Lyakh V. O., Sokolova N. O., Posudievska O. K.

Oles Honchar Dnipropetrovsk National University


Video games have become the fastest-growing segment of the world enter­tain­ment industry. Probably sector of economy experienced so many shocks and technological revolutions in such a short period of time. Now video games have proven right to exist – they began to expand into other areas of life and have become an important part of mass culture. American researcher Jessie Herz was probably the first to draw attention to the phenomenon of video games. In 1997 he published a book “Joystick Nation: How Videogames Ate Our Quarters, Won Our Hearts, and Rewired Our Minds”, in which he tried to analyze what could be the result of total social fascination about video games. Hertz came to conclusion that “video game genie” had just been let out of the bottle. No one knows how “he” will behave and what will be the results of this process. During last years it has become clear only that video games are becoming more and more popular and concerns about their negative influence do not decrease. The “history” of the video games is, first of all, the history of chance and scientific discoveries, which gradually became a big business history.

It all started in 1958. Willy Higinbotham, a physicist and a nuclear weapons officer of Brookhaven National Laboratory (he was an avid tennis player) and once he set out to invent a kind of entertainment, which would allow demonstrating the potential of science to the visitors of the laboratory. In three weeks a video game “Tennis for Two” was created. "Ball" bounced off the horizontal line at the bottom of the screen it had to be sought off with a short line at the top of the screen. To control the "racket" there was product a control unit with two buttons "left" and "right." The game was wildly popular but short-lived: Higinbotem had to disassemble his device. In 1961-62. three people of Massachusetts Institute of Technology ( whose the ideologist and inspirer is now considered Steve Russell, created the first interactive computer game “Spacewar”. For the first time in the game the man struggled with not the computer, and with another man. The players controlled two spaceships, trying to destroy each other with rockets. This game scenario was not chosen accidentally all students were ardent fans of science fiction. However Russell and his colleagues didn’t patent their invention, because they considered it meaningless. That is why the father of video games is considered Ralph Baer – American inventor of German origin, who in 1966 became proposed the idea of ​​creation an "interactive TV" – a game console which was compliant with TV. The idea and concept of the device were patented. And the first home video console, Odyssey (with 12 games) went on sale in 1972. Because of the high cost of microchips was offered to costumers for $ 100. The 1980-s became the era of an 8-bit game console. The first trendsetter in the world of video games, was Nintendo company (its console Nintendo Entertainment System gave the opportunity to play more complicated and high-quality games, also it possessed high quality of images and music), then came NEC and Sega. Nintendo almost monopolized video game market in 1985-1989. It held 95% of the North American video game market, and 92% of the Japanese market. NES console was copied illegally in large circulation, especially Russia in which was a strange and closed market to Nintendo. Local companies sold NES clones openly and very successfully. The most famous of them is Dendy console. In fact it is not an independent console, but its illegal clone. No one knew what Nintendo or NES was, but children distinguished very well Dendy Junior and Dendy Classic. Successful sales of Dendy consoles inspired other distribution networks – "Lamport" and R-Style, which brought to the home market other NES clones- Kenga and Bitman. But competitors have failed seriously to challenge "Stipler."- the first company making delivers to Russia. In order to have legitimate position, "Stipler" signed a dealership agreement with Nintendo. According to it’s terms, "Stipler" had to buy several branded game cartridges along with the company console, which cost from $ 40 per unit and significantly increased the price of the final set. In spring of 1996 Dendy’s official history ended with "Stipler" shutdown.A new wave of technological revolution – was the appearance of 32-bit and 64-bit games. In the global video game market new players appeared, for example Japanese electronics giant Sony issued its console PlayStation (for the first time the players had the ability to play the games created not only by the console manufacturer, but also by the third party developers). Besides Microsoft company, released an Xbox console. Xbox provided higher quality of images. Apart from it, the market is dominated by three console systems – Sega Dreamcast, Sony PlayStation 2 and Nintendo GameCube. 1289-bit consoles have become the last innovation.


As we see, the developers of game consoles conducted a fierce war with each other throughout the whole history of their existence. Too many companies tried to enter this market, but not all of them managed to do it. Many of them suffered huge losses and went out of this difficult but very profitable business. As an example we can take an Atari company, with its after Jaguar 64 failure, Atari decided to leave the market of video game systems, and began to developing and publishing games. The present- day situation is the following. Sony with its PlayStation 2 “runs the show”. Besides, Sony is supported by the best fashionable designers and editors releasing – exclusive projects on PS2. The second place is occupied by Xbox from Microsoft. This console is kept well in the market and it can boast a rather large number of high-quality games. Finally comes Nintendo GameCube. The life cycle of game systems is small – only 5-6 years. Moreover it decreases, with each new generation. As many analysts state the world is not ready for the arrival of a new generation of game consoles. Still, the potential of PlayStation 2, Xbox and GameCube's is not used to the maximum, and the games played on it appear to be quite modern… However, the market is arranged in such way that if someone reports about the face-coming release of a new console, he declares war against his competitors, and they must respond immediately. This time, the war was declared by Microsoft, which reported about preparations for the release of the Xbox 360. Sony responded immediately, showing PlayStation 3 to the public. After them, Nintendo come with “Revolution”. Who will win this race? How will the new generation of games look like? How will the game world change? These and many other questions are asked by both journalists and ordinary people. But only time can give the answer to this question.