50 years of video game console: Know history, how female gamers are changing gaming landscape in India – Oneindia

Game console


oi-Madhuri Adnal


Published: Wednesday, June 8, 2022, 17:33 [IST]

New Delhi, May 08: Video gaming is no longer a hobby exclusively enjoyed by the young. This year, the games console ecosystem celebrates its 50th anniversary. To celebrate the dawn of the 9th generation of consoles-and satisfy our geek hearts-let us have a look back at the history of video game consoles and also a look at countries having the largest video gaming markets.

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History of video game consoles

The history of video game consoles, both home and handheld, had their origins in the 1970s. The concept of home consoles used to play games on a television set was founded by the 1972 Magnavox Odyssey, first conceived by Ralph H. Baer in 1966.

Handheld electronic games had replaced the mechanical controls with electronic and digital components, and with the introduction of Liquid-crystal display (LCD) to create video-like screens with programmable pixels, systems like the Microvision and the Game & Watch became the first handheld video game consoles, and fully realized by the Game Boy system.

Since then, home game consoles have progressed through technology cycles typically referred to as generations, each lasting approximately five years, during which competing manufacturers have produced consoles with similar specifications.

With underlying improvements to technology such as smaller and faster microprocessors, digital communications, and changes to business models, a new generation of consoles is evolved from the previous one. This has led to a shifting landscape of console manufacturers in the marketplace; while early generations were led by manufacturers like Atari and Sega, the current modern generations have come down to three major competitors, Nintendo, Sony Interactive Entertainment, and Microsoft.

Handheld consoles have seen similar advances, though typically are grouped into the same generations as home consoles.

While there were larger numbers of manufacturers in the earlier generations for handhelds which included Nintendo, Atari, Sega, and Sony, the handheld market has waned since the introduction of mobile gaming in the mid-2000s, and as of today, the only major manufacturer in handheld gaming is Nintendo.

List of video games markets by country:

As generations have grown up with video games as a normal part of life, the video gaming market size has also increased across the globe.

As of 2021, it is estimated that China ranks first among the biggest gaming markets worldwide, with a revenue of 46 billion U.S. dollars. The video gaming market in the United States ranked second, generating an approximate 40.5 billion U.S. dollars in annual revenues.

According to Newzoo’s Global Games Market Report, video games generated sales of US$180.3 billion annually worldwide. The mobile games revenue reached $93.2 billion, the global console games market was valued at about $50.4 billion and the PC games market was valued at about $36.7 billion.

It must be noted that China and the United States have been battling it out for the top spot of the biggest global gaming market for years.

It is estimated that there were more than 685 million mobile gamers in China while Americans have 191 million digital gamers.

According to a survey conducted in 2020, 65 percent of adults in the United States played video games on at least one platform. Despite gaming already having a solid presence in everyday media consumption, the medium is only getting more popular: the coronavirus pandemic has led to non-gamers picking up the controllers, and pre-existing gamers in the United States also been spending more time and money on gaming activities.

Female gamers are on the rise in India

In India, the gaming industry is also fast-growing and becoming one of the biggest markets in the world. As of 2020, the value of the market hit $1.02 billion and is projected to hit at least $2 billion by 2023. Industry experts believe that it could hit $4.88 billion by 2026.

Online gaming has gained increasing acceptance and what’s more interesting here is that of the involvement of women. Although the perception that the industry is male-dominated, passionate women gamers flocking to the platform is encouraging.

According to a recent study by InMobi, gaming has become increasingly popular among women of all ages and marital status, defying old-school conventions. The report shows more than 43% of the Indian smartphone gamers population were women. This is a good sign as it reveals that all women now have access to opportunities without age, geographical, or marital status restrictions. Women also tend to spend more time playing mobile games than their male counterparts. On average, male mobile gamers spent just under an hour gaming each day. However, female gamers played for nearly 70 minutes.

Some of the popular professional female gamers are Sherlock, Shagufta, Xyaa Iqbal, Mysterious YT, Monika Sherlock Jeph, Saloni Panwar, and Pooja Khatri. These women are not just popular in India but also in the global gaming industry. Saloni Panwar was the first female to represent India at the international esports tournament held in Thailand.

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Story first published: Wednesday, June 8, 2022, 17:33 [IST]


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