The Evolution of Video Game Consoles from mid 80’s to beginning of 2000’s

Written by
Jason Rasnake
  • 1985

I will never forget the best Christmas gift I had ever received from Santa as a kid! 😉 I believe it was 1986, Christmas morning when I opened up the Nintendo Entertainment System NES! I had played the Atari before, but this was on another level. We played it so long that day that we actually missed a second family Christmas get together that we had that day (that did not go over well, but back to the consoles). The regular Nintendo is still to this day my favorite system.

  • 1989

Next comes the Gameboy (which I also still have). This was mind-blowing because you could take your video games with you! However, the black and white screen mixed with a bit of color was a bit annoying at the time, but worth suffering through when playing on long car trips.

In the same year as the Gameboy’s debut, the Sega Genesis was released. 1989 was the year Sega made a big come-back from their less popular Master System in 1986. The Genesis brought us the very popular game, Sonic The Hedgehog.

  • 1991

The Super Nintendo came out in 1991 and was now the biggest and best thing. They doubled the graphics of the NES to a whopping 16 bit. This was unheard of. On a side note, Donkey Kong Country was the only game I played on that thing. I wasn’t a big fan of the games for this.

  • 1995

4 years later comes a new player in the game with a Playstation. The Playstation revolutionized gaming by bringing in the CD ROM as apposed to the cartridges. This Playstation raised the bar up to a 32 bit system. Now the competition is ON!

Sega also came out with a less popular, but still big enough to make this list, Sega Saturn. The graphics were great but the only game I can remember from this system is Daytona USA.

  • 1996

The following year, Nintendo comes back to answer with a new 64 bit system in the Nintendo 64 to double the Playstation’s 32. Games like Super Mario 64 made you feel like it was 3D (at the time). If you never got to play Goldeneye on this system, I am sorry! Still today that game might be the most well known, most played game of all time. This is also the first console that you could have 4 players going at it at the same time.

  • 1999

Sega jumps back in 1999 with the Sega Dreamcast. I again, don’t really remember much about this system other than the crazy controllers this system had.

  • 2000

Playstation’s turn!!! In 2000, Playstation comes out with the PS2 which jumps all the way up to 128 bit, again doubling the graphics of the Nintendo 64. You can see a trend here, almost like they are sticking it to the other. I was never a fan of this system but my friends would swear by it. I did get sucked into games like Grand Theft Auto and Metal Gear Solid.

  • 2001

Now comes Microsoft with their system called the XBox! This was and still is my favorite system (other than the original NES). This was also a 128 bit system but this was a completely new name, look and feel. Xbox also brought the game Halo to the world, one of the most popular games ever created. We would have friends over and hook up multiple systems to go against each other in combat.

I know that the systems of today put these old relics to shame when it comes to graphics but I still choose my regular NES game-play over the systems of today. Maybe it is nostalgia or maybe it is the ease of game-play from the older systems that I like so much.  

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