Gaming is a hobby that has been adopted by a vast range of people, something that perhaps could not have been predicted back in the 1970s and 1980s. The games industry has undergone rapid shifts during that time and this piece will look at a few of the really big developments that it has witnessed.
It was the global launch of the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in late 1985 that really changed everything for the industry. This was the first really popular games console, although it had to be tweaked a few times before really taking off outside of Japan. The grey NES box was the version that hit the ground running, with its ‘game paks’ rather than cartridges and a name that implied more than just video gaming at a time when this was still perceived as a niche activity. The NES saw games like Super Mario Bros and Donkey Kong, which would become iconic, hit shops around the world.
The console wars
At first Nintendo had the field to itself, with outside developers having to get licenses to make games for its consoles, but the arrival of the Genesis console from Sega heralded the first console war. This first battle was pretty down and dirty, with Sega attacking the Super Nintendo console in adverts, and it saw Sega arrive as a force to be reckoned with. The Super Nintendo won though, with games like Donkey Kong Country helping it to sell around 10 million more. The Sony PlayStation then entered the game, up against the Sega Saturn and the Nintendo 64 and wiped the floor with both of its rivals. The Saturn was a huge flop for Sega, while Nintendo only managed to sell a third of the amount of PlayStation consoles shifted – due largely to huge PlayStation-exclusive games like Metal Gear Solid. PlayStation remained the dominant console, with PlayStation 2 – although the Xbox from Microsoft provided a real challenge – before the latest round of the console wars saw Nintendo back on top with its huge selling Wii.
The Wii came out on top because it is easy to use, making it popular with casual gamers (while Xbox 360 became the hardcore gaming choice). However the emergence of mobile devices as gaming tools saw games reach a bigger audience than ever before, helped further by the likes of online casinos such as http://www.mobilecasino.co.nz developing mobile casino games that appealed to people uninterested in traditional video gaming. Games can be played at any time now, rather than purely when you have access to the console, ensuring they are bigger than ever.
The gaming industry is continuing to evolve, with virtual reality games the new development, and it seems likely that VR games for mobiles will be the future.