Video Game Industry Timeline: 1975 - 1984

  • 1975
    • Atari's Pong is released with help from Sears Roebuck, which finances the production of 150,000 units. It becomes the hottest selling Christmas present. Sears sells the product exclusively, with the Sears Tele-Games logo.
    • Gunfight, the first "computer" game is released. It is the first game to use a microprocessor instead of hardwired solid-state circuits.
  • 1976
    • Coleco releases its first home video-game console called Telstar.
    • Fairfield Camera & Instrument debuts its Video Entertainment System which is known later as Channel F. The first programmable (cartridge-based) home game console, it allowed users to change games by switching cartridges that resembled 8-track audio tapes.
  • 1977
    • Atari introduces its first cartridge-based home video system called the Video Computer System which later becomes known as the Atari 2600. It retails for $249.95.
  • 1978
    • The trackball makes its entrance into the video-game industry as the controller in Atari's new arcade game Football.
    • Midway introduces Space Invaders into arcades. It is the first arcade game that tracks and displays high scores.
    • Atari attempts to enter the computer industry to compete with Apple. The product is not taken seriously, and the Atari 400 and 800 are taken from the market.
  • 1979
    • Atari develops a handheld console that displays holograms. Named "Cosmos," this product was never released.
    • Asteroids is the first game to allow high scorers to enter three character initials to be stored in the machine.
  • 1980
    • Mattel's Intelivision debuts and is the first real competitor of the Atari 2600. It has better graphics than Atari's 2600, but a higher retail price ($299).
    • Activision becomes the first third-party video game vendor. The company is created by Atari programmers who want to receive individual credit for creating Atari's video games.
    • Battlezone is first 3-D game ever created. It is set in a virtual battlefield and was later enhanced by the U.S. government for training exercises.
    • 300,000 units of Pac-Man are released worldwide by Namco.
    • Defender, the first game incorporating a "virtual world" is introduced. The game uses a "radar" scope at the top of the screen to inform users of the surroundings since the screen is too small to display all of the action.
  • 1981
    • Arnie Katz and Bill Kunkel found the first video-game magazine, Electronic Games.
  • 1982
    • Atari releases the Atari 5200 to compete with Coleco's Colecovision.
    • August - The ColecoVision by Coleco is released and can play Atari 2600 games (due to an expansion module with emulation and the lack of video game laws/patents), has arcade-like graphics and gaming style and has expandable hardware. Nintendo's Donkey Kong is included as a pack-in game.
    • September - The Commodore 64 is introduced in the U.S. It is the most powerful video-game console (though really a computer) to date and the least expensive (for it's power) at $595.
    • Atari releases the Atari 5200 to compete with Mattel's Intellivision, but ends up more directly competing with the ColecoVision. The 5200 is based on the 400 and 800 computer systems, but without a keyboard.
  • 1983
    • Cinematronics debuts Rick Dyer's Dragon Lair, the first video game to feature laser-disc technology.
    • Nintendo introduces the Famicom in Japan—later known as the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in the U.S. Since Atari controls such a large percentage of the market, they do not plan to market the product in the U.S. Instead the company offers Atari the rights to distribute the product in the U.S. These plans fall through and Americans do not see Nintendo until 1985.
    • North American Video Game Crash occurs. Console over-saturation and an abundance of low quality games (E.T. The Game was a big one) led to the crash which effects were felt even more into 1984. The Nintendo Entertainment System later saves and brings back the industry after many companies go bankrupt.
Continued to 1985 - 1995...
Go back to 1958 - 1974

Copyright 2008-2009 VGE Utopia. All rights reserved.

Make a Free Website with Yola.