Videogame History

Companies

Nintendo of Japan

23 September 1889 - Present

Sega Games Co., Ltd. (formerly: Service Games)

June 3, 1960 - Present

Amstrad

1968 - Present

On 7 April 1986 Amstrad announced it had bought from Sinclair Research "...the worldwide rights to sell and manufacture all existing and future Sinclair computers and computer products, together with the Sinclair brand name and those intellectual property rights where they relate to computers and computer related products." which included the ZX Spectrum, for £5 million. This included Sinclair's unsold stock of Sinclair QLs and Spectrums. Amstrad made more than £5 million on selling these surplus machines alone. Amstrad launched two new variants of the Spectrum: the ZX Spectrum +2, based on the ZX Spectrum 128, with a built-in tape drive (like the CPC 464) and, the following year, the ZX Spectrum +3, with a built-in floppy disk drive (similar to the CPC 664 and 6128), taking the 3" disks that many Amstrad machines used.

Syzygy Engineering

1971 - 27 June 1972

Founded by Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney to operate for Nutting, became Atari Inc. in 1972.

Atari Inc.

27 June 1972 - 1 July 1984

Kee Games

1973 - December 1974

Joe Keenan (subsidiary of Atari Inc. finally merged in Dec 74')

Sinclair Research Ltd.

1973 - Present

In 1980, Clive Sinclair entered the home computer market with the ZX80 at £99.95, at that time the cheapest personal computer for sale in the United Kingdom. In 1982 the ZX Spectrum was released, becoming the UK's best selling computer, and competing aggressively against Commodore and Amstrad.
On 28 May 1985, Sinclair Research had announced it wanted to raise an extra £10m to £15m to restructure the organisation. Given the loss of confidence in the company, the money proved hard to find. In June 1985, business magnate Robert Maxwell announced a takeover of Sinclair Research, through Hollis Brothers, a subsidiary of his Pergamon Press. However the deal was aborted in August 1985.[2]

The future of Sinclair Research remained uncertain until 7 April 1986, when the company sold its entire computer product range, and the "Sinclair" brand name, to Amstrad for £5 million. The deal did not include the company itself, only its name and products.

Microsoft Corporation

April 4 1975 - Present

Apple Computer Company (1976–1977)

1976 - 1977

Apple Computer, Inc.

1978 - 2007

Nintendo of America

1980 - Present

Atari Corporation

Jul 2, 1984 - July 1996

Jack Tramiel.

Atari Games

Jul 2, 1984 - 2003

Coin-op division.

Sega of America

1985 - Present

Amstrad purchases Sinclair Home Computer technology and assets.

7 April 1986

Sony Interactive Entertainment (formerly: Sony Computer Entertainment, Inc.)

November 16, 1993 - Present

Atari JTS Corp.

July 1996 - March 1998

Atari Hasbro Interactive

March 1998 - December 2000

Atari SA (formerly: Infogrames)

October 2001 - Present

Apple Inc.

2008 - Present

Console Generations

First Generation

1972 - 1980

Second Generation

1976 - 1992

Third Generation

1983 - 2003

Fourth Generation

1987 - 2004

Fifth Generation

1993 - 2005

Sixth Generation

1998 - 2013

Seventh Generation

2005 - 2017

Eight Generation

2011 - Present

Hardware (consoles)

First Home Console Released: Magnavox ODYSSEY

September 1972

Magnavox ODYSSEY

September 1972 - 1975

Atari VCS (aka. 2600)

11 September 1977 - 1 January 1992

Atari 5200

November 1982 - 21 May 1984

Nintendo FAMICOM JP

15 July 1983 - 25 September 2003

Atari 2800 JP

October 1983 - 1 January 1992

The 2800 never captured a large market in Japan. It was released a short time after Nintendo's Family Computer, which became the dominant console in the Japanese video game market of the time.

Codenamed "Cindy", and designed by Atari engineer Joe Tilly, the Atari 2800 had four controller ports instead of the standard two on the Atari 2600's. The controllers are an all-in one design using a combination of an 8-direction digital joystick and a 270-degree paddle, designed by John Amber.

NES US

18 October 1985 - 14 August 1994

Atari 7800 PROSYSTEM

May 1986 - 1 January 1992

MASTER SYSTEM US

September 1986 - 1992

Atari XE VIDEO GAME SYSTEM

1987 - 1992

Atari XEGS

Sega MARK III JP

October 1987 - 1992

US/EU Master System

Sega MEGA DRIVE JP

29 October 1988 - 1997

Sega GENESIS US

14 August 1989 - 1999

(distribution continued by Majesco, as Genesis 3, from 1998 to 1999)

Nintendo SUPER FAMICOM JP

21 November 1990 - 25 September 2005

SUPER NES US

23 August 1991 - 1999

Sega MEGA CD JP

1 December 1991

SEGA CD US

15 October 1992

Atari JAGUAR

23 November 1993 - 1996

Sega 32X

November 1994

Atari JAGUAR JP

21 November 1994 - 1996

Sega SATURN JP

22 November 1994 - 2000

Sony PLAYSTATION JP

3 December 1994 - 31 March 2005

Sega SATURN US

11 May 1995 - 1998

Sony PLAYSTATION US

9 September 1995 - 31 March 2005

NINTENDO 64 JP

23 June 1996 - 30 April 2002

NINTENDO 64 US

26 September 1996 - 30 November 2003

Sony DualShock Analog Controller

may 1998

Sega DREAMCAST JP

27 November 1998 - 31 March 2001

Sega DREAMCAST US

9 September 1999 - 31 March 2001

Sony PLAYSTATION 2

4 March 2000 - 28 December 2012

Sony PS One (JP)

7 July 2000

Sony PLAYSTATION 2 US

26 October 2000 - 4 January 2013

Nintendo GAMECUBE JP

14 September 2001 - 2007

Microsoft XBOX US

15 November 2001 - 2 March 2009

Nintendo GAMECUBE US

18 November 2001 - 2007

Microsoft XBOX JP

22 February 2002 - 4 June 2006

Sony PS2 Slim line

November 2004

Microsoft XBOX 360

22 November 2005 - 20 April 2016

Sony PLAYSTATION 3

November 2006 - October 2016

Discontinued in mid 2017 in Japan.

Nintendo WII

19 November 2006 - Approx. November 2011

Discontinued in 2013 in Japan.

Nintendo WII U

November 2012 - 31 January 2017

Sony PLAYSTATION 4

November 2013 - Present

Microsoft XBOX ONE

22 November 2013 - Present

Microsoft XBOX ONE JP

4 September 2014 - Present

Sony PLAYSTATION 4 Pro

November 2016

Nintendo SWITCH WW

3 March 2017 - Present

Software (home)

The Legend of Zelda (Famicom/NES)

21 February 1986

Sonic the Hedgehog (Mega Drive, Genesis)

23 June 1991

Sega Genesis, Master System, Game Gear, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo 3DS, iOS, Android, Apple TV

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (SFAM/SNES)

21 November 1991

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (N64)

21 November 1998

The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask (N64)

27 April 2000

Gamecube port in 2000.
Directors: Eiji Aonuma and Yoshiaki Koizumi

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (GameCube)

13 December 2002

Dir. Eiji Anouma

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (Wii, GameCube)

19 November 2006

Wii launch title.

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (Wii)

18 November 2011

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Wii U, Switch)

3 March 2017

Switch launch title.

Coin-Op

Periscope (Sega)

1966

Electro-mechanical machine.

Computer Space (Syzygy-Nutting)

November 1971

Nolan Bushnell, Ted Dabney (under contract for Nutting, they kept the rights to the technology).

Galaxy Game (B.Pitts, H.Tuck)

November 1971

Technically the first arcade videogame by weeks.

Designer(s) Bill Pitts, Hugh Tuck.
Platform(s) Arcade (PDP-11)

PC Hardware

Sinclair ZX SPECTRUM series

1982 - Approx. 1986

ZX Spectrum 16K/48K 23 April 1982
ZX Spectrum+ October 1984
ZX Spectrum 128 (Spain) 1985

PC Software

Portable Harware (consoles)

Nintendo GAME & WATCH

April 28, 1980 - October 14, 1991

Silver (1980)
Gold (1981)
Wide Screen (1981–1982)
Multi Screen (1982–1989)
New Wide Screen (1982–1991)
Tabletop (1983)
Panorama (1983–1984)
Super Color (1984)
Micro Vs. System (1984)
Crystal Screen (1986)
There were 59 different Game & Watch games produced for sale and one that was only available as a contest prize, making 60 in all.[12] The prize game was given to winners of Nintendo's F-1 Grand Prix tournament, a yellow-cased version of Super Mario Bros. that came in a plastic box modeled after the Disk-kun character Nintendo used to advertise their Famicom Disk System.[11] As only 10,000 units were produced and it was never available for retail sale, the yellow version is considered rare.[12]

Mario the Juggler, released in 1991, was the last game created in the Game & Watch series.

Nintendo GAME & WATCH Multi Screen

1982

Nintendo GAME BOY

April 21, 1989 - March 23, 2003

Release date:
JP: April 21, 1989
NA: July 31, 1989
EU: September 28, 1990