Friday, November 5, 2010

History of video games 1980-1990

Color, something which is not new or intriguing these days, but back in the 80’s, to actually play a color game was something quite thrilling. With the birth of the color screen the variety of games expanded, and more logical and sophisticated ones appeared just because you could tell the difference in objects and what they did, by their colors. In that year, the game industry finally found what growing on the market was like, as publishing houses appeared.

The 80’s were the zenith of the golden age of video games, which saw a lot of technologically innovative and genre-defining games on the market, such as Pac-man, Mario Bros, Donkey Kong, and Zelda. These are games which we all know and remember, games that are still progressing with time. During this period, games were making their big step into the home entertainment area.

In the following years, computers became more powerful and less expensive on the market. The one with the biggest success was the Commodore 64, because it was marketed and priced aggressively. It had good graphics and sound for its time, and it also utilized the same game controller ports popularized by the Atari 2600, allowing gamers to use their old joysticks with the system.* As well, the Macintosh arrived at this time but it lacked the color capabilities of the earlier Apple II, as it instead was focused on much higher pixel resolution. A new era of 16-bit machines was born when, in 1985, Atari ST and Commodore Amiga came to the market. At the beginning they were too expensive for the normal user until later on in the decade, when they became more powerful and less expensive than their competitors. In the late 70’s and early 80’s there was something new taking its first steps, which now is a giant among online gaming. The first online gaming was nothing else than just text, something like just sharing a message to another person, but in time it became more sophisticated and progressed with a staggering rate. Two of the most popular games that used multiplayer were Doom and Golden Eye.

Milton Bradley Company Microvision released the first interchangelable catridge-based handheld system in 1979.* The next year Nintendo released its Game and Watch line which was a handheld electronic game. Its design was really popular and most of the handheld games today are practically using the same design. Nintendo progressed massively in the years and still makes handheld games like the Nintendo 3DS.

1983 was the year when everything around games just froze: the production, the interest, everything. A lot of companies in North America went bankrupt, and a lot of people say this was due to only one horrible game. Back in the days young and old were intrigued and amazed after watching Steven Spielberg’s E.T, and for some it was a great joy when they heard their favorite movie was going to be a game. But all that brought was disappointment, along with thousands upon thousands of E.T. cartridges in a landfill in New Mexico. Of course, the game crash wasn’t only because of one game but several, like Custer’s Revenge and Pac-Man, which suffered extremely tight deadlines

Two years after that the video game console market was revived form the dead. More and more consoles and games were published on the market. The rebirth of the game market was mostly thanks to Nintendo’s release of its 8-bit console, the Famicom, known outside Asia as Nintendo Entertainment System. It was published with a bonus – Super Mario Bros - which was a great market idea and instantly became a success. The Nintendo systems dominated Asia and North America but weren’t so popular in Europe, Australia, or Brazil, which was an open gap for consoles like the Sega Master System to fill in. The joystick was also renewed with a better interface. The phenomenon in Japanese culture was born in 1986 with remarkable games like Legend of Zelda and Dragon Quest. A year after an RPG was created, and swept the world with its magic, and it continues to do so today. That game was Final Fantasy. It became the most successful RPG of all time.


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