Protected: Video Game Timeline

Protected: Video Game Timeline

1st video game – CRT Amusement Device

January 1, 1947

1st video game – CRT Amusement Device

Cathode-Ray Tube Amusement Device was the first patented electronic game displayed on a monitor. Physicists Thomas T. Goldsmith Jr. and Estle Ray Mann created the game, inspired by World War II radar displays.

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Tennis for Two, often credited as 1st video game

October 1, 1958

Tennis for Two, often credited as 1st video game

Early video game built for entertainment purposes, Tennis for Two, designed by William Higinbotham. Created for display at the Brookhaven National Laboratory’s annual visitors’ days.  

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1st widely available computer video game – Spacewar!

January 1, 1962

1st widely available computer video game – Spacewar!

First widely available and influential computer video game, Spacewar! created at MIT by Steve Russell, in collaboration with Martin Graetz and Wayne Wiitanen. First known video game to be played at multiple computer installations.

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1st commercially available arcade video game – Computer Space

January 1, 1971

1st commercially available arcade video game – Computer Space

First commercially available arcade video game, Computer Space, released by Nutting Associates. Designed by Atari founders Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney.

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1st consumer based home video game console – Magnavox Odyssey

January 1, 1972

1st consumer based home video game console – Magnavox Odyssey

First consumer-based home video game console, the Magnavox Odyssey created by Ralph Baer. The console, two controllers, and a switch box connected with wires to a television set. Odyssey displayed white squares against a black field, with color static cling transparencies adhered to TV screen providing canvas to play games.

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1st successful arcade video game – Pong

January 1, 1972

1st successful arcade video game – Pong

One of the earliest arcade video games, Pong, was the first commercially successful video game. Created by engineer Allan Alcorn, the table tennis sports game featured simple, two-dimensional graphics and was manufactured by Atari.

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Atari VCS or 2600 released

September 1, 1977

Atari VCS or 2600 released

Atari released its wildly successful home console, the Video Computer System (VCS) or 2600. Over 30 million units were sold. Pac-Man was the most popular game for the Atari 2600.

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Video game market crashed in US

January 1, 1983

Following heavy saturation of low quality games, the US home video game market crashed. Many considered the games a fad whose popularity was dying out.

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Nintendo released NES and Super Mario Bros.

October 1, 1985

Nintendo released NES and Super Mario Bros.

Following the immensely successful 1983 launch of Family Computer (Famicom) in Japan (bottom console photo), Nintendo revitalized the US video game market with their runaway hit, Nintendo Entertainment System (NES, top). NES sold over 60 million units, along with industry-defining game, Super Mario Bros., which sold over 40 million copies.  

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1st movie based on a video game – Super Mario Bros.: The Great Mission to Rescue Princess Peach!

July 1, 1986

1st movie based on a video game – Super Mario Bros.: The Great Mission to Rescue Princess Peach!

Super Mario Bros.: The Great Mission to Rescue Princess Peach! was an anime film released in Japan based on the Super Mario Bros. video game. The Super Mario Bros. live-action film debuted in the US in May 1993.

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1st CD-ROM disc-based system released – PC Engine CD

December 1, 1988

1st CD-ROM disc-based system released – PC Engine CD

NEC released the first CD-ROM disc-based system for their PC Engine in Japan. Released as TurboGrafx-16 CD in August 1990 in the US.

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1st online BBS for collecting classic video games

January 1, 1989

First online Bulletin Board Systems (BBS) for collecting classic video games appeared.

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Mario more popular than Mickey

February 11, 1990

Mario more popular than Mickey

American children were more familiar with Mario, title character of Super Mario Bros. franchise, than with Mickey Mouse.

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1st issue of Digital Press published

September 1, 1991

1st issue of Digital Press published

Digital Press was released. It was the first mainstream online magazine for classic video game collectors, and was founded by Joe Santulli and Kevin Oleniacz.

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AuctionWeb launched; renamed eBay in Sept 1997

September 1, 1995

AuctionWeb launched; renamed eBay in Sept 1997

After spending Labor Day weekend at home writing code on his personal computer, Pierre Omidyar launched AuctionWeb, a site “dedicated to bringing together buyers and sellers in an honest and open marketplace.” The site was officially renamed eBay in September 1997. Over ##% of video game sales are transacted on eBay

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GameFAQs launched

November 1, 1995

GameFAQs launched

GameFAQs, first popular video game forum, was launched by Jeff Veasey.

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Classic Gaming Expo (CGE) founded

August 1, 1999

Classic Gaming Expo (CGE) founded

First classic video gaming convention, Classic Gaming Expo (CGE) was founded by John Hardie, Sean Kelly and Keita Iida.

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Digital Press online classic video game collecting community formed

July 1, 2002

Digital Press online classic video game collecting community formed

First widely used online collecting community, Digital Press, was formed by Joe Santulli.

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Atari Flashback released

December 1, 2004

Atari Flashback released

Atari released the Flashback, a plug and play multi-game miniature re-release 2600 system for playing classic games on modern TVs. Sega followed suit with their Genesis Firecore in 2009, and Nintendo followed with their NES Classic in 2016.

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Video game industry bigger than Hollywood

December 1, 2004

Video game industry bigger than Hollywood

Video games industry generated more revenue than movie industry, breaking $10 billion in annual sales.

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Video game industry bigger than Hollywood

December 2, 2004

Video game industry bigger than Hollywood

Video games industry generated more revenue than movie industry, breaking $10 billion in annual sales.

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Guinness World Records: Gamer’s Edition released

February 1, 2008

Guinness World Records: Gamer’s Edition released

Guinness World Records created a separate book for gaming records called Guinness World Records: Gamer’s Edition

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Guinness World Records: Gamer’s Edition released

February 1, 2008

Guinness World Records: Gamer’s Edition released

Guinness World Records created a separate book for gaming records called Guinness World Records: Gamer’s Edition

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1st online video game pricing guide launched, VideoGame PriceCharts

February 1, 2008

1st online video game pricing guide launched, VideoGame PriceCharts

First online pricing guide VideoGamePriceCharts.com (now pricecharting.com) launched.

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Stadium Events game sold for $13,000 on eBay

February 1, 2008

Stadium Events game sold for $13,000 on eBay

Yahoo News ran story about $13,000 Stadium Events eBay sale with link to Nintendoage.com collector site. Nintendoage.com site traffic crashed servers and user base increased rapidly.

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1st video game grading company opens

April 1, 2008

First video game grading company, VGA, opened.

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NES Legend of Zelda prototype sold for record $55,000

August 1, 2012

NES Legend of Zelda prototype sold for record $55,000

Howard Phillips’ original prototype copy of NES Legend of Zelda was sold by a collector on eBay for $55,000, a record high for a single video game in 2012.

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China allowed manufacturing and sales of video game consoles

July 1, 2015

China allowed manufacturing and sales of video game consoles

China lifted 15-year ban against manufacturing and selling video game consoles, opening gaming market to more than 1 billion new customers.

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Video game industry bigger than movie and music industry

December 1, 2015

Video game industry bigger than movie and music industry

The video game industry generated more revenue than the movie and music industry. Total 2015 US industry revenue topped $23.5 billion, up 5% from 2014.

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National Videogame Museum opened

April 1, 2016

National Videogame Museum opened

Classic Gaming Expo (CGE) founders John Hardie and Sean Kelly and CGE organizer Joe Santulli opened National Videogame Museum in Frisco, TX.

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eSports grew to nearly $500 million

February 1, 2017

eSports grew to nearly $500 million

eSports (video game competitions) grew rapidly to nearly $500 million in annual sales with an audience of over 220 million viewers.

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Wata Games launched

April 6, 2018

Wata Games launched

Wata Games established fair, objective industry standards for grading and certifying classic video games.

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Sticker Sealed Super Mario Bros. sells for record $100,000

February 6, 2019

Sticker Sealed Super Mario Bros. sells for record $100,000

An unopened copy of Super Mario Bros. set a world record for a certified video game when it sold for $100,150. A group of collectors joined forces Feb. 6 to purchase the game, including some of the biggest names in video games and collectibles as a whole. The buyers include Jim Halperin, Founder and Co-Chairman…

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