In today’s society, gaming is a pleasure and a joy that we enjoy constantly on many different platforms. Be it a console, computer or handheld device, not a single gamer out there can say they’ve not had fun or experienced a plethora of excitement when a new game or console came out with a flashy new feature. These features have led a revolution for developers and allowed others to further their own designs to implement them, and below will be 5 of the seemingly ordinary ones that revolutionized how we play games today.
That’s right, did you know that online console gaming was something many took from the incredibly popular Sega Dreamcast consoles and their variants. It was a somewhat short-lived dial-up internet service for the Dreamcast which was Sega’s PC-only replacement of Heat.net. Initially, it was quite popular and the online games for the Dreamcast allowed free access online, providing you could use dial-up. During the closure, many games shut their servers down and the ones who didn’t began charging. However, many games still have (albeit very little) communities on the Dreamcast online servers, for games such as Quake III Arena, Starlancer and a handful more.
Unfortunately, the service was discontinued in the early 2000s after 11 months of service. Fortunately, many saw how popular this was and took it further, providing us with the incredible services we have today such as PlayStation Network and Xbox Live.
Before the use of things like a PS2 Memory Card, earlier video games didn’t have any use of including a saving feature because of their generally short length in story and as it was relatively complex for earlier consoles to include this, they did have a sort-of-save feature. This was with the use of level passwords or a password encoding the game’s state to allow players the option to write it down and input it later on to continue where they left off.
Some of the first cases of game saves can be seen on cartridge-based games such as the 1986 hit, The Legend of Zelda on the NES. This worked off a battery-backed RAM on the cartridge, which would eventually run out and cause the game to either die or lose the saves. More recently consoles have started to use external media such as a hard drive or USB drives (size permitting).
While very early computer games were made using ASCII art or played using text like the popular command prompt game, Zork, graphics were a thing of the future and when 2D colour came into the scene it was great, but when games began using even more incredible 3D vector graphics with wire-frame models, people went insane.
The first 3D game created was by a developer of the Sinclair ZX81 platform, Malcolm Evans. The game awarded the player points for each successful move they made while a Tyrannosaurus Rex was hunting them in a 16 x 16 cell, which was also randomly generated. While now we might see it as a pretty boring and slow moving game, this was the first of its kind.
Controlling Without A Controller
Nowadays we’re seeing more of the ‘Virtual Reality’ platform, but back in 2004 we were presented with The EyeToy, a then revolutionary peripheral that gave users of the PlayStation 2 the ability to control the games with their body, and the games played were quite fun, although not very good. The technology was great and something we’d never really seen before, however the games failed to recognize your gestures sometimes but this project kickstarted a large step in the gaming technologies.
This has produced the likes of Microsoft’s Kinect during 2009’s E3 which has been used in the Xbox 360 and the Xbox One and was incredibly successful, taking the issues we had with the EyeToy and fixed them to improve the player’s experience.
Do you ever look at the Oculus Rift and wonder where the idea and thought process game from? Way back in 1995, Nintendo released a brand new concept that had never
been seen before, promising “A 3D Game for a 3D world.”. The Virtual Boy was a console on a thin stand, which had an eyepiece displaying red and blue colours in either eye to produce a 3D image, which is the earlier version of today’s 3D cinema experience.
The product was a bit of an issue for owners and users though, as none of the games produced the image they intended, having all 22 games showing red and red only. This was discontinued a year later but the idea has clearly been noticed and with today’s electronic advances the new attempts at virtual reality are likely to succeed.
These are just a few revolutionary ideas that we’ve seen in the history of gaming, and I’m sure what we see today is going to be considered the same down the line. But what are your thoughts? What do you think is revolutionary in gaming? Let us know down below in the comments!