1983 in video gaming
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- January, Life magazine runs a two-page spread on arcade game world record holders: "Video Game VIPs."
- January, Electronic Games labels Donkey Kong, Space Panic, and other games with ladders as "climbing games."
- At the first Golden Joystick Awards ceremony (held in 1984), Jetpac takes Game of the Year.
- The fourth Arcade Awards are held, for games released during 1981-1982, with Tron winning best arcade game, Demon Attack best console game, David's Midnight Magic best computer game, and Galaxian best standalone game.
- A major shakeout of the North American video game industry ("the crash of 1983") begins. By 1986, total video games sales will decrease from US$3.2 billion to US$0.1 billion.
- In the United States, arcade game revenues are worth $2.9 billion (equivalent to $7.3 billion in 2019).
- In the United States, home video game sales are worth $3.2 billion, according to Nintendo (equivalent to $8.05 billion in 2019).
- In Japan, home video game sales approach ¥400 billion (equivalent to $4.65 billion in 2019).
- MCA Universal files suit against Nintendo, claiming that the latter company's video arcade hit Donkey Kong violated Universal's copyright on King Kong. After a brief trial, the judge determined that the rights to the original Kong had passed into the public domain. The case was dismissed, and MCA Universal paid $1.8 million USD in damages to Nintendo.,
- Atari files suit against Coleco, claiming violation of Atari's patents on the Atari 2600 video game console. The previous year, Coleco released a peripheral device that made it possible for Atari 2600 game cartridges to be run on the ColecoVision console.
- Amusement Developing Section 8 (later known as Sega-AM2), a research and development department of Sega, is established under the supervision of Yu Suzuki in Tokyo, Japan.
- Milton Bradley takes over distribution of the Vectrex console after purchasing General Consumer Electronics.
- New companies: Aackosoft, Alligata, Beyond, Graftgold, Infogrames, Origin Systems, Interplay, Navarre, Mastertronic, Spectrum HoloByte, Tynesoft
- Defunct companies: Games by Apollo, US Games, Xonox, Starpath.
- January, Namco releases Xevious.
- May, Sega releases Astron Belt in the Japanese market, the second laserdisc video game. It uses pre-rendered, computer-animated film footage as backdrops, overlaid with sprite graphics.
- May, Atari releases Star Wars, a color vector graphics game based on the popular film franchise.
- Konami releases Gyruss in Japan. Centuri distributes the game in North America.
- June 14, Nintendo releases Mario Bros., which features the first appearance of Mario's brother, Luigi.
- June 19, Cinematronics releases Advanced Microcomputer Systems's Dragon's Lair, the third laserdisc video game, and the first in the American market.
- June, Data East releases Bega's Battle, a laserdisc video game. It uses anime FMV cut scenes to develop a story between the game's shooting stages, which would later become the standard approach to video game storytelling.
- August, Sega releases Astron Belt in Europe, as the first laserdisc game in the region.
- November, Sega releases Astron Belt in the United States.
- December, Namco releases Pole Position II, adding three additional tracks.
- Atari releases the trackball-controlled Crystal Castles.
- Bally/Midway releases Spy Hunter. They also release Jr. Pac-Man and quiz game Professor Pac-Man without Namco's authorization, and the latter is an immediate flop.
- Nintendo releases Punch-Out!! in Japan.
- Williams releases Blaster, which was originally programmed on an Atari 8-bit computer.
- Parker Brothers releases James Bond 007.
- June, Yuji Horii releases The Portopia Serial Murder Case for the NEC PC-6001 in Japan. It is an influential adventure game that lays the foundations for the visual novel genre.
- July 8, Infocom releases Planetfall, which becomes one of their top sellers.
- August 23, Origin Systems publishes Ultima III: Exodus, one of the first role-playing video games to use tactical, turn-based combat. It is released for the Apple II, Atari 800, Commodore 64, and IBM PC.
- ASCII releases Bokosuka Wars for the Sharp X1 in Japan. It is a precursor to the tactical role-playing game and real-time strategy genres.
- Koei releases Nobunaga's Ambition for Japanese computers. Its combination of role-playing, turn-based grand strategy and management simulation elements sets a standard for the historical simulation and strategy RPG genres.
- Electronic Arts publishes its first five titles: Hard Hat Mack, Pinball Construction Set, Archon: The Light and the Dark, M.U.L.E., and Worms?.
- Bug-Byte releases Matthew Smith's Manic Miner, a platform game, for the ZX Spectrum.
- Ultimate Play the Game, later known as Rare, releases its first video games, Jetpac and Atic Atac, for the ZX Spectrum.
- Hudson Soft releases Bomberman for the MSX and FM-7.
- Psion releases Chequered Flag, the first driving game published for the ZX Spectrum, one of the first computer car simulators, and the first driving game with selectable cars.
- The 4-player simultaneous Dandy is released for the Atari 8-bit family. It directly inspires 1985's Gauntlet arcade game.
- December 12, Nintendo publishes Donkey Kong Jr. Math, for the Famicom.
- Mattel Electronics publishes World Series Baseball for the Intellivision, one of the first video games to use multiple camera angles.
- Activision's final big year of Atari 2600 releases includes Enduro, Decathlon, Keystone Kapers, Robot Tank, and Space Shuttle: A Journey into Space.
- May, Sega Laserdisc hardware releases, as the first laserdisc video game hardware.
- July, Sega System 1 releases, with Star Jacker game. Its graphics chips are later used in the Sega System 16 and Sega Space Harrier boards.
- December, Namco Libble Rabble (System 16 Universal) releases, as Namco's second arcade system board to use a 16-bit microprocessor.
- July 15, Sega releases the SG-1000 console in Japan, on the same day as the Famicom.
- July 15, Nintendo releases the Family Computer (Famicom) console in Japan. Shortly after its release, complaints begin to surface about rampant system instability, prompting Nintendo to issue a product recall and to rerelease the machine with a new motherboard. It would later be released worldwide as the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES).
- October, Casio launches the Casio PV-1000 in Japan. It does not remain on the market for long.
- October, Gakken launches the Compact Vision TV Boy in Japan. It's the last second generation console released. It was expensive and obsolete at launch, being discontinued shortly after.
- GameLine, a combination modem and dialup game distribution service for the Atari 2600, is announced but never ships.
- January, Apple Computer releases the Apple IIe, which becomes their most popular 8-bit machine.
- June 16, Microsoft Japan releases MSX, an early standardized home computer architecture.
- March, Atari releases the poorly received 1200XL computer. Late in the year it and the rest of the Atari 8-bit family are replaced by the 600XL and 800XL.
- June, Mattel Electronics releases the Aquarius home computer, originally designed by Radofin Electronics Far East.
- October. Coleco releases the Adam home computer. It is only on the market for 15 months.
- October, Mattel discontinues the Aquarius.
- Acorn Computers release the Acorn Electron, a cut down version of their BBC Micro to compete in the under £200 home computer market. Problems in manufacture see only 1 in 8 presales being delivered for the Christmas market.
- Sega releases the SC-3000, a personal computer version of the SG-1000 console, in Japan.
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- Video Game Myth Busters - Did the "Crash" of 1983/84 Affect Arcades?, The Golden Age Arcade Historian (December 27, 2013)
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