To examine the history of the first-person perspec

tive shooter, we need onlygo back 10 long years. In the world of computers and technology, that’s a
helluva long time, but it sure has been an exciting phenomenon to watch. Some
important gaming trends have emerged over recent years and gained
prominence – real-time strategy and multiplayer gameplay, to name just a few.

But no other genre of computer gaming has had more impact than the action
3-D shooter.

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In 1966 Ralph Baer came up with the idea for the first home video games system. Working at the time for Sanders Associates Ralph was joined by Bill Harrison and Bill Rusch to come up with a completed product. By 1967 the trio had completed a hockey game which was quite sophisticated, the speed of the electronic puck depended on how hard you hit it. In early 1968 Baer was applying for patents on the invention and once they were granted, Sanders Associates had the exlusive rights to make, use, and sell video ball-and-paddle games. All other makers had to be licensed by Sanders Associates to make the games. In 1969, Baer was demonstrating their new product for RCA, Zenith, General Electric and Magnavox, of course it was Magnavox that agreed to manufacture and distribute it. It went on sale in 1972 called The Odyssey. The Odyssey originally came with 12 different plug in games that came on printed circuit cards (all of which were
designed by Ralph Baer). In addition to the PC cards were 2 sizes of plastic, semi-transparent overlays, that you layed on top of your TV Screen to provide the right background. Therefore the hockey had a plastic hockey rink on top of the screen, so you knew it was hockey and not say, soccer. Also it included cardboard scorecards, so that you could keep track of the score (it wasn’t displayed).

As an option, Odyssey owners could buy the “Shooting
Gallery” which included four more games and an electronic
gun. The gun was simply light sensitive and a score can be
racked up quite easily by pointing it at your local light bulb.

About 85,000 Odyssey’s were sold in 1972 and about 20,000
rifles (apparently people believed you had to own a
Magnavox television for it to work which scared away some
buyers). After that time, the Odyssey sales fell due to the
outbreak of competition. In 1966 Ralph
Baer came up
with the idea
for the first home video games system. Working at the time
for Sanders Associates Ralph was joined by Bill Harrison
and Bill Rusch to come up with a completed product. By
1967 the trio had completed a hockey game which was quite
sophisticated, the speed of the electronic puck depended on
how hard you hit it. In early 1968 Baer was applying for
patents on the invention and once they were granted,
Sanders Associates had the exlusive rights to make, use, and
sell video ball-and-paddle games. All other makers had to be
licensed by Sanders Associates to make the games.

In 1969, Baer was demonstrating their new product for
RCA, Zenith, General Electric and Magnavox, of course it
was Magnavox that agreed to manufacture and distribute it.

It went on sale in 1972 called . . . The Odyssey.

The Oddyssey originally came with 12 different plug in
games that came on printed circuit cards (all of which were
designed by Ralph Baer). In addition to the PC cards were 2
sizes of plastic, semi-transparent overlays, that you layed on
top of your TV Screen to provide the right background.

Therefore the hockey had a plastic hockey rink on top of the
screen, so you knew it was hockey and not say, soccer. Also
it included cardboard scorecards, so that you could keep
track of the score (it wasn’t displayed).

As an option, Odyssey owners could buy the “Shooting
Gallery” which included four more games and an electronic
gun. The gun was simply light sensitive and a score can be
racked up quite easily by pointing it at your local light bulb.

About 85,000 Odyssey’s were sold in 1972 and about 20,000
rifles (apparently people believed you had to own a
Magnavox television for it to work which scared away some
buyers). After that time, the Odyssey sales fell due to the
outbreak of competition.