The History of Game Consoles - Homemade with Aaron's (2023)

Some of us grew up watching Duck Hunt on Nintendo, while others lived through the glory days of the Xbox generation and blew up The Covenant through the eyes of the Master Chief. It's crazy how much game consoles have changed over time; Literally dozens of consoles have been released in the last few decades. We decided to freak out a bit and create a timeline of video game console history, simple as that. And hey, who knows, maybe this will help you on your next test night.

1972 – Magnavox-Odysea

Did you know that console gaming didn't really start in the '80s? It all started in the 1960s with a solid brown console called the "Brown Box", designed by inventor Ralph Baer. Magnavox later redesigned this console for the commercial market and included plastic TV screen overlays to make up for the super simple graphics. This initial console paved the way for video games as we know them today!

1987 - Atari VCS 2600

Atari changed console gaming forever in 1987, creating the first mainstream console that could hold game cartridges. Previously, consoles (including Atari's own Pong) only had standalone games. The VCS 2600 allows gamers to use joysticks or paddle controllers to play various hit games like Pacman, Asteroids, and Frogger.

1979 - Intelligence

In 1979, Mattel Electronics launched its own console as a direct competitor to the Atari 2600. The Intellivision (or smart TV) never surpassed the Atari in popularity, but it offered competitive graphics and audio effects. Popular games on Intellivision include golf games andLas Vegas Poker y Blackjack.

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1982 – ColecoVision

Coleco Industries released its competitor for Atari and Intellivision consoles in 1982. ColecoVision provided the ability to play Nintendo-like games.Donkey Kong, thingsZaxxon, and some less popular games likeladybugmicosmic avenger. Coleco also offered expansion modules that allowed gamers to play popular Atari games, racing games, and more.

1985 - Nintendo Entertainment System

The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) was first released in Japan as the "Famicom", but the console was renamed the NES in 1985 and released to the US game market. Super Mario Bros. popularized the console. The NES was also the birthplace of many other legendary game franchises, including Nintendo's Zelda, Square's Metroid, and Final Fantasy.

1989 – Sega-Genesis

The company Sega, headquartered in Japan, was one of the five largest manufacturers of flip games in the US at the end of the 1980s. As the market changed, Sega expanded two games of flip games and entered the market for home game consoles in Japan. After experimenting and developing other consoles, Sega released the Mega Drive console in Japan in 1988. In 1989 it was released in the United States as the Sega Genesis. The console fell behind the Nintendo, NES, and Famicom consoles, but still gained popularity with hit games likeSonic the HedgehogmiMortal combat.

1990 - Super Nintendo Entertainment System

In 1990, Nintendo released its next generation of consoles, the Super NES or "Super Nintendo." This console was released under different names around the world: in Japan it was called Super Famicom and in South Korea it was called Super Comboy. The Super Nintendo featured improved 16-bit graphics over the original NES and even survived when 32-bit games became popular. The Super Nintendo was also the first console with left and right "shoulder" buttons. More than 49 million Super Nintendo consoles have been sold worldwide! Some of the most popular console games includedsuper mario world,The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, misuper mario kart.

1993 - Mega Drive II (Genesis)

In 1993 Sega released an updated console. It was sold as the Mega Drive II in Japan and simply "Genesis" in the United States. The new console was smaller than the original, lighter, offered stereo AV sound output, and featured a less expensive motherboard. The console remains popular with Sega-specific games likestreets of rage,Mortal combatmiSonic the Hedgehog.

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1995 – PlayStation

In 1995, Sony PlayStation conquered the video game market, selling 100,000 units in pre-orders and over 7 million in 1996. The console's CD-ROM capabilities allowed for games with 3D graphics and more complex games, leading to a rise in popularity in new games like Gran Turismo, Metal Gear Solid and Resident Evil.

1996-Nintendo 64

The Nintendo 64 was one of the first game consoles to use a 64-bit processor, offering gamers better graphics than ever before on a Nintendo system. Some successful games on the N64 were Goldeneye 007, Donkey Kong 64, Star Fox 64, and Super Mario 64.

2000 – Playstation 2

In 2000, Sony upped their game again with the PlayStation 2. The new console featured DVD playback capabilities, which was a huge selling point at the time. It also offered backwards compatibility, allowing gamers to continue playing their PS1 games. Some of the best games for this console were the Grand Theft Auto franchise, Shadow of the Colossus, and Kingdom Hearts.


In 2001, Microsoft entered the console space and started the so-called "console wars." To compete with PlayStation, they introduced the Xbox Live service, which allows gamers to compete against each other online. The Halo franchise really made Xbox work when Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 2 rose in popularity.

2005 – Xbox 360

Continuing the console wars, Microsoft delivered another jab at Sony in 2005 with the Xbox 360. It featured enhanced graphics, wireless controllers, and third-party streaming capabilities. Popular games were Call of Duty, Halo, and Gears of War.

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2006 - Nintendo Wii

In the heat of the console wars between Sony and Xbox, Nintendo released a family-friendly alternative. The Wii offered the possibility of playing with movement instead of simple buttons and joysticks. Players could go bowling, play golf, and even duel with lightsabers using a unique remote control that helped get kids off the couch into active play.

2006 – Playstation 3

Sony released PS3 in 2006 to compete with Xbox 360. To compete with Xbox Live, they introduced PlayStation Network as a free alternative to Xbox Live. Some popular games on the console were Assassin's Creed Rogue, Far Cry 4, Red Dead Redemption, and more.

2013 – Xbox One

Microsoft Xbox released its current generation of consoles in 2013: Xbox One. Like Xbox 360, it continued to offer Xbox Live and third-party streaming. The new console featured improved graphics, a sleek design, and support for a large number of games. Some of the first popular Xbox One games were Call of Duty Black Ops III, Minecraft, and Fallout 4.

2013 – Playstation 4

Sony's current generation of PlayStation, the PS4, is its most advanced yet, introduced towards the end of the Xbox One launch. It has sharp graphics, virtual reality capabilities, and an impressive library of games to choose from. PS4 competes with Nintendo Switch and Xbox One in popularity in 2018. Popular games for the console are Fortnite, Black Ops IV, and Destiny 2.

2016 – Xbox One S

In 2016, Microsoft gave the Xbox One some major upgrades with the new Xbox One S. The upgraded console was smaller, could upscale 1080p gaming to 4K, and stream 4K video.

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2016 – Playstation 4 Pro

In 2016, Sony updated the PS4 to compete with the 4K upscaling that the Xbox One S offered. The new PlayStation 4 Pro was smaller, thinner, and also supported 4K upscaling. Win win win.

2017 – Xbox One X

The current generation of Xbox launched in 2017 and offers even more graphical upgrades compared to Xbox One S and PlayStation 4 Pro. The new Xbox One X supports native 4K video and gaming. It also offers 40% more processing power than any other console on the market. Some recent popular Xbox One X games includedFallout 76, NBA 2K19, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 y Assassin's Creed Odyssey.

2017 – Nintendo Switch

Nintendo changed the game in 2017 by offering a console that could do more. The new Nintendo Switch functions as both a handheld console and a TV-based console, and the docking controllers give players tremendous flexibility. So far, the most popular games on Switch are Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey.

2020 – Playstation 5

Released in November 2020, four full years after its predecessor, the PlayStation 5 helped launch the ninth generation of video game consoles with two models: the PS5 with a 4K Blu-ray drive for gamers, which offers digital downloads, compatibility with retail games and playback enjoyment. its TVs and Digital Edition model for gamers who rely exclusively on digital downloads. The console's Tempest 3D AudioTech lets you play hundreds of sound sources simultaneously, while the PS4 only played 50. DualSense wireless controllers feature immersive haptic feedback, adaptive triggers, and a built-in microphone. Higher refresh rates ensure smoother gameplay, and a custom SSD gives PlayStation 5 the potential for the fastest game load times of any console on the market.

Do you feel inspired to start playing? aaron's bidsrent to buy game consoles(including some TV packages).


What was the first home game console? ›

The Odyssey was manufactured by Magnavox and released in North America in September of 1972. It's considered the very first home video game console. Ralph Baer, a German-American engineer, created a ping-pong style game.

What is the history of gaming consoles? ›

History. The first video game consoles were produced in the early 1970s. Ralph H. Baer devised the concept of playing simple, spot-based games on a television screen in 1966, which later became the basis of the Magnavox Odyssey in 1972.

Who made the first home video game system? ›

History. The first commercial video game console was the Magnavox Odyssey, developed by Ralph H. Baer and first released commercially in 1972. It was shortly followed by the release of the home version of Pong by Atari Inc. in 1975 based on the arcade game.

What was the first company to produce a gaming console that could be used with a regular television? ›

Magnavox Odyssey 300

Magnavox, the firm that launched the first-ever commercial video game console in 1972, the Odyssey, also pioneered what was probably the first-ever TV with an integrated video game.

What was the first popular console? ›

In 1972, the humble television set was transformed from a passive device into an interactive one, with the launch of the first commercial home videogame console, the Magnavox Odyssey.

What was the first home game console kit in 1967? ›

The Magnavox Odyssey is the first commercial home video game console. The hardware was designed by a small team led by Ralph H.

What are old consoles called? ›

Dedicated retro style home consoles (2001–present)
NameRelease dateManufacturer
Atari Flashback 22005Atari
Sega Mega Drive/Genesis PlayTV LegendsRadica Games
Sega Mega Drive/Genesis PlayTV Legends Volume II
Arcade Gamer/Poga/DPG-350/Master System Portátil2007AtGames
57 more rows

What is the best console in history? ›

Here are the best consoles in the history of gaming, ranked.
  • Nintendo's Transitional Fossil. Nintendo Wii U. ...
  • Microsoft's Current Contender. Microsoft Xbox Series X. ...
  • Today's Hardest to Find Console. ...
  • The Ultimate Family Console. ...
  • Lowkey Legend. ...
  • The Online Console Blueprint. ...
  • The OG Grown Up Console. ...
  • Nintendo's Groundbreaker.
Jan 4, 2023

What are the 4 most popular game consoles? ›

Scroll down for more details and breakdowns:
  • PlayStation 2 (Sony) - 159 million*
  • Nintendo DS (Nintendo) - 154.02 million.
  • Game Boy/Game Boy Color (Nintendo) - 118.69 million.
  • PlayStation 4 (Sony) - 117.2 million.
  • Nintendo Switch (Nintendo) - 114.33 million.
Jan 30, 2023

Was the Atari the first home console? ›

Atari did not make the first home video game system—that honor belonged to Magnavox Odyssey. But Atari was the company that truly popularized this play form. Atari first entered the home market with its 1975 electronic table-tennis game Pong.

Was the NES the first home console? ›

Despite what you might think, the NES wasn't Nintendo's first consumer games machine, that accolade belongs to the handheld series Game & Watch, although it has come on leaps and bounds since then.

Was the Atari 2600 the first home console? ›

The Atari 2600 is a home video game console developed and produced by Atari, Inc. Released in September 1977, it popularized microprocessor-based hardware and games stored on swappable ROM cartridges, a format first used with the Fairchild Channel F in 1976.
Atari 2600.
Four-switch VCS model (1980–1982)
SuccessorAtari 5200
17 more rows

Which was the first home video game console in the early 1970? ›

Magnavox Odyssey

It took several years and numerous false starts, but in 1970, Baer showed the game to Magnavox, which signed a licensing agreement the following year. Then, on January 27, 1972, Magnavox launched Baer's "brown box" technology as the Odyssey video game console—the world's first home video game system.


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