Top 5 Innovations of This Console Generation
There’s a few in every generation. Those remarkable innovations that make the gaming experience better. Like the shoulder buttons on the SNES, or the Dual Shock Controller for the Playstation. While gaming developers certainly aspire to create such innovations before the systems are launched, it takes a few months to discover a generation’s true advances. Beyond graphics, and processor speeds, here are a few innovations that have made the gaming experience all the more enjoyable.
5. “Stylish” consoles
Notes: Let’s face it. Consoles for the longest time have been giant grey boxes that “ugly” up any entertainment center they come in contact with. This generation, the big 3 decided to change that image. Each console has made giant leaps in visual design, and it has changed the way gaming consoles are seen in your home. Next time you have company over, line up the consoles of this generation right next to each other. The combined design excellence will guarantee a few “oohs” and “aahs”, a response never before seen in the console market.
4. Arcade/Retro titles
Notes: New is old, old is new. While it may not make much sense, some NES titles are more popular today than they have ever been. There is something about some forms of simplistic gameplay that stand the test of time. Before this generation, the only way to play these classic games was to find a reliable pawn shop (or use even less legal means). These days, you can find almost every game from the earlier generations, even if they were not good enough to warrant a return.
3. True multi-media functionality
Notes: They had to get it right eventually. Gaming consoles have been trying to become “all-in-one” entertainment centers for as long as I can remember. Some strides were made (such as the ability to play DVDs and Music CDs), but the realization was not complete until this generation. These days almost anything is possible, from ripping CDs to play with your favorite games, to Blu-Ray capabilities, to the ability to stream content across multiple electronic devices. This generation, you truly do not need much else under your television sets.
2. Motion-Sensing controllers
Notes: This might be a controversial innovation to add to the list. The Wii has certainly seen unmatched success with the idea, but motion-sensing controllers have yet to really prove their lasting appeal. Does it deserve a spot on the list? No current console has shown something that cements motion-sensing technologies as the wave of the future. Perhaps, after this holiday season, we will know the truth of it.
1. Online marketplaces
Notes: Remember when we would have to subscribe to “official” magazines to get our hands on demos? No more. Downloadable content, demos, videos, TV shows, etc., etc. etc. The list of content you can download from the comfort of your easy-chair is just staggering. Some parts curse, some parts miracle, the ability to purchase complete titles without a disc in sight has changed the way we buy games forever.