by Jeffrey O’Rourke
Video games have been popular since 1972 with the release of “Pong”. The first home video game console known as the “Magnavox Odyssey” was also released in 1972. The very first video game was the “Cathode Ray Tube Amusement Device” created in 1947. Video games have definitely come a long way since then. Now we have things like the “Kinect” for the Xbox and the “Nintendo Wii”.
Now that you know a brief history of video games, I’m going to list my top 10 video game facts I found particularly interesting.
10. PlayStation 2 Capabilities:
A lot of people thought the PS2 was so advanced for its time. But do you know how advanced the console was? When the PS2 was turned on, you would see random towers fly towards you. Most people think that the start up screen was just a fancy animation to show off the graphics. The console actually scans the memory card inserted and lets the player know how much they have played the Console. The number of games you have played are represented by the number of towers and how long you have spent playing each game which is represented by the height of each tower. Bonus PS2 fact: the last game ever released on the PS2 was “Pro Evolution Soccer 2014” which was released in November 2013.
9. Nintendo And SONY Partnership:
In 1988, a SONY engineer named Ken Kutaragi bought his daughter a Nintendo Famicom but was unimpressed with the sound chip in the system. Ken was convinced he could make a better sound chip so he began to work on one in his free time. Ken took the finished product to Nintendo and Nintendo agreed to let SONY work with them on the upcoming Super Nintendo on the condition that SONY makes a CD ROM add on for the console. Nintendo realized that this deal would result in SONY getting all the profits for the games released. In 1991, the “Philips CD-i” was released and Nintendo thought it would become a success. Nintendo decided to make a similar deal with Philips except this time Nintendo was going to get all the profits. In that same year at the CES (Consumer Electronics Show), Sony announced the “Play Station” (not to be confused with the “PlayStation”). This new console was going to play Super Nintendo games as well as CD ROM games, music, educational programs and movies. Nintendo didn’t like this idea so, Nintendo told SONY that they we’re working with Philips on the CD ROM add on instead. Of course, this made SONY very angry. SONY decided to retaliate by releasing their very own “Play Station” (Not the same as the “PlayStation”) and take all the credit for it. SONY planned to release this new “Play Station” in 1992, 6 months before the Super Nintendo CD ROM. As soon as 1992 began, Nintendo publically announced that their deal with SONY had been cancelled. In 1993, Nintendo decided that they no longer wanted a CD ROM add on for their consoles so Nintendo cancelled their deal with Philips. These events eventually led to the release of the “Nintendo 64” and the “SONY PlayStation” that we all know and love.
8. Xbox Origins:
At one stage for a very brief period of time, Microsoft wanted to partner up with SONY. This partnership was nowhere near as complicated as the Nintendo and SONY partnership though. In 1998, Microsoft CEO Bill Gates decided to create a home game console to compete with SONY because he was worried they were going to put a stop to PC gaming. Bill Gates offered the CEO of SONY Noboyuki Idei a partnership. SONY declined the offer and continued to develop the “PlayStation 2” which was later released in 2000. Shortly after SONY declining Microsoft’s offer, Bill Gates created a team of 4 engineers and decided to call them the “Direct X” team. They were called “Direct X” because their task was to create a game console with “Direct X” technology from Dell laptops. As a result of this, the original name for the console was the “Direct Xbox”. Also, because of the obsession with the letter “X”, Microsoft originally designed the console in the shape of an “X”. They changed the title of the console around 35 times before finally deciding on “Xbox”. The “Xbox” was eventually released on November 2001.
7. Ratchet & Clank Innuendo:
I’m sure you’re sick of just hearing about the consoles by now so I think its time to move onto some actual games. “Ratchet & Clank” is a game series created by “Insomniac Games” originally released in November 2002 on the “PlayStation 2”. Fans of the series may be familiar with the sexual innuendo used in the titles of the games. The first instalment in the series is just simply titled “Ratchet & Clank”, but the second, third and fourth instalments on the other hand is a different story. They second game “Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando”, the third game “Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal” and the fourth game “Ratchet: Deadlocked” were rereleased as “Ratchet & Clank: Locked And Loaded”, “Ratchet & Clank 3” and “Ratchet: Gladiator” for censorship reasons. The PS3 title “Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One” went through multiple titles. Some of these titles were: “Ratchet & Clank: Multiple Organisms”, “Ratchet & Clank: Bros Before Foes” and “Ratchet & Clank: Friends With Benefits”. Insomniac even thought about using the title “Ratchet & Clank: 4 Play”, but was quickly changed because they didn’t want to scare off parents from buying it for their kids. Another PS3 title “Ratchet & Clank: A Crack In Time” was originally planned to be called “Ratchet & Clank: Clock Blockers” but was declined for obvious reasons. The latest game in the franchise titled “Ratchet & Clank: Into The Nexus” went under the working title “Ratchet & Clank: Into The Nether Regions”.
6. Minecraft’s Creeper is the result of a glitch:
Everyone who has heard of Minecraft knows about the Creeper. However did you know that the Creeper is the result of a glitch? During the development of Minecraft, the creator Markus “Notch” Persson decided that Minecraft needed animals such as pigs. As he was creating the pig, he got the coding mixed around which caused the pig model to be deformed. As ridiculous as it looked, Notch wanted to make this model a character in the game. This model was eventually redesigned slightly and eventually became what everyone knows as the Creeper.
5. Grand Theft Auto Origins:
Speaking of glitches, did you know that the popular game series “Grand Theft Auto” (G.T.A.) was the result of a glitch? Everyone knows about G.T.A. wether they hate it or love it. Way back in 1997 when “Rockstar North” was still known as “DMA Design”, a game titled “Race ‘N’ Chase” was in development. “Race ‘N’ Chase” was going to be a cops and robbers simulator. You we’re able to choose to play as either cops or robbers. If you chose the cops, you had to chase down the robbers. If you chose the robbers, you had to cause as much havoc as possible before getting caught by the cops. “DMA Design” had problems when working on the robber side of the game. The cops would try and ram you off the road. Play testers loved playing as the robber and loved the fact that the cops would try and ram you off the road. “DMA Design” then decided to scrap “Race ‘N’ Chase” and started developing a new game called “Grand Theft Auto”. G.T.A. was basically “Race ‘N’ Chase” except without the ability to play as the cops. “Grand Theft Auto” was released in October 1997. Eventually “DMA Design” went on to become “Rockstar North” and the “Grand Theft Auto” series went on to become one of the best selling video game series of all time despite all of the controversy. The most popular entry in the series is “Grand Theft Auto V” with more than 52 million copies sold worldwide.
4. Portal’s Failed Meme:
After the release of “Portal” in 2007, many memes were spread through the internet such as “THE CAKE IS A LIE” and the “WEIGHTED COMPANION CUBE” for example. “Valve” (the creators of “Portal”) expected “Hoopy The Hoop” to become a popular meme as well. During the ending cutscene of “Portal”, a hoop falls from the sky and lands right in front of Chell (the protagonist of “Portal”). This hoop was named “Hoopy The Hoop”. That one part of the final cutscene was Valve’s most proud part in the entire game and nobody cared about it. Just like the companion cube, Hoopy can be found as an Easter egg in Portal 2 as a reminder that the wanted meme never came to be.
3. Five Nights At Freddy’s Origins:
“Five Nights At Freddy’s” is a horror game developed by Scott Cawthon released in August 2014. In 2013, Scott released a game titled “Chipper And Sons Lumber Co.”. This is a game where the player can grow and harvest trees in an innocent and childlike looking world. This game however, received poor reviews. The reviews said that the characters in the game look like creepy animatronics. Scott didn’t like this response to the game. Scott then decided to create a horror game that is way more creepy than “Chipper And Sons Lumber Co.”. He decided to create a game where the player is stuck with the night shift at a kids pizza restaurant filled with haunted animatronics. This game was titled “Five Nights At Freddy’s”. The latest game released in the series so far is “Five Nights At Freddy’s 4” which was released in July 2015. Scott recently announced “Five Nights At Freddy’s World” which is supposed to be an RPG (Role Playing Game) featuring all of the animatronics as playable characters. “Five Nights At Freddy’s World” is due to be released sometime in 2016.
2. Assassin’s Creed Originally A Prince Of Persia Title:
Ever wondered why the “Assassin’s Creed” series and the “Prince Of Persia” series are so similar? This is because “Assassin’s Creed” was originally going to be a “Prince Of Persia” Title. Shortly after the release of “Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time”, Ubisoft decided to start work on another “Prince Of Persia” title called “Prince Of Persia: Assassins”. The game was loosely inspired by the life of Hassan-i Sabbah. Ubisoft thought that a prince wasn’t really a good protagonist for the game so they created Altaïr. The game was originally going to feature co-operative gameplay which didn’t make it to the series until “Assassin’s Creed: Unity”. Over time, the game had less and less to do with the “Prince Of Persia” series. Because of this, Ubisoft decided to turn this game into it’s own series. This new series was titled “Assassin’s Creed”. “Assassin’s Creed” was eventually released in November 2007. More than 20 titles have been released in the “Assassin’s Creed” series. The latest title in the series is “Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate” and is due to be released on the 23rd of October 2015.
1. Goldeneye 007 Origins:
I know that “Goldeneye 007” is a movie but there is a very well known Nintendo 64 game based on it. “Goldeneye 007” was released in August 1997 for the Nintendo 64. A remake of the game featuring Daniel Craig instead of Pierce Brosnan was released in November 2010 for the Nintendo Wii and the Nintendo DS. The remake was rereleased as “Goldeneye 007: Reloaded” in November 2011 for the PS3 and Xbox 360. Although “Goldeneye 007” was originally released for the Nintendo 64, it was originally planned to be a side scroller for the Super Nintendo. Because of the success of “Donkey Kong Country”, Rare thought that the easiest way to make “Goldeneye 007” a success would be to make it similar to “Donkey Kong Country”. This idea was quickly scrapped in favour of an on rail shooter. For those who don’t know, an on rail shooter is a game where the main character automatically moves through the level and the player has to shoot the enemies along the way. The idea to make “Goldeneye 007” an on rail shooter came from a game titled “Virtua Cop” for the SEGA Saturn. Due to the amount of memory it would take to turn “Goldeneye 007” into an on rail shooter, it began getting developed for the Nintendo 64. Rare eventually made an on rail version of the “Facility” level. They decided to experiment with giving the player freedom in the level. Rare decided that this feature would be much more entertaining. The idea of having set objectives in each level came from “Super Mario 64”. The only difference is that in “Super Mario 64”, the player has to leave the level after each objective where as in “Goldeneye 007”, all of the objectives must be completed before leaving the level.