History of video games: the unstoppable rise of the entertainment industry

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Redacción Tokio | 13/02/2023

If you are a fan of video games, you surely already know practically everything about this field, but today we will delve into the history of video games. From its birth to the development of video games as we know it today, we’re taking a tour of the unstoppable rise of the entertainment industry. A complete review of the history of video games.

Video games currently consist of a global industry that is worth more than 100 billion euros. This comes as no surprise, since video games have been part of our lives for many years now and cover an endless number of platforms and genres.

The world of video games has not stopped growing and developing, the only limit being how far the creativity of developers and technological evolution have been able to take them so far.


The history of video games timeline: the beginning of video games

The history of video games begins much earlier than you imagine. It began in 1962, when Steve Russell invented ‘Spacewar!’ at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a space combat video game for the PDP-1 (Programmed Data Processor-1), which would later be the basis of a cutting-edge computer model found mostly in universities. Spacewar! was the first video game that could be played on multiple computer workstations.


The first console

Not long after this first milestone in video game history, in 1967, a prototype multiplayer video game system was created that could be played on a television. It was known as ‘The Brown Box’ and was invented by the developers at Sanders Associates, led by Ralph Baer.

Baer, known as the father of Video Games, awarded his creation to Magnavox, thus giving birth to the first home video game console in 1972.

Years later, in 1977, Atari released the Atari 2600, also known as the Video Computer System, a home console that gave birth to the second generation of video game consoles.


Significant milestones in the history of video games timeline

  • Release of the Space Invaders arcade game in 1978.
  • Launch of Activision, the first third-party game developer (developing software without making consoles) in 1979
  • The world-famous Pacman is launched
  • Tetris comes out
  • Donkey Kong by Nintendo is created, which introduces Mario as a character
  • Microsoft releases its first Flight Simulator game.



Nintendo, a Japanese company, released a number of major video game franchises that are still around, such as Super Mario Bros, The Legend of Zelda, and Metroid. Milestones in the history of videogames timeline that have marked the way forward for many genres and video games that came later.

In 1989, Nintendo revolutionized the world of video games  once again with the launch of the Game Boy and Tetris. Over the next 25 years, Nintendo would successfully release several sequels to the original Game Boy, including the color graphics game in 1998, the Nintendo DS in 2004, and the Nintendo 3DS in 2011.


History of video games: the console war

In 1989, Sega’s Genesis console was born, but it wasn’t ready to compete with the NES. The console war of the 80s and 90s is part of the history of video games.

From the early to mid-1990s, a large number of games were released on both consoles, including new franchises like Street Fighter II and Mortal Kombat, the famous fighting game.

Video games burst onto the big screen with the release of the action movie Super Mario Bros. in 1993, followed by Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat over the next two years.

Numerous movies have been produced since then that are based on video games: Tomb Raider, Resident Evil or Silent Hill among others. And also, conversely, video games based on cinema productions have also appeared.


The 3D era

The fifth generation of video games ushered the 3D era of gaming.

Both Sega and Nintendo released good quality 3D video games, such as Virtua Fighter for Saturn and Super Mario 64 for Nintendo 64, but the truth is that both these companies were overshadowed by the arrival of Sony.

Sony dominated the video game market when it came out and would continue to do so for the next generation of video games.

Playstation 2 was the first console to use DVD and was released in 2000, becoming the best-selling video game console of all time.


History of video games: video games in current times

In 2005 and 2006, Microsoft’s Xbox 360, Sony’s Playstation 3, and Nintendo’s Wii brought about the modern era of high-definition gaming.

Xbox 360, which had similar graphic capabilities to Playstation 3, was praised for its online gaming system and state-of-the-art motion capture system.

The Wii beat its competition in terms of sales. Its motion-sensitive remote controls made games more interactive than ever, thus appealing to a much wider audience.

In 2011, Skylanders appeared: Spyro’s Adventure brought video games into the physical world. The first game in the Skylanders series, it was developed by Toys for Bob and published by Activision.


The eighth and current generation of video games

The current generation of video games as we know them today was born with the launch of Nintendo’s Wii U in 2012, followed by Playstation 4 and Xbox One in 2013.

We can affirm that the big players in this market, Sony and Microsoft, continue to work on new forms of virtual reality that captivate gamers and provide them with new ways of experiencing video games.


Video game design course

If you are really passionate about this industry, not only as a user or gamer, but further, and you feel fully ready to become a professional in this sector, then the next step is for you to train and take a high-quality course in video game design.

As you have been able to verify in this article, video games have an exciting history that does not stop developing, and this is due to the creativity and great work of video game designers.

We can also affirm without a doubt that this is one of the most sought-after and desired positions in the video game industry. The video game industry is booming, don’t think twice and call us. We will inform you about our course without obligation and completely free of charge. Make your passion a successful profession with Tokyo School!


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