Video games turn 40

This week marks the 40th birthday of video games thanks to the Magnavox Odyssey shipping sometime around this week (exact date is unknown). While not the best known, the Magnavox Odyssey was the first to allow people to play video games on their home TV set. Gamasutra has the full story as well as some old clips of the system from back in 1973.

Home video games are officially 40 years old.

More specifically, the first sale of a home video game system in the world happened somewhere at or around this day, August 28, 1972, though pinning down an exact date is more than likely impossible.

The first home video game system, the Odyssey, was sold by television manufacturer Magnavox, based on patented technology developed in secrecy at a military defense contractor (yes, really). That technology was the brainchild of German-born American Ralph Baer, an engineer and inventor who holds what is probably the first degree in Television Engineering, issued to him by the American Television Institute of Technology in 1949.