Posts tagged with "gaming console"

360 MAGAZINE illustration for online gaming by Symara Briel Wilson

Forgotten Vintage Gaming Consoles

The video game console scene these days is quite settled, boring even. Sony and Microsoft have a stranglehold on the market, with the PlayStation enjoying a healthy lead on the Xbox. And then you have Nintendo doing their own thing with the Switch on the handheld segment, despite the rise of mobile gaming. 

All this is a far cry from the early decades of video game consoles. Consoles had some crazy innovations in the 1970s, ‘80s, and ‘90s, as the designers were experimenting quite a lot. Naturally, the technology was also quite primitive in terms of computing power, graphics, and display, resulting in some extra weirdness. 

These are some of the vintage gaming consoles that never made it to the big leagues in the cut-throat video games market. Some were from small brands while others are from the big names we still see churning out consoles and games today.

Fairchild Channel F 

Despite being the first home console to use cartridges and a microprocessor, the Fairchild Channel F failed in the console market. Pitted against the legendary Atari 2600 (home of Pacman), the Channel F ended up decidedly second-best. 

Before the Fairchild, other consoles like the Magnavox Odyssey came with games built-in, which severely limited choice as well as graphics quality. The Channel F came with two built-in games and a library that eventually expanded to include over 26 games. 

The cartridges for these games were called “videocarts” and had games like Tic Tac Toe, Space War, Spitfire, and Shooting Gallery. Though it had a decent list of games, the Fairchild Console could not match Atari’s popular arcade games. 

And the controllers were also decidedly poor quality, breaking rather quickly. The F in Channel F stood for “Fun.” The fun stopped for Fairchild in 1983 as sales declined and they ended production after a six-year run that started in 1976. 

Radica Games Consoles

The modern handheld consoles like PSP, GameBoy, and Switch are designed to play many different games. But in the past, we had consoles that were basically one-trick ponies – they only came with one or a few handfuls of in-built titles. 

Radica Ltd is a name that many who were kids in the 1980s and 90s may not remember. Though not as famous as Sega or Nintendo, the US manufacturer was quite prolific in the handheld consoles market, mass-producing devices between 1983 and 2006. 

Though they became famous for consoles that carried titles from the biggest brands like Sega and Taito, Radica actually started in the gambling business. The company initially launched collectible game consoles for casinos. 

These had classic games like Blackjack 21, Poker, and Solitaire. Though thoroughly outdated by modern standards, the vintage feel of the games does make Radica consoles great from a nostalgic POV. Online variations have been designed to model modern blackjack tables as found in top land-based casinos.

Radica did not do anything innovative in the design department. Their consoles largely copied the design set by others. The company was eventually acquired and fully absorbed by toy giant Mattel in 2006. 

The Vectrex

We take screens for granted these days – be it on handheld consoles or mobile phones. But there was a time when consoles had to depend entirely on an outside video output source (and they still do for PS5 and Xbox Series X). 

The Vectrex was an idea that came far too soon – in an era when screens were still bulky, monochrome, and highly pixelated. Launched in the early ’80s, the Vectrex came bundled with its display, which was like a mini-TV. 

The display was black and white, with a series of plastic color overlays that you could place on the screen to make the objects look red, green, or blue. Though it had way better graphics than contemporary consoles, thanks to vector graphics instead of bitmaps (smooth lines), the console was ultimately a failure. 

For one, it was incredibly expensive. And the allure of not needing a TV for gaming was not huge in those days, especially as this was not a portable device. It was one of the major casualties in the great market crash of the video game industry in 1983.

Virtual Boy

Virtual Reality is a cutting edge technology that holds a lot of promise in gaming. Yet in 2021, it is still a niche in the video games landscape – a fast-growing one at that, but still in need of evolution. So you can imagine how primitive a VR-based console must have been way back in the 1990s. 

Launched by Nintendo in 1995, Virtual Boy was a good 20 years ahead of the technology. The 3D game system came with a cool VR headset and a connected controller, and games in full monochrome glory. 

Yes, Virtual Boy games had to be enjoyed in red, as the hardware was not capable of outputting in any other colors. It had a real “Terminator vision” vibe to it, which was probably intentional given how popular those movies were back then. 

The hardware was quite bulky, with the headset being quite cumbersome. And it was also quite notorious for causing headaches and eye strain to users. The one major game available on the Virtual Boy was Mario’s Tennis. 

Though the stereoscopic 3D was quite impressive for its time, the console was widely panned by critics and users. It was a commercial failure as well, due to insane pricing. Nintendo did try to make it more appealing by dropping the prices but to no avail. The Virtual Boy sank without a trace. 

Nintendo Switch: Top-Selling Game Console of 2020

As one of the most popular consoles globally, Nintendo Switch witnessed a surge in the number of new players since its release in 2017. With millions of people spending more time playing video games during the coronavirus lockdown, 2020 brought an influx of new Nintendo fans. 

According to data presented by SafeBettingSites.com, Nintendo Switch is the top-selling gaming console in 2020, with 15.6 million units sold as of September, 65% more than PlayStation 4 and Xbox combined.

Nintendo Switch Sales Grows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox Consoles Drop

One of the key reasons for the Switch’s success is the popularity of Nintendo’s first-party titles. Blockbuster series like Mario, The Legend of Zelda, and Pokémon are exclusive to Nintendo, meaning that fans can only play them on Nintendo consoles. These Nintendo exclusive games dominate the list of top-selling Switch titles worldwide, with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe being the most popular game.

Statista and VGChartz data revealed that PlayStation 4 represents the second most popular gaming console this year, with 7.22 million units sold as of September. Xbox One ranked third, with 2.17 million units sold in the nine months of 2020. During the same period, gamers bought 330,000 Nintendo 3DS consoles. 

The annual sales of Nintendo Switch consoles have been increasing continuously in the last three years, while PlayStation 4 and Xbox are being affected by a downsizing trend. 

A year after its launch in March 2017, the Nintendo Switch hit 15.5 million units sold worldwide. The growing popularity of Nintendo’s gaming console continued in 2019, with the lifetime sales reaching 49.8 million units in December, a 55% jump from the year before. Nintendo sold nearly 4 million Switch consoles in the first quarter of 2020, with its lifetime sales growing to 53.7 million. However, between March and August, another 9.6 million units were sold, with the cumulative sales surging to 63.4 million units.

In 2017, Sony sold almost 20 million Playstation 4 consoles all around the world. By the end of 2019, annual sales dropped to 14.2 million, a 30% plunge in two years. Statistics indicate that the sales of the third most popular gaming console, Xbox One, fell by 35% in this period, decreasing from 7.6 million units in 2017 to 4.9 million last year. 

Playstation 4 Leads in Lifetime Unit Sales

Although Nintendo Switch is ranked as the world’s most popular gaming console, Playstation 4 still dominates in terms of lifetime unit sales. 

In the first three years after its launch in 2013, Sony sold 35.9 million PlayStation 4 units. Between January 2016 and December 2017, the lifetime unites sales surged by 105% to 73.6 million. Since then, another 40 million units were sold worldwide, with the cumulative sales of Sony’s PlayStation 4 gaming console rising to almost 113 million, as of August. Xbox One hit 48.2 million units in lifetime sales as of August, a 22% increase in two years. 

Roblox Mobile Player Spending Surge

Roblox Mobile Player Spending Hit $102.9 Million in May, a 175% Jump in a Year

As one of the most popular mobile games worldwide, Roblox has witnessed a surge in revenue amid the COVID-19 lockdowns. According to data gathered by SafeBettingSites.com, Roblox Mobile player spending hit $102.9 million in May, a 175% jump compared to the same month in 2019.

Over $1.5 bn in Lifetime Revenue

In May 2019, Roblox Mobile players worldwide spent $37.5 million on the game, revealed Statista and SensorTower data. In the next three months, this figure rose to $50.9 million. Thanks to in-app purchases and microtransactions, the app generated $79.3 million profit in December 2019, the highest value in the second half of the year.

However, with millions of Roblox fans spending more time indoors and online amid coronavirus lockdown, the famous kid-friendly creation hit a new record in 2020. Statistics show that in January, Roblox Mobile player spending amounted to $65.2 million. After a slight drop to $54.6 million in February, this figure jumped to $68.9 million in March.

The increasing trend continued in the next two months, with Roblox players spending nearly $103 million in May, a 55% increase since the beginning of the year. The Sensor Tower data also revealed the mobile version of the popular game hit over $1.5 bn in lifetime revenue.

The United States Leads in Roblox Player Spending

Statistics show that in June, Roblox mobile was the second top-grossing iPhone app worldwide, with $26.15 million in revenue. The kid-friendly creation platform also ranked as the sixth most popular Android game last month, with $28.28 million profit in Google Play Store. Statista data also revealed that Roblox was the most popular app among iPad users, who spent $30.34 million on the game last month.

Analyzed by geography, the United States represents the leading country with more than $1bn in lifetime player spending in May. Statistics show that Roblox Mobile was the top-grossing App Store app in the United States last month, with $21.9 million profit generated from iPhone users.

Android users spent $16.69 million on the popular game in June, ranking it as the third top-grossing Google Play Store app in the United States.

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Is the gaming industry slightly taking over the entertainment world?

When someone talks about the entertainment industry, most of us think about music and cinema. Our very first associations to entertainment shows would be the Oscars, Grammys, talent shows, BRIT Awards, Music Awards and so on. The glamour in the film and music industry is undeniable. But would you be surprised to know that these are not the top-grossing entertainment sectors?

To be clearer, these two put together do not even match the revenue that the gaming industry is earning.  According to the latest figures, the video game business is larger than both the movie and music industry combines, making it an entertainment industry leader.

This year, the global gaming market is expected to generate more than $150 billion from more than 2.5 billion gamers worldwide. To compare the numbers, the global box office industry was worth $42.2 billion, while global music reached around $20 billion in revenue.

From blockbusters to classic TV series and music idols – they all have been gamified into popular online and console game characters. The casino gaming industry has embraced this potential and opportunity, offering various themes and types of the popular and traditional slots games.

When it comes to offers, gameplay and rules of this game, check out the latest choice of online slots and SlotsWise, varying from entertainment to adventure and futuristic scenarios.

The creation of these games is seen as a profitable plan for franchise owners to increase their revenue. However, these games are often thoroughly enjoyed by fans who get the chance to interact with characters and immerse in the themes of their favourite entertainment shows.

TV, film and gaming industries have been working closely for decades to deliver great entertainment and layered experience to the audience. Let’s take a look at how PC, mobile and console gaming as the main operational platforms of this industry evolved through the years and generated the revenue and attention that has today.

The smartphone revolution

Mobile gaming which involves smartphone and tablet gaming stands as the largest segment in this industry accounting for $69 billion of the total estimated revenue growing with 10% from 2018. This niche is expected to take up to 60% of the global gaming market by 2021, while console and PC gaming will go with 22% and 19% respectively.

Console gaming, on the other hand, is expected to generate $48 billion in revenue or growth with a 13% growth rate from last year. PC gaming is seen earning around $35.7 billion or growth of 4% compared to last year.
Clearly, mobile games have gone a long way since the very beginnings in the 90s when the famous “Snake” was pre-installed in over 400 million Nokia phones.

Although mobile gaming was interrupted in the growth process when the trend switched back to consoles, known as the “console wars” period, the development of the smartphone, coupled with advancements in the internet, connectivity and applications, has paved the way for more exciting experiences with RPG ( role-playing game) and MMORPG ( multiplayer online role-playing game), becoming accessible to mobile phones.

What is e-sports?

E-sports stands for electronic sports which is a type of competition that involves the use of video games. A typical e-sports tournament takes the form of multiplayer video game competitions between professional gamers and their teams. Most common genres played today are online battle arenas and real-time strategy games. The most prestigious e-sport competitions today are Dota 2, League of Legends and Fortnite. With its growing popularity over the years, e-sports has raised casual gaming into a profession, making it a game of skill, strategy and team play. Today, being a professional gamer can be an attractive career choice, as numerous competitions are being organised in a different part of the world.

Thousands, to millions of dollars, have been given away as winning prices. For example, the prize pool for the most recent Dota 2 tournament reached over $30 million

Although e-sports is now a billion-dollar industry, not many mass media companies have been covering the competitions and expansion of this market. This situation significantly changed this year, as many sports competitions and disciplines including the traditional sports betting turned to e-sports in order to adapt the business model.

Gaming is no longer a hobby and to describe it as a niche market would be an understatement. This is an industry with a wide potential for growth and continuous innovation. The rapid rise of technology already brought this industry to other platforms such as cloud gaming and VR /AR gaming.