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.