The first videogame, if we can call it that, was developed in 1962 by Slug Russell, Martin Graetz and Wayne Witanen, fellow of the Ingham Institute Massachusetts, USA. Based on prototypes of various equipment, they decided to create something useful for your spare time. Thus is born, the first electronic game, Spacewar.
After a period of ten years, the first videogame went on sale in the United States. It was the Odyssey, prepared by Magnavox in 1972. This was the "dark age" of the videogame which players had to have enough imagination. Squares on the screen were the people, ships, etc.
Shortly after the launch of the Odyssey, came the phenomenon that everyone normally belonged with the history of videogames: the Atari. Designed by Nolan Bushnell in 1978 and released in the United States in 1983, the Atari 2600 is considered a cultural symbol of the 80s and a sales phenomenon. After the fall of Atari in the early '80s, Nintendo began to build their empire. Their first success sale was the console Famicom, 8-bit, which was renamed NES (Nintendo Entertainment System). Some of the NES games were made really famous, like Mario and Donkey Kong, for example.
As Nintendo grew and consolidated itself as the largest in the world of consoles, Sega, another Japanese company, also developed. To compete with the NES, the company released the Master System.
Knowing that they would not exceed Nintendo in the war of 8-bit, in the beginning of 1990 Sega developed a new console of 16 bits: the Mega Drive. The leader, Nintendo, of course entered the fray and launched one of the greatest successes in the history of the videogame: the Super NES. This is one of the classic episodes from the history of videogames. While the console Sega had more games, the Nintendo was more advanced and had better graphics. After all, who never heard of the dispute between Mario and Sonic, Nintendo and Sega, respectively?
After this long dispute, comes a strong new competitor in the gaming world: in 1995 Sony, giving rise also to a new generation of consoles with the PlayStation. At this point, SEGA launched without much success its 32-bit Saturn. In the same year Nintendo surprised the world announcing the N64, with 64-bit graphics! Another important fact is Sony's PlayStation, which has a large library of games, became the leader of the generation, with 100 million consoles sold.
The last generation of videogames is known even by children. The awesome PlayStation 2, Sony, released in 2000, which continued the success story of the PlayStation, to read format on DVD media. The GameCube, Nintendo, being the natural successor of the N64 in 2001, and the new Xbox, the software of the giant Microsoft.
The latest generation of consoles is summed up in the three releases of the same makers of the past generation. The dispute between the PlayStation 3, Sony, Wii, Nintendo, and Xbox 360 from Microsoft, it seems that will last a long time. If Sony chose to wait (much) to launch PS3 with its futuristic graphics, Nintendo has its huge collection of old games, plus an innovative way to play. Microsoft also has an extensive experience in the world of software, which can give significant advantages in this contest.
Video games are so successful today that from 1999 to 2004, the game industry earned 21 billion dollars, more than twice the revenue of all Hollywood movies in the same period. And, as we can see, they will continue to entertain us for a long time ahead.
What will become for the next generation of game? All we can do is wait.