Monday, 2 November 2009

A History of Computer Games: 2000 - the future

We are currently in the 21st century and a lot has changed- especially for games. Technology has dramatically developed over the years with all aspects of the games industry, including console manufactures and games publishers alike. For example, with the Playstation series, the PS1 used CD’s, PS2 used DVD’s and now the PS3 uses blue ray; each year becoming more able to store a higher amount of information, providing bigger games with greater realism, and even more sophisticated AI.

As well as this advance in technology, games have become far more interactive. From having rumble in the controls, we now have motion control, peripheral such as guitars, drums, steering wheels and so on; and also gesture recognition with cameras such as the Playstation Eye. The most recent game to make use of this feature is the Eye Pet (your own virtual pet) on Playstation 3.

The technology behind this game is mind blowing! One example of this is that when you tickle the tummy of your Eye Pet, sending him to sleep, he has dreams of his past experiences with you since buying the game. This is amazing, because it may only have been a few days since you had started the game, but the Eye Pet is constantly storing footage onto the PS3 in the background so that you can watch yourself interacting with your pet, from previous days when you didn’t even know that the footage was being stored in the first place! (I actually couldn’t believe it the first time I saw this.)

To develop and produce a current generation game, costs around tens of millions of pounds, and even more for consoles exclusive AAA titles, such as Gears of War, Uncharted 2, and soon Gran Turismo 5, which has taken 150 people 4 years to develop than the original Gran Turismo. On the other hand, mobile devices such as the iPhone, games cost less and are allowing small companies to produce games for these on a much lower budget.

Not only is it the pressure of cost, but also competition from the manufactures, publishers and consoles.

PS3 vs Xbox vs Wii. Sony vs Microsoft vs Nintendo.

Microsoft released the Xbox 360 sooner than planned, so as to beat the PS3 into the market; unfortunately this caused problems, such as the “red ring of death”- turning the Xbox 360 into the Xbox 3fixme (heeeheee) and making more costs for Microsoft to fix the consoles.

Today’s games are filled with realism, fun and entertainment for all; but what about tomorrow’s games? I personally think that we will soon enter a new era for games, and that era is 3D! Already I have experienced this at the London Expo games convention; the television itself was 3D capable, but I still had to use 3D glasses. I believe that we will have 3D televisions where there is no need for the glasses. But then what’s next?

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