Most historians state that the Atari was the first video game system. What they are neglecting to mention is The Odyssey Magnavox came out in September of 1972. The Atari Company was created in June of 1972 but replicated many of the games from the Odyssey Magnavox. In fact, it was much easier to find an Odyssey Magnavox in the early days because of the name recognition at the time.
An interesting bit of history is that The Odyssey Magnavox was originally intended to cost $19.95. When it came out in stores, it was $100. That is quite the markup in the 1970s. One of the reasons The Odyssey Magnavox never really took off is many people felt as if they had to buy a Magnavox TV for the system to work. It would be like people thinking they have to buy a Sony TV to play the PS4 or PS5. The video game industry was just starting so people did not want to buy a second TV just so they could try out a few games.
Another tidbit is the games on The Odyssey Magnavox were actually built into the system. The system came with cartridges but those were only used to unlock the game to play it. If you wanted to, you could create your own cartridge and that would unlock the games.
If you remember playing the original Playstation or the Playstation 2, you could start a game, then open up the system and take the CD out and continue playing the game. This is because the game just needs to load and then it can be played. This has been the case since the beginning of the video game era.
There will always be an argument as to which gaming system was really first. What will never be debated is which system caused the video game industry to take off. When Pong was released on November 29th, 1972 it changed the way people play video games.
One of the early owners of a Pong arcade machine called Atari to tell them the machine was broken. When they came out to fix it, they found out that the machine had too many quarters in it which caused it to malfunction. From that point forward, video games have been the way many people entertain themselves.
Today, Richmond VA dentists and orthodontists have PS5’s hooked up to 70 in flat screen TVs. In the 1970s, people had to find the very few bars or pizza parlors that had arcade machines. If they had more than one machine, they often found crowds visiting the location on Friday and Saturday nights.