Evolution of Video Game Consoles


By: Sonny Rowe, Journalist

Video games have changed a lot over time. It has come from joystick controllers to modern vibrating controllers. From 128×64 pixels display to 4k.

Videogames first started in 1972 with the first console ever, the Magnavox Odyssey.  The Odyssey had controllers, which were called PCUs or player control units. Magnavox designed these boxy controllers to be put on a table and handled like a modern controller, with two hands, one on each side of the controller. Each control unit would have three knobs and one button. The Odyssey would be around $100 and had 12 available games.

More than 10 years later the NES (Nintendo Entertainment System)  was released by Nintendo. It was released as the Famicom in Japan on July 15, 1983 and later came to America in February 1986. A few games you could play on the NES were: Super Mario Bros, The Legend of Zelda, Excitebike, Duck Hunt, and Tetris. It would cost $200 at the time.

On December 3rd, 1994, the first PlayStation was released by Sony Computer Entertainment. The PS1 featured: Final Fantasy 7, 8,and 9, Tekken 3, Crash Bandicoot, and Resident Evil. The PS1’s controllers were called Dual Shocks and PlayStation still uses that name today. The Dual Shocks look very much like a modern controller with 4 buttons on each side 2 triggers on each side on the top, and 2 buttons in the middle. These controllers did not have knobs or joysticks though. The PlayStation 1 would cost $299 back then.

November 15, 2001, PlayStation got a huge competitor. The Xbox. The Xbox was created by Microsoft. Some of the Original Xbox’s best games were: Halo combat evolved, Halo 2, Spiderman, GTA San Andreas, and The Sims. The Xbox Original’s controllers would look very similar to the modern Xbox controllers today. The Xbox would retail for $299.

November 19, 2006, the Wii was released by Nintendo. It came just short of a year after the Xbox 360 which had a similar concept. The Xbox 360 had a sensor that tracked movement which allowed you to be active while playing the game. The Nintendo Wii had controllers called Wii Remotes that would sense movement when you are playing. This was made Wii Sports a huge hit because it was a great active game. Some of the most popular games were,  of course Wii sports, Mario Kart Wii, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Super Mario Galaxy, and Animal Crossing City Folk. The Wii would cost $249.

March 3, 2017, the Nintendo Switch was released. It was a similar idea to the Wii but much more. The controllers could detach from the console and you could use them like Wii remotes. You would attach the controllers to a controller back bone and play like a regular console. And the most anticipated feature: The handheld mode. You could attach the controllers called, “Joy Cons” to the console pick it up and start playing. To charge you would put the console back into the charging dock and you could play on your TV or Monitor. The idea of the Nintendo Switch was to be flexible so that you could play wherever you are. Some of the best games are: The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Animal Crossing New Horizons, and Pokémon Sword and Shield.

November 10, 2020 the Xbox Series X was released. It is the newest Xbox console and it can run 4k on a monitor or TV that can handle it. Some of the most popular games on this console are: Elden Ring, GTA 5, Halo Infinite, FIFA 22, and Call of Duty Warzone. The Xbox S retails for $499.

2 days later the PS5 was released. It is the newest PlayStation and can also run 4k graphics. The best games on the PS5 are: Horizon Forbidden West, Spiderman Miles Morales, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, and NBA 2k22. The PS5 retails for $499 but price has gone up in high demand.

That’s the summary of the Evolution of Gaming Consoles and I hope you feel inspired to play some videogames now!

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