Minimal Controller

Video Game Technology

A Brief History of Video Games

Video games, in recent times, have become wildly popular. Something that was once thought of as being a waste of time, is now being seen as an art. With that interest in mind, technology has also been pushed to its limits in order to create an experience where one can truly immerse themselves in the game. However, before we go into that, we must first think about how the technology behind video games began.

It is commonly thought that the Atari 2600, the console that Pong was known to be played on, was the first console. However, this is untrue as the Atari was actually preceded by the Magnavox Odyssey by a few months. The Magnavox Odyssey was the first game console to utilize the technology known as a "Light gun." The light gun technology uses a small photodiode to receive the light from the screen. This, in combination with haptic feedback, helped further simulate the experience of using a gun.

Light Gun

The immersion that the user feels when operating a video game console has been such an important aspect of gaming. Over the years, this was sought to be enhanced by increasing the quality of graphics. We went from 2-dimensional to 3-dimensional in the 1990's. But it wasn't until 2012 when Nintendo attempted to popularize the next big thing in the gaming experience. Motion Control in the Nintendo Wii. The Nintendo Wii utilized accelerometers in the controller to sense when the user was moving it. This opened the path for video games to include mechanics where the player can feel as though they're having a direct, physical effect on the game. This gimmick however quickly seemed to dissipate over the next few years, and the journey to true immersion continued.