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David Javelosa

Copyright © 2005 - 2020, David Javelosa unless otherwise stated.


week 02 - game technology & industry history

3000 BCE -- Backgammon

2000 BCE -- Checkers, Go

300 CE -- Parcheesi

600 CE -- Chess

1120 -- Dominoes

1821 -- Charles Babbage invented the Difference Engine to compile mathematical tables. On completing it in 1832, he conceived the idea of a better machine that could perform not just one mathematical task but any kind of calculation. This was the Analytical Engine (1856), which was intended as a general symbol manipulator, and had some of the characteristics of today’s computers. Critical tolerances required by his machines exceeded the level of technology available at the time. The British government suspended funding for his Difference Engine and ended the project in 1842.

1889 -- Nintendo begins publishing playing cards.

1900 -- Darts

1930 -- Pinball

1931 -- Battleship

1935 -- Monopoly

1959 -- Risk

1961 -- Philips introduces the audio Cassette.

1962 -- Spacewar

1971 -- Computer Space

1972 -- Atari introduces the arcade game, Pong, and Magnavox introduces the first home video game called Odyssey. The video game industry is born.

1973 -- Chad Thacker and others develop the ALTO workstation at PARC. This computer was the first "desktop" computer designed for non-technical people to do word processing, email, graphics, and other applications. This computer had a graphical user interface on a "bitmapped" screen, used a mouse, icons, and windows. The researchers at PARC invented a whole system for the office, including the Ethernet networking system.

1973 -- Dungeons & Dragons

1975 -- A company called MITS introduced the first affordable "personal" computer called the Altair. The Homebrew Computer club is thriving in Silicon Valley. Sony introduces the Betamax VCR. Atari releases arcade game "Breakout" designed by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.

1977 -- Apple introduces the Apple II, the first mass market personal computer. Atari releases the 2600, a dedicated home game computer.

1978 -- Space Invaders

1979 -- Asteroids

1980 -- Atari introduces PacMan coin-operated video game machines.

1981 -- IBM introduces the IBM PC with Microsoft's DOS.

1981 -- Donkey Kong

1982 -- 16-bit vector graphic technology appears in the arcades with Williams' Defender and Atari's Tempest. Atari's Battle Zone is selected by the Pentagon to be developed into the first virtual reality military simulator. Home video game market crashes.

1983 -- Philips and Sony introduce the CD.

1984 -- Using ideas from Xerox PARC, Apple introduces the Macintosh, the first consumer computer with a GUI. William Gibson publishes Neuromancer, and invents the term Cyberspace.

1985 -- Nintendo Entertainment System with Super Mario Bros. First version of Tetris. Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego for home computers.

1988 -- Jaron Lanier's company, VPL introduces the Data Glove, an interface for Virtual Reality.

1989 -- SoundBlaster is released as the first mainstream audio standard for the PC. Sim City for the b&w Macintosh. Nintendo Gameboy. Sega Genesis (Mega System)

1990 -- Microsoft introduces Windows 3.0 with multimedia extentions. Adobe releases Photoshop and Autodesk releases 3D Studio. Voyager publishes Multimedia Beethoven on CD-ROM integrating hypertext, graphics and CD quality music examples.

1991 -- Tim Berners Lee introduces the WWW. Quicktime brings video to the user's desktop computer. Adobe introduces Premier video editing software.

1991-- Sonic the Hedgehog

1992 -- The Sega CD is released being the first consumer set-top box with a CD-ROM (attached to the 16-bit Genesis).

1993 -- The Mosaic web browser brings a better GUI to the net. Two landmark computer games accelerate the game industry's dominance: MYST and DOOM. Atari releases the Jaguar a "64bit" game machine using two 32bit processors.

1994 -- Sony Playstation (PSX)

1996 -- Nintendo introduces the N64, the first true 64bit cartridge game machine, based on SGI technology. Releases Pokemon.

1997 -- Philips, Sony, Toshiba and Panasonic introduce the DVD standard, based on MPEG II. Microsoft introduces DirectX, a technology that allows PC games to address the hardward directly in Windows, standardizing game development for the PC.

1998 -- The Internet establishes itself as a true multimedia delivery platform with the speed of DSL and the wide popularity of the MP3 music/audio format. The vast growth in cellular phones and hand-held devices and game machines makes multimedia portable. DDR and Legend of Zelda.

1999 -- The Sega Dreamcast is released on 9/9/99 and is the first game console to ship with an internal modem, supported by Sega.net.

2000 -- Sony introduces the Playstation2. This game machine's features combine almost all the elements of multimedia to date. It has a DVD player, extremely high speed graphics (66 million polygons/sec) and audio rendering (up to 48 channels) capabilities.

2001 -- Microsoft introduces the X-Box and Nintendo introduces the Game Cube (fall), each with capabilities exceeeding the Playstation 2. Features for the X-box include modem and internal hard-drive. The Game Cube features a proprietary 3" CD format and linking to the Game Boy Advance hand-held.

2002 -- Continued advances in portable computing, cellular internet connection, multiplayer gaming, and next-generation titles promise to deliver unpredictable developments.

2003 -- Nokia announces the N-gage, first to address the mobile phone gaming industry by creating a game machine that is a phone. nVidia delivers gForce graphic technology allowing real-time animation quality graphics for games.

2004 -- Nintendo DS

2005 -- Sony plans to release the Playstation 3 and with the new hand-held PSP plans to offer a new way of delivering entertainment media.

2006 -- Microsoft releases the X-Box 360 continuing the search for the "holy grail" of on-line and set-top convergence. Projected to be the centralized entertainment hub for video, game play and internet connectivity, the stage is set for full multiplayer networking

2007 -- Sony PS3 is in release with enhanced performance for Blue Ray video.

Nintendo Wii releases with an innovative motion sensitive controller set; creating a new standard in game ergonomics. Nintendo's DS gets a classy make-over and continues to lead the hand-held market with wi-fi connectivity. Another distinctive feature of the console is WiiConnect24, which enables it to receive messages and updates over the Internet while in standby mode.

2010 -- Both X-Box 360 and Playstation 3 support Netflix on-demand streaming video, further coverging the worlds of home video entertainment and internet based media. Motion sensitivity is also supported for 360 and PS3.

2011 -- Indie Game Movement gets distribution from the big manufacturers: Xbox Live Arcade, Playstation Home, Wii Ware

2013 --Largest growth area in game development: iOS, Android, HTML5, and native mobile devices.
Announcements for XBox One and Playstation 4 continue to up the ante.

Sources include: Understanding HyperMedia 2.000, Wired Magazine, Internet research


Key Chapter Questions

■ What are the significant milestones in the history of electronic game development?

■ Who are the pioneers in game development, and how did they contribute to the industry?

■ How did the game industry evolve from coin  operated electromechanical and mainframe computer games of the ’60s to today’s console, personal computer, online, and mobile industries?

■ What factors contributed to the video game slump of the early ’80s?

■ Why did certain game companies and game titles succeed during game development history—and why did some fail miserably?


•Before the arcades
•Game industry origins
•Arcade phenomenon
•Birth of console games
•Video game slump
•New golden age
•Senate hearings & video game violence
•Personal computer revolution
•Multiplayer meets the online elite
•Convergence: Industry segments come together

Reading Assignment:

Copyright © 2005-2014 David Javelosa