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The Target Audiences of Gaming Consoles

Updated on February 03, 2017

The multi-billion dollar industry is still one of the fastest growing industries in the market. The developments achieved within two decades are impossible to notice and will most likely pale to what can be expected a decade from now. Yet the progression in technology has had only a few impacts on the major distributors. I've noticed certain tendencies in the past few generation of video game consoles and the types of games that they produce. Some of these are pleasing while others lead to disappointment, yet all of them are logical in the paths that they take.

Nintendo Logo
Nintendo Logo

Nintendo

It is a name that is probably well known even to people that have never picked up a controller before. In the mid 1980s the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) was released which became one of the first computer systems that would change the world. Most serious video game players, AKA gamers, probably grew up playing games that were mostly provided by Nintendo. With five consoles developed in a thirty year period, Nintendo is one of the most successful video game providers. With their signature character Mario, it is hard to believe that Nintendo could be outdone. The company was the first to produce several games that established the standard that similar games would need to be successful. Among these games was Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Any well-aged gamer can admit that this is one of the games that must be played. It is one of the best selling franchises due to its splendid blend of action and puzzles. A second famous game in the community is James Bond: Golden-eye which was one of the first of the 1st-person shooter games. The game engine used to build it is one that has been recreated in the recent bestsellers including Halo, Call of Duty, and Modern Warfare games.

Nintendo's Timeline of game consoles
Nintendo's Timeline of game consoles | Source

Regardless of their past time successes, Nintendo has not been the highlight of the gaming community. Ever since its release of the Gamecube the company had started making changes that their competitors did not pursue. The target audience of the games did not rise to keep with the gamers that originally grew up with the company. Although the company did release mature games it was not to the same extent of its competitors. More child friendly games were continuously being produced. Once the Nintendo Wii came out with its revolutionary motion sensor technology it was the highlight for several years. However, the company did not seem to be successful in applying the technology it had spent years attempting to create. Numerous games were manufacture utilizing the motion sensor but very few ever received recognition in the gaming community. This is mainly due to the Wii targeting the much older as well as much younger age ranges. By all means, it can't be considered a bad decision. They simply made an attempt to reach an audience that their competitors were primarily ignoring.

Playstation Logo
Playstation Logo

Playstation

Playstation became the next big player within the gaming community in 1994 with its release of the Playstation. At the time it seemed to have a much wider array of games to offer that Nintendo did not. Playstation started producing more mature games sooner than its competitor Nintendo. Its real success was in 2000 when it developed the Playstation 2. The company was ahead of the market by a few years with its superior graphics which produced iconic and visually stunning games like the Final Fantasy franchise. The real innovation that would take Nintendo years to recreate was the Backwards-Compatibility. This feature permitted the games for the original Playstation to be playable on the new Playstation 2.

With the Playstation 2's superior graphics and backwards-compatibility it lead the industry for several years. The next development it had was the Playstation Portable (PSP). This was introduced to the market to compete with Nintendo's monopoly of portable gaming devices. Although the PSP had no grasp on the Pokémon franchise that led the portable gaming market it tried compensating with, what was at the time, a massive portable storage capacity of 32 megabytes. This allowed the PSP the capability of storing movies for even more mobile entertainment.

The next big move Playstation made was with its third console the Playstation 3 that was released in 2006. Installed inside was a Blu Ray player which was a risky move simply because the compitition between HD Movies and Blu Ray had not been settled yet. Laying millions in development on the line turned into Playstations big break. With the Film industry moving in the direction of Blu Ray the company had an edge up on its competitors that still has not been lost.

Each of these develpments helped Playstation maintain selling points to the aging gamers that Nintendo started to lose. It supplied the same genres that Nintendo had while offer other practical uses. While each system has been expensive during its release it has never failed to provide high quality experiences.

Xbox Logo
Xbox Logo

Xbox and Xbox 360

With its release in 2001 the Microsoft company had risen to compete with Playstation for the mature audience in the video game market. What gave it an edge was the release of Halo Combat Evolved. The first of the franchise was the biggest hit in 1st-person shooters since Nintendo's Goldeneye. One year later Xbox had made its signiture with the introduction of Xbox Live. This permitted consoles to connect for multiplayer games which has become a foundation for the market. It also allowed the production companies to create expansions to their popular games which helped prevent stagnation with their bestsellers. Although there are gamers that prefer Playstation's free online services, known as the Playstation Network, instead of Xbox's the best saying to be applied here is "You get what you pay for".

Xbox live has been able to provide better protection due to charging the users. It allows additional income for the company to supply continuous network updates and repairs. Xbox Live has provided new forms of socializing that its competitors could not replicate for at least a year if not more. When the Xbox 360 was released in 2005 it was backwards compatible and DVD compatible, though this was not an accomplishment since Playstation 2 had been backwards and DVD capable since 2000. The Xbox 360 was High Definition compatible which allowed for better presentation even if a game did not possess preferable graphics. It took five years before Microsoft had its next big advantage in the market. In Fall of 2010 it released the Kinect. Playstation is not yet able to offer motion sensor technology to the market, and the Nintendo Wii is not nearly as refined.

The Kinect installment has permitted Xbox to be of interest to mature adults that have no typical interest in the gaming community. Providing a physically active home entertainment is Microsoft's current advantage in the market without sacrificing its allure to mature gamers. Primarily by appealing to young females with games that will have them be active instead of being stagnate on a couch.

Conclusion

Video games are approaching its nineth generation of consoles. Playstation has the Blu Ray player, Microsoft possess Xbox Live and the Kinect, and Nintendo has attempted to entice younger gamers and older generations. While each of them provides something unique to the market neither of these three companies have been able to have an exclusive selling point. It is currently unknown exactly what each company will do with their next console in their attempts to be the best seller. Yet you can be sure that each one may have something revolutionary to offer.

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      poopyman 4 months ago

      This is a good article

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