Step29: Consoles – Everything I missed

In 1984 I fully went into home computing (C64, Amiga). I totally missed the come back of console system after 1985. So I wanted to wrote an article about all things that were released in the gaming world while I was busy on amiga. We of course had lot of great game on Amiga, but I must admit lot of cool stuff were also existing in the video game world at that time.

Video games – First generation

In video game, there are several generations of gaming systems. The first generation is the games system in the 70’s. As I’m born in 1973, I’ve been part of that generation. My first console was a french console from company « Occitane d’Electronique » and it was a Tank game (OC7000).

Second Generation

In the years 1980, the second generation of computer and consoles is here. Atari 2600 is the most famous console of that time.

Interesting documentary about the burry of E.T. Atari cartwridge in the desert

I had a Vectrex system, with embeded screen. Very nice console with vector graphics.

The console system in america reached a limit in 1983 when all the sales collapsed. It was the 1983 crash. At that time, personnal computers raised, and some computer as the Commodore 64 arrived. I switched to computer at that moment.

Third generation – 8 bits – 1983 to 1987

This is the step I totally missed. The third generation of video games console. In 1983, Nintendo released the Nintendo Entairtainement System (NES) in Japan (1985 for USA and 1987 for Europe!!). This is mainly the 8 bits generation. That correspond to the Commodre 64 period. There were lot of good games on C64 and lot of conversion from Arcade games (very far from originals). Moreover, the games were on floppy disks, and we were able to copy them (this may have been a part of computer sucess of course). Nintendo system used cartdridges, very expensive.

But the quality of game was really higher. I sadly nevery played with one.

Notable games were:

1985: Super Mario Bros. 40 Millions copies sold. Until 2008 was the most sold video game. (copied in 1987 on C64 by « The great Giana sisters »)

1986: The Legend of zelda

A friend of mine had a Sega Master System. But I did not like the console and the controllers.

Notables games:

1986: Alex Kidd in Miracle World (1986)

1987: Shinobi (1987)

Fourth Generation – 16 bits – 1987 to 1993

The fourth generation of gaming system started around 1987. It was mainly all 16 bits machines. The Amiga was one of them.

Others systems were : Super Nintendo, Mega Drive, Neo Geo. And also Game Boy, Lynx, Game Gear.

In 1987 I was already on Amiga and there were lot of good games. No need of any system. But I also missed lot of things at that time.

Super Nintendo

SNES was the most noticeable machine from that time (to my point of view, with Arcade game also, see next chapter). I bought one very late (and bought one to my young brother). There are plenty of excellent games on that machine. I bought a Super Wild card floppy drive reader to my brother, so that he could have all the games he wanted.

Among Mario, Zelda and all Nintendo hits, here are some games I like

1992 – Super star wars

1994 – Uniracers / Unirally

From DMA Design (well known on Amiga for having created Lemming and lot of hits. Will become later Rockstar North (GTA Vice City …) )

1994 – Donkey Kong Country

Arcade

Arcade games was for me the best system usable for gaming. The game were always at very high quality, often the controller were adapted to the game and the games always had a rolling demo, usually very impressive. My goal was to become an arcade game developper (since I was very young). That’s why I’ve done later some studies in electronic.

Some games of that period:

1987 : Contra (Konami), Operation Wolf (Taito), Apb

1988: Altered Beast (Sega), Super Mario Bros 3 (Nintendo), Winning Run (Namco) The first 3D arcade game.

1989: Hard Drivin and S.T.U.N Racer (Atari) 3D games

1990: Pit Fighters (Atari), NAM 1975 (SNK)

1991: Street Fighter II (Capcom).

In the meantime on Amiga, we had similar evolution (as Arcade games were ported on home computer and developpers were heavily copying Arcade game style and technic). Arcade machine were superior due to their specific hardware, but Amiga games quickly get more specialized in using mouse (like lemming game, or adventure game like Monkey Island). All arcade conversion were generaly not as good as originals.

1989: Shadow od the beast (Psygnosys), great paralax. 2 years before street fighter II and its also nice parallax backgrounds.

1989: Stunt car racer (3D Game)

1990: Monkey Island

1991: Lemmings (Psygnosis)

Fifth Generation – 32 bits – 1993 to 1998

As I used my Amiga until 1998, I can also speak about that generation. It have been the arrival of 3D on console (Playstation), and CD-ROM on first PC.

Playstation

In 1993 the Playstation was released by Sony. It is going to be a huge sucess. I was in high school and few time later a friend of mine brought his Japanese Playstation to our student flat. We discovered Toshiden and Tekken. The futur of gaming was here with 3D at home.

1993 – Ridge Racer

Sixth Generation

The sixth generation of console started in 1998 but this was the time were I stopped using my Amiga 1200 and went into PC. This is also went I started working as an engineer. Two years laters (in 2000) I joined a video game company and started working on Playstation 2. This was the beginning of my professional video game career but this is out of scope of that blog.

Links

http://mo5.com/musee-machines-vectrex.html

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nintendo_Entertainment_System

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