Gaming has come a long way and is now one of the best ways to entertain yourself. What makes gaming even more interested today is the fact that gamers can win real money playing video games professionally. If you are a gambler, you can even play all sorts of online slots enjoying the best casino bonuses. Before all this became a reality, many developments have happened since the commencement of gaming. Read on to learn more about the history of gaming and facts you probably did not know. 

How Did Gaming Start?

Playing your favourite video game can be entertaining and rewarding. But have you ever thought about the first video game or when gaming started? Well, many credible sources report that gaming began in the 1950s and 1960s. Since then, many things have changed because of advances in computer technology, the internet, and the introduction of mobile gaming technology. As we speak, gamers have access to modern technologies like powerful gaming consoles, Virtual Reality (VR), and Augmented Reality (AR). The following timeline shows how gaming started and where is today.

  • The 1950s and 60s – Computer programmers design simple games for mainframe computers. Former MIT students Martin Graetz, Wayne Wiitanen, and Steve Rusell develop Spacewar! in collaboration with others. Later, Sega and Taito become the first video game companies to attract the public’s interest in arcade gaming by releasing Periscope and Crown Special Soccer.
  • The 1970s – Ralph Baer creates Magnavox Odyssey, the first home video game console to be released, marking the beginning of digital gaming. In the same year, Atari (founded by Nolan Bushnell) became the first company to develop arcade video games for a larger gaming community. Fairchild Camera and Instrument releases Fairchild Channel F, the first home video console with a microprocessor that could read instructions from programable cartridges. Also, Space Invaders and Atari’s Asteroids are released.
  • The 1980s – Gamers are introduced to Namco’s Pac-Man, Mario, Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), John Madden Football, Gameboy (first handheld system by Nintendo), and Sega Genesis.
  • The 1990s – Nintendo releases the Super Nintendo (SNES). A bit later Mortal Combat is also released. PC gamers gain access to the first Warcraft game, Warcraft: Orc & Humans. Sony joins the gaming industry and releases the PlayStation.
  • 2000 – Sony releases PlayStation 2. In four years Sony and Nintendo release their handheld game consoles, PlayStation Portable and Nintendo DS.
  • 2005 – Microsoft releases the Xbox 360, the first console with high-definition graphics. In a year Sony releases the PlayStation 3 and Nintendo introduces Wii. 
  • 2008 – World of Warcraft is released and in 2012 Wii U is released by Nintendo. Later, in a year, Microsoft releases the Xbox One.
  • Today – Gamers can access and play video games on multiple platforms such as gaming consoles (PlayStation 5/4, Wii, Nintendo Switch, Nintendo DS family, and Xbox Series X), PCs, tablets, and smartphones.

Today’s Gaming Industry Statistics and Demographics

There is no doubt that the gaming industry is growing fast considering that the number of gamers keeps increasing. According to the 2020 estimates by Statista, there were 2.7 billion gamers worldwide, with China and the United States being the first and second-largest gaming markets respectively. According to the estimates, the United States generated 40.85 billion USD while China generated 36.92 billion USD from the gaming industry in 2020. 

A 2020 report by Newzoo senior market analyst, Tom Wijman, indicates that the global gaming market generated more than 150 billion dollars. Newzoo also predicted that the revenue will surpass 200 billion dollars in 2023. This is most likely to materialize because the number of gamers has been surging since the inception of the gaming industry. 

Globally, the number of gamers increased significantly in 2020, with the most used gaming platforms being PCs (download games), PC browsers, gaming consoles, tablets, and mobile. Existing data shows that most players have a preference for mobile gaming. In fact, more than 50% of all gamers play games on a mobile device. The most popular mobile games today include Garena Free Fire, Subway Surfers, Hunter Assassin, Pokémon GO, and Candy Crush Saga

Video Games Have Inspired Modern Online Casino Games

Online gambling fans who are also video game enthusiasts can enjoy both types of gaming on the same gaming device by joining online casinos with slots that are based on popular video games. Those who are not familiar with slot games can try their luck and get a chance to obtain 100 free spins for UK players before switching to real money games. 

You might ask, which options do I have as far as video game-themed pokies are concerned? Well, some of the leading options right now include pokies like Resident Evil 6, Tomb Raider, Scarface, and Hitman. Generally, you can easily find online pokies that are inspired by your favourite video game.

The Best-Selling Video Games

Many video games have been developed over the years, but some of them have generated unbelievable sales. When you hear of the best-selling video games, you might think of games like Call of Duty, FIFA, or League of Legends, but that is not true. So far, Minecraft, Grand Theft Auto V, and Tetris (EA) have sold 200 million, 145 million, and 100 million copies respectively. They are the only games to generate at least 100,000,000 sales since their launch.  

Other best-selling games include Wii Sports, Super Mario Bros, Tetris (Nintendo), Pokémon, and Pac-Man. Popular games like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, FIFA 18, Call of Duty: Black Ops II, and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City have managed to sell tens of millions of copies. The leading developers of the best-selling games include Mojang Studios, Electronic Arts (EA), and Nintendo EAD.

The Future of Gaming: Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality 

Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) are ground-breaking technologies with the power to transform the gaming industry. VR devices create an artificial environment or a new reality while AR adds artificial things to the real world. Both technologies can be used to enable immersive gaming with modern devices such as VR headsets, phones, and tablets. Currently, gamers can play a wide range of AR games such as Pokémon and Minecraft Earth.  

Imagine playing your favourite video game on a VR or AR device without requiring too many gaming devices to support the gaming experience. Considering that VR and AR gaming is already a reality, a better gaming experience is what players should expect from the relatively new gaming technologies and other gaming technologies that will come in the future.

Conclusion 

The gaming industry is now a billion-dollar industry, and there is no sign of turning back. It all began in the 1950s and 60s on mainframe computers, but technological developments have changed everything. The modern-day gaming industry is so advanced that players can play online or install and play games on their computers, gaming consoles, and mobile devices. 

Mobile gaming turns out to be the most popular form of gaming, thanks to the ever-growing number of mobile device users. Based on the current statistics and trends, it is evident that the gaming industry will keep growing. Moreover, players can expect a new gaming experience from new gaming technologies like AR and VR.

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