We are definitely in flashback mode today. Let’s go back to the early 1980s, when home video game consoles started appearing in living rooms everywhere. After Pong hit it big in the late 1970s, consumers were ready for more action.
The Atari 2600 was actually released in the late 1970s, but became a major hit in 1980. Games such as Combat, Adventure, Asteroids and Space Invaders took over television sets everywhere. However, the graphics (especially when compared to actual arcade games) were awful and those who were looking to bring the full arcade experience to their living rooms wanted something more.
ColecoVision was released in September of 1982 and games such as Donkey Kong, Lady Bug, and Zaxxon had arcade-like graphics. The Atari 5200, which came out at the same time, also offered a much better video game experience than the Atari 2600.
The home video game industry crashed in 1982 due to an over-saturation of cheap, poor quality games. However, Nintendo saved the industry with the Nintendo NES, which was released in 1986. By the late 1980s, almost every home had a Nintendo NES and the music from Mario Brothers still echoes in all our brains.
Here is our list of the most significant home video game consoles of the 1980s. Take a step back in time and read our list. What was the first video game console you owned?
5: Atari 5200
The Atari 5200 was originally released to compete with the Intellivision game console, but ended up competing with ColecoVision. Games, such as Pole Position, Dig Dug, and Pac Man not only had arcade-like graphics, but had more colors than games by competing consoles.
The Intellivision game console was originally released in 1979, but went head-to-head with the Atari 2600 in 1980 and 1981. Even though Intellevision had better graphics than the Atari 2600, sales fell way behind.
In September of 1982, ColecoVision introduced a new era of gaming. For the first time, one could play home video games with arcade-like graphics. Some of the most popular game titles included Donkey Kong, Zaxxon, Buck Rogers, and Donkey Kong Jr.
2: Nintendo NES
After the home video game industry was declared dead, Nintendo released the Nintendo NES in 1986. It took a couple years for the NES to really take off, but sales went through the roof when it finally broke through.
1: Atari 2600
Even though the Atari 2600 games may be considered a joke when compared to the games of other systems on the list, the Atari 2600 was the video game system that started it all.