Timeline: Video Games, Part III

Updated July 22, 2020 | Infoplease Staff

Part III: 1985-1994

by Amanda Kudler
1985 1986 1989 1991 1993 1994 Next: 1995-present

The popular game Tetris is developed by Russian programmer Alex Pajitnov. It is played on a PC.


Nintendo's NES is released in the U.S. after being test-marketed in NY one year earlier.

To compete with the NES, Sega introduces the Sega Master System (SMS).

Atari releases the Atari 7800 to stay competitive in the market.


Nintendo releases the handheld Game Boy for $109.

NEC releases the first 16-bit console in the U.S. It is called the TurboGrafx-16 and sold for $189. It is the first system to run video games stored on compact discs.

The true arcade experience comes into American homes when Sega debuts the Genesis, its first 16-bit home game console, for $249.95.

Atari tries to enter the handheld market with the Lynx, a color handheld console retailing for $149.


Super NES is released in the U.S. by Nintendo for $249.95.


Atari releases the Jaguar, attempting to be the first 64-bit console on the market. The product actually runs two 32-bit processors.

Senators Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut and Herbert Kohl of Wisconsin launch a Senate investigation into violence in video games, hoping to initiate a ban on violent games.


Resulting from the Senate investigation, the Entertainment Software Rating Board is created. Rating are now given to video games and are marked on the games' packaging to indicate the suggested age of players and violent content.

In Japan, the Sega Saturn and the Sony PlayStation make their debut.




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