Video Games : Video Game Console

1393 Words Nov 6th, 2015 6 Pages
Although the first video games appeared in the 1950s,[1] they were played on massive computers connected to vector displays, not analog televisions. Ralph H. Baer conceived the idea of a home video game in 1951. In the late 1960s while working for Sanders Associates he created a series of video game console designs. One of these designs, which gained the nickname of the "Brown Box", featured changeable game modes and was demonstrated to several TV manufactures ultimately leading to an agreement between Sanders Associates and Magnavox.[2]

In 1972 Magnavox released the Magnavox Odyssey, the first home video game console which could be connected to a TV set. Ralph Baer 's initial design had called for a huge row of switches that would allow gamers to turn on and off certain components of the console (the Odyssey lacked a CPU) to create slightly different games like tennis, volleyball, hockey, and chase. Magnavox replaced the switch design with separate cartridges for each game. Although Baer had sketched up ideas for cartridges that could include new components for new games, the carts released by Magnavox all served the same function as the switches and allowed gamers to choose from the Odyssey 's built-in games.

The Odyssey only initially sold about 100,000 units,[3] making it moderately successful, and it was not until Atari 's arcade game Pong popularized video games, that the public began to take more notice of the emerging industry. By autumn 1975, Magnavox, bowing to…

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