Dedicated units that played variations of ping-pong dominated the first generation of home consoles. A major drawback of these machines, however, revolved around their inability to offer new content; once the novelty of playing the game wore off, players quickly tired of them. As discussed in Chapter 3, these machines flooded consumer outlets in the mid- to late 1970s and contributed to the market crash of 1977. Just prior to this slowdown, however, Fairchild Semiconductor followed by Atari each explored an alternative approach to home consoles (Figure 5.1). This approach took inspiration from computers as a single program could be switched into and out of the console's memory, potentially allowed for an infinite library of games. Other companies later followed this design concept as well, resulting in fierce competition as the home console market expanded rapidly in the early 1980s. Spanning approximately from 1976 to 1983, these “second-generation” consoles introduced game concepts and business practices that shaped the industry's development for decades.