Sunday, 27 April 2014

History of Video Games Part 3 2000's

So like all video gaming decades, the 2000's has it's power houses too, the market was prominently dominated by Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft and while company rivalry was just as volatile as in the past, I want to take this time to appreciate how far the games themselves have come. Over this little journey we've seen companies rise and fall, but you have to step back and appreciate the contrast between then and now. Games have never stopped evolving, graphically or contextually, we've gone from basic arcade Pac-Man and Pong to a place where gaming is intellectually and emotionally stimulating as a form of entertainment and story telling. In the 2000s we see the last of low resolution games and make astonishing progress in graphical characters and environments with physics systems and AI improvements.

The PS2 has a very special place in my heart, I remember it clearly to this day- playing games like Metal Gear Solid 2 (Which is wholly responsible for my unblinking adoration for the universally despised character Raiden, just because he's the Metal Gear protagonist I was first introduced to, and yes, I almost exploded with excitement when he got his own Metal Gear Rising game.) and Devil May Cry on the sofa with my cousin, who would bring his PlayStation 2 around for my brother and I. In our eyes, he had pretty much achieved God-status. Anyway, the PlayStation 2 struck allot of chords with many others because it became the best selling video game console of all time with a very devout following. Though the Xbox also made an impact when it launched with the Halo franchise which became a big part of its identity and still is, but it couldn't quite reach the fame the PlayStation2 had until the seventh generation of consoles kicked off in 2005 and the Xbox grabbed the spot of first among the new consoles, with PlayStation and Wii launching t heir response in 2006.

What made the seventh generation stand out is the developments in HD graphics, media centers and I feel most importantly full online compatibility. It was something that PC's always seemed to loom over consoles was how easy it was to play with friends without being in the same room, and the consoles were finally adapting this in things like the Xbox Live system which gloated major success. Consoles were basically becoming multimedia devices with the exception of the Wii that remained exclusively as a gaming console.

Overall though everything was going somewhat smoothly for consoles, and it was the PC for the first time that was loosing its popularity over to consoles because of the standardization, and lack of advanced and expensive hardware requirements that a PC had. Regardless the PC still remained the the go to choice for RTS and MMORPGs which were developed almost exclusively for PCs, so the PC still had a very strong stake in the gaming industry. Over the 2000's from a community perspective, it became allot less about console wars (while they were certainly still there) and more about the PC vs the Consoles, not so much from a financial standpoint, but as a point of pride between gamer's who vouched for the superiority of their platform.
I think its clear what side of the fence I stand on.

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