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Game console development history

Back Source: Send:2020-07-08

First generation

In 1972, Atari released a large-scale platform game "Pong" (Pong), which is popular in the United States. In the same year, the world's first video game played on "TV" was born, and Magnavox Odyssey was the world's first video game console.

Second generation

In 1975, Atari established a Cyan Engineering company and began to develop home console game consoles. By the end of 1976, the founder of Atari had sold the company to Warner for $28 million due to insufficient funds, on the condition that Stella (development code name) be listed earlier. By October 1977, Atari 2600 was officially launched, and the entire process spent a total of US$100 million in research and development expenses. Atari 2600 creatively proposes a game system in which the game console is separated from the cassette, and the TV is separated from the game console, which has a profound impact on the design of the subsequent game console. And created a new business model of making money through game cartridges.

At the beginning of 1977, Atari established a software research and development department to develop software related to the mainframe. However, due to poor management, by the end of 1978, only 800,000 mainframes had been sold and 550,000 were sold. This directly led to Atari founder Bushnell leaving Atari. The succeeding Ray Kassar brought modern management methods to Atari and implemented a series of marketing campaigns. Atari 2600 became the best-selling Christmas gift in 1979, with sales exceeding 1 million units that year.

In 1982, Atari 2600 reached its peak, with 8 million units sold, and assets increased from 75 million US dollars to 2.2 billion US dollars, accounting for half of Warner's revenue. Then due to the lack of software quality management, the poor quality games that flooded the market damaged the image of Atari 2600. In 1983, the second generation dominated by Atari ended.

Third generation

In 1983, the Japanese game market was in a state of chaos and disorder. In this year alone, more than a dozen consoles were launched in Japan. However, the market positioning of these game machines is ordinary electronic toys, most of which are directly imported from the United States. So Nintendo developed the third-generation game console FC game machine (Famicom, red and white machine, the United States called NES). This game console brings advanced game development concepts and revolutionary game technology. Make it a true originator of video games. Especially in China, many players know and love game consoles for this reason. Many games are still popular today. In China, there are still many places to produce this console and games. Even with today's vision, the game's playability at that time was still very high.

After the listing of FC, SEGA (Sega) game console SG-1000 was completely suppressed. However, shortly after the FC went on the market, due to the hardware design of the first batch of FCs, there may be serious bugs that caused the crash. In order to save Nintendo's reputation, the then Nintendo President Yamauchi decided to recycle the host, and thus lost 1.5 billion yen. However, this incident allowed Nintendo to establish an excellent brand image. The following year, FC re-listed and sold 1.65 million units within a year. FC's first sale in the US is more successful. In October 1985, the NES was first listed in New York City, with a total of 15 games. By the end of 1985, NES had sold 50,000 units in New York. Subsequently, the NES began to be listed nationwide in the United States, and sold 1 million units within a year, so that the once-collapsing US domestic machine market began to recover.

Fourth generation

In 1987, NEC and Hudson launched the PC-Engine. This is the first game machine that can be installed with a CD-ROM, which has attracted the attention of the PC-Engine in the Japanese game industry. In the same year, SEGA launched Mega Drive (MD, Genesis in the United States) in Japan. The host was listed in New York and Los Angeles on January 9, 1989, and the recommended retail price was US$200. The host was listed in the United States on September 15, 1989, and the price was $190. Since the US game market was basically monopolized by Nintendo at that time, SEGA decided to develop a new group of players at a higher age and launched a large number of games targeting adult players.

In contrast to Nintendo, from 1987 to 1988, FC's rich income made Nintendo not interested in developing the next generation of hosts. However, the increasing market share of PC-Engine and MD forced Nintendo to start developing 16-bit Super Famicom (SFC). The biggest feature of SFC design is the use of two GPUs.

SFC was initially scheduled for sale in July 1989 and has been postponed several times thereafter. However, because Nintendo has the support of a large number of game manufacturers (third parties), SFC is still the host that Japanese players are most concerned about, although it is long overdue. Prior to the sale of SFC, Nintendo has received orders for 1.5 million units. On the day of November 21, various electrical stores on the streets of Tokyo were full of people waiting in line to wait for the SFC. Many parents queued up in order to buy a host for their children. The huge flow of people even seriously affected the traffic in Tokyo. On August 13, 1991, Nintendo launched the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), which redesigned SFC in the United States. It is a pity that the listing time of SNES is too late, when MD has already established a large enough mass base in the United States. SNES was easily defeated by MD in the first year of release. The weakening of Nintendo's power also provided an opportunity for PlayStation to easily occupy the US market.

After the listing of SFC, the competition between SEGA and Nintendo became fierce. In 1992, SEGA gained a market share of 55% in North America; in 1993, the SEGA home game console business reached an unprecedented peak, with a market share of up to 65%.

During this period, the history of handhelds also began. Because of the monopoly of Nintendo, it insists that the function of the handheld is not the most important. Nintendo’s handhelds are one or two times behind compared to contemporary home consoles! GB, Nintendo’s 8-bit handheld game console, was released on April 21, 1989. Its English name is GameBoy, which means "game boy", and the selling price is $109. Brief comment: Needless to say, whoever competes with the peak when he comes out old? At that time, he completely occupied the handheld market, and took advantage of the advantages to stabilize the market position.

Fifth generation

In 1992, when 3DO developed its 32-bit host, SEGA established the "Giga-Drive" R&D project. Due to the dual-CPU structure, its 3D performance is 1.5 to 2 times that of the Model 1 substrate corresponding to "VR Warrior". SEGA named the host "SEGA Saturn (SS, Saturn)"-the sixth planet of the solar system, representing SEGA's sixth host. One month before the launch of the mainframe, the first batch of 200,000 SSs were almost completely booked out, and 150,000 mainframes were quickly sold out on the day of the launch.

In 1993, Nintendo and Sony began to collaborate on the development of sub-era consoles. However, during the research and development period, Nintendo and Sony had serious conflicts on the storage media of the game. Sony suggested that CD discs should be used as the storage media for games, because the disc storage capacity is large , Low cost, convenient and lightweight, and Nintendo insisted on using cassettes, thinking that cassettes read faster. The two sides had a great dispute, and finally, Nintendo unilaterally terminated the cooperation. This undoubtedly angered Sony. In order not to let the formed products go to the bottom, Sony decided to carry out the "PlayStation Project" alone. Sony may not have thought that this decision will change the development process of the entire home game console.

On December 3, 1994, the classic slogan of "いちーにーさん、すべでのゲームは ここにいる!" (1.2.3, all games are gathered here!), PlayStation (PS) was officially released. Huge scenes of hundreds of people lining up to purchase appeared in Akihabara and other places. The first shipment of 100,000 units was sold out before noon, and even the grandson of Sony President Dai Hexiong had to return empty-handed. Square and Enix, two major heavyweight game manufacturers, announced that they would leave Nintendo with the masterpieces "Final Fantasy VII" and "Dragon Quest VII", and after they moved to PS, they caused a domino effect in the Japanese game industry. Many well-known game software manufacturers have joined in. PS consoles On the beginning, it gradually showed the situation of blooming flowers,

On June 23, 1996, although Nintendo 64 (Nintendo 64, referred to as N64 for short) was listed in Japan one and a half years later than SS and PS, Nintendo, which has a strong foundation, is still widely supported by players. The first sale of N64 in Japan The scale is much stronger than PS and SS, and the first batch of 500,000 hosts sold out in just 10 days. On September 30, 1996, the N64 was also very successful after it was launched in North America. People still have confidence in Nintendo, which has monopolized the game console market for ten years. N64 seems to be more popular than PS and SS.

Then because N64 uses cassettes as media, all third-party game manufacturers are disappointed. The manufacturing cost of the N64 cassette is as high as $25, and the CD is only 10 cents, so the price of the N64 game is generally 20 to 25 dollars higher than the PS. Therefore, N64 is the mainstream game console with the fewest game types in history. It has been lacking software support for several months after its release, while PS and SS have an unprecedentedly strong game lineup. The strong start of the N64 was quickly suppressed by masterpieces such as "Resident Evil" (Resident Evil). From beginning to end, N64 is basically a stage where Nintendo is acting alone.

At the end of 1994, SEGA Saturn sold a total of 500,000 units in Japan, with sales exceeding the PlayStation of the same period. On May 7, 1995, Sony and SEGA announced that PS and SS sales exceeded 1 million units, and the competition between the two 32-bit hosts entered a fierce state.

However, in the US market, SEGA has not inherited the market advantage of MD. The price of the US version of the SS is $100 higher than the PS, but the actual performance is not as good as the PS. In 1995, SEGA and Sony fought a price war, and SEGA led with a slight advantage. However, the cost of SS was higher than that of PS. After 1996, SEGA could no longer withstand the huge cost pressure. SS collapsed in the United States and Japan, which represented PlayStation wins.

Sixth generation

Sega Dreamcast

Due to flaws in the design of the console, SEGA Saturn suffered a big loss in the fifth generation of competition with PlayStation. So when developing the next generation of mainframes, Hayao Nakayama, the president of SEGA at the time, decided to hire a senior engineer from IBM to set up a separate development team in the United States, while the Japanese team was led by Hideo Sato's team to design the mainframe at the same time. In July 1997, SEGA executives decided to adopt the Japanese group's plan, and named the compound words Dreamcast (DC)-Dream (Dream) and Broadcast (Broadcast). It means spreading dreams to players.

Before the sale of DC, SEGA has received an order for 500,000 units, but SEGA's production partner NEC has encountered serious production problems. Since the production speed of graphic chips could not keep up, DC's first shipment in Japan was only 150,000 units. On September 9, 1999, DC went public in the United States with great success. It sold 225,000 units that day.

Sony PlayStation2

After seeing Dreamcast's menacing and powerful computing power, Sony had to immediately announce that it would launch PlayStation 2 (PS2), and the PlayStation 2 display screen was released early. At the beginning of 2000, PS2's online appointment formally began, but unexpectedly, the website actually received more than 100,000 orders within the first minute. The server was overwhelmed and paralyzed on the spot. The fanatical appointment activity continued until the end of February, with a total of 380,000 PS2s booked.

On March 4, 2000, the sale of PS2 caused a new wave of panic buying. There are even a long queue of more than 5,000 people in Akihabara Electric Street in Tokyo, and the few people in the front of the team have already set up the tent four days ago, and the fanaticism is amazing. In the end, Sony once again created the myth of the industry: the total sales of PS2 reached 980,000 in three days, making it the fastest selling video game console in history. The first shipment of PS2 in Japan was 1.15 million units, surpassing the original PS console of the year. However, due to the huge demand in the market, there was eventually a shortage of supply, and price hype began to spread on auction sites such as eBay. Many PS2s were auctioned at a price that was several times the official retail price. Even so, according to the price Many players are still there.

Nintendo NGC

On March 3, 1999, the day after Sony announced the PS2, Nintendo and Panasonic jointly held a press conference to announce the development of the new-generation game console Nintendo GameCube (NGC) and announced that its performance specifications will be in Above PS2. Then NGC's starting game lineup was too weak. The first batch of NGC shipped a total of 450,000 units, and only 300,000 units were sold within the first week, which is in sharp contrast to the general shortage of other consoles.

NGC's hasty battle not only did not suppress the PS2, but also put Nintendo into a dilemma. The US version of NGC was unfortunately met with a strong rival, Xbox. As a result, its first sales in North America were 469,000 units, which is nearly 100,000 fewer than Xbox. The game lineup is weak, which is the dilemma that NGC has never escaped since the release date. After the release of Xbox's "Halo 2", NGC was far behind by Xbox in Europe and America.

Microsoft XBOX

On November 15, 2001, Microsoft released the Xbox game console. Although the global sales of PS2 had exceeded 20 million units when the Xbox was launched in the United States, the menacing Xbox is still daunting. Microsoft held a grand Xbox first sale event in New York and San Francisco. Bill Gates visited Times Square in New York and handed the first Xbox to long-awaited players.

However, relative to the powerful hardware performance of Xbox, the low price of $299 was almost the same as vicious dumping at the time. At this price, Microsoft will lose $125 for every Xbox sold. This is indeed the case, although the current global sales of 20 million Xbox have been stable


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