For quite some time it has been complicated to point out which was the first videogame, mainly due to the multiple definitions of this that have been established, but it can be considered as the first videogame the Nought and crosses, also called OXO, developed by Alexander S.Douglas in 1952. The game was a computerized version of the three in line that ran on the EDSAC and allowed a human player to face the machine.
In 1958 William Higginbotham created, using a program for calculating trajectories and an oscilloscope, Tennis for Two: a table tennis simulator for the entertainment of visitors to the Brookhaven National Laboratory exhibition.
This video game was the first to allow two human players to play. Four years later Steve Russell, a student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, spent six months creating a computer game using vector graphics: Spacewar.
In this game, two players controlled the direction and speed of two spaceships fighting each other. The game ran on a PDP-1 and was the first to have some success, although it was barely known outside the university setting.
In 1966 Ralph Baer began to develop, together with Albert Maricon and Ted Dabney, a videogame project called Fox and Hounds, giving birth to the domestic videogame. This project evolved into the Magnavox Odyssey, the first home video game system launched in 1972 that connected to television and allowed several pre-recorded games to be played.
An important milestone in the beginning of video games took place in 1971 when Nolan Bushnell began marketing Computer Space, a version of Space War, although another recreational version of Space War such as Galaxy War may have been ahead of him in the early 1970s at Stanford University's campus.
The rise of video games came with the Pong arcade machine which is considered the commercial version of Higginbotham's game Tennis for Two. The system was designed by Al Alcom for Nolan Bushnell in the newly founded Atari.
The game was introduced in 1972 and was the cornerstone of the video game industry. Over the next few years, numerous technical advances were implemented in video games (including microprocessors and memory chips). Games such as Space Invaders (Taito) or Asteroids (Atari) appeared in arcades.
The 1980s began with strong growth in the video game sector encouraged by the popularity of arcades and the first game consoles that appeared during the 1970s.
During these years, systems such as Oddyssey 2 (Phillips), Intellivision (Mattel), Colecovision (Coleco), Atari 5200, Commodore 64, Turbografx (NEC) stand out. On the other hand, arcade games such as the famous Pacman (Namco), Battle Zone (Atari), Pole Position (Namco), Tron (Midway) or Zaxxon (Sega) triumphed.
The business associated to this new industry reached great things in these first years of the 80, but nevertheless, in 1983 began the so called crisis of the videogame, affecting mainly the United States and Canada, and that would not arrive at its end until 1985.
Japan bet on the world of consoles with the success of the Famicom (called in the West as Nintendo Entertainment System), launched by Nintendo in 1983 while Europe opted for microcomputers such as the Commodore 64 or Spectrum.
After their particular crisis, the Americans continued the path opened up by the Japanese and adopted the NES as their main video game system. Throughout the decade, new domestic systems appeared, such as the Master System (Sega), the Amiga (Commodore) and the 7800 (Atari), with games today considered classics such as Tetris.
At the end of the 80's 16 bit consoles like Sega's Mega Drive began to appear and microcomputers were slowly replaced by personal computers based on IBM architectures.
In 1985 Super Mario Bros appeared, which was a turning point in the development of electronic games, since most of the previous games only contained a few screens that were repeated in a loop and the goal was simply to make a high score. The game developed by Nintendo was a burst of creativity. For the first time we had a goal and an end in a video game. In the years that followed, other companies emulated his style of play.
In the field of arcades, video games such as Defender, Rally-X, Dig Dug, Bubble Bobble, Gauntlet, Out Run or Shinobi stood out, as well as a change in the nationality of the games, with Japan becoming the biggest producer.
In the field of recreation, video games such as Defender, Rally-X, Dig Dug, Bubble Bobble, Gauntlet, Out Run or Shinobi stood out, as well as a change in the nationality of the games, with Japan becoming the largest producer.
Another branch of videogames that grew strongly was that of portable videogames. These began in the early 70's with the first fully electronic games launched by Mattel, which could hardly be considered as video games, and were growing in popularity thanks to conversions of recreational games such as those made by Coleco or addictive microgames such as Nintendo Game & Watch. The definitive evolution of laptops as video game platforms came in 1989 with the launch of the Game Boy (Nintendo).
In the early 1990s, game consoles made a major technical leap thanks to the competition of the so-called "16-bit generation" consisting of the Mega Drive, Nintendo's Super Nintendo Entertainmet, NEC's PC Engine, known as Turbografx in the West and Capcom's CPS Changer.
Along with them also appeared the Neo Geo (SNK) a console that matched the technical features of an arcade but too expensive to reach mass homes.
This generation meant a significant increase in the number of players and the introduction of technologies such as the CD-ROM, an important evolution within the different genres of video games, mainly thanks to new technical capabilities.
In the meantime, several companies had begun to work in videogames with three-dimensional environments, mainly in the field of PCs, obtaining different results from the "2D and media" of Doom, complete 3D of 4D Boxing to 3D on pre-rendered environments of Alone in Dark. Referring to the old 16-bit consoles, its biggest and last achievement would be produced by the SNES using SGI's 3-D pre-rendered technology, with games such as Donkey Kong Country and Killer Instinct being its maximum expression. Also emerged the first polygonal console game, the SNES competition, Mega-Drive, launched the Virtual Racing, which was a great success as it marked a before and after in 3D console games.
Quickly 3D video games were occupying an important place in the market, mainly thanks to the so-called "32-bit generation" in the game consoles: Sony PlayStation and Sega Saturn (mainly in Japan); and the "64-bit generation" in the game consoles: Nintendo 64 and Atari jaguar. As for computers, 3D accelerators were created.
The Sony console appeared after a project initiated with Nintendo (called SNES PlayStation), which consisted of a peripheral for SNES with CD player. In the end Nintendo rejected Sony's proposal, as Sega had developed something similar without success, and Sony independently launched PlayStation.
For their part, the arcades began a slow but unstoppable decline as access to more powerful consoles and computers increased.
On the other hand, portable video games, product of the most powerful new technologies, began their true boom, joining the Game Boy machines such as the Game Gear (Sega), Linx (Atari) or the Neo Geo Pocket (SNK), although none could cope with the popularity of the Game Boy, being this and his descendants (Game Boy Pocket, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, Game Boy Advance SP) the market dominators.
Towards the end of the decade the most popular console was the PlayStation with games like Final Fantasy VII (Square), Resident Evil (Capcom), Winning Eleven 4 (Konami), Gran Turismo (Polyphony Digital) and Metal Gear Solid (konami).
On PCs, FPS (first-person action games) such as Quake (id Softare), Unreal (Epic Megagames) or Half-Life (Valve), and RTS (real-time strategy games) such as Command & Conquer (Westwood) or Starcraft (Blizzard) were very popular. In addition, connections between computers via the Internet facilitated multiplayer gaming, making it the preferred choice of many players, and were responsible for the birth of MMORPGs (online multiplayer role-playing games) such as Ultima Online (Origin). Finally, in 1998, Dreamcast (Sega) appeared in Japan and the "128-bit generation" would begin.
In 2000 Sony launched the anticipated PlayStation 2 and Sega launched another console with the same technical features as the Dreamcast, nothing more than a 14-inch monitor, keyboard, speakers and the same controls called Dreamcast Drivers 2000 Series CX-1.
Microsoft enters the console industry by creating the Xbox in 2001.