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Saturday, 20 January 2007

Just How Much Has Computer Technology Come Along?

Recently i have been pretty obsessed with the Sony PS3 and cant wait for it to hit the UK shores, as you may be able to tell if you happened to read my recent post on it. Today however i stumbled across a blog post on one of the PS3's great great great grandfathers ,the old BBC computer, and it got me thinking just how much computer technology has come along. It got me rather intrigued so i have decided to post a little time-line of some selected gaming consoles from over the years.

Magnavox Odyssey - 1972 - Worlds first video game console.

The Magnavox Odyssey was designed by Ralph Baer. It was powered by batteries! and had no sound, sounds like a blast eh?. A prototype known as the Brown Box was actually completed in 1968.

Atari 2600/VCS - 1977

The Atari 2600 was originally named the Atari VCS but was changed to the 2600 in 1982. This is the console that gave us classics such as Pac-Man and Space Invaders. With the Atari 2600 you got 2 joystick controllers, 2 paddle controllers and a cartridge game. Wow!

Sega Game-1000/ Mk II - 1984

The SG-1000 was Sega's first games console which was popular in Japan, Italy, Spain and Australia. Sega released an improved Mk II version shortly after which had a detachable keyboard and a better looking case, looking back now though you wonder just how much of an improvement they actually made.

Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) - 1985

The Nintendo Entertainment System was THE games console of its time selling 60 million consoles worldwide. This is when Super Mario and his mushroom friends came to life along with King Kong's cousin Donkey Kong and set the bar for competitors to follow.

Sega Master System - 1986

Ah, the Sega Master System, Alex The Kid! What a game, i absolutely loved that game! The Master System was to rival the NES and in the US it came off battered and bruised but here in the UK it was ultra popular. Definitive piece of technology in my mind, i loved it!

Sega Mega Drive - 1990

The Sega Mega Drive or Genesis as it was called in the US due to the suing culture they have in the states, had the same amount of power as the Amiga and Macintosh II home computers which at the time were the best hardware so you can just imagine how popular it was.

Super Nintendo - 1991

The arrival of the Super Nintendo started the war between Nintendo and Sega, if you think of what it is like between PlayStation and XBox today, times that by 50 and you'll see how fierce the competition was. We used to fight as kids over who would squish who between Sonic and Mario. (Sonic would win of course!)

Sony PlayStation, Sega Saturn - 1995

The year of the Sony PlayStation, this is when gaming went to the next level with its 32-bit console, 3D graphics and all new great game list. It soon became the worlds best selling console and was a very exciting time for game lovers. Can you imagine life without PlayStation? The Sega Saturn however didn't live up to its high expectations despite its two 32-bit CPU's and was a flop.

Nintendo 64 - 1996

Nintendo were expected to release a new console to match the PlayStation and the Sega Saturn and instead of matching the very popular PlayStation's 32-bit console they decided to up the stakes and release a 64-bit console. The N64 was far more popular than the Sega Saturn but was no match for the PlayStation.

Sega Dreamcast - 1999

After the disaster of the Saturn, Sega had to take it a step further and with the Dreamcast they certainly did. The console boasted a 128-bit processor, Internet browsing with a built in modem which led to Online Gaming with SegaNet. In its first year the Dreamcast did amazingly well however Sony had announced that the PS2 was going to be arriving soon. This proved to be the death of Sega. I can just imagine the guys at Sega standing in the factory listening to the news of the PS2's arrival while the funeral march plays on the loudspeaker. After being the big dogs of the gaming world for so long, Sega made there exit from the hardware business in 2001.

Sony PlayStation 2 - 2000
When the PS2 was released in the US it became the all time fasting selling games console, with the introduction of its DVD-Rom it gave consumers that little bit more. With its ability to play new better looking games, DVD movies and PlayStation 1 games AND make them look a little better, it was a breath of fresh air.

Xbox - 2001

This is where Microsoft finally got their feet running into the race to have the best console. With an 8GB hard disk and a Pentium III processor, the Xbox was a beast and was right up there with PlayStation. The Xbox's update, the Xbox 360 was released in 2005.

Nintendo Wii - 2006

Now Nintendo have been clever with their Wii console, when i look down this time-line i notice a pattern. All competitors tend to compete with each other by matching each other. When you already have Microsoft and Sony producing such mind blowing machines i cant see how you can fancy your chances much... So Nintendo make something that is totally different! simple. With its unique control system it gives a gaming experience that is brand new to everyone. You know the graphics aren't going to be as good before you play but you don't care because playing the console is different from anything else you've played before.

Sony PlayStation 3 - 2007

So we're back to the present after going back in time, if you have actually read the full post and made it to the end i salute you! and invite you to give your brain a rest and let you finish off by watching a video review on the Sony PlayStation 3.

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