The 1980s are a decade often remembered for their significant contributions to shaping the technology of the future. The release of Nintendo GameBoy and NES, the rise of Sony Walkman and Trinitron televisions, the popularity of the Casio calculator watch and the craze for the Video Home System or VHS largely define the ten eventful years. If you’re obsessed with ’80s gadgets, this list will be a walk down memory lane for you.
When Steve Jobs first revealed the Macintosh at the Flint Center on the De Anza College campus on January 24, 1984, it wasn’t just another computer. It was Apple telling the world how to make a consumer personal computer. The Macintosh 128K, as it was called at the time, was remarkable in every sense of the word. It had a 9-inch monochrome screen and came with a keyboard and mouse. Not to mention, it was the first computer to offer graphical user interfaces (GUIs) to the general public. The first Mac also had two serial ports and could accommodate a 3.5-inch floppy disk. Initially, sales of the Macintosh were strong, reaching 70,000 units in the first year. The original machine was priced at $ 2,495, around $ 6,000 today. It was replaced by the 512K Macintosh with more RAM in September 1984. Jobs left no expense to promote the original Mac. Ridley Scott directed the iconic 1984 Super Bowl commercial that cost Apple $ 1.5 million made the brand a household name.
Nintendo Entertainment System
When the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) was released in the United States in 1985, few would have thought about its impact on the video game industry. Originally released as Family Computer (Famicom) in Japan, the American version of the Famicom single-handedly saved the home console industry that had nearly collapsed at the time. Not many people know that Nintendo was planning to team up with Atari to launch the Famicom in the United States as the “Nintendo Advanced Video Gaming System,” but the deal fell through. The “Famicom” got a Western makeover and the idea of renaming the console worked. The NES debuted in the United States with almost 17 games, but the Super Mario Bros was not yet ready for the American market. The NES will always be remembered for Nintendo’s biggest proprietary IP addresses, including The Legend of Zelda and Super Mario Bros. In total, NES has sold over 60 million consoles and 500 million games worldwide.
Sony Walkman TPS-L2
The iPod of the 1980s, the Sony Walkman, has a glorious history. Released on July 1, 1979, the iconic Walkman TPS-L2, a palm-sized portable mini cassette player with silver buttons and two headphone jacks, changed the way people listen to music forever. . Upon its debut in the United States, the Walkman quickly became one of the most successful consumer products of all time. Sony has since released various versions of its Walkman, and although Apple’s iPod has replaced Sony’s portable cassette player, it is still considered an icon in modern and popular culture. Sony abandoned the classic line of cassette Walkman in 2010, but still sells digital music players. In fact, the most expensive high-end Sony Walkman costs $ 3,199, although it is aimed at audiophiles. Sony has sold more than 400 million Walkman players worldwide since the launch of the TPS-L2 model.
Casio calculator watch
Remember the watch Marty McFly wore in Back to the Future? This watch (Casio CA-50) enjoyed enormous popularity in the 1980s, thanks to the integrated calculator. Casio apparently made one of the most progressive watches you could have on the market in the 80s. You could store names, numbers, contact information and much more on a small watch. The Databank series brought modernity to watches, which Cupertino is now doing with the Apple Watch. Wearing a calculator on your wrist was something considered out of the box. Casio’s Databank series has proven that designers plan to use the wrist for more things. Even then, the database still holds a special place among fans of Casio watches. In fact, Casio still sells calculator watches. The CA53W-1, for example, offers dual time, daily alarm, stopwatch, automatic calendar, and 5-year battery. The case has a water resistance of 50 meters and the watch costs only $ 25.
Nintendo Game Boy
Released in 1989, Nintendo Game Boy shook the video game market. While it wasn’t the first portable gaming console, it was the most popular. Like current Nintendo consoles, the original Game Boy was not a technical marvel. The 8-bit handheld console had a bulky physical design, a monochrome display, and supported interchangeable cartridges. However, it promised an incredible 30 hours of battery life. What has really worked in Nintendo’s favor is their pitch: an NES in your pocket. The Game Boy had a similar layout to the NES controller with four buttons and an eight-way D-pad controller, which made gaming easier. In addition, the Game Boy allowed up to 16 people in local multiplayer via a special cable. Considering these characteristics and the fact that Nintendo offered Tetris as one of the launch titles as one of the North American launch titles, the Game Boy was an instant hit. It was launched for $ 90, although it faced stiff competition from Sega, the Game Boy alone sold over a million units in the first holiday season. Nintendo sold nearly 120 million units of the original Game Boy worldwide during its lifetime. The popular handheld console was replaced by the Game Boy Color in 1998.
Sony Trinitron TVs
In the 1980s, Sony dominated the market in all product categories, including televisions. Japanese products were considered superior – and Sony was Japan’s biggest brand. Owning a Trinitron television was considered a prestige in North America and Europe. A sleek TV with a hefty price tag and superior CRT technology has made Sony’s Trinitron TV a household name in Western markets. In fact, the craze for a Trinitron TV was so high that affluent Indians often went to Singapore or Hong Kong to purchase the TV. The image quality of Trinitron was so good that Sony began to license its CRT technology to computer manufacturers including Apple and Dell. However, in the 90s, CRT technology began to be challenged by flat screens. Sony has sold 280 million Trinitrons worldwide since it introduced televisions in 1965, and in 2008 it decided to stop making televisions with CRT technology.
If you grew up in the 80s, you might be familiar with the home video system or VHS. The VCR has revolutionized home entertainment by allowing users to capture their favorite shows on tape and watch them at their own pace. It was then considered a technological breakthrough. But when Hollywood stopped releasing movies on VHS, the format began to lose ground in favor of DVD in the 90s. Although people no longer remember the VCR, its influence on home entertainment cannot be forgotten. Due to VHS tapes, there has been a change in excessive viewing habits and the way people consume media content on their televisions.
This list is incomplete without mentioning Atari, a company where Steve Jobs began his career as a technician after dropping out of Reed College. The rise and fall of Atari is fascinating. The role Atari played in video games, especially in shaping the home console market in the 70s and 80s, will be remembered forever. While Atari rose to fame with arcade hits like Pong, he really shone with the Atari 2600 and subsequent consoles.