Fairchild released the Fairchild Video Entertainment System (VES) in 1976. While there had been previous game consoles that used cartridges, either the cartridges had no information and served the same function as flipping switches (the Odyssey) or the console itself was empty and the cartridge contained all of the game components. The VES, however, contained a programmable microprocessor so its cartridges only needed a single ROM chip to store microprocessor instructions.
RCA and Atari soon released their own cartridge-based consoles.
In 1977, manufacturers of older, obsolete consoles and Pong clones sold their systems at a loss to clear stock, creating a glut in the market, and causing Fairchild and RCA to abandon their game consoles. Only Atari and Magnavox remained in the home console market, despite suffering losses in 1977 and 1978.
The VES continued to be sold at a profit after the 1977 crash, and both Bally (with... [continues]
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