Generations of Video Game System: Defying the Way we Define Entertainment

Entertainment takes its new type. With the development of technology and its integration to different elements of our lives, standard entertainment such as theatrical plays and cultural shows is changed by so-called "electronic home entertainment". There you have various digital and animated movies that you can see on cinema or on your home entertainment system, cable television service system (CTS), and the video game system, which is popular not just to young and old gamers alike but likewise to video game developers, simply because of the development of ingenious technologies that they can utilize to improve existing game systems.

The computer game system is meant for playing computer game, though there are contemporary game systems that enables you to have an access over other forms of home entertainment utilizing such video game systems (like enjoying DVD movies, game news listening to MP3 music files, or surfing the Web). Thus, it is often referred to as "interactive home entertainment computer system" to distinguish the video game system from a machine that is used for various functions (such as computer and game video games).


The first generation of video game system began when Magnavox (an electronic devices company which produces tvs, radios, and gramophones or record players) released its very first computer game system, which is the Magnavox Odyssey designed by Ralph Baer. Odyssey's appeal lasted till the release of Atari's PONG video games. Magnavox realized that they can not compete with the popularity of PONG games, thus in 1975 they produced the Odyssey 100 computer game system that will play Atari-produced PONG video games.

The 2nd generation of computer game system came a year after the release of Odyssey 100. In 1976, Fairchild released the FVES (Fairchild Video Entertainment System), that made use of a programmable microprocessor so that a game cartridge can hold a single ROM chip to save microprocessor directions. Nevertheless, because of the "computer game crash" in 1977, Fairchild deserted the computer game system market. Magnavox and Atari remained in the video game industry.

The rebirth of the video game system started when Atari released the popular game Area Intruders. The industry was suddenly restored, with numerous players made purchase of an Atari computer game system just for Area Intruders. In other words, with the popularity of Area Invaders, Atari controlled the video game industry throughout the 80s.

Computer game system's 3rd generation entered into being after the release of Nintendo's Famicon in 1983. It supported full color, high resolution, and tiled background video gaming system. It was initially released in Japan and it was later on brought to the United States in the form of Nintendo Home entertainment System (NES) in 1985. And just like Atari's Area Intruders, the release of Nintendo's well-known Super Mario Brothers was a big success, which entirely revived the suffering video game system industry in the early months of 1983.

Sega intended to take on Nintendo, however they stopped working to develop significant market share. It was till 1988 when Sega released the Sega Genesis in Japan on October 29 of the very same year and on September 1, 1989 in the United States and Europe territories. 2 years later on, Nintendo launched the Super Nintendo Home Entertainment System (SNES) in 1990.

Atari came back with their brand-new video game system, which is the Jaguar and 3DO. Both systems might show more onscreen colors and the latter made use of a CD instead of video game cartridges, making it more powerful compared to Genesis and SNES. Nintendo, on the other hand, opted to release brand-new games such as Donkey Kong Country instead of producing brand-new computer game systems. Sega's Vectorman and Virtua Racing did the same. Numerous years later on, Sony, Sega, and Nintendo launched the fifth generation of video game systems (PlayStation, Saturn, and N64, respectively).

The 6th generation of video game systems followed, involving Sega (Dreamcast, which was their last video game system and the first Internet-ready video game system), Sony (PlayStation 2), Nintendo (Video Game Cube which is their first system to utilize video game CDs), and the newcomer Microsoft (Xbox).

The most recent generation of computer game systems is now gradually going into the game industry. These are as follows:

- Microsoft's Xbox, which was launched on November 22, 2005;

- Sony's PlayStation 3, which is schedule to be launched on November 11, 2006 (Japan), November 17 of the same year (The United States and Canada), and March 2007 (Europe); and

- Nintendo's Wii, which is arranged to be launched on November 19, 2006 (The United States And Canada), December 2 of the exact same year (Japan), December 7 (Australia), and December 8 (Europe).

The advancement of computer game system does not end here. There will be future generations of video game system being developed as of this minute, which will defy the way we define "home entertainment".