Assignment 1 - GameDen Timeline
Arcade games.......................................................................................................................................... 2
Console games ........................................................................................................................................ 6
Mobile Game platforms ........................................................................................................................ 19
PC based games .................................................................................................................................... 26
Interactive TV based games .................................................................................................................. 34
1971 –Cabinet gaming machines
The earliest known game for a cabinet gaming machine, available to play in arcades, was “The Galaxy
Game”. Like most arcade games, it was coin operated, it was created in Stanford University.
When coin operated game cabinets first came available they started a long line of arcade games in
which you had to insert a coin into the machine to play, they exist even today.
1972 – The rise of Atari!
Atari made their claim to fame by creating the coin operated version of the game “Pong”, the first
ever ping pong game to become successful. This game was widely played worldwide and extremely
popular in arcades.
Many companies were inspired my Pong and the new competition stopped Atari from rising the top
of the gaming industry.
1980 –Space invaders!
Space invaders was created in 1980 by Tomohiro Nishikado, it was a slow to fast paced game that
speeds up as you shoot attacking aliens throughout different levels of the game. This game is
possibly one of the most famous and is largely responsible for such a rise in the video games
industry, it was sold worldwide and on a massive scale, it was very high in demand.
1980and onwards– Arcade VS home consoles!
Throughout the eighties and nighties there was constant battle among arcade gaming and home
console gaming, games like mortal combat were released in arcades and for home consoles, there
was an arguments between which was better to play games like mortal combat on and whether it
was better to play alone or with someone else.
The decline of arcade games
As home consoles became a lot more popular, arcade games declined in popularity. Home consoles
were more convenient and didn’t involve inserting a coin to play. New releases started to be
released solely on home consoles so the arcade industry began to lose a lot of money.
Arcade games today
Arcade games are still widely available in arcades and available for purchase though they are
nowhere near as popular as they used to be, arcades tend to be abandoned as they have been
replaced by home consoles such as the Xbox and PlayStation.
Limitations of arcade games:
Gaming cabinets take up a lot of space so only really appropriate for large areas or arcades.
Tend to run games with graphics that are far less superior to home consoles.
Cost to launch games in an arcade is fairly expensive.
No time given to practice game before you lose money to it
The eight generations
1972 -Magnavox Odyssey - World's first home video game console. It was first demonstrated on May
24, 1972 and released in August of that year
1975 -The fame of pong overruled the Magnavox Odyssey and force them to bring out the Odyssey
100 which played only Pong and hockey in 1975.
Shortly after, the Odyssey 200 was released. Over the next few years, different companies began to
bring out similar consoles with dedicated games, few companies stood out other than Atari,
Magnavox, and newcomer Coleco.
1976 -Fairchild released the Fairchild Video Entertainment System in 1976, it contained a
programmable microprocessor so its cartridges only needed a single ROM chip to store
microprocessor instructions,RCA and Atari soon released their own cartridge-based consoles.
1977 –The video game crash! – Due to so many competitors in the game industry and companies
cloning each other system, the game industry crashed and companies’ profits hit a brick wall and
few companies survived besides Atari and Magnavox. Although the games industry in America hit an
obstacle in Europe it had a different impact, the reduction in demand for the chips that powered
first generation consoles, caused the price of the chips to drop radically. European manufacturers
like Hanimex, Secam, and Soundic released cartridge based game consoles that contained no CPU.
1980 –Revival of the home game consoles!
Atari revived the home game console market by releasing a home version of Space Invaders, people
would by Atari systems specifically to play Space Invaders despite the console featuring other
games. This also started the trend of companies trying to buy the rights of arcade games.
1983 – Crash number two!
Due to the amount of poor games consoles and poor game releases, consumers lost faith in the
industry and began to abandon their previously beloved games, many companies filed for
bankruptcy and few continued.
Also in 1983 - Nintendo released the Family Computer in Japan! Nintendo tried to release there
Famicom in the US but game consoles were considered a fad that had ended. They released the
system as the NES which became the highest selling console in the history of North America!
Sega's Master System was intended to compete with the NES, but never gained any significant
market share in the US or Japan and was barely profitable. It fared notably better in In Europe and
South America, the Master System competed with the NES and saw new game releases even after
Sega's next-generation Mega Drive was released!
Jack Tramiel bought Atari and attempted to bring it back to its former glory, he released a smaller
cheaper version of their popular Atari 2600 and they also released the Atari.Finally Atari repackaged
its 8-bit XE home computer as the XEGS game console. The new consoles helped Atari claw its way
out of debt, but failed to gain much market share from Nintendo. Atari's lack of funds meant that its
consoles saw fewer releases.
NEC brought the first fourth generation console to market with their Turbografx16, The Turbografx
used the unusual HuCard format to store games. The small size of these cards allowed NEC to
rerelease the console as a handheld game console.Sega scaled down and adapted their Sega System
16 into the Mega Drive and released it with a near arcade-perfect port of Altered Beast.
The fourth generation graphics chips allowed consoles to reproduce art styles that were becoming
popular in arcades and on home computers. These games often featured lavish background scenery,
huge characters and broader colour palettes.
1990 - Nintendo finally brought their Super Famicom to market and brought it to the US as the Super
Nintendo Entertainment System a year later.
By 1992 the first fully licensed NFL Football game was released: NFL Sports Talk Football '93, which
was available only on the Genesis.
One trait that stood out with 4th gen gaming consoles was that they usually featured built in games
often with large libraries. Sega and Nintendo became very successful as their consoles featured
massive libraries of games.
1991 - The genesis and SNES were released with the compatibility to run faster and play longer
games, games series’ like Castlevania were released.
Part way through the 4th generation, manufacturers switched from cartridges to optical discs, they
were cheaper to manufacture and had a large capacity to hold games. Sega released the second CD
based gaming system with the Mega-CD in Japan on December 12, 1991. Commodore followed
shortly after with the Amiga CD32 in September 1993.
Sony worked with Nintendo for a short while, but they fell apart after Nintendo realised how much
control Sony wanted, Sony used what they learnt in the short period to start on the creation of the
PlayStation, which brings us to the 5th generation of video games.
1994 -The first 5th gen consoles were the 3DO and the Atari Jaguar, both consoles were a lot more
powerful than the fourth generation consoles, but neither became a serious threat to Sega or
Nintendo. They were too expensive and not as widely known.
To compete with the new consoles, Sega and Nintendo released games like Donkey Kong Country,
Vectorman and Virtua Racing.Sega also released the Sega 32x, an add-on for the Genesis, while their
Sega Saturn was in development, though neither were as popular as expected and consumers lost
some admiration for Sega. Sega’s profits fell and they failed to keep with the transition from 2D to
3D games. During this period Sega was partnered with Sony, but Sony left to work on their own
project, the PlayStation.
The PlayStation had a massive impact on the game industry, it was the first fully 3D consoles, it ran
purely 3D games and was revolutionary and Sony sold over 100 million units. The PlayStation set the
standards for all future gaming, it used optical discs so the games were not short.
This began the 5th generation and encouraged other companies to bring out their own 5th gen
consoles. Nintendo was the last to release their own 5th gen console, it was the last console to use
cartridges, as the PlayStation was far superior many people turned to Sony rather than Nintendo.
As the 6th generation occurred, the major players, Sony, Sega, Microsoft and Nintendo brought
around some of the most well know console releases, the main ones being:
Japan North America Europe
1998 - Sega Dreamcast – It was the company's last video game console, and was the first of the
generation's consoles to be discontinued.The Dreamcast was discontinued in March 2001, and Sega
transitioned to software developing/publishing only.
2000 - Sony PlayStation 2– The PlayStation 2 was the follow up to the famous PlayStation, it‘s
success was guaranteed and it was extremely popular. It was the first ever home console that could
play DVD’s, a smaller version of the console was also released, over 150 million units were sold by
2011, making it the bestselling home console to date!
2001 - Nintendo GameCube–This was Nintendo’s fourth home console, it was also the first of their
consoles to use optical disks rather than cartridges though they were not standard discs they still
served the same purpose. The GameCube featured the ability to play game cartridges used in
Nintendo’s handheld game consoles like the GameBoy Advance as well as the optical discs.
2001 - Microsoft Xbox–This was Microsoft’s first ever console, it was the first console to feature a
build in hard drive that games could be saved onto. It was also the first console to feature an
Ethernet port allowing it to be connected to the internet. Xbox Live was a main feature of the Xbox
allowing players to compete online and interact with each other from different locations in the
world. The Xbox’s popularity was vast, especially in the US and with the release of the Halo
The 7th generation bought 3 more iconic game consoles, the Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 3 and the
Xbox 360. Blu-ray was also introduced to the PlayStation 3, motion sensors were also introduced to
consoles like Kinect for Xbox 360 and the Wii’s sensor. Also, cameras were introduced to the latest
handhelds such as the Nintendo DS.
2005 – Xbox 360 – The 7th generation began with the release of the Xbox 360, it was first release in
the US on the 22nd of November 2005.At the time of its release it had the highest processing speed
any home console had previously possessed, there were several different models of the Xbox 360
including the core, the standard Xbox 360 with small disk space, the Elite which feature a large hard
drive capable of storing more games and saves and the Xbox 360 slim which came with either a 4GB
memory unit or the 250GB version with the internal hard drive, there is odd exceptions with special
edition Xbox 360 slims with hard drive capacities of 360GB. All versions are capable of playing DVD’s,
CD’s and feature Xbox live.
2006 – PlayStation 3–The PlayStation 3 was first released in Japan on the 11th of November 2006, as
with the Xbox 360 the PlayStation 3 comes in
different version with different hard drive
capacities, though unlike the Xbox 360, PlayStation
3’s have built in Blu-ray players, the only known 7th gen console to have a built in Blu-ray player. The
PlayStation 3, unlike the Xbox 360, offers a free online community rather than Xbox live, where you
don’t have to pay to play with other players online.
2006 – Nintendo Wii –The Nintendo Wii was first released in North America on the 19th of
November 2006, it was bundle with Wii Sports in all regions excluding Japan, the Wii is the only 7th
gen console not to include an internal hard drive. The Wii was also the only 7th gen console to be
released without featuring high definition display. The Wii comes in different models and colours.
8th gen – The 8th gen consoles brought on a new line of super consoles, with the best graphics on a
home console seen to date, advanced processing speed and advanced features.
15/11/13– Release of PS4– The PS4 was released on the 15th of November 2013, it is in competition
with the Xbox one to an extreme degree, theirs is constant arguments among the gaming
community over which is best and no one can be completely sure. The PS4 has high end processing
speed and still has free internet access unlike the Xbox One community.
18/11/13 – Release of Wii U – The Wii U is another 8th generation console in direct competition with
the Xbox one and PlayStation 4, it is the first Nintendo console to support high definition, it features
advanced specifications allowing it to be of a much higher standard than its predecessors. The Wii U
features a second touch screen that you use as well a viewing the game on the main screen, no
other home console has done this before giving it an edge. The Wii U is more popular among
families rather than hard-core gamers which are more attracted to the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox
22/11/13 – Release of Xbox One –The Xbox one is an advanced console with high end
specifications, fast processing speed and high definition graphics, it still use Xbox live and it is still not
free to access all of the features of Xbox live, though some might argue that the Xbox live community
is one of high standards and is worth the cost. The Xbox one is bought along with Kinect, which is a
lot more advanced than the Kinect of the previous Xbox 360 release and allows the user to control the
console with hand gestures and with their voice.
Limitations of home game consoles:
Not portable – Home consoles or not portable, which means you can only play them in one
Electricity reliant – If you have a console or someone in your house owns one, they can leave
quite an imprint on your electric bill.
Bulky – Can often take up a lot of space.
Messy, usually involve a lot of wires that can look quite messy.
Handheld games consoles
Auto Race was the first all-digital handheld, but Milton Bradley’s Microsovision was the first true
handheld console. The system featured such titles as Star Trek: Phaser Strike, Connect Four, Block
Buster, and Super Block Buster.
1980: Nintendo Game and Watch
Nintendo made its first handheld gaming console with this series. The name “Game and Watch”
comes from the fact that all of the titles featured a built-in alarm clock. The company produced 59 of
these single game LCD handhelds, including versions of such familiar titles as Donkey Kong, Super
Mario Bros., Frogger, and The Legend of Zelda.
1989: Game Boy
The Game Boy and its successor the Game Boy color sold 118 million units during their combined life
span. The words “Game Boy” became synonymous for portable gaming systems, In 2009.
Released at the same year as the Game Boy, Atari’s second entry into the portable gaming console
was the first handheld system with a coloured screen.
NEC’s portable was a rather impressive technical feat and was able to play all of the TurboGrafx-16′ s
16-bit games though the system never really gained the popularity the creators might have thought
1991: Game Gear
Sega released this colour screen portable in 1991, utilizing much of the hardware from its Master
System. Much of Game Gear’s library was comprised of ported Master System titles, as well. At
$150, the system split the price difference between Nintendo and the competition.
This system a bit too far ahead of its time, Game.com featured a stylus controlled touchscreen and
could be connected to a modem for saving scores, checking e-mail, and Web surfing , Game.com
sold than 300,000 units.
1998: Game Boy Color
Nintendo released itscolor portable gaming console in 1998. The system was the first backward
compatible portable gaming console.
Nokia entered portable gaming market with this combination phone/console; it is thought to have
sold three million units in its three years of existence.
2004: Nintendo DS
The DS feature two screens, a microphone, and Wi-Fi, like other Nintendo systems, the console
offered up a great gaming library, including backward compatibility with previous portable Nintendo
consoles, going on to become the second best-selling gaming console.
2005: PlayStation Portable
The PSP has a big screen, all manner of multimedia offerings, and can connect with the PlayStation 2
and 3. The PSP never quite reached DS number, but it isa proven success for Sony.
Apple’s first handset isn’t a portable gaming console, but the iPhone has managed to make a huge
impact on the handheld gaming market, thanks to the success of games in the App Store featuring
games such as Angry Birds.
Limitations of handheld game consoles:
Small size = low specs – Due to the size of hand held consoles, there are limitations of what
hardware can be used, the hardware in leading home consoles is far too big for a hand held
console graphics are not as high of a standard.
Risk of losing – Because handheld consoles are usually quite small, they can easily be lost or
Breakable – If you dropped your handheld console, you could easily crack the screen leading
to complications with gameplay.
PC based games
PC Gaming Home computers were microcomputers entering the market in 1977, and becoming
common during the 1980s In the late 1970s and early 1980s, from about 1977 to 1983, it was widely
predicted that computers would soon revolutionize many aspects of home.
The most popular home computers in the USA up to 1985 were:
The TRS-80 (1977)
Various models of the Apple II family (first introduced in 1977)
On October 1977 The Commodore PET (Personal Electronic Transactor) was a home/personal
computer produced by Commodore International. A top-seller in the Canadian and United States
Tennis for Two Tennis for Two was an electronic game developed in 1958 on a Donner Model 30
analogue computer, which simulates a game of tennis or ping pong on an oscilloscope.
For visitors at the Brookhaven National Laboratory, it is important in the history of video games as
one of the first electronic games to use a graphical display.
Spacewaris one of the earliest known digital computer games. It is a two player game, with each
player taking control of a spaceship and attempting to destroy the other.
Maze War originated or disseminated a number of concepts used in thousands of games to follow,
and is considered one of the earliest examples of a first-person shooter.
Dungeons of Daggorath is one of the first real-time, first-person perspective role-playing video
games. It was produced by DynaMicro in 1982.
Maniac Mansion is a 1987 graphic adventure game developed and published by Lucasfilm Games.
Elite was one of the first home computer games to use wire-frame 3D graphics with hidden line
Doom is a science-fiction/horror first-person shooter developed and published by id for the PC on
December 10, 1993
World of Warcraft is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game created by Blizzard
Entertainment. It is the fourth released game set in the fantasy Warcraft universe, which was first
introduced by Warcraft: Orcs& Humans in 1994.
Social Gaming With current technology we can stream movies and pictures from the internet we can
now play games with people around the world due to companies like Steam.
Over the years, since the use of a computer for gaming, there have been many technological
advancements and the standard of graphics has vastly improved in home computers and many titles
are available to play on home PC’s today.
Limitations to PC gaming:
Home PC’s are definitely not portable, as they are usually fairly big and use a lot of wires.
Internet connection – Most PC’s have a wireless function, though peoples internet is rarely
good to use wireless internet especially when other people in their household are also using
the internet, I live in a house with 4 laptops and several consoles that are constantly on, so it
is a battle to get a good connection! The solution for an uninterrupted but not necessarily
strong connection is an Ethernet cable, though they can look quite messy, especially when
they have to travel a floor or two of your house!
Electricity bill – PC’s use up a lot of electricity, particularly gaming PC’s, as the user tends to
have at on pretty much all the time so bills sky rocket!
Interactive TV based games
Interactive TV and Video Games:
Winky dink and you was the pioneer in interactive programming. The core of the program was
children sent away for a kit. The kit had a plastic screen that stuck to the TV tube with static
electricity. Crayons were used to draw on the screen. When a character needed special help,
children would be asked to draw on the screen, give assistance and free the character from trouble.
If a character needed to cross a river with no bridge, the viewer would draw a line so a crossing
could be made and escape trouble
This genre came about with the invention of laserdiscs and laserdisc players. The fact that a laserdisc
player could jump to and play any chapter meant that games with branching plotlines could be
constructed from out-of-order video chapters.
The first commercial interactive movie game to be released was the 1983 arcade game Dragon's Lair,
featuring a full-motion cartoon by ex-Disney animator Don Bluth, where the player controlled some
of the moves of the main character. When in danger, the player was to decide which move or action,
or combination to choose. If they chose the wrong move, they would see a 'lose a life' scene.
The hardware for these games consisted of a laserdisc player linked to a processor configured with
interface software that assigned a jump-to-chapter function to each of the controller buttons at
each decision point.Much as a Choose Your Own Adventure book might say "If you turn left, go to
page 7. If you turn right, go to page 8", the controller for Dragon's Lair or Cliff Hanger would be
programmed to go to the next chapter in the successful story if a player pressed the right button.
More recently in the interactive gaming world, TV gaming has become popular once again with TV
gaming companies like Visiware, who are an interactive studio based in Paris, New-York and Denver,
whose 90 experts provide gaming and technology solutions.
Visiware has established itself as the authority in creating rich TV user experiences for gaming and
Playin' TV is owned by Visiware America and is the most broadcasted interactive game channel in
Playin' TV is a game channel for the entirety family to enjoy whatever your age. It is unique in the
worldwide audio-visual landscape and stands out as the biggest success story in the interactive
With a catalogue of more than 200 games, Playin'TV is aimed at all audiences and proposes all kinds
Board and card games
Action and adventure
Strategy and puzzle games
Interactive TV games are played on the users TV usually through a subscription box. Games on Sky
can be played using the Sky TV remote and use an online element where you can upload your high
score onto the Sky leader boards for other people compete against. A lot of television programmes
these days involve the viewing public voting to save or dismiss a celebrity from a particular
competition and one of the options on these is usually to use the red button to cast your vote.
A DVD game (Sometimes called DVDi, "DVD interactive") is a standalone game that can be played on
a set-top DVD player. The game takes advantage of technology built into the DVD format to create
an interactive gaming environment compatible with most DVD players without requiring additional
hardware, DVD TV games were first developed in the late 1990s.
Limitations of TV bases games:
Cost of subscriptions
Nowhere near as good as any modern gaming consoles