Video Game Systems – Then and Now

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Andrew clinton asked:

Atari, SEGA, Nintendo, and Sony Play Station, are just a few of the many video game systems that have been popular over the last few decades. Baby boomers have watched the progression of video game systems while raising their children, and now while watching their grandchildren.

The first home video game system was available in 1972. It was called Odyssey by Magnavox. The main games featured were a tennis game and a light gun game. There were no new systems available until 1976, when Fairchild Camera and Instruments released their system simply called the Video Entertainment System. This was the first system to have cartridges; the player swapped out a cartridge to change the game. In 1977, Atari starting placing coin operated arcade games inside restaurants. These arcade games were such a success, that Atari decided to create their own home video game system, which used cartridges, called the Atari 2600. Some of the games available for the Atari 2600, were Space Invaders, Battlezone, and the still popular Pac-Man. As the world enters the 1980s, a company called Nintendo created a game called Donkey Kong, which was also played on the Atari 2600. The game was based on a plumber who was trying to save his girlfriend from a crazed ape, named Donkey Kong. The plumber was later named, Mario.

Things remained fairly quiet in the video game industry until around 1985, when Nintendo created the NES (Nintendo Entertainment System). Around the same time, SEGA created a SEGA Master System to compete with the NES.

In 1989, video games became portable. Nintendo Gameboy and SEGA Genesis. These were basically small hand held versions of these companies larger systems. They also had smaller cartridges that were swapped out to change games.

In 1995, Sony joined with Phillips, to create the first home video game system that would use CDs instead of cartridges for their games. This was when the Sony Play Station was first introduced. Nintendo and SEGA also created similar systems, but in the end Sony Play station came out on top.

More than a decade later, the big hits now are, Nintendo WII (pronounced WE) , Sony XBOX 360, and for handheld systems, probably the Sony PSP. The Nintendo WII, allows a player to use a wireless hand held remote and their own body movement to control how their on-screen character moves. This is great for adding activity and exercise to video game playing as previously, all that was required was sitting in front of the television, as the game controls were directly connected to the systems with wires or cables. Additionally, Sony XBOX 360 has a Live feature, which allows players to watch other people around the world play simultaneously. And, the Sony PSP, the portable, hand-held version of the Sony Play Station, is said to have the best graphics and most realistic feel and look to the game characters.

Baby and Echo Boomers have witnessed a lot of growth in the video game industry; a growth that is certain to continue to evolve.

Do you have a favorite system that you played as a child, or watched your child play? Do you feel that the video game industry has finally went as far as they can with these systems, or will new technology allow for bigger and better features and newer systems in the future? Why not come on over to and let us know your thoughts on this very popular form of home entertainment. is a social networking site connecting the Baby Boomer generation. Share your thoughts, rediscover old friends, or expand your mind with brain games provided by clinical psychologist Dr. Karen Turner. Join today to discover the many ways we are helping Boomers connect for fun and profit.


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