The gaming industry has grown to become one of the largest in the entertainment sector.
Today, video games are not just played by children and teens, but by a variety of individuals.
People from the young generation to the old generation are involved in gaming directly or indirectly.
A Video Game Overview
Computers are one of the main contributors to the gaming industry. In fact, video games are also known as computer games.
Today, the industry has become one of the richest in the entertainment world.
Game developers are always busy creating unique games that not only will entertain players but educate them as well.
The popularity of digital games is constantly increasing.
The average age of gamers is now at 31 contradicting the claims that games are for kids and teenagers alone.
Unusually, gaming is becoming more popular than movies and music. This popularity is due to many factors like accessibility, music and animations.
Nowadays, the industry, especially Console Gaming, has swept the world.
Based on research, more than sixty-five percent of households in America own a gaming console.
In addition, more and more people, particularly young adults are playing games on their mobile devices.
Some most popular game platforms today include computer games, console games, online games, and smartphone games.
Computer games are the most common because they are played on a personal computer.
You do not need complicated devices like when playing a video game using controllers or other gaming gadgets.
All you need is a keyboard, mouse or joystick. Online gaming started out with PCs but now has moved to mobile devices and modern consoles.
Consoles are just like computers but designed to play specific games and of a certain format.
What are the video game generations?
1. The first generation (1972-1977)
The first generation of video games began when the first console was released. It was known as the Magnavox Odyssey.
However, the developers of the console were inspired by games produced on early platforms such as the computer and arcade cabinets.
The first generation consoles can be referred to as analog devices, and are not compared to the digital ones.
In this generation, there was no winner since most companies were marketing the same devices.
2. The second generation (1976-1984)
The second generation of video game consoles started with Fairchild Channel F.
It was the first console to design programmable ROM cartridges. It is also the era when Atari 2600 was released.
Additionally, in this period, the focus was more on software.
Even though the games were very open in design, there are many differences compared to the First generation games.
The Atari 2600 became so popular that several rival console companies designed adapters to play the Atari 2600 games.
In addition, the video-game developers have to try several styles and schemes.
For instance, Atari tried the 8 way joystick and a digital button. It was a style that attracted many gamers.
But other companies tried different designs that included trackballs, number pads, and analog control methods.
Many digital game controllers were wired to the systems and could not be removed.
This was a big problem because some were weak and they could easily break.
Some consoles had Qwerty keyboards and some had separate monitors.
Apart from consoles, the graphics also changed in the second generation.
In the previous generation, consoles could only produce low-resolution images, with few screen colors.
But in this generation, gaming companies designed very high-resolution graphics.
3. The video game crash of 1983
There were a lot of issues with the second generation in the gaming industry.
Games were easy to develop and the systems were not costly to design. This led to numerous game releases.
A lot of companies joined the industry, and there were too many video games in the market.
Stores couldn’t identify which games to sell and there was no regulation.
Some adult themed video games could easily be sold to children.
For that reason, game shops refused to stock games leaving the industry bankrupt.
4. The third generation (1983-1992)
This era is also known as the 8 bit era. It is the period where Nintendo Famicom or Nintendo Entertainment System designed modern games.
It is also the era where a war between Sega and Nintendo began.
Most of Nintendo games were of quality, and the company assessed every game they produced.
They also had some rules that all developers had to follow to avoid the crash that was experienced in the previous generation.
The games had great graphics as well.
This is also the generation when Atari 7800 was released. It was viewed as a true successor of Atari 2600.
But it was overpowered by Nintendo and Atari was still in fear of another crash.
5. The fourth generation (1987-1996)
The fourth generation is also known as the 16 bit era. It is a generation where many quality video games were produced.
It is the era when Sonic was created. The consoles that were released in this era include Sega Mega CD, Neo Geo, and Sega 32x.
The fourth generation is also known as the turning point in the gaming sector.
During the past generations, home consoles were of poor quality but the 16 bit era closed that gap.
At this generation, people stopped going to the arcade to play games and preferred to have their own consoles. Also, modern computers started to emerge.
6. The fifth generation (1993-2002)
The fifth generation is the 32 bit and 64 bit era. This is the 3D period and the growth of Sony as a serious contender in the gaming industry.
Advanced consoles were released in this period including Sony Play Station, Sega Saturn, and Nintendo 64.
In this generation, 3D games were very common. Actually, when games were released in 2D, there could not sell like the 3D games.
It is also a generation when roll packs were established, by Nintendo.
7. The sixth generation (1998-2006)
This is the generation that started the 21 century of gaming. It is also known as the 128 bit era.
Many advanced consoles were released in this period including the Sony Play Station 2, Sega Dreamcast, Nintendo GameCube and many high-quality consoles.
This is also the generation where online video games were released.
Many people started playing video games, and online games started to become popular like MMORPGs.
8. The seventh generation (2004 to date)
This is the current era of video games. Some gaming industry leaders include Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft.
But they all follow a different path. For instance, Nintendo Wii concentrates on game renovation, the Sony Play Station concentrates on power, and Microsoft Xbox falls in between power and renovation.