I was thinking about this today.
The *one* thing that saved video games was
*not* - better graphics
*not* - faster processors
*not* - hardware scrolling
*not* - in game music
The one thing that *did* save video games?
Be it a 10 second countdown for another quarter, a code to type in, a battery back-up on a cartridge, or a save to floppy disc, as soon as video games could last beyond a single sitting, they were destined to move beyond their Atari 2600 beginnings and move into the stratosphere.
Being able to play for more than one session opened up game design to longer and more involved adventures, and the kids (and kids at heart) never looked back.