The video game consoles we see on the market today have come a long way since their humble origins. The first few video game consoles like the Magnavox Odyssey, Fairchild Video Entertainment System (VES), Coleco Telestar, were understandingly basic and single use consoles. These consoles made decent sales until video games picked up momentum with youth culture. After the market became flooded with a variety of consoles and poorly developed games, not that poorly developed games don’t exist today, the video game market crashed in the 80’s. After the market recovered, a series of innovations took place. The home consoles got better, although they would still be considered basic compared to today’s models. Consoles like the Nintendo 64 and the Play Station 1 garnered popularity. The market targeted young males, and most of the games were made with that demographic in mind.
Early 90’s and into the new millennium there was a drastic change in the quality of consoles and the games they could play. The games themselves took on an almost viral quality. Series took off and the graphics, interface, and playability (return players) increased significantly. The Call of Duty series, Halo, Killzone, Super Smash Bros, are a few that took off and really grabbed gamers. Video gaming had started to take on a feeling of intense competition and not solely entertainment.Just within the last ten years, two mainstream console companies emerged. Sony’s Playstations and Microsoft Xbox series has been widely the most successful console companies (Arguments can be made for Nintendo). An almost endless list of improvements to hardware could be made. Briefly the storage, game processing unit and computer processing unit, and controllers have been heavily modified.
The innovations in cutting edge consoles is amazing. Features that could only have been dreamed of during the first conception of gaming consoles are now possible. Wireless controllers, voice controls, internet browsing, Netflix and other streaming services, using a person’s body as the controller, wifi and ethernet online play with thousands of other players, playing blu-ray DVDs, and more. As it is with technology, these features are ever expanding and every new console has a new artillery of hardware that usually makes the previous console obsolete immediately or in a few years. The world has become fascinated by the possibility of virtual reality. There are several companies interested in this possible addition to console gaming, and one provided that gathered media attention is Oculus Rift. This could lead to a whole new perception of gaming. It allows the player to feel a whole new sense of immersion. The rise of new consoles and the emergence of professional gaming will undoubtedly lead to the next level of gaming.