By Kyle Lee
Video games are a large part of society at this point. And it’s safe to say they really aren’t kids’ things anymore. The earliest example of a video game was created in 1947. That makes it 62 years old, and my, has it grown.
From a primitive analog device based on radar technology to the high definition entertainment systems we have today, it has taken its place among movies and TV as an established medium in which artists can truly put their vision in motion and express it in a public forum.
Pac-Man was first released in Japan in 1980, nearly 30 years ago. While many other games came before it, Pac-Man truly signified a huge upturn in arcade profits and became an incredible phenomenon once it made the jump across the pond.
But oversaturation and a lack of original games took their toll — the great Video Game Crash of 1983. It wasn’t until the Nintendo Entertainment System was released in 1985 that there was light at the end of the tunnel for the industry.
By 1987, the NES became insanely popular, thanks to games like “Super Mario Bros.” and “Metroid.” Nintendo became so dominant that up until recently it was the name an entire generation referred to video games as, regardless of brand.
The first real console war began when Sega released its Genesis system on to the market with its “Sonic the Hedgehog” mascot and game series, designed specifically to challenge “Mario” and Nintendo’s stranglehold on the industry. With speedy game play and the heavily marketed “Blast Processor,” the competition made for some incredible games. It also provided something not present before — a true choice in the industry for gamers to invest in. It created schoolyard arguments and brand loyalty like madness.
The battle would wage on until Sony, who was previously working with Nintendo to create a CD peripheral for the Super Nintendo System, released their Playstation gaming system. With early experimentation in 3-D graphics, Sony brought a whole new factor into the fight…
To be continued.