Despite everything, it had certain shortcomings that led the public to quickly replace it with the Atari, which later dominated the nascent video game market.
Among its deficiencies we can highlight that it did not have any memory processor, so it was not possible to save progress, because of this users had to write down or memorize scores. This console completely lacked sound, which with the arrival of Atari it was solved.
The video game industry can surprise us a lot if we think about how fast it was growing and improving, that’s why then we will see how it was developed.
How many and what are the generations of video games?
In order to understand and visualize the generations that have been established in video games, it is necessary to take this issue hand in hand with the generation of game consoles, since in each one of them changes were emerging in said consoles, they establish the guidelines for video games capable of running on each one.
The first generation of video games is accompanied by the first consoles, which we already mentioned in the previous point and this starts with Magnavox Odyssey in 1972, with which it was possible to play 28 games almost all related to sports. But among them the most prominent was the “Table Tennis” which basically consisted of table tennis better known as “Ping Pong”.
Seeing this success the company Atari released their own console with only one default game called “Pong”, and in 1975 the Atari Pong was commercialized with a game very similar to the Tennis Table of the Magnavox Odyssey.
The second generation of video games was led by consoles such as the Atari 2600 released in 1977, and the Sega SG 1000 released in 1981. Video games capable of running on these consoles had notable advances, thanks to the incorporation of ROM memories that increased their complexity and graphic power. In addition, the consoles included the incorporation of joysticks and secondary controls, an introduction to the input peripherals.
During the third generation it was when the most emblematic and immersive games of all time began to emerge, which have transcended to this day as Zelda, Super Mario Bros, Donkey Kong, Sony and Alex Kidd, games that already had a good plot and good stories.
But this would not have been possible without the arrival of consoles like NES better known as Nintendo Entertainment Systems, or Sega Master Systems. With its arrival, the 8-bit era also appeared, which is nothing more than a greater power in graphics.
During the fourth generation The incessant battle to dominate the market of the two monsters of video games of the Sega and Nintendo era, locating us between 1988 and 1992. These two companies launched a new version of their previous consoles on the market, being the most advanced Sega Mega Drive and then followed by Super Nintendo Entertainment System.
With them they doubled the graphic power of all video games to 16 Bits and CDS began to be used more than the old cartridges. The years went by and many companies had their sights set on the video game industry, so many began to join the party.
But without any doubt the one that took the leadership from the fifth generation was Sony with the launch of Play Station, With this console, the games began to work with 64 Bits for the first time, which indicates excellent graphics, a 93.75 MHz processor and a 4 megabyte memory.
In addition to this, they improved the sound quality noticeably by implementing the Dolby Surround or Surround Sound and controller vibration was also introduced for the first time to enhance playability.
Already in the sixth generation companies began to join with great force in other areas such as Microsoft launching the first Xbox, the launch of Play Station 2 also took place, thus leaving the Sega and Nintendo consoles displaced again. In this generation, online gameplay is incorporated, since at that time the Internet, in turn there was an improvement with the controls and graphics with 128 bits.
From 2005 into the seventh generation more radical changes had already begun to be seen with the arrival of the GPU and multi-core CPU, HD playability, and more. Videogames were becoming more and more like real life, the controls became wireless and there were new ways of playing through body movements. This time the lead seemed to be taken by the Xbox 360, followed by the Play Station 3 and then by the Wii with the new body movement gameplay.
Nowadays it can be said that we are in the eighth generation consoles and some very powerful are in force such as the Xbox One, Play Station 4 and Wii U, and without a doubt we are witnessing the quality of the games that can be found today and with the arrival and implementation of the artificial intelligence who knows what the future will bring us in the gaming industry.
How were video games created?
With the arrival of supercomputers in 1940 in a company of Dumont televisions, the idea of using these televisions to play games was born and not just to watch programs, two of his workers developed and patented a circuit of cathode ray tubes, which allowed you to simply move a cursor on the screen and direct it in order to fire missiles while playing, but this idea was never commercialized.
The real idea and the one that was carried out was when the engineer Ralph Baer, who worked as a television technician, he was tasked with creating a receiver.
In the tests of creation of this they used patterns of colors and lines that could be directed by the screen as if it were a cursor, from this in 1968 Ralph began to work on the console that we already knew, this led to the birth and growth of the powerful entertainment industry, many accuse it of creating cyber addiction, but what if it is clear that it has come to stay and grow every day.
Who were the creators of the consoles?
Video game consoles, as we could see, were a concept conceived almost in the middle of the last century but that could not be developed until almost the end of the century. The character who was considered the father of video games is Ralph H. Baer, the creator of the first video game console, but the truth is that he got his inspiration from previous failed models, and we say failed because the programs created earlier turned out to be very powerful for the computers of that time.
Characters like Alan Turing, one of the forerunners of computers, years before he had developed an algorithm for a chess game that could never be played at that time. Also in 1940 during an exhibition in New York the Physicist Edward Uhler Condon, presented an algorithm that was actually a mathematical game against the computer.
Then companies like Magnavox, Atari, Sega, Sony and Microsoft took it upon themselves to gradually improve the main idea and each time they were updating the entertainment industry until we reached what we know today.
Latest news and articles on video games and consoles
All the most up-to-date information about consoles and video games, from the most retro game centers to the latest news for the most modern gamers. Keep up to date with the latest guides, tutorials and news about game consoles and games for gamers.