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Video Gaming Timeline 1980s

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1980
Mattel Electronics releases the Intellivision home video game system. Price is US$300.
Midway Manufacturing introduces the Pac-Man arcade vide game. Within a year, 100,000 machines are sold for US$200 million in revenue, with the machines taking in US$1 billion in quarters.
1981
Nintendo releases the Donkey Kong arcade video game in the US.
Sales of home video game systems and cartridges in the US hits US$1 billion for the year.
1982
Coleco Industries introduces the Colecovision home video game system.
Atari introduces the Atari 5200 video game system. Price is US$269.
Atari releases E.T. the Extraterrestrial game cartridge for the Atari 2600 game system. 4 million cartridges are produced, 2 million are sold, 1 million are returned. The game is considered one of the worst video games ever made. Millions of cartridges are later buried in a land-fill site.
Warner Communications announces that fourth quarter earnings would be substantially below expectations, due to sluggish sales in its Atari video games division. The next day, Mattel also announces financial problems for the quarter. Overnight, stock of both companies lose one-third of their market value. This marks the beginning of the end of the video game craze, which will bottom out in 1985, before climbing back to 1982 levels in 1989.
1983
Cinematronics releases Dragon's Lair to arcade centers. It is the first laser-disc-based coin-operated arcade game. Cost per play is 50-cents. Advanced Microcomputer Systems designed the game, with animation provided by Don Bluth Animations.
Nintendo releases the Family Computer (Famicom) video game system in Japan. The system is a phenomenal success, with 500,000 units selling in the first two months. In 1985, Nintendo will release a similar system in the US called the Nintendo Entertainment System.
1985
Nintendo releases the Super Mario Bros. video game for the Nintendo Entertainment System in the US. Total worldwide sales: 40.24 million, the best-selling game of all time.
Nintendo releases the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in the US, slowly resurrecting the video game industry. The system comes with a two-button and "plus" pad controller, a Zapper light gun, and Robotic Operating Buddy mechanical robot that can interact with a few games. Total sales of the NES over the product's lifetime reach 36 million.
Sales of video game systems and cartridges in the US during the year: about US$100 million.
1986
Nintendo releases the Metroid video game for the Nintendo Entertainment System in the US.
1987
Nintendo released The Legend of Zelda video game for the Nintendo Entertainment System in the US.
Square releases the first Final Fantasy video game for the Famicom system in Japan.
1988
Konami releases the first Metal Gear video game for the Nintendo Entertainment System in the US.
Nintendo releases the Super Mario Bros. 2 game for the Nintendo Entertainment System in the US.
1989
Nintendo releases the hend-held Game Boy video game system in Japan. Games are played on a 2.5-inch monochrome screen.
Sega Enterprises introduces the Genesis home video game system in the US. It features 16-bit Motorola 68000 processor, 512-color output with 80 animated sprites. Price is US$189. Total North American sales in its lifetime: 14 million.
NEC Home Entertainment introduces the TurboGrafx-16 home video game system in the US. It features 16-bit graphics processor, 512 colors, 64 movable sprites, stereo sound. Price is US$199. Less than 1 million units are shipped in its lifetime.
Nintendo releases the Super Mario Land video game for the Game Boy in the US.
Atari introduces the first color hand-held video game system, the Lynx.
Sales of video game systems and cartridges in the US during the year: US$3.4 billion.


Next up the 1990s

LINK:
Video Gaming Timeline 1970s [link]
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