The video game history started
in a strange and complicated way and it is important to avoid confusions with
what happened in the 1950s and 1960s. The real video game history started with
Ralph Baer as early as 1951. One very important thing to remember is
how the video game has been defined in the 1960s before modern tehnologies
allowed video games to be played on computers.
In the USA, it started on May 1972 with the Magnavox
Odyssey (first home video game) and Atari in November 1972 (their first PONG
arcade game). Atari's game was quickly copied and improved in 1973. Later in
1975, home video games became popular and were sold by numerous companies. Some like Executive Games started from
a five-student MIT project. Others like First Dimension ran a poor business and
did not survive the strong competition from Atari, Sears, Coleco, Magnavox
|EARLY VIDEO GAME HISTORY IN THE USA
|EARLY VIDEO GAME HISTORY IN EUROPE
|MISC: Press articles & ads, schematics, weird systems, emulators
David Winter's PONG rarity list
We all want to believe that some of our games are very rare. But is it really the case ? Verify it with David Winter's PONG rarity list. Although not complete due to the large number of Ball and Paddle games released all over the world in the 1970s, it has been carefully compiled after daily checks of online auctions since 1995, hence relevant rarity ratings. Please understand that there is no relevant price guide for these games because their demand changes every day.
Who did it first ? (by Ralph H. Baer)
Ralph Baer's interesting discussion about his invention. He explains why he is the real inventor of the video game, and clearly explains the original definition of the video game as of when it has been invented.
Getting Things Straight by Ralph H. Baer
Another great article explaining why Magnavox sued various video game manufacturers, and why video game history is often altered by mistaken information.
Revisiting History with Active Cards by Ralph H. Baer
Read the great story about those active Odyssey cartridges that Ralph Baer built for Magnavox in 1972, which never went into production, and which he rebuilt in 2003.
Willy Higinbotham's "Tennis for Two" computer game
John Anderson played Willy's game and relates a story about it.
Beware: this article contains some mistakes, which have been corrected.
Magnavox Odyssey FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Everything you want to know about the first home video game: games, technology, history, parts list, add-ons, and much more.
Different types of PONG systems
They all play the same games but use different technologies. This article explains the technologies used in PONG systems: analog, digital, integrated, and programmed.
How to connect a PONG system to the composite video input
or your TV set
A solution to the common problem of modern television sets which don't always work with the unstable video signals of old PONG systems. Beware: this solution requires technical skills and does not work with every PONG system.
I lost the switch-box, can I still use my PONG game ?
Here's the answer to the most common problem that people encounter when they find their old PONG game sitting in their garage many years after, or when they buy a loose PONG game for the nostalgia and are missing the switch-box.
If you are lost or want to find something quickly, or just to get an idea of what's on this site...