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Game Console Evolution – From Brown Box to Next Gen

by Ben Butler

Game console evolution is an interesting topic, even if you aren’t an avid gamer. It’s always about the most fun games being the best games. Video game consoles have changed tremendously over the years. The days of Pong and Pac Man are no more, at least not in the way that most grew up on those classics remember them. d\Throughout the years, game console evolution has advanced gaming technology from whit dots to the rich, deep graphics that we use today to enjoy some game time with the family.

Game Console Evolution

Looking back, there were approximately 70 game consoles that took us from Pong to Anthem. Each played a part in advancing the technology and bringing more flexibility and enjoyment to the gaming experience. So many fun games, so little time.

best games - brown box console

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Brown Box

Back in 1967, the first video game console was released and it was called Brown Box. This best games featured six simple games; Pong, tennis, handball, and volleyball to name a few. The Brown Box had a wooden box with two game controllers attached to it.

Magnavox Odyssey

In 1972 Magnavox licensed the Brown Box and expanded upon that game console to produce the Magnavox Odyssey. This silent video game console was a milder advancement upon the Brown Box and brought video game consoles into people’s homes.

The Magnavox Atari Wars

Fast forward to 1975 when Atari decided that their PONG arcade game was so popular that consumers needed a home version of their game console. During this time Magnavox and Atari continued to compete with different versions of their game console releasing to consumers. Throughout this period, graphics were enhanced and more game options became available for the Atari and Magnavox game consoles.

These were the days that saw the introduction of more complicated games like Circus Atari, with its variety of games and arguably the first “party game”. During this period, game console evolution encompassed controllers, as well, with Atari introducing the paddle and other novel controllers.

best games nintendo nes

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Nintendo

Nintendo came onto the scene around 1977. While most Americans know the NES as the first game console introduced by Nintendo, that isn’t true. This first game console by Nintendo was called the Color TV Game Series, a game console only available in Japan. As more and more companies started to compete against the Atari 2600, more game console creators popped out of the woodwork but only a few survived, making it to today.

Sega Genesis

In 1988, Sega released its popular Sega Genesis game console. It took the game console evolution one step further, advancing in both graphics and controller ability. The Genesis boasted graphics superior to the NES, as well as a controller with three buttons to add more flexibility to gameplay and function.

fun games sega genesis

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The Sega Nintendo War

During the 1980’s video gaming became wildly popular with the brands Sega and Nintendo dominating the industry of video game consoles. In 1983, the Nintendo Entertainment System emerged victoriously into the game console scene and most of you probably owned one as a young child.

With the release of the Sega Genesis console in 1988 and Nintendo’s follow up that up with their Super
Nintendo Game System released in 1990, the war of the consoles was well and truly underway. Nintendo and Sega warred furiously on every front from role-playing games to platformers. The most memorable franchise war is arguably the Super Mario and Sonic battle.

The two companies continued to compete in the game console industry for many years. Battling tooth and nail for more market space and releasing games that were more and more advanced.

The Arrival of CDs and the Playstation

Game console evolution took another huge leap in the 90s with the arrival of CD technology. CDs could hold vastly more data than traditional cartridges, allowing for much more resources to be allocated to a game. Of course, there had to be systems that could both support and make the most of that data.

While Sega tried its hand at more advanced, CD-based consoles, the company that truly dominated the field was Sony. Their Playstation introduced next-generation graphical capabilities that had never been seen before. Their Playstation took full advantage of modern technology, with CD-based games, a sleek, low profile system, and memory cards. Microsoft’s XBOX system was also released and has been going head-to-head with the Playstation ever since.

best games - PS4

Game Console Evolution is Still Going Strong

Today, game console evolution still goes on more strongly than ever before. Playstation 4 has been a huge force in the console industry. They have released a PlayStation 4 that supports 4K televisions, and there are talks about a Playstation 5 in the pipe. XBOX also continues to release new and improved consoled regularly as the battle between Sony and Microsoft rages on into the next generation.

While Nintendo still uses a cartridge-based system with their SD card game storage, they still hold a strong market presence as well. This is due to their always innovative approach to gaming. The wildly popular Nintendo Switch doubles as both a console and handheld gaming system, offering unsurpassed flexibility, and the cartridge-based games are barely discernable graphically from the now-standard CD-based format.

Game Console Evolution is More Than Technology

Back in the 1980s consumers considered themselves lucky to have a game console, but these days, practically every home has one. They are no longer a mystical item that seems out of reach. Rather, they are part and parcel of both children’s and adults’ lives. In almost every household, there is a game console bearing the name Nintendo, Sony, or Microsoft. As a gamer, I’m happy about that, and I look forward to the continued game console evolution.

What game console was your favorite one throughout the years of video game console changes?

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Game Console Evolution – From Brown Box to Next Gen was last modified: September 16th, 2019 by Ben Butler

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