The Evolution of Games Consoles

The gaming industry is now worth more than the video & music industry combined. It now accounts for more than half of the UK’s entire entertainment market!

The evolution of games consoles throughout the years has certainly played a big part in this, and games consoles have rapidly advanced over the years. From retro arcade games such as Pac-Man to Nintendo games and more modern games consoles such as the Xbox…here’s a sneak peek at how games consoles have developed over the years.

1985 – NES debuts at CES

The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) gaming console is launched to American consumers and is a breath of fresh air in the States. It has better graphics, faster gameplay and more audible and developed sound than its predecessors. Nintendo soon becomes the best-selling system.

1989 – Game Boy catapults the portable gaming industry

Nintendo’s iconic hand-held Game Boy invaded gamers’ palms and over the years the Game Boy is revamped as Game Boy Pocket and Game Boy Color. To date, Nintendo has sold more than 400 million portables.

1991 – Super Nintendo vs. Sega Genesis

Nintendo releases the 16-bit Super NES to compete with Sega’s Genesis and wins out thanks to popular in-house titles like Mario, The Legend of Zelda and Donkey Kong.

1996 – The Nintendo 64

Nintendo releases Nintendo 64 which has 64-bit graphics and 3-D games such as Mario and Zelda, as well as the debut title in the James Bond series, the massively popular GoldenEye 007. The 64 was the last cartridge-based system to be used! 

1999 – Sega releases the Dreamcast!

Sega releases the Dreamcast, which is the first console capable of online play and the company’s last console. With competition from Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft, Sega changed its tactics to become a third-party software developer. 

2001 – Microsoft fires back with the Xbox

Microsoft unveils the Xbox in a keynote presentation by Bill Gates. The device features PC technology, an Ethernet port, an 8 GB hard drive and the ability to play DVDs. Its Halo: Combat Evolved game is instantly popular and becomes Xbox’s flagship game franchise. The next year, Xbox introduces Xbox Live, which allows gamers to compete with users around the world.

2005 – The Xbox 360 picks up where the Xbox left off

Microsoft unveils the Xbox 360. It will later leap ahead of the competition, namely the Nintendo Wii and the Playstation 3, largely because of Halo 3’s astonishing commercial success and critical acclaim. At one time, Xbox 360 has almost a 2-1 software attach rate advantage (the metric used to quantify how many games are sold on average to a user per system) over PS3 and Wii.

2006 – The Nintendo Wii

The Nintendo Wii markets itself as a way for gamers to get more involved with their games. Nintendo markets the console to active, outdoorsy people who don’t normally describe themselves as gamers. The Wii becomes a worldwide hit nd by 2009, it has sold almost two times the number of consoles as Sony with the PS3.

2006 – Sony and Microsoft compete!

Sony releases the PlayStation 3, which allows users to play Blu-Rays and stream movies and music to their system. The PS3 also connects to gamers’ PlayStation Portable consoles and, most notably to many users, offers free online gameplay without a subscription.

2008 – Apple opens the App Store and mobile gaming grows significantly!

The launch of Apple’s app store opens up many opportunities in mobile gaming for both developers and consumers. The next year, Mobile, social games like Angry Birds for the iPhone and FarmVille for Facebook burst onto the scene.

2013 – The Xbox One, the third Xbox, finally arrives

Xbox releases Xbox One with cloud integration and the ability to overlay live TV. The console also has voice integration and an improved Kinect sensor.

How can Arcade Direct help with your next event? 

Here at Arcade Direct, we are specialists in all types of arcade hire and not only can we provide you with everything from retro machines such as Space Invaders, Pac Man and more. We can also offer totally bespoke arcade machines for your next party, wedding or corporate event! 

Supplying various types of machines; which can all be customised, revamped and edited to suit your needs, we have worked with a variety of different companies and individuals to deliver customised machines for any occasion. 

Bring back that nostalgia from your childhood with inspiration on how to transform your next event with a fun and unusual twist.

Mark Jackson

About Mark Jackson - Founder & Arcade Advisor

Mark is the founder of Arcade Direct and has over 16 years experience helping to advise customers and share his knowledge in the retro arcade market.

Nell JonesNell Jones
12:22 29 Jun 22
We used Arcade Direct for a Boxing machine at the NEC. We chose them party due to the competitive price but also for the quick quote and helpful, clear communication. The machine was fully branded and looked fantastic. It was an absolute draw at the show and remarked on by many as the best entertainment there, bringing a lot of attention to our stand. During the show there was a part broken (no-ones fault) and Mark's support was brilliant with a courier sent immediately with a replacement to our Air bnb during the evening in time for the show opening the next day. We will definitely work with them on any future shows.
Alice ChambersAlice Chambers
17:08 18 Aug 20
Highly recommend Arcade Direct. Mark was so helpful when i queried the status of an order of a Gaming Chair. As the delivery date was longer than expected i had to cancel however the customer service i received was fantastic.
Kat SmithKat Smith
08:48 17 May 20
I recently ordered a gaming chair & was really happy with the service. Mark was really helpful & the delivery was much quicker than expected!
Lee GiacopazziLee Giacopazzi
09:58 31 Oct 19
I have had the pleasure of working with Arcade Direct several times. I can personally attest to their customer service and I have seen first-hand how their arcade machines transform events and venue spaces. I often recommend them to my personal contacts and clients.
Emily TylerEmily Tyler
13:08 16 Oct 18
Would highly recommend Mark & the team not only for hiring their Arcade Machines but for their event planning and theming too which cannot be faulted!