Generations of Video Game System: Defying the Way we Specify Home Entertainment

Home entertainment takes its new form. With the advancement of innovation and its combination to various elements of our lives, conventional entertainment such as theatrical plays and cultural programs is replaced by so-called "electronic entertainment". There you have different digital and animated films that you can see on movie theater or on your home entertainment system, cable television system (CTS), and the computer game system, which is popular not simply to young and old players alike but also to video game designers, simply because of the advancement of ingenious technologies that they can use to enhance existing game systems.

The computer game system is intended for playing video games, though there are modern game systems that enables you to have a gain access to over other forms of entertainment using such game systems (like enjoying DVD motion pictures, listening to MP3 music files, or surfing the Web). Thus, it is often described as "interactive entertainment computer system" to distinguish the game system from a machine that is used for numerous functions (such as computer and arcade video games).


The very first generation of video game system started when Magnavox (an electronics business which makes televisions, radios, and gramophones or record players) released its first video game system, which is the Magnavox Odyssey created by Ralph Baer. Odyssey's popularity lasted till the release of Atari's PONG video games. Magnavox realized that they can not take on the appeal of PONG video games, therefore in 1975 they developed the Odyssey 100 video 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 conserve microprocessor instructions. However, because of the "video game crash" in 1977, Fairchild deserted the computer game system market. Magnavox and Atari stayed in the video game market.

The renewal of the computer game system started when Atari released the popular game Area Invaders. The market was suddenly restored, with lots of players made purchase of an Atari computer game system just for Area Invaders. In other words, with the appeal of Space Invaders, Atari dominated the computer game industry throughout the 80s.

Video game system's third generation entered being after the release of Nintendo's Famicon in 1983. It supported complete color, high resolution, and tiled background video gaming system. It was initially introduced in Japan and it was later on brought to the United States in the form of Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in 1985. And much like Atari's Space Intruders, the release of Nintendo's well-known Super Mario Brothers was a huge success, which entirely revived the suffering computer game system market in the early months of 1983.

Sega meant to compete with Nintendo, but they failed to establish considerable market share. It was till 1988 when Sega launched the Sega Genesis in Japan on October 29 of the very same year and on September 1, 1989 in the United States and Europe areas. 2 years later on, Nintendo released the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) in 1990.

Atari returned with their new computer game system, which is the Jaguar and 3DO. Both systems might display more onscreen colors and video games review the latter utilized a CD instead of game cartridges, making it more effective compared to Genesis and SNES. Nintendo, on the other hand, opted to release new games such as Donkey Kong Nation instead of producing brand-new computer game systems. Sega's Vectorman and Virtua Racing did the same. A number of years later, Sony, Sega, and Nintendo launched the 5th generation of computer game systems (PlayStation, Saturn, and N64, respectively).

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

The latest generation of computer game systems is now slowly 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 released on November 11, 2006 (Japan), November 17 of the exact same year (The United States and Canada), and March 2007 (Europe); and

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

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