- New companies:
- The US arcade game market's revenues increase to $1.5 billion in 1979 (equivalent to $4.89 billion in 2022).
- June: Namco releases Bomb Bee, the sequel to Gee Bee.
- October: Namco releases Galaxian, the first true color arcade game, in full RGB color. It also introduces levels and boss encounters, and is the first game to have all of its graphics in RGB colour, popularizing graphics in RGB colour. It has aliens periodically making kamikaze-like dives at the player's ship, giving the enemies their own individual personalities.
- November, Nintendo releases Sheriff, a run & gun multi-directional shooter with dual-stick controls (one joystick for movement and one for aiming) and many enemies shooting many bullets, influencing dual-stick shooters like Robotron 2084, Ikari Warriors and Geometry Wars. It was designed by Genyo Takeda, with assistance from Shigeru Miyamoto, his first work on a video game.
- November: Namco releases Cutie Q, the second sequel to Gee Bee.
- November: Atari releases Asteroids, a major hit in the United States and Atari's best selling game of all time.
- December: Nintendo releases Radar Scope, featuring a pseudo-3D, third-person perspective, imitated years later by shooters such as Konami's Juno First and Activision's Beamrider. Shigeru Miyamoto makes his game design debut with Radar Scope, which introduces a three-dimensional third-person perspective.
- Konami releases Space King, a Space Invaders clone that featured the exact graphics and characters of the original Space Invaders. Nintendo releases another clone with the exact graphics of the original Space Invaders, called Space Fever.
- SEGA releases the Monaco GP arcade game.
- Cinematronics releases the Warrior arcade game.
- Atari releases the Lunar Lander and Ed Logg & Lyle Rains' Asteroids arcade games.
- Richard Garriott creates Akalabeth, a computer role-playing game for the Apple IIe. It launches Garriott's career and is a precursor to his highly successful Ultima series.
- Richard Bartle and Roy Trubshaw create what is commonly recognized as the first playable MUD, MUD1. (Note: Many say that this happened in 1978, though Bartle has stated 1979.)
- October - subLOGIC releases Flight Simulator for the Apple II. It is later released by Microsoft Corporation (1982).
- October, the Namco Galaxian arcade system board is released, supporting sprites, tilemaps, and scrolling. It is widely adopted during the golden age of arcade video games. It used specialized graphics hardware supporting RGB color, multi-colored sprites, and tilemap backgrounds, distinguishing it from the Taito 8080 monochrome framebuffer system of Space Invaders. Namco Galaxian also introduced a sprite line buffer system, later adopted by arcade system boards such as the Namco Pac-Man, Midway's Tron hardware, and SEGA Z80. The Galaxian hardware was widely used by other game companies during the arcade golden age, including Centuri, Gremlin, Irem, Konami, Midway, Nichibutsu, SEGA, Taito, and bootleg manufacturers.
- Mattel test markets the Intellivision console in Fresno, California. It is released throughout the United States in 1980.
- Milton Bradley Company releases the Microvision handheld
- Texas Instruments releases the TI-99/4 home computer
- Warner Communications' Atari creates the Cosmos handheld, but this was ultimately never released to the public.
- Galaxian at Museum of the Game
- "Arcade Games". Joystick 1 (1): 10. September 1982.
- Where Were They Then: The First Games of Nintendo, Konami, and More (Nintendo), 1UP
- Radar Scope at the Gaming-History database
Video game releases
|Atari 400||1979||Home Computer||North America|
|Atari 800||1979||Home Computer||North America|
|Color TV-Game Block Breaker||1979||Dedicated Console||Japan|