A Second Christmas Morning: The Console Living Room

635090727940420469

For a generation of children, the most exciting part of a Christmas morning was discovering a large box under the tree, ripping it apart, and looking at an exciting, colorful box promising endless video games. At home! Right in your living room!

The expansion of videogames from arcades, boardwalks and carnivals into the home was a vanguard mounted by companies with names like Coleco, Atari, Magnavox and Odyssey. For hundreds of dollars, you could play as many games as you wanted, for as long as you wanted, on the same TV you watched shows on. The change from the fireplace to television as center of home and hearth began in the 1950s and the home video game sped this process up considerably.

Naturally, these home video games, running on underpowered hardware and not-made-for-the-purpose video screens, were scant competition in the graphics and experience department compared to arcade games. But as they improved, consoles and computer gaming dented and some would argue destroyed arcades as a nationwide phenomenon. Only a small percentage of arcades now exist compared to their peak.

Sadly, the days of the home videogame console being a present under a tree followed by days of indulgent game-playing are not the same, replaced with massive launch events and overnight big-box store stays.

Until today!

In an expansion of the Historical Software Collection, the Internet Archive has opened the Console Living Room, a collection of console video games from the 1970s and 1980s.

mcdades_poster

Like the Historical Software collection, the Console Living Room is in beta – the ability to interact with software in near-instantaneous real-time comes with the occasional bumps and bruises. An army of volunteer elves are updating information about each of the hundreds of game cartridges now available, and will be improving them across the next few days. Sound is still not enabled, but is coming soon. Faster, more modern machines and up-to-date browsers work best with the JSMESS emulator.

On this day, we bring forward five vintage game consoles:

Atari 2600 The Atari 2600 is a video game console released in September 1977 by Atari, Inc. It is credited with popularizing the use of microprocessor-based hardware and ROM cartridges containing game code, a format first used with the Fairchild Channel F, instead of having non-microprocessor dedicated hardware with all games built in.
Atari 7800 The Atari 7800 ProSystem, or simply the Atari 7800, is a video game console officially released by Atari Corporation in January 1986. The 1986 launch is sometimes referred to as a “re-release” or “relaunch” because the Atari 7800 had originally been announced in May 1984, to replace Atari Inc.’s Atari 5200, but a general release was shelved due to the sale of the company. In January 1986, the 7800 was relaunched and would compete that year with the Nintendo Entertainment System and the Sega Master System. It had simple digital joysticks and was almost fully backward-compatible with the Atari 2600, the first console to have backward compatibility without the use of additional modules. It was considered affordable at a price of US$140.
Coleco ColecoVision The ColecoVision is Coleco Industries’ second generation home video game console, which was released in August 1982. The ColecoVision offered near-arcade-quality graphics and gaming style along with the means to expand the system’s basic hardware. Released with a catalog of 12 launch titles, with an additional 10 games announced for 1982, approximately 145 titles in total were published as ROM cartridges for the system between 1982 and 1984.
Magnavox Odyssey2 The Magnavox Odyssey², known in Europe as the Philips Videopac G7000, in Brazil as the Philips Odyssey, in the United States as the Magnavox Odyssey² and the Philips Odyssey², and also by many other names, is a video game console released in 1978.
In the early 1970s, Magnavox was an innovator in the home video game industry. They succeeded in bringing the first home video game system to market, the Odyssey, which was quickly followed by a number of later models, each with a few technological improvements (Magnavox Odyssey Series). In 1978, Magnavox, now a subsidiary of North American Philips, released the Odyssey², its new second-generation video game console.
Bally Astrocade The Astrocade is a second generation video game console and simple computer system designed by a team at Midway, the videogame division of Bally. It was marketed only for a limited time before Bally decided to exit the market. The rights were later picked up by a third-party company, who re-released it and sold it until around 1983. The Astrocade is particularly notable for its very powerful graphics capabilities for the time of release, and for the difficulty in accessing those capabilities.

Access drives preservation – making these vintage games available to the world, instantly, allows for commentary, education, enjoyment and memory for the history they are a part of. In coming months, the playable software collection will expand greatly. Until then, game on!

(Atari photo from Reddit User Kimbleator)
This entry was posted in News. Bookmark the permalink.

88 Responses to A Second Christmas Morning: The Console Living Room

  1. Tyler Huff says:

    Great stuff! I just took it for a test drive and played Spy Hunter from 1984. Just like I remembered it! Magic!

  2. Pingback: XpressVids.Info | Classic 70s and 80s games go online

  3. Pingback: Internet Archive anuncia que comenzó a respaldar videojuegos de viejas consolas | mundoTEKNO

  4. Pingback: Classic 70s and 80s games go online - Owaisi Brothers

  5. Anche noi vorremmo raccogliere i videogiochi del passato e proporli online ma con i diritti non riusciamo a capire come e a chi dovremmo chiedere?

  6. Pingback: Internet Archive anuncia que comenzó a respaldar videojuegos de viejas consolas | Misiongeek

  7. Pingback: Classic 70s and 80s games go online | eCity News Cast

  8. Pingback: Internet Archive ha comenzado a hacer copias de juegos clásicos de los 70s y 80s

  9. Eric vandewater says:

    I can’t wait to explore this. Of course, I’m still hoping for an online Vectrex and Atari Lynx emulator!

  10. Pingback: Classic 70s and 80s games go online | Electrical Cables Assemblies

  11. Pingback: Classic 70s and 80s games go online | Technology World

  12. Pingback: » KushJar

  13. Pingback: Henrik Maxian Forum | Classic 70s and 80s games go online

  14. Pingback: Classic 70s and 80s games go online | RizkiPurnama.Net

  15. Pingback: Internet Archive comienza a almacenar videojuegos clásicos para deleite de los nostálgicos - TechNoticias

  16. Pingback: Warren Fyfe Info.org | Classic 70s and 80s games go online

  17. Pingback: Classic 70s and 80s games go online | RizkiPurnama.Com

  18. Pingback: Classic 70s and 80s games go online | Today News Time

  19. Pingback: Internet Archive puts classic 70s and 80s games online - OK4me2

  20. Pingback: Feeling nostalgic? Atari and other old consoles come to your browser – NBCNews.com | Finance Chit Chat

  21. Pingback: Feeling nostalgic? Atari and other old consoles come to your browser – NBCNews.com | Hot Breaking News

  22. Pingback: Feeling nostalgic? Atari and other old consoles come to your browser – NBCNews.com | TodayJournals.Com

  23. Pingback: Feeling nostalgic? Atari and other old consoles come to your browser – NBCNews.com | Today Headlines

  24. Pingback: Hundreds of Classic Console Games Can Now Be Played Online, Free | News every minutes

  25. Pingback: Internet Archive releases hundreds of classic game console ROMs – Ars Technica | EikAwaz.com

  26. Pingback: Internet Archive anuncia que comenzó a respaldar videojuegos de viejas consolas | AlbertoIvan.com

  27. dean says:

    Don’t forget the Vectrex! (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vectrex) It was a console with its own vector display (think Battlezone, Asteroids and Space Wars) There’s a java based emulator here: http://vectrex-emu.blogspot.com/

  28. Pingback: Classic 70s and 80s games go online | Qofte News

  29. Pingback: Internet Archive releases hundreds of classic game console ROMs

  30. Pingback: Classic 70s and 80s games go online | Efstathios Karanikolaidis Blog.org

  31. Pingback: Classic 70s and 80s games go onlineNews Times World | News Times World

  32. Pingback: Classic 70s and 80s games go online | The Yann Ketchanga site

  33. Pingback: The Internet Archive rekindles early video game consoles with emulation

  34. Pingback: Pacific Piano Performance Posts | Classic 70s and 80s games go online

  35. Pingback: retro-games für atari und co.: pixelklassiker lassen sich im browser spielen » Computer Wissen Information

  36. Pingback: Internet Archive puts classic 70s and 80s games online – BBC News | Latest News Portal Info

  37. Pingback: Internet Archive puts classic 70s and 80s games online – BBC News | Everyday News Update

  38. Pingback: Classic 70s and 80s games go online | Articles Netpardon

  39. Pingback: Classic 70s and 80s games go online | Today News Portal

  40. Pingback: Internet Archive puts classic 70s and 80s games online – BBC News | #1 News Online

  41. Pingback: Hundreds of Classic Console Games Can Now Be Played Online, Free | Life Daily Magazine

  42. Pingback: Hundreds of Classic Console Games Can Now Be Played Online, Free | Acttu news magazine

  43. Pingback: Classic 70s and 80s games go online | Top News Online

  44. Pingback: Play Almost Every Game from Five Old-Ass Consoles for Free in your Browser! - n3rdabl3

  45. Pingback: Jogos de Atari passam a ficar disponíveis de graça na web | Sistema MPA de Comunicação

  46. CKelly says:

    My son, aged 27, wants to play Bond games on the Nintendo 64. I threw the games out when the console broke.
    I bought the console for my sons 6th birthday and while we were playing Mario Brothers his younger brother snuck down stairs and ate the whole birthday cake.
    I have the Man Hole game in its caddy, for protection. It was the first game for the PC, made before sound and movement were combined on disk. Its a museum piece. I saved it; because, its a piece of PC history. If you have a place for it let me know.

  47. Pingback: Console Living Room lets you play hundreds of old-school games in your browser | BaciNews

  48. Pingback: The Internet Archive adds five vintage consoles to its emulator | Digital Trends

  49. Pingback: The Internet Archive adds five vintage consoles to its browser emulator – Digital Trends | Finance Chit Chat

  50. Pingback: D Richard Dance » Classic 70s and 80s games go online

  51. Pingback: Play Almost Every Game from these 5 Vintage Consoles in Your Browser | Informant DailyInformant Daily

  52. Pingback: The Internet Archive adds five vintage consoles to its browser emulator « Reviews Technology

  53. Pingback: Internet Archive puts classic 70s and 80s games online – BBC News | TodayJournals.Com

  54. Pingback: No love for next-gen? Revisit Atari glory days with The Console Library – TechRadar UK | Everyday News Update

  55. Pingback: No love for next-gen? Revisit Atari glory days with The Console Library - Crutch Technologies

  56. Pingback: No love for next-gen? Revisit Atari glory days with The Console Library - EHAds.com

  57. Pingback: No love for next-gen? Revisit Atari glory days with The Console Library | TechWorthy.info

  58. Pingback: The Tech News Worlds | No love for next-gen? Revisit Atari glory days with The Console Library

  59. Pingback: Internet Archive releases hundreds of classic game console ROMs |

  60. Pingback: HG Post 16 » No love for next-gen? Revisit Atari glory days with The Console Library

  61. Pingback: No love for next-gen? Revisit Atari glory days with The Console Library ← Spec My PC.co.uk

  62. Pingback: Internet Archive puts classic 70s and 80s games online | Rob's Personal Aggregator

  63. Pingback: Internet Archive puts classic 70s and 80s games online | The hollywood nightlife

  64. Pingback: Internet Archive puts classic 70s and 80s games online, free. - Glorious Geek

  65. Pingback: No love for next-gen? Revisit Atari glory days with The Console Library | Techy News Today

  66. Pingback: Internet Archive hosts classic videogames | Techno-Junkie

  67. Pingback: Classic 70s and 80s games go online | Epic News Feed

  68. Pingback: Blast from the past: Play hundreds of games from classic consoles in your browser | Tech Auntie

  69. Pingback: Internet Archive opens the Console Living Room collection

  70. Pingback: Popular Gadgets Trends, Latest Tech News & Hot Gadget Reviews

  71. Pingback: No love for next-gen? Revisit Atari glory days with The Console Library | ExtraNews

  72. Pingback: Internet Archive puts classic 70s and 80s games online | Ghana Way

  73. Pingback: No love for next-gen? Revisit Atari glory days with The Console Library | Ezines.in

  74. Pingback: Internet Archive hosts classic videogames | TuTsArabia

  75. Pingback: Internet Archive Debuts Free, Retro, In-Browser Video Games

  76. Doug says:

    Alas, Imagic’s Riddle of the Sphinx remains missing…

  77. Doug says:

    No, my mistake: Riddle of the Sphinx is here! One of my favorites from the 2600. Haven’t played it in decades. Best Xmas gift ever…

  78. Pingback: Internet Archive puts classic 70s and 80s games online | AMP Web Agency

  79. Pingback: Internet Archive puts classic 70s and 80s games online

  80. Pingback: BBC News – Internet Archive puts classic 70s and 80s games online | Jerz's Literacy Weblog

  81. Pingback: No love for next-gen? Revisit Atari glory days with The Console Library | Technology Trends

  82. Pingback: Play Hundreds of classic console games online, free | After Dark Gaming

  83. Pingback: Retro-Games für Atari und Co.: Pixelklassiker lassen sich im Browser spielen | Germany News Online

  84. This certainly brings back memories! :)

    Had an Atari 2600 as a kid. Later moved to NES and then PC.

  85. Pingback: Google Glass Or Snapchat: What Do We Want The Internet To Remember? - Forbes

  86. Pingback: Vuelve a jugar a la Atari 2600 y otras consolas clásicas gracias a Internet Archive | AlbertoIvan.com

  87. Pingback: Noticias ¡Al Instante!Internet Archive anuncia que comenzó a respaldar videojuegos de viejas consolas - Noticias ¡Al Instante!

  88. Pingback: You Can Now Play Vintage Console Games on the Web

Comments are closed.