Pong et la mondialisation - L'histoire économique des consoles de 1976 à 1980 William Audureau - 2014

History of videogames (focused book)

Pong et la mondialisation - L'histoire économique des consoles de 1976 à 1980

Author(s) : William Audureau
Editor : Editions Pix'n Love
Publication date : 07-25-2014
Language : french French

This book focuses on a little known and hardly discussed period from the history of video games: the ends of the 70's, and more specifically the 1976-1980 years of the home consoles. The books explains how, after Ralph Baer's pioneer invention of the Magnavox Odyssey, and the success of Pong in arcades, home video games takes over TV sets around the world thanks to... General Instrument. Indeed, the introduction of a new integrated chip, copying Pong and sold for a few dollars only, allowed many companies to create their own "home console." These companies are coming from various sectors, ranging from domestic electrical goods (Seb) to food supplies (Coca-Cola) and toys (Nintendo). Most of them left the video game industry after this era, but a handful of them, who, instead of solely using General Instrument's chip tried to learn how it worked, managed to take a lasting lead in the field. With 150 pages only, this brilliant book reveals many details of this little-know era, backed by a database of about 700 home consoles (please remember that, back at the time, it wasn't possible to use cartridges to add new games to a console). The book even manages to go beyond video games, and uses the history of globalization to explain how Japan became the leading country in such a short time, and also how industrial relocation to Asia contributed to suffocate the European console manufacturers, especially in France. Easy to read, thorough, and full of unique information, this book can already be considered as a reference.


Keywords : pong, globalization, economic history, home console, 70's, japan, france, usa