The Art of James Teeple

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Leicester, United Kingdom
I'm 21 / DMU Art Student / British-American.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

A History of computer games: 1990's

The next console to follow the 'NES' and kick start the 90's console race, was the ‘Sega Mega Drive’ released by Nintendo into the Japanese market in 1988. Due to its late arrival in Japan the 16-bit computer system had already established a strong foot hold and the Genesis was largely over looked, leading to underestimated sales. The second reimagining of the console was in 1990 when it was released as the Sega Genesis in Northern America and the Mega Drive in Europe. The new bundled game Sonic the hedgehog saw the consol rise in popularity and a fan base quickly emerged around the country. 

Its popularity was on the rise in Japan also as the now slightly outdated NES was on the decline, and the variety of games for the Sega Mega Drive showcased its new and improved graphics capabilities. Popular games to emerge at the start of the decade were titles like ‘Mortal Kombat’, ‘Golden Axe’ and the hugely iconic ‘Sonic the Hedgehog’ series. By 1995 the Mega Drive was supporting five different consoles and two add-ons showing an evolution of the console from 16-bit through to the new 32-bit, supported by the Sega Satturn.

Sega Satturn marked the beginning of the 32-bit console and paved the way for Sony's ' PlatStation' released in 1994 which turned out to be a huge success, although sporting the soon to be dated 32bit system, it did use new CD ROMS for game storage which could hold a lot more memory than cartridges. two years later, the 64-bit system was show cased in the Nintendo’s brand new ‘Nintendo 64’ released in September 1996. This signified the rise in the fifth generation consoles and between 1996 and 2000 the two competed head to head for the market. for Sony's PlayStation, which although wasn’t a 64-bit system it still provided Nintendo with a strong competitor supporting successful game titles. Both becoming very successful, Sony’s newcomer Playstation did very well up against Nintendo as an established console producer. The 'N64' marked the end of cartridge gaming on consoles being the last to use this form of game storage.

Although Nintendo weren’t as up to date with their technology they did release some now legendary games such as ‘Super Mario 64’as a launch game that revolutionized 3D adventure games, ‘Golden Eye 007’ which introduced first person shooter into the gaming world and has been named the greatest in its genre and ‘The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time’, this set the standard for future 3D action and adventure gaming and has been named by many as one of the best games of all time.

 Nintendo’s usage of cartridges even though they were considered outdated allowed some of the games to be better quality than the Playstation and Satturn. However due to the small storage on the ROM cartridges some of the textures were limited and the graphics were blurry. Playstation much like Nintendo had some legendary games as well, but what let them down was the lack of a 64-bit system meaning that they didn’t remain as popular as Nintendo. Some of the sought after games which made Playstation iconic were ‘Crash Bandicoot’ and ‘Spyro’, Crash Bandicoot which was released in 1996, allowed the games designers to get passed the lack of texture correction that Playstation suffered from and they decided that shaded characters would look better than textured ones so used this in the game. Both Playstation and Nintendo were popular in the 1990’s but there was a clear difference in the gaming system and quality of graphics in the designs. So as the millennium decade approached, both companies would go head to head with new comer Microsoft's gaming system 'Xbox' in early 2000's and become the power of three that rule the console race today.

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