Wednesday, 17 November 2010

The President has Been Kidnapped by Ninjas (aka, A History of Video Games 2000's)

So, after the nineties, we’re stepping into the nought-ies with the next decade of Video Gaming, bringing us bang up to date at the end of it.

This era (one I am very familiar with) was dominated by the console - Sony, Nintendo, and, new to the market, Microsoft, duked it out becoming the big three of gaming. It also saw the rise of the hand held console. The GameBoy, evolved, transforming into the GameBoy Colour, the GameBoy advance, until it reached the DS level. Along side it, we saw the birth of Sony’s PSP.

This decade was also the graphical explosion. Every game was more advanced than the last - they looked better, played better, the technology used in their creation grew at an exponential rate. From the blocky graphics of Spyro, into the fully rendered, and fantastical worlds of Final Fantasy XIII (awful game, but it looked great).

In the year 2000, Sony wowed the market with the PlayStation 2, named the third best video game console by IGN. And, due to several delays (that

I remember well) it couldn’t be found anywhere. People were buying for hundreds of dollars, if it hadn’t tipped into the thousand mark, over the internet, j

ust to be able to own one.

It wasn’t until 2001 that is was more widely available, with a smash hit line up of games, that fended off its competitors of the time; the Nintendo GameCube, and Microsoft’s Xbox.

The Xbox, however, came compatible with online console gaming, utilising the function to make multiplayer games using the internet. It was also the first console to have an inbuilt storage facility for saving games, and downloading from ‘Xbox Live’ - removing the need for memory cards (which I know I lost several times, for my PS2).

Last, but not least, was the GameCube. Released in 2001, it was the third console of Nintendo’s to connect to the internet, through the use of a special adapter

(though very few games were released that made use of this), and the first of its consoles to use CD-ROMs to run its games, instead of cartridges, that had a limited life span.

By now, 3D was standard on console gaming, common among RPG’s and First Person Shooters, and from there, it could only go up. With the console war settled into the three main competitors, the race was no longer about the hardware, but rather the software. This allowed for an exploration into graphics. The look of games became more sophisticated and polished, and that, in turn affected the gaming audience. It became standard for games to look good - the better looking the game, the more interest it garnered from fans.

Similar advancements were made in aspects of game play. User interfaces became more intricate, and there were more options applied to game play. The player could affect more of the surrounding worlds - some games (-cough- Fable -cough-) going so far as to change the look of the world and the people in it, as well as scenarios, depending on the choices the player made.

Unfortunately, this generation of consoles, came to an end, all too soon, as the new seventh generation was born. 2005 gave rise to the Xbox 360, and 2006 ushered in the Wii and PlayStation 3. A new frontier of gaming, so to speak - better hardware, more capabilities, and motion control.

The Wii was the first motion control console, using the wand controller to direct a cursor on screen, and the buttons to execute different commands. It’s graphical capabilities, however, weren’t much higher than the game cubes, but the possibilities for game play were exponential.

On the other hand, the PS3 was more focused on graphics, indeed its first line up of games showcased as much, verging on the closest thing to realism seen on a console. However, most of the line up games had sacrificed on game play, and as such, the Wii had a better launch with its star line up (an Legend of Zelda leading the way, with Mario games to follow, it was a sure hit with nintendites, where as all of Sony’s major titles didn’t hit the shelves for the PS3 until a few months after launch).

However, the 360 was a happy medium of both. With much the same control as before, the graphics and hard drive were both upped, allowing for a better gaming experience, which is possibly why it is becoming one of the more common consoles.

And, zapping right into the last few months, both the Xbox 360 and the PS3 have seen the implementation of motion control with the PS3’s ‘move’ controller (far more sensitive than the Wii controller, and at the moment, slightly more accurate) and the 360’s Kinect (made on the idea of using the full body as a controller), which saw its formal release last week, and instantly sold out.

I can safely say the Kinect saw much use in GameStation the week of its release…

Mostly by the staff.

No comments:

Post a Comment