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As we announce the return of Power UP, our hands-on video games extravaganza back by popular demand in 2019, we take a look back at some of the key turning points in gaming history.

[Experience the evolution of gaming for yourself at Power UP  returning to the Science Museum by popular demand over Easter 2019. Click here to find out more and sign up for priority booking.]

1. Insert coin to play

pac man game play

The undeniable popularity of the Magnavox Odyssey and Pong, both released in late 1972, pushed technology companies to start producing arcade games for the home. The Atari 2600 released in 1977 became one of the first successful home games consoles.

2. Space Invaders invade the scene

In 1978, Taito released Space Invaders, one of the earliest shooting games and the best selling video game of its time. It was the first game to introduce the concept of achieving a ‘high score’ and the first to allow you to save a player’s score.

3.  The Fall and Rise of the games console

Nintendo Entertainment System- NES

The growing popularity of video games lead to a saturated market with large numbers of poor quality arcade clones being made. The outcome was the video game crash of 1983. But in 1985 the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) saved the day partly due to its innovative use of pad controllers instead of the traditional joystick.

4. Player two has entered the game

Doom 1993 cover
© ID SOFTWARE

The arrival of the internet in the early 90s meant that gamers were soon able to compete from the comfort of their home. LAN parties became increasing popular, where players could compete against other computers sharing the same wireless network.

5. Console Wars

Sonic The Hedgehog games cartridge with 16-bit Mega-Drive

The early 1990s was a period known amongst gamers as the “Console Wars” — Nintendo had Mario, while Sega had Sonic the Hedgehog. But in the end they were defeated by Sony’s PlayStation, with its wider range of games, CD-ROM technology, improved memory capacity, and 3D rendered graphics.

Experience the evolution of gaming for yourself at Power UP  returning to the Science Museum by popular demand next Easter. Click here to find out more and sign up for priority booking.


Read the full post here: Pong to Pac-man to Pokémon: The five turning points in gaming history.