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The future of video games according to 1982

Blake Snow

According to The Omni Future Almanac written in 1982, console video games would "commercially flop" by the mid-80s. 25 years later, the entertainment medium is bigger than ever and perhaps larger than some ever expected it to be. I remember thinking at the age of five after playing my first video game on the Atari 2600, "I like this." I didn't know in what way or on what level, but I knew I wanted to be around video games.

So just what did this 1982 almanac think would be the demise of consoles? Sub-$1000 "IBM-PCs" just like others predicted early on. Remember: consoles were originally designed to be a low cost home alternative to playing video games when compared to arcade machines and PCs. Here are some choice excerpts from the book:

One of the great boom and bust stories of technological history will be the rise and fall of the home video game, as these hot-selling technological marvels of the early 1980s plunge to obscurity during the middle years of the decade. Ironically, the fall of video games will be the result of increased consumer interest in games play, rather than indifference.

The TV game systems will disappear because the prices of home computers will keep falling quickly. Personal computer software will become so ubiquitous and varied that families that once would have bought games will now buy computers that not only play games but can do many other things as well. By 1985, computers offering the power of today's IBM-PC will cost considerably less than $1000. They will allow users to play games far more intricate than virtually any video game system available today. These new computers will be modified to the user's skill and interests.

The final blow for video games will be the emergence of interactive game "networks" over cable TV systems in the mid-1980s, providing an endless library of the latest in games without the need for cassettes.

[Thanks to Brendon for the heads up and transcription]

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