Martin 1Tenniea MartinMs. TilleryBritish literature28 October 2011 The History of Video Gaming Over the past decade, video gaming has become part of our nation’s culture. It all startedin 1952; a huge milestone in the gaming industry, A. S Douglas creates the first documentedcomputer game (Computer and Video). During this time in the United States most computerswere developed by individuals as a hobby. Douglas however changed the nation with his versionof Tic-Tac-toe. Video games are played almost everywhere, at the arcade, at home, on acomputer and even as handheld portable games. In time three major companies came into play:Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft. On September 23, 1889 Fusajino Yamauchi created Hanafuda. He came up with a newapproach to increase the games popularity. Instead of making regular cards like everyone else hedecided to make each one of his unique, with handcrafted artwork that would drive the sales ofthe cards (Fusajiro Yamauchi). The cards ended up being a hit and not only made the company asuccess but also made the card game really popular. With Hanafuda cards now in demandNintendo quickly became the top game company in Japan (Fusajiro Yamauchi). In 1959 with their business going down Nintendo struck a deal with Disney. With thehelp of Tv ads and a good distribution system through many large toy and department storesaround Japan, these cards sold over 600,000 packs that same year (Nintendo history Lesson).The new president of Nintendo wanted to put his plans into motion by transforming the companyinto more than a card company.
Martin 2 To help with this transition he changed the name from Nintendo Playing Cards Co. towhat it is known as today- Nintendo (Nintendo history Lesson). Yamauchi had a storm of ideasand wanted to make it big. The first product he made was in the form of individually portionedinstant rice (Nintendo History Lesson). Yamauchi learned the hard way that instant rice was notthe future for Nintendo. He then went on to open a love hotel, a taxi company and finally toys.Yamauchi’s ideas would take advantage of this and pave the way for the company to the videogame and entertainment industry (Nintendo History Lesson). Nintendo’s roots in the video game industry began in 1974, when they were given therights to distribute the Magnavox Odyssey home video game system in Japan (Nintendo). Itwasn’t until the year 1977 that Nintendo actually made their own video games. During this time,Nintendo hired a student to help them develop their own console. When the Color TV Game 6was featured, it had six different versions of light tennis (Chronology of Nintendo). In 1983 Nintendo came out with its most popular arcade titles. They released DonkeyKong and Donkey Kong Jr. video game. Along with Donkey Kong came Mario. Mario wasoriginally named jumpman, a portly carpenter in red and blue. NAO had to prepare the game forAmerica, so they wanted him to have a name. As the story goes, they were mulling over what toname jumpman when the landlord, Mario Segale, arrived at their house, demanding the overduerent be paid. When he left, the staff had a new name for jumpman: “Mario” (History of Mario).Coming up with video game ideas for this character was a whole new task. Miyamoto intended Mario to be his go- to character. He wanted the silly looking fellowto easily be able to fit into any game as needed. The only problem was his occupation didn’t sitright. A colleague informed Miyamoto that his new character looked like a plumber (IGN
Martin 3Presents). Miyamoto’s next idea was to put Mario in a crab/turtle/firefly-infested sewer. Forplayer two, Miyamoto made another character, changing Mario’s colors to create an identical“brother” (IGN Presents). Early videogames were largely designed by the programmers coding them. Nintendo onthe other hand had an artist working for them. The games Shigeru Miyamoto designed werevery different, merely because he had no idea what he was supposed to do. Which left him freeto explore, and exploration soon became a part of his games (IGN Presents). In the beginning played with the idea of making Mario and Luigi bigger and smaller asthey gained and lost power ups. After some time experimentation would reveal hidden items,rooms and shortcuts. Careful attention went into creating the Mushroom Kingdom’s challenges.Miyamoto wanted his player’s experience to be consistently good and constantly evolving,always interesting, never overwhelming (IGN Presents). After the release of the SNES in 1991, Nintendo started thinking about developing a CD-ROM version of their console. They got together with Sony, which eventually came up with thePlaystation. After Nintendo realized that Sony had cleverly-worded agreement that allowed themto license all SNES CD-based games, the two companies abandoned the deal (Sony Playstation). Sony not wanting to trash all their hard work on the playstation, they continueddeveloping it on their own. The new game was a 32-bit standalone Playstation and was builtfrom the ground up and was not an extension of the one developed by Nintendo SNES. (SonyPlaystation). So much work had been pushed into it the results from 1994 were completelydifferent from the concept that was drawn up in 1991.
Martin 4 The playstation had the advantage over the Saturn because it was easily developed, whichattracted many game developers. It also sold for $100 cheaper than the Saturn in the US, whichin return attracted consumers (Sony Playstation). They released the first playstation in 1994 andhad great success. Sony officially unveiled plans for its next generation playstation in March of 1999. Thefirst console was an impressive piece of work. It had an emotion Engine, a chip to enhance thegraphics and DVD-playback, at this time it was very new (The total History). The monthsleading up to the consoles launch however weren’t happy ones for Sony. Early previews of thegames were not well received. It was enough to for some people to have reasonable doubtsabout Sony’s ability to dominate the market a second time (The Total History). On the other side, Microsoft was launching their own game console, the Xbox. Thevideo game system had one of the most successful launches in video game history (Xbox LaunchOne). When Bill Gates first announced the Xbox, no one knew what to make of it. With sonybashing Nintendo into a distant second place and Sega struggling to stay in the arena, his plansseemed almost crazy by most (The Complete history). At the game developers conference in SanJose, Bill Gates finally ended months of waiting and wondering by revealing Microsoft’s plansto launch a home game console. The console “would be three times as powerful as the PS2 andwould transform the way we consumed electronic entertainment,” said Bill Gates (The CompleteHistory). Many developers and industry veterans were less enthusiastic. Most believed that itwould never work, or it would just be a PC plugged into the TV. An incredible 156 developers
Martin 5including well known industries like Activision, THQ and Capcom pledged to support thesystem (The Complete History). Sony and Nintendo just ignored Microsoft’s efforts to muscletheir way into the gaming territory. By 2001 everyone had heard of the Xbox but no one had seen one. At the consumershow in Las Vegas and with help from The Rock-Bill Gates finally showed the world an Xboxfor the first time (The Complete History). The critics let it fly, they said the big black box washardly pretty, and also said the controller was chunky and inability to fit inside a normal adultpair of hands, let alone a kids. After a year, xbox finally hits US stores. Bill Gates even attendsthe official launch. Microsoft ended up selling over one million units in three weeks (TheComplete History). Over the past fifty years video gaming has become part of the normal everyday life.Many industries have risen and fallen. Three have been able to rise against the odds and make aname for themselves: Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft.
Martin 6 Works CitedCohen, D.S. “Fusajiro Yamauchi- Founder of Nintendo.” About.com. N.p., 2011. Web. 13 Oct. 2011. <http://classicgames.about.com/od/classicvideogames101/p/FusajiroYamauch.htm>.“The Complete History of Xbox.” CVG. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Oct. 2011. <http://www.computerandvideogames.com/131066/hardwarethe-complete-history-of-xbox/ ?page=2>.McCarthy, Dave. Eurogamer.net. N.p., 22 Nov. 2006. Web. 27 Oct. 2011. <http://www.cyberiapc.com/ vgg/sony_ps.htm>.McLaughlin, Rus. “IGN Presents The history of Super Mario Bros.” IGN. N.p., 8 Nov. 2007. Web. 27 Oct. 2011. <http://games.ign.com/articles/833/833615p1.html>.“Nintendo history Lesson.” N-Sider. N.p., 12 Sept. 2003. Web. 13 Oct. 2011. <http://www.n-sider.com/ contentview.php?contentid=34>.“Nintendo in the US: A Brief History.” Geek.com. N.p., 18 Oct. 2010. Web. 13 Oct. 2011. <http://www.geek.com/articles/games/nintendo>.Polsson, Ken. “Chronology of Nintendo Video Games.” Chronology of Nintendo Video Games. N.p., 2011. Web. 13 Oct. 2011. <http://vidgame.info/nintendo/>.Sheff, David. “History of Mario.” The mushroom kingdom. N.p., 28 Oct. 2010. Web. 27 Oct. 2011. <http://themushroomkingdom.net/mario_history.shtml>.“Sony Playstation.” CyberiaPc.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Oct. 2011. <http://www.cyberiapc.com/vgg/ sony_ps.htm>.
Martin 7“Xbox Launch One of the most Succesful in Video Game history.” Microsoft News Center. N.p., 8 Jan. 2002. Web. 27 Oct. 2011. <http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2002/jan02/01- 08successfullaunchpr.mspx>.