- Golden age of arcade video games begins.
- In the Japanese arcade game market, Taito has earned $600 million (equivalent to $2.18 billion in 2021) from 100,000 Space Invaders machines.
- The US arcade game market's revenues increase to $1 billion in 1978 (equivalent to $3.63 billion in 2021).
- June - Taito releases Space Invaders, the first blockbuster arcade video game, responsible for starting the golden age of arcade video games. It also sets the template for the shoot 'em up genre, and influences nearly every shooter game released since then. It introduced the concept of a difficulty curve, with the aliens moving faster as the player kills more of them, making the game more difficult as it progresses. It also popularized the concept of achieving a high score, by saving the player's score. Targets could also fire back at the player, and it featured multiple lives, taking cover using destructible barriers, and a dynamic background soundtrack.
- June - SEGA releases Space Ship, an early vector graphics space combat game.
- July - Taito America gives Space Invaders a limited release in the United States.
- August - SEGA releases Secret Base, featuring two-player co-operative gameplay.
- Atari popularizes the trak-ball controller (inspired by its use in a Taito football/soccer arcade sports game) with the arcade game Football.
- Chris Kohler (2005). Power-up: how Japanese video games gave the world an extra life. BradyGames. p. 18. ISBN 0-7440-0424-1. http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=auMTAQAAIAAJ. Retrieved 2011-03-27.
- Essential 50: Space Invaders. 1UP.com. Retrieved on 2011-03-26
- Edwards, Benj. Ten Things Everyone Should Know About Space Invaders. 1UP.com. Retrieved on 2008-07-11
- Kevin Bowen. The Gamespy Hall of Fame: Space Invaders. GameSpy. Retrieved on January 27, 2010
- Craig Glenday, ed (March 11, 2008). "Record Breaking Games: Shooting Games Roundup". Guinness World Records Gamer's Edition 2008. Guinness World Records. Guinness. pp. 106–107. ISBN 978-1-904994-21-3.
- Geddes, Ryan (December 10, 2007). IGN's Top 10 Most Influential Games. IGN. Retrieved on July 11, 2008
- "Players Guide To Electronic Science Fiction Games". Electronic Games 1 (2): 34–45 . March 1982. http://www.archive.org/stream/electronic-games-magazine-1982-03/Electronic_Games_Issue_02_Vol_01_02_1982_Mar#page/n42/mode/1up. Retrieved February 1, 2012.
- Brian Ashcraft & Jean Snow (2008). Arcade Mania: The Turbo-charged World of Japan's Game Centers. Kodansha International. ISBN 4-7700-3078-9. http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=wX8kAQAAIAAJ. Retrieved May 1, 2011. "Space Invaders offered a novelty: players had three lives. Those who got good at the game could play for as long as they could keep from being blown to bits."
- Brian Ashcraft (January 20, 2010). How Cover Shaped Gaming's Last Decade. Kotaku. Retrieved on March 26, 2011
- Karen Collins (2008). From Pac-Man to pop music: interactive audio in games and new media. Ashgate. p. 2. ISBN 0-7546-6200-4. http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=lFEYAQAAIAAJ. Retrieved April 8, 2011.
- Space Ship at the Gaming-History database
- Space Ship at Museum of the Game
- Space Invaders (Taito America) at the Gaming-History database
- Secret Base at the Gaming-History database
- 1978 in video gaming at Allgame via the Wayback Machine
- Secret Base at Museum of the Game