Still going strong 25 years on, the original PlayStation was a game changer
As the mid-90s came round. Gaming consoles were 10 years old or so.
At the time they were expensive and so were the games. We also had gaming PC alternatives such as the commodore 64 and omega. Then there was also the handheld market.
Sega and Nintendo were the big players in the market. Starting out in the mid-80s they had moved consoles forward. While we can’t deny that they brought gaming to the masses. There was an issue.
You either had a Sega or a Nintendo. Which influenced the games you could buy or play.
There was very little crossover between the two platforms.
In 95 when Sony released the PlayStation, it was a game-changer in many ways.
Sony didn’t make its own games like Sega or Nintendo. They licensed the platform. That meant all games more or less were available on one platform. (Nintendo were the only company who didn’t take advantage)
They worked hard to break the duopoly of the big two. That meant a cheaper console with cheaper games. The whole experience from controls, through graphics and gaming speed, was a huge improvement.
It was a no-brainer, you had to have a PlayStation.
In the longer term, Sega and Nintendo got pushed out of the serious gaming market. Today Sony and Microsoft have a duopoly in the market, so we are back in the same position as we were 25 years ago.
Well not quite.
The new duopoly has at least kept gaming moving forward. The licensing that Sony started for software is normal today. 98% of games can be played on either platform.
The complexity of the consoles and the depth and quality of the games has gone from strength to strength. Now with internet connectivity and streaming. The days of physically buying a game on disc have gone.
One other thing that has remained the same from that first machine 25 years ago is the controls. Which shows you how right that original machine was.
I still have my first PlayStation today and it’s not that different in the way it plays to a PS4. It all feels familiar.
I don’t play it often, but it will come with me on long business trips. Even 25 years later that original console is still great to play and I can’t think of a better compliment for it than that.
That first PlayStation really was a gamechanger. Going forward there is a lot of hype around PS 5 and what it will bring to the table.
Could 2021 be the year we see another huge change in gaming brought forward to us by Sony?
From simple shoot em up fun, to build them up and shoot em down, how this platform has changed
The shoot ’em up genre has changed over time.
It’s split out into so many different types of games. Today I want to talk about simple platform-based games. Even those have changed over time.
One thing stayed the same though. The popularity of these simple games. Today the world’s most popular game is Fortnite. It’s today’s platform shoot ’em up.
The early console-based games like Sea Harrier or desert strike were all simple rail-based games. A huge jump forward in graphics and gameplay from the arcade stuff we knew like space invaders.
At the time in the mid to late 80’s it was all quite tame stuff (although it seemed shocking at the time). Shooting people and things on a games console was new, and it was bloodless.
That all changed in 93 with the release of the first doom game. First released on MS-DOS for early PC’s. It was mercilessly copied onto floppy disks. Then in 94 it finally made it onto consoles.
The first shoot em up, that dealt in blood and guts. It was hugely popular and moved the genre on. It certainly helped pave the way for the first grand theft auto game which came out in 97, again at first on PC.
Like most genres in modern gaming. It was the release of the PlayStation in 95 that led to the next evolution. The graphics, speed, and processing power of the PlayStation. Took PC based gaming onto a console at an affordable price.
That led to two things happening:
– The gap between PC based and console-based gaming closed. Which pretty much killed off PC based casual gaming for a few years. (At the time a PC was mega expensive, and so were the games)
– Console games, in general, became a much more immersive experience.
What came out of that period were games like call of duty and medal of honor. They pushed the genre forward into new areas and a new depth of experience.
Today, of course, they are a sub-genre of shoot ’em up gaming. To compare what we have today to the early days you would have to look like to something like Fortnite.
That game for me pretty much mixes early platform gaming, early bloodless shoot em up, and today’s immersive world gaming.
Today things have changed and gaming has moved on. Today’s shoot em up is once again bloodless. But its also more immersive than ever.
Its no longer just shoot em up, it’s build them up and shoot em down!