1970Although the first computer games appeared in the1950s,they were based around vector displays, not analogvideo. It was not until 1972 that Magnavox released thefirst home video game console which could be connectedto a TV set-the Magnavox Odyssey, invented by Ralph H.Baer. The Odyssey was initially only moderatelysuccessful, and it was not until Ataris arcade game Pongpopularized video games, that the public began to takemore notice of the emerging industry. By the autumn of1975 Magnavox, bowing to the popularity ofPong, cancelled the Odyssey and released a scaled downversion that played only Pong and hockey, the Odyssey100
1980Throughout the early 1980s, other companies releasedvideo game consoles of their own. Many of the videogame systems were technically superior to the Atari2600, and marketed as improvements over the Atari 2600.However, Atari dominated the console market in the early1980 In 1983, the video game business suffered a muchmore severe crash. A flood of consoles, low quality videogames by smaller companies (especially for the2600), industry leader Atari hyping games such as E.T. andan 2600 Pac-man that were poorly received, and agrowing number of home computer users causedconsumers and retailers to lose faith and interest in videogame consoles
1990Sega and Nintendo would be discontinued in 1996.Nintendo released games like Donkey Kong Countrythat could display a wide range of tones (somethingcommon in fifth-generation games) by limiting thenumber of hues onscreen, and games like Star Foxthat used an extra chip inside of the cartridge todisplay polygon graphics.
2000Sonys PlayStation 2 was released in North Americaon October 26, 2000 as the follow-up to its highlysuccessful PlayStation, and was also the first homegame console to be able to play DVDs. As was donewith the original PlayStation in 2000, Sonyredesigned the console in 2004 into a smallerversion.
2001Microsofts Xbox, released on November 15, 2001 in NorthAmerica, was the companys first video game console. Thefirst console to employ a hard drive right out of the box tosave games, and had similar hardware specifications to alow-end desktop computer at the time of its release.Though criticized for its bulky size, which was easily twicethat of the competition, as well as for the awkwardness ofthe original controller that shipped with it, it eventuallygained popularity due in part to the success of the Halofranchise. The Xbox was the first console to include anEthernet port and offered high speed online gamingthrough the Xbox LIVE service.
2005Microsoft kicked off the seventh generation with therelease of the Xbox 360 released on November22, 2005 in the United States. It featured marketleading processing power until the Sony PlayStation3 release, one year later. While the original Xbox 360"Core" did not include an internal HDD, most Xbox360 models since have included at least the option tohave one.
2006Sonys PlayStation 3 was released in Japan on November11, 2006, in North America on November 17, 2006 and in Europeon March 23, 2007. All PlayStation 3s come with a hard drive andare able to play Blu-ray Disc games and Blu-ray Disc movies outof the box.The Nintendo Wii was released in North America on November19, 2006, in Japan on December 2, 2006, in Australia onDecember 7, 2006, and in Europe on December 8, 2006. It isbundled with Wii Sports and Wii Sports Resort in all regionsexcept for Japan. Unlike the other systems of the seventhgeneration, the Wii does not support an internal hard drive, butinstead uses 512 MB of internal Flash memory and includessupport for removable SD card storage.
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