Brian Shrader's Siteseeing Blog

Eighteen years of video games

Posted January 12, 2009

Are you a gamer?

A lot of people got Nintendo Wiis for Christmas, and I've heard only good things about their experiences.  My mom loves her Nintendo DS.

I'm a PC gamer myself, geekily flying my 737-300 all over the East Coast yesterday on MS Flight Simulator (Secret coded message to fellow FS geeks: I use 2004, because FSX doesn't like all of my AI traffic add-ons) and building onto my metropolis in Sim City 4 (it still holds up well for being almost six years old). 

Here's a cool page that tracks the development of video games from 1990 through today.  Before you young whippersnappers laugh too hard at our NES games, the writer reminds us:

"...what can you expect from a 16 bit graphic display and a 100 MHz machine, but (remember) that in those days these configs were king just as 3,6 GHz and Nvidia GeForce 9400 nowdays.


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  • simracer68 Jan 12, 2009

    "Tracking game development since 1990? Do we track car development since the 60s? TV show development since the 70s?"

    Yes. Watch Barrett-Jackson's auction from Arizona on Speed this week, starts tomorrow night, live. There will be cars there from early 1900s to today - and us "car guys" study car technology from the first horseless carriages to tomorrow's concept cars. The "new" Camaro and Challenger are based on late 60's muscle cars, and are the meat of today's "retro" cars, and were designed that way on purpose. Another "retro" car design our there is the "newest" Mustang design (harkens back to the late 60s "Fastback" models). Oh, how about the "new" Mini Cooper, a new "old" car?

    TV show development? Never heard of TV Land? Or any of the "where are they now?" shows on VH1, TV Land, and channels that showcase historical TV shows and movies.

    Yes, we analyze most important things for some hind sight perspective once their time has passed. Video games are no different.

  • ncwebguy Jan 12, 2009

    Tracking game development since 1990? Do we track car development since the 60s? TV show development since the 70s? No.

    Even the NES (and Sega Master System) was five year old technology by 1990, as it was sold in test markets in/around NYC and LA for the 1985 Christmas season. Nintendo's second generation SNES console was released shortly after 1990.

    Heck, PC gaming owes a lot to pioneering work on the early Apple systems, Atari home computers (in the European markets), and the Commodore 64. The Ultima games, Wasteland (spiritual successor to the Fallout series), Bard's Tale, text adventures, graphic adventures, etc.

  • charlesboyer Jan 12, 2009

    1990? That was the middle ages for video games. The original Atari home console's time had come and gone by that time...

    1972 was the birth of video games as we know it, because that's when Atari released Pong as an arcade game, and that's a full 18 years prior -- which makes 1990 the mid-point between then and now.

  • killerkestrel Jan 12, 2009

    Nvidia 9400 is pretty slow. How about Nvidia 9800 or ATI 4850 or better.

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WRAL's Brian Shrader blogs about cool video clips and other interesting Web sites. If you have any video you would like to share, please let us know.