The Advances in Gaming Consoles
Gaming consoles have advanced quickly with the evolution of technology.
Early models of gaming consoles didn't have the memory capabilities or the storage capacity of modern devices. The first recognized gaming console marketed to the public was the Magnavox Odyssey. Then the market produced the Atari console which became famous because of Pong. This is referred to as the first generation of consoles.
The Atari 2600 is the most recognized game console of the second generation in the advancement of consoles. It was a cartridge based console as most early consoles were and was remembered for the game title Space Invaders.
Third generation gaming consoles still used cartridges but had better graphics. The Nintendo Famcom was the most well-known of this generation. Like others in this timeframe, it had 8-bit graphics.
Sega's Megadrive and its Sonic the Hedgehog game title made it the dominant machine in the progression of video game consoles to the fourth generation.
The fifth generation saw many gaming consoles released to the consumer market. The three that consumers remember the most are likely the Sega Saturn, Nintendo 64 and the Sony PlayStation. The Nintendo 64 continued to use cartridges. Other game consoles moved to the increased graphical capability of using compact discs for game title releases.
The sixth generation consisted of the Sega Dreamcast, Sony PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube and Microsoft's Xbox. Microsoft offered increased graphical performance capability by capitalizing on their DirectX and Windows operating system which assisted the Halo franchise in achieving popularity.
The seventh generation featured the Xbox360 which could play DVD movies, the Sony PlayStation 3 and Nintendo's Wii. All of the consoles had increased memory capacity and improved graphics. The Wii brought motion capture technology to the market with its electronic eye that allowed a form of 3D immersion in a virtual setting that became immensely appealing to a many demographics of consumers. Later, the Kinect would use improved motion capture to seize more of the consumer market for Microsoft.
By the current time frame, the video game industry is entering the eighth generation of consoles of which the Wii U is the first. While each of the other progressive generations has focused on increased hardware capacity, the current objective of game developers and publishers is to see which console can offer the maximum integration with other media, devices and faster, more reliable connectivity to wireless technology.