A History of Classic Videogame Commercials

Gameplayer has assembled 19 commercials for videogame consoles in a chronology of how advertisers have tried to make gamers want their products – from the Atari 2600 to the PS3.

A good commercial sells the product to the viewer. A great commercial becomes a memory, discussed and relived on Internet forums ad infinitum: “MOOOORTAL KOMBAAAAAAAAT,” anyone?

Some of the 19 commercials assembled here are great and memorable: The banned 360 gunplay advert shown above, or the classic Super Smash Bros. sunshine-filled brawl – just to name two. Others… well, they didn’t work quite so well (just ask the Atari Jaguar and 3DO).

It is interesting to see how the fake enthusiasm of actors pretending to be playing (and enjoying) games continues almost across-the-board. “Intense!” exclaims a young gamer after a rousing session of Zelda … and for some reason, the Sega Saturn is advertised as a product that will make you lose control of your sphincter. Gee, I wonder why it didn’t sell.

It’s also interesting to watch the evolution of graphics. Just going from NES -> SNES -> PSX -> N64 is a huge leap, and it really is impressive how far we’ve come.

Also, just a question: Did anyone understand that one David Lynch PS2 commercial? Anyone at all? Ever? (No, David, you don’t count.)

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