Console people often don’t know the whole story of how consoles came to be. Everybody wants a PS5 or an Xbox Series X but nobody cares about how the consoles came to be. It used to be a huge competition between so many different manufacturers once upon a time. They battled for the title of the best console provided and nobody ever won, but customers had so many choices to make. Nowadays, it is just two, or three, if you count Nintendo.

Here is more about the evolution of home video game consoles.

Home Video Game Consoles – The Start

The first console was the Magnavox Odyssey which contained Pong, a game by Atari. It was released in 1972. An entire console made for a single game. Things were difficult back then. The problem with the first generation consoles was that there were at least 900 of them, and most of them were dedicated circuit boards for a single game. Popular consoles at the time were the Atari Home Pong, the Telstar and the Odyssey. Things got a lot more clear during the second generation, which began in 1976 and lasted until 1992 (there were more generations in between). Consoles popular at the time were the Atari 2600, the Odyssey 2 and the ColecoVision and Intellivision. 

Jzh2074, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons – cropped

The Big Boys – Enter Sega and Nintendo

The console wars were interesting during the first two generations, but once the third generation consoles kicked in, things were starting to shape up. Sega and their Sega Master System came to the market, but so did Nintendo with its Nintendo Entertainment System. Both consoles had cartridges and supported multiple games. During the time, the Atari 7800 was also popular, but the two giants overtook them and held the markets for a while, at least until the nineties, when everything changed once more.

Sony is Here – Be Afraid

Sega and Nintendo enjoyed a good 15 years before Sony came to the market. Their Genesis and Super Nintendo systems were the best at the time and many gamers of the time still enjoy and play the games through emulators. Actually, most new gamers would do well to play some of those old games as they are still relevant and interesting.

In 1994, at the very end of the year, in December, Sony released its PlayStation console, which is to this day relevant and important in the world of gaming. It started a competition which another company would join not long after.

Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo

Sega tried to compete with Sony and Nintendo, but they couldn’t keep up. Their sales weren’t small, but they were lackluster and they cancelled their Dreamcast console after a while. Both Saturn and Dreamcast had a bad ecosystem compared to Nintendo 64 and the PlayStation.

In 2003, however, Microsoft joined the chat with their Xbox. Since then, up until the release of PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, the three companies battled, Nintendo making the most sales with their Wii at one time.

The Present – Sony and Microsoft

There are remnants of other manufacturers in the world, but realistically, only Sony and Microsoft still make competitive high end consoles and the Series X and PS5 show that.

Will Nintendo make another console? Will we have more competitors? Who knows what the future holds. We will have to wait and see and play games on the PS5 and Series X in the meantime.