Monday, 30 December 2013

The 12 Generations of Gaming - Gen 5

On the 5th gen of gaming,
Nintentdo sent to me,
Six-teee Four!

On the 5th gen of gaming,
Sony sent to me,
Play- stat-ion!

On the 5th gen of gaming,
The world sent to me,
Three Dee-e-e!

The Fifth Generation – 1993 - 2001

Nintendo 64
Sega Saturn
Atari Jaguar

Popular Games:
Metal Gear Solid
The Need for Speed
Tomb Raider

The fifth generation marked the beginning of the 3D era (also known as the 32 or 64-bit era) as well as a massive jump in gaming technology. The 5th gen also saw the end of using bits as a show of power (except the Nintendo 64 and some Atari Jaguar adverts) as they had reached a technological level that meant that just having more bits didn't relate to power as much as before. Finally, the fifth generation saw the rise of emulation due to many PC's being able to successfully emulate older 8-16-bit games. The development of the Internet also helped with this as well as being able to download and store ROM's onto PC's.

In this post, I will talk about the three main consoles of the generation (PlayStation Nintendo 64 and Sega Saturn) as the other two (3DO and Atari Jaguar) didn't make enough of an impact for future gens so are not included here. Of course, I will also be talking about the software of the gen however, for games like Pokémon please be patient as a post will be coming soon.


The PlayStation was released by Sony on December 3rd 1994 with western releases in September 1995. The PlayStation came about after a deal with Nintendo for Sony to develop CD's for the SNES rather than the usual cartridges. Sony and Nintendo then planned to make a new SNES dubbed the SNES-CD pr Play Station which would be a Sony branded console that could run SNES cartridges as well as Sony CD's. However, when Hiroshi Yamauchi re read the original contract between Nintendo and Sony he found that Sony would gain all profits from the console. Deeming this unacceptable the deal was cancelled and so Sony decided to make their own console dubbed the Play Station. Nintendo then sued them on the grounds that they owned the name, Play Station. Sony fixed this small problem by getting rid of the space between Play and Station making it PlayStation and rendering the court case null and void. The legacy of the PlayStation (not the Play Station) is that it was the first console to ever reach 100 million units sold as well as setting up some of the most successful consoles of all time.

Nintendo 64:
Yet again Nintendo came into the next generation late due to many delays for their new 64-bit console. Released in 1996 it was released 2 years later than its main rivals of Sony and Sega. Nintendo was under extreme pressure to make a console to rival the success of its own console, the NES as well as to perform better for its third-party developers who were annoyed about Nintendo's terrible licencing agreements. In order to make its 3D graphics Nintendo had to call upon Silicon Graphics and MIPS Technologies. The N64 was in demand upon its release and 350,000 consoles were sold in the first 3 days. Its legacy is that it is one of the best-known consoles of all time as well as having some of the best and most influential games ever made such as Super Mario 64 and The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time.

Sega Saturn:
27 members of Sega's Away Team worked for two years to create the Sega Saturn. Originally the console only had one central processor but after hearing about the PlayStation's capabilities another processor was added. The Sega Saturn was released in November 22 1994 just a few weeks after its rival, the PlayStation. The Saturn did well in Japan with 170,000 consoles sold on the first day. In North America, the Saturn was released meant to be released on 'Saturnday' September 2 1995 but on May 11 1995 at the first E3 expo, Sega announced that Saturnday was a ruse and that it was going to be released immediately. This caused problems, however, as it meant that the Saturn only had 6 games ready as well as the fact that many retailers did not know of the change in dates and so distribution was confusing. Sadly the Saturn could not keep up with the PlayStation or the N64 and became the other system in the console race.


The Need for Speed:
The Need for Speed was released in 1994 for the 3DO (and therefore one of the only reasons to buy one) before being ported over to the DOS, PlayStation and Sega Saturn. Its premise involves racing sports cars around closed circuits or in police pursuits where the play was arrested if they acquired three tickets (2 for the Sega Saturn version). The game also contained detailed histories of each car, data about the races they were in, the ability to re watch the last race they were in as well as a 2-player head to head race. The game was received positively and got praised for its realism and audio commentaries.

Metal Gear Solid:
Metal Gear Solid was published by Konami for the PlayStation in 1998. In it the player had control of the soldier Solid Snake as he tried to stop a nuclear missile being set off by terrorists while rescuing hostages and neutralising these terrorists. Rather than just killing enemies, all guns blazing, the player must navigate the areas without alerting the guards which would happen if Snake passed inside their line of sight. To do this Snake can crawl under objects, duck around walls and use noises to distract enemies. The game is punctuated with cut-scenes (which have voice acting. The game was very well received and is generally classed as one of the most important games of all time as well as making the stealth genre popular.

Tomb Raider:
Tomb Raider is a game that was one of the biggest contributors to the PlayStation's success. It was developed by Core Design and published by Eidos Interactive in 1996 for the DOS, PlayStation and Sega Saturn. The development team consisted of six people including Tony Gard (the creator of the character, Lara Croft). The story of Tomb Raider is that British archaeologist Lara Croft is searching for the three mysterious Scion artefacts around the world. Rather than focusing on the shooting aspects of the game, the game mainly focuses on the adventuring and exploring side of it. Tomb Raider was received with critical acclaim (and remains the highest rated game of the series) and was also one the first game to be released in PlayStation's Platinum series as well as winning many game-of-the-year awards.

Goodbye for now, Harry

And the blog's collective knowledge

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