Friday, April 24, 2015

The Development History of Game Platforms

Hey guys!

In this post I will be talking about different platforms and how they've developed over time into what they are now.
Before we get into anything, for those of you who don't know what I mean by a platform I'm talking about the specific hardware and software which allows you to run games. 
However, game platforms are split into three separate categories Console, PC and Mobile so for instance Xboxs, Playstations, Pcs things like that which the everyday gamer would use and then Mobile includes those which are portable and can keep going on their on source of power without being plugged into something these include Gameboys, Psps, Ds' things that you can take with out if you were to go out and you could play them in the car.  

Let me paint you a picture, imagine, many many years ago, what seems like a century games WEREN'T HD!!
Now, I don't want to scare you but this is true, once upon a time the Commodore 64 was all we had to play with, once upon a time, Pong was the most frustrating game...NOT Dark souls. 

Now I don't want you to have a panic attack so I'll stop telling you about what seems like a parallel universe of 8bit graphics and 30 minute loading times.

 .....Yeah, I'll start from the beginning. 

The Early Years
SO You could say that it all began in 1940 with the creation of a computer that was able to play a basic game of Nim Which was developed by Edward. U Condon. The idea of this game was that you take in turns with the computer to pick up matchsticks.
Sounds tedious right? Well it kinda was when this computer would win 90% of the games played. BUT we shouldn't be complaining when the gaming world we love today evolved from it so there's that.
Around the same time in 1940 Martin Bromley had created a company which opened up an area 
in American military bases in Japan where the service men would be able to use coin operated games in the spare time they had to distract them for a while so they were always fixated on the job they had to do.The company was named "Standard Games" which was changed quickly to "Service Games", later in life this was going to become ~SEGA.   

Okay the next date on our adventure back in time is 1950 where gaming officially begins, well actually 1951. Fusajiro Yamauchi had previously created a card game called Marufuku in 1889 which were only sold in Japan and the business was extremely small. However, in 1948 his great grandson Hiroshi Yamauchi took over the business and he renamed it to Nintendo, which translated means "Leave luck to heaven".  Here is an Article which goes into more depth with what Nintendo means and how it progressed to where it is now, also there is someone who has commented at the end of it and has made a very cool link up to Tengu, which was the symbol to show illegal gambling and playing cards, and Nintendo's character Mario both of which have large noses, red themes and show an obsession to collecting coins.


In 1958 William HiginBotham created Tennis For Two, which was the first computer game which displayed motion and allowed the players to be interactive by using controllers.
 Those who were playing it saw a two dimensional view of which represented a tennis court on a oscilloscope and Players would be able to serve and volley using the controllers which had rotating dials and buttons on that could control the agle the swing of the tennis racquet. 

Golden Age
Okay so going into the "Golden Age" 1972, and the Magnavox Odyssey was released developed by Ralph Baer along with Pong which was created by Allan Alcorn. The Magnavox was actually developed months before Pong even though Pong is the first platform that most people think of if asked which the first console is.
A year after these two were created, Taito, Williams Electronics Inc and Midway entered the gaming industry. Taito actually introduced their first video arcade game in 1973 and in the same year they changed their name from Taito Trading Company to Taito Corporation which they are known by to this day. The company is best known for created Bubble Bobble and Space Invaders which became the company's most popular title and one of the most memorable games in arcade history, and is pretty much responsible for the beginning the golden age of arcade video games the game was published in the US by Midway.
Now then, Midway begun
 in 1958 and was named Midway Manufacturing, which used to manufacture amusement games. However in 1973  it moved into the interactive entertainment industry, and would develop & publish arcade video games. The company  first mainstream hit was with the  distribution of Space Invaders in 1978. But, Midway was purchased and taken over in 1988 by WMS Industries Inc (Williams Electronic inc). Williams initially was a manufacturer of pinball machines. But in 1973, the company branched out into the coin-operated arcade game market with its copy of Pong named Paddle Ball.

Okay so 1977 and Atari have now developed the 2600 which was the first home console and was a big success within the games industry because it meant that  people could play games at home and it wouldn't cost them any more than buying the console and the games, that was the other plus was that it had changeable cartridges so you could play different games on the same thing.  
Mattel had a big break through as well because they introduced the first  handheld LED video game which meant that those who owned it could walk around and play it without it being at home or plugged it, so it game people freedom to explore the real world whilst exploring a virtual one. However, there wouldn't have been much exploring of the virtual world because the games that were available weren't that advanced, to be quite honest 
they weren't even interchangeable at this point it was only something that would play the game it was made for, in Mattels case it was a football game. 
In 1978 Atari release Space Invaders for their home console, and the practice of porting begins. Porting is the process of adapting software so that an executable program can be created for a computing environment that is different from the one for which it was originally designed for (e.g. different CPU, operating systems).

Soo in 1981 Nintendo release Donkey Kong and who was to conquer the game? Billy Mitchell, who began playing games when he was 16. But before he started playing Donkey Kong he was already a dominant player with pinball. Furthermore he was to begin with very uninterested in video games when the 80s began until he noticed that "everyone was standing around the Donkey Kong machine and wanted attention" so he began to play.
NES Tetris Box Front.jpg
In 1984 Alex Pajitnov designed Tetris, the first ever game to be shipped from the USSR to the USA. It came to a variety of platforms, varying from Microsoft to the Game boy color. This game was not only addictive but EXTREMELY frustrating leaving people still playing it out of stubbornness today.

Whilst in 1986 Nintendo released famicom, the Japanese "Family Computer" which is basically the NES before the NES. This gave video games a higher quality appearance and more of a family feel to them. Compute! in 1989 said that Nintendo had sold seven million NES systems in 1988, almost as many as the number of C64's sold in its first five years!
Then in 1986 Nintendo America launched the NES (Nintendo Entertainment System). This gaming platform was insanely popular, By 1990 30% of American households owned the NES, that's insane considering only 23% had PC's! It's stats like that that make you wonder why Nintendo are struggling today. Not to mention that Sega Release the Master System. It was not, however a major competitor against Nintendo's Famicom, this would come later.

Sticking with Nintendo in 1987, they published The Legend of Zelda to the Famicom, the first console it was ever available on. The game features a "Second Quest," that you can get either through completing the game 100%, or by registering your name as "ZELDA" when starting a new quest. The Second Quest features loads of different dungeons and item placement, and more difficult enemies. Leading you, I'm sure to see why it's still a popular series to this day.And then in 1989 Nintendo released the Game Boy, revolutionary in itself to the market of handheld gaming. Children and adults were now in awe of the variety of games they could play on the go, and although not the first ever handheld console, the Game Boy did boost the field massively and without it we would not have the 3DS XL's and PSP's we all take for granted today. 

1990 to Now 
Okay so now we've hit the 1990's and Nintendo has released Super Mario Bros. 3 which is the most successful non-bundled game cartridge of all time, because its so awesome. Plus it's legacy has remained to this day, building upon the already successful Mario and Luigi franchise which is constantly being added to. Going into 1991 Nintendo released the Super NES, this 16 bit bundle of joy, although declined in popularity is still one of the most frequently emulated systems of our time with its timeless games capturing the hearts of children, teens and adults to this day. A year after this in 1992 Sega recreated itself with a new mascot who was non other than Sonic the Hedgehog who takes control of the US market. This is when SEGA became a BIG competitor to Nintendo as their games were becoming increasingly popular and Sonic being one of the reasons for this as he was exciting to children, because who doest like a Blue fast hedgehog. 
When the Xbox 360 was launched in American in 2005 it was classed as the first of so-called Next-gen consoles. And  2006  Sony  launched the Playstation 3 joining the 360 in the Next-gen consoles buut it was unique as it had a Blu-Ray Player which was favourable to alot of buyers as it became more of a family console then as it could do other things than just play video games. But in the same year Nintendo released the Wii so there was competition until the new consoles were brought out. 

8th Generation consoles 
So, now we're are up to date to the consoles which are constantly being spoken about. Of course I mean Nintendo's  Wii U which came out in 2012 and sold a total of 425,000 units for the month compared to Sony's Playstation 4 which came out in 2013 and in its first day sold 1 million Units. Whilst Microsoft announced that their Xbox one had sold approximately 2 million units in its first 18 days on sale. Since the release of these consoles the competition between the developers has got a lot stronger, all competing for the "superior" console, however the figures are ever changing still because people are still trying to get their hands on the most up to date console. So they have to wait and see what happens when the 9th generation is released, if there is one...... but obviously there will be. 

Fairwinds internet travellers, until next time

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