History of Video Games 2: Attack of the Clones
The first generation of videogame consoles were all related by the following characteristics:
US$99 (equivalent to $560.05 in 2015)
The Magnavox Odyssey never really caught on with the consumers, possibly because of its limited functionality.
In 1974 Magnavox was bought by a company called Phillips, and they were put to work making newer and newer versions of their console to compete with the competitors that began popping up in 1975.
On September 12, 1975, Epoch released Japan's first console, the TV Tennis Electrotennis, a home version of Pong, several months before the release of Home Pong in North America. A unique feature of the TV Tennis Electrotennis is that the console is wireless, functioning through a UHF antenna.
By the middle of the 1970s the ball-and-paddle craze in the arcade had ignited public interest in video games and continuing advances in integrated circuits had resulted in large-scale integration (LSI) microchips cheap enough to be incorporated into a consumer product. The first Arcades were being built, and multiple Pong Clones - Starting with the original smash-hit HOME PONG in Christmas of 1975. were being produced for arcades and at-home consoles.
Binatone TV Master
Uk copy of Magnavox odyssey, also came with paddles and a light gun.
Telstar Colortron produced by Coleco
USA Pong clone that ran a series of consoles from 1976 to 1978
Nintendo's Color TV Game
Japan's most successful console of the first generation was Nintendo's Color TV Game, released in 1977. The Color TV Game sold 3 million units, the highest for a first generation console.
While all of these at-home consoles and pong clones were coming out, another surge of electronic gaming was happening in the form of Arcades.
Now, arcades already existed with physical games like pinball, but starting with Atari’s pong in 1972, video games were coming on in with companies Ramtek, Allied Leisure, Williams, Chicago Coin, and Midway producing coin-operated arcade game machines.
Not long into the market, these companies began to produce more than just pong copycats, but racing games, dueling games, and target shooting games.
Gran Trak 10 (1974)
Gun Fight, (1975)
Sea Wolf (1976)
In the 1970s computers at universities were beginning to outgrow the game “spacewar” and various creative programmers were creating a whole new type of game.
As opposed to the real-time graphics of the at-home consoles, most mainframe and microprocessor computers lacked the display capabilities of those games, and instead opted for text-based input games. These games would often be printed in books as code to input.
Notable games include:
In the late 1970’s, more computers were available that could handle graphics that weren’t text-only, allowing for a first person view of primative vector graphics mixed with text-input. Notable Games like these in the first generation include: Moria (1975), Oubliette (1977), and Avatar (1979)
In 1977 video games both at home and abroad began to lag in sales, possibly due to a crowded market and possibly due to electronically enhanced pinball games, but that would all change with Midway’s Space invaders in 1979.