8 Days Of Gaming, Day 1: Intro and 1st Generation

March 29, 2014

A while back I made a series of articles dubbed 7 Days of Metal Gear. The series was so popular that I decided to make two more: 10 Days of Hacking and 8 Days of Gaming. 10 Days of Hacking is special, as it was open ended as there are some pretty cool hacks I want to talk about, but I can’t do it as they are undisclosed or they have not fully developed yet. With this said, let me introduce you to this new series of articles that will be running for the whole month of March.

INTRODUCTION
In this series I will be reviewing all consoles generation by generation from the first, to the 8th (the current gen that just started), but there are a few things you should know about how the articles will work.

- I will not compare consoles. We all already know who won each generation, and why they did, so I’m not gonna bother. I will be reviewing the consoles individually. This also allows me to review the 8th gen even if it just started.

- The articles will be purely subjective, you do not have to agree with everything I say about a console.

- Each article will start by explaining some background history behind the generation, highlighting key moments of each generation. This is the only part of the articles that will be purely objective.

- I am open for discussion in the comments section as long as we keep a mutual respect and the points made have solid grounds. I do not accept “this console is better cause I say so” or “you are wrong because I disagree”.

With this said, lets start with the first generation shall we.

1ST GENERATION: AN ERA OF CLONES
When trying to trace back the very first videogame we would probably end up in the 60′s or 50′s, and we wouldn’t have 100% certainty that we have found the first actual videogame, but when it comes to home consoles as we know them today, it is pretty clear who the first one was.

Many people wrongly assume this title goes to either the Atari 2600 or the Atari Pong. While the Atari Pong was indeed a 1st gen console, it wasn’t the first. You’ve probably already heard this countless times, but in case you haven’t, the first home console was the Magnavox Odyssey.

The Odyssey was released in 1972, but its work began as early as 1966 by an engineer named Ralph Baer.
The name Ralph Baer probably doesn’t ring a bell, but this guy singlehandedly created the videogame industry, and was not only the first one in creating a home console, but also the first one in creating a peripheral for home consoles.

Three years after the release of the Odyssey, Atari released a home version of the arcade game Pong, name Atari Pong, which was much popular but also spawned many clones that flooded the market.

There is not much to talk about the consoles in this generation, so I’m gonna go over the basic important ones and the important facts about them.

Magnavox Odyssey:
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The Odyssey consisted of various cartridges to play games, but unlike more modern consoles, the game wasn’t in the cartridge itself, but in the system, the cartridge simply told the system to switch to one game or another.
Games didn’t vary that much either, they were mostly the same game with the same sprites, only the rules changed.
The way the Odyssey was advertised lead people to believe that you needed a Magnavox TV to be able to use the system, which was not true, but still damaged sales of the system.

We could get over this pretty quickly as this was the first console ever, and there’s really not much to talk about it, but we must all be grateful that this console existed to spawn 40 years of great entertainment.

Atari Pong

The infamous Atari Pong, why infamous? mostly due to the countless clones that appeared in the market, which was both good and bad. The good thing about the countless pong clones is that it attracted people to the videogame market, the bad part is that it created a similar scenario than the one we’ll review for the second generation that derived into the Videogame crash of the 80′s.
The console, and all the clones, only played one game: Pong. There’s not much to say about this game that you probably don’t already know.

Nintendo TV Game

Most people ignore this but, Nintendo’s first console wasn’t the NES on the third generation, it was the Color TV Game, on the first generation. The games were similar to pong with slight variations, and you don’t know about them as they only appeared in Japan. All the different TV Game models sold around 3 million units combined, pretty impressive for a system of that era.

This sums up the introduction, how the articles will be and what were the first home consoles. The second generation article should pop up in the following days. Please note that I TRY to write one of these a day, but sometimes due to time constraints I may not be able to deliver an article in time.

[Note from Wololo: those of you interested in retro gaming should definitely check our ultimate emulators list! All the emulators for your PSP/PS Vita]

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