Continuing our blog of how online gaming has evolved since its inception we now enter the late 1990’s and the release of Windows ‘95 which proved to be a massive success. Accompanying the release of Windows ‘95 is the first really affordable ethernet card onto the market, and this was a massive step for online gaming.
Nintendo made a big breakthrough in 1999 for online gaming with its release of an add-on feature for the Nintendo 64 console. The implication of this was that Super Smash Brothers were available online for the very first time. As the end of the 1990’s came to a close, the online gaming industry was on the brink of an explosion.
The Online Gaming Breakthrough
In the early part of 2000’s gaming consoles nearly all came with the Internet capability inbuilt, and it made online gaming a bigger user experience. It was this time Sega Dreamcast was released and also the Sony Playstation 2. Finally, in 2002 we see online gaming really taking off in the market and it was the year Xbox was released. Xbox live started the online revolution, and the addictive game Halo was a big part in the rise of this success, it encouraged online multiplayer game play.
In 2006, we see another milestone as the Nintendo Wii is released to the market with WiFi capabilities so more than one player could join in online. It was also the same year as Playstation 3 was released with PSN and Internet ready.
The smartphone revolution of 2007 transformed the online gaming industry and took it to a complete different level. As the popularity of the smartphone grew to epidemic proportions so online gaming broke through to the mainstream public. In 2007 Zynga was created and developed Facebook, together with the whole mobile games industry. Instantly mobile gaming became the next evolution of online gaming. Mobile devices are now commonplace over the globe, from android devices, iPhones, tablets which are all are configured for online gaming, it was quickly becoming the new “opium of the people”. The online gaming industry was turned on its head during this period, and when manufacturers released a new game, it was mobile compatible before any other platform.
New games were released in a fast and furious attempt to keep up with world demand. Pokemon Go and Angry Birds became world successes and a whole new market opened up for related products and merchandise.
As technology continuously drives the online gaming industry into Sci-Fi proportions it is hard to pin down what the next great development will be in the online gaming industry. Perhaps “Virtual Reality” will be the next great step forward. It is still relatively in its infant stage, but with the like of Facebook purchasing Oculus, this all points down to this particular development being the next stage. Whatever the online gaming industry has in store for us in the future, you can be certain it will be driven by the demand of a hungry market, desperate for better and more sophisticated games.