History of Video Games
LSS 3003 Sports, Leisure & Society
History of Video Games
History of video games goes back to thecathode ray tube-based missile systems in
the 1940s. In late 1950s, these systems then developed into simple games. And
through out 1960s, many computer games were created with more complexity and
Video games then branched to different platforms; such as arcade and mainframe
and later on to handheld games.
In 1971, the 1st video game becoming commercially viable was “Computer Space”
which was the foundation to the entertainment industry in United States, Europe
Two major crashes hit the video games markets, the 1st in 1977 when the companies
were obligated to sell their older systems. The 2nd crash occurred 6 years later and
was bigger because of the poor quality video games that invaded the markets
leading to a decrease in the video games industry in the United States and an
increase in Japan markets.
Although the crash killed the gaming market, the computer gaming market wasn’t
affected. Japan kept the dominance of the video games market for the subsequent
Companies from North America and Europe went through several attempts to regain
the market but their attempts would fail.
Until a non-Japanese company released the sixth generation of video games
consoles and it was a success. A similar path with several unsuccessful attempts
made by American and European companies all of which failed with limited
successes in the handheld electronic games.
In this sixth generation, Sega and Nintendo came out of the hardware market, Sony
strengthened their position and Microsoft created their own gaming console.
In 1998,Dreamcast was launched; the 1st console that had a built-in modem for
online play and Internet use. With the contributing factors of Sega’s destroyed name
from the failures of 32X,Saturn and the wait for the coming PlayStation 2, sales
started to decrease and the production of this console will stop by 2002 stating
Sega’s final console before it started to be a third party game provider only.
Sony's PlayStation 2 was this generation’s second release, with a lot of features such
as; DVD-based game discs with 4.7GB capacity which featured DVD-based game
discs, increased processor and graphics capability and available Ethernet
adapterwith a feature of playing DVD movies and audio CDs.
At the end of 2001, Microsoft stepped into the console market with Xbox. Using
Intel's Pentium III CPU, the console used the PC technology to power its internal
development, making games for PC easily portable to the Xbox. And to get the
market share and maintain its position in the market, Microsoft sold the Xbox in low
and focused on drawing profit from game development and publishing.
Soon after Xbox’s release in November 2001,“Halo: Combat Evolved” by Bungie’s
Studios became the reasonbehind Xbox's success.
With the 6th generation coming to an end, Xbox and Nintendo GameCube dropped
in the sales worldwide but because of their sales all being in North America, this
pushed Nintendo to the 3rd place in the United States.
In 2001, Grand Theft Auto III was released and was considered a big event in video
gaming. It was so successful commercial-wise and critical-wise, making open world
games famous. Also, It was a set piece in the debate over video game violence and
adult content including violence against police and Emergency Medical Services. At
the start of 2013, Sony announced the discontinuation of PlayStation 2 globally,
therefore the end of the 6th generation.
The 7th generation started with handheld consoles, where Nintendo released
Nintendo DS and Sony announced the PlayStation Portable in 2004.
Then in 2005, Microsoft made a step ahead with the Xbox 360 and in 2006 Sony
stepped to the market with the PlayStation 3, which was released in Europe in 2007.
And both of them featured high-definition graphics over High-Definition Multimedia
Interface connections with a large hard disk-based secondary storage for saved
games and downloaded content, networking, and an on-line gameplay and sales
platform with Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network. Both are systems that
challenged personal computers.
Cost-wise both were more expensive than the other consoles, the Xbox 360 had a
proper price edge, selling depending on the model for either $300 or $400, while the
PlayStation 3 was released with models priced at $500 and $600.
The eighth generation of video game consoles started officially with the console
release in North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand on 2012. This new
console featured HD graphic support on Wii U only and a controller; the Wii U
GamePad that has a 6.2 inch touch screen that can be used as a second screen for
more facilitites like the “assymetric gameplay”. It allows some games to play without
the need of TV.
As the successor to the PlayStation 3, Sony Computer Entertainment featured
PlayStation 4 and announced it officially on February 2013 and was launched on
November-2013 in North America and on 2014 in Japan. What is new about
PlayStation 4 is that its the first in Sony series to emjoy compatibility with the x86
architecture, which is a widely used platform common in many modern PCs.
In the mid of 2013, Ouya, which is an Android based console costing $99.
Itdownloads and runs Android games from a store. A disadvantage is that its
graphics capabilities are much lower than other eighth generation console, reflecting
other Android hardware.