The Rise of Gaming

The Rise of Gaming

During the Atari era Pong was seen as one of the greatest games ever created and to this day, many flash games were based off its simple two-player design. People would be able to go against each other in a virtual game of tennis. The simplicity of this design combined with easy controls made this a fan favorite quickly; Then came the mascots.

The late 80's encompassed big hair and colorful clothes, but the one thing that would survive the 80's and evolve was a little character out of Japan with blue overalls name Mario. Mario took the world by storm; This little character became the flagship and spokesman for the Nintendo Corporation; He was the friendly face that became a household name. This platformer offered tons of replay value because beating the game only made it faster. Near the end of the 8-bit Nintendo era came Sega's champion.

Sonic became the only true challenger to Mario near the end of Nintendo's 8-bit era. Sega created the blue hedgehog and this became their mascot for the 16-bit Sega Genesis. The Sega Genesis was revolutionary with its sleek black design and the vibrant colors it produced. During Sega Genesis' reign, Nintendo would not lie down and be defeated so quickly – they released their 16-bit console, the Super Nintendo.

The Super Nintendo was a step up from the days of the 8-bit. They system had better software and hardware than any system on the market. The problem that held it back was the sheer amount of games the Genesis had. Genesis had a better team of developers and was the first well known 16-bit system but loss on the hardware market.

During the wars between Mario and Sonic, an unforeseen variable appeared. Sony broke away from Nintendo and began working on their own system called Playstation. Many people were skeptical because Sony's primary focus was entertainment equipment that included televisions and stereos. Sony's games were released and the system quickly found a fan base. While Sony created its fan base with the Playstation, Sega released the Sega Saturn and Nintendo released the Nintendo 64. The Sega Saturn was supposedly to be one of the three competitors but quickly loss ground with the short amount of games it supplied, and its little Blue hero was nowhere to be found. Nintendo gained immense ground with the Nintendo 64.

The Nintendo 64 was revolutionary in the system with 64-bit graphics. The textures were 3d compared to the 2d graphics of the Super Nintendo. Nintendo's favorite mascot was renewed in Mario 64, and took North America by storm. Nintendo 64 quickly became an innovator with the creation of essential joystick controllers, rumble feature and the first first-person shooter (FPS) game, Golden Eye. Nintendo's innovation may have been widespread but Nintendo was slow to catch up to Playstation's fame.

The Sega Dreamcast was seen as the first system to bring life-like graphics to the console. As quickly as the Dreamcast came in, it died out with the mass production of the PlayStation 2. The PlayStation 2 was seen as a hybrid of entertainment; Gone were the days of single functioning system. The PlayStation 2 functioned as a video game system and a DVD player. During this time, DVD players were first being introduced and the PlayStation 2 was a competitively priced DVD player at $ 299 when it was first released. Many consumers bought the Playstation2 because of its dual functionality and the system gained more ground on the console market because of it. Unbeknownst to Sony and Nintendo, Microsoft joined the console wars with their system, the Xbox.

The Xbox had one of the rockiest starts in gaming history because, before this time, game art was created by the Japanese and this was a North American system. Many internet communities believed this was a horrible move and was approached with harsh criticism. However, the one thing that no one count on was that Microsoft had a mascot that Xbox could look up to. The flagship game for the Xbox was Aalo and it quickly became a fan favorite. With this game came Master Chief, the epic hero of Xbox. Once Microsoft realized they had footing in the game market, they started working on the current generation of systems – the Wii, Xbox 360 and the Playstation3.

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