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1st Generation of Video Game Consoles

The first-generation era refers to video game consoles available from 1972 to 1983. Notable platforms of the first generation include the Magnavox Odyssey, Odyssey series, Atari Home Pong, Coleco Telstar series and the Color TV-Game series. The first generation of home video game consoles were mainly dedicated systems which only gave the ability to play different varieties of one game.

With the games built into the system there was no option to add additional games that were developed after the console’s release. These systems initially gave the general public the ability to play some of their favorite video arcade games in the comfort of their homes. However due to the limitations of the consoles only being able to play built in games and the overwhelming amount of new games being released into the arcades forced home console manufacturers to look for a more innovative approach to allow for the ability to play multiple games without having to continue to purchase a completely new system. The generation ended with the computer tv-game in 1980, but many manufacturers had left the market prior to this due to the video game crash of 1977 and the start of the second generation game consoles.

Magnavox Odyssey

  • Released August 1972 in North America, 1973 in Europe and 1974 in Japan
  • Launch price $100
  • Sold approximately 350,000 units

Magnavox Odyssey 2000Odyssey Series (11 variations)

  • Released between 1975 and 1978
  • Launch price between $100 and $230

TV Tennis -ElectrotennisTV Tennis Electrotennis

  • Released on September 12, 1975 in Japan
  • Launch price JP¥19,500
  • Sold approximately 10,000 units

Atari PongHome Pong

  • Released in December 1975 by Atari
  • Launch price $98.95
  • Sold approximately 150,000 units

Binatone TV MasterBinatone TV Master Series (9 variations)

  • Release in 1977 in both Europe and North America
  • Launch Price £39.95

Coleco Telstar ColortronColeco Telstar Series (14 variations)

  • Released between 1976 and 1978 in North America
  • Launch price $50
  • Sold Approximately 1 million units

Nintendo Color TVColor TV-Game Series (9 variations)

  • Released between 1977 and 1980 by Nintendo
  • Sold approximately 3 million units