Analogue Pocket Is Now Home to the First Video Game Ever Made

'Spacewar!' hails from 1962, beating Pong by a decade

It’s one thing to use a retro gaming console to play old Atari or Nintendo titles, but it is another to boot up games dating back to the early 1960s. 

Analogue Pocket owners, however, will be able to do just that, as the portable console just received a system update that includes Spacewar!, a game invented by MIT students in 1962.

Analogue Pocket Spacewar


Spacewar! is a two-player competitive shooter in which a pair of spaceships face off against one another while navigating the gravity of a star. It used an early version of a gamepad for controls and a cathode-ray tube for a display. 

The antiquated technology used to make this game presented emulation challenges, which were handed off to third-party developer Spaceman. The port of Spacewar! is being used to showcase the handheld’s new developer mode, which allows third-party developers to make games specifically for the system. 

Of course, the title of "first video game ever" is up for dispute, as scientists at the Brookhaven National Laboratory created a tennis game back in 1958, among other experiments throughout the country during the late 1950s and early 1960s. 

However, Tennis for Two and its cousins stayed at the lab, whereas Spacewar! became a sensation on college campuses that had the equipment to run it. Despite its relatively niche popularity, it is cited as the first bonafide hit in gaming, beating Pong and Pac-Man by a decade or more. 

The most recent Analogue Pocket update also brings some more useful features to the table, including save states and a reference tool that brings up relevant details on whatever you are playing. 

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