Wednesday, 19 November 2008

History of Video Games: 2000's - the future

In the past, video games caught the attention of gamers by a simple but effective structure in the storyline, characters and technique to playing the game. ‘Tetris’ proved to have an addictive quality to it in 1985 due to the simplicity of the game play which maintained the player’s attention. Realism in gaming is the most common trend of development from previous computer games along with interesting storylines to capture the gamers’ attention.

When the first games with smoother game play, 3D graphics and digitalized images of actors for characters were released, this became a major breakthrough for the gaming industry which developed to remarkable realism in games we see today. Such examples are ‘Mortal Kombat’ and ‘Street Fighter II.’

The industry faces the rising demands of consumer’s expectations for smooth, quick motion graphics and movement along with amazing realism. Companies are under pressure to make their games unique with a competitive edge to make sure their rivals do not ‘win’ their current and potential markets. Reviews from serious gamers can affect the sales of games as some people rely purely on reviews when making a decision about purchasing a game instead of experiencing the game first hand. More negative reviews may lose potential buyers, therefore leading to poor sales.

Introducing virtual reality games with astounding realism is what I ideally want from gaming in the future and this probably is also expected from consumer demands. Tournament games and missions where a group of people can play in a virtual world would be a new, diverse step in gaming. The game would be played by wearing sensors to capture movement and simple headgear to view the virtual world as though the player’s are in a real environment. This could prove to be a success as the ‘Nintendo Wii’ has shown with the early stages of this development. Being able to play one of my favourite combat games ‘Tekken’ in a virtual world would be an amazing experience, taking gaming to a new level.

History of Video Games 1980's-1990's

In 1981 ‘Donkey Kong’ and the character “Mario” is introduced which proved to be a successful game from industry giant Miyamoto. Rival company Nintendo releases 8-bit system in 1984 called ‘The Famicom’ home console which becomes popular with gamers. Shortly after, in 1985 ‘Tetris’ is developed by mathematician Alexey Pajitnov. The game has a simple aim of connecting blocks with various levels and this spark of genius gave ‘Tetris’ an addictive quality to it. NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) is released in 1986 and the developed impressive qualities become popular with American gamers.

A different approach was considered for game play with ‘Sim City’ by the publisher Will Wright in 1989. This game allows users to create and run a city. By 1991, ‘Street Fighter II’ becomes a big success with gamers due to its breakthrough in the fighting genre from its smooth animation and quick complex controls which is a significant development and a step forward to realism and maintaining the gamers’ attention while playing the game.

In 1992, ‘Mortal Kombat’ used digitalized images of real actors; however controversy arose over with the contents of bloody violence hence leading to the introduction of age ratings for games in 1994. Also, Sony releases Playstation that played games from CD ROMs. In 1996, the Nintendo 64 was launched. Unlike Sony’s Playstation, the console had lack of CD technology but it offered 3D games such as Mario 64. This introduction of 3D games has allowed the leap forward and development of amazingly realistic 3D games we see today.

By 1998 Nintendo releases virtual pets and the Sega Dreamcast was released in 1999 with a built in 56 Kbps modem that allowed online play. Popular Science magazine stated that the Sega Dreamcast is “one of the most important and innovative product of 1999.” This advance in technology allowed gamers to play with people around the world.

Between 1980 and 1990, the industry grew into the home with consoles. By the end of this period, the companies in the gaming industry continued to grow and meet consumer demands by introducing 3D games and online game playing along with improvements in technology.

‘Street Fighter’ and ‘Tekken 3’ was definitely the highlight of gaming in my childhood; I don’t remember playing better quality and more addictive games.