Tuesday, 9 November 2010

The Evolution of Awesome... Final Round

Hey people!

So we come to my final blog on gaming history until we divulge into my own dark twisted gaming story (yeah underneath this cool exterior lies a crying dying emo). But enough of that, go on... go get the Tardis, phonebooth or whatever form of time travelling method is preferred (mines a DeLorean) It's time for the future!

"Tomorrowland…where the future becomes the present"

So it's the year 2000 and after surviving Y2K we're not dead (bring on 2012!) So what’s changed? I mean I still and always will have the love (and epic house rhythm) of a 90’s kid but I think 2000 was just a different milestone itself. I got inspiration for this blog by looking through the 1960’s videos “house of the future” etc. I think they’re worth a look as they really are amazing… I mean with claims of new electric toothbrushes and a sink that adjusted to height! God we had it made.

So what of the gaming industry in the futuristic times of the big bad naughties?

This decade saw Sega exit the hardware market, Nintendo fall behind, Sony expand its lead in the industry as well as Microsoft developing a gaming console (the Xbox).

The main developments in this decade are as follows:

·         With the failure of the Dreamcast (it sucked) in the late 90’s Sega left the videogaming market… (And now they work for Nintendo!? Anyone else remember when Mario and Sonic were deadly enemies of the console war?)
·         Sony opened the decade with the Playstation 2, which became the top selling console.
·         Nintendo released the GameCube .
·         Microsoft produced the Xbox, which later became the Xbox 360 of today.

·         Online gaming excelled with the introduction of gaming services such as Xbox Live

·         (2004 onwards) The Nintendo DS and Sony PSP are premiered.
·         Sony released the Playstation 3, whereas Nintendo released the Wii and capitalised on casual gaming.

Graphically games soared – with HD video a definite hit with veteran gamers seeking complete immersion within games. Comparing this with the age old Atari (as much as I love it) you can see just how much games have come on within the last 30 years.

“From a time when people were thrilled to see a square white block and two rectangular paddles on the screen to today, where gamers explore realistic three-dimensional worlds in high resolution with surround sound, the experience of being a gamer has changed radically.”  (Reimer, J http://arstechnica.com/old/content/2005/11/crossplatform.ars/ accessed 9/11/2010)

Also, looking at the beginnings of game developing to now there is a sharp contrast. In ‘The Evolution of Awesome #1’ I talked about Ralph Baer creating the first recognised video game out of boredom and people developing games as a hobby. Now just look at your average game company today. Game development teams can hire hundreds of people all specified to different areas; not only for game production but for admin, quality and marketing also.

Console wise we are already reaching infinity and beyond (as Buzz lightyear said it best) with Microsoft recently releasing Kinect for the Xbox a "controller-free gaming and entertainment experience". Another form of immersing the gamer fully into the game, this is similar to the Playstation Move and Wii technology etc. You see now, in the future, we don’t just sit down and play games we actually live them.

"With great power comes great..."
So like an American child star’s mother we’ve pushed and pushed the gaming industry to this point where it’s selling like no other. But like Lynne Spears we know it’s only a matter of time until our protege goes off the rails and ends up snorting coke and doing jail time. So now I’m asking what are the pressures of the gaming industry?
Well consulting the internet all the research points to…
  • The growing cost of development for games on next-gen platforms will increase demand from publishers to require new games to be deployed on many platforms.
  • Increased cross-platform development will mean less money for optimizing a new game for any particular platform.
  • As a result, with the exception of in-house titles developed by the console manufacturers themselves, none of the three major platforms (Xbox 360, PS3 and Nintendo Revolution) will end up with games that look significantly different from each other, nor will any platform show any real "edge" over the others. Many games will be written to a "lowest common denominator" platform, which would be two threads running on a single CPU core and utilizing only the GPU.

The winners…

The PC and Revolution platform as it has the simplest design.

The losers…

Surprisingly, the Xbox 360 and the Playstation may find it difficult to “stand out” against the new competition.

Ultimately, I forecast that there will be no more console wars! Remember the fights of Nintendo and Sega? (Well if you don’t here’s a handy video -http://www.mefeedia.com/watch/28832441 (Rolfe, J (2010) Console wars)

No longer will this happen as most content will be available on every gaming device.

So now we’re through the history and way out here in the future... anyone remember mouse in the maze? *laughs* I remember Mortal Kombat... but more of that in my next blog… 
So before you yell “FINISH HER!” I’ll bugger off…


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