The History of Video Games (Part 2)

The History of Video Games (Part 2) HomeGeneralThe History of Video Games (Part 2)

In Electronic Gaming History (Part 2), we will discuss how Sony and Microsoft came to the forefront of electronic gaming world

The history of today’s big consoles

At the end of the 90s, the scenario was quite diversified (read the first part of the article). Nintendo was dominant up until then as the most traditional and successful console brand, but its Nintendo 64 was criticized for not using CD media. In addition, the company had issues with several developers, which drastically reduced the number of titles released for the platform. On the other hand, Sony came up with the Playstation, which featured CD technology but was less powerful. However, the console gained a lot of space as it had numerous titles and games that could be easily pirated.

It is worth remembering that wearable devices were also in full swing. Nintendo’s Gameboy amassed records and sales records with the release of Pokémon, which would later become anime and manga. Thus, the manufacturer made billions of dollars and forever became a giant in the electronic games market.

The biggest phenomenon of Game Boy video games

2000s: Sony’s supremacy

In the early 2000s, the sixth generation of video games began to be released. The Playstation 2 was an instant hit as not only did it bring visibly better graphics than the previous generation, but it could also run the games of its predecessor. In addition, it could also play the then new DVDs, so many young people prompted their parents to buy the console to watch movies.

It’s no wonder that Sony has been prominent in desktop consoles, selling around 120 million units in 7 years.

The Playstation 2 the last king of consoles

In 2001, Nintendo released the successor to the Nintendo 64 called GameCube. The company, afraid of piracy, developed its own media, the mini DVDs, but then Nintendo really lost market. This was due to two main factors: the first was that few developers were interested in following the familiar line that Nintendo demanded. When technology first allowed for more realistic games, high-age games became fashionable, but Nintendo wanted to keep its games more familiar, which meant the console had few options.

The other reason for the company’s demise was piracy. It was common to find in Camelôs Playstation 2 games costing 10 reais, while those of the dice cost over 100 reais.

Even at this time, PCs were beginning to emerge as a valid option, but the games were still very specific, following the lineage of MMOs, shooters, and real-time strategy games. That being said, there were few expression titles on the platform, keeping the niche from directly competing with consoles.

The Xbox 360 entry

With the launch of the 7th generation of consoles came Sony’s Playstation 3, Nintendo’s Wii and Microsoft’s Xbox 360, and each of them had a different strategy. The Xbox 360 was the first, released in 2005, with very good graphics. The start was good, but one issue caught a lot of attention, a factory defect (referred to as a 3LR) that burned the console, requiring Microsoft to repair thousands of consoles over the next few years. Despite the problem, however, the company adopted a different strategy and secretly published piracy. Thus, pirated Xbox 360 DVDs were easily available, which made the console highly popular around the world.

7th generation consoles when video games started to stabilize

other strategies

Sony, as the market leader in tabletop consoles, adopted a strategy of making piracy more difficult with a Blue Ray medium. It had the entire Playstation 2 fan base and a really powerful new console, given the lack of hardware compared to the Playstation 3 at the time. Despite advantage, this time it had competitors because the Xbox performed very well thanks to piracy and its good relationship with developers, resulting in the release of several titles for both consoles.

Nintendo, on the other hand, gave up trying to compete on the hardware performance level and came up with an innovation for a console that was looking for more popular games. In addition, the company began researching motion sensors, which was something new at the time, which in addition to its low cost made the Wii one of the best-selling consoles of all time. In this way, despite being limited to titles, their games were constructed so well that many people thought they were worth the price of the console.

Nowadays

High-end consoles (excluding our beloved PC)

As the years have gone by, consoles have continued to evolve and PC has started to join the dance too.

Nintendo has gone its own way, looking to innovate with the creation of the Switch, a desktop console that’s also portable and focused on experience rather than hardware performance. Meanwhile, Sony and Microsoft are fighting for the high-end gaming market. However, there are fewer and fewer exclusive games, whether for PC, Playstation or Xbox, which creates a certain stability that the gaming market has never seen before.

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