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The Evolution of Console Games: Then & Now

Video gaming has come a long way since its early days. We can now play affordable games that are highly-detailed and immerse ourselves in 3D graphics right in the comfort of our own home. It’s easy to say that these days, we take these things for granted due to the aggressive competition between companies of video game consoles to churn out the best titles and bring kind of quality games that we see today. Even free games like Fortnite have turned into a huge sensation in the gaming community, with tons of third-party websites already offering boosting services and Fortnite items.

With over 70 different consoles to date, gamers everywhere are pretty much spoiled for choice, and it all started with the little Brown Box. 1967 is when we saw the creation of the first video game console. The device known as the Brown Box was essentially a rectangular brown wooden box with two attached controllers. It was invented by Ralph H. Baer, who is known today as “the Father of the Video Games”. The console was designed to connect to TV sets and players had a total of six games at their disposal, namely sports games like tennis, ping-pong, handball, volleyball, chase, and a light gun game.

Pong: What Started It All

In 1972, Atari introduced Pong to the arcades. It was the first truly successful commercial arcade video game. Pong was a great hit when it came out. The game is simple: move your cursor to get the slides to bounce back the moving square—it will speed up as you progress. Then in 1975, three years after the game was released, Atari introduced a home version of its popular arcade game, giving birth to the famous Atari 2600. The game was a phenomenal success, opening the door to the future of home video games.

Super Mario Bros.: The Best-Selling Video Game of All Time

A few years after the Atari 2600 was released, its descendant, the 5200 along with Coleco’s ColecoVision and Mattel’s IntelliVision helped generate interest in home video games for a few years. Interest, however, began to wane because the quality of the home product lagged far behind arcade standards. That all changed in 1985 when Nintendo introduced the now legendary Nintendo Entertainment System—or the NES for short—as everything changed with the introduction of a certain Italian plumber.

It all began in the early 1980s with a struggling card and toy company, Nintendo, trying to break into a then-expanding market—arcade games. Before Super Mario Bros., they made games like Donkey Kong and Mario Bros with their artist—Shigeru Miyamoto. Looking at the Mario games that preceded this one, it’s not hard to understand what made Super Mario Bros. the best-selling video game of all time. To this day its music is probably one of the most iconic soundtracks of any video game ever, and the first level turned out to be an entire generation’s main introduction to console gaming itself.

What Console Video Games Are Like Now

The world has changed with regards to how video games are made for consoles. The release of the Nintendo Switch marked the beginning of a new generation for Nintendo, and the launch of the PlayStation 4 launched in November 2013. Since then, Sony has done a phenomenal job to make sure a stream of excellent triple-A titles continues to launch on the platform. Not to mention, the Xbox One has a host of great games as well. And by introducing backward compatibility on their system, they’ve ultimately succeeded in giving players have access to games from the original Xbox and Xbox 360 library. Gaming companies are continuously scrambling to get the attention of consumers like us, tempting the gamers with exclusive titles, massive sales, and monthly or yearly membership subscriptions.

The evolution of video game graphics over the last four decades has come a long way. Arcade games in the 1970s and 1980s used simplistic graphics due to the lack of processing power at that time. There were ways where the developers would trick gamers into thinking they were viewing “3D” graphics, but these really don’t hold a candle to the graphics of today. Graphics are now HD and often run at higher frame rates than developers could have ever dreamed of—even a mere two decades ago. Graphics get more realistic, immersive, and smooth compared to the early years or gaming.

Written By

A simple gal who has been playing video games since she can steal her cousin Gameboy, with a passion for everything and anything mobile and video gaming. When she is not on the keyboard, she enjoys a long walk in the woods, in the seashore and in the city as well.

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