Video gaming then and now

Video gaming has been an integral part of providing entertainment both for children and adults. They are played as a pastime or as a career. Nevertheless, video gaming has been significantly embraced globally for the last decades.

As technology advances over the years, so does the evolution of video gaming. From the early days of computer games up to the latest gaming consoles, a lot has definitely emerged while some stayed in the past. From pixelated and monochrome screens to more realistic graphics, and from limited sounds to surround sound gaming, video gaming has indeed dramatically progressed. 

How did video gaming begin?

The first recognised game machine was introduced way back in 1940 by Dr. Edward Uhler Condon at the New York World's Fair. However, it was in 1972 when Magnavox Odyssey was released that is considered the birth of the digital gaming we know today. It is the first ever commercial console for gaming which has sold around 300,000 units from 1972 to 1975 before Magnavox was discontinued. 

A few months after the release of the Magnavox Odyssey in 1972, Atari was unveiled. It is often mistakenly acknowledged as the first of the games consoles as it was the first gaming company to set a benchmark for an extensive gaming community. In 1973, it retailed at $1,095 with its first authentic electronic video game Pong, a table tennis simulation game which is considered the famous symbol of early video games. However, as Atari rushed to capitalise on the competitive console market, it released games in poor quality which has cost their company millions and a damaged brand.

Soon after the birth of the first game console, many companies have developed and introduced theirs to the market. In 1985, Nintendo released the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) home console and has received enormous success with games like Duck Hunt, Excitebike and the renowned Super Mario Bros. Nintendo has continued to dominate the console market with the release of Gameboy in 1989. This is then followed by Sony's Playstation 1 in 1995, Xbox 360 in 2005 and Wii U by Nintendo in 2012 to name a few.


Evolution of Video Gaming

In the later years when LAN networks came about, that is when the real revolution in gaming happened. It has opened doors for multiplayer gaming which allowed gamers to compete and interact from different computers. This marked the start of 'online' gaming. From 1993 to 1996, companies like Sega, Nintendo and Atari attempted to set forth to online gaming but to no avail due to slow internet capabilities and problems with cable providers. But not until 2000 when Sega Dreamcast, the world's first internet-ready console was released. However it still ended Sega's console legacy.

Dreamcast still paved the way for the next generation of consoles such as the Xbox that was first released in the mid-2000s. By 2005, when Xbox 360 was released, online multiplayer gaming had already ruled the console gaming allowing gamers to play against millions around the world. This prompted companies nowadays to develop many games with an online component which have improved gameplay experience and interactivity to supersede their offline versions. 


Gaming on Mobile

With the presence of handhelds and mobile devices, it has allowed us to play games anywhere without the need of a TV screen or PC. When smartphones hit the market in 2007, gaming received another rapid evolution. The release of the iPhone 2G, the first ever smartphone, made it possible for mobile gaming  with an interface like a desktop computer, easy interaction and the iOS. Mobile gaming has been advancing rapidly over the last decade and has caused the death of handheld gaming devices. However, console gaming is still thriving with each new generation of consoles with more advanced features and gameplay experience. 

Console War

According to survey, although mobile gaming has become the latest trend, enthusiastic gamers never dare to leave their consoles. This is the reason why video game companies continue to develop more interactive games and advanced updates to their consoles.

Console war has continued for decades up until today with new generation consoles introduced to the market and latest game updates to attract gamers. Sony PlayStation has continued to be the most popular console today, a record it has maintained for its backward compatibility and DVD/CD capability. Online game stores and streaming subscriptions also add to the market competition of these console developers to which can provide the most convenience to gamers. These have been beneficial to video game companies to attract more subscribers and for increased revenue as manufacturing, shipping and storage costs will all disappear.  

Companies have also taken advantage of vintage games' high demand and popularity and decided to develop updated versions of these games that are compatible with new generations of consoles. Nintendo particularly has successfully made use of this opportunity  by releasing Nintendo Classic Mini and Nintendo Switch that allows playing of retro Nintendo video games.

Video games will continue to evolve in the coming years that is for sure. With the video game industry's continuous effort for new technology and new innovations together with the people's demand for more immersive entertainment, the future of video games is promising.

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Video game evolution

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