Play Station

playstation-2

History
An original PlayStation control pad. This model was later replaced by the Dual Analog, and then the DualShock.

The second conceptions of the PlayStation date back to 1986 in Japan where it was created. Nintendo had been attempting to work with disc technology since the Famicom, but the medium had problems. Its rewritable magnetic nature could be easily erased (thus leading to a lack of durability), and the discs were a copyright infringement danger. Consequently, when details of CDROM/XA (an extension of the CD-ROM format that combines compressed audio, visual and computer data, allowing all to be accessed simultaneously) came out, Nintendo was interested. CD-ROM/XA was being simultaneously developed by Sony and Philips. Nintendo approached Sony to develop a CD-ROM add-on, tentatively titled the “SNES-CD”. A contract was signed, and work began. Nintendo’s choice of Sony was due to a prior dealing: Ken Kutaragi, the person who would later be dubbed “The Father of PlayStation”, was the individual who had sold Nintendo on using the Sony SPC-700 processor for use as the eight-channel ADPCM sound synthesis set in the Super Famicom/SNES console through an impressive demonstration of the processor’s capabilities.[12]

Sony also planned to develop another, Atari compatible, Sony-branded console, but one which would be more of a home entertainment system playing both Super Nintendo cartridges and a new CD format which Sony would design. This was also to be the format used in SNES-CD discs, giving a large degree of control to Sony despite Nintendo’s leading position in the video gaming market.
The DualShock controller.

The SNES-CD was to be announced at the June 1991 Consumer Electronics Show (CES). However, when Hiroshi Yamauchi read the original 1988 contract between Sony and Nintendo, he realized that the earlier agreement essentially handed Sony complete control over any and all titles written on the SNES CD-ROM format. Yamauchi decided that the contract was totally unacceptable and he secretly canceled all plans for the joint Nintendo-Sony SNES CD attachment. Instead of announcing a partnership between Sony and Nintendo, at 9 a.m. the day of the CES, Nintendo chairman Howard Lincoln stepped onto the stage and revealed that Nintendo was now allied with Philips, and Nintendo was planning on abandoning all the previous work Nintendo and Sony had accomplished. Lincoln and Minoru Arakawa had, unbeknownst to Sony, flown to Philips headquarters in Europe and formed an alliance of a decidedly different nature—one that would give Nintendo total control over its licenses on Philips machines.

After the collapse of the joint project, Sony considered halting their research, but ultimately the company decided to use what they had developed so far and make it into a complete, stand alone console. As a result, Nintendo filed a lawsuit claiming breach of contract and attempted, in U.S. federal court, to obtain an injunction against the release of the PlayStation, on the grounds that Nintendo owned the name. The federal judge presiding over the case denied the injunction and, in October 1991, the first incarnation of the new Sony Play Station was revealed. However, it is theorized that only 200 or so of these machines were ever produced.[citation needed]
PlayStation Memory Card.

By the end of 1992, Sony and Nintendo reached a deal whereby the “Sony Play Station” would still have a port for SNES games, but Nintendo would own the rights and receive the bulk of the profits from the games, and the SNES would continue to use the Sony-designed audio chip. However, Sony decided in early 1993 to begin reworking the “Play Station” concept to target a new generation of hardware and software. As part of this process the SNES cartridge port was dropped and the space between the names was removed.

[edit] Launch

The PlayStation was launched in Japan on December 3, 1994, North America on September 9, 1995,[2] Europe on September 29, 1995,[3] and Oceania in November 15, 1995.[4] The launch price in the American market was US$299[2] (a price point later used by its successor, the PlayStation 2),[13] and Sony enjoyed a very successful launch with titles of almost every genre, including Battle Arena Toshinden, Warhawk, Air Combat, and Philosoma. Ridge Racer, however, was not a launch game, despite popular belief. Almost all of Sony’s and Namco’s launch titles went on to spawn numerous sequels.

The PlayStation was also able to generate interest with a unique series of advertising campaigns. Many of the ads released at the time of launch were full of ambiguous content which had many gamers rabidly debating their meanings. The most well-known launch ads include the “Enos Lives” campaign, and the “U R Not e” ads (the “e” in “U R Not e” was always colored in red, to symbolize the word “ready”, and the “Enos” meant “ready Ninth Of September”, the U.S. launch date). The Enos ad could also be read as Sony written backward with phonetic sound of “E” replacing the “y”. It is believed that these ads were an attempt to play off the gaming public’s suspicion towards Sony as an unknown, untested entity in the video game market. The PlayStation 3 slogan, “PLAY B3YOND”, resembles this slogan, as the 3 is red.

Demo disk 1 that shipped with the PlayStation in Europe.
Titles
See also: Chronology of PlayStation games and List of PlayStation 1 games

As of September 30, 2007, a total of 7,978 software titles have been released worldwide (counting games released in multiple regions as separate titles).[14] As of March 31, 2007, the cumulative software shipment was at 962 million units.[15] The very last game for the system released in the United States was FIFA Football 2005.

The OK and Cancel buttons on most of the Japanese PlayStation games are reversed in their North American and European releases. In Japan, the Circle button (maru, right) is used as the OK button, while the X button (batsu, wrong) is used as Cancel. North American and European releases have the X button or the Circle buttons as the OK button, while either the Square or the Triangle buttons are used as Cancel (some titles like Xenogears used the Circle button for cancelling actions and selections). However, a few games such as Squaresoft’s Vagrant Story, Final Fantasy VII (although players could change the button configuration in-game in the North American and European releases, this brought up problems in certain situations), and Final Fantasy Tactics, Namco’s Ridge Racer Type 4 and Konami’s Metal Gear Solid, have the buttons remain in the same Japanese configurational layout. Some games like Japanese version of Gran Turismo had used different control similar to North American games. These Japanese button layouts still apply to other PlayStation consoles, such as the PlayStation Portable (PSP), PlayStation 2 and the PlayStation 3. This is because in the early years Sony America (SCEA), Sony Europe (SCEE) and Sony Japan (SCEJ) had different development and testing documents (TRCs) for their respective territories.

[edit] Production Run

Lasting over 11 years, the PlayStation enjoyed one of the longest production runs in the video game industry. On March 23, 2006, Sony announced the end of production. However, Duel Masters: Sempai Legends!, the last game for the PlayStation was released on September 29, 2006.[11]

[edit] Variants
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Developer’s kit PlayStation

The PlayStation went through a number of variants during its production run, each accompanied by a change in the part number. From an external perspective, the most notable change was the gradual reduction in the number of external connectors on the unit. This started very early on—the original Japanese launch units (SCPH-1000) had an S-Video port, which was removed on the next release. This also led to the strange situation where the US and European launch units had the same part number series (SCPH-100x) as the Japanese launch units, but had different hardware (Rev. C silicon and no S-Video port)—they were the same as the Japanese SCPH-3000, so for consistency should have been SCPH-3001 and SCPH-3002 (this numbering was used for the Yaroze machines, which were based on the same hardware and numbered DTL-H3000, DTL-H3001, and DTL-H3002). Also, the first models (DTL-H1000, DTL-H1001, DTL-H1002) had some problems with printf function and developers had to use another function instead. This series of machines had a reputation for CD drive problems—the optical pickup sled was made of thermoplastic, and eventually developed wear spots that moved the laser into a position where it was no longer parallel with the CD surface—a modification was made that replaced the sled with a die-cast one with hard nylon inserts, which corrected the problem.

With the release of the next series (SCPH-500x), the numbers moved back into sync. A number of changes were made to the unit internally (CD drive relocated, shielding simplified, PSU wiring simplified) and the RCA jacks and RFU power connectors were removed from the rear panel. This series also contained the SCPH-550x and SCPH-555x units, but these appear to have been bundle changes rather than actual hardware revisions.

These were followed by the SCPH-700x and SCHP-750x series—they are externally identical to the SCPH-500x machines, but have internal changes made to reduce manufacturing costs (for example, the system RAM went from 4 chips to 1, and the CD controller went from 3 chips to 1).

The final revision to the original PlayStation was the SCPH-900x series—these had the same hardware as the SCPH-750x machines with the exception of the removal of the parallel port and a slight reduction in the size of the PCB. The removal of the parallel port was probably partly because no official add-on had ever been released for it, and partly because it was being used to connect cheat cartridges that could be used to defeat the copy protection.

The PS one was based on substantially the same hardware as the SCPH-750x and 900x, but had the serial port removed, the controller / memory card ports moved to the main PCB and the power supply replaced with a DC-DC converter that was also on the main PCB.

With the early units, many gamers experienced skipping full-motion video or dreaded physical “ticking” noises coming from their PlayStations. The problem appears to have come from poorly placed vents leading to overheating in some environments—the plastic moldings inside the console would warp very slightly and create knock-on effects with the laser assembly. The solution was to ensure the console was sat on a surface which dissipated heat efficiently in a well vented area, or raise the unit up slightly by propping something at its edges. A common fix for already affected consoles was to turn the PlayStation sideways or upside-down (thereby using gravity to cancel the effects of the warped interior) although some gamers smacked the lid of the PlayStation to make a game load or work.

Earliest series had potentiometers on the board for adjusting the reading mechanism, named BIAS, GAIN and an unknown one. By connecting a voltmeter between the upper-most metering point near the BIAS potentiometer and the chassis, the resulting voltage could be read. The supposed right values are 1.70V when a CD is spinning at 1x speed and 1.85V when a CD is spinning at 2x speed. Further tuning was also possible on the unique potentiometer present on the CD drive. Later series featured an automatic laser calibration mechanism.

Sony then released a version dubbed “Dual Shock”, which included a controller with two analog sticks and a built-in vibration-feedback feature.

Another version that was colored blue (as opposed to regular console units that were grey in color) was available to game developers and select press. Later versions of this were colored green—on a technical level, these units were almost identical to the retail units, but had a different CD controller in them that did not require the region code found on all pressed disks, since they were intended to be used with CD-R media for debugging. This also allowed the use of discs from different regions, but this was not officially supported; different debug stations existed for each region. The two different color cases were not cosmetic—the original blue debug station (DTL-H100x, DTL-H110x) contained “Revision B” silicon, the same as the early retail units (these units had silicon errata that needed software workarounds), the green units (DTL-H120x) had Rev. C hardware. As part of the required tests, the user had to test the title on both. Contrary to popular belief, the RAM was the same as the retail units at 2 MB. The firmware was nearly identical—the only significant change was that debug printf()s got sent to the serial port if the title didn’t open it for communications—this used a DTL-H3050 serial cable (the same as the one used for the Yaroze).

A white version (SCPH-5903) was also produced that had the ability to play VCDs—this was only sold in Asia, since that format never really caught on anywhere else. From a developer perspective, the white PSX could be treated exactly like any other NTSC:J PlayStation.

[edit] “Chipped” consoles

The installation of a modchip allowed the PlayStation’s capabilities to be expanded, and several options were made available. By the end of the system’s life cycle almost anyone with minimal soldering experience was able to realize the modification of the console. Such a modification allowed the playing of games from other regions, such as PAL titles on a NTSC console, or allowed the ability to play copies of original games without restriction. Modchips allow the playing of games recorded on a regular CD-R. This created a wave of games developed without official approval using free, unofficial tools, as well as the reproduction of original discs. With the introduction of such devices the console was very attractive to programmers and illegal copiers alike.

Anyone seeking to create copies of games that would work correctly faced several issues at the time, as the discs that were produced by Sony were designed to be difficult to copy — and impossible to copy on recordable media. Discs were manufactured with a black-colored plastic, transparent only to the infrared radiation used by the CD-ROM drive’s laser. This was found to offer little protection. Additionally, the discs were mastered with a specific wobble in the lead-in area. This wobble encodes a four-character sequence which is checked by the CD-ROM drive’s controller chip. The drive will only accept the disc if the code is correct. This string varies depending on the region of the disk—”SCEI” for NTSC:J machines, “SCEA” for NTSC:U/C machines, “SCEE” for PAL machines and “SCEW” for the Net Yaroze. Since the tracking pattern is pressed into the disc at the time of manufacture, this cannot be reproduced on a CD-R recorder. Some companies (notably Datel) did manage to produce discs that booted on unmodified retail units, but this required special equipment and can only be done with “pressed” discs. However, inexpensive modchips were created that simply injected the code to the appropriate connections to the controller chip, which provided an easy way of bypassing these measures. The other issue is that most PC drives used Mode 1 or Mode 2/Form 1 (2048 bytes/sector) and the PSX uses a mixed-mode format with most data in Mode 2/Form 1 and streaming audio/video data in Mode 2/Form 2, which most CD-R drives at the time could not handle well. Newer drives were able to correctly handle these variations.

The creation and mass-production of these inexpensive modchips, coupled with their ease of installation, marked the beginning of widespread console videogame copyright infringement. Also, CD burners were made available around this time. Prior to the PlayStation, the reproduction of copyrighted material for gaming consoles was restricted to either enthusiasts with exceptional technical ability, or others that had access to CD manufacturers. With this console, amateurs could replicate anything Sony was producing for a mere fraction of the MSRP.

Swap Trick

On earliest series, SCPH-100X and SCPH-3000, it was possible to launch games burned on CD-R without any mod-chip. The trick consisted in starting the console with no game, then going to the CD player application. After inserting an original game, using a small object like a match or a spring, make the lid contactor go down to simulate a closed lid. The CD would spin up and stop, after it was exchanged by another game this time burned on a CD-R. After exiting the CD player application, the PlayStation loads the game thinking it’s an original CD. On later series, this trick was defeated, though it was still possible to realise a double-swap which consisted of launching an original game, the two times the CD-ROM spins to 2x speed and lowers to 1x speed, the original game was exchanged by a copy, twice. This defeated the tighter verifications on newer series, but at a price of wearing out the CD-ROM motor.
Net Yaroze

A version of the PlayStation called the Net Yaroze was also produced. It was more expensive than the original PlayStation, colored black instead of the usual gray, and most importantly, came with tools and instructions that allowed a user to be able to program PlayStation games and applications without the need for a full developer suite, which cost many times the amount of a PlayStation and was only available to approved video game developers. Naturally, the Net Yaroze lacked many of the features the full developer suite provided. Programmers were also limited by the 2 MB of total game space that Net Yaroze allowed. The amount of space may seem small, but games like Ridge Racer ran entirely from the system RAM (except for the streamed music tracks). It was unique in that it was the only officially retailed Sony PlayStation with no regional lockout; it would play games from any territory. It would not however play CDR discs, so it was not possible to create self-booting Yaroze games without a modified Playstation.
PS one with LCD screen and a DualShock controller.

PlayStation 1

The PlayStation 1 (also PSone, PSOne, or PS1), launched in 2000, is Sony’s smaller, redesigned version of its PlayStation video game console. The PS one is considerably smaller than the original PlayStation (dimensions being 38 mm × 193 mm × 144 mm versus 45 mm × 260 mm × 185 mm). It was released on July 7, 2000,[16] and went on to outsell all other consoles—including Sony’s own brand-new PlayStation 2—throughout the remainder of the year.[17] Sony also released a small LCD screen and an adaptor to power the unit for use in cars. The PS one is fully compatible with all PlayStation software. The PlayStation is now officially abbreviated as the “PS1” or “PS one.”[citation needed] There were three differences between the “PS one” and the original, the first one being cosmetic change to the console, the second one was the home menu’s Graphical User Interface, and the third being added protection against the modchip by changing the internal layout and making previous-generation modchip devices unusable. The PS one also lacks the original PlayStation’s parallel and serial ports. The serial port allowed multiple consoles to be connected for multiplayer or for connecting a console to debugging software.

Summary of PlayStation models

The last digit of the PlayStation model number denotes the region in which it was sold:

* 0 is Japan (Japanese boot ROM, NTSC:J region, NTSC Video, 100V PSU)
* 1 is USA/Canada (English boot ROM, NTSC:U/C region, NTSC Video, 110V PSU)
* 2 is Europe/PAL (English boot ROM, PAL region, PAL Video, 220V PSU)
* 3 is Asia (Japanese boot ROM, NTSC:J region, NTSC video, 220V PSU)

Consumer models
Model:     Case:     BIOS:     Hardware:     Region:     A/V Direct Out:     Parallel Port:     Serial Port:     Sound Scope:     Notes:
SCPH-1000     Original (Grey)     Unknown (09/22/94)     Rev. A     NTSC-J     Yes     Yes     Yes     No     FMV skipping issues. S-Video direct out.
SCPH-1001     Original (Grey)     2.2 (12/04/95)     Rev. B     NTSC-U/C     Yes     Yes     Yes     No     FMV skipping issues. Based on SCPH-3000 series.
SCPH-1002     Original (Grey)     2.0 (05/10/95)     Rev. B     PAL     Yes     Yes     Yes     No     FMV skipping issues. Based on SCPH-3000 series.
SCPH-1002     Original (Grey)     2.1 (07/17/95)     Rev. B     PAL     Yes     Yes     Yes     No     FMV skipping issues. Based on SCPH-3000 series.
SCPH-1002     Original (Grey)     2.2 (12/04/95)     Rev. B     PAL     Yes     Yes     Yes     No     FMV skipping issues. Based on SCPH-3000 series.
SCPH-3000     Original (Grey)     1.1 (01/22/95)     Rev. B     NTSC-J     Yes     Yes     Yes     No     FMV skipping issues. Earliest units had a PU-7 board, further units featured a PU-8 board like SCPH-1002.
SCPH-3500     Original (Grey)     2.1 (07/17/95)     Rev. B     NTSC-J     Yes     Yes     Yes     No     FMV skipping issues.
SCPH-5000     Original (Grey)     2.2 (12/04/95)     Rev. C     NTSC-J     No     Yes     Yes     No     CD-ROM drive re-located on right side of CD bay. Lens carriage reinforced and power simplified, fixing FMV skipping issues. A/V direct out and RFU power connector removed. Model numbers synchronized worldwide.
SCPH-5001     Original (Grey)     Unknown (Unknown)     Rev. C     NTSC-U/C     No     Yes     Yes     No     CD-ROM drive re-located on right side of CD bay. Lens carriage reinforced and power simplified, fixing FMV skipping issues. A/V direct out and RFU power connector removed. Model numbers synchronized worldwide.
SCPH-5002     Original (Grey)     Unknown (Unknown)     Rev. C     PAL     No     Yes     Yes     No     CD-ROM drive re-located on right side of CD bay. Lens carriage reinforced and power simplified, fixing FMV skipping issues. A/V direct out and RFU power connector removed. Model numbers synchronized worldwide.
SCPH-5003     Original (Grey)     Unknown (Unknown)     Rev. C     NTSC-J     No     Yes     Yes     No     CD-ROM drive re-located on right side of CD bay. Lens carriage reinforced and power simplified, fixing FMV skipping issues. A/V direct out and RFU power connector removed. Model numbers synchronized worldwide.
SCPH-5500     Original (Grey)     3.0 (09/09/96)     Rev. C     NTSC-J     No     Yes     Yes     No     CD-ROM drive re-located on right side of CD bay. Lens carriage reinforced and power simplified, fixing FMV skipping issues. A/V direct out and RFU power connector removed. Model numbers synchronized worldwide.
SCPH-5501     Original (Grey)     3.0 (11/18/96)     Rev. C     NTSC-U/C     No     Yes     Yes     No     CD-ROM drive re-located on right side of CD bay. Lens carriage reinforced and power simplified, fixing FMV skipping issues. A/V direct out and RFU power connector removed. Model numbers synchronized worldwide.
SCPH-5502     Original (Grey)     3.0 (01/06/97)     Rev. C     PAL     No     Yes     Yes     No     CD-ROM drive re-located on right side of CD bay. Lens carriage reinforced and power simplified, fixing FMV skipping issues. A/V direct out and RFU power connector removed. Model numbers synchronized worldwide.
SCPH-5503     Original (Grey)     Unknown (Unknown)     Rev. C     NTSC-J     No     Yes     Yes     No     CD-ROM drive re-located on right side of CD bay. Lens carriage reinforced and power simplified, fixing FMV skipping issues. A/V direct out and RFU power connector removed. Model numbers synchronized worldwide.
SCPH-5552     Original (Grey)     3.0 (01/06/97)     Rev. C     PAL     No     Yes     Yes     No     CD-ROM drive re-located on right side of CD bay. Lens carriage reinforced and power simplified, fixing FMV skipping issues. A/V direct out and RFU power connector removed. Model numbers synchronized worldwide. A very rare Men in Black promotional model exists with a black case and the film’s logo on the CD lid.
SCPH-5903     Original (White)     Unknown (Unknown)     Rev. C     NTSC-J     Yes     Yes     Yes     No     CD-ROM drive re-located on right side of CD bay. Lens carriage reinforced and power simplified, fixing FMV skipping issues. A/V direct out and RFU power connector removed. Model numbers synchronized worldwide. Only model capable of playing Video CD movies. This model also has RCA plugs, like earlier Playstation models.
SCPH-7000     Original (Grey)     4.0 (08/18/97)     Rev. C     NTSC-J     No     Yes     Yes     Yes     DualShock now standard. Introduction of Sound Scope. Major manufacturing cost reductions took place from this model onwards. The number of memory chips and CD-ROM controllers were reduced, other components were simplified. Available in midnight blue as promotional item to celebrate the 10 millionth PlayStation sold.
SCPH-7001     Original (Grey)     4.1 (12/16/97)     Rev. C     NTSC-U/C     No     Yes     Yes     Yes     DualShock now standard. Introduction of Sound Scope. Major manufacturing cost reductions took place from this model onwards. The number of memory chips and CD-ROM controllers were reduced, other components were simplified. Available in midnight blue as promotional item to celebrate the 10 millionth PlayStation sold.
SCPH-7002     Original (Grey)     4.1 (12/16/97)     Rev. C     PAL     No     Yes     Yes     Yes     DualShock now standard. Introduction of Sound Scope. Major manufacturing cost reductions took place from this model onwards. The number of memory chips and CD-ROM controllers were reduced, other components were simplified. Available in midnight blue as promotional item to celebrate the 10 millionth PlayStation sold.
SCPH-7003     Original (Grey)     3.0 (11/18/96)     Rev. C     NTSC-J     No     Yes     Yes     Yes     DualShock now standard. Introduction of Sound Scope. Major manufacturing cost reductions took place from this model onwards. The number of memory chips and CD-ROM controllers were reduced, other components were simplified.
SCPH-7500     Original (Grey)     Unknown (Unknown)     Rev. C     NTSC-J     No     Yes     Yes     Yes     DualShock now standard. Introduction of Sound Scope. Major manufacturing cost reductions took place from this model onwards. The number of memory chips and CD-ROM controllers were reduced, other components were simplified.
SCPH-7501     Original (Grey)     4.1 (12/16/97)     Rev. C     NTSC-U/C     No     Yes     Yes     Yes     DualShock now standard. Introduction of Sound Scope. Major manufacturing cost reductions took place from this model onwards. The number of memory chips and CD-ROM controllers were reduced, other components were simplified.
SCPH-7502     Original (Grey)     4.1 (12/16/97)     Rev. C     PAL     No     Yes     Yes     Yes     DualShock now standard. Introduction of Sound Scope. Major manufacturing cost reductions took place from this model onwards. The number of memory chips and CD-ROM controllers were reduced, other components were simplified.
SCPH-7503     Original (Grey)     4.1 (12/16/97)     Rev. C     NTSC-J     No     Yes     Yes     Yes     DualShock now standard. Introduction of Sound Scope. Major manufacturing cost reductions took place from this model onwards. The number of memory chips and CD-ROM controllers were reduced, other components were simplified.
SCPH-9000     Original (Grey)     4.0 (08/18/97)     Rev. C     NTSC-J     No     No     Yes     Yes     Parallel port removed. Motherboard PCB reduced in size.
SCPH-9001     Original (Grey)     4.1 (12/16/97)     Rev. C     NTSC-U/C     No     No     Yes     Yes     Parallel port removed. Motherboard PCB reduced in size.
SCPH-9002     Original (Grey)     4.1 (12/16/97)     Rev. C     PAL     No     No     Yes     Yes     Parallel port removed. Motherboard PCB reduced in size.
SCPH-9003     Original (Grey)     Unknown (Unknown)     Rev. C     NTSC-J     No     No     Yes     Yes     Parallel port removed. Motherboard PCB reduced in size.
SCPH-100     PS one (White)     4.3 (03/11/00)     Rev. C     NTSC-J     No     No     No     Yes     Redesigned smaller case. Controller and memory card ports integrated onto motherboard. Serial port removed. Has external power supply.
SCPH-101     PS one (White)     4.5 (05/25/00)     Rev. C     NTSC-U/C     No     No     No     Yes     Redesigned smaller case. Controller and memory card ports integrated onto motherboard. Serial port removed. Has external power supply.
SCPH-102     PS one (White)     4.4 (03/24/00)     Rev. C     PAL     No     No     No     Yes     Redesigned smaller case. Controller and memory card ports integrated onto motherboard. Serial port removed. Has external power supply.
SCPH-102     PS one (White)     4.5 (05/25/00)     Rev. C     PAL     No     No     No     Yes     Redesigned smaller case. Controller and memory card ports integrated onto motherboard. Serial port removed. Has external power supply.
SCPH-103     PS one (White)     Unknown (Unknown)     Rev. C     NTSC-J     No     No     No     Yes     Redesigned smaller case. Controller and memory card ports integrated onto motherboard. Serial port removed. Has external power supply.

Speciality models
Model:     Case:     BIOS:     Hardware:     Region:     A/V Direct Out:     Parallel Port:     Serial Port:     Sound Scope:     Notes:
DTL-H1000     Original (Blue)     Unknown (09/22/94)     Rev. A     NTSC-J     Yes     Yes     Yes     No     Low quality CD-ROM drive. S-Video direct out. Debugger. Can boot games from any region and CD-R copies.
DTL-H1000H     Original (Grey)     1.1 (01/22/95)     Rev. B     NTSC-J     Yes     Yes     Yes     No     Low quality CD-ROM drive. Debugger. Can boot games from any region and CD-R copies.
DTL-H1001     Original (Blue)     2.0 (05/07/95)     Rev. B     NTSC-U/C     Yes     Yes     Yes     No     Low quality CD-ROM drive. Debugger. Can boot games from any region and CD-R copies.
DTL-H1001H     Original (Grey)     Unknown (Unknown)     Rev. B     NTSC-U/C     Yes     Yes     Yes     No     Low quality CD-ROM drive. Debugger. Can boot games from any region and CD-R copies.
DTL-H1002     Original (Blue)     2.0 (05/10/95)     Rev. B     PAL     Yes     Yes     Yes     No     Low quality CD-ROM drive. Debugger. Can boot games from any region and CD-R copies.
DTL-H1100     Original (Blue)     2.2 (03/06/96)     Rev. B     NTSC-J     Yes     Yes     Yes     No     Low quality CD-ROM drive. Debugger. Can boot games from any region and CD-R copies. Has external power supply.
DTL-H1101     Original (Blue)     2.1 (07/17/95)     Rev. B     NTSC-U/C     Yes     Yes     Yes     No     Low quality CD-ROM drive. Debugger. Can boot games from any region and CD-R copies. Has external power supply.
DTL-H1102     Original (Blue)     2.1 (07/17/95)     Rev. B     PAL     Yes     Yes     Yes     No     Low quality CD-ROM drive. Debugger. Can boot games from any region and CD-R copies. Has external power supply.
DTL-H1200     Original (Green)     2.2 (12/04/95)     Rev. C     NTSC-J     Yes     Yes     Yes     No     Low quality CD-ROM drive. Debugger. Can boot games from any region and CD-R copies. Will not display PAL video mode.
DTL-H1201     Original (Green)     2.2 (12/04/95)     Rev. C     NTSC-U/C     Yes     Yes     Yes     No     Low quality CD-ROM drive. Debugger. Can boot games from any region and CD-R copies. Will not display PAL video mode.
DTL-H1202     Original (Green)     2.2 (12/04/95)     Rev. C     PAL     Yes     Yes     Yes     No     Low quality CD-ROM drive. Debugger. Can boot games from any region and CD-R copies. Will not display NTSC video mode.
DTL-H3000     Original (Black)     Unknown (Unknown)     Rev. B     NTSC-J     Yes     Yes     Yes     No     Low quality CD-ROM drive. Net Yaroze hobbyist development system. Can boot games from any region but not CD-R copies.
DTL-H3001     Original (Black)     2.2 (12/04/95)     Rev. B     NTSC-U/C     Yes     Yes     Yes     No     Low quality CD-ROM drive. Net Yaroze hobbyist development system. Can boot games from any region but not CD-R copies.
DTL-H3002     Original (Black)     2.2 (12/04/95)     Rev. B     PAL     Yes     Yes     Yes     No     Low quality CD-ROM drive. Net Yaroze hobbyist development system. Can boot games from any region but not CD-R copies.

Successors

Sony’s successor to the PlayStation is the PlayStation 2, which is backward compatible with its predecessor in that it can play almost every PlayStation game. Unlike emulators that run on a PC, the PlayStation 2 actually contains the original PlayStation processor, allowing games to run exactly as they do on the PlayStation. For PlayStation 2 games this processor, called the IOP, is used for input and output (memory cards, DVD drive, network, and hard drive). Like its predecessor, the PlayStation 2 is based on hardware developed by Sony itself.

The third generation of the PlayStation known as the PlayStation 3 (abbreviated PS3), was launched on November 17, 2006 in Japan, November 17, 2006 in North America, and March 23, 2007 in Europe. The PlayStation 3 was initially backward compatible with all games that were originally made for the first PlayStation, but due to the removal of the PlayStation 2 chipset after the introduction of the 40 GB version, that capability is limited now to emulation. While PS3 games are not region-locked, PlayStation games still only play on a PS3 console from the same territory.

The PlayStation Portable (officially PSP) is a handheld game console first released in late 2004. The PSP is capable of playing PlayStation games downloaded via Sony’s online store, and can also play any PlayStation game by using the PlayStation 3’s remote play feature while the disc in the PlayStation 3. Sony hopes to release nearly all PlayStation games on a gradual basis.[18] It is also possible to convert original PlayStation disc images into executable binaries using freely available software. These games are then playable on PSPs that have been modified to run unsigned code.

An original PlayStation 2

A 60 GB PlayStation 3 unit, alongside its packaging box and a Sixaxis controller.

A 1000 series PlayStation Portable

Legacy

The success of the PlayStation is widely believed to have influenced the demise of the cartridge-based home console. While not the first system to utilize an optical disc format, it was the first success story, and ended up going head-to-head with the last major home console to rely on proprietary cartridges—the Nintendo 64.

Nintendo was very public about its skepticism toward using CDs and DVDs to store games, citing longer load times and durability issues. It was widely speculated that the company was even more concerned with copyright infringement, given its substantial reliance on licensing and exclusive titles for its revenue.

The increasing complexity of games (in content, graphics, and sound) pushed cartridges to their storage limits and this fact began to turn off third party developers. Also, CDs were appealing to publishers due to the fact that they could be produced at a significantly lower cost and offered more flexibility (it was easy to change production to meet demand). In turn, they were able to pass the lower costs onto consumers. One major industry disadvantage of CDs was illegal copying due to the advent of CD burners and mod chips.[citation needed] Despite this drawback for CDs, Sony still supported them over cartridges, and has helped bring the concept of using CDs as a storage device for video games. And while helping forward this idea, they have had great success with it: the PlayStation has sold over 100 million consoles worldwide. The PlayStation’s production was discontinued on March 23, 2006.[11]
This article needs reorganization to meet Wikipedia’s quality standards. There is good information here, but it is poorly organized; editors are encouraged to be bold and make changes to the overall structure to improve this article. (December 2006)

Quality of construction

The first batch of PlayStations used a KSM-440AAM laser unit whose case and all movable parts were completely made out of plastic. Over time, friction caused the plastic tray to wear out—usually unevenly. The placement of the laser unit close to the power supply accelerated wear because of the additional heat, which made the plastic even more vulnerable to friction. Eventually, the tray would become so worn that the laser no longer pointed directly at the CD and games would no longer load. Sony eventually fixed the problem by making the tray out of die-cast metal and placing the laser unit farther away from the power supply on later models of the PlayStation.

Some units, particularly the early 100x models, would be unable to play FMV or music correctly, resulting in skipping or freezing. In more extreme cases the PlayStation would only work correctly when turned onto its side or upside down.

Nintendo

nintendo

Electronic games
Nintendo’s first video game system, the Color TV Game 6
The Nintendo Game & Watch unit Donkey Kong

Nintendo at this time saw how successful video games were and began to dabble in them. Their first step in that field was to secure the rights to distribute the Magnavox Odyssey in Japan, which they did in 1975. At the time, home video game consoles were extremely rare — even the seminal Atari Pong console had yet to be produced. After experiencing reasonable success at this, Nintendo began developing its own video games, both for the home and for arcades. In the 1970s, Mitsubishi Electric proposed joint development of “Color TV Game Machine”. In 1977, they released “Color TV Game 6” and “Color TV Game 15” (6 and 15 indicates the number of games).

Their first video arcade game was 1978’s Computer Othello; a large handful of others followed in the next several years, Radar Scope and Donkey Kong being among the most famous of these. The early 1980s saw Nintendo’s video game division (led by Yokoi) creating some of its most famous arcade titles. The massively popular Donkey Kong was created in 1981 with Miyamoto as its mastermind, and released in the arcades and on the Atari 2600, Intellivision, and ColecoVision video game systems (although Nintendo themselves generally had no involvement with these early console ports). This release method would be used on several later Nintendo arcade games of this same period, including the original Mario Bros. (not to be confused with the later Super Mario Bros.) In addition to this arcade and dedicated console game activity, Nintendo was testing the consumer handheld video game waters with the Game & Watch.

nintendo-logo1983–1989

In July 1983, Nintendo released their Famicom (Family Computer) system in Japan, which was their first attempt at a cartridge-based video game console. The system was a failure until the release of the game Super Mario Bros., selling over 500,000 units within two months. The console was also a technical insulation and inexpensive when compared to its competitors, priced at about $100 USD. However, after a few months of the consoles selling well, Nintendo received complaints that some Famicom consoles would freeze when the player attempted to play certain games. The fault was found in a malfunctioning chip and Nintendo decided to recall all Famicom units currently on store shelves, which cost them almost half a million USD.

By 1985, the Famicom had proven to be a huge continued success in Japan. However, Nintendo also encountered a problem with the sudden popularity of the Famicom — they did not have the resources to manufacture games at the same pace they were selling them. To combat this, Yamauchi decided to divide his employees into three groups, the groups being Research & Development 1 (R&D 1), Research & Development 2 (R&D 2) and Research & Development 3 (R&D 3). R&D 1 was headed by Gunpei Yokoi, R&D 2 was headed by Masayuki Uemura, and R&D 3 was headed by Genyo Takeda. Using these groups, Yamauchi hoped Nintendo would produce a small number of high quality games rather than a large number of average quality games.
The Nintendo Famicom, released in 1983, sold well in Japan.

During this period of time, Nintendo rekindled their desire to release the Famicom in the USA. Since the company had very little experience with the United States market, they had previously attempted to contract with Atari for the system’s distribution in 1983. However, a fiasco involving Coleco and Donkey Kong soured the relationship between the two during the negotiations, and Atari refused to back Nintendo’s console. The video game crash of 1983 soon took out not only Atari, but the vast majority of the American market itself. Nintendo was on their own.

Nintendo was determined not to make the same mistakes in the US that Atari had. Because of massive influxes of games that were regarded as some of the worst ever created, gaming had almost completely died out in America. Nintendo decided that to avoid facing the same problems, they would only allow games that received their “Seal of Quality” to be sold for the Famicom, using a chip called 10NES to “lockout” or prevent unlicensed games from working.

In 1985, Nintendo announced that they were releasing the Famicom worldwide — except under a different name — the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) — and with a different design. They used a trojan-horse tactic to counter the bad view that the media was giving on video games, and released the NES with R.O.B. units that connected to the console and were synchronised to the games. To ensure the localization of the highest-quality games by third-party developers, Nintendo of America limited the number of game titles third-party developers could release in a single year to five. Konami, the first third-party company that was allowed to make cartridges for the Famicom, would later circumvent this rule by creating a spinoff company, Ultra Games, to release additional games in a single year. Other manufacturers soon employed the same tactic. Also in 1985, Super Mario Bros. was released for the Famicom in Japan and became a large success.
The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), released in 1985, is one of the most popular consoles of all time.

Nintendo test marketed the Nintendo Entertainment System in the New York area on October 18, 1985. They expanded the test to Los Angeles in February 1986 followed by tests in Chicago and San Francisco. They would go national by the end of 1986, along with 15 games, sold separately. In the US and Canada, it outsold its competitors by a wide margin. This was also the year that Metroid and Super Mario Bros. 2 (the Japanese version) were released.

In 1988, Nintendo of America unveiled Nintendo Power, a monthly news and strategy magazine from Nintendo that served to advertise new games. The first issue published was the July/August edition, which spotlighted the NES game Super Mario Bros. 2. Nintendo Power is still published today with its two hundredth issue released in February 2006.

In 1989, Nintendo (which had seen a large amount of success from the Game & Watch) released the Game Boy (both created by Gunpei Yokoi), along with the accompanying game Tetris. Due to the price, the game and its durability (unlike the prior Microvision from Milton Bradley Company, which was prone to static and screen rot), the Game Boy sold extremely well. It eventually became the best selling portable game system of all time. Later, Super Mario Land was also released for the Game Boy, which sold 14 million copies worldwide. 1989 was also the year that Nintendo announced a sequel to the Famicom, to be called the Super Famicom.

By the end of the 1980s, Sega sued Nintendo, claiming that they had abused their relationship with third-party developers and created a monopoly in the gaming industry by not allowing developers to make games for any other platforms. The courts found Nintendo guilty of anti-trust activities. They changed this rule during the Super NES era, allowing Sega to start a massive console war against Nintendo with the Sega Mega Drive and Game Gear. This occurred once more in 1996, when Sony released the PlayStation.

1990–1995
The original North American SNES, circa 1991

The last major blockbuster game for the NES, Super Mario Bros. 3, was released in early 1990. The game went on to sell over 18 million units.

The Super Famicom was released in Japan on November 21, 1990. The system’s launch was widely successful, and the Super Famicom was sold out across Japan within three days. In August 1991, the Super Famicom was launched in the US under the name “Super Nintendo Entertainment System” (SNES). The SNES was released in Europe in 1992.

The Super Nintendo Entertainment System followed in the steps of its predecessor, with a low price and high technical specifications for its era. The controller of the SNES had also improved over that of the NES, as it now had rounded edges and four new buttons.

In Japan, the Super Famicom easily took control of the gaming market. In the US, due to a late start and an aggressive marketing campaign by Sega, Nintendo saw its market share take a precipitous plunge from 90-95% with the NES to a low of approximately 35% against the Sega Genesis. Over the course of several years, the SNES in North America eventually overtook the Genesis, thanks to franchise titles such as Super Mario World, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Street Fighter II, and the Final Fantasy series. Total worldwide sales of the SNES were higher than the Genesis.

In 1992, Gunpei Yokoi and the rest of R&D 1 began planning on a new virtual reality console to be called the Virtual Boy. Hiroshi Yamauchi also bought majority shares of the Seattle Mariners in 1992.

In 1993, Nintendo announced plans to develop a new 64-bit console codenamed Project Reality that would be capable of rendering fully 3D environments and characters. In 1994, Nintendo also claimed that Project Reality would be renamed Ultra 64 in the US. The Ultra 64 moniker was unveiled in arcades on the Nintendo branded fighting game Killer Instinct and the racing game Cruisin’ USA. Killer Instinct was later released on the SNES. Soon after, Nintendo realized they had mistakenly chosen a name for their new console that the Konami corporation owned the rights to. Specifically, only Konami would have the rights to release games for the new system called Ultra Football, Ultra Tennis, etc. Therefore, in 1995 Nintendo changed the final name of the system to the Nintendo 64, and announced that it would be released in 1996. They later showed previews of the system and several games, including Super Mario 64, to the media and public. 1995 is also the year that Nintendo purchased part of Rare.

In 1994, after many years of Nintendo’s products being distributed in Australia by Mattel since the NES in 1985, Nintendo Co., Ltd opened its Australian headquarters and its first Managing Directors were Graham Kerry, who moved along from Mattel Australia as Managing Director and Susumu Tanaka of Nintendo UK Ltd.

In the mid-90s Nintendo of America eased up on its stringent policies on blood and violence. After Sega created the Sega CD add on for its 16-bit machine, Nintendo initially contracted with Sony to develop an add-on CD-ROM drive for the SNES, but realized that Sony would get all the profit from the CD-ROM media, and also surprised at the failure of Sega CD, Nintendo terminated the contract and went with Philips. Nintendo announced their alliance with Philips at the same conference that Sony announced their CD-ROM drive. Nothing happened about the add-on drive in regard to the SNES, but Sony took the time and research and began to spin it off into a new product, the PlayStation. Philips took a similar route and developed the far less successful CD-i. Since Philips had already gained license to create games using Nintendo’s exclusive characters, games from series such as Mario and The Legend of Zelda appeared on the CD-i, though most fans discard them from being part of the series due to their entirely third-party development and poor quality. The deal between Philips and Nintendo eventually fell through, and the CD-i was seen as another ill-fated attempt by Philips to enter the computer market.

In 1995, Nintendo released the Virtual Boy in Japan. The console sold poorly, but Nintendo still said they had hope for it and continued to release several other games and attempted a release in the US, which was another disaster.

Also in 1995, Nintendo found themselves in a competitive situation. Competitor Sega introduced their 32-bit Saturn, while newcomer Sony introduced the 32-bit PlayStation. Sony’s fierce marketing campaigns ensued, and it started to cut into Nintendo and Sega’s market share.

1991_Super_Nintendo41996–2001

On June 23 1996, the Nintendo 64 (N64) was released in Japan and became a huge hit, selling over 500,000 units on the first day of its release. On September 29 1996, Nintendo released the Nintendo 64 in North America, and it too was a success. Many feel that the advertising onslaught by Sony at this time did not truly begin to take effect until many of the consumers who held out for the N64 became frustrated at the lack of software following the first few months after the system’s release. What also greatly contributed to the extremely competitive climate that Nintendo was entrenched in was the fact that many third-party companies immediately began developing and releasing many of their leading games for Nintendo’s competing consoles. Many of those third party companies cited cheaper development and manufacturing costs for the CD format, versus the cartridge format. On December 1 1999, Nintendo released an add-on to the Nintendo 64 in Japan, titled the Nintendo 64DD, although it was never released elsewhere.
The exterior of Nintendo’s main research center. It is a few blocks away from the company’s main headquarters.

Nintendo followed with the release of the Game Boy Pocket, a smaller version of the original Game Boy. A week after the release of the Game Boy Pocket, Gunpei Yokoi resigned from his position at Nintendo. Gunpei Yokoi helped in the creation of a competitor system named the WonderSwan, using the skills he gained in the creation of the Game Boy.

In 1996, Pocket Monsters (known internationally as “Pokémon”) was released in Japan to a huge following. The Pokémon franchise, created by Satoshi Tajiri, was proving so popular in America, Europe, and Japan, that for a brief time, Nintendo took back their place as the supreme power in the games industry.

In 1997, Gunpei Yokoi died in a car accident at the age of 56.

On October 13 1998, the Game Boy Color was released in Japan, with releases in North America and Europe a month later.

Nintendo released the Game Boy Advance in Japan on March 21 2001. This was followed by the North American launch on June 11 and the European launch on June 22. Nintendo released the GameCube home video game console on September 14 2001 in Japan. It was released in North America on November 18 2001, Europe on May 3 2002 and Australia on May 17 2002.

nintendo_ds_lite2002–present

In 2002, Hiroshi Yamauchi stepped down as the president of Nintendo and named Satoru Iwata his successor. Nintendo and Chinese-American scientist Dr Wei Yen co-founded iQue to manufacture and distribute official Nintendo consoles and games for the mainland Chinese market under the iQue brand.

During the same year, Nintendo’s aggressive business tactics in Europe would catch up to them. The European Commission determined that Nintendo had engaged in anticompetitive price-fixing business practices dating at least as far back as the early 90s. This resulted in a heavy fine being laid against the company- €149 million, one of the largest antitrust fines applied in the history of the commission.[2]

In May 2004, Nintendo announced plans to release a new brand of handheld, unrelated to the Game Boy, featuring two screens, one of which was touch-sensitive. The Nintendo DS, released on November 21 2004, received over three million pre-orders. In addition to the touch screen, the DS can also create three-dimensional graphics, similar to those of the Nintendo 64, although its lack of hardware support for texture filtering results in more pixelated graphics than on the Nintendo 64.

President Satoru Iwata merged all of Nintendo’s software designers under the EAD division; this was done to allocate more resources to Shigeru Miyamoto. As of 2005 Nintendo’s internal development divisions are the following five groups (see Nintendo development divisions for more information):

* Nintendo Entertainment Analysis & Development
* Nintendo Entertainment Analysis & Development Tokyo
* Nintendo Integrated Research & Development
* Nintendo Software Production & Development
* Nintendo Technology & Development

On May 14 2005, Nintendo opened its first retail store accessible to the general public, Nintendo World Store, at the Rockefeller Center in New York City. It consists of two stories, and contains many kiosks of GameCube, Game Boy Advance, and Nintendo DS games. There are also display cases filled with things from Nintendo’s past, including Hanafuda playing cards, Nintendo’s first product. They celebrated the opening with a block party at Rockefeller Plaza.

At E3 in May 2005, Nintendo displayed the first prototype for their “next-generation” system, codenamed the Nintendo Revolution (now known as the Wii), its controller revealed at the Tokyo Game Show later that year.

On January 26 2006, Nintendo announced a new version of their Nintendo DS handheld, the Nintendo DS Lite, designed to be smaller and lighter, with a brighter screen. It was launched in Japan on March 2 2006.

On May 25 2006, Reggie Fils-Aime was promoted to President and CEO of Nintendo of America, Inc. The former President, Tatsumi Kimishima, was promoted to Chairman of the Board and CEO.[3]

On June 11 2006, Nintendo released their update to the Nintendo DS, the Nintendo DS Lite, in North America, also on this day Nintendo opened its official US press site to the public which continued until June 17 2006.

On June 23 2006, Nintendo released the Nintendo DS Lite in Europe.

On July 7 2006, Nintendo officially established a South Korean subsidiary, Nintendo Korea, in the country’s capital, Seoul, which replaced Daewon Media as the official distributor of Nintendo products in South Korea.

In early August 2006, it was revealed that the Nintendo corporation (along with Microsoft) was the target of a patent-infringement lawsuit. Levelled by the Anascape corporation, the suit claims that Nintendo’s use of analog technology in their remote game controllers constitutes a violation of their patents. Microsoft is also named in the lawsuit, for the same reasons. The lawsuit seeks to bring damages to both corporations and possibly force them to stop selling controllers with the violating technology. [2]

In mid-September 2006, during press conferences held in Tokyo, New York, and London on 13, 14 and 15 September, respectively, Nintendo announced launch details for its Wii console, as well as demonstrated features of the “Wii Menu” GUI. The Retail price was going for US$249.99 and was released on November 19 2006. The console is selling fast and is a big breakthrough for Nintendo, picking up the pace lost from their last console, the Nintendo GameCube. The Wii was released in Europe at €249 (£179.99 in the UK).[3]

On September 17, 2007, Nintendo of America closed its official forums, the NSider Forums, indefinitely due to a major overhaul of their site; for months prior, cutbacks in Nintendo of America’s online department led to the trimming back of NSider’s chat hours and the replacement of their annual Camp Hyrule event — held during August — with a sweepstakes. In the meantime, Nintendo encouraged fans to run their own forums. In response to this, some members of the NSider forums created a couple of online communities, one called NSider2 two days after the clousure, and another one, formed the same day of the clousure, which dissolved into NSF[4], both of which were intended to replace NSider. Nintendo-Europe’s forum section of their site was also officially closed down a week later due to a site revamp, however it had been offline citing “security issues” since June of that year. On December 19 2007, Nintendo opened new technical support forums, but discussion is now limited to technical support.

In October 2007, Nintendo Co., Ltd announced Nintendo Australia’s new Managing Director, Rose Lappin, who is Nintendo’s first Female head of one of its subsidiaries and worked for Nintendo before it started in Australia as Director of Sales and Marketing for Mattel and had that role until she was announced Managing Director.

Metal Gear Solid

Metal Gear Solid 2 SOL Cover

game play
Despite a transition to 3D, the gameplay of Metal Gear Solid remains similar to its 2D MSX2 predecessor Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake. The player must navigate the protagonist, Solid Snake, through the game’s areas without being detected by enemies.[14] Detection is triggered by the player moving into an enemy’s field of vision and sets off an alarm that draws armed enemies to his location.[15] This also triggers “alert mode” and the player must then hide and remain undetected, at which point “evasion mode” begins and once the counter reaches zero the game returns to “infiltration mode” where enemies are not suspicious of Snake’s presence. The radar cannot be used in alert or evasion mode.[16]

To remain undetected, the player can perform techniques which make use of Solid Snake’s abilities and the environment, such as crawling under objects, using boxes as cover, ducking or hiding around walls, and making noise to distract enemies. These are carried out using the third-person camera; which often changes its angle to give the player the best view of the area possible, and an on-screen radar, which displays enemies and their field of vision.[17] Snake can also make use of many items and gadgets, such as infra-red goggles or a cardboard box disguise.[18] The emphasis on stealth promotes a less violent form of gameplay, as fights against large groups of enemies will often result in serious damage for the player.[19]

Intermixed with the player’s progress are cut scenes and codec conversations as well as encounters with bosses. To progress, players must discover the weaknesses of each boss to defeat them. Game controls and play strategies can also be accessed via the Codec radio, where advice is delivered from Snake’s support team; for example, the support team may chastise Snake for not saving his progress often enough, or explain his combat moves in terms of which buttons to press on the gamepad. The Codec is also used to provide exposition on the game’s backstory. Completion of the title provides the player with a statistical summary of their performance, and a “code name” based upon it, typically the name of a common animal.

In a first for the Metal Gear series, a training mode is available in which players can practice hiding techniques, weapons use, and sneaking. In addition to the stealth gameplay, there are set piece sequences that entail firefights between the player and enemies from the third-person and first-person perspectives.[16]

Plot

Characters
Main article: List of Metal Gear Solid characters

The protagonist of Metal Gear Solid is Solid Snake, a legendary infiltrator and saboteur. His physique is based on Jean Claude Van Damme, while his facial appearance was originally based on Christopher Walken.[20][21] During the mission, Snake receives support and advice via codec radio. Colonel Roy Campbell, Solid Snake’s former commanding officer, supports Snake with advice and tactics. While he initially keeps a number of secrets from Snake, he gradually reveals them.[22] He is joined by Naomi Hunter, who gives medical advice; Nastasha Romanenko, who provides item and weapon tips; Master Miller, a former drill instructor and survival coach; and Mei Ling, who invented the soliton radar system used in the mission and is also in charge of mission data – the player can call her to save the game.

The main antagonist of the game is Liquid Snake, leader of the now-terrorist organization FOXHOUND, and genetic counterpart to Solid Snake.[16] An elite special forces unit, FOXHOUND contains experts specializing in unique tasks. Members are Revolver Ocelot, a Western-style gunslinger and expert interrogator whose weapon of choice is the Colt Single Action Army; Sniper Wolf, a preternatural sniper; Vulcan Raven, a hulking Alaskan shaman armed with an M61 Vulcan torn from a downed F-16; Psycho Mantis, a psychic profiler and psychokinesis expert; and Decoy Octopus, a master of disguise.[16]

Other characters include Meryl Silverburgh, initially known as Roy Campbell’s niece, and a rookie soldier stationed in Shadow Moses who did not join the revolt; Dr. Hal “Otacon” Emmerich, the lead developer of Metal Gear REX; and the Cyborg Ninja, a mysterious cybernetically-enhanced agent who is neither an ally nor an enemy of Snake but does oppose FOXHOUND.[16]

Story

Metal Gear series fictional chronology

Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops
Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
Metal Gear
Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake
Metal Gear Solid (The Twin Snakes)
Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots

The story is set in 2005,[23] where a genetically enhanced next-generation special forces unit commanded by FOXHOUND lead an armed uprising on a remote island in Alaska’s Fox Archipelago. This island, codenamed Shadow Moses, is the site of a nuclear weapons disposal facility.[19] The forces that seized this island have acquired the nuclear-capable mecha Metal Gear REX, and are threatening the US government with a nuclear reprisal if they do not receive the remains of the “legendary mercenary” Big Boss within 24 hours.[24]

As the game begins, Solid Snake is forced out of retirement and is dispatched at the request of Colonel Roy Campbell to penetrate the terrorists’ defenses and neutralize the threat.[25] Snake is also ordered to locate hostages DARPA Chief Donald Anderson, and ArmsTech president Kenneth Baker. Colonel Campbell’s niece, Meryl Silverburgh is also held captive in the facility after refusing to take part in the uprising. Snake enters the facility via an air vent and eventually locates the DARPA Chief in a cell. He informs Snake of the new Metal Gear REX unit housed at the facility and how he can prevent it from being launched using a secret detonation override code, but then suddenly dies of what appears to be a heart attack.[26] Meryl, who is held in adjoining cell, manages to break out and assists Snake in his escape as enemy soldiers are alerted to his presence. Snake then finds the other hostage, Kenneth Baker. Whilst attempting to free Baker, Snake is confronted by Revolver Ocelot who challenges Snake to a gunfight, which is interrupted by a mysterious cyborg ninja who cuts off Ocelot’s right hand. Baker briefs Snake on the Metal Gear project and advises him to contact Meryl, whom he gave a PAL card that could be used to prevent the launch, but like the DARPA Chief, he suddenly dies of what appears to be a heart attack.

Snake then contacts Meryl via codec, and agrees to meet her in the base’s warhead disposal area on the condition that he contacts Metal Gear’s designer, Hal “Otacon” Emmerich. As he emerges onto a canyon, Snake receives an anonymous codec call. The mysterious voice calls himself “Deepthroat” and warns Snake of an ambush up ahead. Snake is confronted by Vulcan Raven in an M1 tank, but manages to defeat the two gunners and proceeds to the warhead disposal area. Snake locates Otacon in his lab. The ninja reappears, and Snake realizes that it is actually his former ally Gray Fox, whom he believed was killed years earlier. Otacon agrees to aid Snake remotely, using special camouflage to procure information and supplies while he remains invisible. Snake meets with Meryl and agrees for her to accompany him on his mission. Meryl gives Snake the PAL card Baker gave to her and as they head for the underground base, Meryl becomes possessed by Psycho Mantis’s mind control tune and pulls her gun on Snake. Snake disarms Meryl and defeats Psycho Mantis and before he dies, he tells Snake that he has “a large place” in Meryl’s heart after reading her mind. After they reach the underground passageway, Sniper Wolf ambushes them, wounds Meryl, and after a brief duel captures Snake.

While imprisoned, Liquid confirms Snake’s suspicion that they are twin brothers.[27] Snake is then tortured by Ocelot[28] and the player can choose whether or not to give in to the torture. When Snake is taken to his cell, he discovers the body of DARPA Chief Donald Anderson lying in the corner; however, though it was only hours before Snake watched Anderson die in front of him, the body has been decomposing as if he were dead for days. Eventually Snake is able to escape by fooling the guard (by either lying in ketchup or hiding under a bed).

As Snake makes his way up the facility’s communications tower, he is ambushed by Liquid in an attack helicopter, but swiftly defeats him. As he emerges from the tower onto the snowfield he is confronted once again by Sniper Wolf, and after a second duel he fatally wounds her. Otacon, enamoured with Wolf, is overcome with grief as Snake is forced to execute her. Snake descends into the bowels of the Shadow Moses facility. After defeating Vulcan Raven, the shaman reveals to Snake that the man he watched die was not the DARPA Chief. It was Decoy Octopus.[29] However, Raven leaves the cause of death for Snake to find out. Shortly after, Master Miller calls and reveals that Dr. Naomi Hunter, a support agent, has given Snake the genetically engineered virus “FoxDie” during his mission preparations, and is sending coded messages into the facility. Campbell swiftly orders her arrest. The virus, designed to kill people with particular genetic markers via cardiac arrest,[30][31] was responsible for the deaths of Octopus and the ArmsTech president.[32] Naomi contacts Snake and confesses that she joined the mission to sabotage it. But upon learning of Snake’s own past, she no longer had the heart to kill him directly having reprogrammed the virus.[33]

Infiltrating Metal Gear’s hangar, Snake overhears Liquid and Ocelot preparing the launch sequence for Metal Gear REX. Thinking he is deactivating it by using the PAL card, Snake activates Metal Gear REX.[34] Master Miller then reveals himself to be Liquid in disguise. He informs Snake that his entire mission was manipulated by the renegades to allow the launch of the nuclear weapon.[35] Liquid explains that they are the product of the Les Enfants Terribles project, a government sponsored effort to clone Big Boss, that was conducted during the 1970s. Liquid explains that Solid received all of Big Boss’ dominant genes, while he received all of the recessive genes.[36][37] He also reveals to Snake the government’s true reason for sending him in: the reprogrammed FoxDie virus would kill all the members of FOXHOUND, allowing the government to retrieve REX undamaged.
Solid Snake in battle against Metal Gear REX.

Liquid assumes control of Metal Gear REX and a battle ensues. Gray Fox suddenly appears and destroys REX’s radome and dies trying to fend off the bipedal tank from Snake. Snake destroys Metal Gear REX and is challenged again by Liquid in person. He fights Liquid atop REX and defeats him after knocking him over the edge. He is then reunited with Meryl or Otacon, depending on the player’s actions. They escape through an underground tunnel, while being chased by Liquid, in a jeep. After the two vehicles crash at the tunnel entrance, Liquid emerges and pulls a gun on Snake but suddenly dies from the FoxDie virus.[38] Colonel Campbell, briefly ousted from command of the mission, calls off a nuclear airstrike intended to obliterate the evidence of the day’s events and officially declares Snake killed in action to stop the US government’s search for him in the future.

There are two possible endings, depending on the player’s actions during the torture sequence. If the player gives in to the torture, Snake discovers after defeating Liquid that Meryl has died and escapes with Otacon. If the player does not give in to the torture, Meryl survives and escapes with Snake while Otacon volunteers to stay behind and sacrifice himself to help Snake and Meryl get out, not knowing that the nuclear strike intended to hit the disposal facility would never come (Meryl surviving is the canon ending).

After the end credits the player finds out Snake is actually genetically inferior to Liquid[39] and has an indeterminate amount of time left before FoxDie kills him. Ocelot is revealed to be a double agent for the President of the United States. His intention was to obtain Baker’s disk containing Metal Gear’s specifications and deliver it to the President, and kill whoever knew of his true motives, the reason for his “accidental” killing of the DARPA Chief.

Madden NFL

madden-nfl-07-20061121072024841-000
Madden NFL is an American football video game series developed by Electronic Arts Tiburon for EA Sports. The game is named after Pro Football Hall of Famer John Madden, a well-known former Super Bowl-winning coach and color commentator. The game has consistently been a best seller, and has even spawned TV shows where players compete. EA Sports has announced that the video game series will continue despite Madden’s retirement as a broadcaster in 2009.[1]

Evolution
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Screenshot of Madden NFL 2001 (Nintendo 64 version).
Madden NFL 06 Xbox 360 version.

The first version of the game was published in 1989 for the Apple II series of computers and titled John Madden Football. The development team originally wanted the game to have six or seven-player teams, but Madden insisted on having 11 players per team, stating “I’m not putting my name on it if it’s not real.”[2]

The game has improved and dramatically grown over the years, adding many new features. Among these is voice commentary, allowing players or watchers to hear the game being called as if it were a real game on TV.[3] This commentary was performed by John Madden and his contemporary broadcast partner. Initially, this was Pat Summerall (Madden’s partner during his days at CBS and FOX during the early 1980s on through the early 2000s) until Summerall retired; the role was then filled by Al Michaels, John’s current broadcast partner on NBC Sunday Night Football (and former partner from 2002 through 2005 on ABC Monday Night Football).

1990s

In the 1990s, EA producer Richard Hilleman brought in veteran sports game designer Scott Orr, who had founded the mid-1980s Commodore 64 game publisher GameStar, and had led the design of their best-selling sports games. The team of Orr and Hilleman designed and led the development of what is today still recognizable as the modern Madden Football, the highest revenue-generating video game series in North American video gaming history. Early versions of Madden were created by external development studios (including Park Place Productions and Stormfront Studios) but by the late 1990s development was brought in-house and centralized at EA Tiburon in Orlando, Florida.

Franchise Mode

In 1997, inspired by the franchise-management game Baseball Mogul, Electronic Arts added Franchise Mode to Madden, giving players the ability to play multiple seasons, make off-season draft picks, and trade players.

2000s

There are multiple modes of game play, from a quick head-to-head game to running a team for a whole season or even multiple seasons. Online play, which was a new feature for Madden NFL 2003 (in this versions there are also mini-camp challenges) was only available for users of the PlayStation 2 console, Xbox console, or a Microsoft Windows PC until early 2004. At E3 2004, Microsoft and EA Sports released a press statement announcing that games made from July 2004 on would now be Xbox Live-enabled. In August 2004, EA Sports released Madden NFL 2005 and this game and all future versions of Madden became very popular games on Xbox Live.

Madden NFL 2004

Also, starting with Madden NFL 2004, EA Sports created the new Playmaker tool, using the right analog joystick found on each of the console controllers. Playmaker allowed the gamers to make offensive pre-snap route adjustments previously unavailable in prior installments of the franchise.[4] One such adjustment includes the ability to switch which direction a running play will go without changing the formation. Prior to the Playmaker tool, the Player could only call one of four available “hot routes.” With Playmaker and the use of the right thumb stick the player is given 4 additional Hot Route options. When the quarterback has the ball the Playmaker Tool can be used to make receivers alter their routes mid-play. When running the ball on offense, the runner can control the direction in which the blocker is going. Defensive alignment adjustments, however, were not available leading to obvious unbalance in favor of the Offensive player.

Madden NFL 2005

In Madden NFL 2005, EA Sports ran a campaign with the Theme “Fear the D” emphasising their improvements on the “other side of the ball.” in this years installment. In an attempt to re-balance the players experience, EA gave a Playmaker Tool to the defense. Similar to the offensive Playmaker Tool, the defensive Playmaker allows the player to make pre-snap defensive adjustments. EA Sports further utilized the right analog joystick on defense by creating the “Hit Stick”, an option on defense that allows the controlled player to make big hits, with a simple flick, that increases the chances the ball carrier will fumble. Also introduced for the first time is the “Formation Shift.” This new feature allowed players to shift their formation in the pre-snap audible menu without actually changing the play. For example if you call a run play up the middle out of a goal line formation, you could then call a formation shift and make your players spread out into a four wide receiver formation while still in the same running play. The problem with this new function was that EA also added a fatigue penalty for the defense causing defensive players to get more tired each time there was a formation shift. This led to players on offense calling multiple formation shifts each play making the defensive players too exhausted to keep up and force them to substitute out of the game until they are fully rested. This led to more unbalance that could only be fixed by turning off fatigue and leads to an unrealistic football game.

2005 also added “EA Sports Radio”, a fictional show that plays during the menu screen of Franchise mode to provide a greater sense of a storyline during gameplay. It features Tony Bruno as the host, who often interviews players and coaches about how the season is going and also has quiz questions in which fake listeners call in to make attempts at answering football-related questions. It included mock interviews of famous NFL players and coaches throughout the in-game season. Some fans have criticized EA Sports for not including new features to the ‘programming’ as the radio became stale after only two seasons in franchise mode, but the feature drew acclaim for adding content to the Franchise menu. Also added was the Newspaper where the player could look at National News from licensed USA Today and Licensed Local papers for almost each of the 32 NFL teams. Lastly, 2005 also saw the introduction of multiple progressions during franchise mode. Previously NFL players in Madden would only progress or degress at the end of each season. Now at the end of Week 5, 11, and 17 the game would use a program to “progress” your players based on their performance in addition to end of season progression.

Madden NFL 2006

In Madden NFL 06, the “Truck Stick” was introduced. This feature allows the offensive player to lower his shoulder and break a tackle, or back juke to avoid one. Another new feature is the Superstar Mode, which allows the player to take control of a rookie, and progress through his career.[5] This includes an IQ test, interviews, workouts, the NFL Draft, hiring an agent, and other aspects of a superstar’s life.

EA also introduced the QB Vision feature in the 2006 instalment. With this feature, a cone of spotlight emits from the quarterback during passing plays, simulating his field of vision. To make an accurate pass, the quarterback must have his intended receiver in his field of vision. Passing to a receiver not in the cone reduces pass accuracy significantly. The size of the quarterback’s vision cone is directly correlated to his Awareness and Passer Accuracy rating; Brett Favre and Peyton Manning see nearly the entire field at once, whereas an inexperienced quarterback such as J.P. Losman or Kyle Boller will see only a sliver of the field. This feature also allows for “Precision Passing”. With Precision Passing, users can pinpoint where the ball should go. It can be thrown high, low, left, right, etc.[6]

Another defensive advancement was made in this instalment. Player assignments and “Man Commitment.” In prior Madden games offensive players could adjust their rosters to take advantage of personnel mismatches. For example, players would often place receivers with high attributes, such as Terrell Owens or Randy Moss, in the 3rd wide receiver slot so they would be matched up against the 3rd best corner on the defense causing a glaring mismatch. To counter this players were now allowed to assign a defended to a specific player. this way you could now tell your best defender to always cover their best player no matter where he lines up. “Man commit” allowed the defense to further disguise their coverage. In the play calling screen the player could press a button to toggle Man commit on or off. With Man commit on, the defensive players would line up in such a way to “show” that they were in man coverage even if they were really in zone. The Artificial Intelligence would then adjust the coverage and shift the assignments to make up for the new alignment.

Madden NFL 2007

In Madden NFL 07, EA introduced Lead Blocker Controls which allow users to control blockers during running plays. In addition, EA redefined the Truck Stick into the Highlight Stick. With the Highlight Stick, users can have their running backs perform different running moves and combos, instead of just bowling over defenders. Truck Stick features still exist for bigger backs, but not for smaller backs who would never realistically use them anyway. Instead, more agile backs perform acrobatic ducks and dodges to avoid tackles.[7]

EA Sports also introduced “Smart Routes” on offense. Previously receivers only ran the routes they were assigned and the only change that could be made is to change the entire route. Now the player is able to tell receivers to adjust their route to go past the first down marker. For example if it is 3rd an 11 and you have a 10 yard curl route, you will be short of the first. With a Smart Route you can now tell that receiver to run his route a little deeper and past that first down marker. Similarly if it is 3rd and 3 and you have a 10 yard route you can tell that receiver to shorten that route so you can make a quick pass play.

Option routes were also added in Madden 2007. Receivers now could be assigned routes that have two or three options that he can “choose” to run on his own. For example, you may have a route that is a curl that also has the option of becoming an in-route denoted by a dotted line. It becomes the receiver’s job to decide which route to run after the snap depending on the coverage and his awareness rating. Some times receivers would make the wrong choice and add realism to the game. This is referred to the Quarterback and Wide Receiver as “being on the same page.”

Madden NFL 2008

In Madden NFL 08, the Weapons feature was added, allowing superstar players to be noticed. Randy Moss, for example, is a Spectacular Catch receiver, allowing him to make amazing one-handed grabs. Peyton Manning is a Smart QB, letting him read the defense’s play after they repeat the same play. Reggie Bush is an Elusive back, making him more agile than most players. Devin Hester has Speed, making him faster than others, complementing the fact that he has 100 speed; the first to have a 100 speed rating. Also Hitstick 2.0 feature was added, allowing high tackles by pressing the right analog stick up and low tackles by pressing the right analog stick down.

Madden NFL 2009

Madden NFL 09 was released on August 12, 2008. Citing business concerns, EA chose not to release it on the PC platform. [8] The game features quarterback Brett Favre of the New York Jets on the front cover wearing a uniform for his former team, the Green Bay Packers.[9] EA Sports announced on August 7, 2008 that they would be offering a free download for the game which will include an alternative cover featuring Favre in a Jets jersey. The downloadable plug-in will also include the newly revised Jets 2008-2009 Squad with Favre at the helm. Madden NFL 09 will also be the first of the series to offer online, league game play, allowing up to 32 players to compete in an online, simulated NFL season. According to EA Sports Senior Producer Paul Frazier, up to 32 players will be able to participate in competitive games, the NFL Draft and conduct trades between their teams. The game will also be the first of the series to incorporate a Madden IQ. The Madden IQ will be used to automatically gauge your skills through a series of mini-games presented in a futuristic, hologram style. They will consist of run offense, pass offense, run defense, and pass defense. At the end of each of the drills, there will be a score in each category, ranging from rookie to all-Madden. The final Madden IQ is a mixture of those scores which is used to control the game’s difficulty. As a player’s skill increases or decreases the game will automatically adjust its difficulty ratings to coincide with his Madden IQ.[10][11]

Madden NFL 10

Madden NFL 10 is currently under development at the EA Tiburon studio. Compared to previous iterations, Madden NFL 10 has been extremely transparent with its development efforts, maintaining a weekly blog updates as well as a constant presence on various message boards. A new design team has also taken over the game, including members from NFL Head Coach 09. The direction of Madden NFL 10 has been shifted to much more of a realistic and simulation focus, with info already released including Procedural Awareness (a robust head tracking system), a new philosophy on player ratings, and big improvements to realism in QB play, WR/DB play, and other areas across the game. Madden 10 offers a series of multiple play packages. This allows for more options to score. Madden 10 also offers over 200 plays to choose from. Troy Polamalu and Larry Fitzgerald will appear on the cover of Madden 2010, as for the first time two athletes will share the cover space. [12]

Licensing

Until 1993, the Madden series did not have official licenses from the NFL or National Football League Players Association (NFLPA). John Madden Football ’93 was the first game in the series to include real NFL teams, and Madden NFL ’94 added an NFLPA license for real players.[13] The NFL Coaches Association sells the rights to have NFL coaches’ names appear in the Madden NFL games; Madden NFL 2001 was the first game in the series to feature this license.[14] Neither New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick nor Bill Parcells appeared in the game as they are not members of the NFL Coaches Association.

On December 13, 2004, EA Sports announced it had secured exclusive rights to the NFL and its players’ union for the subsequent five years, precluding any other third party from selling a football game using NFL players, teams, stadiums or other licenses. This was recently extended until 2012.[15]

Head Coach series

In August 2006, EA Sports debuted NFL Head Coach, which utilized the Madden engine to create a football management simulation. The game was criticized as buggy and unrealistic. EA Tiburon rebuilt the game from the ground up, addressing flaws and creating a proprietary engine, over the course of three years. NFL Head Coach 09 was released on August 12, 2008 bundled with the special edition of Madden NFL 09 and as a standalone game on September 2, 2008.

Jenis Games

Video Game? Hmm… mungkin istilah ini kurang umum di Indonesia. bagaimana kalau main nintendo, main PS atau main dingdong atau main komputer? Yup, apapun istilahnya itu, disaat kita berinteraksi dengan suatu tampilan visual elektronik dengan manggunakan alat untuk memasukkan perintah kita yang di timpali kembali oleh alat dan visual tersebut, dan didalamnya ada kegiatan dalam aturan tertentu dan hasilnya dapat membuat pemainnya terhibur, saat itulah kita bermain video game.

Dan siapa juga yg tak kenal dengan game terkenal seperti star ocean, metal gear solid, final fantasy, crysis, dll..Apakah kita semua mengetahui jenis2 genre dari game-game tersebut..?Berikut penjelasannya dan mudah-mudahan bisa memberi pencerahan..

BERDASARKAN JENIS “PLATFORM” ATAU ALAT YANG DI GUNAKAN :

  1. Arcade games, yaitu yang sering disebut ding-dong di Indonesia, biasanya berada di daerah / tempat khusus dan memiliki box atau mesin yang memang khusus di design untuk jenis video games tertentu dan tidak jarang bahkan memiliki fitur yang dapat membuat pemainnya lebih merasa “masuk” dan “menikmati”, seperti pistol, kursi khusus, sensor gerakan, sensor injakkan dan stir mobil (beserta transmisinya tentunya).
  2. PC Games , yaitu video game yang dimainkan menggunakan Personal Computers..
  3. Console games, yaitu video games yang dimainkan menggunakan console tertentu, seperti Playstation 2, Playstation 3, XBOX 360, dan Nintendo Wii..
  4. Handheld games, yaitu yang dimainkan di console khusus video game yang dapat dibawa kemana-mana, contoh Nintendo DS dan Sony PSP..
  5. Mobile games, yaitu yang dapat dimainkan atau khusus untuk mobile phone atau PDA..

BERDASARKAN “GENRE” PERMAINANNYA :

  1. Aksi – Shooting, (tembak-tembakan , atau hajar-hajaran bisa juga tusuk-tusukan, tergantung cerita dan tokoh di dalamnya), video game jenis ini sangat memerlukan kecepatan refleks, koordinasi mata-tangan, juga timing, inti dari game jenis ini adalah tembak, tembak dan tembak. Termasuk didalam-nya :
  2. Fighting ( pertarungan ) Ada yang mengelompokan video game fighting di bagian Aksi, namun penulis berpendapat berbeda, jenis ini memang memerlukan kecepatan refleks dan koordinasi mata-tangan, tetapi inti dari game ini adalah penguasaan jurus (hafal caranya dan lancar mengeksekusinya), pengenalan karakter dan timing sangatlah penting, o iya, combo-pun menjadi esensial untuk mengalahkan lawan secepat mungkin. Dan berbeda seperti game Aksi pada umumnya yang umumnya hanya melawan Artificial Intellegence atau istilah umumnya melawan komputer saja, pemain jenis fighting game ini baru teruji kemampuan sesungguhnya dengan melawan pemain lainnya. Seri Street Fighter, Tekken, Mortal Kombat, Soul Calibur dan King of Fighter adalah contohnya.
  3. Aksi – Petualangan. Memasuki gua bawah tanah, melompati bebatuan di antara lahar, bergelayutan dari pohon satu ke pohon lain, bergulat dengan ular sambil mencari kunci untuk membuka pintu kuil legendaris, atau sekedar mencari telepon umum untuk mendapatkan misi berikutnya, itulah beberapa dari banyak hal yang karakter pemain harus lakukan dan lalui dalam video game jenis ini. Menurut penulis, game jenis ini sudah berkembang jauh hingga menjadi genre campuran action beat-em up juga, dan sekarang, di tahun 2000 an, jenis ini cenderung untuk memiliki visual 3D dan sudut pandang orang ke-tiga. Tomb Rider, Grand Theft Auto dan Prince of Persia termasuk didalamnya.
  4. Petualangan. Bedanya dengan jenis video game aksi-petualangan, refleks dan kelihaian pemain dalam bergerak, berlari, melompat hingga memecut atau menembak tidak diperlukan di sini. Video Game murni petualangan lebih menekankan pada jalan cerita dan kemampuan berpikir pemain dalam menganalisa tempat secara visual, memecahkan teka-teki maupun menyimpulkan rangkaian peristiwa dan percakapan karakter hingga penggunaan benda-benda tepat pada tempat yang tepat. Termasuk didalamnya:
  5. Simulasi, Konstruksi dan manajemen. Video Game jenis ini seringkali menggambarkan dunia di dalamnya sedekat mungkin dengan dunia nyata dan memperhatikan dengan detil berbagai faktor. Dari mencari jodoh dan pekerjaan, membangun rumah, gedung hingga kota, mengatur pajak dan dana kota hingga keputusan memecat atau menambah karyawan. Dunia kehidupan rumah tangga sampai bisnis membangun konglomerasi, dari jualan limun pinggir jalan hingga membangun laboratorium cloning. Video Game jenis ini membuat pemain harus berpikir untuk mendirikan, membangun dan mengatasi masalah dengan menggunakan dana yang terbatas. Contoh: Sim City, The Sims, Tamagotchi.
  6. Role Playing. Video game jenis ini sesuai dengan terjemahannya, bermain peran, memiliki penekanan pada tokoh/peran perwakilan pemain di dalam permainan, yang biasanya adalah tokoh utamanya, dimana seiring kita memainkannya, karakter tersebut dapat berubah dan berkembang ke arah yang diinginkan pemain ( biasanya menjadi semakin hebat, semakin kuat, semakin berpengaruh, dll) dalam berbagai parameter yang biasanya ditentukan dengan naiknya level, baik dari status kepintaran, kecepatan dan kekuatan karakter, senjata yang semakin sakti, ataupun jumlah teman maupun mahluk peliharaan.Secara kebudayaan, pengembang game Jepang biasanya membuat Role Playing Game (RPG) ke arah cerita linear yang diarahkan seolah karakter kita adalah tokoh dalam cerita itu, seperti Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest dan Xenogears. Sedangkan pengembang game RPG Eropa, cenderung membuat karakter kita bebas memilih jalan cerita sendiri secara non-linear, seperti Ultima, Never Winter Nights, baldurs gate, Elder Scroll, dan Fallout.
  7. Strategi. Kebalikan dari video game jenis action yang berjalan cepat dan perlu refleks secepat kilat, video game jenis strategi, layaknya bermain catur, justru lebih memerlukan keahlian berpikir dan memutuskan setiap gerakan secara hati-hati dan terencana. Video game strategi biasanya memberikan pemain atas kendali tidak hanya satu orang tapi minimal sekelompok orang dengan berbagai jenis tipe kemampuan, sampai kendaraan, bahkan hingga pembangunan berbagai bangunan, pabrik dan pusal pelatihan tempur, tergantung dari tema ceritanya. Pemain game strategi melihat dari sudut pandang lebih meluas dan lebih kedepan dengan waktu permainan yang biasanya lebih lama dan santai dibandingkan game action. Unsur-unsur permainannya biasanya berkisar sekitar, prioritas pembangunan, peletakan pasukan, mencari dan memanfaatkan sumberdaya (uang, besi, kayu,minyak,dll), hingga ke pembelian dan peng-upgrade-an pasukan atau teknologi. Game jenis ini terbagi atas:
  8. Puzzle. Video game jenis ini sesuai namanya berintikan mengenai pemecahan teka-teki, baik itu menyusun balok, menyamakan warna bola, memecahkan perhitungan matematika, melewati labirin, sampai mendorong-dorong kota masuk ke tempat yang seharusnya, itu semua termasuk dalam jenis ini. Sering pula permainan jenis ini adalah juga unsur permainan dalam video game petualangan maupun game edukasi. Tetris, Minesweeper, Bejeweled, Sokoban dan Bomberman.
  9. Simulasi kendaraan. Video Game jenis ini memberikan pengalaman atau interaktifitas sedekat mungkin dengan kendaraan yang aslinya, muskipun terkadang kendaraan tersebut masih eksperimen atau bahkan fiktif, tapi ada penekanan khusus pada detil dan pengalaman realistik menggunakan kendaraan tersebut. Terbagi atas beberapa jenis:
  10. Olahraga. Singkat padat jelas, bermain sport di PC atau konsol anda. Biasanya permainannya diusahakan serealistik mungkin walau kadang ada yang menambah unsur fiksi seperti NBA JAM. Contohnya pun jelas, Seri Winning Eleven, seri NBA, seri FIFA, John Madden NFL, Lakers vs Celtics, Tony hawk pro skater, dll.

sumber : PasarKreasi.com – The Largest Creative Market in Indonesia | Expert Talk | Buat Video Games Yuk! ( bag1. Jenis game)

Guitar Hero

Guitar-Hero-guitar-hero-55413_1024_1091

Guitar Hero is a series of music video games first published in 2005 by RedOctane and distributed by Activision in which players use a guitar-shaped peripheral to simulate the playing of lead, bass guitar and rhythm guitar across numerous rock music songs. Players match notes that scroll on-screen to colored fret buttons on the controller, strumming the controller in time to the music in order to score points, and keep the virtual audience excited. The games attempt to mimic many features of playing a real guitar, including the use of fast-fingering hammer-ons and pull-offs and the use of the whammy bar to alter the pitch of notes. Most games support single player modes, typically a Career mode to play through all the songs in the game, and both competitive and cooperative multiplayer modes. With the introduction of Guitar Hero World Tour in 2008, the game includes support for a four-player band including vocals and drums. The series initially used mostly cover version of songs created by WaveGroup Sound, but most recent titles feature soundtracks that are fully master recordings, and in some cases, special re-recordings, of the songs. Later titles in the series feature support for downloadable content in the form of new songs.

RedOctane, then a company primarily in the manufacture of unique game controllers, was inspired in 2005 to create Guitar Hero based on their experience with creating hardware for Konami’s GuitarFreaks arcade game, and enlisted the help of Harmonix Music Systems, who had previously developed several music video games, for development duties. The first game in the series was made on a budget of $1 million. The series became extremely successful, leading to, in 2007, the acquisition of RedOctane by Activision, while Harmonix was acquired by MTV Games and went on to create the Rock Band series of music games in the same vein as Guitar Hero. Activision brought Neversoft, known for their Tony Hawk series of skateboarding games, onboard for future development duties. Additional companies, such as Vicarious Visions, Budcat Creations, Machineworks Northwest, and Aspyr Media have assisted in the adoption of the games for other systems.

The game currently has four major releases and three expansions on gaming consoles, and with spinoffs for Windows and Macintosh systems, mobile phones, the Nintendo DS, and an arcade game, with several more titles announced for future release. The Guitar Hero franchise has become a cultural phenomenon and learning and development tool for medical purposes, and has revolutionized the modern music industry. The series has sold more than 25 million units worldwide, earning US$2 billion at retail, claimed by Activision to be the 3rd largest game franchise after the Mario and Madden NFL franchises; According to Activision, the third game in the series, Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock is the first single video game to exceed $1 billion in total sales.

History

Harmonix era (2005-2007)
The controllers bundled with Guitar Hero releases (from left to right): Gibson SGs for Guitar Hero & Guitar Hero II (PlayStation 2) and Gibson X-Plorer for Guitar Hero II (Xbox 360) & Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock (PC)

The original Guitar Hero was released on the PlayStation 2 in November 2005 and was developed by Harmonix. Harmonix had been previously known for developing music video games such as Frequency and Amplitude for the PlayStation 2, both of which were praised for enabling players to perform and create music using a DualShock controller as if it were a musical instrument.

Guitar Hero is notable because it comes packaged with a controller peripheral modeled after a black Gibson SG guitar. Rather than a typical gamepad, this guitar controller is the primary input for the game. Playing the game with the guitar controller simulates playing an actual guitar, except it uses five colored “fret buttons” and a “strum bar” instead of frets and strings. The development of Guitar Hero was inspired by Konami’s GuitarFreaks arcade game, which at the time, had not seen much exposure in the North American market; RedOctane, already selling guitar-shaped controllers for imported copies of GuitarFreaks, approached Harmonix about creating a game to use an entirely new Guitar controller. The concept was to have the gameplay of Amplitude with the visuals of Karaoke Revolution, both of which had been developed by Harmonix. The game was met with critical acclaim and received numerous awards for its innovative guitar peripheral and its soundtrack, which comprised 47 playable rock songs (most of which were cover versions of popular songs from artists and bands from the 1960s through modern rock). Guitar Hero has sold nearly 1.5 million copies to date.

The popularity of the series increased dramatically with the release of Guitar Hero II for the PlayStation 2 in 2006. Featuring improved multiplayer gameplay, an improved note-recognizing system, and 64 songs, it became the fifth best-selling video game of 2006. The PlayStation 2 version of the game was offered both separately and in a bundle with a cherry red Gibson SG guitar controller. Guitar Hero II was later released for the Xbox 360 in April 2007 with an exclusive Gibson X-Plorer guitar controller and an additional 10 songs, among other features. About 3 million units of Guitar Hero II have sold on the PlayStation 2 and Xbox 360.

The final game in the Guitar Hero series to be developed by Harmonix was Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s for the PlayStation 2, which was released in July 2007.

Transition

Both RedOctane and Harmonix were experiencing changes in 2006. RedOctane was bought by Activision in June—who spent $100 million to acquire the Guitar Hero franchise—while it was announced in September that Harmonix would be purchased by MTV Networks. As a result of the two purchases, Harmonix would no longer develop future games in the Guitar Hero series. Instead, developing would go to Neversoft, a subsidiary of Activision known for developing the Tony Hawk’s series of skateboarding games. Neversoft was chosen to helm the Guitar Hero series after Neversoft founder, Joel Jewett, admitted to the RedOctane founders, Kai and Charles Huang, that his development team for Tony Hawk’s Project 8 went to work on weekends just to play Guitar Hero. In 2007, Harmonix and MTV Games released a new music title through rival publisher Electronic Arts, called Rock Band. It expanded upon the gameplay popularized by the Guitar Hero series by adding drum and microphone instruments, allowing players to simulate playing songs as bands, though this functionality was added to Guitar Hero beginning with Guitar Hero World Tour.

Neversoft era (2007-present)
The Gibson Les Paul guitar controller bundled with Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 releases of Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock (pictured is the Xbox 360 guitar controller). A similar Gibson Les Paul guitar controller is bundled with the Wii release, but is white, and requires the Wii Remote to be inserted in the back. For in-store demos on the Xbox 360, a wired Les Paul controller is used.

Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock was released in late 2007 for the PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, PC, and Mac platforms. The title is the first installment of the series to include wireless guitars bundled with the game and also the first to release a special bundle with two guitars. The game includes Slash and Tom Morello as playable characters in addition to the existing fictional avatars; both guitarists performed motion capture to be used for their characters’ animation in the game.

On September 4, 2007, Billboard announced that the band Aerosmith was “working closely with the makers of Guitar Hero IV, which will be dedicated to the group’s music.”On February 15, 2008, Activision announced that Guitar Hero: Aerosmith, an expansion game to the series, would be released on June 29, 2008. Guitar Hero: Aerosmith is developed by Neversoft for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions, while the Wii version of the game is developed by Vicarious Visions and the PlayStation 2 version is developed by Budcat Creations. The game features a track selection composed of 60% of Aerosmith songs, with other songs from Joe Perry’s solo work or artists that have inspired or performed with Aerosmith, including Run D.M.C..

Guitar Hero World Tour, previously named Guitar Hero IV, is the fourth full game in the series and was released on October 26, 2008 for PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Wii. Analysts had expected that future Guitar Hero games in 2008 would include additional instrument peripherals to compete against Rock Band; Guitar Hero World Tour was confirmed as in development following the announcement of the merger between Activision and Vivendi Games in December 2007. Activision’s CEO Bobby Kotick announced on April 21, 2008 that Guitar Hero World Tour will branch out into other instruments including vocals. Guitar Hero World Tour includes drums and vocals, and can be bought packaged with a new drum set controller, a microphone, and the standard guitar controller. A larger number of real-world musicians appear as playable characters, including Jimi Hendrix, Billy Corgan, Hayley Williams, Zakk Wylde, Ted Nugent, Travis Barker, Sting, and Ozzy Osbourne. Guitar Hero World Tour also features custom song creation that can be shared with others.
Activision’s 2008 SEC filings cited that they plan to release Guitar Hero: Metallica by the first quarter of 2009, according the Wedbush Morgan Securities. Guitar Hero: Metallica is based on the full band experience of World Tour while offering similar features on Metallica’s history and music as found in Guitar Hero: Aerosmith. In addition, Metallica’s album, Death Magnetic, was available as downloadable content for Guitar Hero III simultaneously with the release of the album, with the content being forward-compatible with Guitar Hero World Tour and Guitar Hero: Metallica. Since The PlayStation 2 version does not support downloading, three extra songs were included from Death Magnetic and are as follows: “Broken, Beat, and Scarred”, “Cyanide”, and “My Apocolypse”.

Beenox Studios

Guitar Hero: Smash Hits (titled Guitar Hero: Greatest Hits in Europe) was released in June 2009, and features full-band versions of 48 songs present in earlier Guitar Hero games which only used the guitar controller. Unlike the previous versions, each of the songs is based on a master recording including some live tracks. The game follows a similar model as Guitar Hero: Metallica, and was developed by Beenox Studios for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation 2, and Wii.

Vicarious Visions

The “Guitar Grip”, developed by Vicarious Visions for the Nintendo DS series Guitar Hero: On Tour provides four fret buttons for the game, while strumming is done on the DS touchscreen.

Guitar Hero: On Tour was released on the Nintendo DS hand-held system on June 22, 2008. The game includes a peripheral, dubbed the “Guitar Grip”, a rectangular device that fits into the second slot of the Nintendo DS or DS Lite. The peripheral only features the first four fret buttons and a strap so the Nintendo DS can be held sideways comfortably for play. The game also includes a guitar pick shaped stylus for use with strumming in the game, which players move across the touchscreen. Guitar Hero: On Tour was developed by Vicarious Visions, who also ported the Guitar Hero games to Nintendo’s Wii console.

A sequel, Guitar Hero On Tour: Decades, was released in November 2008, featuring music spanning four decades. A third title in the series, Guitar Hero On Tour: Modern Hits, was announced following various rumors of its existence, and was released in June 2009, and features songs recorded since 2000. Both games reuse the “Guitar Grip” controller, and allow two players to compete against each other using any version of the On Tour series, with songs being shared between versions.

Hands On Mobile

Guitar Hero III Mobile was released for mobile phones in 2007 and 2008, and was developed by MachineWorks Northwest LLC. The base version of the game includes 15 songs from both Guitar Hero II and Guitar Hero III, and has released a three-song add-on pack every month since January 2008. The title has been downloaded by users one million times, with both Verizon and Hands-On Mobile claiming that over 250,000 songs are played a day on the platform.

Another mobile phone game, Guitar Hero III: Backstage Pass was developed by Hands-On Mobile and released in July 2008; in addition to the usual Guitar Hero elements, the game adds simulation of the management of the player’s band on its way to success.

Hands-On Mobile also secured worldwide rights for a mobile game based on Guitar Hero World Tour which was released on December 1, 2008.

Other Games

Activision and RedOctane have also worked with Basic Fun, Inc. to produce Guitar Hero Carabiner, a handheld electronic game that features 30 and 60-second clips of ten of the songs from Guitar Hero and Guitar Hero II.
Activision and Konami, who have previously worked together to make sure that the Guitar Hero series meets with Konami’s patents on music games, developed an arcade console version of the game, entitled Guitar Hero Arcade, distributed to arcades in early 2009. The game is primarily based on the Guitar Hero III gameplay, reducing some of the features such as character customization, but keeping the ability to download new songs for the cabinet from the Internet.

Future games

Activision and RedOctane have trademarked the titles “Guitar Villain”, “Drum Villain”, “Keyboard Hero” and “Sing Hero”. RedOctane originally trademarked the titles “Drum Hero” and “Band Hero”, but the work performed towards the Drum Hero title was eventually folded into the gameplay for Guitar Hero World Tour. Activision plans to release “multiple new Guitar Hero SKUs” in 2009, according to Activision Publishing CEO Mike Griffith. Industry analysts expect that three expansions to World Tour will be made before the next major title in the series.Activision is expecting to triple the number of games released under the Guitar Hero title by 2010.

Guitar Hero 5, the fifth main entry in the series, was confirmed in December 2008. Activision president of publishing Mike Griffin stated that there will be a “major restage” of the Guitar Hero brand in the second half of 2009. Industry rumors stated that three additional games, Hard Rock Van Halen, Band Hero (a separate title from Guitar Hero 5), and another Nintendo DS game are due to arrive before the end of 2009.

Guitar Hero: Van Halen was confirmed by Activision for release in the second half of 2009. Like the other band-centric games, Guitar Hero: Van Halen will include 25 songs from the band Van Halen, including 3 guitar solos by Eddie Van Halen, in addition to 19 guest acts such as Queen, Weezer, blink-182, Foo Fighters, The Offspring and Queens of the Stone Age.

Slash, in describing the band-specific Guitar Hero titles for Aerosmith and Metallica in an interview with Rolling Stone, stated that “Those are two ones that I think gives [the ”Guitar Hero” series] some credibility. And they’re doing a Hendrix one, which is great”, hinting at the development of Guitar Hero: Hendrix.

In November 2008, Activision acquired Budcat Creations, another development studio that has helped with the PlayStation 2 versions of Guitar Hero III and World Tour, announcing that they will be helping to develop another game in the Guitar Hero series.

DJ Hero was announced by Activision in May 2009. Prior to the announcement, the company had purchased FreeStyleGames, a small developer of music games, to help produce localized downloadable content for Guitar Hero games and, at that time, a yet-to-be announced music game, since revealed to be DJ Hero. DJ Hero will use a special turntable-based controller for players to perform with on various song mixes in the game. The game will incorporate the use of a Guitar Hero controller on ten specially-arranged tracks; Bright has suggested that future Guitar Hero games after Guitar Hero 5 may include the use of the turntable control. Though the game is scheduled for release in October 2009, there currently exists a lawsuit between Genius Products and Numark, developers of another turntable-based music game Scratch: The Ultimate DJ, and Activision and 7 Studios, another studio acquired by Activision to assist in development. Genius and Numark content that 7 Studios, who were working on Scratch, illegally used their assets towards DJ Hero once they were acquired, and are seeking damages.

In that same announcement, Activision confirmed that two new titles, Band Hero and Guitar Hero 5, would be released in the fall of 2009. According to Activision Guitar Hero 5 will bring an “unprecedented level of control over the way they play the game with the ability to drop in and out of songs and change band members, instruments and difficulty levels on the fly”. Band Hero will be rated E10 and feature Top 40 hits aimed at family audiences, and include the full band play style of Guitar Hero World Tour.

Activision has also announced a PlayStation Portable title for the Guitar Hero series that would feature a drum component.

Gameplay

Gameplay of a single player playing a song. The player in Guitar Hero must play the colored notes on the fret board in time to the music as they scroll through the target at the bottom. The score and current score multiplier are shown on the bottom left. The Rock Meter dial and Star Power indicator are shown on the bottom right. The remainder of the screen shows the player’s character and band as they perform to the music.

The core gameplay of the Guitar Hero games is a rhythm game similar to Harmonix’s previous music games such as Frequency and Amplitude. The guitar controller is recommended for play, although a standard console controller can be used instead.[61][62] The game supports toggling the handedness of the guitar, allowing both left-handed and right-handed players to utilize the guitar controller.[61][62]

While playing the game, an extended guitar neck is shown vertically on the screen (the frets horizontal), often called the “note highway”, and as the song progresses, colored markers or “gems” indicating notes travel down the screen in time with the music; the note colors and positions match those of the five fret keys on the guitar controller. Once the note(s) reach the bottom, the player must play the indicated note(s) by holding down the correct fret button(s) and hitting the strumming bar in order to score points. Success or failure will cause the on-screen Rock Meter to change, showing how well the player is playing (denoted by red, yellow, and green sections). Should the Rock Meter drop below the red section, the song will automatically end, with the player booed off the stage by the audience. Successful note hits will add to the player’s score, and by hitting a long series of consecutive successful note hits, the player can increase their score multiplier. There is a window of time for hitting each note, similar to other rhythm games such as Dance Dance Revolution, but unlike these games, scoring in Guitar Hero is not affected by accuracy; as long as the note is hit within that window, the player receives the same number of points.[61][62]

Selected special segments of the song will have glowing notes outlined by stars: successfully hitting all notes in this series will fill the “Star Power Meter”. The Star Power Meter can also be filled by using the whammy bar during sustained notes within these segments. Once the Star Power Meter is at least half full, the player can activate “Star Power” by pressing the select button or momentarily lifting the guitar into a vertical position. When Star Power is activated, the scoring multiplier is doubled until Star Power is depleted. The Rock Meter also increases more dramatically when Star Power is activated, making it easier for the player to make the Rock Meter stay at a high level. Thus, Star Power can be used strategically to play difficult sections of a song that otherwise might cause the player to fail.[61][62]

Notes can be a single note, or composed of two to four notes that makes a chord. Both single notes and chords can also be sustained, indicated by a colored line following the note marker; the player can hold the sustained note(s) keys down for the entire length for additional points. During a sustained note, a player may use the whammy bar on the guitar to alter the tone of the note. Also, regardless of whether sustains are hit early or late, if the fret is held for the full duration of the hold, the game will always award the same amount of score increase for the note. In addition, the games support virtual implementations of “hammer-ons” and “pull-offs”, guitar-playing techniques that are used to successfully play a fast series of notes by only changing the fingering on the fret buttons without having to strum each note. Sequences where strumming is not required are indicated on-screen by notes with a white outline at the top of the marker instead of the usual black one, with Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock adding a white-glowing effect to make these notes clearer.[61][62] Guitar Hero World Tour features transparent notes that are connected by a purple outline; players may either simply tap the correct fret for these notes without strumming or utilize a touchpad on World Tour’s guitar controller to “slide” along these notes. In addition, notes can now be played while a sustained note is being played. World Tour also adds an open string note for bass players, represented by a line across the fret instead of any note gems, that is played by strumming without holding down any fret buttons.
Gameplay of a whole band in Guitar Hero World Tour playing Billy Idol’s “Rebel Yell”. On top is vocalist, bottom from left to right: Guitar, Drums, Bass

Guitar Hero World Tour introduces drums and vocal tracks in addition to lead and bass guitar. Drum tracks are played similar to guitar tracks; the player must strike the appropriate drum head or step down on the bass drum pedal on the controller when the note gems pass the indicated line. Certain note gems, when using a drum controller that is velocity-sensitive, are “armored”, requiring the player to hit the indicated drum pad harder to score more points. Vocal tracks are played similar to games such as Karaoke Revolution where the player must match the pitch and the pacing of the lyrics to score points. Guitar Hero 5 will allow for players to create a band of up to four players using any combination of instruments.[63]

While the song is playing, the background visuals feature the players’ chosen avatar, along with the rest of the band performing in one of several real and fictional venues. The reaction of the audience is based on the performance of the player judged by the Rock Meter. Guitar Hero II added special lighting and other stage effects that were synchronized to the music to provide a more complete concert experience.[61][62] The games developed by Neversoft feature a simple storyline, usually about a band’s quest for fame, which is told through animations played throughout the game. These animations have been created by Chris Prynoski and his studio, Titmouse, Inc., who have also done animations for the animated show Metalocalypse.[64]

Game modes
In Guitar Hero III’s two-player “Battle Mode”, each player attempts to interfere with their opponent’s performance using special power-ups while avoiding being distracted by those thrown by the opponent.

The main mode of play in the Guitar Hero games is Career Mode, where the player and in-game band travel between various fictional performance arenas and perform sets of four to six songs. It is by completing songs in this mode that the songs are unlocked for play across the rest of the game. Players can choose their on-stage character, their guitar of choice, and the venue they wish to play in. In this mode, the player can earn money from his/her performances that is redeemable at the in-game store, where bonus songs, additional guitars and finishes, and bonus content can be unlocked. Quick Play mode is a quicker method of playing songs, as it allows the player to select a track and difficulty, selecting the character, venue, and guitar and guitar skin for the player based on the song chosen. After successfully completing a song, the player is given a score, a percentage of how many notes they hit and a rating from three to five stars, depending on his/her final score on the song.[61][62]

The games have also added multiplayer modes. Cooperative modes allow two players to play lead and either bass or rhythm guitar on the same song, working together towards the same score. A competitive Face-Off mode allows two player to play against each other at different difficulty levels, each attempting to earn the best score on a song. Guitar Hero III introduced Boss Battles, in which two players face off against each other, attempt to collect “distractions” to throw at their opponent, trying to make them lose. With Guitar Hero World Tour, up to four players can play cooperatively on lead and bass guitar, drums, and vocals, while a total of eight players can compete in a Battle of the Bands. The Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii versions of the games support multiplayer modes over their respective network services.

The four difficulty levels for each song afford the player a learning curve in order to help him/her progress in skill. The first difficulty level, Easy, only focuses on the first three fret buttons while displaying a significantly reduced amount of notes for the player to play. Medium introduces the fourth (blue) fret button, and Hard includes the final fret button while adding additional notes. The addition of the orange fret button forces players to move their fingers up and down the neck. Expert does not introduce any other frets to learn, but adds more notes in a manner designed to challenge the player and to simulate the player’s hands to move in a sequence similar to a real guitar. A difficulty added in “World Tour” is Beginner, which only requires the player to strum to the basic rhythm; holding the fret buttons becomes unnecessary.[61][62] Another new difficulty has been added to “Metallica” known as Expert+, which uses the double bass pedal.

Characters and customization

When playing through Career mode or in other parts of the Guitar Hero games, the player has the option to select one of several pre-created avatar characters, who will be shown performing on stage as the player attempts a song, but otherwise has no effect on the gameplay. A certain number of characters are available at the start of the game, but the player must spend in-game money earned by successful performances to unlock other characters. Many of the characters reappear throughout the series, though some games feature a smaller number of characters. Games that feature caricatures of celebrity artists, such as Guitar Hero III , Guitar Hero: Aerosmith and Guitar Hero: Metallica include the ability to unlock those artists as playable characters. The ability for the players to create their own avatars was added in Guitar Hero World Tour.

In addition to unlocking characters, in-game money can be used to buy alternative outfits for these characters and guitars that they are seen playing with. The guitars can also be customized with special finishes purchasable through the in-game store. Guitar Hero World Tour includes the ability to fully customize any component of the guitar. The in-game store in the series is also used to unlock bonus songs or special videos with interviews about the game or with the artists involved.

Soundtracks

Most of the games in the Guitar Hero series feature a selection of songs ranging from the 1960s to present day rock music from both highly successful artists and bands and independent groups. Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s features songs primarily from the 1980s, while both Guitar Hero: Aerosmith and Metallica features music from the respective bands and groups that inspired or worked with the bands.

Many of the Guitar Hero games developed for the recent generation of consoles (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii) support downloadable content, allowing players to purchase new songs to play in the respective titles. Songs each cost approximately $2 through the various online stores for the console’s platform. Prior to Guitar Hero 5, downloadable content for earlier games will not work in other games in the series, save for songs from Metallica’s Death Magnetic which were available for Guitar Hero III, World Tour, and Metallica.[65] Existing World Tour downloadable content for World Tour will be forward-compatible with Guitar Hero 5.[63] Activision has also stated that they are considering a monthly subscription service to deliver downloadable content to user for future games.[66] Guitar Hero World Tour introduces a music creation mode that will allow players to create and share songs via the “GHTunes” service.

In the first two games and the 2007 expansion Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s, the majority of the songs on the main career mode set lists are covers of the original song; for example, a song may be presented as “Free Bird as made famous by Lynyrd Skynyrd”.[67] Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock introduces a much larger range of original recordings, and World Tour featured a setlist that contained all master recordings. The covers throughout the games are mostly recreated by WaveGroup Sound who has worked before to create songs for Beatmania, Dance Dance Revolution, and Karaoke Revolution,[68] making small changes to the guitar portions to make them more adaptable for gameplay.[69] Almost all of the unlockable bonus songs are songs performed by the original artist for the game (the only exception is the song “She Bangs the Drums” by The Stone Roses, which is featured in Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock).

Prior to the release of Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock, Activision has worked with the iTunes Store to provide more than 1300 tracks of Guitar Hero-related music across more than 20 compilations, including most of the tracks from the games in the series, called “Guitar Hero Essentials”. These compilations, such as “Killer Guitar Solos” and “Guitar Anthems of the ’80s”, include songs related to but not contained within the Guitar Hero series. Dusty Welch of RedOctane has stated “Where there’s music, there’s Guitar Hero, and with iTunes, we are able to provide fans with a central location for downloading their favorite rock anthems.”[70] Following the merger of Activision and Blizzard, the new company announced that it is planning on creating an alternative to iTunes based on the Guitar Hero brand that would allow for downloading songs and their associated note tracks for the Guitar Hero games.[71]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guitar_Hero_(series)

Guitar Hero is a series of music video games first published in 2005 by RedOctane and distributed by Activision in which players use a guitar-shaped peripheral to simulate the playing of lead, bass guitar and rhythm guitar across numerous rock music songs. Players match notes that scroll on-screen to colored fret buttons on the controller, strumming the controller in time to the music in order to score points, and keep the virtual audience excited. The games attempt to mimic many features of playing a real guitar, including the use of fast-fingering hammer-ons and pull-offs and the use of the whammy bar to alter the pitch of notes. Most games support single player modes, typically a Career mode to play through all the songs in the game, and both competitive and cooperative multiplayer modes. With the introduction of Guitar Hero World Tour in 2008, the game includes support for a four-player band including vocals and drums. The series initially used mostly cover version of songs created by WaveGroup Sound, but most recent titles feature soundtracks that are fully master recordings, and in some cases, special re-recordings, of the songs. Later titles in the series feature support for downloadable content in the form of new songs.

RedOctane, then a company primarily in the manufacture of unique game controllers, was inspired in 2005 to create Guitar Hero based on their experience with creating hardware for Konami’s GuitarFreaks arcade game, and enlisted the help of Harmonix Music Systems, who had previously developed several music video games, for development duties. The first game in the series was made on a budget of $1 million. The series became extremely successful, leading to, in 2007, the acquisition of RedOctane by Activision, while Harmonix was acquired by MTV Games and went on to create the Rock Band series of music games in the same vein as Guitar Hero. Activision brought Neversoft, known for their Tony Hawk series of skateboarding games, onboard for future development duties. Additional companies, such as Vicarious Visions, Budcat Creations, Machineworks Northwest, and Aspyr Media have assisted in the adoption of the games for other systems.

The game currently has four major releases and three expansions on gaming consoles, and with spinoffs for Windows and Macintosh systems, mobile phones, the Nintendo DS, and an arcade game, with several more titles announced for future release. The Guitar Hero franchise has become a cultural phenomenon and learning and development tool for medical purposes, and has revolutionized the modern music industry. The series has sold more than 25 million units worldwide, earning US$2 billion at retail, claimed by Activision to be the 3rd largest game franchise after the Mario and Madden NFL franchises;[1][2][3][4] According to Activision, the third game in the series, Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock is the first single video game to exceed $1 billion in total sales.[5]
Contents
[hide]

* 1 History
o 1.1 Harmonix era (2005-2007)
o 1.2 Transition
o 1.3 Neversoft era (2007-present)
o 1.4 Beenox Studios
o 1.5 Vicarious Visions
o 1.6 Hands On Mobile
o 1.7 Other Games
o 1.8 Future games
* 2 Gameplay
o 2.1 Game modes
o 2.2 Characters and customization
o 2.3 Soundtracks
* 3 Cultural impact
* 4 Legal and practical issues
o 4.1 PlayStation 3 incompatibility
o 4.2 Patent litigation
o 4.3 Oversaturation
* 5 Games
* 6 See also
* 7 Notes
* 8 References
* 9 External links

[edit] History

[edit] Harmonix era (2005-2007)
The controllers bundled with Guitar Hero releases (from left to right): Gibson SGs for Guitar Hero & Guitar Hero II (PlayStation 2) and Gibson X-Plorer for Guitar Hero II (Xbox 360) & Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock (PC)

The original Guitar Hero was released on the PlayStation 2 in November 2005 and was developed by Harmonix. Harmonix had been previously known for developing music video games such as Frequency and Amplitude for the PlayStation 2, both of which were praised for enabling players to perform and create music using a DualShock controller as if it were a musical instrument.[6]

Guitar Hero is notable because it comes packaged with a controller peripheral modeled after a black Gibson SG guitar. Rather than a typical gamepad, this guitar controller is the primary input for the game. Playing the game with the guitar controller simulates playing an actual guitar, except it uses five colored “fret buttons” and a “strum bar” instead of frets and strings. The development of Guitar Hero was inspired by Konami’s GuitarFreaks arcade game, which at the time, had not seen much exposure in the North American market; RedOctane, already selling guitar-shaped controllers for imported copies of GuitarFreaks, approached Harmonix about creating a game to use an entirely new Guitar controller. The concept was to have the gameplay of Amplitude with the visuals of Karaoke Revolution, both of which had been developed by Harmonix.[7][8][9][10] The game was met with critical acclaim and received numerous awards for its innovative guitar peripheral and its soundtrack, which comprised 47 playable rock songs (most of which were cover versions of popular songs from artists and bands from the 1960s through modern rock). Guitar Hero has sold nearly 1.5 million copies to date.[11]

The popularity of the series increased dramatically with the release of Guitar Hero II for the PlayStation 2 in 2006. Featuring improved multiplayer gameplay, an improved note-recognizing system, and 64 songs, it became the fifth best-selling video game of 2006.[12] The PlayStation 2 version of the game was offered both separately and in a bundle with a cherry red Gibson SG guitar controller. Guitar Hero II was later released for the Xbox 360 in April 2007 with an exclusive Gibson X-Plorer guitar controller and an additional 10 songs, among other features. About 3 million units of Guitar Hero II have sold on the PlayStation 2 and Xbox 360.[13]

The final game in the Guitar Hero series to be developed by Harmonix was Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s for the PlayStation 2, which was released in July 2007.[14]

[edit] Transition

Both RedOctane and Harmonix were experiencing changes in 2006. RedOctane was bought by Activision in June—who spent $100 million to acquire the Guitar Hero franchise[15]—while it was announced in September that Harmonix would be purchased by MTV Networks. As a result of the two purchases, Harmonix would no longer develop future games in the Guitar Hero series. Instead, developing would go to Neversoft, a subsidiary of Activision known for developing the Tony Hawk’s series of skateboarding games.[16] Neversoft was chosen to helm the Guitar Hero series after Neversoft founder, Joel Jewett, admitted to the RedOctane founders, Kai and Charles Huang, that his development team for Tony Hawk’s Project 8 went to work on weekends just to play Guitar Hero.[17] In 2007, Harmonix and MTV Games released a new music title through rival publisher Electronic Arts, called Rock Band. It expanded upon the gameplay popularized by the Guitar Hero series by adding drum and microphone instruments, allowing players to simulate playing songs as bands, though this functionality was added to Guitar Hero beginning with Guitar Hero World Tour.

[edit] Neversoft era (2007-present)
The Gibson Les Paul guitar controller bundled with Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 releases of Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock (pictured is the Xbox 360 guitar controller). A similar Gibson Les Paul guitar controller is bundled with the Wii release, but is white, and requires the Wii Remote to be inserted in the back. For in-store demos on the Xbox 360, a wired Les Paul controller is used.

Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock was released in late 2007 for the PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, PC, and Mac platforms. The title is the first installment of the series to include wireless guitars bundled with the game and also the first to release a special bundle with two guitars. The game includes Slash and Tom Morello as playable characters in addition to the existing fictional avatars; both guitarists performed motion capture to be used for their characters’ animation in the game.

On September 4, 2007, Billboard announced that the band Aerosmith was “working closely with the makers of Guitar Hero IV, which will be dedicated to the group’s music.”[18] On February 15, 2008, Activision announced that Guitar Hero: Aerosmith, an expansion game to the series, would be released on June 29, 2008.[19][20][21] Guitar Hero: Aerosmith is developed by Neversoft for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions, while the Wii version of the game is developed by Vicarious Visions and the PlayStation 2 version is developed by Budcat Creations.[22] The game features a track selection composed of 60% of Aerosmith songs, with other songs from Joe Perry’s solo work or artists that have inspired or performed with Aerosmith, including Run D.M.C..

Guitar Hero World Tour, previously named Guitar Hero IV, is the fourth full game in the series and was released on October 26, 2008 for PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Wii. Analysts had expected that future Guitar Hero games in 2008 would include additional instrument peripherals to compete against Rock Band;[23] Guitar Hero World Tour was confirmed as in development following the announcement of the merger between Activision and Vivendi Games in December 2007.[24] Activision’s CEO Bobby Kotick announced on April 21, 2008 that Guitar Hero World Tour will branch out into other instruments including vocals.[25] Guitar Hero World Tour includes drums and vocals, and can be bought packaged with a new drum set controller, a microphone, and the standard guitar controller.[26] A larger number of real-world musicians appear as playable characters, including Jimi Hendrix, Billy Corgan, Hayley Williams, Zakk Wylde, Ted Nugent, Travis Barker, Sting, and Ozzy Osbourne. Guitar Hero World Tour also features custom song creation that can be shared with others.[26]

Activision’s 2008 SEC filings cited that they plan to release Guitar Hero: Metallica by the first quarter of 2009, according the Wedbush Morgan Securities.[27] Guitar Hero: Metallica is based on the full band experience of World Tour while offering similar features on Metallica’s history and music as found in Guitar Hero: Aerosmith.[28] In addition, Metallica’s album, Death Magnetic, was available as downloadable content for Guitar Hero III simultaneously with the release of the album, with the content being forward-compatible with Guitar Hero World Tour and Guitar Hero: Metallica. Since The PlayStation 2 version does not support downloading, three extra songs were included from Death Magnetic and are as follows: “Broken, Beat, and Scarred”, “Cyanide”, and “My Apocolypse”.[28][29]

[edit] Beenox Studios

Guitar Hero: Smash Hits (titled Guitar Hero: Greatest Hits in Europe) was released in June 2009, and features full-band versions of 48 songs present in earlier Guitar Hero games which only used the guitar controller. Unlike the previous versions, each of the songs is based on a master recording including some live tracks.[30] The game follows a similar model as Guitar Hero: Metallica, and was developed by Beenox Studios for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation 2, and Wii.[31]

[edit] Vicarious Visions

The “Guitar Grip”, developed by Vicarious Visions for the Nintendo DS series Guitar Hero: On Tour provides four fret buttons for the game, while strumming is done on the DS touchscreen.

Guitar Hero: On Tour was released on the Nintendo DS hand-held system on June 22, 2008. The game includes a peripheral, dubbed the “Guitar Grip”, a rectangular device that fits into the second slot of the Nintendo DS or DS Lite. The peripheral only features the first four fret buttons and a strap so the Nintendo DS can be held sideways comfortably for play. The game also includes a guitar pick shaped stylus for use with strumming in the game, which players move across the touchscreen.[32] Guitar Hero: On Tour was developed by Vicarious Visions, who also ported the Guitar Hero games to Nintendo’s Wii console.

A sequel, Guitar Hero On Tour: Decades, was released in November 2008, featuring music spanning four decades.[33] A third title in the series, Guitar Hero On Tour: Modern Hits, was announced following various rumors of its existence,[34][35] and was released in June 2009, and features songs recorded since 2000.[36][31][37] Both games reuse the “Guitar Grip” controller, and allow two players to compete against each other using any version of the On Tour series, with songs being shared between versions.[33]

[edit] Hands On Mobile

Guitar Hero III Mobile was released for mobile phones in 2007 and 2008, and was developed by MachineWorks Northwest LLC. The base version of the game includes 15 songs from both Guitar Hero II and Guitar Hero III, and has released a three-song add-on pack every month since January 2008. The title has been downloaded by users one million times, with both Verizon and Hands-On Mobile claiming that over 250,000 songs are played a day on the platform.[38]

Another mobile phone game, Guitar Hero III: Backstage Pass was developed by Hands-On Mobile and released in July 2008; in addition to the usual Guitar Hero elements, the game adds simulation of the management of the player’s band on its way to success.[39]

Hands-On Mobile also secured worldwide rights for a mobile game based on Guitar Hero World Tour which was released on December 1, 2008.[40]

[edit] Other Games

Activision and RedOctane have also worked with Basic Fun, Inc. to produce Guitar Hero Carabiner, a handheld electronic game that features 30 and 60-second clips of ten of the songs from Guitar Hero and Guitar Hero II.[41][42]

Activision and Konami, who have previously worked together to make sure that the Guitar Hero series meets with Konami’s patents on music games, developed an arcade console version of the game, entitled Guitar Hero Arcade, distributed to arcades in early 2009. The game is primarily based on the Guitar Hero III gameplay, reducing some of the features such as character customization, but keeping the ability to download new songs for the cabinet from the Internet.[43]

[edit] Future games

Activision and RedOctane have trademarked the titles “Guitar Villain”, “Drum Villain”, “Keyboard Hero” and “Sing Hero”.[44][45] RedOctane originally trademarked the titles “Drum Hero” and “Band Hero”, but the work performed towards the Drum Hero title was eventually folded into the gameplay for Guitar Hero World Tour.[26] Activision plans to release “multiple new Guitar Hero SKUs” in 2009, according to Activision Publishing CEO Mike Griffith.[46] Industry analysts expect that three expansions to World Tour will be made before the next major title in the series.[47] Activision is expecting to triple the number of games released under the Guitar Hero title by 2010.[48]

Guitar Hero 5, the fifth main entry in the series, was confirmed in December 2008.[49] Activision president of publishing Mike Griffin stated that there will be a “major restage” of the Guitar Hero brand in the second half of 2009.[31] Industry rumors stated that three additional games, Hard Rock Van Halen, Band Hero (a separate title from Guitar Hero 5), and another Nintendo DS game are due to arrive before the end of 2009.[50][51]

Guitar Hero: Van Halen was confirmed by Activision for release in the second half of 2009.[52] Like the other band-centric games, Guitar Hero: Van Halen will include 25 songs from the band Van Halen, including 3 guitar solos by Eddie Van Halen, in addition to 19 guest acts such as Queen, Weezer, blink-182, Foo Fighters, The Offspring and Queens of the Stone Age.[52][53]

Slash, in describing the band-specific Guitar Hero titles for Aerosmith and Metallica in an interview with Rolling Stone, stated that “Those are two ones that I think gives [the ”Guitar Hero” series] some credibility. And they’re doing a Hendrix one, which is great”,[54] hinting at the development of Guitar Hero: Hendrix.[55]

In November 2008, Activision acquired Budcat Creations, another development studio that has helped with the PlayStation 2 versions of Guitar Hero III and World Tour, announcing that they will be helping to develop another game in the Guitar Hero series.[56]

DJ Hero was announced by Activision in May 2009. Prior to the announcement, the company had purchased FreeStyleGames, a small developer of music games, to help produce localized downloadable content for Guitar Hero games and, at that time, a yet-to-be announced music game, since revealed to be DJ Hero.[57] DJ Hero will use a special turntable-based controller for players to perform with on various song mixes in the game. The game will incorporate the use of a Guitar Hero controller on ten specially-arranged tracks; Bright has suggested that future Guitar Hero games after Guitar Hero 5 may include the use of the turntable control.[58] Though the game is scheduled for release in October 2009, there currently exists a lawsuit between Genius Products and Numark, developers of another turntable-based music game Scratch: The Ultimate DJ, and Activision and 7 Studios, another studio acquired by Activision to assist in development. Genius and Numark content that 7 Studios, who were working on Scratch, illegally used their assets towards DJ Hero once they were acquired, and are seeking damages.[59]

In that same announcement, Activision confirmed that two new titles, Band Hero and Guitar Hero 5, would be released in the fall of 2009. According to Activision Guitar Hero 5 will bring an “unprecedented level of control over the way they play the game with the ability to drop in and out of songs and change band members, instruments and difficulty levels on the fly”. Band Hero will be rated E10 and feature Top 40 hits aimed at family audiences, and include the full band play style of Guitar Hero World Tour.[52]

Activision has also announced a PlayStation Portable title for the Guitar Hero series that would feature a drum component.[60]

[edit] Gameplay
Gameplay of a single player playing a song. The player in Guitar Hero must play the colored notes on the fret board in time to the music as they scroll through the target at the bottom. The score and current score multiplier are shown on the bottom left. The Rock Meter dial and Star Power indicator are shown on the bottom right. The remainder of the screen shows the player’s character and band as they perform to the music.

The core gameplay of the Guitar Hero games is a rhythm game similar to Harmonix’s previous music games such as Frequency and Amplitude. The guitar controller is recommended for play, although a standard console controller can be used instead.[61][62] The game supports toggling the handedness of the guitar, allowing both left-handed and right-handed players to utilize the guitar controller.[61][62]

While playing the game, an extended guitar neck is shown vertically on the screen (the frets horizontal), often called the “note highway”, and as the song progresses, colored markers or “gems” indicating notes travel down the screen in time with the music; the note colors and positions match those of the five fret keys on the guitar controller. Once the note(s) reach the bottom, the player must play the indicated note(s) by holding down the correct fret button(s) and hitting the strumming bar in order to score points. Success or failure will cause the on-screen Rock Meter to change, showing how well the player is playing (denoted by red, yellow, and green sections). Should the Rock Meter drop below the red section, the song will automatically end, with the player booed off the stage by the audience. Successful note hits will add to the player’s score, and by hitting a long series of consecutive successful note hits, the player can increase their score multiplier. There is a window of time for hitting each note, similar to other rhythm games such as Dance Dance Revolution, but unlike these games, scoring in Guitar Hero is not affected by accuracy; as long as the note is hit within that window, the player receives the same number of points.[61][62]

Selected special segments of the song will have glowing notes outlined by stars: successfully hitting all notes in this series will fill the “Star Power Meter”. The Star Power Meter can also be filled by using the whammy bar during sustained notes within these segments. Once the Star Power Meter is at least half full, the player can activate “Star Power” by pressing the select button or momentarily lifting the guitar into a vertical position. When Star Power is activated, the scoring multiplier is doubled until Star Power is depleted. The Rock Meter also increases more dramatically when Star Power is activated, making it easier for the player to make the Rock Meter stay at a high level. Thus, Star Power can be used strategically to play difficult sections of a song that otherwise might cause the player to fail.[61][62]

Notes can be a single note, or composed of two to four notes that makes a chord. Both single notes and chords can also be sustained, indicated by a colored line following the note marker; the player can hold the sustained note(s) keys down for the entire length for additional points. During a sustained note, a player may use the whammy bar on the guitar to alter the tone of the note. Also, regardless of whether sustains are hit early or late, if the fret is held for the full duration of the hold, the game will always award the same amount of score increase for the note. In addition, the games support virtual implementations of “hammer-ons” and “pull-offs”, guitar-playing techniques that are used to successfully play a fast series of notes by only changing the fingering on the fret buttons without having to strum each note. Sequences where strumming is not required are indicated on-screen by notes with a white outline at the top of the marker instead of the usual black one, with Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock adding a white-glowing effect to make these notes clearer.[61][62] Guitar Hero World Tour features transparent notes that are connected by a purple outline; players may either simply tap the correct fret for these notes without strumming or utilize a touchpad on World Tour’s guitar controller to “slide” along these notes. In addition, notes can now be played while a sustained note is being played. World Tour also adds an open string note for bass players, represented by a line across the fret instead of any note gems, that is played by strumming without holding down any fret buttons.
Gameplay of a whole band in Guitar Hero World Tour playing Billy Idol’s “Rebel Yell”. On top is vocalist, bottom from left to right: Guitar, Drums, Bass

Guitar Hero World Tour introduces drums and vocal tracks in addition to lead and bass guitar. Drum tracks are played similar to guitar tracks; the player must strike the appropriate drum head or step down on the bass drum pedal on the controller when the note gems pass the indicated line. Certain note gems, when using a drum controller that is velocity-sensitive, are “armored”, requiring the player to hit the indicated drum pad harder to score more points. Vocal tracks are played similar to games such as Karaoke Revolution where the player must match the pitch and the pacing of the lyrics to score points. Guitar Hero 5 will allow for players to create a band of up to four players using any combination of instruments.[63]

While the song is playing, the background visuals feature the players’ chosen avatar, along with the rest of the band performing in one of several real and fictional venues. The reaction of the audience is based on the performance of the player judged by the Rock Meter. Guitar Hero II added special lighting and other stage effects that were synchronized to the music to provide a more complete concert experience.[61][62] The games developed by Neversoft feature a simple storyline, usually about a band’s quest for fame, which is told through animations played throughout the game. These animations have been created by Chris Prynoski and his studio, Titmouse, Inc., who have also done animations for the animated show Metalocalypse.[64]

[edit] Game modes
In Guitar Hero III’s two-player “Battle Mode”, each player attempts to interfere with their opponent’s performance using special power-ups while avoiding being distracted by those thrown by the opponent.

The main mode of play in the Guitar Hero games is Career Mode, where the player and in-game band travel between various fictional performance arenas and perform sets of four to six songs. It is by completing songs in this mode that the songs are unlocked for play across the rest of the game. Players can choose their on-stage character, their guitar of choice, and the venue they wish to play in. In this mode, the player can earn money from his/her performances that is redeemable at the in-game store, where bonus songs, additional guitars and finishes, and bonus content can be unlocked. Quick Play mode is a quicker method of playing songs, as it allows the player to select a track and difficulty, selecting the character, venue, and guitar and guitar skin for the player based on the song chosen. After successfully completing a song, the player is given a score, a percentage of how many notes they hit and a rating from three to five stars, depending on his/her final score on the song.[61][62]

The games have also added multiplayer modes. Cooperative modes allow two players to play lead and either bass or rhythm guitar on the same song, working together towards the same score. A competitive Face-Off mode allows two player to play against each other at different difficulty levels, each attempting to earn the best score on a song. Guitar Hero III introduced Boss Battles, in which two players face off against each other, attempt to collect “distractions” to throw at their opponent, trying to make them lose. With Guitar Hero World Tour, up to four players can play cooperatively on lead and bass guitar, drums, and vocals, while a total of eight players can compete in a Battle of the Bands. The Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii versions of the games support multiplayer modes over their respective network services.

The four difficulty levels for each song afford the player a learning curve in order to help him/her progress in skill. The first difficulty level, Easy, only focuses on the first three fret buttons while displaying a significantly reduced amount of notes for the player to play. Medium introduces the fourth (blue) fret button, and Hard includes the final fret button while adding additional notes. The addition of the orange fret button forces players to move their fingers up and down the neck. Expert does not introduce any other frets to learn, but adds more notes in a manner designed to challenge the player and to simulate the player’s hands to move in a sequence similar to a real guitar. A difficulty added in “World Tour” is Beginner, which only requires the player to strum to the basic rhythm; holding the fret buttons becomes unnecessary.[61][62] Another new difficulty has been added to “Metallica” known as Expert+, which uses the double bass pedal.

[edit] Characters and customization

When playing through Career mode or in other parts of the Guitar Hero games, the player has the option to select one of several pre-created avatar characters, who will be shown performing on stage as the player attempts a song, but otherwise has no effect on the gameplay. A certain number of characters are available at the start of the game, but the player must spend in-game money earned by successful performances to unlock other characters. Many of the characters reappear throughout the series, though some games feature a smaller number of characters. Games that feature caricatures of celebrity artists, such as Guitar Hero III , Guitar Hero: Aerosmith and Guitar Hero: Metallica include the ability to unlock those artists as playable characters. The ability for the players to create their own avatars was added in Guitar Hero World Tour.

In addition to unlocking characters, in-game money can be used to buy alternative outfits for these characters and guitars that they are seen playing with. The guitars can also be customized with special finishes purchasable through the in-game store. Guitar Hero World Tour includes the ability to fully customize any component of the guitar. The in-game store in the series is also used to unlock bonus songs or special videos with interviews about the game or with the artists involved.

[edit] Soundtracks

Most of the games in the Guitar Hero series feature a selection of songs ranging from the 1960s to present day rock music from both highly successful artists and bands and independent groups. Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s features songs primarily from the 1980s, while both Guitar Hero: Aerosmith and Metallica features music from the respective bands and groups that inspired or worked with the bands.

Many of the Guitar Hero games developed for the recent generation of consoles (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii) support downloadable content, allowing players to purchase new songs to play in the respective titles. Songs each cost approximately $2 through the various online stores for the console’s platform. Prior to Guitar Hero 5, downloadable content for earlier games will not work in other games in the series, save for songs from Metallica’s Death Magnetic which were available for Guitar Hero III, World Tour, and Metallica.[65] Existing World Tour downloadable content for World Tour will be forward-compatible with Guitar Hero 5.[63] Activision has also stated that they are considering a monthly subscription service to deliver downloadable content to user for future games.[66] Guitar Hero World Tour introduces a music creation mode that will allow players to create and share songs via the “GHTunes” service.

In the first two games and the 2007 expansion Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s, the majority of the songs on the main career mode set lists are covers of the original song; for example, a song may be presented as “Free Bird as made famous by Lynyrd Skynyrd”.[67] Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock introduces a much larger range of original recordings, and World Tour featured a setlist that contained all master recordings. The covers throughout the games are mostly recreated by WaveGroup Sound who has worked before to create songs for Beatmania, Dance Dance Revolution, and Karaoke Revolution,[68] making small changes to the guitar portions to make them more adaptable for gameplay.[69] Almost all of the unlockable bonus songs are songs performed by the original artist for the game (the only exception is the song “She Bangs the Drums” by The Stone Roses, which is featured in Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock).

Prior to the release of Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock, Activision has worked with the iTunes Store to provide more than 1300 tracks of Guitar Hero-related music across more than 20 compilations, including most of the tracks from the games in the series, called “Guitar Hero Essentials”. These compilations, such as “Killer Guitar Solos” and “Guitar Anthems of the ’80s”, include songs related to but not contained within the Guitar Hero series. Dusty Welch of RedOctane has stated “Where there’s music, there’s Guitar Hero, and with iTunes, we are able to provide fans with a central location for downloading their favorite rock anthems.”[70] Following the merger of Activision and Blizzard, the new company announced that it is planning on creating an alternative to iTunes based on the Guitar Hero brand that would allow for downloading songs and their associated note tracks for the Guitar Hero games.[71]

Game Boy

nintendo-gameboy-advanceThe Game Boy is an 8-bit handheld video game console developed and manufactured by Nintendo. It was released in Japan on April 21, 1989 (1989-04-21), in North America on July 31, 1989 (1989-07-31), and in Europe on September 28, 1990 (1990-09-28). In Southern Asia, it is known as the “Tata Game Boy”[1][vague][2] It is the first handheld console in the Game Boy line. It was created by Gunpei Yokoi and Nintendo’s Research and Development 1—the same staff who had designed the Game & Watch series as well as several popular games for the NES.

The Game Boy was Nintendo’s second handheld system following the Game & Watch series introduced in 1980, and it combined features from both the Nintendo Entertainment System and Game & Watch.[3] It was also the first handheld game to use video game cartridges since Milton Bradley’s Microvision handheld console. It was originally bundled with the puzzle game Tetris.

Despite many other, technologically superior handheld consoles introduced during its lifetime, the Game Boy was a tremendous success. The Game Boy and Game Boy Color combined have sold 118.69 million units worldwide. Upon its release in the United States, it sold its entire shipment of one million units within weeks.

Features

The Game Boy’s main controls for playing games are located on the lower half of its front frame. The Game Boy has four operation buttons labeled “A”, “B”, “SELECT”, and “START” as well as a directional pad. The functions of these buttons vary from game to game.[5] There is a volume control dial on the right side of the console and a similar knob to adjust the contrast on the left side.[6] A sliding on-off switch, as well as the slot for the Game Boy cartridges are located at the top of the Game Boy[7] Normally, users leave the cartridge in the system as recommended by Nintendo to prevent dust and dirt from entering the system.[8]
The right side of the Game Boy, showing the volume control and the extension connector.
A Red Game Boy with the Game Genie in it with the Tetris cartridge.

The Game Boy also contains the following optional input/output connectors. On the left side of the system is an external power supply jack that allows users to use a rechargeable battery pack instead of batteries; the rechargeable battery pack, which included a power adapter, was sold separately.[9] Separate editions of the battery pack were made for 110V and 230V countries. The Game Boy requires 6V DC of at least 250mA.[10] Finally, a 3.5 mm stereo headphone jack is located on the bottom side of the console which allows users to listen to the sounds from the system without anyone else listening to it.[11]

On the right side is an external connector port that allows a user to connect to another Game Boy system via a link cable, provided both users are playing the same game.[12] The port can also be used to connect a Game Boy Printer.[citation needed] The link cable was originally designed for players to play head–to–head two–player games such as in Tetris. However, game developer Satoshi Tajiri would later use the link cable technology as a method of communication and networking in the popular Pokémon video game series including Pokémon Red and Blue and Pokémon Gold and Silver.[13]

Reception
The red and grey Game Boy together.
A transparent model.

The Game Boy and Game Boy Color combined have sold 118.69 million units worldwide, with 32.47 million units in Japan, 44.06 million in the Americas, and 42.16 million in other regions.[14][15]

At the time of its release in 1989, the Atari Lynx was also just being introduced to the market. This system featured color graphics, a backlit screen, and networking capabilities.[16] However, its release price of $179[citation needed] and substantial requirement of 6 AA batteries that would provide roughly only four or five hours of gameplay (compared to 35 hours on 4 AA batteries for the Game Boy) doomed it to a second-rate status.[17] Nintendo also experienced heavy competition from Sega’s Game Gear. To promote its new color console, Sega aired a number of negative but unsuccessful ad campaigns in the United States that criticized the Game Boy’s monochrome color palette. Like the Lynx, it too required six AA batteries that only lasted about 4–6 hours and was much more expensive than the Game Boy.[18] The Game Gear had the advantage of being fully compatible (with an adapter) with all Sega Master System games and, while not as successful as the Game Boy, it sold from 1991 until early 1997.[19]

Official Nintendo Magazine has praised the Game Boy and its models that follow it as it “got people who enjoyed gaming while sprawled on the couch in their undies to game wherever they liked.”

Accessories
See also: Game Boy accessories

Several accessories compatible with the Game Boy were also produced:

* The Game Boy Battery Pack (or AC Adapter), sold for about US$30, was roughly 3 in. long, 2 in. wide, and 0.5 in. thick. One end of it had a 2 inch-long cord, ending in a 3.5 mm audio jack, while the other end had a standard mains plug. The first version of it was gray with purple lettering, to match the colors used on the Game Boy. It also featured a belt clip. The battery pack was good for several hours of gameplay per charge, providing an alternative to purchasing more AA batteries once their power was exhausted. The product used nickel-cadmium batteries, lasted about 4–5 hours per charge, and could be charged roughly 1000 times before a significant loss in effectiveness. A major drawback of the battery pack was its weight, as well as the way the phone plug stuck out prominently.[20]

* The Game Link Cable an accessory that established a data connection between two Game Boys using the same game or game from the same series.

* The 4-player adapter (DMG-07) was a special link adapter for certain games which supported more than 2 players, such as F1-Race (up to 4 players) and Faceball 2000 (up to 16 players).

* Released in 1998, the Game Boy Camera was able to take pictures that could be printed out using the Game Boy Printer. The photos were in black and white only, and the resolution of the pictures was 128 x 123. Both the Game Boy Camera and Game Boy Printer products were marketed together in Japan, the United States, and Europe, primarily towards children.

* Released at the same time as the Game Boy Camera, the Game Boy Printer was a thermal printer. It ran on six AA batteries. In addition to printing out Game Boy Camera photos, it also ran in conjunction with several Game Boy games, such as The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening DX, Pokémon Yellow: Special Pikachu Edition, and “Super Mario Bros. DX”

* The Work Boy was an unreleased accessory for the Game Boy which included a mini keyboard that plugged into the link cable outlet. The Work Boy cartridge featured such programs as a clock, calendar, measurement conversion, and a phone book. This accessory was described in Volume 36 (May, 1992) of Nintendo Power.

75827_gameboy