With the Playstation 4 and XBox 720 coming out soon, video gaming will once again push its limits and show how far the gaming industry has come. While it may not seem like it, it has been over 6 years since the XBox 360, Playstation 3 and Wii completely changed the industry.
Before the wireless controllers, high-definition and online gaming; the first video game console was invented in 1967. German-born Ralph Baer invented the Brown Box, which eventually held 12 total games.
In 1972, after Baer licensed his technology to Magnovox, the company came out with the first commercial video game. Called the Odyssey system, it was eventually a flop due to its lack of exposure.
Thirteen years later, a Japanese playing card company entered the gaming industry: Nintendo. Coming after a crash in which most video-game companies went bankrupt; retailers were understandably skeptical when Nintendo released the Nintendo Entertainment System.
However, the little known company soon created a tremendous following with notable characters such as Zelda, Donkey Kong and, of course, the Super Smash Brothers, Mario and Luigi. The console eventually became the best selling console of all time.
Driving off of its success four years earlier, Nintendo released the Game Boy, the first portable gaming console. The Game Boy had incredible sales, and once again increased the popularity of Nintendo.
Another Japanese company, Playstation, came out with its first console in 1995, which introduced the use of the CD-ROM as opposed to the cartridge that had been used by all previous gaming consoles.
At the turn of the millenium, the new edition of the Playstation, the Playstation 2. The success of the Playstation 2 pointed towards the continued rise of console video games.
With Playstation’s dominance of the console market, Microsoft released it’s own console: the XBox.
The XBox implemented Microsoft’s computer technology, but still lagged far behind the Playstation 2 in sales. Still, Microsoft felt good about challenging Playstation, and vowed to continue in the console market.
They did, as they released the highly anticipated Xbox 360 on November 22, 2005, a year before Playstation released the Playstation 3.
The year head start proved to be terrific for XBox, as they took the lead in sales between the consoles. Just recently, in late 2012 to early 2013, Playstation took the sales lead over XBox after half a dozen years.
Nintendo decided to take a different route than the other console giants. Instead of simply targeting gamers, Nintendo decided to target families with it’s new system and technology, the Wii.
The Wii, released shortly before the Playstation, has blown out the sales of both the Playstation 3 and the XBox 360. Instead of the typical controller, the Wii implements “nunchucks”, which need bodily movement in order to function.
The Wii took the next step in video gaming, one that XBox and Playstation have tried to duplicate through the Kinect and Playstation Move.
The success of these motion-activated video games may hint us as to what to expect in the future. Then again, judging from the incredible improvement video fanning had gone through, it is hard to tell what is coming next.