Space Invaders was released in July 1978 in Japan. It was also available as a cocktail model. In Japan, the cocktail version is known as "T.T Space Invaders
The development of Space Invaders only took three months, but developing the programming environment alone took almost six months.
Space Invaders was so popular in Japan that it caused a yen shortage and more coins had to be minted. Many regular produce and goods stores in Japan removed their products and converted into Space Invaders parlors overnight, complete with giant speakers broadcasting the 'thump-thump-thump' of the marching invaders. A true classic in every sense of the word.
As one of the earliest shoot'em ups, Space Invaders set precedents and helped pave the way for future titles and for the shoot'en up genre. Space Invaders popularized a more interactive style of gameplay with the enemies responding to the player controlled cannon's movement, and was the first video game to popularize the concept of achieving a high score, being the first to save the player's score. While earlier shooting games allowed the player to shoot at targets, Space Invaders was the first in which targets could fire back at the player. It was also the first game where players were given multiple lives, had to repel hordes of enemies, could take cover from enemy fire, and use destructible barriers, in addition to being the first game to use a continuous background soundtrack, with four simple diatonic descending bass notes repeating in a loop, which was dynamic and changed pace during stages, like a heartbeat sound that increases pace as enemies approached.
Space Invaders contains the first attract mode with a sense of humor. It would first display 'PLAY SPACE INVADERS' with the 'Y' in 'PLAY' upside-down, and an invader would come along taking the offending upside-down 'Y' and carrying it off the screen, and then coming back with the 'Y' right side up and putting it back in place. The invader would then disappear from the screen. The attract mode would also display 'INSERT CCOIN' and an invader would come along and bomb the offending extra 'C'.
There are exactly 55 invaders per screen and exactly 11 different in-game sounds.
Space Invaders was the first arcade game to work its way out of seedy arcades and into pizza parlors and ice cream shops.
An upright unit of the Taito release of Space Invaders appears in the Nazareth music video 'Holiday'.
Export (Licensed) releases:
"Space Invaders [Upright model] [No. 739]
"Space Invaders [Cocktail Table model] [No. 775]