4 Nov 2007

Week 3 ... The 80's and 90's

Week 3, Task Three-ness-ness … work work work … This ones a long one.

Ok so back to the history of games, I left you in the late 70’s now this is were we start getting interesting (hopefully). The first home consoles have arrived in the form of the impressive 8-bit, with the groovy cartridge based games. The most popular of these consoles was the Atari 2600 which was released in 1977. The Atari played games such as space invaders, pac-man and the like. Competition was strong for the Atari but the little guy stood strong almost dominating the market.

So everything was booming in the game industry until the Atari hit 5 in 1983, the public was loosing interest and looking for the next big thing. The market became over clogged with “new” consoles and games. Overproduction and lack of interest resulted in the north America video game crash. When I say clogged I’m not joking … Atari 2600, Atari 5200, Bally Astrocade, ColecoVision, Coleco Gemini, Emerson Arcadia 2001, Fairchild Channel F System II, Magnavox Odyssey2, Mattel Intellivision, Tandyvision, VTech CreatiVision, and Vectrex. I could list more but I’ve made my point.
QUESTION?-Who Named these things?

Also about this time was the start of the home pc which was generally a keyboard that hooked up to the TV, this added to the problem. As these babies had better graphics, better sound, more memory and generally opened up the market for more sophisticated games.
One more thing ….. The break out of the home computer resulted in a highly competitive price war.

Soooooooo it really was inevitable that the industry went out the window, and the whole video game thing was declared as a fad.

Home computers were a big success in Europe with the Commodore 64 and the saying “Why buy your child a video game and distract them from school when you can buy them a home computer that will prepare them for college?” Yea right ! As Europe had already moved on from video games they were relatively unaffected by the crash.

Dam I’m dribbling on a bit, but this is actually quite interesting. I surprise myself. I don’t blame you if u stop reading.

OK ok sooo, Then came the rise of NINTENDO with its NES/Famicom (family computer) and later on in 1989 the game boy, whoop whoop. But SEGA came along with its Sonic the hedgehog which began the Super Mario and Sonic Hedgehog's rivalry. Sonic has always been my fav. 16-bit came and went in the form of the Super Nintendo and Sega Mega Drive in 1990. With it came Zelda, Metroid, Final fantasy and Street fighter.

Hehehe ! Now I had a little precious Super Nintendo, I got one after they were cool, out of pity really. I treasured its Retro-ness-ness and it was very loved. Only recently did the happy fella leave my side. I came home one day and someone has put him on eBay, just to see how much he was worth. I will always miss him, my little SNES, I hope he went to a good home.

So summing up the early 90’s.
32-bit came then 64-bit, Sony Playstation entered the room in 1994, Sega and NINTENDO !! were still going strong, game boy colour arrived, the PC had evolved and the internet had started its world domination. Oh and not forgetting 3D games.

Ok just read that back and it’s one huge ass list. Pftt it was inevitable.