Ralph Baer has passed award at the age of 92 at his home in Manchester, New Hampshire, according to Gamasutra. The prolific inventor was widely recognized as one of the biggest influences on the video game industry thanks to his work on creating the first home console that could be used with television sets. The console was designed and developed in 1972 by Baer and two engineers working under him and licensed to Magnavox and was given the name Odyssey. It’s release in 1973 led to companies like Atari making their own competing products.
He also played a large part in the creation of other popular products. During the late 1970s Baer developed Simon, Super Simon and Maniac. The inventor also designed the first ever gaming peripheral in the form of a light gun for the Odyssey that could be used in shooting games, much like modern arcade machines.
For his work in pioneering the home console and his role in moving the video game industry forward, Baer was awarded the National Medal of Technology by then President George W. Bush for his “groudbreaking and pioneering creation, development and commercialization of interactive video games”. He has also been given various other awards over the years that recognized his influence, including the IEEE Edison Medal, Games Developers Conference Developers Choice “Pioneer” Award and the G-Phoria Legend Award. He was also inducted in the National Inventors Hall of Fame to further cement his place in technological history.
Baer continued to invent and create other electronic devices into his later life. In an interview carried out in 2013, the industry giant spoke about how he was still working and trying to produce new ideas. In total, he had over 150 patents registered in his name before his death.