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The electronic systems used to play video games are known as platforms; examples of these are personal computers and video game consoles. These platforms range from large mainframe computers to small handheld computing devices. Specialized video games such as arcade games, in which the video game components are housed in a large, coin-operated chassis, while common in the 1980s in video arcades, have gradually declined in use due to the widespread availability of affordable home video game consoles (e.g., PlayStation 4and Xbox One) and video games on desktop and laptop computers and smartphones.
The input device used for games, the game controller, varies across platforms. Common controllers include gamepads, joysticks, mouses, keyboards, the touchscreens of mobile devices and buttons. Players typically view the game on a video screen or television and there are often game sounds from loudspeakers. Some games in the 2000s include haptic, vibration-creating effects, force feedback peripherals virtual reality headsets. In the 2010s, the video game industry is of increasing commercial importance, with growth was driven particularly by the emerging Asian markets and mobile games, which are played on smartphones. As of 2015, video games generated sales of USD 74 billion annually worldwide, and were the third-largest segment in the U.S. entertainment market, behind broadcast and cable TV.
Courtesy of: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Video_game
The History of Video Games
Video games have been around since the early 1970s. The first commercial arcade video game, Computer Space by Nutting Associates, was introduced in 1971. In 1972, Atari introduced Pongto the arcades. An interesting item to note is that Atari was formed by Nolan Bushnell, the man who developed Computer Space. He left Nutting Associates to found Atari, which then produced Pong, the first truly successful commercial arcade video game.
Pong was a great hit when it came out. Move your cursor to get the slides to bounce back the moving square — it will speed up as you progress.
That same year, Magnavox offered the first home video game system. Dubbed the Odyssey, it did not even have a microprocessor! The core of the system was a board with about four-dozen transistors and diodes. The Odyssey was very limited — it could only produce very simple graphics, and required that custom plastic overlays be taped over the television screen. In 1975, Atari introduced a home version of its popular arcade game, Pong. The original home version of Pong was sold exclusively through Sears, and even carried the Sears logo. Pong was a phenomenal success, opening the door to the future of home video games.
Systems like the Atari 2600, its descendant, the 5200, Coleco’s ColecoVision and Mattel’s IntelliVision helped to generate interest in home video games for a few years. But interest began to wane because the quality of the home product lagged far behind arcade standards. But in 1985, Nintendo introduced the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), and everything changed.
The NES introduced three very important concepts to the video game system industry:
- Using a pad controller instead of a joystick
- Creating authentic reproductions of arcade video games for the home system
- Using the hardware as a loss leader by aggressively pricing it, then making a profit on the games themselves
Nintendo’s strategy paid off, and the NES sparked a revival in the home video game market that continues to thrive and expand even now. No longer were home video game systems looked upon as inferior imitations of arcade machines. New games that would have been impractical to create for commercial systems, such as Legend of Zelda, were developed for the home markets. These games enticed many people who had not thought about buying a home video game system before to purchase the NES.
Nintendo continued to develop and introduce new game consoles. Other companies, such as Sega and Sony, created their own home video game systems.
Courtesy of: http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/video-game2.htm