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Video game consoles first gained traction in the US with the introduction of the Atari 2600 console in 1977. Prior versions of the console had been marketed as single-game devices, such as the Pong system sold by Atari in 1975. The Atari 2600 was cartridge-based, however, allowing for developers to create a vast array of games that could be played on the same machine. This ensured Atari a footing in the video game industry for years to come, as well as accelerating the development of other console manufacturers.

Consumer interest fueled incredible expansion of the video game industry in the early 1980s. This in turn led to a saturated market with development studios and publishing companies churning out hundreds of titles of diminished quality. Consequently, consumer interest plummeted, and the video game industry fell from a $3.2 billion-dollar powerhouse to a $100 million fledgling in the North American Video Game Crash of 1983. There were serious objections to the long-term viability of video games being able to turn a profit, and hundreds of game developers and publishing firms went bankrupt.

The future of home video game consoles had been plunged into doubt. A bedrock was needed, and the video game industry found it in the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) released in North America by Nintendo in 1985. The NES sold millions of units and would go on to produce hundreds of cartridges, many of which spawning franchises that continue to the present day. Nintendo also instituted the practice of allowing third-party developers to create games for their platform. This gave young developers and studios without much capital the opportunity to compete with much larger firms. Third-party development has remained crucial to the success of almost every video game console system since.

With the development of the NES, Nintendo secured the future of the video game industry in the United States. Development studios consolidated into larger conglomerates, with a bevy of third-party developers producing games for multiple companies on multiple platforms. The industry recovered fully and underwent further expansion, allowing Nintendo to launch the Super Nintendo, Nintendo 64, Game Boy, DS, GameCube, Wii, and several other peripheral systems. Nintendo's success also prompted the development of other major game development studios, many of which created multiple console systems themselves.

Tags:   Video Games   Console   Video game   System   Nintendo   Third-party developer  

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Video game consoles first gained traction in the US with the introduction of the Atari 2600 console in 1977. Prior versions of the console had been marketed as single-game devices, such as the Pong system sold by Atari in 1975. The Atari 2600 was cartridge-based, however, allowing for developers to...

By: Richard Martine Created 76 months ago

Showing 14 Comments

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    April 25, 2016
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