Timeline of arcade video game history

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This is a timeline of notable events in the history of arcade video gaming.

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Part of a series on:
History of video games

Pre-golden age (1971-1977)[edit]

1971
1972
1973
1974
1975
  • Midway MFG. releases Gun Fight, an adaptation of Taito's Western Gun and the first arcade video game to use a microprocessor, which the original incarnation did not use, allowing for improved graphics and smoother animation.[5]
1976
  • Atari Inc. releases Night Driver, another early example of a first-person perspective racing video game.
1977

Golden age (1978-1986)[edit]

1978
1979
1980
  • Williams Electronics release Defender, a more challenging shoot-em-up space game with control configuration of five buttons and a joystick.
1981
  • Nintendo releases Donkey Kong, which was one of the first platform games. It was also the game that introduced Mario (named simply "Jumpman" at the time) to the video game world, and one of the first video games to have a fleshed out storyline.[21]
  • Konami releases Scramble, the first side-scrolling shooter with forced scrolling and multiple distinct levels.[24]
  • Namco releases Bosconian, introducing a free-roaming style of gameplay where the player's ship freely moves across open space that scrolls in all directions and a radar that tracks player & enemy positions on the map.[25]
1982
  • Namco releases Pole Position, one of the most popular racing games of all time.[26]
  • Konami releases Time Pilot, which features a time travel theme and a free-roaming style of gameplay where the player's plane could freely move across open air space that scrolls indefinitely in all directions.[28][29]
  • Atari released Quantum, an early arcade game to use a 16-bit 68000 CPU, for more detailed and smoother graphics.[30]
1983
  • Atari brings I, Robot, the first commercially produced 3D-polygonal game is released.
  • Dragon's Lair, the first video game to use cel-animated video instead of computer generated graphics.
  • Atari brings Star Wars to the arcades in the form of a 3D vector graphics simulation of the movie's attack on the Death Star sequence and featuring digitized samples of voices from the movie.
  • Cube Quest by Simutrek is released and is the first to combine 3D polygonal graphics with laserdisc background images. (A technique later used in Galaxian³ by Namco).
1984
  • 16-bit processors are increasingly used in arcade machines, resulting in much more detailed and faster graphics.
  • Namco releases Pac-Land, an influential side-scrolling platform game.
  • The Last Starfighter was planned to be released by Atari in 1984. Due to the high cost of the hardware, the game was cancelled. If released, it would have been Atari's second arcade game to use 3D polygonal graphics and started the 3D polygonal revolution in the arcades much faster.[32][33]
1985
  • Air Race was also planned to be released by Atari in 1985. Due to the high cost of the hardware, the game also was cancelled. If released, it would have been the first arcade racing game to use 3D polygon graphics.[35][36]
1986
  • Chiller by Exidy is released and is an early example of blood and gore.[38]
  • Top Gunner by Exidy is released and is the last commercial arcade video game to use vector-based(wireframe) graphics.
  • Turbo Kourier is released by the Vivid Group and is the first coin-operated Virtual Reality arcade video game to use 3D Polygon Graphics.[39][40]

Post-golden age (1987-present)[edit]

1987
1988
  • NARC, by Williams is released and is the first commercially released game to use a 32-bit processor.
  • Reikai Doushi by Home Data is released. It is the first digitized fighting game and the first claymation fighting game.
  • Namco releases Assault, which was the first game to make use of massive sprite rotation as well as sprite scaling. It also released Splatterhouse, which was the first game to get a parental advisory disclaimer.
  • Tetris makes the jump from home to arcade as an Atari coin-op.
  • Top Landing by Taito is released and is the first coin-operated flight simulation game to use 3D polygon graphics and runs on a 3D hardware Taito Air System.[41]
1989
  • Hard Drivin', by Atari Games is released and is the second arcade driving game to have 3D polygon graphics.
  • Exterminator, the first game with fully digitized graphics, is released. It will have the highest quality digitized graphics until the release of Mortal Kombat II.
1990
  • Race Drivin' is released by Atari Games and is an arcade sequel to Hard Drivin'.
  • Pit-Fighter is released by 'Atari Games and is the first ever fighting game to use fully digitized graphics. Released two years before Midway's Mortal Kombat.
  • Air Inferno is released by Taito and is the last game running on the 3D hardware Taito Air System.
  • Galaxian³ is released by Namco as a video game Theme Park Attraction and is the first to feature 8-players. This game is a sequel to the Galaxian series and is known for combining pre-laserdisc background images and 3D Polygonal graphics. It was later released as an arcade cabinet to the public in 1994.
  • NAM-1975 is released by SNK and is the first game running on a Neo Geo hardware and became the standardized arcade platform throughout the 90s to the early 2000s. Many 2D fighting games like Fatal Fury, World Heroes, and Samurai Showdown ran on this hardware and was very popular in the arcades for its time.
1991
1992
1993
  • Mortal Kombat II is released, featuring high quality digitized graphics, and the most advanced sound system in arcades at the time, the DCS sound system which allowed for MP3 style compression to all sounds.
  • Sega releases Virtua Fighter, the first 3D fighting game.
1994
  • Killer Instinct is released, the first arcade game with a hard disk, up to that point the game with the highest quality graphics pre-rendered by a rendering program, featuring to this day the highest quality use of the movie background technique.
  • Namco releases Tekken, another fighting game.
1995
1996
  • SNK releases Metal Slug, a run and gun game widely known for its sense of humor, fluid hand-drawn animation, and fast paced two-player action.
1998
  • Konami releases Dance Dance Revolution, an arcade game with four arrow pads that the players used to "dance." This game would create many sequels and spin-offs.
  • Gauntlet Legends is released by Atari Games and it is the first game in the Gauntlet series to be produced in 3D and is the last Gauntlet game relassed by Atari Games.
1999
  • Rush 2049 is released, the last arcade game to bear the Atari Games logo. Atari Games in Milpitas is renamed Midway Games West, and closes its coin-op product development division.
  • Hydro Thunder is released by Midway Games a 3D speedboat racing game and was one of the first to one on a windows based PC hardware called Quicksilver II Hardware many arcade games in the later in the decade soon followed. The game was one of Midway Games most successful arcade games to date.
2000
2001
  • Namco releases Tekken 4, the first talking game to feature almost all characters talking to one another.
2002
  • Arctic Thunder : Special Edition is released and is the last arcade game by Midway Games and runs on a PC based Hardware Midway Graphite. It's arcade division was later shut down.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Astro Race at the Killer List of Videogames
  2. ^ Basketball at the Killer List of Videogames
  3. ^ a b Bill Loguidice & Matt Barton (2009), Vintage games: an insider look at the history of Grand Theft Auto, Super Mario, and the most influential games of all time, p. 197, Focal Press, ISBN 0-240-81146-1
  4. ^ Speed Race at the Killer List of Videogames
  5. ^ Chris Kohler (2005), Power-up: how Japanese video games gave the world an extra life, BradyGames, p. 19, ISBN 0-7440-0424-1, retrieved 2011-03-27 
  6. ^ Moto-Cross at the Killer List of Videogames
  7. ^ Mark J. P. Wolf (2008), The video game explosion: a history from PONG to PlayStation and beyond, p. 39, ABC-CLIO, ISBN 0-313-33868-X
  8. ^ Fonz at the Killer List of Videogames
  9. ^ Road Race at the Killer List of Videogames
  10. ^ Chris Kohler (2005), Power-up: how Japanese video games gave the world an extra life, BradyGames, p. 18, ISBN 0-7440-0424-1, retrieved 2011-03-27 
  11. ^ "Essential 50: Space Invaders". 1UP.com. Retrieved 2011-03-26. 
  12. ^ Edwards, Benj. "Ten Things Everyone Should Know About Space Invaders". 1UP.com. Retrieved 2008-07-11. 
  13. ^ Secret Base at AllGame
  14. ^ Secret Base at the Killer List of Videogames
  15. ^ "Mobile Games". Atari. Retrieved 2013-02-28. 
  16. ^ Galaxian at the Killer List of Videogames
  17. ^ a b Where Were They Then: The First Games of Nintendo, Konami, and More (Nintendo), 1UP
  18. ^ The Essential 50 - Pac-Man, 1UP
  19. ^ Playing With Power: Great Ideas That Have Changed Gaming Forever, 1UP
  20. ^ Gaming's Most Important Evolutions, GamesRadar
  21. ^ "donkey kong [coin-op] arcade video game, nintendo co., ltd. (1981)". Arcade-history.com. Retrieved 2013-02-28. 
  22. ^ Mark J. P. Wolf (2008), The video game explosion: a history from PONG to PlayStation and beyond, ABC-CLIO, p. 69, ISBN 0-313-33868-X, retrieved 2011-03-28 
  23. ^ Eliminator at the Killer List of Videogames
  24. ^ Game Genres: Shmups, Professor Jim Whitehead, January 29, 2007, Accessed June 17, 2008
  25. ^ Bosconian at AllGame
  26. ^ "pole position [cockpit model] [coin-op] arcade video game, namco, ltd. (1982)". Arcade-history.com. 2012-07-24. Retrieved 2013-02-28. 
  27. ^ Mark J. P. Wolf (2008), The video game explosion: a history from PONG to PlayStation and beyond, p. 70, ABC-CLIO, ISBN 0-313-33868-X
  28. ^ Time Pilot at AllGame
  29. ^ "Konami Classics Series: Arcade Hits - NDS - Review". GameZone. April 9, 2007. Retrieved 2011-04-08. 
  30. ^ 9189 at the Killer List of Videogames
  31. ^ "libble rabble [coin-op] arcade video game, namco, ltd. (1983)". Arcade-history.com. 2008-04-04. Retrieved 2013-02-28. 
  32. ^ [1]
  33. ^ [2]
  34. ^ "Tehkan World Cup - Videogame by Tehkan". Arcade-museum.com. Retrieved 2013-02-28. 
  35. ^ [3]
  36. ^ [4]
  37. ^ [5]
  38. ^ by nathaaan90, May 11, 2010 (2010-05-11). "15 Firsts In Video Game History". Listverse. Retrieved 2013-02-28. 
  39. ^ [6]
  40. ^ [7]
  41. ^ [8]

External links[edit]