Thirty-five years of working computer games consoles star at an exhibition in the Museum of Computing, based at the University of Bath in Swindon were viewed by the Duke of Kent on 12 April on a visit to the university campus.
The exhibition charts the machines, the companies and the games characters that are now part of gaming history. And on 12 April the Duke of Kent was able to see the exhibition whilst visiting the university campus.
'Pong to Playstation' shows the earliest and most unusual machines that ever graced a living room. From the world’s first TV tennis game, through the rise of gaming companies such as Atari, Nintendo, Sega and Sony, over 40 of the best-loved consoles and accessories are displayed.
Throughout the exhibition there are a number of hands-on machines allowing adults to relive their youth and children to play classic games that people still rave about today. The original Super Mario, Sonic the Hedgehog and Space Invaders are just some of the games available on original 1980’s machines. Some of the stars of the exhibition are:
The Magnavox Oddessey from 1972. The world’s first TV tennis game which predates the silicon chip and was made with discrete transistors and diodes! To enhance it's very limited capabilities (two bats and a ball!) it came with transparent screen overlays that players stuck to their TV screen.
No games exhibition would be complete without the much loved Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and its Japanese equivalent, the Famicom. This exhibition is fortunate in having one of the most groundbreaking controllers for the NES, the Nintendo Powerglove. Featured in the 1980's film 'The Wizard,' the Powerglove was the ultimate NES accessory and is highly sought after by collectors today. Owners of the new Nintendo Wii will be particularly interested to see this early example of a motion sensitive controller.
The Atari 2600 from the 1970's, with its mock wood grain finish, was a breakthrough as it was one of the first machines that accepted plug-in cartridges to play different games. It was not a particular success initially but when the Space Invaders game cartridge was launched, it sold millions of units.
Curator of the Museum of Computing, Simon Webb said, "People have a great emotional attachment to their first games console; hopefully we can recreate that sense of fun and wonder that we felt back then."
As well as playing the vintage consoles, visitors will be able to explore the design of game characters and build their own or existing characters from Lego!
The exhibition is open daily, is free of charge and runs until 18 August.
For details contact Simon Webb, Curator, Museum of Computing, Swindon – firstname.lastname@example.org