Is four years really long enough for a generation of gaming? If we take a look back to where some of us had started gaming, the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) was our first console released in 1985 in North America. To some it was the savior for gaming due to the fallout from Atari a few years earlier. From 1985 to 1991 Nintendo blazed a trail and created the blueprint for having a successful gaming division a path that Sega, Sony and Microsoft has followed until today (Sega has since left the hardware market and focused on software). Within those six years we played classic after classic without thinking what’s next until in 1991 Nintendo released the Super Nintendo (SNES).
When the release of the SNES was upon us, only then we knew that gaming can get better with time. From then on out every five to six years a new console was released between Nintendo and Sega (the first console war) with Sony entering in 1994 due to a bad business deal with Nintendo, which lead to Sony to create the PlayStation to run head to head with Nintendo’s N64 and Sega’s Saturn.
During this time period, our beloved arcade rooms were receiving less attention because gaming was dominating the living rooms of the world. In 1999 Sega who had a bad experience with the Saturn released the Sega Dreamcast and showed gamers that what you can play in the arcades can be played in your homes now with games looking better than their arcade counterpart (Soul Calibur) and kick started online gaming with the release of Phantasy Star Online released in 2000 and NFL 2K the following year but due to piracy and the release of the PlayStation 2 and Microsoft’s Xbox the Dreamcast became Sega’s last console and they dropped out of the hardware race.
For the years 2000 to 2005 Sony dominated the market with the PlayStation 2 until Microsoft released what many to believe their best console to date (the numbers proves it) with the Xbox 360 in 2005 five years after the original Xbox. The following year 2006 Sony and Nintendo began to play catch up with the release of the PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii. The Wii became very popular with people around the world who normally wouldn’t play video games but it appealed to almost every age range. This is where Sony after two generations in started to have difficulty with the market because the hardware for the PS3 was hard to develop for while the 360 was easier and the simplicity of the Wii captured an audience that no one thought would pick up a controller (old people, no disrespect).
During this generation we witnessed a shift in how games were developed. Characters were more fleshed out, stories became more heartfelt and voice acting reached Hollywood level status (Troy Baker the voice of Joel in The Last of Us). This generation also became the longest generation (8 years in) before we received a new console and this leads back to my question, is four years long enough when each generation had five to six years in between?
Now I know that Microsoft and Sony are releasing revamped models of their current consoles but if you listen to how both companies are pitching the information about the hardware, Sony is saying that the Neo is an upgraded version of the PS4 while Microsoft had said that instead of giving us an upgraded model of the Xbox One they would rather move forward (I’m not a big fan of Xbox 1.5) The Xbox One was released in 2013 and we are now to expect a new Xbox code named Scorpio in 2017, so was four years long enough for a generation of gaming? Let me know your opinions in the comment section and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @hardknockgamers and join our Facebook group Hard Knock Gamers and if you’re reading this from a post in one of your favorite Facebook groups, come checkout our site at www.hardknockgamers.com for all the latest news on gaming, comics, movies, sports and technology.