Mikebloke Posted September 1, 2022 Share Posted September 1, 2022 I wish I could do something more dramatic for this historical event, but this September marks the 50 year anniversary of the home video game console. Like a lot of these things, there is no real set date, in May of 1972 there were a few demo units used to promote the upcoming Magnavox Odyssey and it appears the serial first production run began in August, with a September release. Its very likely that across the US release dates were local and when supply arrived at stores. Magnavox originally pushed exclusive access in their own stores with a number of complications as inidividual stores tried to claim it specifically required magnavox televisions to work, but the system still made its mark. With an extra set of games and the shooting gallery sold separately the same year, and a second extra bundle of games sold in 1973, it pails in comparison to later system offerings, but outside of the dedicated pong systems that followed its production continued into 1975 pretty much exclusively until 'console in a cartridge' systems like the Coleco Telstar arcade, pc-50x line and the Philips telepiel line arrived to little fanfare. 1976 Fairchild beat RCA to the punch of the first ROM based cartridge console system. RCA was one of the companies originally approached for the Odyssey but rejected it and went ahead with their own system. Fairchild itself had pinched a number of experts in the field and some later moved on to found or join companies like Intel. In 1977 the atari 2600 was of course launched and undeniably changed the face of gaming, now considered on par if not surpassing other media industries. Nolan of course was sued by Baer for Pongs resemblance of the odyssey, starting a number of trials that shaped the landscape of copyright of the industry. Magnavox was just the company with the cash to get the odyssey produced though, and it was Baer that was the mastermind of the home video game console on consumer televisions. Magnavox would be bought out by Philips around the time of the development of the Magnavox Odyssey 2 / Philips Videopac G7000 which had superficial similarities in style to the original console. A failed deal between Nintendo and Philips led to the CD-interactive with some Nintendo licenced characters. Common for the time, electronic companies tried to bridge the gap between a gaming device and other functions but like Panasonic and Commodore the CD-i failed to make a huge dent into the market. Sony broke that mold when it broke into the market and famously unseated long time Nintendo rival Sega. The PlayStation 2 stepped up once again with its inclusion of a DVD player that played commercial film releases, and while many consoles before it had CD support, its simplicity and the emerging market for DVD videos replacing VHS finally broke video game consoles into the true complete home entertainment market. Sony tried to do the same next generation with its proprietary blu ray medium at great financial cost, but the generation alongside the Xbox 360 made Internet connection and immersion with live and recorded TV programming standard which continues to this day with Sony and Microsofts ongoing rivalry. But while those two fight amongst themselves, Nintendo finally succeeded in merging handheld devices and home gaming with the release of the Nintendo Switch, gaming has been handheld nearly as long as the Odyssey, but the merging of both systems at an acceptable consumer level had finally arrived. Its difficult to tell what the next 50 years hold for home gaming, but often failed concepts such as Internet connection and downloads, handheld gaming, merging of functions with other consumer products and wireless controllers found their way into the mainstream gradually. Virtual reality has been tipped as the next best thing for decades and has been a viable idea since at least the Atari Jaguar for those lucky enough to have tried it, but has still yet to fully break out and is often a niche interest. The television still has its place... But for how long! 3 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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