It only takes a quick look down memory lane to appreciate the advancements in gaming tech, and how some franchises have become instrumental to the industry’s continued success.

While technology has sped away from the Atari VCS and Super Nintendo, the fact remains: we can’t live without classic games. Gamers are always eager to find a way to play their favorite titles. And as computing power strengthens, playing them requires less of it; games that once demanded dedicated machines can now run in a simple web browser.

It only takes a quick look down memory lane to appreciate the advancements in gaming tech, and how some franchises have become instrumental to the industry’s continued success.

People younger than Pong (1972) often think of it as one of the earliest video games, but the first specimens of electronic gaming predate it by roughly two decades. Bertie the Brain, OXO, and the Nimrod were all developed in the early 1950s (and there’s no shortage of debate as to which came first). Spacewar! debuted in 1962, and popped up in university computer labs across the country, signaling the viral and commercial potential of gaming.

Each popular release changed the games that followed; Spacewar!, for example, directly inspired Asteroids, an Atari classic. These games helped shape the development of arcade games, consoles, and PCs.

Written by IEEE on July 9, 2015