Gaming has been around for decades, providing entertainment for players of all ages. While some of us may have grown up in the SNES or Sega Mega Drive era, it can be hard to look back and understand how we could ever have played games with such poor graphics and gameplay. Back then, video games were single-player focused, and the idea of online gaming was the stuff of science fiction. These days, many of the big names in gaming are still around but they have changed beyond recognition with the rise of the Internet.
To help you get a better idea of how far gaming has come, here are 4 ways that the Internet has greatly transformed the whole console industry.
1. Streaming and Communication Platforms
The internet has affiliated multiplayer gaming and interaction with players from all around the world and this has led to the enormous popularity of online platforms like Discord. These allow players to communicate using text-based chat rooms and direct messages and have even enabled popular gamers and streamers to monetize their play. Nontraditional gaming companies such as Facebook, Apple, and Google have even joined in to offer subscription streaming services without the need for a computer or gaming console. Most notably, Amazon’s Twitch has partnered with the big gaming companies to exclusively host worldwide gaming and esports events.
2. Gaming Media
Gaming magazines were all the rage once upon a time, but since the rise of the Internet, developers and console fans have moved on from print media. Instead, they have switched to online publications to cover all aspects of video games. Leading media outlets like IGN and Gamespot used to cover only gaming news and gear reviews, but now they have transformed into major online brands that offer all kinds of gaming and entertainment content.
Since gaming consoles are expensive to build, manufacturers have to rely on other income sources like intellectual property and merchandising to increase revenue. The Internet has opened up entirely new possibilities for these revenue streams with Hollywood looking to tap into the gaming market by creating movie adaptations. In recent years, we have seen many popular console games make their ways to the cinema screen, such as Need For Speed, Assassin’s Creed, Sonic The Hedgehog, and Resident Evil.
4. Vintage Video Games
Nostalgia is powerful, and in recent years, we have witnessed countless remakes of old-school films and shows. New generations of gaming fans are falling in love with online vintage games via the internet like Doom, Diablo, and Blade Runner. This has even led to reboots of these vintage games being released. Many console companies have also seized upon this opportunity to release updated gaming console models – like Nintendo with their Classic Mini and Switch to support their classic video games.
The gaming console industry has gone through its fair share of dramatic changes, with new technology, new controls, and new experiences being introduced at a rapid pace. Innovation has and always will be a key in video games, and with more players joining in and creating demand for more immersive entertainment, large tech companies will always take notice and look to update accordingly. Gaming has the special ability to bring people together, and with the involvement of the Internet, it is beginning to reach its full social and competitive potential.