Long read but well worth it for Nintendo and classic gaming fans.
In 1951, a 29-year-old Ralph Baer was asked to design the greatest TV set ever. Baer envisioned an idea far beyond what he had been requested to create—a device that allowed people to play simple games on their TVs. It was an absurd idea that Baer’s boss denied be lived out. Ralph Baer was the first man to believe in video games.
Cambridge, 1952—A.S. Douglas created the first video game ever. Douglas invented a simple tic-tac-toe game on an EDSAC vacuum-tube computer on a 35x16-pixel screen upon completion of his Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge with a thesis of Human-Computer Interaction. A.S. Douglas was the first man to develop a computer game.
Skipping to 1966, we once again meet Mr. Ralph Baer, now attempting to create his TV game after a few experiments proved it was possible to develop fully functional and responsive computer games. Baer developed up to seven prototypes that played several different video games. The first was a simple game involving two squares chasing each other and the last was known as Brown Box, which played paddle ball games, shooting games, and others. Magnavox helped Mr. Baer bring his vision to the mainstream world, and in May of 1971, the very first game console was born: the Magnavox Odyssey.
From that first, simple vision of Ralph Baer came Pong, Atari, and—to a much later extent—the first Nintendo Entertainment System. The entire gaming world as we know it is all due to one man with an idea. Do we remember his name? Maybe a few of us who are old enough to do. For the most part, the gaming population knows not the name of the creator of the video game. We think of Nintendo as the setter of the bar for advanced video game technology, but wasn’t it A.S. Douglas? Wasn’t it the Odyssey? Wasn’t it the ones before Nintendo stepped into the gaming world?
As far as the mainstream gaming community—a huge chunk of the gaming population—is concerned, Pong was just some crappy game that some old guy made in the 60’s. Then Nintendo came, then some other stuff, then Grand Theft Auto 3. Oh, and Nintendo started to suck and become kiddy somewhere in between the NES and GTA3. But that’s all that’s really important anyway, right?
Sony has been the biggest competition for Nintendo yet. Atari tried and Sega died, Bandai fell through, and Neo Geo didn’t stand a chance. But when the PlayStation came as an offspring from the Super Nintendo, it pummeled the N64 (and Dreamcast) into the ground. It did so because of superior hardware and graphical capabilities, franchises that were made popular on the SNES and NES (namely Final Fantasy), and a head start on the industry—the PSX came out before the N64 got a threshold on gamers around the globe.
Here’s a question for all of you who bought into the PlayStation hype: why did you do it? Why did you choose the PlayStation over the N64 or Dreamcast? Furthermore, why did you stick with it? It was because the games were just plain good, yes? Without a shadow of a doubt, the PSX was home to terrific titles from Final Fantasy VII to Resident Evil. Nobody’s saying that the PlayStation wasn’t worth your money, because it was. It was a great game system.
And you know what? That’s all it was: a great game system. It played game and music CDs, and that’s all. It was a video game console. It was what Baer and Douglas had thought of when they created their prototypes; it was the ability to play games on video screens. And that’s what we did for three decades—we played games from Pong to Mario to Grand Theft Auto, and we enjoyed them. We enjoyed living the lives of valiant knights and inner city gangsters. We enjoyed blazing through futuristic racetracks at 1000 mph. We enjoyed winning the Stanley Cup as famous athletes. We enjoyed playing video games, plain and simple.
So, what does Sony do after dominating two generations of video game consoles? They only make things harder, much to many gamers’ dismays. Sony’s PlayStation 2 introduced the element of playing DVDs, which was fine—the era of VHS was dying and DVDs were taking the media by storm. It’s only sensible for Sony to want to cash in on that market. But they also made it so that one must have bought a DVD remote if they wished to view their movies with ease. The Xbox arrived some years later, and it, too, incorporated the option to play DVDs and CDs. However, Microsoft also took a step further to best Sony and they enabled the Xbox to rip music from CDs. Well, that’s all reasonable, right? I mean, we’d all be doing this stuff on our computers anyway, so why not pay extra for them to be included in a game console, right? …Right?
But Microsoft didn’t stop there, because there’s more you can do this in Swiss army knife of a console. The DVD Movie Playback Kit is only $30, and it "is a quick way to expand the functionality of the best gaming machine around!" (Or so says the official Xbox website.) The Xbox also has a lot of other junk to be bought by consumer whores (as if Microsoft needs the extra money) including a Music Mixer, System link cable, and Xbox Live Starter Kit. Not to be outdone, Sony made an external hard drive for the PS2 (the Xbox’s is built in), Network Adapter, and now they’re coming out with the EyeToy for more gaming involvement.
Wait a second… I’m missing something… What was that other thing called? Made by that company with the N in its name? Um… It was the Game-something-or-other, I think. Well, it doesn’t really matter, now does it? All they had was that NES that began the era of video games and then some other stuff, but then PSX came. Yeah, and after that, the PS2 and Xbox and all those DVD playing capabilities arrived. Now that company with the N is just kiddy and stupid.
Oh, and did I mention that it doesn’t play DVDs or CDs? I know; it’s astonishing. Who’d have thought of it—a modern game playing console that DOESN’T do more than play games? Woah.
Well, it exists, believe it or not. The Nintendo GameCube is the lone console of the three modern day contenders that doesn’t rely on flashy add-ons or cheesy, expensive, and, most importantly, tacky secondary features. True, Nintendo does have broadband and LAN adapters. And the GCN can hook up to the GBA for extra game secrets. And, yes, they made the Panasonic GameQ to play DVDs, even if it is only available in Japan. And that iQue contraption that’s only available in China.
Notice the trend—none of these interfere with the GameCube’s life. The GameQ and iQue are totally separate machines that Nintendo made for specific reasons, but they don’t add anything to the original GCN. Only the GBA-GCN Link Cable is a big offender, but that’s just one tacky extra. Plus, it helps play games, in one way or another. Just like online peripherals, it enhances the gaming experience.
In the end, isn’t that all we want? The most enhanced gaming experience available? I know that, personally, I just want to play games on my game consoles. I don’t want to pay $50 or $100 more to play DVDs or be able to use Playback DVD remotes or CDs or listen to custom soundtracks. Sure, I’ll play online or with my Game Boy, because those make it more enjoyable in one way or another. But Sony & Microsoft’s new contraptions are complete garbage, no matter how unique or interesting they may seem.
The latest offender is just one example of Sony’s headstrong ways. They’re already thinking two consoles ahead and envisioning what the PS4 will be able to handle. A news article reporting this (taken from GameSpot.com) is below:
Confirming what has been rumored for days, SCEE vice president Phil Harrison told an Australian newspaper that "future generations" of Sony PlayStations will include motion-sensor and camera hardware similar to that found in the EyeToy PlayStation 2 peripheral. Talking to the Australian Financial Review, SCEE vice president Phil Harrison described the EyeToy's motion-sensor and camera hardware as a "signpost for things in the future." While he didn't mention the PlayStation 3 specifically, it is likely the console will incorporate current hardware when it launches in 2005.
That’s good to know. Now we know to expect a built in EyeToy so we don’t have to pay $60 extra for it, instead we can buy a console that costs $50 more. It’s a deal, I suppose.
Harrison's comments on the use of camera technology in following generations of Sony consoles were even more interesting. "We'll be able to extrapolate eye movement and gestural recognition, more complicated finger movement," he said. Harrison described next-gen PlayStation controls as motion-sensor interfaces similar to that of Tom Cruise's computer in Minority Report.
Hey, that was a good movie. It can’t fail! But wait, what happens if I scratch my nose when playing? Does that count as a punch?
Harrison said Sony researchers are developing facial-expression-recognition software which, working in tandem with a camera, could sense users' emotions. "The logical next step is to deduce from a person's facial expression and demeanor what their emotion state is," he said. "If you can attach very high-resolution, low-cost video cameras [to computers] you can deduce some quite interesting things about their users."
Too many things can go wrong to even begin the sarcasm, but let’s just say that an attractive female in an awkward position can easily change your facial expression. I mean, what are they gonna have happen as a result of that? Will they have Rikku start giving the gamer winks to encourage them to keep on playing? I foresee a bright future for gamers around the globe.
Harrison also envisioned a day where a PlayStation could not only sense a player's emotional reaction to entertainment, but also offer advice on alternatives—like a cross between TiVo and HAL 9000. "If somebody is watching [a show] and starts to slump back and lose the will to live," said Harrison, "[the computer] might suggest some other forms of entertainment." However, Harrison admits that technology wouldn't show up until the PS4 at the earliest. "It's within the realm of technical believability today, but it requires a supercomputer to do it," he said.
PS4 at the earliest, you say? A supercomputer needs to do this? So, what figures are we looking at here, to buy this so-called "supercomputer"? $2000, or something more plausible that only rich people can buy? I still say that it’s much too early for sensing whether or not slouching—which is caused by playing these same video games for hours on end, for the record—determines your game mood.
The article ends there, leaving the reader in a bit of suspense as to whether or not Sony is on crack. But that’s ok, since I’ll bet dollars to donuts that nobody will buy this overpriced and useless garbage in the first place. Doesn’t anybody remember A.S. Douglas? He made a tic-tac-toe game, for crying out loud. We’re not talking about supercomputers and facial expressions in our video games. Somebody needs to give Sony a harsh slap on the face and get their heads out of the clouds, because it’s clear they’re trying to get out of the video game realm and create a virtual reality one. That’s fine and dandy, but what will happen to the old PlayStations? If everything evolves into virtual reality and the like, what will be the poor man’s outlet for pressing a button to make a man jump? What will happen to Ralph Baer’s dream? Nobody remembers the man now, let alone when simple video games don’t even exist any more.
Make games as realistic or as technologically advanced as you want, Sony, just leave the consoles as they are. The PlayStation was original, the PS2 was excessive, the PS3 is shaping up to be out of line, and the PS4? I can’t believe they’re even thinking that far ahead.
I don’t want a DVD player in my game console, or a CD player, or a CD ripper. I don’t want to pay extra for a remote control that I might lose in a week. I don’t want to change my facial expression to play a game, or move my fingers, or sit upright. I like lying down when playing games, but that doesn’t mean I’m falling asleep while playing them. I don’t want more add-ons and capabilities; I don’t want TiVo, hard drives, or emotion sensors. I don’t want more complexity or distraction in my life, let alone interfering with my gaming life. I especially don’t want to pay more than $500 for a gaming console.
I just wanna play the damn games, and it seems that only Nintendo is listening.
What a stupid editorial.
Most of the stuff he mentioned (such as the PS2 HDD,EyeToy,Sys LinkCable,XBL kit) are optional addons just like the GBPlayer, GBA-GCN link cable, E-Reader, BB Adapter,etc etc is. If he doesn't want 'a DVD remote that he'll lose in a week' then he doesn't have to buy it. I'd rather have the option to buy a DVD remote and get DVD playback then not have it at all.
Originally Posted by Viper
That sentence.... isn't right...
What was his point then? That more options is a bad thing? Thats what it sounded like to me.Originally Posted by Viper
Originally Posted by Viper
he's either suppose to put something after it... like, ", but only a few new age game publishers and developers." .... or change the wording... maybe like, "For the most part, the gaming population does not know the name of the creator of the video game."
..."knows not" doesn't fit...
^he's also saying that he can't keep track of shit he buys... Who the fuck loses a remote control?
Would he lose his wavebird? is he making fun of the wavebird????
I get the point of saying companies are losing track of what gaming is meant to be, but don't downplay something like DVD playback by bringing up the loss of periferals... that's just childish.
The point was that Sony and MS are trying to go from Game consoles to other stuff with game consoles in it. (PSX for example) They are getting more expenive because of non-game related add in-on extras.
Also the eye-toy and emotion capture idea. They are the most pathetically gimmicky game related thing ever, worse than Nintendo's R.O.B. and Virtual Boy combined.
EDIT: 'Knows not' is proper English....it just isn't widely used.
I know it is... but he used it wrong.Originally Posted by Viper
You need something to complete the sentence.
It is a complete sentance....think of it this way. Look at the word 'color' in your sig. Difference in culture and location can make for oddities in text and speech, yet both could be considered correct.Originally Posted by JackieChanIsGOD
Prince, so he knocked the idea of having to buy a remote for an extra $30.00 That is a damn expensive remote. I guess to make sure you don't lose it.
As for the article being childish and stupid, read some of anti-Nintendo articles posted recently for an example of childish and stupid.
Everything that the PS2 and XBox charge you for is game-related. They don't make you buy non-game related addons in their console.Originally Posted by Viper
PSX is not a main console like PS1/PS2, it's the equivalent of the Panasonic Q. PS3 and PS4 are years off, ideas change and get scrapped (just look at the recent PSX fiasco where they cut a whole bunch of features last minute), none of us knows what will happen in the future.
My point is you don't have to buy a remote for 30$. It's an optional accessory and a much better solution then just not including DVD playback at all.Originally Posted by Viper
I see were the writer is comming from, One day a computer and a game system will be one, its inevitable
A man with a watch knows what time it is
A man with two watches is never sure
Think about it.
A man with two game systems doesnt know what game to buy?
That guy's arguments were so weak...he kind of dug himself into the ground with all those peripheral arguments, which Prince has explained. All the stuff they add is game-related...
I AM IGNORANT BECAUSE I LIKE BASKETBALL
You guys are still missing the overall point. It is the direction that Sony and MS are taking gaming. Gaming started with gaming in mind, not making toast and proof reading your morning report too.
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