Where It All Begun (And Where Are We Now) With Gaming

I am a game hobbyist that started playing video games as soon as I was old enough to interact with a keyboard and a mouse. Some years later I was gaming on a Sega Mega Drive and some years after that I got my PlayStation. This was the beginning of my hobby.

Today video games are more popular than ever. There is a large amount of money involved. There are also many independent developers. There seems to be some people that really love video games. There seems to be a lot of games released mainly for making lots of money.

There was once a time when video games were a true form of art. You can take for example the game I am currently playing now. I also wrote a blog post about this game. The game is Remedy Entertainments Max Payne. You can see that this title was a success both artistically and financially.

I think I don’t have to point out any of these big companies that try to release very big games. It seems that when the stakes are too high there is a strong propability for the game to also fail completely. The failure will be financial and you definitely wouldn’t call it art in any way.

The involvement of money is one thing that is effecting the whole industry today. I kind of miss the artistic side of gaming. I have nice memories of playing all those PlayStation 1 titles. It is said that playing PS1 is kind of listening to rock music. And playing Sega Dreamcast is like listening to jazz music.

Why was Dreamcast a failure? To put it simple it didn’t sell that well. It did sell 9 million units. That wasn’t enough. We can compare this to how PS2 sold. That was way over 100 million. Even Xbox and GameCube sold over twice of what Dreamcast ended up selling. Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo are the leaders of todays game console markets as Sega has already made it clear that they aren’t going to release another new console.

Does it seem that you are getting fooled? This might not be the case afterall. If consumers keep buying those titles that they find the most satisfying there might be a brighter future for gamers and gaming. You just have to be aware of the situation. If you are a gaming hobbyist like I am you definitely want to keep up with this field. There is the mainstream. But there definitely does exist an opportunity to pick the games you really want to play. I think that there is a way to have good experiences in gaming. There is an alternative.

There are loads of games, old and new, for you to choose. Don’t have the latest console? Don’t worry about it. You can pick yourself a Xbox 360 or some other older console. It doesn’t cost you as much and you can have a really good time. There are many ways to get some good quality games for your personal computer.

There is always a way and also a place for art inside gaming. It might not be the deepest art you will ever see but it does have a value for gamers. Observe your possibilities. What you are buying is usually a way for also a gamer to influence what is going to be available in the future.

Why Am I a SEGA Person?

Sega was my key to this whole video gaming hobby. I think it was 1993 when I got my Sega Mega Drive. I played a lot of it. This was of course making me not to play so much NES, SNES and even later Nintendo 64 and GameCube. Lately I have tried to catch up on Nintendo’s retro stuff. I have even studied some Game Boy games.

Nothing created such a rage inside me than a Mega Drive game that I was trying to beat. You can say that Mega Drive games are a bit repetitive in their nature so you had to be perfect on a try and if you failed you had to start all over again until you eventually would run out of lives and after that continues. Yeah. We didn’t have lots of memory for saved games back then.

Sega also made me to be angry to my mates that were playing some Streets of Rage 2 with me in collaboration mode. It became aggresive so suddenly. As I was playing with my brother we had many arguments. We were told that we took the game too seriously. We were separated and we both couldn’t play Mega Drive for that day anymore. This made me think even when I was a small ten-year-old child. And I didn’t take it so seriously. There was just something about how Sega made players a bit frustrated. I think that is some of the appeal of this franchise.

After Sega my life with Nintendo’s gaming products was again pushed towards later times because it happened that I bought a Sony PlayStation in 1997. This of course made me distant also to Sega Saturn. I have only lately been again interested in it. As PlayStation had real 3D games I thought it would absolutely have so much more to offer compared to Saturn. This thinking has changed, maybe just this year, and I have been interested in Saturns games which aren’t actually so much 3D games but it has some very interesting titles that Sony doens’t have.

So these choices made me to play certain games. Today I understand that the variety of different and good or decent game titles are from many different consoles and every consoles have at least some good or decent games be it that many of the best games are released on certain systems. This makes me definitely interested in exclusives. And this interest hasn’t faded when it comes to modern consoles.

What I was essentially missing a lot as a child were mainly NES, SNES and Game Boy titles. Later I missed some Saturn titles and N64 and GameCube titles. I also didn’t ever get a Dreamcast. So what caught my attention was first Sega and then Sony. Did I follow Sony a lot? Maybe not. I never had a PS2. Can you think about this? I hardly can.

All in all we can say that there are for all of us these gaming consoles that brought us to the hobby or maybe to some to the profession. It is your own curiosity that makes you want to dig deep and try to discover some old games that you haven’t yet played. And this is also what makes video gaming interesting.

Some Thoughts About PS3

What PS3 means to me as a gamer? It was originally released as early as 2006. It’s toughest competitor was Xbox 360. It was released in 2005. PS3 isn’t the newest gaming console today but you can only admire how long it has been a proper gaming system for many gamers around the world. It has been here for so long time. And it seems it has still something to give.

I first got introduced to PS3 in 2008. I remember that one of the first games I got for it was Final Fantasy XIII. I was already a big fan of this RPG series. It was only natural to get the latest Final Fantasy game. I soon got to play many different games. I really enjoyed all the racing games on PS3. I remember the summer of 2011. I played every day. I had a long holiday as I was studying in School of Applied Sciences. I definitely enjoyed Need For Speed Shift one and two.

Controllers of PS3 were wireless but I had to get a cable for them that was three meters long. I didn’t like using gamepads wireless since they ran out of current too fast. PS3 was my only gaming console back then. I mean I had still somewhere in storage my Sega Mega Drive but I wasn’t going to play it for a long period of time. It was years later, maybe in 2017, that I started to sketch my plans for my current corner in our house that would be dedicated for gaming.

I got a PS4 in 2014. Back the I was excited about the new system. I had to realize a bit later that I wanted also to play older consoles. First I got an original Xbox and after some time I got a PS2 also. That was also when I decided to connect also my Mega Drive to my television again. When we moved to our current home I bought a small bookshelf for all the gaming systems I then had. I have to write about that also someday. But PS3 was there for me for a long time. And it’s lifetime inside my small gaming corner isn’t about to end any time soon.

So PS3 had some awesome driving games. Colin McRae Dirt and its sequels and all of the Need For Speed games were among those games. You could enjoy NBA 2K. This posts featured picture captured some of my games from my collection for PS3. You can check almost any of these games and you wouldn’t be disappointed. I do have also some more games. It’s not hard to find a good game to play on a PS3.

PS3 today doesn’t cost a much. The price depends a bit of the model you are going to buy. Some PS3s are even backwards compatible with PS2. I think all PS3s are compatible with PS1 games. Technology althought has advanced. You won’t get the latest graphics out of this system. But you have to think that it has been 16 years since this console was released.

The meaning of PS3 is significant. I encourage you to get into some PS3 games. Also, today it is possible to run a PS3 emulator if you have a powerful enough computer that you can use for this. Okay. Maybe I’ll end this post by listing some of more of my favorite games for PS3. Here they are. Max Payne 3, Hitman Absolution, Alice – Madness Returns, Splatterhouse, Call of Duty – Modern Warfare 3 and F3AR, NBA 2K14, just to name a few.

Could PS2 Classic be Possible?

You might remember the release of PlayStation Classic. It might have been a disappointment. At least that was what everyone thought like about it a year after its release. I am pointing to a fact that its price dropped from the original 120 euros to as low as 20 euros. That was the lowest price I ever saw it sold for. I bought it for 40 euros. There might be a debate about do you have the right to hack the device.

PlayStation Classic had 20 games with it. Those games were not the best ones and there’s not even a debate. These games could have been better. There could have been more games included. There could have been better game pads included. But even with its flaws the system ended up in my living room after all. It definitely was worth of its low price at least for me.

But would it be possible that there would be some day a gaming console called PS2 Classic? We can start to think about how many good games would there exist on the system. Or we can talk about the system requirements of this device. If one PS2 game takes about 4,7 GB of space, and if there were 20 games released with it, they would require a space of 94 GB. Maybe there should be at least about 120 GB of space on the hard drive.

We can also think about how powerful the system should be considering about processor and graphics processing. There is already an emulator that you can run on your PC called PCSX2. It doesn’t require so much from GPU and CPU of your PC. You can run it on a even an older computer today. A while ago this wasn’t possible. We should thank the progression of computer related technology for that.

If these technical issues were finally solved and there would be a system released we can come back to the first issue I mentioned. There would be a maximum number of games. What would the games be and would every game be available for it? This could be a limitation. There were many good games that were released for PS2. Would there be only like 10 games on the system? Would it be possible to hack the system? Would you have to do it to make it reasonable to even buy the thing? And finally – how much would the thing cost and would it be different than just running (illegally) your favorite PS2 emulator on your home PC? After all since the games are in DVD format you can play them, or rip them, directly simply putting the disc in the tray of your PC after getting your hands on the BIOS some way.

I have to mention that this text has barely scratched the surface of this matter. After all it’s not so much about what the fans or tech hobbyists think about. It is about if it’s reasonable to release a system like this. Is it profitable? And is it worth the effort? If you have some deeper hardware knowledge or experience in circuit design or electronics you might understand something more deeper in this matter. I am not a specialist and these are only some of my thoughts about this matter.

Xbox’s Answer to Gran Turismo

Xbox was released just a bit after PlayStation 2. The first PlayStation already had it’s racing game. That game was Gran Turismo. At the time it was the most realistic driving game ever released to any gaming console. As Xbox started to challenge PS2 they just had to have a good quality racing game for the system. This is where Forza Motorsport comes into play.

PS2 had Gran Turismo 3 and it later had the fourth game in this series also. I am familiar with many of these games but, actually, haven’t played all of them. You might already know that I am a big fan of racing games be it rally games or other. Actually back when I was playing PS3 only I played a lot of Need For Speed Shift 1 and 2. They differ a bit from Gran Turismo and it’s rival Forza Motorsport. But they also are street racing games and you also have circuits that you race on instead of real streets or muddy tracks (or something like that).

So I’m talking about how Forza Motorsport seems to feel compared to Gran Turismo. I have played this racing game only through twenty percentage or so in the career mode. I did play Gran Turismo through earlier and I have played just a bit Gran Turismo 3 and 4. I am playing with a Xbox 360 and this game was released in 2005 for original Xbox. Thanks to _Xbox 360’s backward compatibility it plays very well on it. All of the games of original Xbox aren’t compatible on the 360. But this game is.

You have several cars to pick up from. I think it’s supposed be like that you more like collect these vehicles. In Gran Turismo you had to really consider selling your cars to get money for updates. You can also tune your car. Every car feels a bit different. I don’t see a big difference on how the cars behave if we compare these games. Forza Motorsport does have this green-to-red display element that gives you an idea about at what speed you should approach the next corner. This wasn’t available in the first Gran Turismo. The driving seems to be very realistic.

You can definitely play this driving game with your game pad. I haven’t even tested it as my current driving wheel only supports PS3 and PS4. I think it plays just well. This game is taking a long time to complete. I am not very sure if it’s a good choice if you want to play a racing game as it is a bit old. You can see it from graphics and they are a bit dated. Music in this game is very generic compared to it’s competitors.

After all this is a good game. I originally bought it from flee market for three euros. It’s definitely worth that. It is a keen part of history of driving games. I didn’t mention this but the Gran Turismo and Forza Motorsport are not released on other consoles so Gran Turismo you can play with PS2 and Forza Motorsport you can play only with an Xbox. I took the picture featured here as I needed some graphics for this blog post. I have lots of games for Xbox 360 as you can see. To be honest I haven’t had time to play all of them. I do have Forza Motorsport 3 and I am definitely at some moment going to play that game. I am also looking for a good racing game for my Xbox Series S.

Original Xbox vs PlayStation 2

Xbox

+ Better controller and better feel for FPS games like Halo

+ Hard drive included so saving games is smoother

– There is actually no working emulators for PC

PS2

+ Good support for PC emulation

+ USB connectivity

+ Lots of used games available because of huge popularity

– Need for memory cards (though nowadays you can buy for example 128 MB card that holds all your saves)

There are many differences between these game consoles that had to battle against each other in the beginning of 2000s. Above I have made some pros and cons for these two devices. We can start from controllers. Xbox had a different layout for buttons in its controller. While PS2 laid out the analog buttons side by side Xbox placed them quite differently. I don’t know technically how Xbox managed to be more playable when discussion turns to FPS games.

These consoles had many games that were only released for Xbox or PS2. Xbox had Halo. PS2 had God of War games and Gran Turismo. Xbox sold 24 million units as PS2 sold amazing 159 million units. That should explain why there were more games released for PS2 and why there is now lots of used games on sale right now for PS2. I remember that players had back then an attitude against Microsoft. It was entering gaming industry and Xbox was its first gaming console. It already dominated PC operating systems markets. Many thought it to be too large company and now it entered the world of gaming.

In my humble opinion you really can’t tell which one is better. They are different consoles and have different abilities. They both reflect the time and situation that gaming was in as it was the beginning of 2000s. I like to play both of these systems. It takes me back to this time and brings up a lot of nostalgia inside my mind. There were also many identical games that were released for these systems. So I really can’t tell which one is better – you have to figure it out yourself. If you have any comments or something to add feel free to comment below.

Some of my experiences with Gran Turismo

I first played Gran Turismo on Sony PlayStation. It was my first full game that came with the used console I had bought. My PS1 had also some demo discs included. I didn’t really get in to using racing wheel. And the game didn’t in my opinion necessarily need one. PS1 had many great driving games. I definitely enjoyed also Colin McRae Rally series as its first two games were released on Sonys first gaming console.

Gran Turismo was something amazing. It was released in 1998. It brought realistic graphics and gameplay to console gaming systems racing games. You could also test and upgrade your vehicles. You could buy new cars and tune them and buy more parts. It had over 150 different cars. You got money from completing races and finishing on top positions. There just were so many goals you could try to achieve. Think for example collecting all the cars the game offers.

You can see the second Gran Turismo game on this posts image. I never really played that. I didn’t play GT3 or GT4. But the game I did play some years after getting into the first game was the fifth game of this series. Racing gamers have seen many good games that were developed after the first Gran Turismo. I can name for example Richard Burns Rally and Dirt 3. In my humble opinion GT5 doesn’t come close to these. It is named as Gran Turismo 5 and it is a good game. But…do you have to play it just because it has a strong brand and some earlier games in this series were good? Is that good enough reason? I don’t think so…

Gran Turismo 3 and 4 were great games. I broke my PS2 a while ago so I couldn’t play these on it. And I don’t know if these games have aged well. Racing fans just have so many alternatives to turn to. Dirt Rally 1 and 2.0 have been released and also we can add Dirt 4 to this list. There is already one new Gran Turismo (Sport) that was released for PS4. There does exist some good racing games available only for Xbox 360 and Xbox One. We are not going to go there…

My personal history with first PlayStation

It started back in the 90s. I don’t remember the year exactly. I think it was 1997. I was a very young boy then. I had some money on me and somehow I decided to get a PlayStation. I had been thinking about buying a moped with this money but as I thought about it my mind changed. I could play for years with this new console and time for moped riding would be over in some years, maybe three years or maybe until I’ll get a car to ride. I don’t recall clearly how this idea of spending my money to a gaming console went but the decision was finally made. I got a PlayStation.

My parents then allowed me to have a television in my room. It was nice. I remember the time when I first picked up the package that was delivered to the nearest post office. And do I remember? Yes I do. I had some games. Gran Turismo was the best of those games that this so called bundle had in it. The package was a used console and I think it had two games. There was two controllers included. The console, games and controllers and a memory card were delivered to me as used. But the console and all things included were in a good condition.

So back then, if you had a Sega Mega Drive, you were just a loser. That system was ten years, practically a bit of an eternity for a thirteen-year-old kid, old. I had my friend teasing me about it. Yeah, I remember I was a bit sad also. I had to pack my Mega Drive and place it somewhere for preserve. I actually took it later and placed it next to some other retro consoles, but back then I really didn’t have so much space for different kinds of consoles. I had to choose one and that was PSX.

I remember so many games. I played Metal Gear Solid, Resident Evil 1, 2 and 3, Gran Turismo, Driver, Colin McRae Rally 1 and 2.0, Final Fantasy VII, Fear Effect, Tony Hawks Pro Skater, Silent Hill and many more. There were loads of games available. More than ever. And then older people, I mean older than a thirteen-year-old, started to get curious about gaming. This was time before the release of Sony PlayStation 2 and Microsoft Xbox. I have to mention also Sega DreamCast here, because that’s the best gaming console that Sega ever released. It was sad that it didn’t survive longer.

So I just played and played and also made my way to High School. I had much fun back then but at the same time I started to get more into studying and that somehow pulled me away from games. I started getting into music production that has been my dear hobby for many years. I finally sold my PS1. All of my games, my controllers, memory cards and the console. I got about 120 euros by selling the whole package. That was it. Or so I thought back then. Could it be that this was my gaming hobby?

Well, it wasn’t. I got into gaming again as I was studying. I was still a young adult. Games were all around and new titles were released. So I first got a PS3, PS4 and then it suddenly got me hooked on again. I bought several new consoles. I bought original Xbox and PSOne. I brought Mega Drive back to my cave, where it belongs. I ordered new stand that could hold all my gaming consoles. It had space for eight devices. I really planned it, but I was surprised when I, after lots of years, started playing Colin McRae Rally 2.0 again with the old controller of PS1. It brought back so many memories. It felt like I had met a friend that I had spent so much time with. And my friend hadn’t changed a bit.

So that is it. This was my story. Today I’m glad I can grab my DualShock any time I want, or anytime my wife isn’t watching telly, and start playing some PS1. I really was away when PS2 made history, but when it comes to playing the first PlayStation nothing in my mind can replace this nostalgic feeling that I get when I have this kind of a session. First PlayStation wasn’t as popular as the second one, but in my scale it’s always going to be first. It made history inside my personal history. And I can keep it that way. Always.

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