The Relationship of Technology and Games

In this blog post I am trying to answer the question: what is the relationship of technology and games? There are several successful game companies based here in Finland. How did they get to that position? We are going to have to go back to the beginnings of the history of home computers. Commodore 64 was the computer back in the 80s. That was the tool for many programmers.

Commodore 64 provided means so that you could program games and other applications. You could start with Basic and keep going to some graphics and music to turning the whole device to parts and figure out how it ultimately worked. This was something that many persons drawn into technology and games did. This computer opened a path for them into the depths of technology and games.

There was a sort of a scene that formed around capable programmers in Finland. It was called “demo skene” which is a Finnish term meaning “demo scene”. This know-how made among these young individuals was something that positively impacted in the rise of know-how also in a more professional way. Things were looking good as Nokia also needed persons that were able to program applications to cellphones. There were many game companies here. Some of them are still functioning. You might know companies like Remedy, Rovio and Supercell. These companies were driven by some of the people that started their progressing from the era of Commodore 64.

I was thinking about this subject and how would I approach it. Programming is one thing. If you are hoping to make a game you have to know also very much of the functioning of the graphical system and also how the computer uses long term and temporary memory and also how you react and with which device (keyboard or maybe controller) to actions of the player. How does the experience of a video game take its final form. There’s lots of things going on while the game is running. Part of it is purely technical. The technology forms the experience.

It is somewhat true that games give you a similar reaction as does any modern form of art. Technology enables you to use techniques like programming and 3D modeling along with the design of the whole aural experience. There are these skills and if you are capable of using them in a strong way you can be successful in creating digital art that can be called a game. The player can enjoy this game even without a deep knowledge of the technology that lies under the hood of the device that the game is running on. There is something very magical in all of this. Games can be enjoyed and even studied by anyone that feels even a slight interest in them.

This is one of my dreams that I have had for now maybe tens of years. This was the reason I chose to study programming. I dreamed that I would be able to create some kind of a game. It might not be as powerful as a game like EA WRC is but there is this motivation inside my mind that I still have. I would like to some day be able to create games. This is a powerful dream that drives me forward and motivates me. Sometimes you don’t learn so fast and sometimes you have to learn details instead of the most fundamental concepts.

So, my path to learning more about computers does continue. I am not so sure if I am ever going to be able to be a part of some unit that would create something very beautiful in the form of a computer or video game. I do hope that these thoughts of mine were inspiring this time. Basically, I got tired since I already had played EA WRC for many hours today and this topic formed this time this kind of an output that formed this blog post. I hope you enjoyed it and see you next time, soon!

The Role of Technology Has Changed

I really think that the role of technology has changed. I am talking about the last, maybe, thirty years. We can go back to the 1990s to see how things were back then. I am old enough to remember these matters today. All this time has passed. What has changed and how things were.

I had some experience already with a personal computer. During 90s I was first introduced to Sega Mega Drive and later to Sony PlayStation. I had a moment in my personal history in which, can you imagine, I didn’t really play video games. This was when I started high school in the beginning of 2000s. I got back to gaming again during the 2000s. So I do have a relevant personal history to write about this.

I can also clearly remember how things were with smart phones and how they started to conquer our free time. One important technology is internet. It has brought us connectivity and ability to play multiplayer games on-line. Also memory cards aren’t used anymore. The games evolved from lasting maybe three to five hours. Suddenly you couldn’t complete the game in a day. Games became longer and a possibility to save was becoming more and more important. This has everything to do with hard drives and the advancement that made more and more space available to use.

Video game consoles technology advanced very quickly. We can go from the beginning of the 1990s to 2000s and have a comparison. Mega Drive might have been the most popular gaming console along with NES and later SNES. Basically you couldn’t save a game. There were batteries included in the game cartridges that enabled this. Game had to be fit in a space of only some megabytes. This changed when CD drives came available. Also at some point disk drives became a norm in gaming consoles.

So, the technology advanced fast. We went from getting a benefit from technology to today when we are being somewhat even controlled by technology. Do you get what I am saying? The role of technology is what I wanted to talk about in the first place. How is it with this matter, today?

While I was growing up we didn’t have internet. We didn’t have smart phones. There was no GPS. If you wanted to search for information you probably went to a library or tried to find a book about the subject. Things have changed a lot.

When I was young there was this kind of positive thinking that was common that technology would improve our lives if we just kept studying it and building and developing it. So, many young people were introduced to mathematics, physics and computers. I was among those that were very interested in technolgy and wanted to study it and also have it as a hobby.

Technology has made huge leaps. We are today in a society that uses internet and smart phones to several functions. We handle paying and buying with these tools. We use them daily. How has this made our lives easier? It seems to me that today everyone can use a smart phone to perform any functionality that is needed. These huge technology companies have formed a business about us and our normal lives. This is basically how the role of technology has changed.

I could go on and on about these changes. This is still just a one blog post. I didn’t even go to how big data affects and has already affected on the situation. We are here right now. We understand where we are. Technology has become part of our lives. And everything can be changed tomorrow. Our choices are what matters. Companies like Facebook and Google have made the technology avaialble to us. How can we make it so that it gives even some benefit to our functioning?

The Use of Memory in Game Consoles

Today’s topic for this blog is the use of memory. I decided to write about the use of memory in game consoles. We are dealing with things like memory cards, hard disks and random access memory. I also tell you a bit about processors and how computers deal with the actual ways in which the player interacts with the game.

This is not a science writing but more like something that I wanted to briefly write to you since I happen to have some experience in playing these video games and I also have this background in studying and working with computers. I have been playing games a lot. I have read a book or two about the use of memory and also studied a lot about this subject.

What really made a difference in the use of memory for video game consoles was the introduction of the optical drive. You did have a space for couple, maybe four, megabytes for your game. Well, like you might know, a CD-ROM disc has somewhat a space of 650 MB. So the amount of space was more than 100 times larger.

What about saved games? A supported disk drive was introduced with the release of the original Xbox. It might be the first game console to have a hard drive. Before this we had to use memory cards for storing and also organizing our saved games. Hard disks also allowed many other things. It also made installing games to the hard drive a norm.

I am trying to explain the difference between temporary memory (like RAM in the world of computers) and staying memory (HDD and/or SSD drives). So basically RAM, or Random Access Memory is something that the system uses while it is powered. After the power is cut off the memory disappears. In programming you use different variables to store the data temporarily.

Hard drives can save data that is included in these variables so that it can be accessed also later on. Earlier there were typically HDD drives used which offer a lot of space but they are much slower in processing the data than newer and more expensive SSD hard disks. The data in a SSD or HDD can be saved in different forms. Sometimes the programmers can use text files and sometimes forms like JSON. Data can also be serialized in a way. There are many possibilities. Basically you are saving something to some file or files. Sometimes there is also some sort of database used.

The data moves between the components of your gaming device through different kinds of busses. You can probably read more about electronics from your favorite search engine or maybe you can create a prompt for AI. I am not going to try to expain this so thoroughly at the moment. But if you are interested you can find more about this.

How does the gaming console work basically? There is a loop in the program code that keeps refreshing the screen. The frequency is blondly called FPS. It stands for Frames Per Second. This can be for example 60. The system reads all values of variables that are in the code and updates everything regarding to the values that the variables hold.

The game system detects any interactions using the code. The game detecs what controllers buttons are pressed and for how long. Then the screen keeps updating. There’s a lot of things happening. The main source for the things that are happenig is the actual source code of the game. You might think that it is easy to read a source code but it actually is pretty. It is way harder than reading something that a blogger has written to a blog post. And only the person that has written the code might fully understand it. Sometimes even this is not possible. The code can and is actually preferred to have comments in it also.

So to summarize this blog post we can conclude that memory is used in many ways in game consoles. Data is saved and handled. We have come a long way from game consoles like Sega Mega Drive in which you aren’t able to save at all (you do if you have a battery inside the game cartridge) to modern consoles in which you have huge SSD drives of several tera bytes of space for lot more content than just your saved game data. I encourage you to find more information if you are deeply motivated in learning more about this very interesting topic.

Beginning to Play Signalis

Last time I wrote to this blog I was playing Super Mario Wonder. I actually completed that and decided to dig into my pile of Nintendo Switch games that I just haven’t had time to play. At least that was the case. Since I now had some time I decided to start playing Signalis.

Signalis is described as a horror game. I would also call it an adventure game. It has been a long time since I played a game that would remind me of this game. I think Signalis is like something pure that has been missing from my latest gaming experiences. There are actual puzzles and problems for you to solve. Saving is not allowed at every moment. There are these certain parts and places in this game that you are allowed to save your game.

Signalis has been developed by rose-engine and published by Humble Games. It was released in 2022 for Windows, PS4, Switch and Xbox One. I have to admit that I have already been used to these extra sharp 3D oriented graphics that look very realistic. The way that Signalis opens up with its graphics feels amazing. Graphics designers have really done their job. I find the look of this game to be satisfying even if a slight retro feel seems to be present all the time. You can actually tune up the settings so that your screen looks a lot more like it was presented from an old television.

I just checked how many hours approximately it takes to beat Signalis. The web page (HowLongToBeat) informs me that it takes nine hours to finish it. So if I put same amount of effort as I put into playing Super Mario Bros Wonder I should be close to completing this game, say, maybe next week or something like that. It can take several days since I have work to do also. But it is nice to know that this game doesn’t take so long to beat as I find myself sometimes stuck on some games that take a bit longer to finish. Just to inform you I can tell that it takes about 50 hours to beat Red Dead Redemption 2.

I have only gone through the first level. Right now I just woke up and started exploring the first level. It isn’t possible to save your game right in the beginning of the game and that seems logical to me. In the first level there are some areas or rooms to explore. You have to collect some items and solve some puzzles. The problems seem to have a logical way for them to be solved. So you won’t find any humorous puzzles like those from retro type of adventure games like Monkey Island or Leisure Suit Larry. At least I haven’t stumbled on any since I just started to play Signalis.

The game reminds me a lot of Resident Evil. The camera angles are more reasonable although. The horror and anxiety are created mainly through graphics. I don’t even recall hearing any background music while playing. If there is some music it is very soft and in the form of some genre like ambient or something very close to that.

Switch is a nice console to have. The library of games that are available is already huge and it keeps growing all the time. It is also a nice console to collect games for. It was first released in 2017 followed by the release of Switch Lite in 2019. I currently have some tens of games for Switch. As there have been rumors about a new Nintendo console to be released soon we are still waiting for more information about this. A big question is if the new console would have any kind of a backwards compatibility.

It was nice spend some time today starting to play Signalis and as I also finished Super Mario Bros Wonder I think I had a nice day all in all. Today it was very Nintendo Switch related. I am hoping to get to spend some more time with my Switch. I’ll write a new post some day soon. It was nice to see you here and you will get to read something from this blog very soon!

Some Notes About Game Boy Color

In this blog post I write to you about Game Boy Color. Playing video games with a handheld device seems to be interesting. At least that’s what it is to me. Nowadays you can load an emulator to your smart phone and play games like this. You can even get a game controller that uses Bluetooth. Why would you bother to buy a real hand held console? Should you buy one or not? In this blog post I am trying to answer these questions.

I have right here, in that featured image, Game Boy Color. It was first released back in 1998. I think I bought it last years summer. So, the console has been with me for a while now. I bought it for 80 euros. You might be thinking of getting yourself a Game Boy Color. So, let me tell you some facts about this model of a handheld gaming system.

Let’s start with the bad facts. The screen is very poorly lit. You really have to focus your eye for it. The lighting has to be almost perfect for you to enjoy playing with this device. That must be the biggest bad fact about it. Actually I think we can move on to describe what is good in this device.

You can adjust the sound volume very nicely. It has this sort of a wheel that you can roll. You can also plug your headphones in. This makes playing in a bus or a train much more private and you don’t also annoy other passengers. The sound quality is adequate. I mean it’s way nicer than for example PC speaker. The device is powered with two AA batteries. There is also an option for an external power supply unit. The connection type is 3V and the plug is of size 2.5mm x 0.7mm. You can probably get this kind of a power supply unit for maybe 20 euros. I recommend buying one that you can adjust the output and the size of the connector. Let me make this clear – the power unit doesn’t have to be precisely designed for Game Boy Color so you can use this kind of an adjustable unit.

You can play Game Boy games on Game Boy Color. Of course there are some newer games that are only supported for Game boy Color. Game Boy Color reminds a lot of Game Boy that was released about ten years earlier. If you are thinking of playing Game Boy games I also recommend an adapter that enables you to play Game Boy games on a SNES. This adapter can cost something like 35 euros. This way you don’t have to suffer from the bad screen. Let’s tell you also that there are several other ways to play Game Boy games and this includes emulators also.

What are some good games? From Game Boy I definitely recommend Super Mario Land, Link’s Awakening and Pokemon games. As is with these old retro type games usually there are a lot of poor quality games available also. Some of these are trying to act as some sort of ports of these really famous and popular games. I can just mention games like Tomb Raider and Grand Theft Auto. So as you can probably imagine the power of this system is not so great. But there definitely are some good games made for you to play on a Game Boy Color.

My Game Boy Color is a bit broken. What I mean is that the power switch doesn’t seem to function at all. So I power up the device by inserting two batteries and that’s when the device turns on. Another way would be to use a power supply unit. The thing that the power switch was broken probably made the device’s price lower. I don’t know if some talented electrician could fix it. And when it comes to fixing I can tell you that there are many professionals that do repair and even mod old electronic video game consoles including Game Boy Color. It is a popular mod to replace the display. I don’t have information about how much would it cost. I know that there isn’t a service like this available in my home country (Finland).

Let’s summarize. Should you get yourself a Game Boy Color? I think you should consider this decision wisely and deeply. The price is a bit high. Playing with this bad type of screen makes it a bit awkward. Although the device provides a good entertainment for for example a long road trip. The design is very strong and I can figure that it can take some hits and not being broken easily. In today’s era of sensitive electronic devices these features are a welcome exception. Or, if you don’t have any money left in your pocket, you can just buy a Super Game Boy or use an emulator. Think wisely.

Does Emulation Really Hurt Someone?

You can spend hundreds of euros to retro video games. Where do these games come from? Some games are sold for a low price to shops that sell games that sell them forward at a more realistic price. This is how this field functions. You really cannot blame them for running a business like this. You have to get your living from somewhere. And game shops are very valuable for us game hobbyists in that they deliver us many games, consoles and all this other stuff, also, that we need to keep our hobby in a big role in our lives.

How about individuals that are selling their old video games? Once again there is this issue of money involved. You have something valuable and someone wants add just that game to his or her collection. Why not sell your game? Of course you cannot sell it at such a high price that the game shop is selling it. This makes sense, right?

Well, some people try to find a game at a low price and then sell it to someone with a higher price. This is familiar to many of us. It’s called scalping. I did notice this rice in prices. I bought Silent Hill 3 for PS2 in 2017 from a game shop. It cost me 15 euros back then. Recently I saw this same game. Its price was 75 euros. Actually, I don’t want to get rid of this game so I am not going to sell it. But if I was after an economical win situation I would probably sell this game.

So the money goes right here to the individual that is selling the game. Alternatively this amount of money goes to a game shop. This doesn’t make a lot of sense when you consider that big game companies are telling us that it is harmful to their business that consumers are installing emulators and running rom files on them instead of buying a physical copy of that game.

It might be the case that these huge companies would like to make more remakes out of old games. Why not bring more of those mini consoles to the markets? There would certainly be a demand for original Xbox mini console or a GameCube one. This isn’t however anything close to the reality. This is only a dream. While we have seen many classic mini consoles there isn’t going to be one made out of every legendary retro game console.

What if you bought a really powerful computer that would have enough disk space for a huge collection of game roms that could run these games on different emulators? I certainly find this option appealing. I do like buying and collecting old hardware and games. Just that I have faced issues with old hardware. They don’t seem to last for a long time. Dust might be the enemy. And I don’t have the skill necessary to fix these consoles. Currently I have several broken consoles in my storage in my apartment. It might be nice to get them repaired but I am currently also considering of getting a computer with some retro emulation so I wouldn’t have to worry about games not functioning.

Where should you start with this new idea? There are complete operating systems dedicated to retro game emulation. These are open source so they don’t actually cost you anything. You just have to have a powerful enough computer if you want to run games of PS2 or GameCube. If there is enough power in your PC you can even run PS4 games on an emulator, today. You can install, of course, emulators on your laptop or desktop. I myself am interested in this idea of having a PC that I would only use for console emulation. So, I don’t want to run Windows 10 or even any regular Linux operating system. There is something better for retro gaming.

I am talking about a retro gaming operating system. It works like this. You just install the OS and then upload the rom files, that are the actual games, to it. Then you plug your game pad and start up a game. You only turn the PC off or on and you have this simple but effective user interface that you can operate with your game pad. This is what I am talking about.

I am going to mention Lakka OS and Recalbox at this point. I have some experience with Lakka OS as I had it on a PC for maybe some months some time ago. I really liked this system. Although I found out that I wasn’t able to play anything that would require some serious power. I could run PS1 games but I would have liked to run PS2 and GameCube on this system. I just lacked the power. I am hoping that I would be able to get a more powerful PC for this purpose.

You can definitely find out more about Lakka OS and/or Recalbox. You will find them through your favorite search engine. These kind of setups can also run earlier games, like SNES or NES or something else, smoothly. Recalbox is supporting several tens of different video game consoles. Always also be critical about these thoughts I have provided here. Please use your own caution and thought when trying to accomplish your game library. Remember who put these games together and have an appreciation towards them. That might be another topic for another blog post. So, I think that’s it for this time. Thanks for reading!

Some Problems with Retro Hardware

As you have probably noticed I have been lately playing lots of PlayStation 2 games. My console is fairly new. What I mean is that I have only owned it for under a year or so. It is now malfunctioning. I am having problems with audio and video being cut off in the middle of playing a game like Need for Speed Prostreet or Tenchu – Wrath of Heaven. They come back after some seconds but what it comes to playing this is very disturbing.

Well what can you expect? This device is old. PS2 was released over 20 years ago. Would you expect some similar device, like computer, to function after this long of a time? Probably not.

This isn’t the first time that I am coming across issues with old hardware. I have had Xbox, Xbox 360 and earlier I had one other PS2 that started to malfunction. It couldn’t read the disc anymore. Dust can be one issue. One issue is that these old parts just aren’t reliable anymore after all this time that has passed.

You can, of course, try to fix the console yourself. This can be tricky. Not everyone is capable of doing this on their own. You can contact your closest electronic repair shop and ask them how much would they charge for the repairment of your console. There is also one more option and it seems to be an interesting one.

I am talking about emulation. You have retro games but you aren’t able to play them since your gaming console is broken. Why not make copies of them for your own use? I think it is reasonable since the console is broken, right? And with games that are on DVD this shouldn’t be an issue. What we know is that PS1 and PS2 games can be ripped to ISO files (files that end in .iso) with proper tools (software).

There are many options available. Some years ago I came across NVIDIA Shield TV. It is a device that makes your regular television a smart device that is basically operating on Android. You can install RetroArch to it. It is this kind of a forntend that you can run retro games on. It combines several emulator together. I found this to be handy with for example PS1 games. You could even hook your PS4 controller to the Shield TV with Bluetooth. You can install RetroArch on several devices. Windows and Linux are also supported along with Raspberry Pi.

You can also use a full Linux operating system on any PC that you can also hook up to any television that has the connectivity required. That is means to transfer video and audio from your dedicated computer to your television. One popular opertating system of this kind is Lakka OS.

Lakka OS boots up to its own user interface. You only need to go through some menus with your controller. This can be any USB controller that you might have. Lakka OS supports several retro gaming platforms including NES, SNES, Mega Drive and so on. The full list can be found from your favorite search engine. I can tell you that this list is long.

What I am most interested about concerning emulation, like using Lakka OS or RetroArch, is playing games of PS1, PS2 and GameCube. I can currently play my NES, SNES, Game Boy, Mega Drive and Master System games with my Retro Trio console and with the assistance of some adapters (Master System->Mega Drive adapter and SNES->Game Boy adapter). I also have a Mega Drive Mini also for playing Mega Drive games. I also play PC games. I also play games on newer systems like Xbox Series X, PS3, PS4 and Nintendo Switch. As you can imagine my setup is huge.

I hope this blog post gave you some ideas concerning playing retro games. The hardware isn’t perfect. It does wear out with time. Software emulation might provide a more stable way for a gamer to enjoy his/her retro games for a long time.

Nintendo Switch Games Do Not Take A Lot of Shelf Space

I have 23 games, exactly, for my Nintendo Switch console. Well, actually I have also some games that came only as a “code-in-the-box”. So, they didn’t have a cartridge at all. You can also buy games for Switch digitally so you don’t need even the box of the game at all.

Today I got for myself three more games for Switch. These games were Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2, G-Darius HD and Signalis. I also bought a new game cartridge case that gives me space for 24 more games. It also has space for some memory cards. A case like this cost me about 18 euros. I find it comfortable to store my games in a case like this. And it is official licensed as a Nintendo Switch product.

Switch is also in all ways very comfortable gaming system because you don’t need a whole lot of space for it. You can even use it in portable mode if your screen or television is used by some other member of your family or your room mate or someone else. You can even buy Switch Lite which is cheaper model of Nintendo Switch that however doesn’t provide a possibiltity to connect to an external screen. I think Switch Lite costs today about 200 euros while you can get the regular Switch for a bit undeer 300 euros.

What makes my mind inspired is the thing how little of my shelf space is used by these tiny game cartridges. Nintendo has always been original, so to say, in it’s decisions with the design of it’s gaming consoles. This has been the way for a long time already. I am kind of glad that they have this courage to try out different ways to provide players this unique experience.

There have already been some rumors around that there would be a new Switch console to be released soon. Actually I heard it was coming next year (2024). I am not going deeply to the details but it was said that it would be capable to producing 4K graphics quality. We are living in exciting times!

Nintendo Switch 2 would then be the newest gaming console that would be in the markets. There are of course many questions waiting to be answered. It might not be such a surprise if you would find some content even in this blog you are currently reading. I have touched this topic earlier. You can have a look in our archives if you are interested in what I have written previously about this subject. I have added some new elements to the user interface of this blog or website that should make it even a bit easier to find content here. Please use these means if you feel that you want to read more posts in this blog. Fell also free to drop a message to my guestbook.

It is truly amazing to find out that you can fit over 20 games to such a small space on your gaming book shelf. I have on the same shelf also some GameCube games and they take up way more space. This also is a feature that makes your NES games look like fools. They take so much space on the shelf while being also very small in tehcnical ways. Maybe the best way to store games would be to have an external SSD that would contain everything you have in your game collection. Maybe we are heading towards that, who knows?

Xbox Series X Has a Nice Backwards Compatibility (But Far From Full)

My Xbox 360 has been suffering. It doesn’t read game discs anymore. Otherwise it is fully functional. I tried opening it a bit through the disc unit as was insturcted on an official guideline I found from internet. I read from the guide that you should first power the device off, remove all cables and then try to push the wheel of the disc unit so that it opens up a bit. This was instructed to do with paper clip that has been straightened. Then you should bloww some compressed air to it.

I did mangae to do this and it fixed the problem. I was able to start a game once again. Then some weeks went by. I wasn’t playing anything with my Xbox 360. I played my other game conmsoles. As you might know Xbox 360 has a backwards compatiblity with original Xbox games. 463 games out of all 996 published are backwards compatible. We can make a quick calculation and find out that this makes 46,5 % of all games that were published for original Xbox.

If you think about PS3 and PS4 and their backwards compatibility you can propably figure how differently Microsoft and Sony deal with this issue. PS4 wasn’t at any moment backwards compatible at all. This pissed off some people. You were able to play PS1 games on PS3. Some PS3 models you are able to play also PS2 games with. PS5 however has limited backwards compatibility for PS4 games.

Xbox Series X, the latest Xbox, is fully compatible with older Xbox consoles’s games. However every game is not supported. There are 63 original Xbox games out of 996 and 633 out of 2155 Xbox 360 games compatible with the latest Xbox console. Xbox Series S doesn’t even have a disc drive so apparently it doesn’t support older consoles’s game discs. All Xbox One games are compatible with Series X.

With this information available I decided to remove my oddly acting Xbox 360 from my current setup. This meant actually that I had to remove also tens of games from my lineup. I like to keep every game that I am able to play with any console in my setup in this huge shelf. I had to remove many Xbox and Xbox 360 games.

I have now only six original Xbox games left in that shelf. The picture related to this post shows my current games that I am able to play with my Xbox Series X. I didn’t count the games that I removed so carefully. I think I set aside maybe 70 games in total. I had to put games like Halo 1 and 2, Tony Hawks Pro Skater 4 and many others to storage. These were games that I haven’t had time to get into thoroughly.

I would like to be able to play every game that has ever been released for any Xbox system. This is just the way that things go. You are updating your setup and getting into some new or retro consoles. You don’t actually play every game that you own. Some games and systems you just have to set aside at least for a while. Xbox 360 is an old gaming console. It was first released in 2005. I bought my Xbox 360 as a used copy. This was about six years ago. So maybe it was time for me to move on.

Games do get old. Systems do get old. There are many games that you just can’t play, buy or enjoy in any way no more. I think there should be something that could be done to this issue of great games just disappearing somewhere. We seem to be still moving so fast forward that we can easily completely forget a nice old game.

I don’t know the exact answer to this question. Will there be in the future some websites or collectins of old games. Are we going to be able to finally play these games with an emulator? Would it be nice to have a museum that could hold many old games? I know that there are already some websites that are dedicated to old Commodre 64 games. They have archived thousands of games which are also available as downloads.

There cetainly is some knowledge about gaming that also I as a gamer have been able to develop in myself. From the moment when I first gazed at a video game in some arcade I have been curious to find out more about games. I went as far as studying the field. I dreamed I would be able to make a game or something similar. And I think I am not alone with my knowledge and I think this is an interesting topic all in all.

Competition Between Sega Saturn and Sony PlayStation

Yesterday I ended up watching a video from YouTube. It dealt with some difficulties that Sega Saturn had and how it could compete against Sony PlayStation back in the 90s. The person that was interviewed was Hideki Sato. The interview took place in 2018. I will place a link to this video at the end of this blog post. So, just keep reading.

There were differences in hardware between these two gaming consoles. PlayStation was able to bring 3D environments to gamers while many Saturn games had 2D graphics that were based on graphics created with sprites. Although Sega tried to bring some developers that had some ability in designing 3D games they weren’t as successful. Sega did have games like Virtua Fighter and Virtua Racing that were also popular in arcades.

Sony had an opportunity to utilize hardware that they manufactured by themselves while Sega had to use contractors. Parts that were needed were different kinds of chips, processors and, for example, CD drives. Sega was more of a software and game development company. This was a matter that would be stressed to Sega by Sony several times. This was also the direction that Sega finally took later when also Dreamcast seemed to fail.

Sony also made it easier for other game developers to make games for their new console. We were then living the age of 1990s. Sony PlayStation was released in 1995 and so was also Sega Saturn. Sega relied on assembler code while Sony gave game developers a full SDK (“software development kit”) that they could develop their games with.

If you think that Saturn ended up selling 9 million units in its lifespan while PlayStation sold 102 million units it isn’t hard to figure that there were also much more games sold for PSX than there actually were for Saturn. As usually manufacturers have to sell consoles with a loss and make up with game sells. This was difficult for Sega and they made a strong loss in sales. They took a beating.

In the end of the 1980s when Sega’s last console, Mega Drive, or Genesis in USA, Sega had the most powerful gaming console in the markets. It competed mainly with Nintendo Entertainment System or NES for short. This console also sold nicely. It sold 31 million units while NES sold 62 million units. With all this information available Sega wasn’t done with manufacturing their own consoles. After all, still, Sony was unbeatable. Sony has remained a top console manufacturer since it released their first console PlayStation. Microsoft entered the competition when their Xbox was launched in the beginning of the 2000s. Xbox mainly competed with PS2 but also with GameCube and Dreamcast.

When it comes to who won the competition between these two gaming systems Sony PlayStation is a clear winner. Saturn still remains a popular console in minds of serious retro gamers. It has games that are unique and cannot be found on other retro consoles. This topic seems to be very interesting. At least it is that way in my mind.

You can find the video that inspired me to write this blog post here.

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