What’s Next? Video Game Consoles Through the Years

By on May 19, 2013
Prev1 of 3Next

Video game sales accounted for nearly $15 billion in the U.S. last year. In 2012, the U.S. box office sold about $11 billion worth of tickets, the home video industry made about $18 billion and the publishing and music industry each brought in $7 billion.

Four decades of mainstream gaming have turned the video game industry into a major player in the entertainment business. With last year’s release of Nintendo’s next-gen console Wii U, the February announcement of this fall’s Sony PlayStation 4 and the expected unveiling of Microsoft’s “Xbox 720″ this coming Tuesday, May 21st, the video game industry is ready to take another leap into cultural dominance.

Let’s take a look back at some of the most popular home video game consoles of the past 35+ years, starting with one of the most famous and beloved consoles of any generation, the Atari 2600.

1977: Atari 2600

Not the first video game console—the 1972 Magnavox Odyssey was the first—but the Atari 2600 was certainly the one that started the modern age of video games.

Atari-2600-original

1978: Magnavox Odyssey 2

The successor to the original video game console had no third-party games but still sold over a million consoles.

Magnavox-Odyssey-2-Console

1979: Mattel Intellivision

It never could get out of the shadows of the Atari 2600, but with unique add-ons like Intellivoice, the speech synthesizer, the Intellivision still has many fans to this day.

intellivision

1982: ColecoVision

It had better graphics than the Atari 2600 and Intellivision, and it included the arcade smash Donkey Kong. But there was also a depressing Smurfs game.

colecovision

1982: Atari 5200

The inevitable sequel to the legendary 2600, the 5200 would eventually fall victim to the video game crash of 1983, but had an analog joystick with a numeric keypad and pause button.

Atari-5200

1982: Intellivision II

Yeah… sneaky name since it was the same exact thing as the Intellivision, only smaller.

Intellivision-II

Prev1 of 3Next

About Joe Warner

I'm the senior editor of The CheckOut. I am an aficionado of shiny gadgets and classic Hollywood movies and can also tell you the names of the late '80s Swedish Davis Cup team members.

One Comment

  1. dave_c

    May 20, 2013 at 9:13 am

    No Atari 800XL or Commodore 64? I first learned to program on those. Having cassette and floppy drives available at “reasonable” prices opened up new possibilities for the consumer.

Leave a Reply

Connect with:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title="" rel=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>