Video Game Generations - What are They?

Posted in Blog on September 21, 2019
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Video game generations teach us how gaming became popular.

The gaming industry has grown to become one of the largest in the entertainment sector.

Today, video games are not just played by children and teens, but by a variety of individuals.

They involve people from the young generation to the old generation in gaming directly or indirectly.

A New Video Game Generation

Computers are one of the main contributors to the gaming industry.

In fact, they also know video games as computer games.

Today, the industry has become one of the richest in the entertainment world.

Game developers are always busy creating unique games that not only entertain players but educate.

The popularity of digital games is constantly increasing.

The average age of gamers is now at 31 contradicting the claims that games are for kids.

Unusually, gaming is becoming more popular than movies and music.

This popularity is because of many factors like accessibility, music and animations.

Console Gaming has swept the world

Based on research, over sixty-five percent of households in America own a gaming console.

In addition, more and more people, particularly young adults are playing games on their mobile devices.

Some most popular game platforms today include computer games, console games and, online games.

Computer games are the most common because we play them on a personal computer.

Users do not need complicated devices like when playing a video game using controllers.

All you need is a keyboard, mouse or joystick.

Online gaming started out with gaming computers but now has moved to mobile devices and modern consoles.

Consoles are just like computers but designed to play specific games and of a certain format.

What are the video game generations?

1. The first generation (1972-1977)

The first generation of video games began when they released the first console.

It was known as the Magnavox Odyssey.

However, the developers of the console were inspired by games produced on early platforms.

Some early platforms included computers and arcade cabinets.

The first generation consoles were analog devices, not digital ones.

In this generation, there was no winner since most companies were marketing the same devices.

2. The second generation (1976-1984)

The second generation of video game consoles started with Fairchild Channel F.

It was the first console to design programmable ROM cartridges.

It is also the era when Atari 2600 was released.

Additionally, in this period, the focus was more on software.

Even though the games were very open in design, there are many differences.

The Atari 2600 became so popular that several rival console companies designed adapters to play the Atari 2600 games.

In addition, the video-game developers have to try several styles and schemes.

For instance, Atari tried the 8 way joystick and a digital button.

It was a style that attracted many gamers.

But other companies tried different designs that included trackballs, number pads, and analog control methods.

They wired the video game controllers so they could not separate from the system.

This was a big problem because some were weak and they could easily break.

Some consoles had Qwerty keyboards, and some had separate monitors.

Apart from consoles, the graphics also changed in the second generation.

In the previous generation, consoles could only produce low-resolution images, with few screen colors.

But in this generation, gaming companies designed very high-resolution graphics.

3. The video game crash of 1983

There were a lot of issues with the second generation in the gaming industry.

Games were easy to develop, and the systems were not costly to design.

This led to many game releases.

A lot of companies joined the industry, and there were too many video games in the market.

Stores couldn't identify which games to sell and there was no regulation.

They could easily sell video games to children.

For that reason, game shops refused to stock games leaving the industry bankrupt.

4. The third generation (1983-1992)

We also know this era as the 8 bit era.

It is the period where Nintendo Famicom or Nintendo Entertainment System designed modern games.

It is also the era where a war between Sega and Nintendo started.

Most of Nintendo games were of quality, and the company assessed every game they produced.

They also had some rules that all developers had to follow to avoid the crash that was experienced in the previous generation.

The games had great graphics.

This is also the generation when Atari 7800 was released.

We viewed it as a true successor of Atari 2600.

But Nintendo and Atari overpowered it was still in fear of another crash.

5. The fourth generation (1987-1996)

We also know the fourth generation as the 16 bit era.

It is a generation where many quality video games were produced.

It is the era when Sonic was created.

The consoles that were released in this era include Sega Mega CD, Neo Geo, and Sega 32x.

The fourth generation is also known as the turning point in the gaming sector.

During the past generations, home consoles were made poorly but the 16 bit era closed that gap.

On this generation, people stopped going to the arcade to play games and preferred to own consoles.

Also, modern computers started to emerge.

6. The fifth generation (1993-2002)

The fifth generation is the 32 bit and 64 bit era.

This is the 3D period and the growth of Sony as a serious contender in the gaming industry.

They released advanced consoles in this period including Sony Play Station, Sega Saturn, and Nintendo 64.

In this generation, 3D games were very common.

Actually, when games were released in 2D, they could not sell like the 3D games.

It is also a generation when roll packs were established, by Nintendo.

7. The sixth video game generation (1998-2006)

This is the generation that started the 21 century of gaming.

We also know it as the 128 bit era.

They released many advanced consoles in this period including the Sony Play Station 2, Sega Dreamcast, and Nintendo GameCube.

This is also the generation where online video games were released.

Many people started playing video games, and online games started to become popular like MMORPGs.

8. The seventh generation (2004 to date)

This is the current era of video games.

Some gaming industry leaders include Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft.

But they all follow a different path.

For instance, Nintendo Wii concentrates on game renovation, the Sony Play Station concentrates on power, and Microsoft Xbox falls in between power and renovation.

Last Updated on August 22, 2020 by Tony

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