Gaming has come a long way since its first appearance in the modern world and is continuing to advance as technology continues to do so at a rapid rate. The first recognised example of a game machine was unveiled in 1940 by Dr.Edward Uhler Condon in Ney York. This game was based on the ancient mathematical game of Num and was played by some 50,000 during its first six months. Though, the computer was said to win more than 90% of the games.
Fast-forward some three decades to 1971 and the first commercial arcade game arrives on the scene. Six years later the same developers, Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney, brought us the first multi-game home console – the Atari 2600. Described as ground-breaking, the system hosted cartridges to save game information as well as a joystick, colour and an ever growing library with the ability to change the difficulty levels of games.
Two years later and Activison was born, and is still of course going strong today. Four former Atari employees founded the first-stand alone game manufacturer, which has since brought to us the likes of Call of Duty and Guitar Hero. Just one year later in 1979, Pac-Man chomped its way into arcades and home consoles. This proved to be a huge hit and sold more than 100,000 arcade units and generated $1billion in its first 15 months in circulation.
In 1989, the first Game Boy arrived on the scene, catapulting Nintendo into the portable gaming industry. This handheld device invaded gamers’ palms and undoubtedly halved their productivity during their spare time as a result. Over the years, the Game Boy underwent countless makeovers and was of course revamped as Game Boy Pocket and Game Boy Colour. Since then, Nintendo has sold more than 400million portable devices.
During the mid-90s, developers began to get more and more competitive as the Sony PlayStation took on Sega and their Saturn console. Sega introduced the Saturn, the first system sporting 32-bit graphics alongside a built-in modem, however, the very same year (1995), Sony released the PlayStation, which was highly comparable to the Saturn but cost $100 less. Unsurprisingly, the PlayStation went onto sell more units than the Saturn, most of its games being 3D, and because they were disc-based, they were cheaper to produce, thus more affordable for customers.
Just five years later, the PlayStation 2 was catapulted into the industry and amazed all with its stunning graphics. At 128 bits, it hosted graphics better than any computer and it also came with DVD technology. In 2001, Microsoft introduced the Xbox. This device was to feature PC technology, including an Ethernet port, an 8 GB hard drive as well as the ability to play DVDs. One year later, Xbox Live was introduced and gamers were then able to compete with other gamers from around the world.
In 2008, the gaming industry really began to change with the creeping advent of the smartphone. Apple opened the App Store and the mobile gaming industry grew massive. Forget Snake, this is was now a multi billion pound industry. The launch of the app store opened up a whole host of opportunities for both developers and consumers.
With iPhones and iPads becoming increasingly popular, alongside other smartphones and tablets, such as those from Android, Apple and Google have managed to creep up the rankings due to their earnings from game sales on their app stores.
The move to mobile technology has undoubtedly defined the recent chapter of gaming. The ability to play on the go is a convenience that fans everywhere cannot get enough of. Users can play anywhere, at any time, whatever the genre. An increasingly amount of users are even using their smartphones to gamble, they now log onto their favourite casino site and play online poker from their work desk, at a café, from their bed, on the train, you name it, they can play it there.
And the future of gaming looks even more impressive, with growing popularity of AR and VR headsets such as Oculus Rift that allow users to immerse themselves and interact with the 3D worlds that us gamers have explored over many years.
[Guest written by Amelia]
[Graphic by The Daily Dot]