Although not in the 2000’s Dreamcast was considered a starting point to look at for this period of time, mostly because it was the first Sixth generation console, which dominated and pre-existed the current generation of consoles. Although initially very successful, as well as having the first built in modem for online play, all be it not fully realised. Its popularity decreased with anticipation for the upcoming Playstation 2 and Sega’s damaged retail reputation, and would see Sega move into a third party developer position. In 1992 the Playstation 2 would be realised and would find itself being the most popular console of it time and become the best selling console to date with over 140million units sold worldwide, Whilst Nintendo’s GameCube was technically equal to the Playstation 2, its lack of third-party games and appearance as a “kids console” hindered its following and popularity.
Microsoft made its first appearance in the console market with Xbox, with Microsoft and Intel’s processing power the Xbox harnesses more advance software and gain leverage on the market. Shortly after its realise Halo: Combat evolved was released which helped bolster Xbox’s success and see the Halo series become one of the most popular console shooters of all time. The console quickly drew even with the GameCube in popularity and units sold. This generation of consoles also brought about Grand Theft Auto III which was both critically and commercially received as allowing the player choices in how and when they played aspects of the game.
Nintendo although not as successful with its console’s still dominated the handheld gaming market with the Game Boy advanced in 2001. Nokia tried to enter this scene with the N-gage however it did not receive enough of a following to become a significant threat. This period developed a trend to develop toward increasingly complex, sophisticated, and adult-oriented game play. With Teen and Mature games becoming staple parts of gaming diets and classics amongst peoples memories.
Xbox Live was introduced in 2002 and quickly became popular as they disassociated online play away from computer systems and with the advent of broadband and faster internet play allowed for more complex and interactive online games to develop on consoles. With all new titles using Internet gaming as a key aspect of play. Xbox Live again managed to excel its position in the gaming market with key online titles such as Halo 2.
2004 saw the development of the latest generation of consoles, with handheld realises from Playstation and Nintendo, with the PSP and DS respectively. With new updated realises from both for most years after that. Apple and its Iphone were realised in 2008 and saw the rise of applications and the final success of phone gaming. Still developing momentum and success as it allows simple, easy games to be created by single developers and people. Whilst on the console front games and consoles developed with no care for cost or resources, with budgets sky rocketing games were becoming as complicated and expensive as films. As well as being as profitable.
High Definition and Next generation games engines proved popular with avid gamers as they allowed for a more immersive experience. The Xbox 360 (2005) and the Playstation 3 (2006) allowed for these developments with a cost of between £200 for an Xbox 360 and up to £400 for a Playstation 3. Nintendo’s Wii was able to capitalise on the casual gaming market and was widely received for its simple and fun “Party Games” by the general public. However receiving mixed reception from hardcore gamers who found titles had been hastily assembled for this new console, with little regard for classic franchises. With a new decade moving and both Xbox and Playstation deciding to release 3D packages, instead of opting to develop and research for a new very expensive console. How will gamers adapt to these changes and will 3D ever become fully immersive, or will traditional 2D games stick and manage to keep attracting interested gamers. The industry now faces issues with producing games able to work on these platforms? Maintain high production costs? And will new developers afford to be able to join this market and allow for a varied stream of ideas and innovation? Only the future can tell.