In 1969 Ralph H. Baer and Bill Harrison played their first game of Pong - the first video game anywhere. It took about three years of research, development, and persuasion to get their bosses to let them spend time in this video frontier. The two engineers saw the television screen as a blank slate for electronic interactivity, and with millions of screens in homes all over the world they were right to take on such an ambitious project.
Pongmuseum.com is a new site dedicated to telling Pong's story. Not only will you learn the many facets of the tale of the square bouncing ball that changed the world, you'll also see a collection of dozens of fine photographs of home Pong consoles. You may think that the Pong tale is a simple one, but I found myself quite absorbed by the embryonic origins of today's multi-kajillion dollar video game industry. Besides, I still like talking smack during a good game of Pong Ultra IV now and then.
A site celebrating the 40th anniversary of the invention of Pong, pongmuseum.com, has opened. With the museum comes a rare gem: a video directly from inventor Ralph H. Baer featuring himself and chief engineer Bill Harrison playing a demonstration model of their invention in 1971.
In addition to explaining the origin of the home video game console (which even goes into the basic schematics of the General Instrument AY-3-8500 chip, the common "pong" chip), Pong Museum includes a collection of international pong machines, from the breakthrough Magnavox Odyssey to the rare Heathkit GD that required users to open up their TVs to connect the game's wires directly.
I forbindelse med 40 års-fødselsdagen for det klassiske spil Pong er der blevet åbnet et nyt museum på nettet, som naturligvis hedder pongmuseum.com.
Pong var det første spil, der kunne bruges med et fjernsyn, og var forgængeren for alle de konsoller, vi kender i dag. Pong blev skabt af Ralph H. Baer i 1969 ud fra en idé, hans kollega Bill Rusch fik i 1967. Det første kommercielle produkt kom på gaden 3 år senere i 1972, da Magnavox lancerede Odyssey. Senere samme år frigav Atari en arcademaskine baseret på Pong, der hurtigt blev et stort hit og årsag til den første retssag inden for den spirende elektroniske spilindustri.
På museet kan man bl.a. se en video fra 1969, hvor Baer spiller Pong sammen med Bill Harrison, der blev tilknyttet projektet i 1967.
Pong a 40 ans ! Et depuis quelques jours son musée en ligne : le pongmuseum. (en anglais)
En 1966, Ralph Baer, technicien chez Sanders Associates, conçoit un système permettant de jouer sur une télévision normale. Rien qu’aux Etats-Unis, 40 millions de foyers sont alors équipés. Le dispositif comprend alors un jeu vidéo de poursuite et un de tennis. Ses idées sont brevetées et il crée plusieurs prototypes. Trois années plus tard, en 1969, Ralph H. Baer et Bill Harrison jouaient, sous l’objectif d’une caméra, au premier jeu vidéo sur téléviseur. Il faudra ensuite attendre 1972 pour que Magnavox sorte sa console, la Magnavox Odyssey, et que Nolan Bushnell, co-fondateur d’Atari, commercialise le jeu sous son nom Pong.
Créé par l’allemand Oliver, le pongmuseum est essentiellement consacré à l’historique du jeu vidéo. La rubrique Collection propose ainsi un petit retour dans l’histoire des consoles, de l’APF - Match à la Video-Sports - Skylark-124.
Dear Pong collectors we need your help! We are actually setting up a download database for Pong console manuals. In all languages for all Pong models - nice try you think? It is our hope that the collection of manuals will largely be a group effort. Something of this magnitude is simply too much to do alone. You can help us to build the manual DB by scanning the manuals in your collection and send them to us by mail.
The museum is officially opened - today on the 27 January 2009 to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the video ping-pong and the birthday of the Magnavox Odyssey 37 years ago. Any informations, inputs, contributions or anything related to Pong systems will be greatly appreciated - please contact us.
In 1966, Ralph H. Baer came up with the concept of a "television gaming apparatus." This device included both a chase game and a video tennis game, and could be attached to a normal television set. There were about 40 million TV sets in the US homes alone in 1966, to say nothing of many more millions of TV sets in the rest of the world. They were literally begging to be used for something other than watching commercial television broadcasts!
An email from Ralph H. Baer- January 26, 2009
this may be the 37th birthday of the Magnavox Odyssey game but it's also the 40th birthday of the video ping pong. It might be nice if you included the short video of Bill Harrison and me playing ping-pong back in 1969, which I am attaching.
Good luck with your new site,
Ralph H. Baer
I am proud to present the video on the index page, later it can be found in the History section. Now - have fun in the museum - many pong consoles and historic informations will follow! Please sign up to the RSS Feed to be up to date.
Today I will have a nice Pong session on the Brown Box that is located in the Computerspiele Museum Berlin.
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