Archive - May 2016

How Far We’ve Come: The Evolution of Video Games Systems
Top 5 Tips on How to Buy Cheap Video Games
Video Game Streaming and the End of Consoles
How To Pick Out The Best Video Game System

How Far We’ve Come: The Evolution of Video Games Systems

The evolution of video games systems over the past few decades is stunning. Current gaming consoles are nothing short of powerhouses. If you compare them to the machines that passed as video-game consoles half a decade ago you can clearly see how far human technology has come. Digital gaming before the 1960s could only be found in select laboratories and accessible to a lucky few.

The video gaming community of today spans across cultures and genders from across the world. The culture started out among teenage boys but now the average age of gamers is 30 and almost half of them are female.

The first working prototype of a video game console was a rectangular box with fake wood paneling known as the Brown Box. It was created by Ralph Baer and came out in 1967. He designed to be connected to TV sets that were available at the time and featured six simple games including ping-pong.

The 70s

The Brown Box paved the way for the evolution of video games systems. The next console to be released was the Magnavox Odyssey which came out in 1972. It was such a success that two new versions came out over the following years followed by Atari’s PONG in 1975.

Atari and Magnavox’ battle for supremacy in the console gaming market led to new consoles coming out one after the other, each one featuring only slightly better graphics than their predecessors. Other producers such as RCA and Coleco’s Telstar joined in as well and was the first gaming console to feature color and a difficulty curve.

Nintendo dipped their toe into the market at the end of 70s and is the only company from that era to still have success in the video gaming market.

The 80s

This is the decade that video-game consoles made an impact on the world.

Developments in gaming technology meant that for the first time, the world was able to play RPG, fighting and adventure games. This was the time when classics such as Final Fantasy, Super Mario and Pac-Man made their first appearances.

Sega and Nintendo dominated this era. Sega’s first console, the SG-100 came out in 1983. This model only had an impact in Asia however their follow-up console, the Sega Master System gained worldwide success. Sega experienced tough competition from Atari and ColecoVision however the Nintendo Entertainment System was the console to come out on top as Coleco was forced to stop producing consoles when the video-gaming bubble burst.

The 90s

The only external storage device for games during the 80s were cartridges. Compact discs started to phase cartridges out in the early 90s as they boasted superior storage capacity which enabled game developers to make the shift from 2D side-scrollers to games with 3D graphics. The first console to feature CDs was the Phillips CD-i but it did not last long in the market.

Sega once again established its dominance with the release of the Sega Genesis, their first console to use CDs. Atari released the Atari Jaguar in attempt to keep up with Sega however this proved to be Atari’s last console as they bowed out of the console wars in the face of stiff competition from Sega Saturn and the Sony PlayStation which were far more advanced.

While the rest of the console producers were struggling to produce the best CD-based console, Nintendo decided to stick to cartridges and released the Nintendo 64.

The 00s-Present

Sega started to struggle at the turn of the century. The Sega Saturn fell short of expectations and although the Sega Dreamcast was the first console to feature an in-built modem for online play, PlayStation’s ever-increasing popularity meant that the Dreamcast became Sega’s curtain-call.

This left Nintendo as PlayStation’s main rival. They released their GameCube which ran on DVDs in the same year that Microsoft entered the industry with a console that would go on to be Sony’s main competitor; the Xbox.

It took three decades for the gaming industry to achieve stability as three major companies remained in the console making business; PlayStation, Xbox and Nintendo. PlayStation and Xbox in particular battled it out for top spot with new versions coming out over the next decade that appealed to hardcore gamers. PlayStation currently holds the crown in terms of number of consoles sold however Xbox is not far behind.

Nintendo decided not to compete directly with Microsoft and Nintendo. They chose instead to ride on the success of their Mario Bros. titles, which is considered to be the most successful video game franchise of all time, and appeal to casual gamers with their more interactive games available on the Wii.

Very few companies were brave enough to challenge the market dominance of these three companies during this period. Mattel and Envision tried however their consoles were short-lived and quickly forgotten.

Top 5 Tips on How to Buy Cheap Video Games

Regardless of the type of electronic gadget you opt to use for video gaming, one of the facts that you will discover after some time is that video games are quite expensive. Therefore, it is essential to know how you can access or acquire such games more affordably. As such, this article highlights a few ideas to help you get cheaper games. Keep reading to discover how to buy cheap video games.

1. Don’t Buy after Release

Video games are most expensive shortly after their release. As a result, you should wait for newly released games to entrench themselves in the market before buying them. Nonetheless, this does not mean that you cannot purchase a new game that you desperately want to play.

2. Don’t Buy Them New

While the difference between the price of a new and old video game can be quite big, the gaming experience remains essentially in both cases. Therefore, it is prudent to go for old video games instead of acquiring a new one from the store. Even though it may not be easy to find used games at many stores out there, it is still wise to do a bit of meticulous search so that you only buy new video games as the last resort. Also, read game reviews and comments from other platers before buying any games. I personally visit for recent games reviews and news.

3. Play on the Internet

Because purchasing video games is an expensive venture despite how savvy you are, it is advisable to play on the internet instead of buying them. For instance, some video games may be too short to be replayed. It is thus imprudent to spend your hard-earned money on such acquisitions. On some other occasions, you may want to play games that you have never tried before. Since you don’t have a guarantee that the new games are worth replaying, it is wise to sample them online first before you purchase. This ensures that you only spend money on the most interesting games that you really would want to replay multiple times in future.

4. Wait for Regular Sales

Both online and brick-and-mortar video game sellers hold regular sales from time to time. For example, many internet-related services such as video games are often sold at remarkably lower prices on special events as the Cyber Monday. However, regular sales may take a long time before they happen. Therefore, make sure that you purchase a lot of games so that you have enough gaming options to keep you active/engaged as you wait for the next regular sale.

5. Exchange Games

Finally, you can exchange video games that you have already played with new ones that you would like to try at the local stores. However, you should note that some sellers may ask you to add some little money in order to get a new game. Whether you purely exchange old games for new ones or top up some amount, this smart approach helps you save a great deal of money. All the same, be extra keen to avoid exchanging your video games with others that may be spoilt. Ask the seller to have you test the games before you do the swapping.

Video Game Streaming and the End of Consoles

Console gaming has had a hard time staying relevant with the emergence of mobile gaming. They’re still profitable because hardcore gamers stayed loyal to their consoles which are the only machines powerful enough to deliver the kind of in-depth gaming experience that they demand. But that may soon change with the latest addition to the gaming market; video game streaming.

The Next Revolution in Gaming

Console manufacturers typically give their consoles lifetimes of seven years however that is at odds with the two-year upgrade cycles of other hardware platforms. This life-cycle is such a vital part of the console business model but they may have no choice but to drop it in favor of streaming for the next generation.

With the current generation, the quickest way to play a video game on a console is to download and install it. The three major video game consoles, the Wii, the PlayStation and the Xbox, all have online stores that allow gamers to download titles directly to their consoles. The only problem is that most titles are about a dozen gigabytes so they take hours, or even days to download and they take massive amounts of space on hard drives.

Netflix, HBO Go and Hulu revolutionized the movie and television industries when they offered direct streaming options. Their services allow users to watch their favorite shows instantly without having to worry about how much memory they chew up or piling up massive stacks of DVDs. This revolution all but killed off DVD players.

And now the gaming industry is heading in the same direction. Nvidia and Sony are aiming to make the next generation of consoles tiny devices that stream gameplay to your television. The idea is that rather than having a massive console in your living room that demands to be fed discs or downloaded content, the micro-console streams games from a cloud as they are played.

How Video-Game Streaming Works

The new consoles will work in a similar fashion to Netfix. The game is actually played on a powerful server based in a warehouse somewhere far away and the video is streamed to the console. Players mash buttons on their controllers and the signal is sent back to the server where it is processed and the result is streamed back to the players’ screens.

The leading micro-console in the market is Nvidia’s gaming service called Shield. It only offers old titles at present however Sony have released their own version called PlayStation Now, retailing at $99, which also boasts a selection of last-generation titles.

The only thing keeping cloud gaming from taking over completely is lag. Nothing kills the gaming experience quite like having to wait fractions of a second longer for button inputs to respond. In some games, those fractions of a second are all that it takes to get shot in the face. The lag is brought about the added time that it takes for a command to be beamed up to the cloud, processed, then sent back down to the console. The effects of lag can be minimized with a solid internet connection. Video-game steaming providers suggest a minimum of 2Mb/s connections and 5Mb/s for HD gaming.

Hold on to Your Consoles for Now

Cloud-based gaming is an exciting concept. Gamers will love the freedom that it offers however we can expect that the traditional console producers will do their best to delay the emergence of cloud gaming for as long as they can. Their current model is simply too profitable for them to just let it go too. If you include the amount of work that has to be done on reducing the lag times and how most homes do not have the internet speeds required to play A-list titles in HD, it may be a while before video-game streaming becomes the norm.

How To Pick Out The Best Video Game System

Purchasing a video game system is a costly investment, and thus you need to pick out one that best suits your preferences. But while there is a wide array of video game systems on the market nowadays, picking out the best video game system can be a tricky endeavor particularly if you don’t know much about video game systems.

But that notwithstanding, you can still choose the best system that perfectly suits your preferences provided you are conversant with the basics of choosing the best video game system. Here are a couple of tips on how to pick out the best video game system that will help you get started with choosing the best system.

1. What kind of video games would you like to play?

This is definitely one of the most important decisions that you will be required to make when choosing a video game system. This is simply because even if you purchase a brilliant system yet you don’t like the kind of video games it offers, then it means that the system will be of no use to you. After all, all video game systems aren’t created equally. Different video game systems offer different types of video games. As such, it is imperative you figure out the kind of games that you would like to play even before you set out to purchase a video game system. Once you have decided on the games of your choice, you can then start searching for a system that offers the kind of video games that you are interested in.

2. Decide on the amount of money you will spend on a video game system

Video game systems are sold at different prices. That is why you need to consider your budget when choosing a video game system. Thereafter, you can start searching for the system that is sold within the price range of your budget. However, refrain from purchasing a cheap system just for the sake of saving money. Nearly all the cheapest video game systems are known to be of poor quality and hence they may not meet your preferences. You should always strive to get a high quality video game system even when you are operating on a budget.

3. Do your homework

Do a quick research on some of the best video game systems that offer the kind of games that you are interested in. Come up with a list of suitable systems and then research on each system individually so as to know its features and the kind of games it has in store for you. In addition, you should read through the reviews of each system to find out more on what other users who have previously bought the system have to say about it. Thereafter, you can evaluate which system is best suited to meet your preferences.

4. Buy from a reputable manufacturer

Reputable manufacturers are known to produce high quality video game systems. In fact, chances are high that the video game system that you will purchase from a reputable manufacturer will most likely meet your preferences. As such, shop your system from a reputable manufacturer with a well known track record of producing high quality video game systems.

Picking out the best video game system that suits your preferences can be less of a task provided you know what it takes to pick out the best system. With these tips for picking out the best video game system now on your fingertips, chances are high that you will choose a video game system that will perfectly meet your personal preferences.