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: 2000's


The 2000’s saw a great leap in gaming technology. Shifts were seen among the contender’s as to who lead the race and the speed at which gaming graphics advanced, steadily increased to what we have now in modern day.
At the very end of the 1990’a ‘Sega’s Dreamcast’ marked the start of sixth Generation gaming consoles. It was closely followed by Sony’s PlayStation 2, Microsoft’s Xbox, and Nintendo’s Game Cube. The ‘Dreamcast’ was released in 1999 in America and Europe and had strong sales at the start of its life but due to PlayStation 2’s close release a year later it struggled to compete and wasn’t as popular. Dreamcast having a brand new 128-bit gaming system marked a new generation of gaming, with better graphics and a better quality of gaming experience. Dreamcast started off the world of gaming internet with ‘SegaNet’ allowing you to play games online, this service was the pathway for future features like it such as Xbox Live, which uses the same features allowing gamers to connect online and play together. Dreamcast brought out some memorable games leading to its success in the first couple of years, games such as ‘Soul Calibur’, ‘Sonic Adventure’ and The House of Dead 2’. Sega sports titles help to shadow the lack of electronic arts. 
 Soon Dreamcast was ahead of Nintendo 64 allowing it to be the most popular gaming system; however the rise of the Playstation 2 marked the end of the Dreamcast for Sega. Dreamcast sales decreased, and Sega finally discontinued the Dreamcast in March 2001 and withdrew entirely from the console hardware business, making it the company's final console.

The PlayStation 2 showed a real upgrade in the world of gaming, not only using CD-ROM but also being compatible with DVD-ROM and CD’s. This marked the beginning of a whole new gaming experience. The PS2 allowed you to use the online gaming experience enabling you to play multiplayer using a PlayStation 2 network adapter. PlayStation 2 had the most sales worldwide for a console ever and is seen as the best selling gaming system of all time. PlayStation released accessories that would enable a better and more up to date gaming experience, for example the ‘Eye Toy’, ‘Headset’, ‘Guitar’ which was used for either Band Hero or Guitar Hero which was also sold alongside a drum kit and microphone. Playstation 2 technology has allowed it to be able to emulate other older gaming systems, such as Atari 2600, Game Boy, Mega Drive/ Genesis and the Nintendo Entertainment System. 



PlayStation 2 was closely followed by Nintendo’s GameCube which was released in 2001. Nintendo decided to use Mini-DVD to store games on meaning that it wasn’t compatible with DVD’s so didn’t have the appeal that the PlayStation 2 or Dreamcast had. It had advantages that it was smaller and more portable friendly than the other two, but it was just a bit too weak and a bit too limited in terms of what it could do to be a serious contender to next gen games. The most memorable games that were played on the GameCube were ‘Mario’ and ‘The Legend of Zelda’. My personal favourites were ‘Soul Calibur 2’ and Super smash bro’s. 

Quick to join the GameCube was Microsoft’s ‘Xbox’ which was released in 2001, much like the PlayStation 2 and the GameCube the Xbox allowed you to experience games online using Xbox Live. Xbox launched with the game ‘Halo Combat Evolved’ developed by ‘Bungie’, which was its most successful launch game by far and sparked a huge following in many countries. It was then followed by Halo 2 released in 2004 which turned out to be the best selling Xbox game worldwide. Other games like Bethesda's 'The Elderscrolls 3: Morrowind' and 'Tom Clancy's: Splinter cell' were big hits on this platform.
 The Xbox was discontinued in late 2006 and its successor the Xbox 360 released by Microsoft in 2005 took over the lime light becoming the seventh generation games console alongside the slightly later arrivals PlayStation 3 and Nintendo’s Wii. The Xbox 360 allowed for a whole new Xbox live gaming experience, meaning you were able to compete online, download arcade games, games demo’s, trailers, and movies for a moderate monthly fee. This console brought gaming into the 21st century. When I bought my Xbox 360 I remember getting ‘Call of Duty 3’ Bundled with it and at the same time bought ‘Gears of war’, which is an awesome shooter, revolutionizing combat in the shooter genre aimed at adults. It was pure mayhem and incredible fun. As a result, it was a smash hit, helping the 360 as an Xbox only title, to take a huge head start in the market. 
 When Sony and Nintendo finally joined in with their current generation consoles, they had lost a lot of time to win over the crowds, and Xbox had bagged many fans in the solid year it lucratively held the market. With little competition from PC game sales.

Sony’s PlayStation 3 was launched 11th November 2006 and was packing a few hardware advantages over the Xbox 360, such as the built in BlueRay player, free online gaming network and access to the world wide web through browsers. Along with a stronger GPU and built in hard drive. All this came with a pretty steep price tag however and was simply out of the reach of many members of the consumer market who would have wanted one. Also the PS3’s launch games were a relative disaster and there were arguably few good games on the PS3 platform for a while compared to the established and popular Xbox 360, which already had several successful titles at this point. As the years progressed, the PS3’s shaky start eventually evened out and the playing field leveled out as far as games are concerned. Sucessful titles to hit the PS3 are, the ‘Uncharted: Drake’s fortune’ series, and the ‘God of War’ series.

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