on Feb 20, 2008
I had always thought that home console gaming began with Pong, went mainstream with the Atari 2600, and exploded with the NES. This turns out to be a very simplified picture of what really happened, and leaves out dozens of noteworthy devices that are barely remembered today. The first console came out in 1972, the year after I was born. I find this interesting because I never heard of them until I was about 7, and didn’t get my hands on one until I was 10.
This history of console gaming covers the evolution of the hobby from 1972 to present day, with pictures of all the machines, most of which I’ve never even seen. I think the author is a bit soft on the Atari Jaguar, and the consoles of the 90’s all could use a little more context, but it’s still a tremendous article. It was informative to the point of being educational, and the pictures of the 70’s era console machines reveal a series of long-forgotten devices which were hilarious in their crude awfulness and cringe-worthy design aesthetic.
Warning: The site is orange. I don’t know why it’s orange. I am sorry that it is so. I would not send you there if I didn’t think information was worth the optical assult.
Shamus Young is an old-school OpenGL programmer, author, and composer. He runs this site and if anything is broken you should probably blame him.