With the recent release of the Next-Gen PlayStation and Xbox, we as gamers tend to be in awe with the future of gaming but forget the consoles and games that paved the way for this generation to exist and be successful. Let us gander into the abyss of the history of videogame consoles for the month of January.
– RCA Studio II
RCA Studio II was released in January 1977. The console did not come with a joy stick; rather it was equipped with a 10-digit key pad as the controlling component. RCA Studio II was the first console to come with built in games and was the first to use an RF switch and a DC plug in.
The 1976 released Fairchild Channel F delivered a blow to RCA’s console sales and just 10 months later Atari 2600 made the Studio II obsolete.
Intellivision was released in late 1979, however it was the start of the next year in January when Mattel’s first console blew up in popularity. The first year saw 200,000 units go and Mattel sold out quickly.
There were 14 different versions including expansions such as a music synthesizer and a keyboard attachment to the master component to make it an all-in-one experience. Intellivision sold around 3 million units over its course but when the gaming market crashed in the early-mid 80’s, Mattel’s console was the first high-profile victim, losing around $300 million before the division became liquidated.
– Atari 7800
The Atari 7800 was released in January 1986 for $150. The 7800 was released to compete with the Nintendo Entertainment System and Sega Master System. It was also the first ever backwards compatible system to the 2600 without additional components.
Although Atari 7800 was very affordable and profitable, the system’s run ended in 1992 due to the dominance of NES (controlling over 80% of sales in the US) and poor financial backing by their investors.
– Neo Geo
The Neo Geo Arcade System Board and Home System were released in January 1990. The coin operated version allowed shop owners to give 6 games in one with titles like Fatal Fury and Metal Slug. The home version came at a costly price of $649. Neo Geo marketed 24-bit games even though it was technically parallel processing 16-bit games with an 8-bit coprocessor.
Production ended in 1997 but many independent games are modeled around popular Neo Geo games.
What was your favorite console? Stay tuned for more ‘This month in videogame history (Game Edition).’
Josh is a stay at home father of one and a video game enthusiast residing in a suburb of Denver, Colorado. Since the age of 4 Josh has been applying his craft into the world of gaming. Beginning with...