May 16–18 — The second annual E3 is held in Los Angeles, California, United States.
February 21 — Sega Model 3, an arcade system board considered to have the most technically impressive graphics at the time
November 23 — Bandai's Tamagotchi virtual pet handheld
Nintendo's Nintendo 64, the first true 64-bit home console
Nintendo's Game Boy Pocket (GBP) handheld console (30% smaller version of the previous Game Boy handheld console)
Sega's Net Link modem for the Sega Saturn home console
SNK's Neo Geo CDZ (Japan only)
Namco's Alpine Racer arcade game, including a new type of user interface
February — Blizzard Entertainment acquires a development group known as Condor, renaming it Blizzard North
February 13 — Atari Corporation announces a plan to merge with JTS Corp.
April — Eidos Interactive acquires CentreGold plc, which holds Core Design (creator of the Lara Croft character) and U.S. Gold
May 1 — GameSpot and GameFAQs are launched
June — Firaxis Games is formed By Jeff Briggs with Sid Meier and Brian Reynolds
July — GT Interactive purchases Humongous Entertainment
July 24 — CUC International, Inc purchases Sierra On-Line, Blizzard Entertainment and Davidson & Associates for about $3 billion in a stock swap.
August 6 — AOL buys Sierra's ImagiNation Network from AT&T for a reported $15m.
August 24 — Valve Corporation is founded.
September 1 — AOL closes ImagiNation Network, the first online video game with graphics, after 5 years of service.
November 13 — Tom Clancy and Virtus Corp. found Red Storm Entertainment, headed by Doug Littlejohns
Infogrames Entertainment SA acquires Ocean Software Ltd.
Midway Games, Inc. (subsidiary of WMS Industries, formerly known as Williams Electronics) acquires Atari Games Corp. from Warner Communications Inc. (AOL Time Warner in 2000)
Technos Japan Corporation, originator of the Nekketsu Kouha Kunio Kun series and Double Dragon series, goes out of business (assets acquired by Atlus Corporation)
Black Isle Studios forms as a division by Interplay; doesn't use Black Isle name until 1998
Game Park Inc. founded in South Korea
The company formed by MicroProse and Spectrum HoloByte in 1993 starts branding using only the MicroProse name
Overworks, Ltd. formed
Zed Two Limited formed
Nintendo of America, Inc. v. Computer & Entertainment, Inc.
The 3DO Company purchases New World Computing
Nintendo's Virtual Boy failed and the Atari Jaguar, and 3DO Interactive Multiplayer was discontinued.
1996 in video gaming Wikipedia