North American video game crash of 1983

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The North American video game crash of 1983 (sometimes known as the Atari Debacle or the video game crash of 1983 and 1984 because it was in that year that the full effects of the crash became apparent to consumers) brought an abrupt end to what is considered the second generation of console video gaming in North America. It almost destroyed the then-fledgling industry and led to the bankruptcy of several companies producing home computers and video game consoles in North America. It lasted about two years, and many business analysts of the time expressed doubts about the long-term viability of video game consoles. The video-game industry was revitalized a few years later, mostly due to the widespread success of the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), which was released in North America in 1985 and became extremely popular by 1987.[1]

There were several reasons for the crash, but the main cause was supersaturation of the market with hundreds of mostly low-quality games which resulted in the loss of consumer confidence.

Contents

Causes and factors

The American video game console crash of 1983 was caused by a combination of factors. Although some were more important than others, all played a role in saturating, and then imploding, the video game industry.

Plethora of games and consoles

At the time of the US crash, there were numerous consoles on the market, including the Atari 2600, the Atari 5200, the Bally Astrocade, the ColecoVision, the Coleco Gemini (a 2600 clone), the Emerson Arcadia 2001, the Fairchild Channel F System II, the Magnavox Odyssey2, the Mattel Intellivision (and its just-released update with several peripherals, the Intellivision II), the Sears Tele-Games systems (which included both 2600 and Intellivision clones), the TandyvisioN (an Intellivision clone for Radio Shack), and the Vectrex.

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