History of the Computer Gaming Industry in the USA

In 1947, the earliest interactive electronic game was recognized and consisted of analog electronic components called the cathode ray tube amusement device. It was patented in 1948 by Thomas T. Goldsmith Jr. and Estle Ray Mann.

It was followed by MIT's Bouncing Ball program by Charley Adama. Pilot ACE checkers program created in 1951 by Christopher Strachey came next, then Tic-Tac-Toe by A.S. Douglas for Cambridge University. 1958 saw Tennis for Two by William Higinbotham. Mouse in a Maze came next. MIT student Steve Russell made Spacewar!.

Other companies started their own developments, among them IBM 1620 with a baseball simulation game. Sanders Associates created the light gun and the very first shooter game. Sanders Associates presented the world's first home video game platform.

First Generation

1970s - The industry developed video arcade games. This was followed by Odyssey gaming consoles, the first generation of platform gaming devices. Mainframe computers were in development. In 1977, Pong flooded the market.

Second Generation

1977-1983 - Developers presented rom cartridges and Space Invaders. The 1980s saw the birth of genre definitions. Home computer games started to become interesting. Online gaming started to draw attention. Microvision, the first handheld gaming device, was released by Milton Bradley in 1979.

Third Generation

1983-1995 - Nintendo's Famcom, ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC and Commodore 64 with 8 bit graphics dominated the market. Gameboy was first released in 1989.

Fourth Generation

1988-1999 - Platforms were defined by 16 bit graphics. This includes the Super Nintendo Entertainment System by Nintendo, the Sony Playstation and Mega Drive Genesis.

Fifth Generation

1993-2006 - 32-bit and 64-bit graphics overtook the market with platforms like Atari Jaguar, Sega Saturn and 3DO Interactive Multiplayer. In 1997, mobile phone gaming started to emerge with Nokia's Snake application. Compact discs replaced cartridges.

Sixth Generation

1998-2013 - Dreamcast, Gamecube and Microsoft's Xbox dominated the market. Capcom, Electronic Arts and Activision game developers focused on game development for the platforms.

Seventh and Eighth Generation

2004-Present Day - Companies realized potential for increased revenue by tailoring games to appeal to a larger demographic. Marketing and development shifted from hard core to casual gamers. Motion control technology became a popular gameplay interaction. Developers produced the Playstation 3, Wii, Xbox 360, Nintendo DS, Playstation Portable (PSP) and Playstation Vida. Wireless technology and blue ray discs replaced compact discs.