Gaming Platform

Introduction

In this artcle I am going to be talking about the deveopment of different game systems over the years, aswell as discussing the games that can be played on them and how they work among other things. I will also be discussing how cumtational performance has pushed out certain means of gaming and about what the future hold for platforms.

Arcade

What games are played on this system?-



Games such as Pac Man, pong and missile commander were very popular in the arcade scene. These games are by today’s standards very basic but in their prime they were very advanced and innovative. Other games for the arcade system are more modern; however this doesn’t detract from how legendary the arcade era was for gaming. For example newer games how articulated racing seats, steering wheels, gear sticks and pedal to deliver the an amazing experience to the user even if the graphical prowess of the machine is locked in the past.


Timeline: http://www.timetoast.com/timelines/739952



How do they operate?-



Most arcade machines use a joystick and one or two buttons to allow the user to get into the game experience very easily and to attract people who normally wouldn’t play as they find controllers or keyboard much too complicated. More modern arcade machines us plastic guns to allow the user to physically point and shoot at the targets on screen to progress through the story of the game. Other modern machines use an articulated racing seat, a wheel and pedals to allow the player to get a more immersive experience from the game, therefore attracting more people to spend money on the machine.



How are games distributed?-



Arcade machines come with the game that will be forever played on that machine and will never be able to change without re-wiring the whole arcade machine. This is a major restriction when it comes to changing up your arcade suit when your customer gets bored of the machines you currently have. The colours on the machine are also a major part of the arcade, these attract the user wih shiney colours and nice artwork, for example pacman machines are usually bright yellow to catch the eye and show the ghosts chasing pacman. The artwork is usually of much higher quality than the graphics in the game itself and is solely there to attract a potential user.





Console

What games are played on this system?:



This device is much more versatile than the arcade machines because unlike the arcade they can be easily transported and can play multiple games without having to pick up a new console. First person shooters such as Call of Duty and Battlefield can be play on this system as well as older games that can be downloaded such as pong or space invaders. Consoles have been much more successful than arcade overall, this is because the games on consoles are more compact and usually look better than their arcade counterpart aswell as being cheaper. This allows many people to own them in their homes without having to pay extortionate fees related to arcade games. Consoles have developed to use newer technolodgies such as wifi and broadband, these technolodgies allow the user to connect to the interentvia either a wired or wireless connect and post times from racing gamer or to even play with other people in online multiplayer. This allows games companies to introduce new and inovative content to their games after release via a didgital download known as DLC.



How do they operate?



Consoles use a controllers designed for them for maximum comfort and compatibility. Controllers such as the Xbox 360 controller are renowned for being one of the most comfortable controllers on the market and easy to use for an extended period of time. One thing most consoles share in common is the use of analog sticks to allow various movements and also allow you to look around the screen. The most modern consoles have four numbered, lettered or shaped buttons such as ABXY on the Xbox controller which allow you perform different actions such as picking up an item. Most modern console have Trigger and bumper button on the back. These triggers are usually bound to shooting or accelerating in shooter and driving games respectfully.



How are games distributed?:



Games in the console world are usually distributed via the Disk based media such a CD, DVD or as of recently Blu Ray. However it wasn’t allows like this, consoles such as the SNES, NES or megadrive needed cartridges to work which carried much less data. Game downloads are becoming more and more common in the console world now-a-days with the availability of more stable and higher performing internet connections. For example, the Xbox 306 and PS3 both have marketplace to purchase games and DLC online with either money or "Microsoft Points" this adds a bit of convenience to buying games and additional content that would usually be limited to sale via the old method of optical media. However due to a monopoly created by only certain people being able to manufacture console games and with increasing premiums for companies to create games for consoles, the overall price of games for console is at an all-time high. A new release for the Xbox one or PS4 costs generally £70 while for a PC this price is halved at £35.


Timeline: http://www.timetoast.com/timelines/765870


PC

What game are played on it?:



PC has a very large selection of games that are played on it, these include FPS, RTS, Third Person Shooter, Simulation and RPGs to name few. PC is very famous for it's "Indy" game selection, these games are games made by small developer, often out of their own home by one or two people. However one of the most knows games that look graphical better on PCs is Battlefield 4. These games are much more immersive to play on the PC platform as the graphic fidelity on these machines can be second to none, however, PC gaming requires the user to upgrade their system to keep up with the newest titles and this is overwhelming for some people. One of the biggest development in PC history is the invent of the internet and namely broadband. This is becuase if you own a PC you can publish work online or also play online multiplayer with your friends. One of the most resent developments in PC gaming is the "Steam Store" by the games company "Valve" this allow users to download games usually with massive discounts, this is a major advantage over consoles as PC games are famously cheaper.



How they operate?:



PC games are usually controlled by mouse and keyboard, most people like this in comparison to controller as the mouse allows for more precision aiming in FPS titles aswell as the keyboard have much more buttons than your controller which allow for more action keys to be placed close to your hand. However PCs are compatible with a large amount of external controllers such as joysticks and throttle controllers for flying, steering wheels and gamepads as shown in Pictures below. Keyboard and mouse are renowned for being useless when it comes to driving games as they have a digital input which means they are either one or off. If you would plug in a gamepad or steering wheel you would have an analog input which allows the user to move the stick or wheel slightly in one direction to turn the wheel of the car slightly.



How are the games distributed?:



PC games are mainly distributed by download; this is due to games being cheaper on sales from sites like Steam. You can still buy physical copies of games from outlets which are usually cheaper than their console counterparts but some are one user only, this means you cannot sell the game after you use it. Games can be cheaper on the download sites such as steam because the distributed does not need to play for packaging, transport and disks. They can just have the game data on storage and send it to people who request it. This means that the distributed like valve (the owner of steam) only have to pay for the licenses to sell the game and the server upkeep.


Timeline: http://www.timetoast.com/timelines/765929

Mobile

What games are played on it?:



As mobile platforms such as smartphones have become more popular and a valid money maker for Indy game companies with games such as angry birds and it's many spinoffs. However there is a downside to mobile games, they are usually very small compared to their console or PC counterparts. For example the PSP which is a mobile console developed by Sony could play a variant of Sony’s popular racing game Gran Turismo, this variant however is very slimmed down graphically and feature wise only allowing the user to unlock a finite number of cars and not race in a career mode. The biggest thing in mobile gaming so far has been the advent of the touch screen, this allows users to directly interact with the objects on screen such as the slingshot in angry birds. This is why games on smartphones such as the iPhone or Galaxy series of phones are much more popular than other mobile devices.



How they operate:



Smartphone games are usually controlled using a touch screen interface, this is very useful in games such as angry birds where to touch screen comes into its own, this allow the user to accurately control the angle and power on each shot of the bird slingshot used in the game, however touch screen controls are much more bulky when it comes to FPS or Racing title on the smartphones. Portable consoles such as the PSP or PS Vita comes with miniaturized analog stick designs, this is done to allow the gamer to get a more authentic feel for the controls just like on a console, this allows the player to be able to play FPS or racing games without much intrusion from something like a touch screen interface. All control methods on these devices are integrated and therefor will not practically accept peripheral devices.



How are games distributed?:



The primary means of game distribution in mobile devices are via digital download from the apple appstore or Google play on iOS and Android respectively. This allows you to download and play games everywhere even when on the move, this is due to advances in mobile internet such as 3 and 4G with decent internet speeds. 4G allow the user to download very large games very quickly as at peak best it is much faster than ADSL broadband most people have in their homes. However with mobile devices such as the PSP or Nintendo DS you mainly have to buy physical media to allow you to play the games, this can be very good as you do not need massive storage to play lots of games but you do need space to put the game boxes.



Timeline: http://www.timetoast.com/timelines/766530


TV

What games are played on it?



TV games are very limited in their usefulness and market potential but they do exist. For example, Plug and Play games are quite an abundant source of this as they are very cheap and easy to produce. This allows the user to play games such as PacMan or space invaders that are usually associated with an arcade machine on your TV. This type of TV game is very good for small children that are likely to break something such as a smartphone and consoles. This is because the units are cheap to replace and will keep the child entertain as they have not developed enough to want games such as Call of duty. Other types of TV games are "red button Games" These games are supplied by some channels (usually kids TV) such as nickelodeon, these games consist of very simple concepts such as platformers that are designed to make a child want to watch the show associated with the game. However these games are very limited as processing power of a TV is incredibly low compared to other devices such as a PC or console. Other types of games for the TV are smart TV games, these games are very similar to smartphone games such as angry birds, and this is because the TV has much greater processing power than a normal TV. Broadband has again affected TV alot in the recent years as most smart TV now have build in "App Stores" which you use to download games for the TV, this allow you to play games witout aving to install them with physical media.



How they operate:



Most TV games will be operated with the use of the TV remote control; this is to afford the user maximum convenience without jeopardizing the experience to much. For example the remote for your TV (Usually your sky remote) has all the functions that are needed to make the game controllable; it has arrow keys and plenty of other buttons. The directional buttons usually control the movement of the character on-screen while the other buttons provide a medium for a variety of other functions depending on the game. Plug and play devices usually have their own dedicated controllers or more popularly a joystick. People may buy these devices to have the arcade experience on their TV without breaking the bank for an arcade machine. This means that the joystick is very attractive for nostalgic people looking for an arcade experience. The controls on these machines are usually very simple and are akin to an arcade machine as mentioned above.



How are games distributed?



Plug and play machines are distributed with their game sin built similarly to arcade machines. However the red button games on a normal TV are all updated and replaced without our knowledge. Smart TV games however work in a similar way to smartphone games, they are downloaded from a store unique to the OS they are using, some Smart TVs run android so they will have to download their games from Google store just like their smartphone counterparts.


Timeline: http://www.timetoast.com/timelines/766531