Gaming consoles have been on an upward slope for the past decades. It has almost become a necessity in any household to own at least one type of console.Most people nowadays grew up playing console games during their childhood and even as adults. Whenever a new game console is released, people flock to the stores to purchase it. Anyone you meet most likely owns either a PlayStation 4, or an Xbox. Video game consoles give people a way to escape the real world, and feel like they are part of a virtual world. Game consoles have changed the way technology is today and play a huge role in today's market. The market is at point where it has caused conflict between different companies who manufacture game consoles. Gaming consoles are continuously growing, and new and better consoles are being created every year. They are changing technology and the way people view it.
Video game consoles have always played a huge part in people's lives. Gaming consoles have been around since the 1970's. The first gaming console to be created was Atari Sears Tele-Games Pong System. It was the first home version of a video game console to be created. The game console was much different than previous game consoles because of its "use of a single chip that provided games with digital on-screen scoring and attractive sound."(Winter, Atari PONG,1996). It was a very big deal at the time because other game consoles were using digital circuits. The Atari PONG System paved the way for other game consoles and opened up more opportunities. After it was released many other systems followed in suit. "In 1999, video games equaled motion pictures with domestic revenues of $7.4 billion."(Williams, pg.1). In the 1980's, Atari failed due to bad management, and games that were designed poorly. After Atari's failure, Nintendo decided to try its luck with video game consoles. Once Nintendo decided to join the game console market, Sega and Sony decided to join as well. Sega "Sega briefly grabbed the industry share lead in 1995, but quickly lost it back to Nintendo."(Williams, pg.3). In the 1990's, Sony released the PlayStation and in 2001 Microsoft released the Xbox, which both took over the gaming console market. Currently the most popular game consoles are the PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo Wii. Video game consoles have evolved over the years and are constantly being changed and improved.
With console gaming becoming popular, online console gaming was making its way into the industry. Online console gaming involves connecting a console to a network through the internet to provide a connection for users to play games online with other users in addition to other online services. Early attempts of online gaming for home consoles was introduced in the 1990's. "The Sega Dreamcast, released in 1998 and the first of the sixth-generation video game consoles, included something right out of the box that no other video game console before it had: a modem and an existing network for online gaming."(GreekTrivia). The Dreamcast came with a 56 Kpbs dial-up modem and a network ready to link together its online-enabled games. Unlike a standard ISP, game servers would be connected directly into Sega's internal network called SegaNet, providing low connection latency between the console and the server. The Japanese released entertainment system came out with over thirty games that were compatible with online gaming. Sega made an attempt to capitalize on the growing online gaming scene however, due to lack of widespread broadband adoption at the time, Sega ceased support of first-party online play. Market leaders Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo were already looking into adding online support to their current platforms. In 2002, Microsoft picked up where Saga left off debuting Xbox live hoping to succeed where Dreamcast had failed. Xbox live is an online multiplayer gaming service created by Microsoft, which was made available to the Xbox system in 2002. Microsoft determined that a broadband connection and the need of storage space of a HDD was needed, and implemented it in their console. Based on this reasoning, the Xbox included an Ethernet Port (10/100) to provide connectivity to common broadband networks. While Microsoft was implementing new ideas into their consoles, Sony with the PlayStation 2 did not initially release with built-in networking capabilities. Some modern networks nowadays include Xbox Live, the PlayStation Network, the Nintendo Network, and Wii online. These are currently dominating the online gaming console networks and are still growing and improving indefinitely.
Gaming Console Market
The market for video game consoles has been a rough road. Many companies have attempted to join the market, but have failed. It has been a rollercoaster of different companies taking over the market and losing to other companies when a new console is released. These manufacturers must stay on top of their game, because newer and better consoles are being released constantly. Atari was the first to dominate the market with their release of the PONG system. Atari soon failed due to being unorganized, and not focusing on the design of their games. After the failure of Atari, Nintendo took over the market causing Sega and Sony to also join the game console market. Nintendo then lost the market "to the current console industry leader, Sony."(Williams, pg. 3). The companies that dominated the market was constantly changing, because whenever a company "became dominant, it acquired and then abused its market power."(Williams,pg.3). Every company's goal was to become dominant in the market. In their attempts to become the dominant company "each firm released a system incompatible with the others"(Williams,pg.3). Now the companies that dominate the market are; Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony. The market is continuously changing, and the companies have to keep up to stay relevant.
Future of Consoles
Video game consoles are constantly being created and every new console released is always better than the last. Everyone wants the next best thing. Video games have changed a lot from when they were first created. The question now is, what will video game consoles look like and what features would they have in the future? With such a fast-paced market, one can only expect the next thing to be released to contain features that have not been seen or created before. Whether it's speed, RAM, CPU, graphics, a bigger hard drive, and features; each new console released by a company has had better specs than the last one. With newer technologies arising in the market, more innovation and collaboration are occurring as well. One innovation for how graphics and media are displayed would be Virtual Reality. Virtual reality is also starting to take on a role in the video game console market. The most basic definition of VR would be stimulated 3D worlds viewed through goggles strapped to your face. At first it was an idea that was only seen in movies but now, it is starting to become a reality. "Sony unveiled its first virtual reality device for video games."(Statt,2015). Virtual reality products have already made an appearance into the market. Samsung created its Virtual Reality goggles, and now other companies are following in suit. The virtual reality concept will change the way video games are thought of today. Video game consoles "feature internet ports, e-mail capability and the ability to play both audio CDs and DVD movies."(Williams,pg.10). Many companies are looking into future console systems not being a box, and instead having them on DVD's. The only worry about this is that consumers view console systems as toys, and with DVD's dying out it may cause consumers to not want to purchase them. We can expect to see a huge change in the next video game console released.
Video game consoles have impacted the lives of millions of people for decades. From the first video game console, the Atari Sears Tele-Games Pong System to the most recent gaming consoles, they have revolutionized the way people view technology and interact with each other online. The gaming industry will continue to grow as new gaming technologies keep evolving. Gaming consoles are a way for people to take a break from the real world and enter a virtual world. They will continue to stay relevant in this world as long as they keep improving. There is excitement for what the future will bring for gaming consoles. There is hope that soon we will be able to play video games the way it is imagined in movies. New concepts of gaming consoles are being created every day. The competition between game console companies is going to continue to so we can expect to see more innovations and creativeness throughout the future.
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Geek Trivia: What Was The First Video Game Console To Ship With A Modem And Online Gaming Support? (2006). Retrieved December 08, 2016, from http://www.howtogeek.com/trivia/what-was-the-first-video-game-console-to-ship-with-a-modem-and-online-gaming-support/
Statt, N. (2015, November 28). Virtual reality is taking over the video game industry. Retrieved December 08, 2016, from https://www.cnet.com/news/virtual-reality-is-taking-over-the-video-game-industry/
Williams, D. (2002). Structure and Competition in the U.S. Home Video Game Industry. Retrieved December 07, 2016, from https://www.scribd.com/document/49365128/ReadingC-IO
Winter, D. (1996). Pong-Story : Atari home PONG systems. Retrieved December 07, 2016, from http://www.pong-story.com/atpong2.htm
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