Gaming consoles are now one of the major forms of entertainment within the modern day home. Years ago, people had to find other ways and means of entertaining themselves. Board games and skipping ropes were soon replaced by an electronic device called the ‘gaming console’. The first console to hit the market was the Magnavox Odyssey in 1972, which was designed by Ralph Baer. Although the technology back then was ground breaking, today it would be overshadowed by the processor that runs a digital watch. The console was analogue, only ran on batteries and didn’t even produced sound. It took four years to reach development and distribution from having a working prototype. The console sold quite well and it’s only demise was due to it’s own marketing.
The first wave of console systems were cartridge based, if they hadn’t already have the games built into the unit. These included a memory chip and would plug into the console. The benefit of this type of system was that the games loaded almost instantly. As technology progressed and became available, it was integrated and used for gaming consoles. One of the first systems to use CD, was the Nintendo GameCube. This killed two birds with one stone as you could also play music as well as play games. CD’s could also hold more data too which gave software developers more scope and durability whilst coding games.
As game consoles became faster, sharper, and more powerful, other elements of technology were introduced such as wireless technology. In recent years, the wireless controller was introduced which enabled you to connect and play games on a console without a cable connecting the two. One of the first ones was the Nintendo Wavebird. This was by no means the first, but was probably the first decent one. It used a radio frequency and had a range of upto 20 feet. These days, most consoles come with wireless controllers as standard, some of which utilise Bluetooth technology and have the same game play reliability as controllers that are connected with cables.
Towards the end of 2006, a new breed of gaming console was born. This didn’t match the pure power or graphics capability of the big players such as the Xbox 360, or the PlayStation 3, but grabs a huge share of the market due to it’s innovation, and the way it has steered away from traditional gaming. This console was called the Nintendo Wii. It uses wireless technology to track movement of the hand controllers and uses the data to interact with the game. This change of direction has enabled Nintendo to dominate the market and achieve top sales within the industry. The console initiates a physical type of game play and is excellent for small groups of people to enjoy at the same time. It is not aimed towards the serious, hardcore gamers, and is even labelled a ‘novelty’ by some.
The Nintendo Wii has also been responsible for the largest range of aftermarket gaming accessories to hit the market. After seeing the potential that the Nintendo Wii has, many manufacturers and retailers have developed wii accessories which adds further enjoyment and realism to the game. The wii accessories include wii boxing gloves, steering wheels, sports packs with golf clubs and tennis racquets, wii guns and many other add ons. These enhance game play and help take the Nintendo Wii towards a new era in gaming.
Written by Andy Black. Co owner of Gold Fusion Limited and Gold Fusion Electronics. A wide range of [url not allowed].