Video Games have come a long way since their humble beginnings in the 1970’s and thing’s have become more focussed on user immersion either by implementing atmospheric visuals or giving the power back to the player by letting him create his own play ground of destruction. Obviously for something to grow out of the ordinary there has to be innovation and today we take a look at ten of them them which shaped the video games industry forever.
Analog sticks were first seen on the Nintendo N64 during the fifth generation of video games and it totally changed the way people play video games. Instead of using the clumsy direction buttons on the likes of the PlayStation One and Sega Saturn, the developers could do much more due to the addition of a single stick. Later on Sony developed on the same idea and added two analog sticks for more balance in gameplay. Fifteen years later, analog sticks are still being used on modern day consoles which just goes to show the impact that Nintendo made on the industry.
I would have listed Media Molecule’s LittleBigPlanet franchise here but Minecraft presents something small yet something unique. For beginners, Minecraft is a game where you simply create your own world using cubes. Using the power of Java, Mojang games created perhaps one of the most amazing open sandbox games in recent years. The game is still under development and the alpha version has already sold over a million copies. It’s like a return to your childhood where you used to build Lego blocks. I would urge every reader to buy this from here.
If PC gaming is still at the top then it is due to a man known as Gabe Newell. Yes, we know that this guy has been toying with us for years by not announcing Half Life 2: Episode 3/Half Life 3, but there is no denying the impact that his company Valve and his digital distribution service Steam has had on the video games industry. Steam, with it’s amazing technology offerings like Client Functionality, Steam Mods and Match Making abilities, has made sure that it holds a whopping 70% of the total digital distribution market. And when you have major publishers like Capcom, Ubisoft, EA, Rockstar Games supporting the platform, you know you have done something right.
PC gaming would not have been so popular if Mods were not around. Modifications are mostly freely available to the public and will require the actual game to run it. A mod can be a new game in itself featuring a whole new cast of characters, storylines, levels and can be single player or multiplayer. Mods are still supported today by some of the well known developers like Epic, Valve and Crytek.
Blu-ray Discs have made some impact on video games this generation. Now you have games like Metal Gear Solid 4, Uncharted 2 and the upcoming Killzone 3 which are as big as your hard drive’s size, on a single disc. With Sony really pushing the Blu-ray format with sizes ranging from 100GB to 200GB, it will be interesting to see what games will look like in the near future. The era of multiple discs is over, thanks to the emergence of the Blu-ray format.