Alright, I’m remaking this page with a new outlook, reviewing and overviewing new movies and games that make releases. Expect a first movie review tomorrow.
Hello all, EpicWes here. The other day I got into an argument with my brother over some history on the video game console war. Obviously, I won the argument. But I was inspired to write about it, so I decided to make a five-part post on the history of the home video game console and the war between the brands. Now I am a little biased towards Nintendo, but I will not let that get in the way of me providing the facts on what really happened way back when. This is just an Introduction, stating some what I will be covering.
Part I: Introduction
Part II: The Retro Era
Part III: The Later Years
Part IV: Portables
Part V: The Current Generation and My Predictions
Alright, here’s Part II, all about the olden times of Video Game consoles. From the Atari 2600 to the PlayStation, we’ve got all of this exciting time covered. Also note that I will be using abbreviations for the console names, so at the bottom of the post is a simple guide. I will only be abbreviating the ones that are mentioned more than once, so not all consoles are on the list.
The very first home console (to my knowledge) was the Magnavox Odyssey, launched in 1972. Never heard of it? Most haven’t. It wasn’t very well-known, being released 1972. It was followed by the Pong (1975) and Coleco Telstar (1976).
There were many more unimportant ones, such as the Fairchild Channel F (1976), Atari 2600 (1977), Magnavox Odyssey² (1978), Mattel Intellivision (1980), Milton Bradley Vectrex (1982), Emerson Arcadia 2001 (1982), ColecoVision (1982), and the Sega SG-1000 (1983). They mostly didn’t sell well, and were quickly overshadowed by the A26, the first of the Retro consoles that took part in this war. The A26 was the only major console for a while. Atari attempted to improve it with the Atari 5200 in 1982, but the A52 had so many flaws, its predecessor was more popular and the A52 died out. Then, in 1983, there was a huge market crash where video games as a whole lost tons of profits. There was nothing around for a few years.
Nintendo, a company that had been producing the famous handheld Game And Watch Gallery games and arcade machines, had decided to release a console, the famous Nintendo Entertainment System. It was launched in 1985.
The NES was a huge success. But besides, Atari, it had no competators. SEGA decided to change that, and in 1986 it released the Sega Master System. There was also the Atari 7800 (1986), but it never caught on like the other 8-bits. The A26 stayed, because it had a sort of Nostalgic feel. So the NES and SNS two were the biggest rivals, but Nintendo easily won.
These two 8-bits duked it out for a while, with the A26 popping up every now and then.
In 1989, SEGA took the next step in technology and released the Sega Genesis, the first 16-bit console. There was also the TurboGrafx-16/PC-Engine (1989) Neo Geo (1991). Both of those flopped. Nintendo was quick to rival the SG, releasing the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in 1990. Again they fought, being the biggest of the big. Everyone who was anyone knew whether they were for Nintendo of for SEGA.
There was, again, a bunch of little-known consoles released from 1993 until 1996. The 3DO Interactive Multiplayer (1993), Amiga CD-32 (1993), Atari Jaguar (1993), Sega Saturn (1994), PlayStation (1994), Apple Pippin (1997), and Nintendo 64 (1996) were all in that time. Now, the N64 came out a lot later. Nintendo put a lot of time into it. In 1995, Nintendo released a 32-bit console, the Virtual Boy. The VB was Nintendo’s only flop. It lasted barely 6 months and only had 14 games total released for it.
SEGA also had the Sega Neptune planned for 1994, but by the time it was ready for release, the SS was well underway. Thus, the SN was scrapped. SEGA also tried to keep the SG alive longer. They made the Sega 32X, an add-on that you plugged into the game slot of a SG, turning it from 16-bit to 32-bit. Another add-on to the SG was the Sega CD, which was put on the side of the SG and let you play disc games, which were considered far mor advanced than cartridges. Both failed miserably, but the SS was already out by then.
With Sony now in the mix, there was not much room. Nintendo was keeping its ground, and that left SEGA as the one to leave. They launched the Sega Dreamcast in 1999. But the SD was not really a Retro console, moreso the first on the later systems. It didn’t sell well, as Sony was running the market with the ads for the PlayStation2. The SD withered and died out, leaving the PS and N64 in a heated battle as the Retro Era ended, at the end of the 20th century.
Atari 2600 = A26
Atari 5200 = A52
Atari Jaguar = AJ
Nintendo Entertainment System = NES
Nintendo 64 = N64
Playstation = PS
Sega Dreamcast = SD
Sega Genesis = SG
Sega Master System = SMS
Sega Neptune = SN
Sega Saturn = SS
Super Nintendo Entertainment Systen = SNES
Virtual Boy = VB
Part 3 of the awesome saga known across the internet as Console Rundown. Here, I’ll be explaining about last generation of games. There is a total of 7 generations, the 7th being the current one (Wii, Xbox 360, and PlayStation3). This segment is about the 6th, and anything before that is considered retro in the eyes of the gaming world. There are 4 consoles here, so I’ll start with the first on released, the SEGA Dreamcast.
The DC. Wow, such an accomplishment. It was higly renowned for its pioneering in gaming, being the first system to ever support online gaming (the Microsoft Xbox didn’t come until 3 years later). It had many working names during production, inculding the following; White Belt, Black Belt, Dural, Dricas, Vortex, Katana, Shark, and Guppy. First released in America on September 9, 1999 (the date 9/9/99 was used heavily in the US promotion for the console). However, the DC didn’t drum up enough support, and was overshadowed by the PlayStation2, which came 16 months later. The DC did sell well, but because SEGA hadn’t been keeping up with it’s current console (The Neptune was scrapped for the Saturn, and the Saturn was ignored for the DC). Sony, however, had the PlayStation going steady for a long while, and the PS2 was as good an upgrade as could have been expected.
So, the DC was good, but just not good enough to stay in the race. The PlayStation2 launched in America in October 26, 2000. IT was a huge success, claiming its early title as the best of the newest consoles. It beat out the DC in both graphics, games, and price. But that didn’t stop the DC from hanging in there.
Then, a double-whammy for the DC. First, the Microsoft Xbox came out in full steam on November 15, 2001. It didn’t have time to catch on as much as the PS2 did, because the next system came out only 3 days later. It was $299 at launch, pretty pricey for a game console. But the price didn’t stop it from selling so well.
Three days later, on November 18, 2001, the Nintendo Gamecube jumped into the race as the last of this generation. The GC was only $199 at launch. It was the most compact and had the cheapest hardware of the four. But being from Nintendo, it was nearly garunteed to last. It never had internet, which is why it didn’t di as well as it could.
Now this was all fine and dandy, but the market was getting crowded. The PS2 was the frontrunner in sales, and the XB was keeping up with it’s wide variety of games (mostly first person shooter, which ws becoming all the rage). And the GC was, well, Nintendo. You can’t say video games without thinking of Nintendo. So, the only one left to go was the Dreamcast. It worked quite well, leaving room for the three left to battle it out. It was a sad time to see the Dreamcast go, but it had to be someone. Most of these dejected SEGA fans turned to Sony when the DC died. They would never betray their company by joining their rivals Nintendo, and Microsoft didn’t quite fit the bill. This was also a big contributor to the success of the PS2.
Now, there was no clear winner. Many people say the PS2 won, and it certainly had the best sales. The GC sold the least, but more many was spent on its games. XB was somewhere in the middle most of the time. Either way, all three of the companies went on the make consoles in the next genration, so the winner didn’t matter.
Stay on close watch for next week when I review portable gaming systems. This will give me an excuse to show off my blantant Nintendo fanness (couldn’t think of the right word to use here). So, I hope you enjoyed me reviewing of the latest generation of gaming to conclude.
Nintendo Gamecube = GC
SEGA Dreamcast = DC
Sony PlayStation2 = PS2
Microsoft Xbox = XB