Key developments in the gaming industry in the last three decades

Here are some of the milestone operators in the gaming industry in recent years.

Gaming is an activity that has gone from being niche to being something that people from all ages and gender types are enjoying over the last few years and the developments that have led to this have been pretty rapid. These are a few of the milestone ones that brought gaming to its current popularity level.

Nintendo NES

Although gaming had been around for a good decade before the NES was released in the west during 1985, including home gaming, it was this console that really popularised it. At the time, gaming was considered to be in decline and Nintendo chose to market the console as an ‘entertainment system’ to avoid to close an association, but the slow-burning success of the NES which really took off with the release of Super Mario Bros, changed all that for good.

The console wars

With Nintendo having established itself as the king of home gaming, it was only a matter of time before another company popped up to challenge it – and that turned out to be Sega. Its release of the Genesis console and the decision to attack Nintendo through its advertising campaign sparked round one in the console wars. Despite its aggressive tactics, Sega lost heavily to the Super Nintendo console, which sold 49.10 million. Round two saw Sony enter the wars with its PlayStation console and thrash both the Sega Saturn and the Nintendo 64. Selling an astonishing 102.49 million, this made Sony the new kings and they held the crown with their PlayStation 2 console, before Nintendo found a way back to the top of the home gaming tree with its hugely successful Wii console.

Mobile gaming

The rapid development of gaming consoles and the games themselves, due to the fiercely fought console wars, helped make gaming more and more popular – but it was the development of mobile phones to the point where games could be played on them that really brought it to a wider audience. Suddenly demographics who were never big console gamers – older people, women – were embracing playing games like Candy Crush Saga and Angry Birds on their mobiles. Mobile gaming also brought in males who were outside of the traditional gaming audience, such as sports fans, through online casino on sites such as and sports betting mobile options. All of this has led to the meaning of the traditional ‘geeky’ image of gamers has been declined.

The future of gaming looks very exciting with long-awaited developments like virtual and augmented reality looking set to be the next things to hit.

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel was the editor of from 2010 to 2018. He specialises in writing for start-up and scale-up companies in the areas of finance, marketing and HR.

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