Manufacturers of the Retro Gaming Consoles

The history of the gaming consoles is interesting but just as interesting is the manufacturers that became involved in these and their approach to them.

Ralph H. Baer

Mr Baer should be the one that is thanked for the introduction of the video game console as he created the first one that was called the Brown Box. Although extremely basic and limited, it still set the scene for what was to come in the future.


Magnavox was the first to embrace the concept of video game console which they did after seeing a demonstration of Mr Baer’s products. The company went ahead with the production of the Magnavox Odyssey. Although a great advancement from the brown box it creates no sound and the graphics were nothing compared to today.


The arcade game of Atari known as pong was very popular, and Atari saw the value of converting this into a video console which it did. This spurred Magnavox into creating updates for the Odyssey.

Fairchild, RCA, Coleco

These additional companies could see the vision for the game console and joined in with the makings of their own versions of the video console. RCA and Fairchild didn’t do too good in their attempts, but Coleco did with the introduction of Testar, which was the first game to offer color. Needless to say, it had become a big hit and was accredited for spurring the interest in video consoles to another level.


Nintendo really was aggressive in bringing their concepts of the video game console to another level. They eventually became the number one name in the video console industry.

Bally Astrocade

These joined in as well and at first, were hailed for their improvement in graphics but they didn’t seem to grow and soon became forgotten.


They bought out Magnavox and continued with some slight improvements in the Odyssey. Atari was still considered to be the best because of its improvements with the use of cartridges for the games and advancements in the graphics.


Sega became a major competitor for Nintendo. By this time the consoles had advanced with the use of cartridges, and the game types had shifted to more fighting action games along with adventure games.

The Battle of the Competitors

With Sega and Nintendo being the two major video console providers a battle of producing the newest and the best took place between them. Which is a common occurrence in business.

Sega came with the Mega Drive Genesis. To compete with this Nintendo released the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. To top this Sega came out with the Master System II.


Although Sega and Nintendo were cornering the market that didn’t stop other hopefuls from trying to make their mark in the industry. Atari was falling behind, but NEC came out with TurboGrafx-16, but it went nowhere. Then SNK Neo Geo came out with the AES, but the hefty price tag didn’t sit well with the consumers, so it too failed.

Basically, the rest is no longer history as the retro video console has taken us to where we are today. However, as mundane as these retro video game consoles may seem to be by today’s standards, there appears to be a renewed demand for them. There are many that are still available as well as the favorite games that are still talked about today.