How Gaming has Changed
Is the gaming as great as it was back then?
The golden age of the gaming industry.
During the golden age of gaming, game developers and companies were not as afraid or as opposed to taking risks and trying new things as they seem to be now. During the golden age of gaming, we were introduced to game consoles such as, the "NES", the "SNES" ,"Sega genesis" and the like. This was the age where developers seemed to be scrambling to introduce new genres and new play styles, trying to be the first make it happen! Games like "Super mario brothers" , "Dragon quest" , "Street fighter" "Sonic the hedgehog" and "Metal gear" were all unique for their time, fun and didn't charge you extra to unlock content you technically already payed for when you bought the game! They were there as hidden treasures, little secrets that only the best of the best would discover then share them with the rest of us so that we can play for hours trying to open these new worlds,unlock these new characters and enjoy the game a little more. Even after we had completed the story in the games, they still possessed hours of gameplay left in them. This was truly golden age of gaming!
The silver age of the gaming industry
This is the age of the "Playstation 1/2" ,"Xbox" , "Sega dreamcast" and the "Nintendo 64/gamecube" and probably when the console wars truely began. Sony was probably the first to kick of the silver age innovation in the gaming industry by introducing cd's instead of cartridges for consoles. During this time is where we see Nintendo start to fall off a bit and the death of Sega as a console contender.After the release of N64, Nintendo continued on with only giving it's system basic upgrades. Sega with the release of the playstation and N64 placed all of it's eggs into a basket and released the dreamcast which at the time was the most powerful console ever released...however when the ps2 and gamecube was announced, the dreamcast would quickly start to lose the popularity it once had. Unable to produce any more consoles at the time it was forced to bow out of the console race. While still retaining a nice library of exclusives,the systems Nintendo released after the N64 seemed weak in comparison with what sony and the microsoft would introduce. Sony and microsoft introduced us to massive worlds and engaging stories with graphics so nice that during their time they made us want to live in them. Games like "Grand theft auto" with its free roaming do whatever you want gameplay gave us hours of enjoyment pretending to be psychopaths,"God of war" gave us cinematic gameplay, when it's time to finish of a boss or even ordinary enemies there would be a series of buttons that would appear on screen allowing us to finish of the enemy in a unique and stylish way,this is the time we were introduced to fresh new fps such as halo at the time. The Industry was booming. During this time is when the gaming industry would start to become more mature and even start to garner more media attention and corporations would start to see the money that could be made from gaming.
The Silver age of the gaming industry concludes
Now that the gaming industry was becoming so big,corporations started to monopolize on it. You started seeing more movies based games, some celebrities started pretending to be gamers to garner popularity and even some that reviewed games started to become celebs in their own right. During this time there were really only 2 major contenders in the gaming industry's "console wars", Microsoft and Sony .Nintendo's Wii while innovative,just did not capture the essence that was wanted from larger consoles by the gaming community at this point. Sony, despite Microsoft's larger budget would always seem to be ahead of the curve when it came to consoles. When microsoft introduced their system with HD capability,Sony announced that theirs would have blu ray although, Microsoft's larger budget would still keep them afloat. During this time is where we first start seeing dirty tactics used in the industry more outright,certain companies would claim that games which were multi platform was exclusive to theirs and even pay off reviewers to always review certain games on a their particular console and not to mention that they were cross platform. The gaming industry began to become a lot more money hungry. Game reviews from certain reviewers could, at that time make or break a game's sale. To counter this, game developers started to seemingly pay of the reviewers in order to garner good scores. It was obvious that the gaming industry was becoming a lot more coporate however, it was not completely dead as there were still game reviewers whom could be trusted to be brutally honest about a game, and with the release of the PS3 and Xbox 360 the gaming industry would continue to flourish. We saw graphics so brilliant, they made those of yesterday seem like garbage, and the games that were coming out on them such as the "Uncharted series" and "Gears of war" were just beautiful to look at and innovative. There were still things to unlock in games, trophies to be awarded and this is when gaming online had first truly become great! The excitement of beating friends or complete strangers without ever having to leave your house was something that truly helped shaped the gaming industry. This however would not last forever, at the end of the silver age of gaming new consoles would be announced new ways to get the games would be introduced and this where were every and anything would be based on how much more money had to spend after you bought a game.
The current state of the gaming industry
With the release of the PS4 and Xbox One, graphics have been greatly improved and the worlds look even more beautiful than they did on previous gen consoles... and that's as far as my praise can truly go for this new error of gaming consoles. Even though new and unique features have been added for gameplay, they just seem to be really "gimmicky" and not really worth praising. While there are still great new games such as destiny just to name a few, there's really nothing new about it. There have already been games with the same concept. Some of the most anticipated games of today are games that are on their 3rd or even 5th+ installment such as metal gear solid 5. Some games that started out during the gold and silver age of gaming still carry on to this day and even though that's great, they bring nothing new to the table. The gaming industry has become so corporate and greedy that even things that were originally in the game such as characters,stages and even a characters moveset need to be payed for and downloaded in order to fully enjoy the game you already bought. You can't even use a charaters full moveset in some games without first paying extra and downloading it to your console. Some games have even stopped trying and just release game after game every year with the same engine and graphics and then put a slight spin on it to make it seem new,just to simply make a buck! While I understand how corporate works, there's only so long you can abuse something before it leaves.
The current state of the gaming industry is dominated by greed and as time goes on, it seems as if it will only become more so.