Key Developments Within the Gaming Industry in the Last Three Decades

Key Developments Within the Gaming Industry in the Last Three Decades

July 11, 2016

/ by Tin Salamunic

While it might have been a niche interest at one time, gaming is something that is now hugely popular among various different groups, regardless of age or gender. The industry has developed at a rapid pace during the past few decades and these are some of the major moves that saw it reach its current level of success.

Nintendo NES Launch
Although gaming wasn’t invented during the 1980s – Pong came along a decade before that – it was then that it really began to develop mass appeal. A key development in that was the launch of the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in late 1985. This really was the beginning of gaming at home and Nintendo picked the toughest market to launch in – New York. The company took the gamble of agreeing to supply the system, set up store displays and accept the return of unsold stock. It was a big risk, but the result was early dominance of the home gaming market for Nintendo.

The Console Wars
This has been a long-running battle between the major games companies and it began when Sega emerged to challenge Nintendo with the launch of its Sega Genesis. The company targeted Nintendo in a series of go-for-the-throat adverts, but Nintendo-exclusive games like Donkey Kong Country saw the Super Nintendo console sell more. The Sony PlayStation then arrived and destroyed the Nintendo 64 and the Sega Saturn – at least partly because of design flaws by Nintendo and dodgy advertising by Sega. PlayStation 2 seemed to cement Sony’s control of the console gaming market, only for Nintendo to revive itself with the launch of the massively popular Wii – which won by luring casual gamers.

Mobile Gaming Emerges
It is just that casual gaming audience that mobile gaming has tapped into. The ability to play games on devices like mobile phones and tablets means it can be incorporated more easily into everyday life, making it appealing to non-hardcore gamers. Mobile era games like Angry Birds have attracted staggering numbers of players, many of them women and older people who were not as receptive to gaming before. Furthermore the availability of online casino games and sports betting on mobile devices via sites like has also seen people who love to gamble, but not play fantasy-style games, enter the gaming market. 

With both consoles and mobile gaming available now, the gaming market is bigger than ever and there are exciting developments still to come – including the launch of augmented-reality games systems like Microsoft’s HoloLens.

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