Monday, 26 October 2009

A look to the future?

So to continue where I left off. The N64 had just had great success and was widely admired for Zelda, Goldeneye, Mario 64 etc. In 1998 Sega looked to get the jump on its rivals by releasing the Dreamcast. Sales where poor and Sega lost a lot of money. This added to the damage caused by the Sega Saturn and spelt the end for Sega in the console market. The next year a PC gaming went to another level as Counterstrike was created by two modders, to this date it is still one of the most played games.

The turn of the millennium saw the release of the Ps2 and one of my favourite games, Timesplitters. The next year saw the release of the GameCube and the Xbox. This was a big step for the game industry as this saw the arrival of Mr Gates and Microsoft into the gaming industry. The GameCube sold on the back of the N64’s success. It wasn’t that big a step up in gaming compared to the Ps2 and Xbox, leaving Nintendo scratching there heads. With the introduction of Xbox, the revolutionary Xbox live was created in 2002. This was the first time that someone on a home console, could play against any Xbox owner in the world via the internet. This was such a big sell for the Xbox that similar systems can be seen in all modern consoles.

PC gaming came back with a vengeance in 2004, as World of Warcraft was released. As to date WOW (as it’s known) is the biggest online MMORPG in history. This leads us nicely into the 7th generation of consoles. In 2005 Microsoft released the Xbox 360. The Xbox was the first of the new generation of consoles to be put on the market. Unlike its other predecessors with this title, it didn’t flop. On the contrary it was a big success as people couldn’t wait the extra year for the Ps3. This led a lot of loyal Sony followers (including myself) to jump ship to Microsoft. After a year and a half the Ps3 was released at a similar time to Nintendo’s Wii. The Wii almost shocked the gaming industry as it changed conventional interaction between human and machine. It replaced the controller/joystick system that was almost as old as the idea of computer games itself.
The motion sensor remote (or its nickname wiimote) gave the user a higher level of control over the input into the game. The game play on the Wii is more rewarding than the Xbox 360 or Ps3 as you’re not lying on your back smashing buttons to a pulp. If you achieve something on the Wii, that exactly what you have done. YOU have achieved it, and are relatively tired after flinging your arms around for hours.

As for the future of the console, we will either see it go two ways in my opinion. Either we will see and increase in Graphical perfection (gears of war 2 environment) or more interaction with the human body itself (Nintendo Wii). The ultimate gaming experience for me would to have actual Virtual Reality for gaming. An online system where graphics resemble the real world and human interaction is the only way to operate it. Of course there is always the slight danger of people getting confused and dying in the machines. So it’s probably not the best selling idea for Mr. Gates, he hates a lawsuit.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

This is my 2nd week final piece. I posted it on here because Facebook decided to blur it. I hope its not too small now.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

It was acceptable in the 80's...

In the 80’s the technology was made available to produce personal gaming software at low cost. This lead to experimentation with the new software, were new genres were created that have moulded the game industry up to the present day. In 1981 Donkey was created opening up the platform genre. Dragon slayer 2 is another influential game as it created the role playing genre that dominates in today’s market. In the early 80’s the most popular consoles were the commodore 64 and Apple 2. The commodore was fairly priced and allowed the user to plug in existing joysticks from there previous consoles to use.

In 1985 third generation consoles were introduced to the market the first were the Atari ST and the Commodore Amiga These consoles were milestones in the market as they both had 16bit processors. A year later the Nintendo NES was released. The console came with the game Super Mario Bros, and was an instant success. Due to the success of the NES, Nintendo were able to create titles such as “Legend of Zelda”, “Metal Gear” and “Final Fantasy” all of which have their own series that have carried through into the modern era. I own a Nes, that I believe has gone for a walkabout in the attic. Despite this could have still have hours of fun on Super Mario Bros 3 (Especially in the racoon suit) when the Ps2 was at the height of its power.
With the rising popularity of home gaming, arcade games started to suffer. Arcades started to close around the country due to people preferring to wait until the new arcade titles where available on console. Arcades did survived though due to a strong group of enthusiasts.

1989 saw the birth of the Mega drive, Game boy and a very handsome man in Northampton. It wasn’t until 1991 that the Mega drive became the market leader due to the release of Sonic the hedgehog. This coincided with the release of the Nintendo SNES. In 1993 Atari released the Jaguar as the start of the new 5th generation of consoles. The console flopped as it had next no games and was pulled later the next year. In the same year Sony released the Playstation and Sega released the Saturn…. A mistake some think.
Also at this time Arcade games made a brief comeback with the release of “Street fighter” and “Mortal Kombat” this was quickly crushed as the power houses put these titles onto their consoles.

The Playstation quickly dominated the market whilst we waited for the arrival of the N64 in 1996. The N64 was worth the wait though. In 1997 “Goldeneye” was put into production and the following year “Zelda: ocarina of time” was released. Easily two of the best games available, on this series of console. The downside of the N64 was that the games where put on cartridges. Yes, the games loaded quicker. But cartridges were more expensive to produce and couldn’t hold as much data as a CD. Due to this, some of Nintendo’s game publishers went elsewhere, most notably the final fantasy series.

This was another brief overview, of a period of time as old as myself. I hope it was bearable for all.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

The history of video games.... kinda

The history of computer games is a relatively short period in human existence when placed against the light bulb or even the television. In 1952 a Cambridge University graduate called A.S Douglas. Who just finished his degree on the interaction between humans and computers, created the first graphical computer game. It was a basic version of tic tack toe that would revolutionize the world. The knowledge that computers could be used for fun as well as business has opened doorways that have led us into the modern era.

Being of a relatively young age, my first game experience was when I walked in on my brothers playing Streets of Rage 2 around 1993/4. The simple one button smash control system meant that when I was finally aloud a go (after running to mother), that I could play the game to a standard worthy of Co-op play with my older brothers. Still today this is one of my favourite games of all time. The plot wasn’t great and is fairly similar to all Jean Claude Van Damme films, but the button smashing and banging electro music of Yuzo Koshiro still brings a big grin to my face.

Since then I’ve dabbled in a lot of consoles. I’ve played on the Amstrad, that I still own. I’ve passed through the N64/Playstation battle. That I must admit I sided on the Playstation side. If I were to choose allegiances again I would side with the N64 for the playability, sheer humor of their games and possibly Super Smash bros as a lone reason.

These days were over when the Ps2 was released for me. I was already a Playstation man, so it was the logical upgrade and the right upgrade, up until the point the Xbox was released the next year. However at this point, mine and a lot of other teenage boy’s parents were still peeved about paying £200 for the Ps2 the Christmas before.

The current series of consoles is when I finally put some money in Mr. Gates’ pocket. After playing Call of duty 3 on Xbox live, (which is the best COD online to date) I realized that I was making a big mistake waiting and extra year and a half for the Ps3. So I bought one as soon as possible (so, it was given to me at Christmas). Up to this point I’m very happy with it and intrigued with how much more than can squeeze out of it before the next generation of console is rolled out.

This is only a brief description of my gaming life but throughout I’ve always looked forward to new advances in the industry. So far there hasn’t been a new system that has been worst than it predecessor, except for maybe the Sega Saturn and its horrible dual chip processor. This pattern of gaming success has ensured my long term commitment to the search for the ultimate gaming experience.