Thursday, 8 November 2007

Week 4: The History Of Computer Games: To the Millennium and Beyond!

So lets see where we are. It all started in the 50s, where we saw coin-ops, spacewars and oscilloscopes, then through the to the 80s and 90s in which we played the Master Systems, SNESs and playstations. Now onto the stuff that got me hooked for life.

The Playstation 2 was set free in March in Japan and November in Europe of 2000, and with it's smooth, detailed graphics and unrivaled gameplay at the time, it was sure to be a success. I remember looking close at the screen and dribbling at the tracks left by the snowboards in the original SSX.

Over the next couple of years nintendo release the Gamecube, and Microsoft release the Xbox, providing competition and creating some of the best games ever seen, such as Super Smash Bros. Melee, Grand Theft Auto 3 and Halo (though some people may disagree). These three consoles battled it out, until the time came when they decided more consoles were needed. Que the next generation consoles!

Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo each went for different stratagies when designing and marketing their consoles. Microsoft releasing their Xbox 360 before everyone else hoping to get a head start, whilst Sony took their time designing their PS3, a more high spec. console hoping to last longer and then their was Nintendo who aimed the Wii at casual gamers hoping to find a gap in the market.

At the moment the standings as of September 30th, 2007 are as follows

Playstation 3: 5.59 million consoles sold
Wii: 13.17 million consoles sold
Xbox 360: 13.4 consoles sold

Well thats about all the history I can give you without getting out my crystal ball, so on to current affairs.

When I signed up for this course I didn't kid myself thinking 'wow I'm going to make millions, live in a mansion with my super model wife and drive a Aston Martin DBS (what a car)', I just wanted to do something that I enjoyed and earn a living doing so. But I have to admit, all this talk of out-sourcing and the games industry transforming is making me wonder, is that even possible?

Recently in Game City, I attended a seminar all about the games industry, which if you've read my post about Game City you'd know that I thought was brilliant, but it did bring up certain issues. Like the Game Artist who said that it is best to specialise and choose one particular area, but how do I know what I want to do 6 weeks into the course?! He also mentioned out-sourcing and how the companies have a small design team that come up with the basis and then out-source it to a mass of people to produce for a smaller amount of time thus being cheaper. It made sense, and it made me think. But hey, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

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