FLASHBACK ON : Retro Game Consoles, the consoles that marked our childhood

The legendary 20th century video games consoles

Do you remember the time when you couldn’t play games in online multiplayer? Or when controllers had mandatory wires to the console? 

Modern consoles, such as the PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, and Nintendo Switch, offer impressive features that enhance the gaming experience. With their advanced graphics, these consoles deliver stunning visuals, realistic animations, and complex gameplay. The online multiplayer functionality allows players to connect and compete with friends and gamers from around the world, fostering a sense of community and expanding the possibilities video games have to offer. 

Yet, vintage consoles still hold a special place in our gaming memories, with their charms and simplicity. Today we will talk about a few of the consoles that definitely marked our childhood and the evolution of gaming in the 20th century.

Atari 2600 : the pioneer of home video gaming

The mother of all consoles, released in 1977, is often considered one of the first successful home video game consoles. It democratized gaming to the general public. Indeed, more than 27 million consoles were sold, making it today’s 19th most sold console ever. More than 900 games could be played on it, including highly popular games like Space Invaders, Pitfall and Pac-Man.

NES : the rise of Nintendo

In 1983, the Nintendo Entertainment System brought video games to a next level. With an incredible array of video games you could play – 1,251 in total – this console brought Nintendo to another stage of fame. Introducing famous franchises like Super Mario Bros, which was sold 50 million times, but also The Legend of Zelda, and Metroid. The NES popularized the concept of controllers with directional pads and buttons, expanding video games’ gameplay. This evolution surely made its success, with 61 million copies sold, making it the world’s 13th most sold console ever.

Playstation : the beginning of 3D video games

In 1994, Sony’s PlayStation revolutionized the world of video gaming by popularizing 3D graphics. It introduced titles that are still well-known today such as Final Fantasy VII, Metal Gear Solid and Resident Evil. The PlayStation also pioneered the use of CD-ROM, enabling games to be more detailed, with spectacular cinematics and immersive music. This evolution was certainly a huge success, given the +104 million copies sold, making it the 6th most video games console sold ever.

Game Boy : the democratization of portable gaming

The Game Boy, released in 1989, was a revolutionary gaming console that left an indelible mark on the gaming industry, paving the way for portable consoles like Nintendo DS and Nintendo Switch. As of today, it is still one of the most famous gaming consoles, that both young and old people know. With its compact design, the Game Boy allowed gamers to take their favorite games on the go for the first time. It democratized iconic franchises like Pokémon and Tetris, becoming the 4th most sold video game console ever, with +118 million copies sold.

These are certainly not the only games that marked the 20th century, but they surely made it to the top in this category, allowing gaming to be more accessible and more intricate.

If you would like to discuss retro gaming in more detail, or that you would like to discover more about it, how about watching some retro gaming podcasts on BIGG TV?