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Unit 20: Platforms and Technology

There are many platforms used for gaming in the current generation. The gaming platform
sector is currently being dominated by the consoles created by Sony and Microsoft.
Platforms are different ways that games can be played such as arcade games which are coin
operated and gameplay is limited in length using payments for extra gameplay. Consoles are
small form factor PCs that use a controllers as an input, they also use simplified OSs
designed for gaming and entertainment for use in the living room. PCs vary in hardware
power as they are fully customizable and hardware can range in price. The PC is an open
platform that is open to main stream games and also is a source of indie games. Mobiles are
a common platform for touch and motion games and caters more to casual gamers as many
of the games are free to play. TV is used for keep children entertained when they arent
watching TV shows.

Console are used by many different types of people but are aimed towards teens aged 14-19
as they are the main consumer of console games and consoles. [1] The earliest known home
console was the Brown box created by a television engineer named Ralph Baer in 1967. The
game console had 12 games and was controlled by a light gun. Games Consoles are prebuilt
computers that are produced in mass numbers, they are designed to be used by many
different people as they cater for family play this is due to the large range of games and the
ease of use. The Sony PlayStation 2 is the most sold gaming console at [6] 155 million units old
and was released in 2000 its success is due to its great game catalogue and high quality components
which gave the PS2 a long sales life that had games being sold for the PS2 in September of 2013.

Consoles have lots of built in features to increase their entertainment value. An example of a
feature packed consoles is the latest Sony console the PlayStation 4 [2] that has many
applications like an internet browser and Movie/TV steaming. Console limitations are that
they can be expensive at launch and may have a small catalogue of games when launched.
Console are hardware locked so they cant be upgraded or modified this can limit the
console at its late life as new iterations with new hardware are released long lengths after
launch of the console. Console games are usually distributed using disk media which can
have higher costs that digital downloads but saves on using internet data for the large game
downloads. Console dont have a OS like a PC instead the OS is a simplified version of PC
OSs and doesnt allow for other uses and customization that can gained on a PC.

PC stands for personal computer, PC are can have a range of hardware from high specs to
low specs systems this is due to the customizability of PCs. PC have many different types of
OSs to choose from such as Linux, Mac and Windows. One of the reasons that PC gaming is
so large today is due to the creation of windows which allowed a user friendly interface on
the PC which enabled users to play games easily this was much better that previous OSs for
PC like [7] DOS that were text based and were extremely complicated. PC games can be
acquired through digital downloads from many sites and programs such as Steam, GMG,
GOG, G2A and many more. PCs enable the user to do many other things than gaming such
as create and edit media and stream content which can all be done all on-board the PC
instead of using a capture card. PCs limitations are that they are very complicated to put
together and may need assembly buy a professional builder which can be costly. PC
hardware can be extremely expensive as there are multiple pieces of hardware needed that
vary in price, price can also suggest the quality of the product. PC OS is very complicated and
can be hard to learn and understand, this can alienate users with low understanding of the
OS. PCs use lots of power which can cause a large power bill adding to the price of the

Mobile platform is used mainly for casual gaming and gaming on the move. Portable and
mobile consoles are great for gaming when away from home and use battery power to allow
the player to game without a wired power connection. One of the most memorable mobile
consoles is the Gameboy which has been [6] sold 118.69 million units in different styles and
iterations. Mobile phones and gaming apps are now a growing part of the gaming culture
and have many games that lead the platform such as Angry birds, Candy crush and Clash of
clans. The success of mobile gaming is due to the increase of mobile phone performance
increases and the rise of free to play games that make their money through in-game

The mobile platform has many limitations including a low performance compared to
consoles and PCs this can mean that games have a limit to onscreen items or their graphical
fidelity is lower. Mobile games have a limited play time due to their use of batteries, this can
mean long games have to be played in shorter bursts of gameplay. Mobile phone games are
usually very short in play time as they are designed to be replayed in short play sessions
when people are on the go or waiting this shows that the mobile game market has adapted
to its users. Mobile consoles have small amounts of storage meaning that games and game
data may need to be deleted to make space for others. Mobile phones and mobile consoles
are have small form factors meaning that controls can be small and badly positioned, touch
screens can also be unresponsive and sluggish which is bad for fast reaction based games.

Arcade machines are coin operated games platforms that are usually found in arcades in
high tourist areas like sea side towns. Arcade machines are designed to attract customers
and use bright designs and lights to attract customers eyes. Arcade machines are made up
of a case that shows the name of the game, a screen where the game play is played, a
control panel or controller that allows the user to input into the game, a control board that
runs the game and takes in and gives information to inputs and outputs, a coin box to hold
the money used to operate the game. The first arcade games was [9] Space game which was
created by Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney, the founders of Atari games. The game is 1v1
game where you fight another players spaceship for points. [10] The highest grossing arcade
game is Pac-Man that grossed $2,500,000,000 by the year 2000 and sold over 350,000
cabinets. Arcade machines are limited by their large size which makes them hard to move
intern making them hard to replace and maintain. Arcade machines are hard to maintain as
they have many intricate parts that if broken can cause the machine to fail. Arcade machines
are specialist items which means that they can be very expensive to buy, as a specialist item
arcade machine parts are very expensive and hard to find. Arcade machines have to be
maintained regularly as they are prone to breaks due to old age and long play times, arcade
machines must be emptied regularly so they dont fill with coins. A common problem with
arcade machines is screen burn which occurs when the screens are left on for long hours
burning the game graphics onto the screen.

TV games and TV interactivity have become more popular in the recent times with the
release of the x factor 5 judge app that allows users to vote on acts from bad to good this a
great example of interactivity which allows users to interact with the TV programs using
games and apps. An early example of TV games is the Teletext system that contained many
games such as the popular quiz game Bamboozle! (Pictured above) these games were
popular as there was new quizzes daily. TV games are limited by the lack of different games
as the platforms popularity is just starting to grow in the future this will not be a problem.
TV interactivity games are very basic and have singular gameplay mechanics such as the X
factor app that uses a simple tapping mechanic. TV games are hard to control as they have
to use a TV remote for user input, TV remotes are badly designed for games as the keys are
small and space widely.
I believe that the future of gaming platforms are based on the success or failure of VR
devices like the RIFT by Oculus and the Project Morpheus as they could change all of the
platforms majorly, VR could change the games are played by allowing players to be
immersed into games and feel part of the world they are playing in. I believe that console
will progress to be a complete entertainment system that can be the only thing needed for
entertainment. PCs will get better performance with the progress of hardware meaning that
PC games can push the limits of graphics and detail in video games. I also think that Indie
games will be a large success on the PC format. Mobile phones will get more hardware
power enabling them to have more inventive games. Mobile phones will also start to give
more interactivity with TVs and other platforms like consoles. Not too long in the future of
gaming there will be no disk based games and games will be distributed exclusively digitally. I
think that gaming platforms will help gaming reach every generation and every place
creating a fun experience for all.

[1] :,31813,2029221,00.html (Accessed
[2] : (Accessed 16/9/14)
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